(CALGARY, Alberta) - Canwest is Canada’s largest media company, spanning newspapers, television and radio, with investments overseas.
The company was founded in 1974 by Israel (Izzy) Asper with one television station in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Asper died in October, 2003 and the company was taken over by his son, Leonard.
In January 2007, the company bought Alliance Atlantis at a cost of $2.3-billion, acquiring its 13 specialty TV channels, including Showcase, the Food Network, and the Life Network. But the deal was expensive and to finance it, CanWest entered into a complex partnership with investment bank Goldman Sachs.
In August 2001 the share price was $13.49.
In April 2009 CanWest announced it would write down the value of its newspaper assets by $1.2-billion, following a move the previous year to write down its TV operations by $1-billion. Stock price fell to $0.31½.
On October 6, 2009, the company announced that it is filing for bankruptcy protection. Its debt, which reached $4-billion earlier this year, became unmanageable amid the economic downturn.
The major metropolitan newspapers that are likely to change hands over the next four to six months include the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Calgary Heraldand Vancouver Sun.
This is good news on several levels. First the media concentration is not a good situation for Canadian democracy. Equally important, the pro-Zionist stance of the organization, particularly the National Post, will decline if non-ideological owners take over and are merely interested in profit.
As a journalist, if Alberta’s two major dailies, the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald become less right-wing, the opportunities for more balanced journalism will increase. As it stands now, I don’t even waste my time making submissions to the Herald. Calgary has one other daily, the Sun which is the equivalent of Fox News.
Daniel Johnson was born near the midpoint of the twentieth century in Calgary, Alberta. In his teens he knew he was going to be a writer, which explains why he was one of only a handful of boys in his high school typing class—a skill he knew was going to be necessary. He defines himself as a social reformer, not a left winger, the latter being an ideological label which, he says, is why he is not an ideologue, although a lot of his views could be described as left-wing. He understands that who he is, is largely defined by where he came from. The focus for Daniel’s writing came in 1972. After a trip to Europe he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. Alberta, and Calgary in particular, was extremely conservative Bible Belt country, more like Houston than any other Canadian city (a direct influence of the oil industry). Two successive Premiers of the province, from 1935 to 1971, had been Baptist evangelicals with their own weekly Sunday radio program—Back to the Bible Hour, while in office. In Alberta everything was distorted by religion.
Although he had published a few pieces (unpaid) in the local daily, the Calgary Herald, it was not until 1975 that he could actually make a living from journalism when, from 1975 to 1981 he was reporter, photographer, then editor of the weekly Airdrie Echo. For more than ten years after that he worked with Peter C. Newman (1979-1993), Canada’s top business writer (notably a series of books, The Canadian Establishment). Through this period Daniel also did some national radio and TV broadcasting with the CBC. You can write to Daniel at: Salem-News@gravityshadow.com
Zionist Spin in Canada may Weaken