Darryl Smart is home again and loving it as sports editor of Metroland's new Norfolk News.
The former Sun Media staffer, one of hundreds pink-slipped in July, is excited about being a Day Oner at a new newspaper.
"This opportunity at the Norfolk News is exciting," Darryl said in an email. "It's not very often you can start a paper from the ground up, let alone do it where my career began and in my own backyard."
Darryl is a classic example of the talent Sun Media has sidelined since Quebecor took over in 1999. The award-winning newsman served the chain well for 13 years, starting with the Simcoe Reformer, followed by the Woodstock Sentinel-Review, Tillsonburg News and Brantford Expositor.
"To be honest, I was pretty sad to leave the Expositor," Darryl says. "It was the paper I wanted to be at when I first started in the business. As a kid I delivered the Expositor and always looked up to the likes of Ted Beare and Ed O'Leary, so it was an honour to be following in their footsteps."
Darryl was the sports reporter at the Expositor when axed in July. He did it all for Sun Media previously: sports photographer, managing editor, night news editor and lead hand for central pagination.
Now he is the sports editor at the Norfolk News, another new weekly print/online newspaper for Ontario.
"I was born and raised in Waterford so being home again is great," he says. "It's also pretty funny because my mom (Jean Leguee) is a long-time ad rep with the Reformer."
These are exciting times for newspaper people who have not given up on newspapers.
The focus, from front page to last, is local news. Community.
Metroland does community very well.
Sun Media doesn't, plain and simple.
Out Port Hope way, we have Sun Media's Northumberland Today, the amalgamation of three established newspapers that served Port Hope, Cobourg and Colborne, and Metroland's Northumberland News.
Northumberland News is local front to back. Northumberland Today has a lot of recycled Toronto-based Sun Media content created in PKP's grand centralization scheme.
Give full control of community newspaper content back to the publishers and more Sun Media newspapers might be spared the axe.
For now, we salute Metroland for creating new newspapers and providing jobs for more of the talent Sun Media has lost since 1999.