Calgary Herald

Last updated

Calgary Herald
Calgary Herald (2020-01-15).svg
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Postmedia Network
EditorLorne Motley
Founded13 August 1883 (1883-08-13)
Headquarters215 16th Street SE, Calgary, Alberta
Circulation 107,954 weekdays
101,725 Saturdays in 2015 [1]
Sister newspapers Edmonton Journal
ISSN 1197-2823
OCLC number 29533985
Former logo Calgary Herald.svg
Former logo

The Calgary Herald is a daily newspaper published in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Publication began 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, 26 May 1912 Alexander Grant MacKay cartoon.jpg
Political cartoon of Alexander Grant MacKay moving from Ontario to Alberta, Calgary Herald, 26 May 1912

The Calgary Herald, Mining and Ranche Advocate and General Advertiser started publication on 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] 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] [4] 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, then one of Canada's leading journalists, with a reputation as a critic of government and society and as a "supporter of the emancipation of women and the temperance crusade," and reprinted some of his articles in the Herald. [2] :511–512

From February 1890 to August 1893 and from 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. Publication of a daily edition began in fall 1983. [3] Publication of the Calgary Daily Herald under the name Calgary Herald began in February 1939, as an afternoon edition until April 1985. It is now delivered in the morning.


The Calgary Herald has seen like most Canadian daily newspapers a decline in circulation. Its total circulation dropped by 14 percent to 106,916 copies daily from 2009 to 2015. [5]

Daily average [6]



In January 1908, the Southam Company purchased a majority interest in the Calgary Herald. [3]

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." [7]

By 2003, Southam "was fully absorbed into CanWest Global Communications." [3] [7] [8] 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." [7]

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. [3] [9]


Postmedia purchased the Calgary Herald from Canwest in 2010. [3] [10] [11] 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. [9]

By October 2011, Postmedia had cut about 500 full-time jobs across the many newspapers it owns [10] to deal with the debt it inherited with the 2010 purchase. [11] 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." [10]

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 its websites and social media platforms like Twitter as advertising revenue migrated from printed to digital media. The Calgary Herald, like Postmedia's 45 other metropolitan and community newspapers, was struggling financially. Postmedia's print circulation and advertising sales, which accounted for 90 percent of its revenue, declined, its debt load was heavy, which forced it to cut costs aggressively cut. [12] In spite of the digital innovations at the Calgary Herald' in which staff did not have the protection of a union, and there were even deeper job cuts. Postmedia met with union-resistance at its other papers. [12]


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. [13] 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." [14]

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. [14] [15] :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." [16]

Ken King

Ken King, then-publisher of The Calgary Sun with an advertising background, became publisher of the Calgary Herald in February 1996. [15] 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 a publisher, Conrad Black acquired the Southam newspaper chain and the Calgary Herald. [15] :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." [15] :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." [15] :18

Malcolm Kirk

Malcolm Kirk, was appointed the Herald's publisher in August, 2006. [17]

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 the publisher of the Calgary Herald as it "continues its transformation into an integrated multimedia brand." [18] 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. [19]

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. [20] 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.[ citation needed ]

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. [10]


A June 2010 series, "Worked to Death" on the "human costs of Alberta's economic boom" by Chris Varcoe and research by Kelly Cryderman and Renata D’Aliesio, won the 2010 Michener Award, one of the highest distinctions in Canadian journalism. In his June 14, 2011 acceptance speech, Varcoe acknowledged the support of the newspaper, particularly editors Lorne Motley and Monica Zurowski, who invested resources for over a year to "important civic journalism". [21] The series was the culmination of collaboration work by a "photographers, researchers, editors, graphic artists and online journalists" that spanned a year. The series resulted in changes in the way in which the Alberta government improved the province's workplace safety enforcement system. [21]

Notable journalists

See also


  1. "2015 Daily Newspaper Circulation Spreadsheet (Excel)". News Media Canada. Retrieved 16 December 2017. Numbers are based on the total circulation (print plus digital editions).
  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. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bergen, Bob. "Calgary Herald". The Canadian Encyclopedia . Historica Canada . Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  4. 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. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  5. "Daily Newspaper Circulation Data". News Media Canada. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  6. "Daily Newspaper Circulation Data". News Media Canada. Retrieved 16 December 2017. Figures refer to the total circulation (print and digital combined) which includes paid and unpaid copies.
  7. 1 2 3 "Asper's media empire 30 years in the making", CBC News, 4 December 2003, retrieved 30 August 2015
  8. "Canwest receives $34-million in Hollinger settlement", Calgary Herald, 2011, retrieved 29 August 2015
  9. 1 2 The Canadian Press (14 July 2010). "Postmedia Network acquires Canwest's newspaper division". Toronto: CTVglobemedia. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. 1 2 3 4 The Canadian Press (25 February 2011). "CEP union asks for Postmedia deal review". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation . Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  11. 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.
  12. 1 2 McNish, Acquie; Krashinsky, Susan (29 September 2011). "The glitch in Postmedia's digital switch". The Globe and Mail . Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  13. "Frank Swanson dies, publisher was 72", AP, Calgary, p. 6, 9 March 1990, retrieved 29 August 2015
  14. 1 2 Brian Brennan (10 June 2013). "J. Patrick O'Callaghan: Maverick publisher". Archived from the original on 30 October 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  15. 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.
  16. "Staff - Canada West Foundation", Canada West Foundation
  17. "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, archived from the original on 23 September 2015
  18. "Postmedia Network Inc. Appoints Guy Huntingford Publisher of the Calgary Herald", Postmedia, Toronto, 12 August 2010, retrieved 29 August 2015
  19. Simon Houpt (30 April 2013). "Postmedia drops publishers". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  20. 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.
  21. 1 2 "The Story behind the story: Reporter Chris Varcoe – The Calgary Herald". Michener Awards Foundation. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  22. Paikin, Steve (5 October 2009). "Three Questions with Bruce Dowbiggin". Retrieved 4 March 2019.

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