Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Lou Clancy out?

Lou Clancy, a die-hard newsman and editor-in-chief of the Toronto Sun since October 2007, is apparently close to retiring, says a TSF tipster.

If accurate, Lou would be the second high profile management team member to make his exit from 333 this year. Mike Burke-Gaffney, a 29-year Sun vet, retired as managing editor in March at age 59. His key position hasn't been filled.

As big city daily newsmen go, Lou has been a gem, at the Sun on and off a couple of times, and at the Toronto Star, where he began his journalistic journey as a copy boy more than 30 years ago.

Lou, always the first to praise Sun vets as they prepared to exit, is the kind of newsman you expect to find in a big city daily. Friendly, but focused. Professional and proud of the product.

He would be missed.

When Lou returned to the Sun in 2007, outgoing EIC Glenn Garnett said: "I cannot think of a journalist more qualified for the role of Toronto Sun EIC than Lou Clancy, who took the reins today.

"The former Toronto Star ME, KW Record EIC and VP of Editorial for both Sun Media and Osprey is the perfect guy to take the paper where it needs to go. I'm looking forward to working with him again."

Where it "needs" to go is not where it went, although it looked promising for a while.

Michael Sifton, former Osprey Media boss, was Sun Media chief when Lou returned in 2007 and newsroom morale improved considerably in the following months.

But Michael's departure in 2008 - with PKP taking over as Sun Media chief - and the continuing carnage at 333 must have been a heavy burden for a pro like Lou.

It was Lou who wept during interviews on Black Tuesday last December when asked about the latest round of major layoffs at the tabloid. That is a newsman who cares about people.

Lou has been out of the spotlight in recent months and if word of his retirement later this month is accurate, few media watchdogs will begrudge him early retirement.

We have a feeling if he goes, he will not be out of print media for long. Back to the Star, perhaps? It has been cherry picking top Sun talent for years.

The ever-shrinking Toronto Sun newsroom has been without a managing editor since March. Could it function without an editor-in-chief? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, TSF needs a head and shoulder shot of a smiling Lou Clancy, should he soon make it official.


  1. I met Lou once when working at a Bowes weekly in Alberta in 2002. We were unknown weekly journalists – three of hundreds under Lou's watch – but when he shook my hand and asked me about myself, he looked me in the eye and seemed to care about my answers.

    A class act, all the way.

  2. Lou is a remarkable man. Supportive, innately curious and insightful. His advice and wit have provided many a bridge over rocky patches. Whatever he’s up to, may it be the best — for the best.

  3. With the way Sun Media is running things centrally, managing editors are going the way of the do-do bird ... which is so sad.
    I mean, really, what's the point of being an ME at a Sun paper these days?

  4. As I remember the story in talking to Lou, I believe he got his journalistic start at the Owen Sound Sun Times...
    But I could stand to be corrected...