Updated Dec. 6, 2013
If it is Christmas time, it is pink slip time at Sun Media.
TSF received the following posting today:
Publisher Mark Holmes from Northumberland Today let go this morning after 33 years with Sun Media. Along with one Classifieds person. Darren Murphy back at the helm but operating out of Peterborough... another bleak Christmas for Sun Media employees.
Update: 200 more jobs cut, including about 50 in editorial.
A union press release says "Although plans may change, the downsizing (in Ontario) was expected to affect the Toronto Sun, London Free Press, Belleville Intelligencer, Chatham Daily News, Sarnia Observer, Stratford Beacon-Herald, Brantford Expositor, Owen Sound Sun-Times, St. Catharines Standard and the Niagara Falls Review."
Putting names and faces to the latest cutbacks from TSF readers and other sources:
"Thane Burnett, Lisa Lisle (Online boss), (the National Ent editor). Also 3 jobs on endangered list in Editorial, Figgy is leaving and national marketing group canned."
"Five also cut from the Ottawa Sun: Randy Hayley, Drew McAnulty, Robert Moore, Donna Udechukwu and Sandra Wells."
Niagara Region - Niagara Falls, Welland, St. Catharines, Thorold
"Three in Niagara Falls (reporter, sports editor, managing editor); one in Welland (reporter); two in St. Catharines (reporter, photographer); the only Thorold News reporter; the magazine division is shuttered. The editorial department of the Niagara Falls Review is being moved to St.Catharines to be overseen by the St. Catharines Standard managing editor. The editor in chief of the Review, who hasn't been at that paper in months as he travels the province training employees on how to get by from the last set of cuts, is being moved into an as yet unknown position. No doubt he'll help the company figure out how to get by with even fewer employees."
"Corey Smith, Matt Day, Corey Larocque at the Niagara Falls Review. Dave Johnson at The Tribune and one non-editorial person there, too. Jeff Blay at Thorold News. Jeff Bolichowski and Julie Jocsak at St. Catharines Standard. Review editorial merged into St. Catharines. Thorold News to become part of the Standard somehow. Still three publishers in Niagara."
"Looks like steps are being taken to move to just one paper for the Niagara region. Remaining staff from the Niagara Falls Review are moving into the new offices of the St. Catharines Standard. Looks like the Review lost three people, including ME — and former longtime reporter – Corey Larocque. Standard is losing 3 - photog Julie Jocsak, reporter Jeff Bolichowski and Jeff Blay, who reported for the weekly Thorold News. Tribune is losing veteran Dave Johnson, and I hear one other. I'd be nervous in Welland that they are next to shutter the office and move into St. Catharines. Yet another dark day for journalism in the Sun Media family."
"For the record, Welland also lost a valuable reporter when Dave Johnson, a longtime member of The Tribune newsroom was let go."
"In Chatham, according to social media chatter, reporter Vicki Gough and sales rep Chris Summerfield."
"At least one gone from Brantford, reporter Hugo Rodrigues."
Northern Ontario - Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Timmins
"In Northern Ontario, Sudbury Star 4, Sault 3, North Bay 1, Timmins 1 (not replacing a reporter) What about SUN TV? Any cuts?"
St. Thomas, Stratford
"Mark Butterwick, former longtime city editor at the St. Thomas Times-Journal, started when the newspaper was part of a small SW Ontario group owned by the Dingman family, then under ownership of Thomson, Bowes and the Sun/Quebecor. Mark in recent years stepped over to be a local sports reporter. Laura Cudworth, reporter, Stratford Beacon-Herald."
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Updated Dec. 6, 2013
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 16:54
Friday, 1 November 2013
Happy 42th birthday, Toronto Sun.
And, yes, you do look thinner.
Take a bow Andy Donato and Christina Blizzard, the two remaining Day Oners from the 62 or so former Toronto Telegram staffers who got it started in the Eclipse Building on Nov. 1, 1971.
Simon Kent, a relative newcomer, has a column on the anniversary today, with different photos used for the print edition and the online edition.
The print edition photos - Don Hunt, Doug Creighton, Ray Biggart and Peter Worthington reading the first Sun and Peter and Lou Grant in the newsroom - bring back a lot of memories.
Good times and good people.
Hopefully, with another anniversary on the books and another Christmas approaching, it doesn't mean more layoffs at 333.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:43
Sunday, 20 October 2013
|Les Pyette - 2013 inductee|
Or Gerald Filon.
Or John W. Dafoe.
Young, or old, don't feel guilty if you didn't know they were the first three inductees into the Canadian News Hall of Fame in 1966.
Ford was a longtime editor of the London Free Press; Filon was publisher of Le Devoir from 1947 to 1963 and Dafoe, a posthumous inductee, was editor of the Manitoba (Winnipeg) Free Press from 1901 to 1944.
