Summerheights Golf, Cornwall, Ontario

Death of a newsroom, end of an era

Claude McIntosh ~ Mac's Musings
Death of a newsroom, end of an era
Claude McIntosh.

I once worked for an editor who called the newsroom the heart and soul of the daily newspaper business.

He was fond of reminding folks in the advertising and circulation departments, “You guys sell the tickets; we are the show.”

I remember a publisher moving his office to the newsroom because, as he put it, “This is where the action is.”
But come later this summer, the Standard-Freeholder, under orders from the bean counters in Postmedia HQ as it wiggles in a financial vice, will close down its newsroom when it vacates the old Courtaulds office building at 1150 Montreal Rd., where it set up shop after selling 44 Pitt St.

It is another, and not the last, cost-cutting move. The five-day-a-week print edition is on life support.

The orphaned editorial staff – all four – along with the six or seven other full-time employees (in the 1980s the S-F had around 100 full-time employees) – will become remote workers, doing the newspaper business from their homes.

The S-F home base will become a postal box.

For sure, in debt-riddled Postmedia, this isn’t just happening at the S-F. Other small dailies in the chain will be doing the same as leases expire.
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Great comeback the other night by a CNN reporter during an interview with Donald Trump’s (new) campaign manager, Hogan Gidley.

When Brianna Keilar pointed out that things are so bad with COVID-19 in the United States, that “even Canada doesn’t want us.” It was a reference to Canada extending the ban on U.S. visitors.

Trump’s man shot back, “Not sure why you’d want to go to Canada when we live in the greatest country on the planet.”

She shot back, “If you want to get away from the coronavirus you might (want to go to Canada).”
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Many years ago the master of ceremonies of a dinner in Cornwall attended by about 250 people got the name of a prominent Cornwall doctor, who attended to receive a donation from the annual fund-raising event, mixed up with one of the head table guests, a Canadian Football League player, a wide receiver with the Ottawa Rough Riders. Both were black.

When somebody in the audience yelled out, “You’ve the wrong guy,” the master of ceremonies came back with, “Well, they both look the same (ha-ha).”

A lot of folks thought it was funny.
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Thoughts and prayers are with former Cornwall Royals superstar and NHL Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk who is back in his fight against stomach cancer. His son, Eric, tweeted on the weekend that “We are praying for him and he will continue to fight hard.”

The 57-year-old Barrie Colts coach was diagnosed with cancer last August and completed chemo treatments in April that followed surgery. At that time it was believed that he had overcome the disease.

In a statement issued last week, the Winnipeg Jets said, “We know that all of Jets Nation stands with him. Dale always faced his toughest opponents head-on, and we know this will once again be no different.”

In the statement, the Jets, who drafted Hawerchuk first overall as an 18-year-old in the 1981 draft, called him “one of the greatest players to ever wear the Jets uniform.”

He was inducted into the hall of fame in 2001.
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THIS WEEK 1965 – When it came time to bring a prisoner from the police cells to the upstairs court room there was a little problem. The keys to the cells couldn’t be found. While Magistrate P. C. Bergeron recessed court, a search party of court employees and police officers hunted for the missing keys. About an hour later the misplaced keys were found and court was back in session. … A new two-year contract gave the 150 Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members employed by the city hourly wage increases that totalled 13 cents. Employees with 30 or more years service were eligible for four weeks paid vacation. … Cornwall’s newest industry was gearing up for full production by the end of August. Morbern Industries was starting with 45 employees but David Bloomfield, vice-president and manager, said the plant expected to have 150 employees within two years. Morbern was a subsidiary of Service Plastics and Chemicals founded in 1951 by Bloomfield’s father, Morris, and Bernard Stein. ….
Armed with a 1,000-name petition a citizens’ group was asking Charlottenburgh Township council to set up a ward system. … Cornwall hotel owners were welcoming a regulation change that allowed beverage rooms to stay open from noon to closing. Before the change they had to close from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. …. The city parks and recreation committee said it would “study” a proposal by Cornwall Royals for construction of a new dressing room at the Water Street Arena. The club would pay for construction. The committee agreed to allow the club to sell booster (season) tickets: 18 games for $20. … Wayne Froats pitched a two-hitter and struck out eight as Lloyd-George Wharfmen blanked Massena Diamond Horseshoe 2-0 in a North End Fastball League game. Laurier Tranchemontagne had a single and double off losing pitcher John Dineen who gave up four hits. … Ron Ward was leading the Quebec Lacrosse League scoring race with 105 points on 61 goals and 44 assists. His Drummondville teammate Terry Riley, also of Cornwall, was second with 89 points on 57 goals and 32 assists. … Maggie Terrance was entertaining patrons at the Northway Hotel’s Algonquin Room. … The Tri-Tones were playing at the WYBG teen dance at the Water Street Arena.

HERE AND THERE For schools returning in September, social distancing could be a challenge on school buses. … Film-maker Spike Lee refers to Donald Trump as “Agent Orange”. … One of the contenders to become Toronto’s next police chief is Deputy Chief Shawna Coxon. The 21-year veteran holds three university degrees, one of them a PhD. She has a bachelor of arts (with honours) in psychology. With the way policing is headed, she will need it. … Nice touch: A message taped to a blue box in the Riverdale area read, “Thanks for the service.” So easy to overlook how hard these guys work. No room for slackers on this job. … Surprised that federal NDP Leader Jameet Singh didn’t dust off his “F … Cops” sign and head to Toronto for the anti-police protests. … In a Toronto newspaper poll, only 22% of respondents said they planned to watch NHL playoffs in August.

HITS AND MISSES When COVID-19 case counting started back in March, health experts warned that the 70-plus group would be the most vulnerable. So far, in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit jurisdiction the 70-plus group accounts for 39 of the 174 reported cases. … The more I see of Joe Biden and watch his poll numbers soar, the more I think that it is not about voting for the former vice-president but voting against Donald Trump. Has anybody considered “None of the Above”. … Shortly after he was elected, Trump installed a team of spiritual advisers of the extreme evangelical stripe. They include Rev. Ken Copeland who claims he has the ability to destroy the virus because the power of the Lord works through him, which might explain why back in March the prez said the virus would magically disappear. He should have been listening to Dr. Fauci, not the preacher. Then there is Rev. Ralph Drollinger. He preaches that God has used the virus to punish America for a long list of moral depravations. Thought his was a global epidemic. Maybe God is just mad at the whole world.

TRIVIA In 1977 city council approved borrowing $4.8 million for this purchase.

TRIVIA ANSWER Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Ontario Premier Bill Davis took part in the official opening of the Cornwall Civic Complex in October 1976.

QUOTED “Some cause happiness where ever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde

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