Wednesday, 17 December 2008

TSF record hits

Toronto Sun columnist Mike Strobel wrote a piece last week about wanting a break from bad news and followed it up with a column devoted to good news.

But, as we all know, the nature of the beast - the reader - is we are attracted by bad news.

And the bad news in our circles Tuesday was Sun Media's axing of 600 jobs, or 10% of Canada's largest newspaper chain.

On our bad news day, the Toronto Sun Family blog attracted a record 1,779 hits, the highest single-day count since the blog was launched on Dec. 8, 2006.

(The previous high, just under 600, came the day columnist Rachel Marsden was given her walking papers.)

TSF is doing its best to personalize the layoffs, providing names and faces to counter those cold, impersonal numbers churned out by the bean counters.

We are doing it with the help of numerous TSF readers who are providing names and job losses at various newspapers. Other information is coming from online news stories.

Sources at the Toronto Sun and its sister tabloids in Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg have been exceptionally helpful and we thank them.

Putting names and faces to the numbers gives current and former colleagues an opportunity to offer and voice support.

The most common source of support comes from many of the hundreds and hundreds of Sun employees who have lost jobs since Quebecor bought Sun Media in 1999.

Toronto Sun casualties cherry-picked by the Star, Globe and Post say while losing your job, especially at Christmas time sucks, don't give up on print journalism just yet.

Many others who have found jobs in different fields, with more appreciative bosses, say Quebecor's relentless hatchet was a blessing of sorts.

In short, there is life after the Sun.

As for Sun vets, we remember the days of the rising Sun and lament the passing of an era when a week before Christmas employees received a week's pay, a personalized Christmas card from the management, cookies and refreshments in a brightly decorated room.

Not pink slips.

Doug, we miss and love you more than ever.

Peter, it's time for another book on the Sun.

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