Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Zero Hour for CanWest

They danced as long as they could, frantically organizing and re-organizing a huge and growing debt load. Eventually as the mountain of debt reached the surreal level of over four billion dollars - bigger than many countries - it became as effective as trying to bail out the Titanic with a bucket.

The TV chain and the National Pest will be broken up and sold in chunks to the highest bidder. There are rumours that the Asper family will make another bid to hold onto the rest of the newspaper chain organized under Canwest LP, but the way to bet is regional players will carve off chunks, like Torstar picking up the Ottawa Citizen because it fits their regional focus but having no interest in picking up western papers like the Calgary Herald.

I feel for employees, union members and staffers who had no control over the irrational empire building exuberance of the Asper board room and reporters who were as embarrassed and offended by the enforced Asper family bias on political and Middle Eastern news as the rest of us.

But over all the collapse of a reactionary, far right media empire isn't going to bring tears to my eyes. In Calgary I have hopes that my daily broadsheet might return to the halfway decent rag it was before Conrad Black and Southam began the corrupting work that the Aspers and CanWest completed.

Mourn for jobs but not for the Aspers.

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