Saturday, 20 December 2008

Joe & the Soo

Joe Worthington, a veteran Toronto Sun columnist and former Sault Star reporter, says thanks to two mentors at the Star who were among the casualties this week:

"Just spoke to my Sault connection and heard of the Sault Star cuts, which included two senior editors and a reporter.

"I worked as a reporter there from 1987 to '91 and although I don't know the reporter who was caught in the downsizing, I certainly do know the two editors - Tom Mills and Richard Plaunt.

"First, I mention Tom Mills, who worked there some 25 years and who I worked for directly. Cool under fire, smart, skilled and always amiable, Tom is one of those editors who loves to beat the competition - be it local radio and TV or, more specifically, anything national and Toronto.

"He is also one of those editors you could have a 45 minute conversation with on a story - the whole time trying to make it better. A real pro. Best of luck in future endeavours Tom.

"As for Richard Plaunt, my nickname for him was NewsDog, this guy worked for the Sault Star for more than 40 years and is as real a news deal as you will ever find.

"A fascinating character who can tell you the name of every president of almost every country, he knows the world and he loves reporters. But his special gift was writing - and his understanding that there are all sorts of styles.

"But story telling, he used to tell me, will never go out of style.

"He's also an interesting man - married to Judy for all of that time and they have 14 children. I was out to their home many times. I always thought it would make a great movie long before Steve Martin did it in Cheaper By the Dozen.

"Richard has white hair like Martin and with all of those kids running around, you can imagine why. But he is as calm and caring a newspaper editor as you will ever find. I suspect he'll start writing that book now. The one about the 14 kids who didn't give him the time to do it before.

"Both men, as well as many people at my Sault Star, were instrumental in my career and I am glad to have this blog as an outlet to tell how much I appreciated them, their talents and their time.

"Merry Christmas to Richard, Tom and their families. And Merry Christmas to all of my friends in Sault Ste. Marie."

1 comment:

  1. I, too, am a former Sault Star employee who worked with both Tom and Richard; and Joe nailed the description of both these true, blue newspaper men. Best wishes and good luck to Tom and Richard.