Thursday, 25 February 2010
Carla, who has been on maternity leave from the Sun Media daily, and her husband, Mark, have been through hell for several weeks.
Their son underwent 12 hours of risky brain surgery Feb. 2 and part of a large tumour partially removed proved to be cancerous. Six weeks of chemotherapy treatments begin today at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton.
Xavier and his twin sister, Mackenzie, were born May 31, 2009.
The story says surgeons who removed about 70% of the tumour told Carla and Mark on Feb. 10 Xavier has anaplastic ependymoma, a high-grade aggressive form of brain cancer associated with a mutation of the brain stem.
Doctors say chemotherapy treatments may not be effective in treating ependymoma.
There is more in the Sentinel-Review story, but our bottom line is a trust account has been opened at TD Canada Trust at Springbank Avenue and Dundas Street in Woodstock - Account 630 8634, transit No. 227.
(The TD mailing address is 1000 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON, N4S 0A3)
Donations will also be accepted at the front desk of the Sentinel-Review.
Money raised will help cover the cost of travel and accommodation during Xavier's treatments.
Over the years, Sun Media staffers and management have been very supportive of fellow employees in times of need, often anonymously.
Our best to Carla, Mark and young Xavier.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:49
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Paton, hired by the Toronto Sun as a copy boy in the 1970s, worked his way up to management. He remembers the days when Sun co-founders Doug Creighton, Peter Worthington and Don Hunt rewarded employees with profit sharing.
In his memo, Paton says an advisory board is being set up at the U.S. media chain and adds:
"If we do this right we will become a company of ideas where all employees and our communities debate what’s best for our future. And preserve our cherished role of providing checks and balances.
"And because I believe if we do this right we will become a much more vibrant and profitable company with a dynamic future, I want to make sure all employees share in that future. To that end, we announced on Tuesday the establishment of a profit sharing plan for all employees.
"If the company wins our employees win. We will all win."
Paton includes his e-mail address in the memo, a clear sign he is approachable.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 18:01
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
The blogger wonders if that means reporters will only be writing about businesses and people who advertise in the free Echo de Laval and Echo de la Rive-Nord.
That scenario sounds like PKP's cup of print media tea.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:43
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Are you interested in what Tiger Woods had to say on Friday?
The tally was 85% No and 15% Yes.
Well, the 15% got their money's worth Saturday. The Sun devoted nine pages, including the front page and the sports section's front page, to Tiger's staged 14-minute apology.
The 85% had nine fewer pages to read.
Yes, world media were watching, but with 85% saying nyet, you have to wonder just how many newspaper readers, television viewers, Internet surfers and radio listeners give a damn.
In a nutshell, Tiger screwed up, he has apologized, now back to the golf course.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:45
"I suspect his two years (so far) in the Coleman Complex have made him a better person, and has certainly improved the lives of some inmates who, without him, would not have the beginnings of an education and a better life they have acquired through him," Worthington writes.
"He seems to get along with everyone. His success in teaching English, and leading political discussions, and lecturing on American history, stems in part from his sense of humour and irreverence - but also because he’s an inmate, too."
As a “teacher,” Conrad Black has shown a patience and empathy that previously one didn’t associate with him, says Worthington.
An interesting, recommended read.
From a Lord and media baron to a low security prison inmate/teacher/columnist affecting the lives of his incarcerated students, that true story has all the makings of a Hollywood movie.
How the movie would end is another story. Black is awaiting an appeal of his 6 1/2 year sentence.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:18
Saturday, 20 February 2010
The Toronto Sun went with Gordon Lightfoot, 71, not being dead after all, despite Thursday's radio, online news and tweet reports of his demise.
Lightfoot's front page smile delighted longtime fans of the iconic Canadian singer/songwriter, so the front was good for 5 points.
Clearly, the Toronto Sun is not in a Winter Olympics frame of mind. Did the assault on reporter Ian Robertson during the torch run sour editors?
As for comments to TSF about the hometowns of medal winners making a difference in front page news decisions, the athletes are not representing their hometowns or provinces.
They are representing Canada.
