Bids Coming for Three Big Dailies Owned by Bankrupt Canwest

By: E&P Staff

A group including the editor of Quebec’s largest English-language weekly, a former Montreal Star managing editor and the founder of CITY-TV said Monday they are preparing bids for three of the largest dailies of Canwest Global Communications Corp., which last week announced an auction for its newspaper and television properties.

Canwest, which has put much of its company under bankruptcy protection, has said it want to sell the newspapers as single entity, but the three buyers in the consortium say they are interested only in the largest: The National Post, The Montreal Gazette and The Ottawa Citizen.

Comprising the consortium are Jerry S. Grafstein, a former Canadian senator and founder of the Toronto TV station; Raymond Heard, a former Montreal Star managing editor and former editor of the London Observer News Service; and Beryl Wjsman, editor of The Suburban, the large English-language weekly in Quebec.

In a statement, the consortium said it has “received strong financial commitments,” and that new members of the consortium will be announced.

“Our partnership represents a cross spectrum of engaged Canadians committed to a vigorous, independent media voice for the communities that each newspaper serves,” it said. “We are firm in our view that there remains a bright future for newspapers supported by creative web platforms.”

Each of he newspapers “has a loyal and interested readership which the consortium is confident can be broadened and deepened.”

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