Sunday, 31 October 2010

Kinsella op-eds

Warren Kinsella, Sun Media's new op-ed columnist who sits more to the left at the rightist chain, is growing on readers.

In today's Sunday Sun, he writes about a topic blogger John Downing wrote about last week - the influence, or lack of, newspaper editorials have on the actions of voters.

Does the endorsement of a candidate by a newspaper have any effect on the outcome?

"Newspaper coverage matters," he writes. "Nothing shapes a candidate’s reputation more than day-to-day news reports. But editorials? Not so much."

We like Kinsella's style of op-ed writing, which is cause for concern because columnists who instantly shine at Sun Media tend to fade into the sunset without warning.

But now that Tory Kory is history and moderation has regained some hold at Sun Media, we can only hope Kinsella will survive.

Examiner obits

TSF commented recently on the lack of colour photos in Globe and Mail obituaries now that colour is available on every other page of the newspaper. 

Well, a TSF reader out Peterborough way says if the Globe wants to see how colour photos in obits look, check out the Peterborough Examiner.

We picked up a copy of the Examiner and all five photos in Deaths and In Memoriam were colour.

That separates the Sun Media newspaper from most daily newspapers, including the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail etc. 

Perhaps the addition of colour has to do with obits being provided by Sun Media's new service in communities across Ontario and in four other provinces.

Whatever works.

Fuzzy, black and white head and shoulder photos don't cut it today, so why not bring obit photos into the 21st century with colour?

Saturday, 30 October 2010

EdSun now -9

Richard Liebrecht is the ninth Edmonton Sun employee to leave the building in the past five months, says a TSF tipster.

The tipster says the reporter joins Glen Werkman, Kristy Brownlee, Candace Ward, Jason Franson, Alyssa Noel, Clara Ho, Jefferson Hagen and Doreen Thunder as disgruntled ex-EdSun staffers.

"Very unhappy employees over at the Edmonton Sun," says the tipster. "The exits continue and the list grows."

Thursday, 28 October 2010

New paper today

It is Day 643 of the Journal de Montreal lockout.

The Montreal Gazette says the day will be remembered as the launch date of a union-backed free newspaper, Rue Frontenac, with 48 pages and a press run of 75,000.

The 253 locked out employees have been represented by a website of the same name since the lockout began in January of 2009.

The Gazette says the free French-language tabloid will be distributed weekly from 1,4000 locations.

A print edition - Montreal's answer to the free MediaMatin weekday tabloid launched immediately after Journal de Quebec's lockout/strike in 2007 - was long overdue.

CTV Montreal has a photo of the newspaper.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


SUN TV's shoestring budget was never more evident than last night.

Ontario voters settling in front of the TV at 8 p.m. expecting blanket coverage by the Quebecor station were left unfulfilled an hour later when SUN TV switched to a movie.

A movie?

No live coverage of acceptance speeches; no interviews with winners and losers; no footage of campaign workers celebrating in ballrooms; no street interviews; no interviews, period.

Just Rob and Christina and Sue-Ann and other Sun regulars in the studio, with brief reports from  Hamilton and Ottawa. 

No budget - or television equipment - for live reports?

You would think with the amount of ink devoted to Toronto's mayoral campaign, the bean counters would have loosened the purse strings to provide something resembling professional election coverage.

Five minutes of CBC TV coverage at 9 p.m. made up for the one-hour snooze fest on SUN TV. 

And who do we spot on CBC walking in front of Rob Ford in the crush of well wishers? None other than Toronto Sun photog Michael Peake, a 333 vet caught up once again in the drama of an election.

Guess it was cheaper for SUN TV to switch to a movie - FX - an hour after the polls closed than investing in something resembling big city TV coverage of a major election. 

It is not the fault of SUN TV or Toronto Sun panel contributors. You work with what you are given.

If Fox News North receives the same financial backing as the current SUN TV effort, it will quickly fade into the sunset.

Meanwhile, speaking of Rob Ford, he should make one post-election promise - to lose 25 pounds in each of his four years in the mayor's chair.

He did not look the least bit comfortable during his acceptance speech.

Losing weight while in the public eye would be a plus for him and give weight-conscious men, women and children motivation to do the same.

Monday, 25 October 2010

E-Day vibes

Election days in the Toronto Sun newsroom have always been hectic, with staff winding down over a brew or two after the municipal, provincial and federal elections votes were counted.

We're not sure what the belt-tightened practice is now, but in Doug Creighton's day, a hotel suite would be booked - and stocked - waiting for the 333 crew.