Did Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg hesitate because the gold in Friday's front went to Christine Nesbitt, a skater from London, Ontario? Nope.
Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa same photo/headline
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:25
Friday, 19 February 2010
We thought we had heard it all from TSF tipsters after three years of Sun Media/Quebecor postings, but stop the presses, folks.
A tipster says Sun Media has decided to award performance points to newsroom employees, but the motivation remains unclear.
"I presume it's to compare reporter performance from paper to paper, although it has not been made clear to us," says the tipster.
Reporters earn points for how many stories they file each day. You also get points for things like photos, videos, tweets, briefs, special features.
The tipster provided a partial list of points to be awarded:
A story is 2 points; A photo is 2 points; A brief is .5 points; Special features are 4 points; Columns are 3 points; Videos are 2 points; Web posts are .5 points; "Writethroughs" are .5 points; Tweets are .5 points (minimum 5 tweets).
If Sun Media is serious about this, how will the accumulated points awarded to overworked journalists in understaffed newsrooms be used? Will top performers win a trip to Disneyland? Will bottom performers be shown the door?
It is not clear if the new point system launched in Ontario will become chain-wide or is restricted to selected newsrooms, but one newsroom is one too many in our books.
It sounds humiliating.
Earn those points, people, earn those points.
Shades of Glengarry Glen Ross, especially the last few words in the following YouTube clip.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:25
And then there were none.
Elliot is talking about John "Jack" Babcock, Canada's last known First World War veteran, who died Thursday at 109 in Spokane, Wash., two years after regaining Canadian citizenship.
The story says Babcock, born in Holleford north of Kingston in 1900, marched down Princess Street in Kingston on his way to war at age 15. He turned 109 last July.
Elliot does Babcock justice in his lengthy obit.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:56
Thursday, 18 February 2010
So who had the Winter Olympics spirit with Canada's second gold win Tuesday by snowboard cross competitor Maelle Ricker of North Vancouver?
Well, let's see:
Edmonton Sun (our fave)
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:59
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
But from internal memos sent to Sun Media employees recently, few, if any, Sun reps will be in play for the 2010 Ink & Beyond conference, the National Newspaper Awards, Canadian Community Newspaper Awards and Ontario Community Newspaper Association Awards.
A CNW Group press release says CCNAs will be awarded at the Sheraton Centre Hotel on May 13 and the NNAs and OCNAs will be awarded May 14.
If any Sun Media employees are in attendance as potential award winners, it will be on their own dime and time.
More than 300 CEOs, publishers, editors and corporate executives are expected to attend the Ink & Beyond conference.
John Paton, a former Sun Media exec named Editor & Publisher's 2009 Publisher of the Year, will be one of the guest speakers.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 16:18
The Leafs haven't been front and centre on the Stanley Cup podium since 1967 and so far this season continue to embrace the basement in overall standings.
But Leafs fronts keep on coming.
What is the logic in devoting so much time, energy and space to a team that has been out of the No. 1 spot for more than four decades?
Meanwhile, here's to Sun sportswriter Alison Korn for putting Steve Buffery in his place in yesterday's Sun. You can come second and be proud of your performance.
We would applaud second place for the Leafs, or third, or fourth and be proud of their performance, but it just isn't happening.
Sun logic says the Leafs should not be front page material until they are No. 1, but Sun editors are an illogical bunch these days.
Wake us when the Leafs are out of the cellar and contenders once again.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:41
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
"I must admit, the notion for this column is courtesy of Mike Strobel of the Toronto Sun," says Corcoran. "And I remind him that plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery.
"I'm not stealing his column and making it my own, but just his idea."
His Bruce Corcoran finds include an American doctor, an AIG executive and an Australian blogger.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:43
The Finger's Twist, published by Turnstone Press, has been receiving positive reviews. It is his second crime novel.
You can read some of the reviews here.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:27
Monday, 15 February 2010
Today is no exception. Winter Olympics gold, five for five with front page layout variations, indicating editors still do have some freedoms.
Toronto and Ottawa Suns
TSF hasn't received a response from Toronto Sun editors re Sunday Sun's lack of a Jennifer Heil's silver win front, or any coverage of Heil's win inside for that matter.
