English newspapers! A whole big bunch! If only we had fully appreciated them at the time.
The juggernaut newspaper back in the ’50s when I was a kid was, without a doubt, The Montreal Star. First known as the Montreal Daily Star, it became the go-to paper of Montreal’s anglo community. (How sad it was when it folded in 1979, never able to rebound after a protracted pressmen’s strike ended.)
The Montreal Gazette had a captive morning audience, mind you, but in the afternoon and evening, the Star was unmatched. My brother used to deliver it after school. I still remember going “collecting” with him on his bike sometimes, in NDG, on his weekly rounds. Once he even shared his tips with me. A little. Okay, maybe he gave me a nickel. 🙂
We had another daily during the ’50s, until it folded in 1957 – the Montreal Herald. This was tabloid sized and featured many articles of local interest. It was the second paper my brother, Dan Rosenburg, wrote for. He used to cover minor sports… after he got his start writing for the little weekly, The Monitor, when he was still in high school. The Monitor went online-only in 2009.
What’s left now? The Gazette. The Suburban (a local weekly). The Free Press – a tiny local bi-monthly. And the Montreal Times – formerly the West End Times – a weekly tabloid, basically an advertising vehicle. Oh, and The Senior Times – a monthly, much more like a thin magazine than a newspaper.
My assumption is that the golden age of newspapers was doomed by the coming of the digital revolution. But in Montreal, we had an added problem – the fact that many thousands of anglophones left the province in the ’70s to escape the rise of separatism – and there went a huge chunk of advertising and subscribers’ dollars.
So sad. It was goodbye to many of our friends, neighbours, family members, as well as to some of our favourite newspapers… all greatly missed.