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The Montreal Star


The Montreal Star

The Montreal Star
A copy of The Montreal Evening Star from 1869
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner 1869-1925, Hugh Graham and George T. Lanigan;
1925-1963, John Wilson McConnell;
1963-1979, Free Press Publications
Founded January 16, 1869
Political alignment Canadian federalism
Language English language
Ceased publication September 25, 1979
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Montreal Star was an English-language Canadian newspaper published in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It folded in 1979 in the wake of an eight-month pressmen's strike.

It was Canada's largest newspaper until the 1950s and remained the dominant English-language newspaper in Montreal until shortly before its closure.


The paper was founded on January 16, 1869 by Hugh Graham, 1st Baron Atholstan and George T. Lanigan as the Montreal Evening Star. He would run the newspaper for nearly 70 years. In 1877, The Evening Star became known as The Montreal Daily Star.

By 1915, the Montreal Star dominated the English-language evening newspaper market in Montreal. Hugh Graham was able to run his newspaper's competitors out of business, thus assuring control of the English-language market.

In 1925, Graham sold the Montreal Star to John Wilson McConnell, but continued to be in charge of the newspaper until his death in 1938. Two other newspapers, the Montreal Standard[1] and Family Herald, were under the same ownership.

Beginning in the 1940s, the Montreal Star became very successful, its circulation was nearly 180,000 copies and it remained around that level for approximately thirty years.

In 1951, the Montreal Star launched its Weekend Magazine supplement (subsuming the former Montreal Standard), with an initial circulation of 900,000.[2]

After McConnell's death, the Montreal Star was acquired by Toronto-based FP newspaper group, which also owned The Globe and Mail and the Winnipeg Free Press. The FP chain was later acquired by Thomson Newspapers in 1980.

In 1978, a strike by pressmen (printers' union) began and lasted eight months. Although the strike was settled in February 1979 and the Star resumed publication, it had lost readers and advertisers to the rival paper The Gazette, and shut down permanently only a few months later on September 25, 1979. The Gazette acquired the Star's building, presses, and archives, and became the sole English-language daily in Montreal. Prior to the strike the Star had consistently out-sold The Gazette.[3]

The newspaper ceased publication only a few months after another Montreal daily, Montréal-Matin, stopped the presses. These closings left many Montrealers concerned.[4]

The simultaneous closing of the Star, Calgary Albertan, Winnipeg Tribune, and Ottawa Journal caused the federal government to establish the Kent Commission to examine newspaper monopolies in Canada.

Notable contributors

It was the first newspaper in Canada to employ a staff editorial cartoonist, when it hired Henri Julien in 1888.[5]

Its sports editor Harold Atkins, writing under the column 'Sports Snippings', nicknamed both Maurice Richard as the "Rocket" and the wheelchair basketball team as "The Wheelchair Wonders".

Other contributors of note included Red Fisher, Doris Giller, Nick Auf der Maur, Don Macpherson, Terry Mosher and Dennis Trudeau, many of whom moved over to The Gazette when the Star folded.

Raymond Heard was the newspaper's White House correspondent from 1963 until 1973, and then served as the newspaper's Managing Editor, with responsibility for all content, from 1976 until it closed in 1979.

See also

Montreal newspapers


External links

  • (in French)
  • Time Magazine article on The Montreal Star
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