Melissa Wilson

Canwest dumps its papers on the auction block

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It’s time to smash open those piggy banks, Canada. Everyone’s favourite newspaper chain is now being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

After filing for creditor protection last October, Canwest has now put its bundle of newspapers, including the National Post, Calgary Herald and Vancouver Sun, up for sale, according to a report from the Toronto Star.

According to the Star, the chain hopes to fetch at least $1 billion for the papers, which is about half of what the company initially paid. Ouch.

The general public has been somewhat less-than-mournful of what appears to be the death of one of Canada’s media conglomerates (and, smart money would say, the National Post). Deborah Jones at J-Source writes:

“Are we coming to the end of the decade-long train wreck of Canadian journalism, following Hollinger’s sale of the former Southam papers to Canwest, and the over-arching ambitions of a series of wanna-be media moguls who ran once-venerable journalism organizations off the rails?”

But I think the more important question is, what will this mean for Canadian journalism? Is this another nail in the coffin of the Canadian media, or is this simply the cutting loose of a dead weight, allowing us to move ahead? I don’t have the answers to these questions. Anyone want to take a stab at it?


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