Posted in Media, Montreal

Forgotten Star

montreal star

An anniversary that would have been forgotten had it not been for a piece in the National Post: The Montreal Star was shut down 30 years ago today.

Raymond Heard, who was the managing editor at the time, writes about its demise for the Post.

For those too young to remember, the Star was an evening paper, and the bigger of Montreal’s anglophone newspapers until a pressmen’s strike in 1978 caused it to lose readers and advertisers to its competitor The Gazette. By the time the strike had been settled, it was too late to recover, and the Star shut down months later. Some of the big names at The Gazette now, like Red Fisher, Mike Boone and Aislin, moved there from the Star (though Aislin moved before the strike).

11 thoughts on “Forgotten Star

  1. Maria Gatti

    Hate to admit this Steve (car ça ne me rajeunit pas) but I remember that clearly, and attended meetings of the journalists there about the shutdown. I was a member of la Fédération nationale des communications (FNC-CSN), a few years younger than you are now. Had friends who worked at the Star.

    Comments in the Pest are rarely very insightful, but do want to point out that one ijut talked about the Gazette not being very good because it was in a “one-newspaper town”. Rolling eyes wildly at that one…

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      Pest = La Presse? Indeed, it is a crappy paper… (Well, it’s Desmarais’ mouthpiece, and we know how he works hard to further Québec’s interests – snicker)…

      Reply
  2. Singlestar

    So, as you read it, it the workers’ fault that the Star closed? I always understood that Star management was willing to pay the going cost for newsprint but not for labour.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      As the Post piece points out, the blame can be shared between the pressmen who went on strike, management who played hardball (and couldn’t recover after the strike was over), and The Gazette which took advantage of weakness.

      Reply
  3. Lloyd

    I too delivered both The Gazette in the morning before school and The Star after school. Not big routes mind you, but it gave a bit of pocket change to a 15 year old. Maybe to buy a little hash with !
    Will never forget the date of the Star’s demise as it took place on my 24th birthday. Long after my carrier days were over. Still have a copy of last “Final” edition wrapped in a plastic bag for posterity. If I recall they used to have 3 editions. Morning, Postscript, and Final. Postscript was the one that was sent to the burbs for home delivery.

    Reply
  4. Jean Naimard

    The Star was a staple of saturday reading at my parents’… (Yes, I read english newspapers – we’ve got to know our ennemy). When it shut down, we never a single time bought The Gazoo (sorry Fagstein, nothing personal) afterwards. That was the end of the english papers at home…

    Reply

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