If you are a Toronto Sun Day Oner and have a bio or memories to share, please email with a photo.
Friday, 30 September 2011
If you are a Toronto Sun Day Oner and have a bio or memories to share, please email with a photo.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:48
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
TORONTO - The Toronto Sun scored a hat trick in the latest readership study of this city’s newspapers. While our chief rival continued to show stagnant newspaper readership growth, the Sun saw stellar results in our daily, Saturday and Sunday products.
A Canadian Press story
TORONTO - At least three-quarters of the adults in major Canadian cities read either a printed or online edition of a daily newspaper each week, a readership study published Wednesday by NADbank Inc. suggests.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 17:36
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:57
Monday, 26 September 2011
Former Toronto Sun employees working at other Suns were flown in for the party, a surreal event that at times - think merry-go-round - felt like the set of a Fellini movie.
The glory years? You betcha.
Why spend money to reward employees for making the company millions? Newspaper people like Creighton and Worthington understood the dividends for rewarding the people who helped make the Sun a success. Loyalty, a sense of reward for dedication to the job etc.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 20:12
I'm referring to the selling out of the Sunshine Girl.
Today's Girl was wearing a T-shirt with big logo across the front. The caption actually mentioned the brand of boots she was wearing which (surprise!) was the same brand as the t-shirt logo. And look! By sheer coincidence, right next to the Girl, there's a half-page ad for the exact same brand of boots.
There's nothing wrong with the Sunshine Girl promoting a charity or appropriate fundraiser. But turning it into an outright commercial ad?
Back in 2000, I spoke with two managers and one vice-president at the Sun: if an advertiser wanted to use the Girl to (subtlety) promote its interests, (e.g. wear a t-shirt with their logo on it), it should cost at least $10,000, with the girl getting $1,000. The Sun folks just laughed and said they would never sell the Girl.
I pointed out several examples when the Girl was used to promote commercial products, as a result of a "direct request" from either the Sun CEO, Sun publisher or other senior Sun manager. All of those were done as personal favours for friends of those Sun executives. It benefited no one but those Sun executives and their corporate friends.
Sun Media interests before readers' interest.
Let's recap: the Sun now sells out the Sunshine Girl, the front page, the homes section, the auto section, the travel section, some of the sports section and some of the news section.
It's time the entire Toronto Sun newspaper came with the disclaimer "Advertisement".
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 18:10
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 01:12
Friday, 23 September 2011
Michael Den Tandt, managing editor of his hometown Owen Sound Sun Times and a Sun Media op-ed columnist, is moving on, says a TSF tipster.
His most recent column online is from Sept. 13.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 18:37
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:57
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Cal's new book, I'm Missing - Please Find Me, released yesterday, updates 350 unsolved missing persons cases across North America, giving police, Crime Stoppers, relatives and friends new hope of closure.
The 448-page book includes updates of unsolved Ontario cases involving the vanishings of children, including Marianne Schuett, who was 10 when she vanished in April of 1967, and Cameron March, who was four when he vanished in 1975. Both lived in the Burlington area.
"Got word yesterday that one of the cases in the book has been solved, so obviously there is hope for others," Cal tells TSF.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:09
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
My memories of the Toronto Sun actually start well before I worked there. Back when I went to U of T, I drew editorial cartoons for The Varsity (where ex-Sun biz columnist Maryana Lewyckyj was a contributor).
After graduation, in the early '80s, I called Andy Donato and arranged to bring in a portfolio of cartoons. I remember he was very friendly and complimentary and then cheerfully pointed out that I was basically asking for his job and showed me the door. That should have been my first clue.
Many years later - 15 or so - Claire Bickley called up and asked if I wanted her job covering TV at the paper. Claire knew me from working press tours together back when I covered the beat for TV Guide. The job wasn’t really hers to give - I had to meet with Kathy Brooks and John Kryk and trick them into hiring me - but things worked out and I’ll always have Claire to thank.
This was the fall of 1999. Already everyone was starting every sentence with, “You should have been here when this place was fun.” Paul Godfrey had already fleeced the place and ran. Quebecor had taken over and folks were so relieved it wasn’t the Star.
