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New leader at Lake Superior Magazine

After 15 years as editor of Lake Superior Magazine, Paul Hayden is stepping aside, and managing editor Konnie LeMay is taking over the decision making for the popular bimonthly publication about Lake Superior and the surrounding region.

After 15 years as editor of Lake Superior Magazine, Paul Hayden is stepping aside, and managing editor Konnie LeMay is taking over the decision making for the popular bimonthly publication about Lake Superior and the surrounding region.
Hayden isn't going far. In fact, he's not even leaving his office. Instead of having responsibility for the magazine and all the books and other sundry publications that come out of the publishing company Lake Superior Port Cities Inc., he's leaving the magazine in LeMay's capable hands and focusing on the more lengthy publications. Hayden's new title is associate publisher.
The transfer of power has been a long time in the planning stages. It began when LeMay was hired three years ago.
"Paul essentially has been everything," LeMay said. "He's been editor of the magazine, but he also oversees all of the book publications and production of anything else we do out of this office. What we're finding is we have enough work in both sections that Paul's time shouldn't be divided between making decisions for the magazine and at the same time doing the other products as well."
"From the time that Konnie got here, the job has been progressing to a point where she's handling more and more of the production of the magazine and the planning and the implementation and all of the things that go into making it happen," Hayden said. "The difference now is the responsibility and decision making shifts totally to her, and I become much more of an adviser than a decision maker."
The personality of a magazine can take on something of the editor's personality. LeMay and Hayden joke that about the only thing they share as far as a personality trait is a bad sense of humor. But because the shift has been a gradual one, subscribers probably won't see much of a change in the magazine under LeMay's leadership.
"If you've seen any shifting in the last three years, that's probably the kind of thing you're looking at," LeMay said. "I suggest that it's been fairly subtle."
"Even though we may come from different backgrounds, different orientation, the magazine itself has an image that we pretty well agree on," Hayden said. "A magazine is a living, breathing thing. It's never static. I would say (Lake Superior Magazine) has changed through its entire life. It started in 1979, and it's never even the same from issue to issue. In small methodical pieces it takes on new characteristics to become a reflection of what the readers want, the editors want, what's happening out there. We do have a certain vision for what Lake Superior Magazine is. I don't think we've ever been too divergent on that. How to get there, sometimes yeah."
As associate publisher at Lake Superior Port Cities Inc., Hayden will be focusing on the books the company will be publishing, increasing the emphasis on that side of the business.
"The plan was to get to this point: Where the magazine becomes one of the things we do instead of the only thing that we do," Hayden said. "We've been producing books over the years and calling them our ancillary products. By calling them ancillary it shows the emphasis we've put on the magazine over the years. Books are now going to have a greater emphasis in what we do because it is an important thing about what we do."
While it's an exciting time of growth for Lake Superior Port Cities Inc., the transfer is also just a bit sad for Hayden, who has overseen the publication of 91 issues of Lake Superior Magazine.
"I remember every one of them, and I can look at any story and tell you everything that went into getting it on the page," Hayden said. "But there's a point where I know that because there are so many things to do and so many areas to grow in, you can't do it all, even though you think you can."
"It's kind of like marrying off one of your children," LeMay said. "You've had the responsibility for them all this time. That child is still your child, but now someone else is involved in the picture, too, and you're saying, 'OK, I don't have to take primary responsibility anymore.'"
Covering Lake Superior isn't as easy as it may sound. The magazine, which sells roughly 20,000 copies of each bimonthly issue, endeavors to bring a holistic approach to covering the issues of the lake.
"People are realizing the importance of the big watershed as a region," LeMay said. "You aren't just your own little region over here, and you can't ignore the fact that the water goes this way or comes from this way. The magazine always has had the opportunity to speak to the watershed of Lake Superior. For me, that was the fascinating and intriguing opportunity that the magazine brought. You need to bring a more holistic sense to what's going on in the community of Lake Superior."
"We're trying to be a whole lot to an awful lot of people because although you can look at Lake Superior and say, 'Yeah, that's pretty defined. It's a lake, it's a big region.' It is not a defined region in people's minds," Hayden said. "We're trying to paint a picture in their minds about what we're about, the fact that there's some commonality between three states and a province, but also all the Great Lakes and all this fresh water. We have a fair task ahead of us."
Jennifer Simonson is a news and health reporter for the Budgeteer News. Contact her at 723-1207 or at jsimonson@duluth.com .

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