Sun News Network employees found out early on the morning of Feb. 13 that they no longer have jobs. The TV network closed its doors, leaving about 300 people out of work.
"This is an unfortunate outcome; shutting down Sun News was certainly not our goal," said Julie Tremblay, president and CEO of Media Group and Sun Media Corporation in a press release.
Sun News Network employees are not the first - or the last - to be shocked by a job loss in the media. Last fall, Chicago sports talk radio host Ben Finfer learned, on-air, that the radio station he worked at would be closing.
“I don't even know what to do. Do we keep doing a show today?” said Finfer after he read a Twitter post reporting Chicago’s WGWG-LP station would be closing its doors by the end of 2014.
"I'm not going to blame Twitter. I'm going to blame our bosses for not doing this the respectful way. I mean it's pretty crappy to find out on Twitter, especially while you're on the air,” said Finfer on the Quigs and Finfer show on Nov. 20.
Sun News Network concluded their programming after an episode of Byline with Brian Lilley ended. Its feed went to the organization's logo, signifying the end.
The news was a surprise for some Sun News Network employees. The Globe and Mail reported the newspaper spoke to two employees that had been told nothing about the station’s future.
But journalists like Curtis Paradis may have a saving grace for unemployed journalists: YouTube.
Paradis is a professional YouTuber, where he creates daily content for The Curtis Paradis Show.
“It’s exactly what I want it to be and everything I want to do and basically nothing I don’t,” said Paradis about his show. He covers everything from game reviews, to news, to “something completely off topic.”
“That’s the luxury I get with the channel that it doesn’t have to be described or limited to one certain thing. It can be a number of different things and it can really be anything I want it to be,” said Paradis.
Although Paradis does not call himself a journalist through his YouTube channel, he has tight ties to news media. Paradis is the director for CTV’s Morning Live show in Regina, Sask.
Paradis explained to INK that CTV's expectations of practices and demographics create good news content. In contrast, he said, online citizen journalism demands a great amount of self-control by the creator.
“Sometimes some of the most fearful things when you are sort of in an environment (like YouTube) with no edges or any surroundings that can close you in, is the fact that anything and everything is possible.
“But, that doesn’t mean that anything and everything is a good thing.”
Sun News Network experienced hard times when dealing with viewership and Paradis explained that if you don’t please the audience, they aren’t going to stay.
“People will vote for what they want with their wallets . . . Of course Sun has paid the ultimate price, which is, of course, they weren’t producing content people were interested in, thus people went elsewhere and thus they lost revenue and had to shut their doors.”
Paradis sees things leveling out in the future. Mainstream media like CBC – which is currently experiencing cutbacks – must just learn to deal with the changing times, because their content will remain important for Canadians.
“Television news gives you straight-down-the-line easy and concise ideas versus something that is maybe skewed to the left or the right,” said Paradis.