10:30 p.m., Feb. 2)
The history of the Orléans Star pt. 2; the
By Mike Beasley
The Orléans Star
is the second in a series of articles celebrating the
30th anniversary of The Orléans Star. This article
takes us from the sale of the paper to Cogeco subsidiary
Dumont Publications in 1987 to 1992.)
the Orléans Stars founder and original
owner Larry Soulliere sold the community newpaper to Dumont
Publications in 1987, major changes were in the works starting
with the appointment of Gordon Brewerton as the papers
Brewerton served as publisher of the Orléans
Star from 1987 to 1996. File photo
was recruited from his job at Publications Dumont in Montreal
and faced the task of taking the paper, which in those
days was known simply as The Star, to another level,
which he did with flying colours.
was excited to be offered my first publishing job at the
age of 26, so I moved from my hometown of Montreal to
Ottawa. Brewerton recalls.
wasnt an easy start for the aspiring publisher in
the Nations Capital. When he showed up to work he
faced a severe potential staffing shortage.
not sure what the problem was, but I convinced only one
employee out of eight to stick around, says Brewerton.
I arrived, eight of nine employees had submitted their
letter of resignation. I convinced seven to stay. Only
paper made great strides in its local coverage under Brewertons
leadership and flourished in one of the fastest growing
communities in Canada at that time.
was a vibrant paper in which the news of Orléans
would be printed on a weekly basis. says Brewerton.
The local community was hugely supportive of our
efforts which led to the newspapers tremendous growth
in those early years and its future success as a publication.
stuck around until 1993 when Transcontinental acquired
Publications Dumont from their parent company Cogeco and
he was transferred to the companys headquarters
in Montreal where he spent 26 years as regional general
manager for Transcontinental Media.
a six-year stint with Northumberland Publishers, during
which he served as the general manager and publisher of
the Peterborough Examiner from 2010 to 2014, Brewerton
returned to Transcontinental and was named general manager
and publisher of the St. Johns Telegram
a position which he currently holds.
June 1989, Brewerton hired Algonquin School of Journalism
graduate James McArthur as the papers new editor.
It was a move that would acclerate the publications
status as an award-winning member of the Ontario Community
had just finished an eight month contract working as a
reporter in Napanee (between Kingston and Belleville)
when Gordon called me about the editors job at The
Star, McArthur remembers.
is widely regarded with raising the profile of the paper
and turning it into a legitimate publication.
Orléans Star went from covering soft stories
to having a stronger focus on hard news like crime, current
events and politics.
am proud to say we accomplished quite a bit with the paper.
I decided to increase the font size to make it more readable,
plus we improved the layout and design to feature larger
his tenure with the newspaper from 1989 to 1991, McArthur
hired a freelance reporter, who started out with the paper
as a co-op student, and a photogrpaher turned columnist,
who would both serve as future editors of the Orléans
Star and and go on to make a name for themselves in
Sherwin (current owner of the Orléans Star)
and Michael Curran (co-owner and publisher of the Ottawa
Business Journal) both got their start under McArthurs
tutelage. He also passed on his passion for reporting
and the news business to a pair of co-op students who
would go on to have successul careers of their own.
MacKinnon was at the paper in 1989. After graduating from
Carleton Universitys journalism program in 1993,
she worked at the St. John Telegraph-Journal where
she was a National Newspaper Award finalist for Beat Reporting
in 2004. In 2010, she moved on to CBC New Brunswick and
recently wrote a book about the Dennis Oland murder trial
entitled Shadow of a Doubt.
Nolen is easily the Orléans Stars
most successful alum. After doing her co-op placement
at The Star in 1989, she earned a Bachelor of Journalism
degree at the University of Kings College. She would
go on to work as a freelance foreign correspondent with
The Independent of London and an investigative
reporter for Macleans magazine before the Globe
and Mail hired her as an international corrspondent
then, she has served as the Globe and Mails
Africa bureau chief from 2003 to 2008; South Asia bureau
chief from 2008 to 2013; and Latin American bureau chief
from 2013 until the present.
was always looking to hire passionate, hard-working newspaper
people, MacArthur says. Fred and Mike were
excellent writers who had tons of potential.
evetually left the paper in 1991 to work for a forming
and foundartion company and is now one of the top sales
reps for Lafarge.
our next edition we will bring you part three of the history
of the Orleans Star from 1991 to 1997.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
www.orleansonline.ca's main page