Top Scottish radio broadcaster and experienced journalist Tom Morton has been announced as the new editor of Shetland Life magazine.
Tom, a former Shetland Times news editor, columnist and reporter who has written for national newspapers including The Scotsman, will replace Malachy Tallack, who is stepping down having edited the monthly publication since 2006.
The magazine, which is published by The Shetland Times Ltd, was launched in November 1980 by founding editor James R Nicolson. Shetland Times Ltd managing director Brian Johnston said the company was “delighted to welcome Tom on board” and paid warm tribute to his predecessor.
“Malachy has done a first class job in editing these past five years and has modernised while retaining much of the content our readers like to see,” Mr Johnston said. “I sincerely thank him for that.”
He continued: “Shetland Life has long been a must read for very many people in Shetland, in fact our recent survey suggests that around 40 per cent of the Shetland public read it regularly. We try hard to reflect as many aspects of life in Shetland as we can with the content and to keep those readers entertained.
“Of course there may be subtle changes under Tom’s leadership, but that is only natural when a new editor is appointed. I am certain that readers, loyal and new, will still find many articles and images they like.”
Tom, 55, said he feels the magazine “looks great” and he is aiming to “build on the excellent work that Malachy has been doing for the last five years”. He said the fact that newspapers and magazines were continuing to thrive in this community at a time when many publications are struggling worldwide provided a “fantastic opportunity”.
“I think Shetland Life is a really important part of the isles’ culture and I feel really privileged to be involved with it,” he said. “At the moment I have a general feeling that we want to celebrate life in Shetland and have a bit of fun. I want it to be a really positive reading experience.”
Malachy said: “I’m pleased to be handing over to someone, and very pleased to be handing over to Tom. I believe that he will be able to do a very good job with the magazine.”
As well as fronting his own show on Radio Scotland on weekday afternoons, Tom has spent much of 2011 advising Shetland Islands Council as it sets up a new communications unit. He will continue helping out until that team is in place, before taking over Shetland Life beginning with the December issue.
The magazine’s October issue is out today and is packed with the usual strong selection of feature articles and columns all about island life. Malachy’s editorial notes with some sadness the news that Clive’s Record Shop is closing down later this month. In an in-depth interview with Neil Riddell, the music shop’s owner Clive Munro discusses the highs and lows of selling music to the Shetland public for three decades.
Elsewhere, Jordan Ogg catches up with novelist and poet Kevin MacNeil, the editor of a new collection of poetry from Scotland’s islands entitled These Islands, We Sing. No less than 20 of the 60 poets featured in the book have some sort of connection with Shetland.
Photographer Chloe Garrick contributes a gallery of pictures of Shetland’s climbing enthusiasts from a recent club outing to Burra and one of its weekly training sessions at Clickimin. The centre-spread gallery is a series of shots of Shetland in winter from Bristol photographer Jerome Lorieau.
There is a two-page feature on In Passing, the new album from singer-songwriter Donald Anderson and his backing band, guitarist Alan McKay, (councillor) Rick Nickerson on bass and drummer Duncan Kidson.
Motor enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the second of two articles about George Jacobson’s slow and painstaking restoration of his 1936 Calthorpe motorcycle, written by Ryan Taylor.
Marsali Taylor delves into the past to find out the history behind reports of apparitions and mysterious happenings at Busta House. Also looking back in time is Douglas C Smith, who examines the enormous improvements in living standards that took place in Shetland over the course of the 20th century.
University student and writer Roseanne Watt answers this month’s 21 questions, while regular columnists including Vaila Wishart, Jimmy Stout, Louise Brewer, Bryan Peterson and Sandy Nelson are all present and correct.
● The October issue of Shetland Life is available now from all good newsagents, priced £2.30.