Monday, October 16, 2006

The Deathstar

The Toronto Star's owners have replaced its publisher and its editor with two very, very interesting specimens. Jadoga Pike is a "human resources" expert. She's now the publisher. Fred Kuntz, who I've known since the mid-70s, is the new editor. Fred has a well-deserved reputation as a hard-ass company man, an executive rather than an artiste.
Things are going to get very unpleasant at 1 Yonge.
Maybe that's what the Star needs. These are two people who are very concerned with business and have little time for out-of-office politics. Kuntz replaces Gilles Geirson, a policy wonk who let the paper drift. Ghierson replaced John Honderich, a very odd duck who inspired loyalty in his friends and contempt from everyone else. Honderich, for a time, let Jim Travers hold the reins. Travers worried more about finding jobs for his Ottawa Citizen and Southam pals than putting out a great newspaper.
I don't think Kuntz will be a great editor, in a journalistic sense. His hiring signals a retrenchment, a consolidation, one that will come after the cuts that have been signalled by today's executions.

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