Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The aftermath

The impact of Tuesday's trauma felt throughout the Sun Media chain is being evaluated today by TSF readers and other media bloggers.

The 49 Toronto Sun staffers settling in for a long cold winter on the outside looking in are being consoled by family, friends and former colleagues.

As one TSF reader said: "Merry Christmas - you're fired."

A few questions come to mind on the day after:

Why the heavy hit for photographers?

More than a dozen photographers and photo deskers throughout the chain have been axed, including, the Toronto Sun's Ernest Doroszuk, Dave Abel, Calvin Reynolds and Debbie Holloway; plus Rob Kruyt 24 hours Vancouver; Jack Cusano, Calgary Sun; Andre Forget, Ottawa Sun; Robert Taylor, Edmonton Sun; Derek Ruttan, London Free Press..

We are sure there are others among the 600 casualties. One TSF reader says the North Bay Nugget's photo desk has been shut down.

Fewer local photographs, more shared photos from across the country? It doesn't bode well for local news, sports and entertainment coverage.

If a team doesn't perform to expectations, do you target management or the players?

A TSF readers notes few, if any, top management positions were lost among the 600 jobs cut.

There are reports two managers were canned at the Winnipeg Sun and an editor-in-chief at another newspaper resigned over job losses in his newsroom.

But that's it as far as we have heard.

Lou Clancy, the Toronto Sun's editor-in-chief wept, but didn't resign.

Readers say some of the Sun tabloids now have too many non-union managers running the newsrooms, while depleted staffs have to cope with additional work loads.

Are concert reviews in the Toronto Sun toast?

Jane Stevenson, chief music critic, and newcomer Jason MacNeil, have been providing much of the GTA music scene coverage, and both are gone.

As Jim Slotek, the ever-prolific entertainment writer, notes when Jane wasn't reviewing concerts, she was interviewing the stars, reviewing CDs and covering the Grammys and Junos.

Will a review of one concert by a touring group be used in all of the papers?

Has the Toronto Sun given up on the Money section?

With Linda Leatherdale, a veteran Sun staffer who has been carrying the ball for the ever -shrinking Money section for years, gone is Money history?

Or will Money become a page filled with wire copy and one voice for all Sun Media newspapers?

What will be Sun Media's fate in 2009?

Will all of the newspapers be turned into glorified shopping mall papers - minimal local news wrapped around piles of flyers?

Will, as one TSF reader opined, Sun Media go with a National Sun, a cookie cutter compilation of national news, sports and entertainment?

Will the print editions of many of the Sun Media papers be axed in favour of Internet editions?

With PKP at the helm, anything is possible next year.

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