A clash of purpose between a journal’s editors and its owner
20 February 2006 may well be the day that marked the beginning of the decline of the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) as a widely respected national and international journal. On that day John Hoey, Editor-in-Chief of the CMAJ for 10 years, and his Deputy Editor Anne Marie Todkill were summarily dismissed by Graham Morris, the president of CMA Media Inc which publishes the CMAJ.1 As to the reasons for the firings, Morris said, “I felt that after 10 years it was time for a fresh approach.”2 His rationale was greeted with disbelief and derision from leaders in the publishing field. Frank Davidoff, Editor Emeritus of the Annals of Internal Medicine was reported as saying, “Oh, come on! A summary firing without a cause? I mean, how naïve do they think people are?”, adding, “I think it could be the death knell of this Journal”.3
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