POLITICS

Sun News Personalities Join, Or Rejoin, Conservative Party Fold

03/18/2015 04:09 EDT | Updated 05/18/2015 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Media figures who enter politics, or political figures who join the media — it's an old story going back to Canada's early days.

And sometimes people take an extra spin through the revolving door.

Two founding executives at the now-defunct Sun News network are joining Conservative Party of Canada headquarters, after having left Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office for the network.

Kory Teneycke, former vice-president, and Dennis Matthews, former marketing director, will be taking on roles within the party. Teneycke was Harper's director of communications and Matthews was PMO's advertising manager and staff director, before Sun News went on the air four years ago.

The right-of-centre network went off the air last month, after its parent firm Sun Media Corp. was unable to find a buyer for the outlet.

Other Sun News personalities who have joined the Conservative ranks include former reporters Kris Sims and Daniel Proussalidis. Sims is now director of communications for Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O'Toole, and Proussalidis has the same position with Defence Minister Jason Kenney.

The Conservatives criticized that kind of career move in a fundraising letter last year, when former CTV reporter Colin Horgan joined Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's team as a speechwriter.

"This will tell you everything you need to know about how the Ottawa media will treat us in the next election," the letter read.

"They've chosen a side, and they've dug in."

But such transitions are not uncommon on Parliament Hill, with many former journalists becoming political staff or running for public office. Former prime minister Mackenzie Bowell was the founding member of the Canadian Press Association and was the owner of the Belleville Intelligencer until his death. The man touted as the father of the press gallery, Thomas White, became interior minister in Sir John A. Macdonald's cabinet.

One of the fathers of Confederation, George Brown, was the publisher of the Toronto Globe. He went back to newspaper work full time after he lost his seat in 1867.

Former broadcasters Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Jim Munson were all appointed to the Senate in the last 15 years, as was former Montreal Gazette editor-in-chief Joan Fraser.

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