Friday, 19 March 2010

P 3 for ladies?

Noticeably absent in yesterday's Toronto Sun was any kind of spin on the 2009 newspaper readership and circulation stats released Wednesday.

Not surprising, considering the predictable, declining numbers.

But there was a ray of hope that the errors of Sun editors past and present in morphing the feisty, unpredictable tabloid into a broadsheet in tabloid form might be corrected.

Returning the SUNshine Girl to Page 3 would be a good start and columnist Mike Strobel, who banished her to the back pages 20 years ago when editor-in-chief, agrees.

"Some schmuck banished her to a back page, starting with the Sunday Sun, in January 2001," he wrote in his Toronto Sun column yesterday.

"That schmuck was me. I was editor-in-chief at the time and, coincidentally, drinking quite a lot."

The SUNshine Girls were given more breathing space this week, but two decades and countless well-hidden SUNshine Girls later, Strobel says it's time to return the ladies to Page 3.

Hear, hear.

Back to the roots, when readers were on a pedestal and the tabloid Sun catered to their interests based on an elaborate annual readership survey.

Top survey hits every year included the Page 3 SUNshine Girl, Max Haines' crime stories, Gary Dunford on Page 6, Andy Donato's cartoons etc.

Max is retired, but you could have the award-winning crime reporter Rob Tripp up Kingston way write a Sunday crime column for the chain.

Dunford was unique, but there has to be a tabloid gossip columnist worthy of a revival of Page 6.

Donato remains on the payroll, but limiting him to Sundays only during the winter months is insane.

Enough with space-filling, eight-page news features. Leave those to the broadsheets. Back to shorter stories, offbeat stories and other tabloid content.

Be a tabloid, dammit.

That is what made the Suns.

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