Calgary Herald

Calgary Herald
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Postmedia Network
Publisher Guy Huntingford
Editor Lorne Motley
Founded 13 August 1883 (1883-08-13)
Headquarters 215 16th Street SE, Calgary, Alberta
Circulation 123,722 daily
118,568 Saturday
113,815 Sunday in 2011[1]
Sister newspapers Edmonton Journal
ISSN 1197-2823
OCLC number 29533985

The Calgary Herald is a Canadian daily newspaper published in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was first published in 1883 as The Calgary Herald, Mining and Ranche Advocate and General Advertiser. It is owned by the Postmedia Network.


Political Cartoon of Alexander Grant MacKay moving from Ontario to Alberta, Calgary Herald, May 26, 1912

The Calgary Herald, Mining and Ranche Advocate and General Advertiser was first published 31 August 1883 in a tent at the junction of the Bow and Elbow by Thomas Braden, a school teacher, and his friend, Andrew Armour, a printer, and financed by "a five-hundred- dollar interest-free loan from a Toronto milliner, Miss Frances Ann Chandler."[2]:507–508[3][4] It started as a weekly paper with 150 copies of only four pages created on a handpress that arrived 11 days earlier on the first train to Calgary.[2][5] A year's subscription cost $3.[2]:507–508

When Hugh St. Quentin Cayley became editor 26 November 1884 the Herald moved out of the tent and into a shack.[2]:507–508 Cayley quickly became partner and editor.

"At that time, Braden and Armour found that westerners wanted more updated information about the growing Riel Rebellion in the Northwest Territories. One year later, the Calgary Herald went daily. To meet demand, a new press was purchased that could print up to 400 papers an hour, if a strong man was turning the crank. The paper was still experiencing growing pains and financial uncertainty in 1894, when J. J. Young took over the paper, saving it from near bankruptcy. During those early years, the newspaper was not so much published as improvised, with updated news provided by bulletins from passengers on the Canadian Pacific Railway."
Diane Howard Encyclopedia of the Great Plains 2004

Eventually the publisher's name was changed to Herald Publishing Company Limited and began publishing the Calgary Daily Herald, a daily version of the newspaper, on 2 July 1885.

In 1897 the editor of the Herald was impressed by the "humor and witty journalistic prose" of Bob Edwards— one of Canada's leading journalists at the time— with a reputation as critic of government and society and as a "supporter of the emancipation of women and the temperance crusade" reprinted some of Edwards' articles in the Herald.[2]:511–512

From February 1890 to August 1893 and December 1894 to September 1895, the weekly paper appeared as the Wednesday issue of the daily paper. Publication of the daily paper was suspended between 21 September 1893 and 13 December 1894. It was not until fall 1983 that it was published seven days a week.[4] The Calgary Daily Herald's name was changed to the Calgary Herald in February 1939, and continued to be published as an afternoon paper until April 1985. Since then it has been delivered in the mornings.



In January 1908, the Southam Company purchased a majority interest in the Calgary Herald.[4]

Hollinger Corporation

In 1996 the paper was sold to the Hollinger Corporation under Conrad Black. In November 2000, the Herald became part of Southam Newspapers.

Canwest News Service

In July 2000, CanWest Global made Canadian media history with its $3.5 billion purchase of Hollinger's newspaper and internet assets, acquiring "136 daily and weekly newspapers," [which included the Calgary Herald and] half of The National Post, 13 large big-city dailies, 85 trade publications and directories in the Southam Magazine and Information Group."[6]

By 2003, Southam "was fully absorbed into CanWest Global Communications."[4][6][7] By 2003, Izzy Asper had built "CanWest Global into a profitable media powerhouse with annual revenues in excess of $2 billion and net earnings of $90 million."[6]

Canwest entered bankruptcy protection in late 2009. and announced Tuesday 13 July 2010 that its newspaper subsidiary has successfully emerged from creditor protection with new owners Postmedia.[4][8]


Postmedia purchased the Calgary Herald from Canwest in 2010.[4][9][10] Postmedia backed by a New York hedge fund holds some of Canada's largest daily newspapers including the Post, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and Ottawa Citizen.[8]

