Tuesday, 7 April 2009

John Paton 2

In congratulating John Paton, named Editor & Publisher's Publisher of the Year for 2009, TSF made mention of his involvement in the sale of Sun Media to Quebecor.

We wrote: Well, says TSF, nobody is perfect re the sale of Sun Media to Quebecor.

John replied to the comment today, saying:

"I seem to remember wild, and I mean, wild applause when the management group sold the company to Quebecor. Followed by jubilant front pages and a cartoon by Donato with a knife in the shape of a fleur-de-lys stabbing a bow-tie (representing John Honderich of Torstar).

"What does anyone think Quebecor should have done differently from Torstar in the intervening years considering what has been happening to our industry?

"The challenges facing the newspaper industry are profound. Quebecor is trying to face those challenges. As is TorStar and any other newspaper company.

"I think it is more important to assess if those challenges are being met than just giving voice to the anger and pain many - justifiably - feel. We can’t have what he had before. It doesn’t exist anywhere, let alone Sun Media.

"I often wonder what Doug Creighton would do. For sure, he would have taken a much more humane approach to the staff, but it is not clear to me if there would be one more employee at Sun Media than there is now if JDC was still in charge.

"Doug had worked at the Telegram and knew what it meant to work with ownership that would not respond to change."

Meanwhile, the London Free Press congratulates John, former Free Press publisher, in today's paper.

Two quotes from John in the Free Press story:

"I'm smart enough to leave the journalists alone. My job is to make the company strong enough financially to allow them to pursue their craft."


"At the end of the day what's most important is doing journalism well, and the companies that will survive are the ones that fund good journalism."

Creighton or Quebecor?

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