Saturday, 17 January 2009

Buyout: McConachie

Last fall, the Toronto Sun decided to revive the rewrite desk, a newsroom post dormant since January of 1994 when the departing rewrite staffer wasn't replaced.

The perfect man for the job, of course, was Bob McConachie, a dedicated Sun veteran who had made a difference for almost three decades as a copy editor, Ottawa desk editor and city editor.

But, sources say, this unsung hero of the Sun newsroom has taken a buyout, one of eight senior newsroom staffers who are calling it quits, cutting 200-plus years of experience from the roster.

Bob, an easygoing consummate newsman, co-author of Odyssey 77: The Great Gold Toothpick Caper (1981) and pool player extraordinaire, has been a mentor to numerous newcomers in the newsroom since the early 1980s.

Knowing Bob is to know he would take a buyout to save the job of another employee.

During his decades as an editor, clarity of mind shaped the copy and columns of sometimes erratic Toronto Sun reporters and columnists filing their efforts from near and far. He was a tabloid editor and the Sun copy shone because of his talents.

While city editor, Bob's unique gift of calmly dealing with egos while under the gun at deadline time deserved applause. It was a kinder, gentler city desk when Bob was at the helm.

One of the few remaining editors from the Toronto Sun's glory years, Bob no doubt still has a lot to offer as a newspaper editor.

Perhaps, he will write his overdue second book.

Or open a pool hall and write his book there between games.

We know whatever Bob decides to do, it will be done professionally.

All the best, Bob.

Buyout names to date: (1) Lew Fournier (2) Bob McConachie (3) Kaarina Leinala (4) Sheila Chidley (5) Sarah Green (6) Melinda Kryk (7) ??? (8) ???

TSF will profile more of the eight employees taking buyouts when identified.

With Sun Media's recent track record, they will probably go quietly without a word of thanks in print.

Farewell messages for any departing Sun employees should be e-mailed to TSF.

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