Sunday, 26 October 2008

Day Oners 2

The need to succeed engulfed every body that showed up on Halloween 1971 to launch a feisty little underdog tabloid called the Toronto Sun.

Doubters would have dampened the spirit of the Sun, born just two days after the well-aged Toronto Telegram closed its doors.

The following former Tely staffers set up shop in the Eclipse Building and made it happen.

We know the following Day Oners in the newsroom, entertainment and Lifestyle are alive and well

(4) George Anthony, first entertainment editor: This multi-talented entertainment writer didn't skip a beat after the Tely folded. He continued to cover film, theater and cabaret and wrote a daily column for the Sun until moving on to other ventures, including CBC-TV consultant and a recent book about former Sun celebrity interviewer Brian Linehan. George's TV input over the years includes Made in Canada, Royal Canadian Air Farce, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the Rick Mercer Report.

(5) Kathy Brooks: An unsung heroine in the entertainment department from Day One through to her retirement in 2006. As entertainment editor, she cultivated a small but productive collection of Showcase (now ENT) writers to be envied. People who worked for and with Kathy Brooks over the decades have only appreciation and praise for her journalistic and management skills and when you are dealing with the entertainment crowd, that is no easy feat.

(6) John Downing, political columnist: John and Ray Biggart planned to launch their own newspaper after the Tely's closure was announced, but went with the Sun crowd instead. It was the Sun's gain, with John on top of civic affairs for the next four decades. John quietly departed from the Sun earlier this year, dismayed by Quebecor's ownership of Sun Media. John, a great story teller, has found a new voice as a blogster. Read the former editor's Day One memories here and here.

(7) Cal Millar, police reporter: Cal's little black book, filled with police, fire and ambulance contacts, rivalled the connections of the Star's police desk vet Jocko Thomas. It was the Sun's loss and the Star's gain when when Cal jumped ship in the early years of the Sun. Cal retired from the Star earlier this year. (Photo is needed.)

(8) Ken Robertson: This former city editor and WW2 vet, left the Sun in the 1970s to sail his boat and sell real estate. He excelled in both and, now in his 80s, is a published author. Ken is working on two more books as we type. You can read Ken's Day One memories here. (Photo is needed.)

(9) Joan Sutton Straus, Lifestyle editor: The Toronto Sun's Lifestyle section was always among reader favourites when this lady was at the helm as Lifestyle editor and Sutton's Place columnist. Joan, born in Canada but now an American living in New York, had clout in Toronto social circles and beyond. Those sources, many from her days in fashion, provided fascinating fodder for her column. Many of those columns were used for three best-of books. Joan's devotion to the Toronto Sun in the 1980s and beyond extended to judging the annual Edward Dunlop awards entries. In her post-Sun years, this mother of two also served on numerous Canadian and American non-profit boards and from 1990 to 1992 served as the Ontario government's Agent General to the United States, heading up offices in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. One busy lady. Read Joan's Day One memories here. (Photo is needed.)

(10) Glen Woodcock: This former Sunday Sun editor left the Sun as associate editor a couple of years ago, but he continues to contribute as an automotive writer, which suits his love of cars, new and old, to a T. His wife, Connie Woodcock (nee Nicholson) is a former reporter and currently a freelance op-ed columnist. She is also an honourary Day Oner. Glen's other love is jazz. He has hosted the Saturday night Big Band Show on 91.1 FM since 1975.

Next: Day Oners in the sports department

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