It was always an opportunity to mingle with the political columnists who would be gloating about their words coming true, or trying to explain why they were so wrong.

The federal Tory "Party of Two" outcome comes to mind.

John Downing and Lorrie Goldstein were usually in the Top 5 in election office pools, which explained why they were being paid big bucks to write about politics.

In yesterday's Sunday Sun, editor-in-chief Rob Granatstein predicted a win for George Smitherman over Rob Ford, who was the Sun's pick. Interesting.

Sun print faithful will be expecting the usual election day coverage tomorrow - complete results, Andy Donato's cartoons and enough analysis to fill one of those beloved, never-say-die Toronto streetcars.

Deadlines be damned.

Brian Whipp is a TSF reader who remembers election days in the Alberta newsrooms.

He writes: "Interesting about what you raised on the election thing. I remember when elections were a huge big deal before notebooks and online results, with reporters and interns at every poll.

"They filed with Radio Shack trash 80's. We had to hook 300 baud modems to city hall to get returns and editorial would enter queries on a dumb terminal in the newsroom to get results from various polls.

"We all had to get one or two hours of on-site training prior to election night. It worked pretty well.

"Then the Internet came and it was all online. Both western Suns had no up-to-the-minute updates on the latest election night and the Twitter stuff that was easily four hours old. It didn't seem to work very well.

"It was a first effort for social media crowd, so it added a bit to the suspense, especially in Calgary.

"Anyways, replates in the last couple of civic elections were no big deal and usually  we were all in a bar before last call with somebody bringing in some inky copies of the city edition with pretty much all the results - except for a handful of polls.

"It was always a fun night and things always went smoothly with pizza for everybody (including the back shop) who was there."

Friday, 22 October 2010

2 Greg Westons

Ta da: A CBC News story by Greg Weston.  

And, as was the case before Weston was dumped by Sun Media's Tory Kory in July, the heat is on the federal Tories.

Weston writes: 

The Conservative government’s $1.3-billion sell-off of federal office buildings in 2007 has once again landed former cabinet minister Michael Fortier in controversy over his role in the real estate deal.

Google searches for journalist Greg Weston are once again producing two results - Sun Media's former Ottawa bureau columnist Greg Weston and New Brunswick's Greg Weston, the Legislature reporter for the Times & Transcript.

CBC's Greg Weston can also be heard in reports on CBC Radio's The House

The Sun's loss, CBC's gain.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Election deadlines

It appears some of Sun Media's morning dailies in Ontario will become afternoon  newspapers for a day next Tuesday to accommodate the lateness of Monday night's election results.

"This is the first time this has been done," a TSF tipster says of his newspaper's decision. "If they don't, the polls will close after the deadlines, meaning the results will not be seen until Wednesday."

Replating for election results wasn't a big deal when Sun Media newspapers had their own presses, but many are now dependent on time slots at the Quebecor printing plant in Toronto.

Bono column

Longtime Toronto Sun readers take note: Mark Bonokoski has a column today on capital punishment.

Bonokoski's Sun Media column has been absent since mid-July when he was re-assigned to writing anonymous national editorials.

Hopefully, there will be more Bonokoski columns, enough to keep his readers satisfied, because the Sun just isn't the Sun without them.

Absence does make the heart grow fonder as three months without a Bonokoski column has proven.

Court blitz

As a former court reporter for small and big city dailies in Canada, the flow of photographic and audio evidence in the Col. Russell Williams case is puzzling.

This blogger can't recall being handed a single crime scene photo by police or court officials, or being provided access to taped police interview confessions.

So why this unprecedented media access to evidence in the Williams case?

Just asking.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Media & votes

For all of the ink devoted to Toronto's mayoral candidates, do newspapers still have clout when it comes to influencing voters?

John Downing, a Toronto Sun Day Oner who covered city hall for the Telegram and Sun for five decades, has his say in a new Downing's Views blog posting.

He recalls an era when the election slates of big city dailies were crucial in elections, while today newspaper support is not as important, but still plays a role in an election.   

Downing writes: The bottom line about media slates is that they are important because the media and the politicians think they are important. This becomes obvious to any voter really studying the coverage. And many of them are smart enough to realize that the bias of the newspaper plays a major role in the choice.

An interesting and timely read.

Media excess?

A J-Source article by Dana Lacey asks: Has coverage of Col. Williams gone too far? Or not far enough?