By October 2011 Postmedia had cut about 500 full-time jobs across the many newspapers it owns[9] to deal with the debt it inherited with the 2010 purchase.[10] CEP union spokesman Peter Murdoch said, "This is hardly of net benefit to Canadians, their communities or the critical flow of information in a democratic society."[9]

"Since it emerged from bankruptcy court protection in July, 2010, Postmedia has erased 750 jobs, or 14 per cent of its work force, bringing to 1,700 the total number of staff eliminated at the company since 2008."
Globe & Mail 2011

By 2011 the Calgary Herald newsroom was remodelled to enable teams to work on Herald’s websites, social media platforms such as Twitter as advertising revenue migrated from printed to digital media. The Calgary Herald— like Postmedia's 45 other metropolitan and community— was struggling financially. Postmedia's print circulation and advertising sales which accounted for 90 percent of its revenue declined; their debt load was heavy and they were forced to aggressively cut costs.[11] In spite of the digital innovations at the Calgary Herald— where staff did not have the protection of a union— there were even deeper job cuts. Postmedia met with union-resistance at its other papers.[11]


Frank Swanson

Frank Swanson, was Calgary Herald publisher from 1962 to 1982, when he retired after 44 years in journalism. During World War II, as war correspondent, he covered the Nuremberg war crimes trials. He worked for the Southam Newspapers group for the Edmonton Journal and The Citizen in Ottawa.[12] Frank Swanson was Calgary Herald's publisher until his retirement in July 1982. Swanson oversaw the move of their headquarters from downtown Calgary to a "$70 million plant on a hill overlooking the intersection of Deerfoot and Memorial."[13]

J. Patrick O’Callaghan

J. Patrick O’Callaghan (1925 – 1996), "an outspoken advocate of a free and vocal press" and publisher of The Windsor Star, The Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal, was publisher of the Calgary Herald from 1982 to 1989. In 1994 he served as co-chairman of the Canadian Task Force on the Magazine Industry that recommended stronger enforcement of measures designed to protect Canada's magazine industry.[13] [14]:16

Kevin Peterson

Kevin Peterson, joined the Calgary Herald in 1969, first as a political reporter for the following six years, then a series of editorial positions and finally as publisher from 1989 to 1995. "[U]nder his leadership, the Herald revamped every area of content, re-engineered its circulation function, and completely reorganized the complex process of selling, designing, and placing customers' advertising."[15]

Ken King

Ken King, then-publisher of The Calgary Sun with an advertising background, became publisher of the Calgary Herald in February 1996.[14] By the time he left the newspaper business King had served for thirty years including senior executive positions with several of Canada’s leading newspapers, as president and publisher of the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald. A few months after King's appointment as publisher, Conrad Black acquired the Southam newspaper chain and the Calgary Herald.[14]:17 In his report entitled "Exposing the Boss: A Study In Canadian Journalism Ethics" journalist Bob Bergen argued that there were dramatic changes during this period. Bergen claimed that the Herald aligned itself "with the Calgary business community and entered into partnerships with the Calgary Flames hockey team, the Calgary Stampeders football team, the city of Calgary’s Expo 2005 bid, and enhanced the newspaper’s existing sponsorship of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede."[14]:17 Bergen claimed that by October four new conservative columnists "Peter Stockland former editor of The Calgary Sun hired by King and, from eastern Canada, Giles Gherson on national economics, Andrew Coyne on national affairs, and Barbara Amiel, a journalist who was also Black’s wife. King explained the new conservative columnists complemented the Herald’s other columnists including liberal Catherine Ford and Robert Bragg, who had left-leaning political views."[14]:18

Malcolm Kirk

Malcolm Kirk, was appointed the Herald's publisher in August, 2006.[16]

The Herald also publishes Neighbours, a weekly community newspaper that is distributed with the Herald in some parts of Calgary, and Swerve, a weekly magazine-style pullout. In the spring of 2005, the Herald joined several other CanWest Global affiliates in launching Dose, a free daily newspaper targeted at 20-something commuters; it was discontinued as a print publication after a year.