Many more solid contributors to Canadian news gathering would be inducted, but the collective accomplishments of these men and women are nowhere to be found other than in a list of names on a bare bones webstite.
(On the Toronto Telegram/Toronto Sun front, those media greats include Hall of Fame inductees Ted Reeve (1972), J. Douglas MacFarlane (1985), Doug Creighton (1988), Trent Frayne (1992), Peter Worthington (1997), Douglas Fisher (2000) and Les Pyette (2013).
The shame of the Canadian News Hall of Fame is it does not have a home for its Wall of Fame and, until last year when Lloyd Robertson and Andy Walsh were inducted, it had been dormant since 2002.
The Hall of Fame had inductees from 1966 through 2001 annually except for 1996, when no names were added. When Gordon Donaldson, previous chair of the Hall of Fame died in 2001, it appeared the Hall of Fame died with him. There were no inductees from 2002 to 2011.
Kudos to Ian Connerty, current chair of the Canadian News Hall of Fame, for resurrecting the Hall of Fame last year and for his enthusiasm this year.
Ryerson would have been an ideal location.
|Washington's popular Newseum|
How the Newseum sums up its museum: "The Newseum - a 250,000-square-foot museum of news - offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits."
In Canada, no news museum, not even a wall to hang the Canadian News Hall of Fame plaques, now sitting in storage gathering dust.
Ed Patrick, longtime president of the all-but-defunct Toronto Press Club (now known as Toronto Press and Media Club and still homeless) singled out the Toronto Star's John Honderich at this week's Canadian News Hall of Fame dinner when talking about the need for a new showcase for the Hall of Fame.
Why single out John? Canada's media conglomerates and surviving independents should come to an agreement on the financing of accommodations for a new Canadian News Hall of Fame/media museum.
Have journalists across the country research the inductees and the history of Canadian media and contribute their findings to the Hall of Fame/media museum.
Or honour the inductees with an online virtual media museum, displaying each of their Hall of Fame plaques, along with their biographies and photographs, plus other media-related material.
With the successful 2013 inductions of Les Pyette and Boris Spremo still fresh in the minds of media across Canada, it is time to strive for a new home for the Hall of Fame before the 2014 inductions.
Whether a physical building, or a professionally-designed website, Canadian media should collectively do no less to honour the 100-plus greats of the news business.
Set a deadline and get it done.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:00
Friday, 18 October 2013
Burt provided this photo of the Windsor Mafia, a group of
multi-talented Windsor Star newsmen. All but two were involved in the rising of the Toronto Sun.
It is an amazing, nostalgic photo when you realize the talent represented in this one photo.
Seated from left: Les Pyette, Cam Norton, Bob Burt, Vic Roschov.
Standing from left: Bruce Blackadar, Ron Base, Brian Vallee, Ray Bennett
and Mark Bonokoski. Cam, Bruce and Brian left us too soon. Ron, Mark
and Les were at last night's party.
Bob Burt writes: "Sitting
to my left is Vic Roschkov, Editorial cartoonist Windsor Star &
Toronto Star. Standing in the back row is Ray Bennett, who went from
Windsor to the Sunday Star, then to TV Guide in L.A. and now in London,
Eng. working for an entertainment publication.
"I believe the
pic was taken to accompany a 'Windsor boys doing well' piece being
written about the Mafia in the Windsor Star. If memory serves, the
Windsor writer was Al Halberstadt. He later became a city councillor
there - don't know where he is anymore."
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 16:06
we first proposed a gathering to celebrate his induction into the
Canadian News Hall of Fame, Les Pyette said he would stay over an extra night
if there was enough interest. He did not know if there would be.
There definitely was.
The gathering at P.J. O'Brien's last night was a mix of Les Pyette's
family, friends and former colleagues out to toast and thank the new
Hall of Famer.
Many thanks to
Ron Base, who has known Les for 40 years, for his words at the
microphone and for drawing others to speak of their admiration for Les.
Words from the heart from Andy Donato, Mark Bonokoski, BJ Del Conte,
Shane Harvey, Ian Harvey, Mike Strobel (who sang Love Me Tender).
And then there was the photo Les held in his hand while expressing his
thanks for the warm wishes from people whose lives he had changed over
The photo, one of two emailed by Bob Burt, was of
the Windsor Mafia, which we will post elsewhere. It is a priceless photo
that Les did not have in his scrapbook.
Joe Warmington, who
booked the lounge, sweet-talked owner Pat Quinn into providing free hot
food, something every self-respecting newspaper person treasures.
Kudos to Sue-Ann Levy for recommending Cakes by Robert and for the
photo of the cake. It was a shame to cut into the work of art, but we
There were a lot of photos taken during the night. Would appreciate FB postings.