The lengthy, illustrated article includes Tuesday's front pages of the major Toronto print dailies and extensive quotes from stories and columns out of a Belleville courtroom. 

Tuesday's Sun front and inside coverage is as tabloid as it gets. More to come Wednesday as the debate about publishing all of the horrific details continues.

Michele Mandel's column says it all about this one man who has stolen the innocence of tranquil Brighton, Tweed, Trenton, Belleville and other communities far from big city crime.

As for Williams collecting a pension, do you get the feeling longevity is not in his cards, either by his own hands or the intent of others?

This could be one Canadian case where a life sentence will be a death sentence. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Downing & mayors

John Downing mingled with numerous Toronto mayors, short and tall, during his decades covering city hall for the Toronto Telegram and the Sun.

And while Crombie is a seven-letter name, Downing says "no one was shorter than Crombie."

Downing, a Toronto Sun Day Oner, also tells TSF:

"Ralph Day won the Irish sweepstakes and used the money to improve his funeral home. 

"Paul Rimstead's incredible popularity, and there are few, if any, rivals in Toronto journalism history, saw him getting 10% of the vote in one of the most competitive mayoral races in the last 50 years. 

"His opponents in 1972 were wee Davie Crombie, also known as the Pillsbury dough boy, David Rotenberg and Tony O'Donohue

"Crombie became such a close friend of the Rimmer that they used to go out drinking. On several occasions, when Paul became incoherent when dictating his column to the Sun, the mayor, anonymously, dictated the last few paras. (I never wrote about it.)"

Thanks, John.

And yes, it was Toronto's loss in not electing a wildly popular jazz drummer/columnist.

Back in the day when Mark Bonokoski was writing columns, he compared Rimstead's election platform to the needs of the city more than three decades later and most issues remained relevant.

Ford 4 tabloids

Forget the politics, Rob Ford would be a tabloid headwriter's dream mayor.

You can't beat a four-letter mayor. Short and sweet.

Same as Hall.

Two shorter than Miller, Sewell, Beavis, Givens.

Three shorter than Lastman, Crombie.

Four shorter than Rowlands, Eggleton, Dennison.

Seven shorter than Summerville.

Sun editors can only be thankful Summerville, who holds the record for length when it comes to last names of Toronto mayors, was before the tabloid's time.

(Mayor Rimstead? Double Ford, but still would have been a Sun charm.)

For record brevity, it was Day, as in Mayor Ralph C. Day, 1938-1940.

But for a multicultural city that has had 63 mayors since 1834, Toronto hasn't strayed beyond the Commonwealth for its mayors.

Diotte elected

Former Edmonton Sun city hall columnist Kerry Diotte was a clear winner in Edmonton's municipal elections yesterday.

And you can read all about it - in the Edmonton Sun.

No mention of Diotte's $2.28 million lawsuit he launched against the tabloid earlier this year.

After his Ward 11 win, Diotte told  iNews880 his reputation as a former Edmonton Sun columnist was something he had to overcome, rather than use to his advantage.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Newton's new blog

Wayne Newton, a former London Free Press staffer, has expanded his parental interest in minor hockey to the blogosphere. 

He launched Wayne's World of Minor Hockey this week to promote minor hockey and blog about all things relating to hockey moms and dads.

"I've started a new blog focusing on minor hockey," Wayne said in an e-mail to TSF. "Plan to start a second one soon on travel."

Wayne was editorial coordinator/national comment editor when pink-slipped by Sun Media last November.

The hockey dad can also be found on Twitter at WayneWriteOn.

Friday, 15 October 2010


First came Mike Strobel's column on aliens, then a crowd-gathering New York UFO sighting. 

A coincidence? We think not. :-)

Ask Amy

Sun Media has thrown in the towel when it comes to national advice column competitions and homegrown Canadian winners.

The newest advice column is Ask Amy, written by Amy Dickinson, an American syndicated out of the Chicago Tribune since 2003.

The blurb on her Tribune Media Services page reads: "In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, the Chicago Tribune's Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. 

"She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers."

Her bio says: "Dickinson succeeds the legendary Ann Landers (Esther "Eppie" Lederer) as the Chicago Tribune's signature advice columnist."

It also says: "Dickinson, who grew up on a small dairy farm in New York, currently lives in Chicago with her teenage daughter. A graduate of Georgetown University, Dickinson also has worked as a producer for NBC News and as a freelance writer for publications such as The Washington Post, Esquire and O magazine."

Impressive credentials and she is also a distant relative of poet Emily Dickinson, so how can you go wrong with Ask Amy?

