Because it's deadline day for bids on the CanWest Publishing Empire:
TODAY is the deadline for offers to purchase the assets of Canwest Limited Partnership, the Canwest unit that owns digital media and newspapers across the country, in a separate court-supervised process.
The Big Five Canadian banks, which are Canwest's senior secured lenders, have put in an initial bid of about $925 million to get the auction going. But they hope to get a higher offer of more than $1 billion so they can get their loans repaid.
Several bidders have emerged, including three Canadian media veterans, headlined by former Canadian senator Jerry Grafstein, who launched a bid in January for three papers -- the National Post, the Montreal Gazette and the Ottawa Citizen.
Under that offer, Canwest would have to find someone else to buy the rest of its newspaper operations, which include the Edmonton Journal, Victoria Times-Colonist and two Vancouver dailies, the Sun and Province.
Victoria, B.C.-based Black Press, the small-market newspaper chain headed by businessman David Black, is also reported to be in the running.
Another B.C. publishing outfit, community newspaper publisher Glacier Media Inc., is reported to be in the hunt for Canwest's smaller papers, as is a group led by National Post chief executive Paul Godfrey.
Personally, I hope that moguls like Mr David (notLord)Black don't win.
Because I think that the best thing that could happen to this country would be a piecemeal sell-off of the papers.
I mean - can you imagine if the Province and the VSun actually started competing with each other for stories in this town?
And if the Victoria Times-Colonist could really become truly independent.
Heckfire - I say get rid of the hyphen altogether and have both a Times and a Colonist to go after all those advertisers that Mr. NotConrad has stuffed into the middle pages of his suburban wasteland rags.
Please note: The wire copy-assisted piece pasted in above ran in the decidedly not CanWestian Winnipeg Free Press.....We promise to pay them back for taking the entire thing this one time, by buying real dead tree editions whenever possible.