Pranny Overboard! Paul Wells to the Toronto Star

Paul Wells‘ sudden exit from Maclone’s is the source of high anxiety among his new colleagues at the Toronto Star parliamentary bureau.

It’s not been announced yet, but Wells will take over typing duties from the retiring national affairs columnist Tim Harper.

Star hacks are painfully familiar with “Thumbsie’s” massive ego. They’ve seen the self-impressed pranny on Twitter, where he often regales followers with retrospectives of his own greatest hits:

“I think the last sentence of this column from last fall is one of my favorites,” he wrote in reference to one of his own eyeglazers in Maclone’s.

In the late nineties at the National Post, the pumpkin-headed pundit was famous for standing up in his cubicle and reciting his latest column aloud, oblivious to coworkers cringing under their desks.

This isn’t the first time Wells has tried to land a gig with the Star. In fact, his last attempt gave rise to a golden rule of negotiation named in his honour: The Wells Dictum. For those unfamiliar, the Wells Dictum posits that the intellectual brilliance, real or imagined, of a national columnist, is in inverse proportion to the scribe’s negotiating smarts.

It all started when the Graspers, then-owners of the Putz, fired editor Ken Whyte. Wells jumped on the blower to Star boss John Honderich.

Naturally, Honderich was greatly enthused about acquiring a typist of Wells’ dexterity, and preliminary bargaining, in the $200K-a-year realm, commenced.

Alas, Wells committed the howling error that put his name to the Dictum, telling Honderich that he also had an offer from Maclone’s, and if the Star didn’t top that deal, he was off to the refried weakly.

Honderich immediately pulled the plug. Wells had committed the classic negotiating faux pas of not knowing what motivates the guy across the bargaining table. Honderich’s ambition in those days was to strip the Post of its assets and Wells was considered one of them. But once he knew Wells had another gig, it was no longer necessary to sign him to an exorbitant salary in order to hurt the Putz.

Wells, in playing the Star against Maclone’s, reduced his bargaining value to zero. That, plus the boner of suggesting to Honderich that his precious family jewel was on the same level as Maclone’s.

Now he’s finally got his Star gig, at a reported $225,000/year, which will further piss off the rest of the Star stable (is that you, Chantal?!)


  1. Didn’t read him in MacLones, but do see mocking re-tweets in others’ twitters.
    And will he ever stop tweeting, mostly about self and his revelations.
    Then there is his insufferable jazz knowledge gaffes.

  2. Probably a smart move. Maclean’s is now as thin as the White River ON Yellow Pages. Can only be a matter of a few months until it’s folded.

    • “Discover the Beauty of White River Welcome to White River , a progressive and vibrant community located midway between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie.” Pop. 607 (2011)

  3. I read the Star from time to time, so now I’ll find out who Paul Wells is. Who are these people?

  4. Oh, for a summer vacation, from him!!

    1 to 15 of 15 results

    July 9, 2016 Trudeau having a good summer on world stage: Paul Wells
    July 8, 2016 Chief electoral officer warns time running out on overhauling system: Paul Wells
    July 6, 2016 Canada watching Brexit fallout with interest: Paul Wells
    July 1, 2016 Sustained effort from Three Amigos will matter more than a pep talk: Paul Wells
    June 29, 2016 Carrots and sticks play prominent role in Canadian policy on Ukraine: Paul Wells
    June 24, 2016 EU can’t go on forever without earning consent of the governed: Paul Wells
    June 24, 2016 Road to power in Alberta trickier than it has been for decades: Paul Wells
    June 22, 2016 Rona Ambrose’s vision for her party’s future remains upbeat: Paul Wells
    June 19, 2016 After Orlando, America has opened its eyes to Trump’s empty heart: Wells
    June 15, 2016 In Orlando, community compassion and strength help heal wounds: Paul Wells
    June 13, 2016 Pall of dread hangs over Orlando as families mourn: Paul Wells
    June 12, 2016 Justin Trudeau reflects on parenting and his dad Pierre: Paul Wells
    June 10, 2016 Justin Trudeau defends Saudi deal — ‘We’re not a banana republic’: Paul Wells
    June 9, 2016 Justin Trudeau vows ‘big’ infrastructure announcements coming soon: Paul Wells
    June 8, 2016 Trudeau points to ‘black-and-whiteness’ of referendum in electoral reform debate: Paul Wells

  5. We are saved from Paul Wells by Maclone’s.
    Paul twittered at @InklessPW
    “Today I accepted an offer from @MacleansMag to return
    there as a Senior Writer, based in Ottawa.
    I’ll begin week after next.”

    To which the talentless CBC drone Peter @armstrongcbc replied 20 hours ago:
    “@InklessPW congrats Paul. Wherever you’re writing,
    I for one, will read (and pay to read) quality content.”

    But now Maclones is monthly (hopefully down to 9 issues a year à la New Yorker hiati)
    and we get less (Zero, please the gods) of Mr. Wells.

    And his $225,000 salary mentioned above at the Star???

  6. A whole hour you DO want to miss.

    “David Frum in conversation with Paul Wells: Maclean’s Live
    The political commentator sat down for a candid chat with Paul Wells and discussed Trump impeachment hearings and the state of politics in Canada now. Watch the full replay here.” Maclean’s Dec 11, 2019

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