Saturday, 13 August 2011

In the dark

What do you tell Toronto Sun readers when a high profile, respected political columnist exits from their morning tabloid?

Absolutely nothing.

Readers who have not seen Rob Granatstein's Facebook page or his Twitter comments will be in the dark about his absence as time goes by.

The more astute reader will notice Rob's name and editorial page editor title have been quietly deleted from the Comment section masthead and wonder why.

Most readers will assume the 17-year Sun vet went on holidays after his column on Toronto libraries was published last Sunday.

Sue-Ann Levy has been on vacation, hasn't she?

When readers do learn of Rob's axing, they might wonder if it was something he wrote about Mayor Rob Ford, or his Tory buddy Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

But a Toronto Sun vet tells TSF Rob's sacking, along with Dave Ellis, this week was strictly "business," not political or personal.

Another insider says the cuts were made to add funds to the Sun News side of the ledger, which is trying to keep afloat in its infancy.

Whatever the reason for yet another axing of a high profile Sun columnist, the tabloid owes its readers an explanation for why they will no longer be reading Rob's commentary and columns.

Readers used to count at 333.

Hell, loyal employees like Rob and Dave used to count.

If`Quebecor doesn't have the decency to keep its readers informed about their favourite reporters and columnists, surely there are colleagues who will speak up for the departed in print or on Sun Media blogs.

Brief Tweets and Facebook comments don't cut it.

It's time for a columnist, with the backing of an editor or two, to get mad as hell and give Rob and Dave a proper sendoff in print.

When Doug Creighton was ousted in 1992 we were all mad as hell and asked "Why?" in a full-page ad. We were never told why, but we vented loud and clear.

But under Quebecor's intimidating reign the pattern remains - unexplained vanishings of high profile writers without a word of explanation or a word of thanks for a job well done.

Rob contributed 17 years to the Sun, dammit.

Former colleagues will hoist a beer or two over at Betty's across from 333, say all the best to Rob and Dave and, thanks to Quebecor, return to their claustrophobic rented newsroom above No Frills.

And readers will wonder "Where's Rob Granatstein?" as they have wondered about others who have vanished from the pages of the Sun without explanation.

Quebecor's Sun has nothing to do with providing quality journalism, or Rob would still have a job. The Toronto Sun is a cash cow that is being milked to death and Rob and Dave are the latest casualties of the squeeze job.


1 comment:

  1. I had a feeling Rob would be fired the second I read his column on the over-use of the word "exclusive." I'm only sorry I was right!! That's the thing with QMI - you just can't win. Freedom of speech only works when people aren't being pushed into whispered conversations by a boss they've never seen, but are afraid of nonetheless.

    Why do you think almost all of us sign these comments anonymously?