Messages from those who could not attend came from near and far: Linda
Barnard, vacationing in Turkey; Joan Sutton, on the move in New York;
Hugh Wesley on a photo assignment in Guelph; Michael Peake, New
York-bound; George Anthony in Montreal etc.
Although we asked
several times for a separate bar tab for the guest of honour, Les paid
his own way. The $90 raised in the donations covered most of the cost of
the cake, so we are good.
The gathering at PJs turned out to
be all for Les and rightly so. It was not the appropriate environment
for remembering Peter O'Sullivan, so that leaves us to remember him at
another time, another place.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 04:10
Friday, 11 October 2013
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 16:44
Sunday, 6 October 2013
I started with the Sun in 1982 at the Edmonton Sun. I transferred to Toronto in 1985 working in the composing room.
Every weekend, in the winter, us comps would freeze our little butts off. One particular Sunday night was extremely cold. Back then the wall where we composed the pages was nothing more than cinder block with a red brick face on the outside of the building.
It was the west facing wall and looked onto the parking lot. The west wind would rip against the wall and we would feel the cold on the inside.
I finally had enough and organized the crew to get their coats, hats, scarfs and gloves on and got a photog to snap a couple of pictures. I put together the attached front page and made two copies: One for me and the other was sent to the building manager.
For the life of me I can't remember his name, but when we got to work on the Monday afternoon we were told that he got the message.
It was then explained to us the building did not have a boiler but was heated by the people and the machines in the building.By Sunday night, the building would cool down because of the lack of people working on the weekend.
We were told to suck it up. lol
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 19:20
Monday, 30 September 2013
Toronto Sun newsroom staffers arriving at work on Sept. 30, 1993, were told about the sudden death of 13-year copy desk vet Paul Heming.
Paul was only 53 when he died of a heart attack, gone too soon like many others at the Sun, including Ben Grant, Greg Parent, Lloyd Kemp, Del Bell, Paul Henry, Jamie Westcott, Ray Smith, Mark Stewart, Paul Rimstead, Jerry Gladman.
The Ryerson grad worked at the Guelph Mercury, Toronto Telegram, the Guardian and other publications in England, and the Globe and Mail before arriving at the Sun in 1980.
Paul was a huge part of the Sun newsroom chemistry that made going to work seem more like you were going to a party. His love of baseball was contagious.
Gone, but not forgotten.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:48
are invited to an evening of celebration of Les Pyette’s induction into
the Canadian News Hall of Fame and remembrance of the late, great Peter
When: Thursday, October 17, 7 p.m. to ?
Where: The lounge room at P.J. O’Brien Irish Pub & Restaurant, 39 Colborne Street (Behind the King Edward Hotel)
Cash bar, with “nibblies” courtesy of Pat Quinn.
Former Sun colleagues, family and friends are invited to mingle,
congratulate Les for being inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame
and to remember Peter O’Sullivan.
Both men were key players in
the rise of the Toronto Sun during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Their
newsroom skills and eye-catching front pages raised the bar for tabloid
If you are not able to attend the P.J. O’Brien
gathering, feel free to post comments about Les and Peter here or on the
Toronto Sun Family Facebook page.
Les, a newsroom vet from the Soo, and
photo legend Boris Spremo will be inducted into the Canadian News Hall
of Fame the previous night during a $200-a-plate dinner.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 00:30
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Jennie, just one of the hundreds of Sun vets who made a difference at 333 during its growth in the 70s, 80s and 90s, is remembered for her effervescence on the job and off.
Hired in 1977, Jennie made a difference from the day she arrived at the Sun after working for the Montreal Gazette. She was a native of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
It has been estimated she talked to more than a million Sun subscribers in her 36 years at the Sun, all the while keeping her cool and not losing her love of the job.
The Jennies of the Toronto Sun, the unsung heroes of the Little Paper That Grew, were always the pride of co-founders Doug Creighton and Peter Worthington.
This blogger remembers Jennie's good nature during office-to-office sports pools throughout the building. She was always a delight to talk to during visits to circulation.
Jennifer Patricia Marks is survived by Liston, her husband for 35 years, daughter Kerin, son Brad and his wife, Marthese, and numerous brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces and her Toronto Sun family.
“The Sun was her family apart from the blood family; she loved everyone she worked with, especially going back to the old days,” Brad said in a Toronto Sun story.
She was known as "Mom" to many.
Viewing will be held on Thursday Sept. 26, between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Newediuk Funeral Home, Kipling Chapel, 2058 Kipling Ave., Toronto. Funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. at St. Andrew’s RC Church, 2547 Kipling Ave., Toronto.
Interment will be held at Assumption Catholic Cemetery, 6933 Tomken Rd., Mississauga. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, or to the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, in memory of Jennifer Marks, would be appreciated by the family.
Online condolences at www.newediukfuneralhome.com
Memories of Jennie Marks can be emailed to email@example.com
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 00:10