I was there one week and our little entertainment section was invited to sit in the Sun box for a Leaf game.
“Geez,” I said to Bruce Kirkland, “This is awesome. How often does this happen?”
Kirkland said this was his second time ever. The first time he went they were still called the St. Pats.
The truth was there were always ways to score Leaf tickets and Jays tickets at the Sun. Argo tickets - hell, you got them if you came in late.
A month or so into the job, just before Christmas, we all get called up to the sixth floor. There’s an old dude there shaking hands and handing everyone envelopes stuffed with cash. I felt like Mulroney at an Airbus convention! Then these Sunshine Girls handed everyone brandy in a plastic cup. Later on there was a Christmas bonus in the mail. This place was awesome.
Back then employees were even offered a sabbatical every 10 years. Mine came after seven.
It was especially fun being tucked way back in entertainment. I always thought the Sun got less and less impressive the closer you got to my desk. There was a pretty grand reception area, a fancy staircase, then a series of doors like on Get Smart, then a bunch of people working on old metal desks that had fallen off a truck around 1973. The desks, not the people.
I never even knew there were other sections of the paper. Every now and then I’d spot this red-faced guy who was sort of in charge over there. There was a nice man with a beard who was editor for a while; he used to hand out free submarine sandwiches.
It was a time of great transition at the paper. The first year I arrived, everybody smoked. Two years later, nobody smoked. I missed all the drinking and sex, too. What the hell, I was promised sex with Barbara Amiel (even though she had left the paper by then; it was still supposed to happen). I didn’t even get groped by Valerie Gibson.
Although I did get to interview the Naked News chicks. Any hot babe with a TV show was always gold at the Sun. It was such an adjustment later when I'd send copy to the Canadian Press and see Sun phrases such as "balloon-breasted bimbo Pamela Anderson" changed to "Canadian-born actress Pamela Anderson."
It was great fun camping in that forgotten corner of the office with Claire, Kirkland, Jim Slotek, Liz Braun, Bobby Thompson, Jane Stevenson, John Coulbourn (holy cow could he rip a publicist in two on the phone) and, later, Bill Harris and Steve Tilley. It was like being in detention with all the smart people. Liz made me laugh the entire 90 minutes she came in every day.
The layout guys were pretty cool too. I see half of them now every time I walk into the Star newsroom. Bob Bishop and Derek Tse made that weekend magazine sing; Kryk threw himself into it too. It was the best entertainment magazine in the city no one outside of Sun readers ever saw.
Kathy Brooks was gold, just the best copy editor ever, fixed everything I wrote. If she had edited this she would have taken out the Amiel reference. Beyond that, she was a great listener, a smart cookie and had all those stories. She brought a lot of heart to the place.
Later on, Sherri Wood stole all our hearts and then, so soon, broke them. Boy she was special. I really wanted to see what was going to happen for her next.
Wish I had had more time to get to know Jerry Gladman too, he was always a great read and died with such remarkable courage.
I learned a lot at the Sun and will always be grateful for being given such freedom to find my voice. I have also found there was great value having worked there; it upped my street cred, as the kids say, strengthened my brand.
In some ways, though, I only really felt part of the Sun once I was fired.
That was the little paper I remembered reading as a high school student. Every other day, Peter Worthington would fire Paul Rimstead. I wanted to get fired by Peter Worthington. He would have hired me back.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 18:38
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:45
Monday, 19 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:55
I was hired after an interview with Les Pyette in December 1978. He looked at my clips then asked the critical question: Do you have a car and a camera? Yes, I said. "Okay, you'll start at $275 a week," he said.
My friends and I had rented a chalet in ski country for the season so I spent New Years up there partying and then was to report for work at 2 p.m. on Jan. 1, 1979. I drove through a massive snowstorm from Collingwood, talking my way past OPP roadblocks and down into the city where Lee Lester was on the city desk.
There are so many memories of growing up there. Getting married, having kids, getting divorced . . . doing stupid things I wish I hadn't, struggling to keep my mouth shut and my temper under control, neither of which I was very good at.