Guy Huntingford

In August 2010 Paul Godfrey President and CEO of Postmedia Network announced the appointment of Guy Huntingford as publisher of the Calgary Herald as it "continues its transformation into an integrated multimedia brand."[17] In April 2013 Godfrey announced that was "eliminating the publisher position at its chain of 10 newspapers, which includes the National Post, the Montreal Gazette, the Ottawa Citizen" and the Calgary Herald in a cost-cutting measure.[18]

"I believe, and our senior leaders believe, that this company is uniquely positioned to benefit from our size and regional diversity. With a redesigned structure that puts focus on where we need to go as an organization and a road map for how we can get there, we will be even stronger and better poised for success."
Paul Godfrey President, CEO Postmedia 2013

Labour issues

On 8 November 1999, unionized staff at the Herald, including reporters, went on strike. The strike lasted until July 2000, during which many longtime Herald reporters left the newspaper. While some accepted a severance package, others returned to work on the condition that the union be dissolved.[19] Many seasoned journalists were replaced by inexperienced staff and it took several years for the Herald to rebuild its readership after the strike. Former Herald staff who left during or as a result of the strike can be found working for other publications, most notably the weekly business-oriented publication Business Edge.

On 25 February 2011 the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) asked the federal government to review (under the Investment Canada Act) the 2010 purchase of the newspaper by Postmedia Network.[9]

See also


  1. Audit Bureau of Circulations e-Circ data for the six months ending 30 September 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Diane Howard (2004), Wishart, David J., ed., Bob Edwards, Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press
  3. "About Us". Calgary Herald. Postmedia Network. ISSN 1197-2823. OCLC 29533985. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bergen, Bob. "Calgary Herald". The Canadian Encyclopedia. The Historica Dominion Institute. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  5. Ward, Tom (1975). Cowtown: an album of early Calgary. Calgary: City of Calgary Electric System, McClelland and Stewart West. p. 120. ISBN 0-7712-1012-4.
  6. 1 2 3 "Asper's media empire 30 years in the making", CBC News, 4 December 2003
  7. "Canwest receives $34-million in Hollinger settlement", Calgary Herald, 2011, retrieved 29 August 2015
  8. 1 2 The Canadian Press (14 July 2010). "Postmedia Network acquires Canwest's newspaper division". Toronto: CTVglobemedia. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  9. 1 2 3 4 The Canadian Press (25 February 2011). "CEP union asks for Postmedia deal review". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. 1 2 The Canadian Press (18 October 2011). "Victoria Times Colonist sold to B.C. company » Deal part of the sale of 23 B.C. newspapers". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  11. 1 2 McNish, Acquie; Krashinsky, Susan (29 September 2011). "The glitch in Postmedia's digital switch". The Globe & Mail. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  12. "Frank Swanson dies, publisher was 72", AP, Calgary, p. 6, 9 March 1990, retrieved 29 August 2015
  13. 1 2 Brian Brennan (10 June 2013). "J. Patrick O'Callaghan: Maverick publisher". Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 Bob Bergen (May 2002). Exposing the Boss: A Study In Canadian Journalism Ethics (PDF). Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership. p. 117. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  15. "Staff - Canada West Foundation", Canada West Foundation
  16. "Lorne Motley named Herald editor-in-chief: The Calgary Herald appointed a new editor-in-chief Monday, naming deputy editor Lorne Motley to the newsroom's top post", Calgary Herald, 3 October 2006
  17. "Postmedia Network Inc. Appoints Guy Huntingford Publisher of the Calgary Herald", Postmedia, Toronto, 12 August 2010, retrieved 29 August 2015
  18. Simon Houpt (30 April 2013). "Postmedia drops publishers". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  19. Bob Bergen (May 2002). A Case Study in Journalism Ethics: The Calgary Herald (PDF). Exposing the Boss: A Study In Canadian Journalism Ethics. Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership. Sheldon Chumir. Retrieved 29 August 2015.


  • Sydney Suissa (1983). From Canvas Walls to Marble Halls: A History of the First Thirty Years of the Calgary Herald, BA thesis. University of Calgary (Thesis). 

External links

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