So she is American. Canadian newspapers across the country depended on Dear Ann and Dear Abby for decades.

If you want to wish the twice-married advice columnist a happy 51st birthday, circle Nov. 6.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Edu checks

A TSF tipster says Sun Media wants to know the education levels of its employees.

Not satisfied with employment application resumes, employees are being asked to provide education details.

"It is supposed to be to complete employee records, which they should already have through resumes we all submitted when we applied for jobs," says the tipster.

"While the company may be trying to update records, I get a strange feeling from it. Why do they need to know this information? Are they going to turf people who don't have the level of education they want or expect?

"It just seems fishy. Call me paranoid if you want, but with this company, you never know what they are going to do next."

Well, you can't have any riffraff high school dropouts working for Sun Media, gifted and professional as they might be.

We wonder how many North American newspaper giants from the 19th and 20th century wouldn't get a newspaper job today because of a lack of education.
The self-taught giants who dropped out of school early to help support their parents, or to fight for their country.

Education is a plus, but it should not be the lone factor for employment.

CBC gets Weston

When Susan Delacourt, the Toronto Star's senior political writer, went for drinks with former Sun Media bureau columnist Greg Weston, we thought perhaps the Star was courting him.

Delacourt's recent Tweet: Delighted to share this news: Greg Weston joins CBC today; announcement imminent. Hooray for the good guys! 

The Sun's Ottawa bureau has changed since June, but the casualties of Tory Kory's brief presence appear to be landing on their feet.

Congrats to Greg.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

WinSun has a clue

Today's Winnipeg Sun miner rescue front should have been a Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary front.

As it stands, the Toronto Sun's election/mine rescue front shows how out of tune editors are when it comes to reader interest. Sad TorSun times.

Take a bow, Winnipeg Sun editors. You nailed it.

Weston to CBC?

Former 10-year Toronto Sun political writer Greg Weston has been hired by CBC News, says a Tweeter.

A TSF reader posted this comment at 10 a.m.: "Rosemary Barton (CBC) has posted on her twitter that Greg Weston has joined CBC news."

Barton's Tweet reads"Happy to say Greg Weston is joining the CBC bureau! Woot woot!"

Stay tuned.

Global cheers

Reality TV will never top the drama of today's live, hourly rescues of 33 trapped Chilean miners.

As we type this, it is three miners rescued, 30 to go. A live CNN feed via several Chilean government television cameras is providing the uninterrupted emotions of families, rescuers, fellow miners, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and all others involved in the 69-day drama.

The CNN feed from Camp Hope, complete with a rescue countdown, says "no translation," but the tears of joy, smiles, cheers and hugs say it all. (The BBC has an interpreter, with interruptions for replays and clips.)

The world is watching, as are more than 2,000 journalists at the mine, so Newseum's front pages should be inundated with dramatic fronts today.

In the good old days, the Toronto Sun would have waited for the first rescue for its front, but early deadlines being what they are these days, we're not sure if they will.

The rescues are immediate, mesmerising television and Internet fare, but, as always, the words of scribes will provide the depth of the survival stories.

It should be a good day for print everywhere today.

Ace in the Hole, with a more positive ending.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Dear "P"

Sun Media posted this message today on Tom Holder's Advice Guy blog:

"Sun Media regrets that it is ending the daily Advice Guy column, but we’re compelled to do so after learning the columnist used material in a recent column published by another source.

"-The Editors"

No specifics about the plagiarized material, but Holder's two postings for today (Oct. 9) are on the blog.

The London-area father of seven won the advice column duties in May following a national competition.

It was Sun Media's second open competition for the job. Will there be a third?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Where's Bono?

Update: It was (a) technical glitch - he's back in the masthead
Mark Bonokoski's name is missing from today's Comment section masthead, which means:

(a) It was a technical glitch.

(b) He is on vacation again and, as before, you are not "National Editorial Writer" while on vacation.

(c) Sun Media has listened to its readers and is returning Bono to columnist status, where he belongs.

Most readers who posted comments online following the Sun's "Bono speaks for us all" story want his column back in the Sun. 
John Tackmen wrote: "Bring him back now. Buying the paper this summer was not the same. There is a big hole with (Bonokoski) not in the news pages. To many long time readers like me, he is the Sun."
Bob Ralston wrote: "The summer is almost over. I hope this means Bonokoski will be back in the news pages soon. He is definitely missed. He is the only up-front columnist who gives us something new each and every time he writes. He follows no pack, unlike so many others who follow the same news story. For my money, he is the best in the business, and has been for years."
We await positive news about Mark's future at the Sun.

