So, it’s official. At some point during the day on Tuesday, the $1.1-billion deal to purchase the publishing, online and other non-broadcast interests of Canwest Global Communications Corp. was finalized. I, like thousands of others across the country, have a new employer.
Once that happened, changes started happening fast, but they were for the most part cosmetic. Boilerplate notices have been changed (The Gazette’s nameplate on Page A1 now says “a division of Postmedia Network Inc.”, websites say “copyright 2010 Postmedia Network Inc.”), the most noticeable of which is that Canwest News Service, as of about 4pm Tuesday, was officially renamed Postmedia News. Stories from that news service immediately started appearing under that name.
Because the Canwest trademark is under the broadcast side which has been purchased by Shaw, it’s being scrubbed out of every nook and cranny of the publishing side (something few of my colleagues are feeling too upset about). This means changing names of divisions with Canwest in their names, removing references to Canwest to replace them with Postmedia Network, and most likely eventually mean everyone gets new email addresses too, a change many reporters will remember from when @thegazette.southam.ca became @thegazette.canwest.com.
I wish I could tell you of something more substantial behind the scenes, but (a) there isn’t yet that I know about, and (b) if I do know about it, it’s because it’s been announced internally, and you’ll quickly find it reported by other media. Expect announcements soon about new top executives, but I wouldn’t look for any major changes that affect business at the individual newspaper level yet.
One important facet of this whole process is that the former Canwest papers and the Global television network (and other Canwest broadcast interests) are now owned by different companies. So I have no conflict in writing about Global, and no fear of being called into a boss’s office if I point out that they spiced up a news report by adding unrelated footage.
In lieu of fascinating analysis by me, I’ll invite you to read this Financial Post piece about the way Postmedia Network (a company whose name is not to be abbreviated, I’m told) came to be. How the National Post managed to get this kind of information about a company run by the man who was until now CEO of the National Post will remain a mystery…