Sunday, 30 December 2007

Masthead strength

We did a little math while viewing the Toronto Sun's revised Comment section masthead yesterday.

Five of the names on the left side of the masthead collectively represent more than 120 years of newsroom experience. They are:

Lou Clancy, editor-in-chief; James Wallace, newly-appointed deputy editor; Mike Burke-Gaffney, managing editor; Rob Granatstein, editorial page editor and Lorrie Goldstein, senior associate editor.

Their newsroom experience bodes well for the tabloid as it closes out a year that began dismally, with non-stop Quebecor cutbacks, layoffs, buyouts, firings and resignations, plummeting morale to new lows.

Newsroom vets say two significant appointments in the latter half of 2007 were lifelines to the rapidly sinking flagship tabloid - Osprey's Michael Sifton being named Sun Media chief in September and the return of Lou Clancy in October as editor-in-chief.

Can two people make that much of a difference in a matter of months? Apparently so. Newsroom tipsters say the renewed focus on local news and the hiring of several bodies following nine years of departures elevated morale.

Back from the brink, 2008 should be a defining year for the still profitable Toronto Sun as it co-exists with three other morning newspapers in a unique and very competitive market.

Can 120-plus years of newsroom experience be fully utilized in 2008, culminating in a reversal of the Toronto Sun's slide in circulation?

Sun vets say it all depends on Quebecor and the support PKP gives Sifton and the management team throughout the year.

For now, life at 333 King Street East is not as depressing as it was last spring.

And that is a good thing.

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