MegaBraunnose: There is a man, a certain man…
He’s been a newsmaker and, as head of Canada’s largest newspaper chain, a news gatherer.
But now Paul Godfrey can add being a member of the Canadian News Hall of Fame to his resume.
And what a resumé.
North York councillor. Metro Toronto chairman. Publisher of the Toronto Sun. President and CEO of Sun Media. President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays. Chair of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). President and CEO of Postmedia. He also is a member of the Order of Canada and received the Order of Ontario.
And just this year, he led the purchase by Postmedia of all of Quebecor’s English Canadian assets, including the Toronto Sun.
“I’m a strong believer in the newspaper industry,” Godfrey told me as the deal to take over Quebecor’s assets was finalized. “But I am also a believer in news evolving into modern platforms.”
From 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. most days, Godfrey, 76, is working on just that. He lives and breathes the news business with the same enthusiasm he has for his family, his beloved city of Toronto and the Blue Jays. He was a driving force behind the effort to bring the team to the city in 1977.
Still, even with his passion for the business, he told me he was surprised when he got the word last week about his selection, along with fellow news legend, CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge.
“I didn’t expect it,” said Godfrey. “But I am honoured.”
He also said it was particularly exciting to be named in the same year with Mansbridge — one of the country’s key news voices since taking the job as anchor of the CBC’s National in 1988.
They are both leaders of a generation when you think about it. Mansbridge has delivered news about almost everything that has happened in Canada and abroad for nearly three decades.
Godfrey has consistently been at the centre of many things that have shaped Toronto. The ultimate deal maker, he has a knack of bringing people together to find a solution. He’s rarely out of the loop on anything that is going on in the city.
Godfrey’s also a good guy. Over the past decade, every once in a while my phone would ring and it would be Paul on the other end of the line just calling to say “Hello.” He is a father figure to a lot of us (that’s enough joejobs!!—ed.)
– Joe Wormington, “Call it the Paul of Fame,” Toronto Sun, Sept. 5.