Leafs vs Donato

Today's Toronto Sun has Toronto Maple Leafs game one win coverage on Pages 1 and 3, plus 17 dominating pages in the sports section. 

But deflating the 19-page, go-Leafs-go balloon is another classic Andy Donato editorial cartoon: A slice of pie in the sky over Toronto that reads Leafs Win Stanley Cup.

Maybe Donato cut that slice for Leafs GM Brian Burke, who is not a big fan of the Toronto Sun, despite months and months of prime Sun coverage for his team.

Donato is old enough - and jaded enough - to remember the Leafs' last Stanley Cup win in 1967. Now that win was worth 20 pages.

The 2 Robins

In a recent TSF posting, an early morning mental lapse turned outgoing Robin Anderson into the Sun's travel editor, Robin Robinson, until the error was noticed and corrected.

The following is an e-mail from Robin Robinson:

"Re your recent blog posting: It was with some consternation that I learned recently from friends and colleagues that I had been dumped from my job at the Toronto Sun. Even more distressing was learning I was a two-time cancer survivor. Neither is true. 

"Obviously your blog posting was a mistake - a mix up between myself and freelance columnist Robin Anderson, whose name is similar to my own. But it highlighted the problem with the blog specifically and what passes for online 'journalism' in general. 

"The writer of this posting obviously didn't have the facts, hadn't done even basic reporting, had not sought confirmation either by phone or e-mail, and didn't know either of the people being reported about. 

"By the next morning, someone must have pointed out the mix up in the names and the posting was changed. However, there was no indication on the blog that a mistake had ever been made. 

"I used to read the blog to catch up on former colleagues and industry news but it soon became apparent that while some of what was appearing was true, there were equal measures of unreliable and hurtful gossip. 

"The constant focus on the 'glory days' of the old Sun, when everything was perfect, became more than a little grating and when the focus of the blog turned to pointing out the deficiencies and ridiculing mistakes made by the extremely hard working and professional people who still put out this paper - no less a daily miracle than it was 30-odd years ago - I stopped reading.

"As your recent blog posting proves, EVERYONE makes mistakes. But those of us working at the newspaper still acknowledge ours in print and run corrections saying we goofed. 

"Regards, Robin Robinson - still the Travel editor and still happy to be working at the Toronto Sun."

24Hrs hiring

Sun Media's 24 Hours in Toronto is hiring page editors, with an Oct. 15 deadline.

"The ad doesn't say how many editors," says a TSF reader. "In a perfect world, Sun Media would hire back all those company-trained editors from the GTA and surrounding area it canned during the last couple of years. However, I imagine most would politely decline the offer."

The job posting can be found at

Dear Me

A reliable TSF tipster has some advice for Sun Media's successful advice column applicants: Don't get too comfortable.

The tipster says Tom Holder, Sun Media's most recent national advice columnist, has been pink-slipped. 

It came so quickly "that kills had to go out warning papers to pull his column in Saturday pages that have already been designed," says the tipster.

Holder, father of seven from Alvinston, ON,  was named the new Sun Media advice columnist in May  following a national competition

Sun Media's first national advice columnist competition in 2009 was won by Robin Anderson, who  moved to another Sun column last April and was shown the door last month.

Dear Tom, write to TSF and tell us your story.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Daily 333 treats

Tim Peckham's blog highlighting the daily treats Rita DeMontis (The Food Lady) shares with colleagues reminds us of the Switchboard Ladies during the glory years at 333.

First to greet second-floor staffers at the top of the stairs were Margaret Kmiciewicz, Jean Osborne, Marjorie Henry and others over the years.

And, no matter what time of the day, you could always count on a bag of sweet treats for passersby. The payload increased around Valentine's Day, Easter and Christmas.

During quiet times in the newsroom, they engaged in conversation along with the treat sampling and all was well on the second floor.

The Switchboard Ladies were never taken for granted. When needed, Margaret K, Jean, Marj and others were vital in reaching people near and far.

Their abilities on the telephone could make or break a developing story.

When you think about it, we should have been providing them with treats. cuts?

One source does not make a TSF item, but maybe others can confirm the tech team at 333 was pink-slipped on Wednesday. 

