Sunday, March 31, 2019

The story of a successful legislatures newsletter

Megan O'Toole writes in J-Source:
"In the late summer of 2017, after months of contraction and dozens of layoffs in the Canadian media industry, Allison Smith’s digital newsletter service was growing.
"Smith, the founder and publisher of the Ontario legislative chronicle Queen’s Park Today, saw her chance to launch a sister outlet in British Columbia, where a provincial election had resulted in a dramatic power shift: An NDP-Green coalition had taken office after 16 years of Liberal rule. Smith issued a call for reporters, and B.C. journalist Shannon Waters answered it, coming on board just in time to cover the throne speech on Sept. 8, 2017.
"Since then, Smith has hired five additional staff members – a salesperson, a copy editor, a part-time news editor and two more reporters – and launched a third legislative newsletter in Alberta. Her revenues have doubled in the past year as she has transitioned from a one-woman, Ontario-based operation to a fully fledged, cross-country news service."
 Full story

Former Rob Ford chief of staff Mark Towhey will be replacing James Wallace, who left to become deputy chief of staff for Doug Ford

Canadaland reports that on Friday pundit and commentator Mark Towhey announced on Twitter that he was to be the new editor-in-chief of Sun News, responsible for the Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Calgary Sun newspapers. After helping elect Ford to the Toronto mayoralty, and serving in his office as director of policy and strategy and later chief of staff, Towhey co-authored a book — Mayor Rob Ford: Uncontrollable – How I Tried to Help the World’s Most Notorious Mayor — that both detailed his knowledge of Ford’s frequently dangerous, abusive, and illegal activities, as well as his efforts to cover them up in the press and keep the mayor’s reelection viable. (In the book, he maintained that he never lied on the mayor’s behalf, merely dissembled.)
He later helped run Patrick Brown’s successful campaign for the leadership of the PC Party of Ontario but did not follow him to Queen’s Park. Brown subsequently wrote in his own book that, once he became leader, he had the party’s lawyer draft confidentiality agreements for his staff so that they “could not do to me what Mark Towhey, former chief of staff to Ford, did to the mayor of Toronto, namely, write a book about Ford’s time in office.”
Since November 2013, Towhey has hosted a Sunday afternoon show on Toronto’s Newstalk 1010, a job which he indicated he will be continuing. He has also acted as a consultant, obtaining a $100,000 sole-sourced contract from the Town of Caledon, Ontario, in 2015.

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