Editor's Page: Movers and Shakers

Introducing some changes to the HONOLULU Magazine editorial family.

Photo: Linny Morris

Sometimes, change seems to happen all at once. Recently, not one but two longtime staffers popped their heads into my office to say, “Got a minute?”

Nothing small ever follows those words! Certainly nothing that takes just a minute.

The first change: Nearly a year ago, John Heckathorn rejoined our staff as our dining and senior editor, adding our online dining column, “Biting Commentary,” to his monthly dining reviews in the magazine. This had been a natural fit for him. Heckathorn started out with HONOLULU as a freelance dining writer in 1984, joined the staff as associate editor in 1985 and served as this magazine’s editor from 1993 to 2005. Then there was a period where he edited our sister publication, Hawaii Magazine, while still writing dining for us. We were happy to have him back after that, but an opportunity came along that he could not refuse.

That gig? Professor of journalism at Hawaii Pacific University, where he is slated to chair the journalism department and teach such courses as “convergence: new media” and “the journalist as entrepreneur.” Should be a piece of cake; he’s had years of experience with every medium: magazine writer and editor, newspaper columnist, radio show host, TV show host and more.

That’s exactly what appeals to him about the HPU job. “I really enjoy the students and would like to help HPU prepare them for what is likely to be a tumultuous next 20 years in communications technology,” he says. “We need to prepare flexible professionals to deal with a world we cannot quite see yet.”

Heckathorn will still write dining every month for the magazine, so this isn’t goodbye. We will keep “Biting Commentary” going, without interruption, with a new writer. Check out honolulumagazine.com for the scoops.

The second change: For as long as I’ve been editor, my right hand person has been Kathryn Drury Wagner, our executive editor. Wagner started as an associate editor with HONOLULU and editor of Ala Moana Magazine in 2003, before becoming our managing editor exclusively in 2005. One essential part of her job is tracking all the moving parts as we pull every issue together. She has kept me and the team in line behind the scenes, while developing a readership of her own in our Afterthoughts column.

Alas, Los Angeles beckons the Wagner family and they are relocating to California.

“I’ve been honored to be part of the caretaking team for the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi,” says Wagner. “The magazine is a living, breathing thing, something that people will research and need in the future. It’s rare in publishing to have that sense that you’re writing something that will last.”

The third change: We’ve promoted senior writer Michael Keany to managing editor, taking on Wagner’s role. Keany started as an intern with us in 2002, worked with us for another two years as a freelancer before joining the staff in 2004 as an associate editor. Readers know him best as one of our key writers, especially on our Hawaiian music and architecture beats.

“It feels like a huge leap from when I first started as an intern, and I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” says Keany. “But I’m excited to take on the challenge.”

I’ll miss seeing John and Kathryn every day. They’ve both been hugely important to me, at work and as friends. To John, Kathryn and Mike, all of us at HONOLULU wish you the best in your new chapters.