Tag Archives: Woodstock-Bugle-Observer

Goodbye Free Press

A year after a former publisher for an Irving-owned New Brunswick weekly left and started a competing paper, that paper (the Carleton Free Press) has been forced to close down. Might have something to do with the Irving-owned Woodstock Bugle-Observer slashing subscription and advertising costs to run the CFP out of business.

We’ll see if those rates go back up now that the Free Press is no more.

UPDATE: For what it’s worth, the Irving company Brunswick News, which owns the Bugle-Observer and every other newspaper weekly in New Brunswick, denies the charges, says it wasn’t using predatory pricing and that the Free Press’s financial problems had to do with the sagging dollar. Pandering politicians have called for inquiries into Irving’s newspaper monopoly.

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.