Sunday, January 4, 2009

After the Buyout

"I didn't miss it nearly as much as I thought I was going to," says Mike Jenkinson, formerly of the Edmonton Sun and now the communications manager for Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach. Jenkinson began at the Sun in February 1997 as a freelancer, writing a weekly "grab bag" of a column on topics ranging from federal and provincial politics to technology. Four months later, he'd become a full-time editorial writer. By 2001, he was running the editorial department, writing most editorials and still maintaining his column.

"I would have made a career at the Sun forever," Jenkinson says. "I enjoyed working there, I enjoyed my colleagues and I was good at what I did." In retrospect, though, he sees his first years at the paper as the tail end of good times there. After Quebecor bought Sun Media in 2001, he says, the Sun became more bureaucratic, more like a corporation than a group of journalists running a paper. By 2007 he could see his dream career dissolving: chunks of his role had already been farmed out to others within the company. He began looking for work—and hoping for a severance package.

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