Canuck press baron Conrad Black, now a UK citizen, has unloaded his fifty per cent stake in Canada’s right-wing National Post newspaper, launched by him in 1998.

The buyer is CanWest Global Communications, owner of the other half of the Post which it acquired in 2000 along with thirteen other newspapers also owned by Black’s holding company Hollinger International – whose properties include the Chicago Sun-Times, the UK’s Daily and Sunday Telegraph titles, and the Jerusalem Post.

In a statement posted on the National Post website, Black got lachrymose: “It's sad. That paper was really our baby … but it is a robust baby we're putting into good hands. If we tried to carry on alone we would've had real problems.”

The statement revealed that CanWest is also to acquire the National Post's on-line service and Saturday Night Magazine, distributed with the Post on Saturdays. Black will step down as publisher of the Post on September 1 and the transaction finalizes on March 31 next, subject to Competitive Bureau approval.

News source: CampaignLive (UK) [27-Aug-01]