Montreal Star closes

On this day in 1979, the Montreal Star ceases publication after 110 years in print. Closing the successful newspaper was part of a deal between the Southam and Thompson chains to stop competing against each other in four major markets in Canada. That kind of gerrymandering prompted the establishment of the Kent Commission on newspaper ownership and subsequent government interest in newspaper ownership transaction.

Interesting to see how the Montreal Star’s best staff fared after the closure. Dennis Trudeau went straight to a successful career in broadcasting (still ongoing). Sports reporter Red Fisher and literary editor Doris Giller were welcomed by the Montreal Gazette. Cartoonist extraordinaire Terry Mosher (Aislin) had already crossed over to competitor Montreal Gazette in 1972. None left Montreal.

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4 Responses to Montreal Star closes

  1. Stu Lowndes says:

    The Montreal Star folded partly because editorial management decided to hire a few hacks from the tabloid press, in particular, the Globe/Midnight operation, then based in Montreal.

    The Star was the better paper of only two in the city. The Montreal Gazette wasn’t really a newspaper, it was a scum sheet of St.James’s Street financiers and those PR flacks at the local watering hole, the Montreal Press Club.

    Okay, I’m a little harsh on the rag. I used to work for The Star and my moments and memories go back to the early 1960s – and when Peter Desbarats, then feature writer, was dean of journalism of University of Western Ontario, now retired, and others: Walter O’Hearn, Paul (Dodo) McKenna Davis (night editor), Dick Havilland (city editor), and so on …

    As for Dennis Trudeau, I met the chap during a stint at the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph. Couldn’t figure him out then, can’t figure him out now.

    Trudeau, however, knows how to play the game.

    Unfortunately, the QCT online, doesn’t. The oldest paper in Canada still doesn’t get it. Such big ideas for such a small rag with less than 2,000 print eyeballs. But, who knows …

    I wonder how The Star would have appeared or have changed in this so-called Google Generation.

    I have changed; I haven’t read a rag in years, including The Montreal Gazette. But I was born on a paper, and my heart and sentiments are still with most of them, with only a few exceptions.

    R.I.P.

    Stu Lowndes

  2. finalspin says:

    Thanks for the personal perspective, Mr. Lowndes. As you wrote elsewhere, dreams die last.

    I transferred your comment to a fresh post, just in case other former Star employees drop by and want to share: https://finalspin.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/other-memories-from-the-montreal-star/

    I’m curious – what is it that you don’t like about the Quebec Chronicle Telegraph’s Web approach? The subscription model?

  3. Stu Lowndes says:

    Hello, again,

    You said: “I’m curious – what is it that you don’t like about the Quebec Chronicle Telegraph’s Web approach? The subscription model?”

    You have got to be kiddin’!

    For starters, web design 101. See for yourself. Go to qctonline.com

    That online site needs to return to its previously published format. At least, there was some focus and eye candy. I have even seen photos without captions and yarns without editing on the current web site.

    I’ve seen blogs with better designs, including this one, even if I do need bottle-glass specs to read the tiny text.

    Content? You must subscribe to the newspaper to read … an obit?

    And, now, if you want, compare this community newspaper site to many others. Take a look at the Sherbrooke Record.

    When I was with the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph a long, long time ago, the newsroom was like a scene out of the movie, The Front Page.

    The online QCT is my version of a cyberspace clunky black typewriter trying to compete with all the gadgets and widgets of a netbook.

    However, the QCT is, or supposed to be, the oldest newspaper in North America. Isn’t it a damn shame this ‘ol lady cannot be exposed and exploited on that very fact?

  4. jdpalmer says:

    Dear sir Iwasborn in Montreal in thefiftiesandwehad asubscription tothe star cuntil it foldein1979 Ithought it was the better of the2papersasfaras thearticles and editing thankyou

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