If ridiculously early Sunday Sun deadlines are to blame, how do they manage to get losing Leafs on the front the morning after Saturday night games?
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:45
We were impressed by Sun fronts for most of the week, but Sunday's Get Lost! front page story about e-mails left us befuddled and just plain duddled.
What were they thinking? Apparently, they weren't.
Ottawa, Calgary, Winnipeg and Edmonton editors got it right and all of their fronts were submitted to newseum.org's selection of world-wide front pages.
And, as you will notice, there was variation in their "silver" front pages
Toronto did not submit its front to newseum.org. Just as well because its embarrassing front page would have been surrounded by impressive Winter Olympics fronts.
Calgary and Ottawa were almost identical
All of the Suns will no doubt go front for Canada's first gold medal in Monday's editions, but then we thought Heil's performance rated no less.
Deadlines, bad judgment, whatever, the Toronto Sun blew it.
Meanwhile, twice in the past week the Toronto Sun surrendered all of Page 2 for an ad. What next?
The Toronto Sun has been much too erratic since the seasoned tabloid pros left for various reasons.
Give us the glory days when the men and women on the job were more consistent.
TSF invites the editors who packaged Toronto's Sunday front to explain this one away, anonymous or not.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:32
Thursday, 11 February 2010
The tipster writes:
"Apparently Sun Media in Niagara is going ahead with a plan to consolidate its editorial services, meaning several more hard-working reporters and editors are victims - but not in St. Catharines, where a silver spoon resides in the mouths of employees there.
"With Steve Gallagher's departure for Brantford, Gord Howard from Niagara Falls Review's night news desk moves to the St. Catharines Standard as his replacement. Gord has indeed fallen on his feet.
"The Review loses wire editor Brian Mann and community editor Lisa Rind, who is concerned her columnists and special weekly features, including an entire page written and produced by high school and college students, will fall by the wayside.
"The Welland Tribune loses reporters Maggie Riopelle, Mark Tayti and Wayne Campbell - three fewer experts to cover the Welland community.
"All will be missed as soon as the terminations take effect, which Sun Media says may not be until the end of February or early March.
"The Review's newsroom is apparently in contract negotiations right now. Brian and Lisa are two editorial union members. Let's hope they get their signing bonus, if negotiations wrap up before their termination takes effect.
"Since Gord moves to STC as early as next week, how long can it be before more reporters and editors find themselves in the same position as those mentioned here?
"Why do STC editors and reporters get to keep their jobs, with no open competition? Hardly fair, is it? But that's how SM operates - get used to it.
"Won't be long before there is only one paper in Niagara, but good luck on selling to three very different communities."
Thanks for the updates.
As in the Port Hope Evening Guide (Est. 1878), Cobourg Star (1831) and Colborne Chronicle (1959 from the ashes of the Colborne Express (1866) and Colborne Enterprise, (1886) being blended into one Northumberland Today paper last February.
Lots of flyers and Toronto-based Sun Media content, but minimal local news for the three communities to share.
Buying respected, established community newspapers and reducing them to glorified shopping flyers is not new. Dave Radler and his Sterling Newspapers did it in the 1970s.
What is it they say about what goes around, comes around?
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 00:14
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Not that there is anything wrong with that, the national story being killer tabloid fare.
And it has only just begun.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:55
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Forget printouts from the Internet. They lined up to buy print newspapers - by the tens of thousands, to be read, framed or tucked away for years as cherished souvenirs.
They lined up at the newspaper office, corner stores and newspaper boxes Monday morning, pushing sales to a record 500,000-plus for the 173-year-old newspaper.
"The newspaper, featuring a 5-inch-tall 'Amen!' headline to celebrate the Saints' Super Bowl victory, has already sold well over half a million copies, more than triple a normal Monday," says a story in the paper.
When the demand didn't ebb, the newspaper decided to keep the presses rolling and advised readers more copies would be available this morning at selected locations.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:17
The wording in Saturday's Starweek made it sound like only home subscribers would have access to the guide as of March 13.
The Sunday Sun went that route last year and we haven't seen a Sun TV guide since last February. But for Starweek, not so and that is good news.
