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Jonathan KayHandout

The Walrus has a new editor-in-chief: He's Jonathan Kay, veteran managing editor of the National Post's comment, issues and letters pages. Shelley Ambrose, Walrus co-publisher and Walrus Foundation executive director, made the announcement in Toronto Wednesday afternoon. Kay, 46, succeeds John Macfarlane, 72, at the general interest magazine that, since its founding in fall 2003, has been the most-decorated periodical at the annual National Magazine Awards. It's also had a decidedly tumultuous history marked in its earliest years by financial instability and considerable turnovers in staff.

Kay is The Walrus's fourth editor. The first, David Berlin, resigned in 2004. He was succeeded by Ken Alexander, the magazine's founding publisher, who, in turn, resigned the editorship in 2008. Macfarlane, former editor of Toronto Life and Saturday Night, announced in August his intention to leave The Walrus by the end of 2014, once a new editor could be hired. He joined the magazine in July, 2008, ostensibly as interim editor and co-publisher.

Kay will join The Walrus Foundation, the not-for-profit publisher of the magazine, Dec. 1, then assume the editorship (content platforms) by the end of 2014. Montreal-born, Kay has been with the National Post since its inception in 1998.