A Paper Tiger Tamed? SUNDAY CHOICE Storyville: Conrad Black: The Last Press Baron 9pm, BBC4

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 15, 2004 | Go to article overview

A Paper Tiger Tamed? SUNDAY CHOICE Storyville: Conrad Black: The Last Press Baron 9pm, BBC4


Byline: DANIEL LEE

AS NEWSPAPER tycoon Conrad Black faces investigations into his corporate dealings, this new film from US director Debbie Melnyk paints a picture of the man that is strikingly like Orson Welles's portrayal of Charles Foster Kane.

Black would seemingly let nothing stand in the way of his selfaggrandisement, as if there were something missing at his core.

Conrad Moffat Black, born in 1944 in Montreal, was the son of a wealthy brewery executive. When still in his twenties, Black began buying small Canadian newspapers. As a localpaper owner, he became mesmerised by Lyndon B Johnson and used his publication to write in favour of the war in Vietnam, running counter to much of US and world press.

Johnson thanked him, and Black thereafter frequently published interviews with the president.

By the 1990s, the Hollinger group, which controlled both Canadian newspapers and dailies around the world, including the Daily Telegraph, ended up with revenues peaking at more than $2 billion. But Black gained a reputation for vicious cost-cutting and shedding staff. …

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