CORNWALL Ontario – Today Corus Radio shut down The Cornwall Daily.com; essentially cutting down its local newsroom in Cornwall. Three jobs were lost including,most likely, news director Bill Kingston who also represented the station as a member of the board of the Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce; a position he’d have to step down from if not with the station any longer.
Mayor Kilger was speculated to be holding a grudge against the station since newsie Eric Spence let him have it over the budget process.
It’s city council’s main responsibility. Once a year they decide how to spend your tax dollars, my tax dollars. The budget process finished up yesterday and I sat through the entire thing for three and half days. It was …well….it was an experience. Councillor Andre Rivette seems to be the only one who is willing to cut spending. Glen Grant is a stickler for procedures. Bernadette Clement doesn’t get the respect she deserves. Denis Thibault is well-prepared and Denis Carr is pretty good at keeping everyone in line. But, I want to talk about Mayor Bob Kilger. +
The good ‘ol Mayor, who makes upwards of 50 grand a year of taxpayer money, strolls in 15 minutes late to Tuesday’s meeting. If I’m 15 minutes late, my boss ain’t happy. But maybe Kilger thinks he doesn’t have a boss – well, guess what, we, the tax payers are your boss. We pay your salary. So, Kilger, get your butt to work on time and try to fix this city which, oh by the way, has the lowest per capita income in the province – maybe you should try to do something about that? And then, during the meetings, the mayor spends half the time ignoring the presentations and whispering to other councilors or to city staff. What, is this process not interesting to you, Mr. Mayor? Are you bored? You show up late, you talk while others are talking – if this were school, you’d be in the principal’s office, where you belong, wetting your pants.
Mr. Spence commented to CFN from Toronto where he now resided:
Bill, Jesse and the other reporters at TheCornwallDaily.com have done a great job over the past few years. They have a passion for delivering the news to the community of Cornwall. It is my understanding that they were unaware that TheCornwallDaily.com would be shut down until they came into work today when they were suddenly told that it was their last day.
I am sure that this was not a decision that was made at the local level. The Cornwall staff of Corus Entertainment are hard-working individuals who have a strong commitment to each other. They are great ambassadors for the company and the community. However, the decision makers at Corus Entertainment who sit in their offices in Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto should be ashamed of themselves for treating TheCornwallDaily.com team like garbage.
It’s hard for small-town media to survive in the current marketplace and if shutting down TheCornwallDaily.com was the best business decision, I do not fault Corus Entertainment for that.
However, nothing justifies firing employees on the spot with no warning when this decision has obviously been discussed for some time. These are people with mortgages, leases and ties to the City of Cornwall that can’t be broken easily.
Unfortunately, Corus Entertainment sees them like nothing more than employee numbers on a spreadsheet. Their actions are callous and extremely disrespectful. I wish the former staff of TheCornwallDaily.com great success in the future and hopefully they can join an organization that treats them better.
Since that morning share on the last day Mr. Spence worked for Corus the buzz was that the mayor’s temper was on full flare. If anyone has followed what his temper has led to regarding the boycott of CFN, the largest newspaper in our city; you can only imagine the impact to Corus.
It’s been over one year since I asked CFO Maureen Adams for a break down of how the City of Cornwall spent its $275,000 plus dollars in 2013; but if Corus lost ad dollars that certainly would have fueled the decision of the Corporate giant to pull the plug on three jobs in this city. Even councilor Dupelle tried to help. At the end of being jerked around for a year Ms Adams sent me an application to file an Freedom of Information Claim.
Ironically the shutting down of “the daily” comes on the day that The Freeholder (Sun Media) and Seaway News (TC media) both ran stories about the mayor stating that he was going to run again for election even though his office is across the hall from clerk Helen Finn. It’s not like he’d have far to go on the days he actually is in Cornwall. Both companies benefit from a deal to put out glossy magazines promoting the city full of City connected ads.
The Mayor’s good buddy Claude McIntosh had written that the mayor was going to run this past winter. After that miss he stated the mayor would announce after the election and that Pat Finucan (the President of the Police Board) would return as his campaign manager. Now this non-statement by the mayor when all he has to do is simply sign his forms.
Now, with the Provincial election over, this muted non announcement that he will be running again, without actually running, on the day that three more jobs are lost in the city under his watch is up there with his announcement that he was not guilty of conflict of interest because his lawyer said so.
And of course Closed Meeting Investigator Stephen Fournier’s report will most likely condemn his actions in having the Waterfront Committee move into a closed meeting without an announcement first. His response to media on that oopsie was that committee members needed more training when the Chair, Lee Cassidy clearly asked for advice with the Mayor and two long serving veteran councilors in attendance.
It’s yet another example about why truly local media have a role to play in any community and why they should be fairly treated if not out and out supported. How on earth can some businesses shout about supporting local business and buy local like that wacky Alan Wilson and then not do so themselves?
How do we find out the truths in the world if media will not cover them without fear of losing their income and ability to survive?
What do you think Cornwall? You can post your comments below.
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