Working with some great people along the way: Mike Simpson, Bob Burt, Cam Norton, Lloyd Kemp, Bob Vezina, David Kendall, Bill Dunphy, Peter Young, Linda B, the photogs. I might as well just name the entire roster over the years.
I remember typing (!) a letter to Doug Creighton complaining the newsroom raise that year - somewhere around 1982 - was a little meagre and cited the Star's package and, of course, the famous promise: The smallest and best paid newsroom. He wrote back and agreed and threw all of us some extra dough.
Try that today. Or Doug taking Heather Bird and I to lunch at Winston's for no reason other than we'd flippantly mentioned at some event we'd never been to Winston's.
PS, thank you for undertaking the TSF site. I always check in and I hope you'll call out for someone to take it over from you. You've done a wonderful thing these past five years.
"Bark with Byte"
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 15:38
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:47
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Although not a day one photographer, I was around for the launch, cruising downtown with a scanner, hoping for the big one.
It was five years later that I joined the staff of the Sun, now located on King St. E., starting out as a two-way on the police desk, replacing Al Craig, who had decided to join the Toronto Fire Department.
A year later, I was a full-time photographer and enjoyed the freedom of working out of my car. I found out that being a reporter left you chained to a desk too much.
The dread I mentioned comes from the fact that the paper could be gone at any moment, the massive newsroom we had in the early years squeezed into a much smaller space. Euphoria comes from remembering the days of big stories and scooping the Star, which was often.
I have just come back from a lunch with the Toronto EMS pioneers. This is a group of retirees and those with long service. I was inducted as an honourary member because of the special relationship I had built up over many years.
I started meeting up with the EMS supervisors for coffee when working the night shift, or whenever we could meet up during a day shift. We usually got together at any big incidents and that relationship paid off in spades.
There were many stories I fed to the newsroom, with information from a supervisor, something that wasn’t on the radios.
I enjoyed chasing news, as it was the foundation of our tabloid roots.
I garnered over 20 awards during my time at the Sun, including the first NNA for photography in 1979.
And I enjoyed working with a great bunch of photographers and reporters too numerous to mention. You know who you are.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 19:23
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 04:39
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:48
Friday, 16 September 2011
“This would be a good time to look and act sharp.
“This would probably not be a good time to tell the boss how much better we would be if we had this many more reporters or this or that piece of equipment, etc.
“At least for those 90 minutes, you like the new emphasis on the mobile newsroom and the concept of the mobile multimedia journalist. You think the newsroom redesign will help us be that kind of newsroom. Etc.
“Which brings me around to a couple of bits of non-boss-visit news: Laptops have been approved for reporters and the re-do of the newsroom is slated for the weekend of Sept. 24-5, more details to come on that and the weekend may yet change.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 17:25
With all of the talk of "freedom" in the Sun and on Sun News, take the time to read the jaw-dropping, shameful leaked LFP management memo to newsroom employees about what they should say - and not say - during a pending visit by PKP.
McLeod says in his blog PKP's scheduled visit in late August was cancelled, so the newsroom didn't get the opportunity to say only what PKP wants to hear.
"What’s this? PKP, owner of more Canadian newspapers than any other person in this country, doesn’t like to hear the other side, get all the facts, engage in a little debate?"
Yes, dear TSF readers, that is why we chuckle whenever Sun columnists and the Sun News hordes spout "freedom" as if they have it as employees of Sun Media.
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 16:41
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 04:18
(Peter Worthington helped curb pension payments to mass murderer Clifford Olson, perhaps Michele and her readers can campaign for an end to the Internet in prisons.)
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:28
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 04:31
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
All things Quebecor, by Kai Nagata, CTV News' former Quebec City bureau chief, for The Tyee.
Part 1: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/09/12/Nagata_Quebec_Warning/
Part 2: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/09/13/Kai-Nagata-Warnings-Part-2/
Part 3: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/09/14/Roots_Of_Fox_North/
Part 3, Page 2: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/09/14/Roots_Of_Fox_North/index1.html
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:37
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 04:16
Monday, 12 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 05:56
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 03:29
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 05:13
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Posted by Toronto Sun Family at 02:03