Monday, October 31, 2011

Challenging the status quo for 40 years

TORONTO - In the newspaper industry, anniversaries are just about the only occasion when we can afford the luxury of looking back at what once was.

When the Sun launched, in 1971, pundits gave it little chance to succeed.

Newspapers were failing, The Toronto Telegram having just closed down to pave the way for the Sun.

Television was gaining a stronger foothold and many wondered whether newspapers stood a chance against such a snappy new medium.

Others warned that society was changing and that the days of mass media were over, soon to give way to niche media that would cater to an ever-widening array of tastes and lifestyles.

Well, all of this happened, in one form or another, but the Sun is still here.

The difference is that, 40 years later, we don’t just worry about television or the Internet, we are on television and on the Internet, as well as on smartphones, tablets and we will be on whatever other device the future brings our way.

Today, for example, the Toronto Sun has an e-edition.

Who could have foreseen, 40 years ago, that you would one day be able to read the Sun in its printed layout in the Tokyo metro at the exact same time as someone riding the bus to work in Toronto?

RSS feeds, social networks, blogs and other such tools are also contributing to making the newspaper industry at the same time one of Canada’s oldest and youngest industries.

Fortunately, seizing opportunities has always been at the heart of Sun Media’s vision.

It just so happens that opportunities now go well beyond the printed page.

One such opportunity has been the launch of Sun News Network.

We looked at the sedate Canadian market for television news and saw an opportunity to shake it up in just the same way that the Sun had upended the newspaper market in Toronto.

When the Toronto Sun launched in 1971, it created its own style: Populist, irreverent, sometimes provocative but always close to its readers.

This innovative style now pervades everything that bears the Sun name, including Sun News.

On the occasion of this important milestone, let us celebrate the Toronto Sun, its staff and its unbeatable journalistic team for all the hard work they put into making the Sun brand synonymous with challenging the status quo and watching out for the interests of ordinary citizens.

I also wish to thank all the readers who have put their trust in us for 40 years.

I know we haven’t let you down.

Peladeau is president and CEO of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc.,

Sun Media Corporation

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