Monday, 14 July 2008

TV silence

The second Sunday without a Toronto Sun television guide in much of the distribution area has come and gone without a word of explanation from the editors.

And not a single letter to the editor on the subject in Sunday's paper. Does that mean not a single reader deprived of the guide was motivated to write, or is it a case of the Sun skirting the issue?

TSF received a comment from an irate 30-year reader in eastern Ontario who says a Sunday Sun boycott is called for after the Sun decided to provide guides in "selected areas only."

No warning. Readers bought the Sunday Sun two weeks ago confident there would be a guide and they could be forgiven if they didn't see the Page 2 "selected areas only" fine print.

And where the hell are those selected areas? TSF has heard from peeved readers in Hamilton, Barrie and Cobourg, so it sounds like the "selected areas" are all within the GTA.

One Toronto media insider says at a time when Sun Media is eager to regain the No. 1 spot in Sunday sales, alienating thousands of current readers is peculiar strategy.

"I presume the Sun is trying to goose their home delivery. Of course, this is not the way to do it. Quebecor does not care if it screws readers, as you very well know."

We did notice this weekend a couple of corner stores east of the GTA sold all of their Friday Globe and Mails and Saturday Stars, which have TV guides, but had unsold Sunday Suns at the end of the day.

"We have always sold all of our Sunday Suns," said one store owner. Saturday Stars and Friday Globes? Not so often - until now.

That is just a tiny sampling of sales outside the GTA, but we get the feeling people who want a television guide with their weekend paper will switch allegiance.

Second class citizens, these loyal Sunday Sun readers who live beyond those unannounced selected areas. They are, if inclined, still paying $2, plus 10 cents tax, for the lighter paper.

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