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Conrad Black

As the dominant figure in Canadian print media, by the late '90s, Conrad Black had become increasingly outspoken about the liberal viewpoints of newspapers and magazines, and what he perceived as the decline in the quality of work by journalists. By 1999, his company Hollinger International Inc. controlled Southam, the largest newspaper chain in Canada. In England, he had already owned the London Telegraph since 1985, as well as French-language newspapers Le Soleil in Quebec City and Le Droit in Ottawa, and 40 small American papers. And in 1987, he became another in a string of owners of the fiscally challenged Saturday Night magazine.

Through Southam, he made inroads in the Canadian newspaper market first by buying The Financial Post in 1998, and then starting up the National Post, a national daily to compete with the Toronto-based Globe and Mail. He has since sold the National Post to CanWest Global of Winnipeg. To date, the paper has lost more than $20 million.
 Featured Audio
 

Speaker of the Week #20
In this episode of Speaker of the Week, broadcast Sept. 9,
1997, Black presents his views on media ownership
and thoughts on the industry at the Spruce Meadows
Round Table in Calgary.

He shares his ideas on where the print media are heading
in this electronic age, declaring that, "People will respond
to good writing." He discusses the decline of the newspaper
industry and the professional standards of editorial integrity.

Listen Now!


 

 

Because of the proportion of Canadian media he controlled, Black became the target of writers ranging from Maude Barlow (1998's The Big Black Book: Essential Views of Conrad and Barbara Amiel Black) and Richard Siklos (1995's Shades of Black), whose work was often critical of the newspaper baron's acquisitions and ultraconservative point of view.

Black's own literary works - Life in Progress, Render Unto Caesar: The Life and Legacy of Maurice Duplessis, and the highly regarded Duplessis - remain in print.
 
 

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