This was one of dozens of comments posted at in reaction to PKP's column yesterday:

Ex-CANOER October 6th 2010, 5:05pm What is most interesting is this editorial is published on the exact day when the entire technology team at, as well as other employees in other divisions were given their pink slips by the company. PKP has obviously moved onto another plaything and once that loses its shine, it will be something else. CANOE has been on failing life support for more than 10 years. Once a leader, now, not even a follower.

So, what was the body count?

What's happening at Canoe?

Were there layoffs elsewhere in Quebecorland? 

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

NADbank stats

Updated re Edmonton Sun
It is NADbank spin time, with today's release of 2009/10 print and online readership stats across Canada.

The Star says its combined print and online reach rose 5.3%, raising the Star’s combined weekly reach to almost 52% of the GTA adult audience. 

The Star says by comparison, the Toronto Sun reported a 1.9% increase in combined print and online reach,  the Globe and Mail recorded a 0.2% increase and the National Post declined by 9.8%.

 Overall, NADbank says print and online newspapers remain healthy.

The NADbank press release says daily newspapers reach 77% of adult consumers each week and print still leads the way.

NADbank says: The results of this study confirm that daily newspapers continue to be a vital source of news, information and entertainment for consumers in seven of Canada’s largest and most competitive markets. The readership of daily newspapers both for printed and online editions remains stable in all these markets. 

Today's release covers readership from the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2010.

PKP column

Updated re not first PKP op-ed piece
This is a rare op-ed column by PKP.
You can read it here.

Our favourite paragraph:

"Over the last 36 months, as Sun Media CEO, I was forced to read the riot act. We had to move drastically or else die fast. We consolidated dozens of operations and reduced hundreds of locations to main hubs to gain both efficiency and performance."

To gain both efficiency and performance? Poll employees and readers on that line of thought, PKP.

A Toronto Sun editor e-mailed TSF to say today's op-ed piece is not the first by PKP, it is the third. PKP's two previous columns were published  April 1, 2010, and Oct. 24, 2008.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Rita's moochers

Rita DeMontis, the Toronto Sun's lifestyle editor, has a faithful following of newsroom moochers, judging by online photos on colleague Tim Peckham's new blog.

The Food Lady has them eating out of her hand, her desk, her cubicle floor. 

Tim's blog, simply titled Thank You Rita - A daily record of the stuff Rita offers her co-workers, shows some of the daily food stuffs home cooked or sent to Rita for reviews.

"Welcome to the blog that records the daily generosity of one woman, my friend Rita," Tim says. "Where I work, Rita is known to come around with something to eat. Every day. Sometimes twice - or more. This blog promises to document the amazing stream of thoughtfulness that I see every day at work."

Check out the photos. Who says there are no perks left at 333?

Monday, 4 October 2010

Robin was cut

Robin Anderson, two-time cancer survivor and former Toronto Sun columnist, was axed by the tabloid.

She confirms it in comments to TSF and on her new blog - Robin's Eye View, launched on the weekend. 

"Hello everyone, and welcome to my new blog," she writes in her first blog posting. "As many of you know, I was one of the unfortunates cut from Sun Media’s columnist/journalist repertoire. This can only mean there is something more in store for me - something bigger and better.

"I’m now getting back up on the soapbox, but this soapbox has no word count or subject matter restrictions. Unfortunately, this also means I no longer have my own personal column editor.

"Yes, I’m pulling out my 'Strunk and White,' as well as my 'grammar and  sentence  structure for dummies' yet again."

Welcome to blogland, Robin.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Today -4

Updated re Barrie
Four employees in the production department of Sun Media's Northumberland Today were laid off Thursday, says a TSF tipster out Cobourg way.

Shannon and Darren Catherwood, Kim Landry and Mark Ford were given their walking papers, says the tipster. Department manager Julie Hall remains. 

It seems the Today's production department duties, including packaging of Sun Media's regional glossy Go  magazine, have been moved to Barrie.

Northumberland Today was created in February of 2009 with the merging of three former Osprey community newspapers in Port Hope, Cobourg and Colborne.

The Port Hope Evening Guide was founded in 1878; the Cobourg Daily Star was founded in 1831 and the Colborne Chronicle was founded in 1959 from the ashes of the Colborne Express, 1866, and the Colborne Enterprise, 1886.

Northumberland Today readers say the newspaper isn't as focused on local content as the Guide, Star and Chronicle were, with an excess of Toronto Sun copy filling news, op-ed and entertainment pages.

Laying off four local employees supports reader arguments that "local" is no longer a priority. 

Buy, hey, Christmas is coming. It is that time of the year for Quebecor to piss off its employees.