Thursday, 29 March 2007

Say it ain't so

Word is Valerie Gibson's contract with the Toronto Sun was not renewed because some higher ups think she is too old to be writing about sex.

The multi-talented, 60-plus Valerie, writing candidly about sex and relationships in the Sun for more than two decades, learned Tuesday she is history.

If the age rumour is true, we are dying to hear the reaction of Sue Johanson, a Toronto-born recipient of the Order of Canada and a North American sex advice favourite on radio and TV talk shows. She has always been coy when it comes to her age, but a source says she just celebrated her 61st birthday on March 16.

And how about Dr. Ruth Westheimer, another media darling when it comes to talking frankly about sex on the air and in print? She will celebrate her 79th birthday on June 4.

So poppycock.

In 2007, the too old for sex talk mentality is flawed - and discriminatory.

Speaking of age, it is no secret Quebecor's favoured readership demographics are now ages 18 to 49. Toronto Sun Publisher and CEO Kin-Man Lee last week called it the "desired category."

We remember the days when the Toronto Sun was a newspaper for all ages, starting with grade school children. (Annual Halloween drawing contests became class projects to the delight of our young Sun readers, teachers and parents.)

Labelling men and women aged 18 to 49 as the "desired" readers is clearly telling people 50 and over they won't be getting their money's worth with the new content of the 53-cent Sun, so go buy the Star, the Globe or the Post.

For now, the always reliable Toronto Sun columnists are doing their share in catering to readers of all ages. Valerie Gibson just won't be among them now.

It's not that this tireless, red-headed "cougar" will be idled in print or on the air. As the author and broadcaster told Toronto Sun Family in an e-mail: "I have so many irons in the fire."

Burn on, Valerie. The Sun will be dimmer without you.

Remember the TV commercials last year, the ones profiling five Sun writers as "five good reasons to read the Toronto Sun?"

Make that four re Bill Brioux's forced exit
Make that three re Valerie's forced exit.

They won't be recycling those expensive commercials.


  1. Sue Johanson 61??? Where did you get that info, Wikipedia? She's probably more like 81

  2. I think both Valerie and Sue are in their 70s. Wikipedia says Sue Johanson was born in 1930, which means she was 77 when this blog post was written.