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Sun sets on island paper for ex-evening news man

A former regional journalist has been left “devastated” by the closure of an international newspaper he’s run for the last 15 years.

Former North Wales and Merseyside evening reporter Tony McWilliam has seen the last edition of the Bermuda Sun roll off the presses.

Tony, the twice-weekly’s editor-in-chief and co-publisher, is one of 23 editorial and advertising staff to lose their jobs on a publication which celebrated its 50th anniversary in May.

Closure of the paper – which over its lifetime was a popular destination for journalists from the UK’s regional press – is being blamed on “financial constraints” and operating at a loss for the last six years.

Tony, who joined the paper as a reporter in 1990 after an early career in regionals around his home town of Chester, admitted news of the closure was “devastating.”

Now he said his primary concern had to be for the welfare of the team.  “I work with a talented, loyal and exceptionally conscientious group of journalists and my priority over the coming weeks will be to help them to secure new jobs.

“They all do terrific work and to be suddenly confronted with redundancy is a massive blow. We have always endeavoured to pursue truth, be fair and balanced in our coverage and provide a platform for diverse points of view.

“I thank the readers who’ve carried us on an extraordinary journey and I sincerely hope the memories will be meaningful and lasting,” added the man who went from journalism student at the former Richmond FE College in Sheffield to editor of the Bermuda Sun in 1999.

MediaHouse Limited owner Randy French said the decision to close the Hamilton-based paper – published on Wednesdays and Fridays – after a half of century was “very painful.”

He added: “It is an especially sad day for my family. My father Donald started the Bermuda Sun in 1964 and various members of our family have worked for the paper ever since.

“We are very proud of what the newspaper has achieved in that time and of its position as a trusted and alternative media voice in the community. In doing so, it has made a valuable contribution to democracy in Bermuda.”

Even Bermuda’s premier, Michael Dunkley, joined the tributes to the setting Sun. “I would like to express my sincere sadness at the news,” he said.

“In the words of its motto, the Sun has been a friend to the community for more than 50 years, covering an array of issues with clarity, fairness and from varied perspectives.

“They told the news but they told it with a human heart, by putting faces to cold statistics. It truly was a paper about the people and its presence will be truly missed.”

He added: “This closure certainly has nothing to do with the quality of the product each week, but rather the economics of newspapers today.”

Staff joined editor-in-chief Tony McWilliam for a ‘team picture’ which was the final front page image on the last edition.


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  • August 4, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Do they have other interests that are performing well? What’s to become of the equipment and land? Will it be sold to reduce deficits? So many questions unanswered :/

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  • August 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Yeah, yeah, yeah.
    Is your name Highfield by any chance?

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  • August 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    They are also switching off the website!! Strange they didn’t even attempt to be a weekly.

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  • August 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Victor Roger: No, a former newspaper man who no longer has the need for a paper. Nothing sinister, just a statement on how times have changed

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