Life gave me a special Christmas present this year. At 34, I was named assistant athletic director, which came with the task of managing Réjean Tremblay.

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Quite honestly, this part of the job, I didn’t find it to be that much of a gift.

A “kid” from Quebec, who did not work in the sports section and who had to give instructions to Réjean Tremblay, who has more than 50 years of experience…

Of course, I was in awe and impressed by his accomplishments.

Lulu, in Throw and count, was one of my idols when I was very young. I found Réjean sometimes a little dog with my beautiful city of Quebec.

I knew it was a character. I knew he had a little intense pride. I knew I had to be careful not to get in his way if that was the path he had chosen.

I didn’t know him much before. I had met him a few years earlier. I was with my young nephews in an arena and I tried to explain to them that he was someone important, but they didn’t understand.

Réjean’s wife, Julie, had said to the children: “It’s Santa Claus”, to help me. It was easier that way.

Finally, it was not at all intimidating to work with Réjean. He is far from being a Santa Claus, but the famous gruff character that we imagine is not him.

Réjean helps everyone. He asks us for our opinion. He asks me how to make a headline so that it works well on the web. He reads everything and advises the youngest for their texts.

A passion for his profession

He still has the will to learn, to adapt. He became a texting pro as he wrote on a typewriter.

He had an idea for a story he wanted to do in two months and he called me at 7:15 p.m., in a state of euphoria, to tell me about it.

A bit like a dapper young journalist who has just started his career. It’s crazy his passion for this profession. And that’s the key to its longevity, in my opinion.

I’m young to write about Réjean and I don’t claim to have had crazy stories with him like many other people in the industry.

But there is something that I see very clearly on the other hand, it is the transformation of the profession and the way in which Réjean adapts to all that.

And that’s what impresses me the most about him.

Imagine how he could have dropped everything and just rode a motorcycle in Florida.

There’s the immediacy of the web, the tighter deadlines, social media calling it crazy almost daily, sports teams controlling information, communications strategists telling athletes what to tell the media.

Tell good stories

But for him, whether it’s 1975, 2023, or 2045, the job is to tell a good story that readers will love. The rest is secondary.

You might think he’s drooling or being arrogant. In fact, yes, he is capable of it, but only when necessary, because he feels that he is being deceived and therefore that the reader is deceived.

If he is fearless and cavalier when looking for information, it is sure that he will not please everyone. But he doesn’t care. Réjean wants his readers to have answers.

He does not write to please or displease. He does not write to shock or reassure. He writes what he thinks, like it or not.

In 12 years at NewspaperRéjean, you will have written columns that have informed, disturbed, shaken up and touched.

Know that this path you have taken, of thinking above all about what the reader wants to know, we will continue to follow. And whether it’s fun or not.

Thanks Rejean.


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