Rick McCutcheon, Publisher Emeritus, Manitoulin Publishing Co. Ltd – The Manitoulin Expositor
Rick’s long career and love for the newspaper industry began in 1967, after answering an ad he spotted in the Globe and Mail looking for a reporter at the Gore Bay Recorder on Manitoulin Island. When asked if he could type, Rick replied ‘yes’ and quickly purchased a typewriting to learn. He was hired and made the move from North of Toronto, where he was born and raised.
In 1968, he took on the editor role for Northern Ontario’s oldest continuously published newspaper in nearby Little Current, the Manitoulin Expositor, established in 1879. By 1970, he had purchased the paper.
In 1982, the Manitoulin Expositor received the Michener Award for public service journalism and was the first community newspaper to do so.
The Michener Award website states: “The Expositor, covering Manitoulin Island on the north shore of Lake Huron, had been concerned for 10 years about a suicide rate it estimated in 1981 was running at about 20 people per thousand or twice the national rate. A constant stream of information and opinion and finally, the concerted action it stirred up in the community, led to a 24-hour telephone link to a Sudbury Telecare system that resulted in the saving of two lives in the first few weeks.”
The Ontario Community Newspapers Association recognized Rick with the J. Earl Morrison Award for his years of service to the industry in 1983. In 2017 he was honoured with a Gold Quill Award during the OCNA’s annual BNC Awards Gala for dedicating more than 50 years and making substantial contributions to the newspaper industry.
In the spring of 2000, Rick purchased the Gore Bay Recorder (now named the Manitoulin West Recorder), coming full circle to where it all began.
Both of Rick’s children have followed in their father’s footsteps, contributing to the newspaper at various times in their lives. His eldest, Duff, graduated from Ryerson University with a BA in Journalism. He is currently the manager of communications for Professional Engineers Ontario. Rick’s daughter, Alicia, graduated with a BA in Communications from Laurentian University, followed by a diploma in Print Journalism from Cambrian College. She has held the title of Editor of the Manitoulin Expositor for the last six years and has now taken over as publisher as well.
He was a member of the Little Current Volunteer Fire Department in the 1970s and for more than half a century he has been a member of the Little Current Business Improvement Area, serving in roles as chair, secretary, and treasurer. From 1976 to 2013, he served on the Manitoulin Tourism Association.
Rick is credited with advancing tourism on Manitoulin Island through various newspaper initiatives, special editions and Manitoulin Publishing’s own tourism guidebooks called This Is Manitoulin and Manitoulin’s Magazine. Over the past 50 years, he has enjoyed chronicling the growth and development of First Nations residents and communities growing out of early European settlements, of which Manitoulin is almost equally divided. A spirit of cultural appreciation and mutual support is always evident in the stories told through the Expositor.
This is why the Ontario Community Newspapers Association is thrilled to announce Rick McCutcheon as an inductee of the OCNA Hall of Fame.
The OCNA Hall of Fame Award recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made exemplary contributions to Ontario’s community newspapers. Inductees are respected community news professionals who have remained passionate about the industry throughout challenges, opportunities, and changes. They are leaders who have helped community newspapers adapt and grow.