If we had read all of the online story as well, we would have seen the comment from publisher John Cruickshank, who said Starweek "will still be included in all single copies sold in stores and newspaper boxes."
Starweek, the only TV guide being printed by the Toronto dailies, is the work of Gord Stimmell, the Toronto Sun's former TV guide editor, a tireless newsman who knows and loves the business.
We reach for our Starweek daily because Bell's on-screen satellite grid is hopelessly outdated in synopsis detail and is not always reliable. Like Diane Sawyer is no longer an anchor on Good Morning America, people.
A printed guide is our preference and we appreciate Stimmell's dedication to providing television listings for countless newspaper readers - for much of his 25 years at the Sunday Sun and all of his 11 years at the Star.
His new and improved Starweek is now a healthy 56 pages, up from 36, and we're lovin' it.
Stimmell and Star execs appear to be the only print media people aware that the hordes of baby boomers now dominating the Canadian landscape were raised in front of TVs, eating TV dinners and relying on weekly TV guides.
Old habits die hard with folks long settled in their ways and a printed TV guide remains a habit.
So on behalf of readers who buy their newspapers at stores and newspaper boxes across the province, thank you Gord Stimmell and long live Starweek.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 01:29
Monday, 8 February 2010
The CTV Ottawa blaze that destroyed the building and much of its contents leaves us wondering how many print and broadcast media outlets have backups of irreplaceable files and videos. “The news archives are gone,” said one staffer. A TV station without its past.
A fun Sunday Sun column was Mike Strobel's self-Googling, cleverly titled Meet the Strobels. "Ignoring warnings about going blind, I’ve been Googling myself for the past few hours," Mike writes. His "Mike Strobel" hunt produced rock stars, gamers and spies.
Happy 100th to the Boy Scouts of America. As Cubs and Scouts we were taught to Be Prepared and most times we were, but we were not prepared for the media upheaval of the past decade.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:26
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Chief photographer Sue Bradnam parted company on Jan. 29, trimming the photography staff to four - down from eight less than a decade ago.
On Friday, staff said farewell to reporter Joe Matyas and deskers Ralph Bridgland and Tom Bogart.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:05
Saturday, 6 February 2010
It has an inviting ring to it, but sad to say the Globe's first Sunday print media market entry will be brief and confined to British Columbia.
A CNW Group press release says the Sunday Globe and Mail will be published Feb. 14, 21 and 28 to expand its coverage of the Winter Olympics.
"The Olympic Winter Games will be an historic moment for
We've often wondered why the Globe and Mail was reluctant to publish Sundays after the Toronto Sun entered the market on Sept. 16, 1973, and the Toronto Star on Oct. 16, 1977.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:21
Thursday, 4 February 2010
A Canadian Press story says Adrien Veczan, 24, has had photos in the Toronto Star and Sydney Morning Herald and will join CP later this year as a paid six-week intern.
The award was created by CP and the Canadian Journalism Foundation to "preserve the professional legacy of one of Canada's best-loved news photographers."
Graeme Roy, the news agency's director of news photography, said Veczan's portfolio was selected from a strong pool of applicants.
"We had an incredibly positive response to the award; the volume of submissions we received far exceeded our expectations," Roy said.
The CP story says Veczan received congratulations from Hanson's widow, Catherine.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 14:02
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Watch the computer screen of the man seated behind the financial expert (Martin Lakos) who is being interviewed live by Chris Bath at Australia's 7 News.
You can read the London Free Press story here.
Is that "gotcha" as bad as Sun Media employees being caught on tape reading TSF at work?
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 01:23
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
A current eBay posting by an Oakville seller is asking $16.95US, with free shipping.
The book, a rare find these days, is a collection of Paul's 52 best Toronto Sun columns.
Rimmer, always appreciative of his readers, probably would have delivered it personally, driving up in Rusty Rita with Miss Hinky in the car.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 18:32
Monday, 1 February 2010
It was largely thumbs down for paying for online news, with "so much free news out there."
As one woman says: "No way. We don't have to pay for anything online."
You said it, lady.
Take note of the support for print media in the street poll.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:20