Monday, 14 December 2009

Cutback Casualty 1

Let's call this Cutback Casualties Week, representing a decade of Quebecor cutbacks at Sun Media newspapers and at former Osprey Media newspapers since 2007.

We invite former employees affected by the massive Black Tuesday staff cuts last December, or any other layoffs and firings, to update TSF on their post-Quebecor lives. E-mail your stories to TSF.

Bill Hodgins, former features editor at the Peterborough Examiner:


"I know its cliché, but that’s how I felt cleaning out my desk a year ago. In the minutes that followed, there were other editors asking where I kept things. Could I show them how to do things? F**k you.

"For the next few days, weeks, I was embarrassed, and frustrated because I had nothing to be embarrassed about. Only weeks earlier, I had one of the best performance reviews of my career.

"Almost 20 years with the same company. A lifetime in journalism stolen away. For a while, I clung to the hope of finding another paper, another chain. Then - cliché time again - there were roses to smell. I had the best summer with my kids.

"I did a little freelance and some personal writing. And just this week, two days before the anniversary, I am set to start a new career in communications. I know I’ll miss the newsroom buzz, but it wasn’t a bad year.

"With my severance, my writing and with help from the feds, I’m actually money ahead - we’ll see how that goes at tax season.

"And I hold no real grudges. My old M.E. was good to me when I worked there, and I think he’s happy to see me working again. And I’ve always been one to embrace change.

"For better or worse, I don’t think my old paper - or the dozens of others like it in the chain - will ever be the same. But for me, it’s time to move on. It’s time to get going.

"Bill Hodgins"

Thank you for your update, Bill.


  1. Bruce Corcoran, managing editor, Chatham Daily News15 December 2009 at 14:16

    I'm proud to say I worked with Bill for a good chunk of the 1990s. He is a great guy with a good work ethic. He remains the top lead writer I've ever seen. Bill's assistance on our video editing here was most appreciated as well.
    Bill was no dinosaur, because he was able to adapt well to the shifting realities of this business. I was floored to see him pink slipped last year (and floored to see us lose two good people in our newsroom the same day). Editors such as Bill Hodgins are irreplaceable, but they eventually land on their feet elsewhere, thankfully.
    In the past three years, I've seen a lot of senior people either get laid off from this company, or leave of their own volition. It's tough to come to terms with the reality of so many friends and colleagues leaving in such a short time.
    I wish everyone the best, especially at this time of year.

  2. Bill is great. Not only a great editor. When I lived alone in town, he had me over with another young reporter for Christmas dinner with his family. When my moving truck broke, he helped me move an entire two-bedroom apartment in his minivan. Their loss, for sure. You can replace an editor, but you can't replace that kind of influence and personality in a newsroom.