Sunday, 21 October 2007

Nov. 1 anniversary

The countdown to the Toronto Sun's 36th anniversary is underway.

Sixty-two former Toronto Telegram employees launched the Sun on Nov. 1, 1971, but the only Day Oners remaining after one wild media ride are Peter Worthington, Andy Donato, George Gross, Christina Blizzard (nee Smales) and Jim Thomson.

So what to do for the 36th anniversary?

Perhaps Sun Media could pull a Paul Rimstead and invite Sun readers to a 36th birthday party at the Sun. You probably wouldn't draw 5,000 as Paul's invites used to do, but it could help revive the personal relationship the tabloid once had with its readers.

Sun Media could also do what the Toronto Star did recently and publish the names of current and former employees, a public thank you for their contributions dating back to 1971.

Michael Sifton, the new Sun Media chief, could write a guest column expressing his views about the future of the Toronto Sun and what the flagship tabloid means to him.

How about reviving Andy Donato's missing bird contest - the Sun's most popular contest - with attractive pre-Christmas cash prizes?

But for starters, there should be a published salute to Peter, Andy, George, Christina and Jim, the five remaining links to the big gamble on Nov. 1, 1971, that paid off handsomely.

Anniversaries are always special. With Michael Sifton and Lou Clancy, the Toronto Sun's new editor-in-chief, revealing they have some clout, we are becoming more optimistic about the Sun's chances of being around to celebrate its 40th birthday.

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