Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Showcase exits

Showcase, an entertaining and dependable Sunday Sun friend since the 1980s, is no more.

The ever-changing Toronto Sun is changing once again, this time with a new look and a new name for the Sunday Sun entertainment crew.


That is the new name for the Sunday Sun entertainment section. John Kryk, the national entertainment editor, promises Sun readers the old gang will all be in ENT.

Sun changes make us nervous these days, so here's hoping all of the regulars, including Bruce Kirkland, Jim Slotek, Liz Braun, Jane Stevenson, Steve Tilley and John Coulbourne, are still aboard when ENT makes its entrance this Sunday.

As names go, ENT doesn't grab us like Sunday Sun Toronto Magazine, a 1970s pullout that included entertainment, travel, The Young Sun and other features, and Sunday Sun Showcase, heavy on entertainment, with a small mix of lifestyle columns, since the 1980s.

In our books, renaming Showcase ENT is one more move by Quebecor to distance itself from the Sun of old, which once was the best newspaper buy in Ontario.

Sitting here is the Sunday Sun from October 25, 1992, with the World Champs front page and a memorable Stan Behal photo of the ecstatic Blue Jays.

When the hefty 328-page paper, with eight sections, was published, Doug Creighton, founding publisher, was 11 days from being ousted as chairman of the board and CEO

You could say the Aug. 25, 1992 Sunday Sun represents the finest hours for Doug's Toronto Sun - and the Toronto Blue Jays. Both were champs and both could boast about having an unbeatable team.

On Oct. 25, 1992:

Sunday Sun circulation was almost 450,000 and rising (325,000 today)

The Toronto Sun TV Magazine was a very healthy 82 pages (36 pages today)

Showcase had 24 pages of entertainment news and other features (20 pages today)

Travel had 28 pages (16 pages today)

Sports was yet to be a pullout section.

Columnists included Max Haines, Bob MacDonald, Joan Sutton Straus, Christie Blatchford, Allan Fotheringham, Eric Margolis, Diane Francis, Mike Filey, John Downing, Doug Fisher etc. Plus a grand slam team of reporters and photographers.

Last Sunday's Sun had 240 pages, compared to 328 pages in October 1992.

So Sunday Sun readers are getting less for their money in 2007.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail has hit a home run with its extreme makeover, introduced on Monday.

Paid $1.06 for a Sun and $1 for the Globe and Mail Monday and as newspaper reading goes, got more for my money with the Globe and that comes from a die hard Sun reader.

Those pages and pages of school test results in the Sun are not tabloid fare, so it was quickly back to the Globe.

The new Globe is easier to handle, easier to read with the new Globe and Mail fonts and there is something for every reader. Caught up to a couple of recent celebrity deaths on the Globe's obituaries page.

The hip new Globe even has a new Texas Hold 'Em poker feature on the games page. (The Sun's Friday poker column by Toronto-born pro Daniel Negreanu has been missing for a couple of weeks, but not sure why.)

So change can be exhilarating and productive.

We'll know Sunday if ENT is what the Sunday Sun needs to reverse its drastic slide in readership.


  1. It's sad to see what's become of The Sun since those heady days of yore....

  2. ENT?

    So Sun Media has named this section after the talking trees from Lord of the Rings?