Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Re Dennis Earl

Longtime media blogster Dennis Earl wonders how many Toronto Sun readers beyond the GTA will call it quits after Monday's price hike to $1.50, plus tax.

His Writings of Dennis Earl blog frequently commented on the Sun and Sun Media during Quebecor's ravaging of the tabloid until most reasons why he read the Sun were silenced.

Well, he's back and vocal as ever and you have to wonder how many Sun readers beyond the GTA are echoing his sentiments this week.

Future circulation and readership audit numbers will determine the reaction of the masses - if those figures are publicized.

Our feeling is the future of the print edition beyond the GTA will be determined not by price, but by the demand for the new online e-edition subscription service.

If the e numbers satisfy advertisers - and it is clear advertisers, not the needs of readers, motivate Quebecor - why bother catering to print readers in the 519, 705 and 905?

Perhaps the print edition beyond the GTA will be just a memory by the time the Toronto Sun turns 40 in 2011, if not sooner.

Much of the tabloid formula that the once feisty, unpredictable, talk-of-the-town underdog tabloid embraced with great success for almost three decades is now a memory.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail continues to hire staff for its expanding print and online editions and is reaping the benefits.

The Globe has focus, as did Doug Creighton et al when the Sun carved out its tabloid niche and reveled in the city's acceptance of a newspaper that dared to be different.

We've lost that loving feeling, but we'd be willing to pay any newsstand price for a return to that tabloid magic. That edge.

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