Mike Archer, the long suffering Editor of the Today Media Group, has finally come to his senses and left town. Ironically, he never lived in Abbotsford, but that’s not the point.
In a world full of irony Mike has taken a job in Alberta where he will be playing for the “other team”. After years of holding all levels of government, and many politicians, to account for their decisions, Mike will now be defending them as the Communications Coordinator for the County of Saddle Hills in Northern Alberta.
Saddle Hills is about 7 or 8 hours drive North of Edmonton, so for those of you that have always wanted Mike to “get lost”…he heard you loud and clear and has done his best to make you happy.
You’ll further be surprised to know that this was Mike’s plan all along. Since almost the day we met, Mike has spoken about getting back to small town living. The opportunity Mike was given at Saddle Hills could not be turned down. Mike will be doing what he loves in a place he’s always wanted to be.
What does this mean for Abbotsford Today and the Today Media Group? Simply, Mike will no longer have anything to do with the day-to-day operations of any of the web sites, and, he will no longer be writing editorial content.
That is the practical explanation.
The effect will be a deafening silence.
Mike’s voice wasn’t just an editorial one. His journalistic enthusiasm and integrity afforded him a position of trust that few in classic media command. His impact on Abbotsford played a huge role in keeping all of us aware of ongoing stories like the Abbotsford Heat, the Stave Lake Water Project, the Friendship Garden, and the spreading of chicken manure on a homeless camp….a story that Mike broke and was picked up by news media around the world!
Mike was a champion of the homeless in Abbotsford. Mike’s work behind the scenes will get him very little recognition, but all improvement in that regard, can be attributed to his effort. His impact cannot be overestimated.
If you are glad to see Mike go, it is probably because you did something dumb. If you are sad to see him go, it is probably because you thought what “they”did was dumb too. No matter the delivery, the language, the content, or the target, Mike inspired Abbotsford to start talking. You began taking a good, hard look at the way your city was run, how your leaders communicated with you, and you voted for a change in the last election. Again, Mike played a role in that outcome too.
This column is sounding a bit like an obituary. This web site is full of Mike’s work. Read it. It speaks for itself.
On a personal note…I’m going to miss Mike.
Yep, he’s just an email or a Skype call away, but we all know its not the same. I learned a lot from Mike. In that way that you learn from a “slightly” older brother, Mike would wrap his lessons up in stories, old and new, and would illustrate his ideas and experience to me in ways that entertained and educated.
His effect on my life cannot be overestimated.
Now, don’t worry Abbotsford. You and I…we’ll be fine. It will take awhile before it really sinks in as to what it means for Mike to not be around. You never know what you’ve got until its gone.
Our loss is Saddle Hills’ gain.
Anyone up for a road trip?