Irving really doesn’t like competition

The CBC has a story this week about how the Irving Family (which owns New Brunswick) is suing a former manager who is starting a competing paper.

Though a search of William Kenneth Langdon’s home found documents from the Woodstock Bugle-Observer, he swears he just forgot about them and anyway they would be useless in making a newspaper.

Besides the stupidity of having such documents at your home, don’t managers leave for competing news media all the time? Imagine what would happen if they could all be sued for it.

This case, of course, takes on added meaning because Langdon is starting a new newspaper in a province where every major newspaper is owned by one company. And he left the old paper because of Irving’s ruthless anti-competitive activities. In the end, the Irvings come out looking like megalomaniac supervillains of comical evility.

But perhaps more important, is Woodstock, New Brunswick (pop. 5,000) really the town in that province most in need of a second competing newspaper?

UPDATE (Oct. 26): J-Source gives a roundup of some more coverage of the case, including allegations that Irving papers aren’t reporting on it fairly.

UPDATE (Nov. 5): J-Source’s Deb Jones says Langdon has won a court case and will be allowed to compete against Irving’s papers.

3 thoughts on “Irving really doesn’t like competition

  1. Anonymous

    It’s always nice to add a llittle fact to the fantasy.

    Two points:
    Langdon had previously successfully created and expanded a viable local advertiser in the Woodstock area. So successfully,in fact, that Irving bought him out and took over (and to this day maintains) the advertiser that Langdon created.

    In light of this, the position of Irving that Langdon “needed” the product of learnings in order to create a viable competitive publication is ludicrous.

    Secondly, given the tremendous expectations for productivity that Irving has of all employees, it is unimaginable that Langdon would NOT have important documents on his personal PC. Frankly, 14 hour working days usually happen partly in the office, and partly in the home- in all sectors, not just media.

    Let’s face it. This case is about the audacity of an employee to challenge, on any level, the great Irving empire. On a final note: to BNB……competition is legal/predatory pricing is both unethical and illegal. Enough said.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Mlodecki’s response to CBC publishing the affadavits is fascinating. In his own words he reveals that they paid Windsor 2.3 million for his flyer business in 2001 with a 5 year non-compete agreement which Windsor honored… and now Irving has a 1 million dollar price tag on putting him out of business??? Whose unethical??
    Mlodecki refers to Whiting as an “experienced, qualified and valued” employee and in the very next sentence states that her affadavit is fictitious and ridiculous?? What exactly is it the Irvings value?
    Langdon was with BNI for 10 years, the last 4 as editor? Must’ve been promoted… must’ve been an experienced, qualified and valued employee… So much so that BNI offered him a 3 year non-compete agreement. His expertise must’ve posed some sort of threat.
    What?.. and had BNI documents while he was still employed by BNI. Who cares? He was still employed by BNI.
    The crime here is in the Irving’s wasting tax payer’s dollars in the court systems.

    Reply
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