Conrad Black sees investment potential in Canadian newspapers

Conrad Black says he sees investment potential in Canadian newspapers, sparking speculation that the former media baron wants to re-enter the media industry. “There is a great premium to be placed on the editorial function and on the goodwill of a famous trademark like a respected newspaper,” Black told the Huffington Post Canada during an […]

Conrad Black says he sees investment potential in Canadian newspapers, sparking speculation that the former media baron wants to re-enter the media industry.

“There is a great premium to be placed on the editorial function and on the goodwill of a famous trademark like a respected newspaper,” Black told the Huffington Post Canada during an editorial board meeting.

“Any good title that’s grossly underpriced could be interesting.”

Black, 67, recently returned to Canada on a temporary resident permit after serving 37 months in a Florida prison for fraud and obstruction of justice while he was head of media giant Hollinger International, former owner of papers from Canada’s National Post to Israel’s Jerusalem Post.

Black said he isn’t actually in the market to buy a newspaper right now. He evaded questions about how he would transform a newspaper in order to make it profitable in the new digital landscape.

“It’s not that I don’t have an answer, but I’m not going to answer because it might be an untimely and excessive disclosure, and compromise what I might actually do,” he said.

It may be difficult for Black to re-enter the Canadian media industry, because it’s not known yet whether he will be allowed to stay in the country after his temporary permit expires. The media mogul renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to become a member of the British House of Lords.

In addition, tax laws only allow advertisers to get a full tax deduction when they purchase ad space in papers that are Canadian-owned. This is considered to be an important draw for advertisers.

Black, who doesn’t have a Canadian work permit, has said he plans to keep writing for Canadian media outlets, including the Huffington Post Canada and the National Post, the newspaper he founded more than a decade ago.

The National Post‘s parent company, Postmedia Network Canada Corp., is in the midst of a restructuring, axing Sunday editions and cutting jobs in an effort to offset declining ad revenue.

Formerly part of the Canwest media empire broken up in 2010, Postmedia owns the Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald and others.

Media Articles

Bell and Rogers in disagreement over NHL GamePlus mobile app

Canada's biggest media companies face off over access to NHL content

Fashion Magazine launches awards show

Inaugural event caps off annual World MasterCard Fashion Week

TVB disputes IAB’s ad spend figures

Television marketing body says numbers unfairly include digital spend on traditional media including broadcast and print

Rogers partners with Netflix on original series

Between starts filming in Toronto this fall

Corus partners with publishing platform Flink

Popular radio show will stream on the digital storytelling platform

GroupM signs on to support new research tool

Multimedia survey collects information on when, where and how media is consumed

Jack Tomik leaving Rogers Media at the end of the month

Ad sales veteran Al Dark to replace Tomik

Astral to introduce 40 digital TSAs in Toronto

City council will allow up to 120 new units to be introduced in the next three years

CBS Outdoor Canada rebrands as Outfront Media

New name represents the company’s continued focus on progress and growth