[Byfield] All we pessimists were fully agreed: Conrad Black was a mad man

[Byfield] All we pessimists were fully agreed: Conrad Black was a mad man

Opinion

How else do you explain his founding the National Post in the worst of all possible times?

[Ted Byfield Blog] The National Post newspaper this month marks the 20th year of its publication. Ted Byfield was one of several Canadian journalists asked to comment on it. His commentary follows.

VIDEO: Faith Goldy gets predictions from Conrad Black for 2018 and beyond [Dec. 31, 2017]


It’s difficult to adequately portray the sudden and most improbable appearance of the National Post in the Canadian newspaper world as it existed in the closing years of the 20th Century. Metropolitan newspapers in that era were definitely not something people founded. They were something people terminated, or at best merged with another so that one name or the other slid into oblivion of journalistic history.

How many people today have never heard of the Montreal Star, the Ottawa Journal, the Toronto Telegram, or the Winnipeg Tribune, the Calgary Albertan, the Edmonton Bulletin, once respected dailies with substantial circulations, and names familiar in every local household.

Even so, the ancestry of Toronto’s morning dailies is chaotic. It goes back nearly two centuries. In 1844, the reform politician George Brown founded a morning daily, the Toronto Globe, and made himself editor. In 1872,the Toronto Mail appeared as a Conservative paper. After it re-proclaimed itself independent, Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, founded a rival paper, the Toronto Empire, to restore a Conservative press. He merged it with the Mail to become the Mail and Empire in 1887.

For the next nearly 40 years, a kind of permanent newspaper war prevailed, as the Mail and Empire and the Globe hammered away at each other for control of the morning market, while the Liberal giant, the Star, battled the Conservative Telegram for control of the evening. The Star eventually won.

This article continues at [Ted Byfield Blog] All we pessimists were fully agreed: Conrad Black was a mad man

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