Monday 26 August 2013

Crownest Pass Promoter in Alberta closes

Make that 13 Sun Media newspapers shuttered since last fall.

The Crowsnest Pass Promoter in Alberta is toast as of today. 

The latest Sun Media casualtity is said to be a victim of a dispute between the local mayor and the newspaper.  

Sun Promo Queen Lesley Annett dies at 65

Her smile and the glow that came from being one of the Toronto Sun's key promotions staffers is what we will remember of Lesley Annett. 

Mike Strobel has written about Lesley in two recent columns, including one today that describes how she danced at her daughter's Aug. 17 wedding just a week before dying of ovarian cancer at 65.

Trudy Eagan says in a Facebook posting: "Beautiful column Mike which captures the essence of our special friend and colleague who taught so many of us to be brave and spirited in so many ways. We will long remember her laughter, sense of humor, and how she made each of us feel,like we were the only one in the room. Thanks."

You can read Mike's column here

Lesley, who died Sunday in her Oakville home, was just one of the many positive people who filled the six floors of 333 during the glory years . 

Memories of Lesley can be posted here by emailing

Sunday 25 August 2013

Open invite to Pyette/Spremo affair

The Canadian News Hall of Fame will induct Les Pyette and Boris Spremo on Oct. 16 and two more deserving Canadian newspaper giants would be difficult to find.

The Hall of Fame was inactive for more than a decade after its awards dinner in 2001, but they are back and honouring those who have earned the respect of media coast to coast.

An email from Ian Connerty, Chair, Canadian News Hall of Fame:

The Canadian News Hall of Fame is honouring former Toronto Sun editor and publisher Les Pyette. Les' induction into the Hall of Fame will take place on October 16, 2013. Attached and below is more information on the event that you may wish to share with the Toronto Sun Family. Thank you.

You are invited to the Annual Induction Ceremony and Dinner for the Canadian News Hall of Fame on Wednesday October 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM at the Rosewater Room, 19 Toronto Street.

This year we have the honour of inducting two Canadian print media giants: Boris Spremo, legendary Canadian news photographer, formerly with the Toronto Star, and Les Pyette, former editor and publisher of Sun Media group, the London Free Press and the Toronto Sun.

Boris and Les will join last year’s inductees Lloyd Robertson and Andy Walsh along with a distinguished list of Hall of Fame inductees including: Allan Fotheringham, Douglas Fisher, June Callwood, Charles Lynch, Trina McQueen, Peter Worthington, Jocko Thomas, Douglas Creighton and Peter C. Newman, among others.

The Annual Induction and Dinner is one of the highlights of the social and media agenda.  Early Bird tickets are $200 per person and tables of 10 are available for $2,000. Email your order as soon as possible to reserve your tickets or table. Attached is an order form, an invitation and a copy of this year’s draft program. Tickets are limited so you should book early.

The evening starts at 6 PM with a reception at the Rosewater Room, 19 Toronto Street, Toronto. Dinner takes place at 7 PM with the induction ceremony to follow at 8:30 PM. Once again I urge you to book early to avoid disappointment.

Ian Connerty
Canadian News Hall of Fame

Monday 19 August 2013

Andre Forget out as national photo editor

A reliable source tells TSF Andre Forget, an award-winning Sun Media photographer for more than 15 years, has been ousted as the chain's national photo editor.

"Forget ((@QMIshooter) covered the Hill ((#CDNpoli) and other national and local news in Ottawa," says the tipster. 

Andre's work can be viewed at:

Now who is Steve White, said to have replaced Andre?

Tuesday 6 August 2013

The day Lou Grant was senior city editor

Peter Worthington used to say one of the many events that separated the tabloid Toronto Sun from most other print media was the day Lou Grant, aka Ed Asner, worked the city desk.

Lou, hired by Doug and Peter as senior city editor, arrived in the newsroom on March 23, 1979. City Editor Bob Burt surrendered his chair for the fun day.

We recapped the day in a previous TSF post in 2007 - - but we were not aware a Peter Gross bit with Lou for CITY-TV was posted on YouTube in 2011. It is a must-view for Sun vets. Familiar faces are in the background watching Lou and Peter doing their bit.

We are not sure who posted the CITY-TV clip, but many thanks. It brings back memories of a day in the Sun that is still talked about more than 30 years later.

BTW:  How many Sun types in the background can you identify?

Monday 5 August 2013

Marilyn Linton says farewell

Marilyn Linton is the latest Toronto Sun vet to say farewell.

Lifetsyle's health writer doesn't explain her exit, but a closing paragraph in her final column reads:

After nearly 30 years of working with Sun Media, Marilyn Linton’s column will be coming to an end. As a former Lifestyle editor, Marilyn spearheaded industry-wide changes that are represented today.

She is an acclaimed cookbook author, an author of health books, and her creative background  has been passed on to her daughters, both in media in various forms.

You can follow Marilyn daily on Twitter @Marilynlinton1 and watch for her take on current, relevant women’s health at

TSF says all the best, Marilyn.

It seems health, education and Bono's political views are no longer relevant in Sun Media's world?

One less vet to remind PKP of the glory years.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Dresden-Bothwell Leader-Spirit axed

 Make that 12.

Twelve Sun Media newspapers shuttered since last fall. The latest casualty this week - the Dresden-Bothwell Leader-Spirit in Southern Ontario.

Not a large newspaper, but community to the hilt with solid advertising support as we discovered in this online copy of a printed issue from April:

Twenty pages. Solid community effort. Sad that effort is not worthy of Sun Media's stable of newspapers.

If this is a Sun Media link, it might soon be deleted, as was the link to the newspaper's website.

The Leader-Spirit doesn't have a history of 100 or so years, as many of the Sun Media casualties had, but it did have devoted readers and advertisers. 

Internet sources say The Dresden Leader, originally known as the North Kent Leader, was founded in 1965 by Ted Misselbrook and Gord Clauws. The Spirit of Bothwell was launched in 1992 by Jim Kish. They merged in 2008.

As we've suggested before, independent dailies and weeklies owned and managed by many of the hundreds of laid off media employees could be the answer for journalists, advertisers and readers.

Print is where the money is and not all advertisers and readers have abandoned the format. To appease generations young and old, quality community print/online newspapers out of the grasps of out-of-touch conglomerates make sense.

That is why we are rooting for the Chatham Voice, recently launched and sounding like a keeper.

Sitting here thinking of the very talented Sun people pink-slipped over the past two decades leaves us wondering why more of the men and women haven't launched independent newspapers.

We'd subscribe to any community newspaper offering the talents of Mark Bonokoski (Bancfoft), John Downing (Toronto), Gary Dunford (wherever he hangs his hat), Moira MacDonald (Toronto), Bill Brioux (Brampton) etc.

The writers, photographers, editors and execs out there wondering what to do next would do justice to communities abandoned, or neglected, by the conglomerates.

All you have to do is commit to the "community" 100%, working there, living there, eating there, playing there.