Friday, 19 June 2009

Expositor blues

The Brantford Expositor, much like the Windsor Star, London Free Press, Hamilton Spectator, Kingston Whig-Standard, Peterborough Examiner, Ottawa Citizen, the defunct Ottawa Journal etc., was once on the must-apply list for young journalists.

It was a solid and respected stepping stone up from smaller weeklies and dailies in the province.

But, as a disillusioned source tells TSF: "Tough times here at The Expositor."

"The building that has been our home for 114 years is for sale, some say sold.

"The paper looks like crap. It is filled with daily mistakes to the point where faithful readers and old employees can't stand to look at it any more.

"Local columnists have been slashed. Sometimes, we like Sun Media columnists so much we run their stuff several times.

"There is one poor editor at night to copy edit everything, slot positions and write headlines. Then he ships it all off to Woodstock and crosses his fingers. He's rarely pleased with the results.

"The rumour is PKP is coming for a visit soon and . . . we were instructed to clean off all desks not being used (in case we look over staffed.) We hid the phones in the drawers of the desks and tucked computer monitors away.

"It's only a matter of time before some entrepreneurial sort starts a weekly with all the fired, laid-off and downsized talent out there. Meanwhile we wait and cringe for the next plot-line."

Thank you for your e-mail.


  1. Um... there is the possibility PKP might visit this website and read this posting.

    I mean, he can't spend all his time ordering up new couches for his luxury box at the Bell Centre.

  2. PKP is also rumoured to be visiting the Peterborough Examiner. Hope that's not the sound of the death knell we're hearing...

  3. Why would you have to clean off all the desks? Couldn't he just grab a file and see how many employees there are?

    I can see tidying up the office, but not using that line. That's so stupid.

  4. At one time pre-Quebecor, the newsroom at The LOndon Free Press was a beehive of activity.

    Today, you could fire a cannon in the newsroom and the odds of hitting anyone would be nil.

    Freeper sluggos fully expect the FP building at 369 York Street in London to be sold eventually. Then the newsroom could be moved into a strip mall. An office about the size of 10 broom closets would do the trick.

  5. quote: "Why would you have to clean off all the desks? Couldn't he [PKP] just grab a file and see how many employees there are?"

    Recall the day when he visited the Toronto Sun and couldn't understand why there were so few people but lots of empty desks. Recall what happened when he visited TorSun on the very day laid-off employees were packing up and walking out the door, and he couldn't figure out what was happening.

  6. Wonder if he'll stop by in Simcoe and Tillsonburg where they just laid off all their production staff.

  7. Really? If he didn't know about layoffs, then who the hell is making these decisions and why isn't he made aware of them, especially at the chain's leading paper.

  8. You can't, with a straight face, say there weren't problems at the Expositor long before any of this happened.... c'mon, we've heard the stories down the QEW too

  9. You could replace "Brantford Expositor" with any of a dozen other small dailies and get the same story. This is tragic and sad and only the beginning.

  10. Deja vu. April 2007, Chatham lost three veteran editors so "paginators" — journalists straight out of school earning call-centre-like wages — could do the work from Sarnia. Mistakes and ugly layout galore.
    Someone should remind PKP that you get what you pay for. It's a concept the vanishing readers get.

  11. Brantford... Once on the must-apply list for young journalists? For full-time jobs? That must have been back in the 1980s, since everyone there today has been there for decades.