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The front of the redesigned National Post, September 28, 2007
|Owner(s)||Postmedia Network Inc.|
|Headquarters||365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario|
The National Post is a Canadian English-language national newspaper based in Toronto, Canada. The paper is the flagship publication of Postmedia Network, and is published Mondays through Saturdays. It was founded in 1998 by Conrad Black.
Black built the National Post around the Financial Post, a financial newspaper in Toronto which he purchased from Sun Media in 1997. Financial Post was retained as the name of the new paper's business section.
Outside Toronto, the Post was built on the printing and distribution infrastructure of Black's national newspaper chain, formerly called Southam Newspapers, that included papers such as the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, and Vancouver Sun. The Post became Black's national flagship title, and massive amounts of start-up spending were dedicated to the product in its first few years under editor Ken Whyte.
Beyond his political vision, Black was attempting to compete more directly with Kenneth Thomson's media empire led by Canada's The Globe and Mail, which Black perceived as an establishment newspaper.
When the Post launched, its editorial stance was conservative. It advocated a "unite-the-right" movement to create a viable alternative to the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien, and was a supporter of the Canadian Alliance. The Post's op-ed page has included dissenting columns by liberals such as Linda McQuaig, as well as conservatives including Mark Steyn and Diane Francis, and David Frum. Original members of the Post editorial board included conservative author/commentator Ezra Levant, entrepreneur and neoconservative-turned post-partisan author Neil Seeman, author Jonathan Kay, Conservative Member of Parliament John Williamson and the author/historian Alexander Rose.
Sale to CanWest Global
The Post was unable to maintain momentum in the market without continuing to spend heavily and accumulate mounting financial losses. At the same time, Conrad Black was becoming preoccupied by impending troubles with his debt-heavy media empire, Hollinger International. Black finally decided to divest his Canadian media holdings, including the Post. Black sold the Post to CanWest Global Communications Corp, controlled by Israel "Izzy" Asper, in two stages – 50% in 2000, along with the entire Southam newspaper chain, and the remaining 50% in 2001. CanWest Global also owned the Global Television Network, and there was heavy cross-promotion between the company's newspaper and television properties.
Izzy Asper died suddenly in October 2003, leaving his media empire in the hands of his two sons, Leonard and David Asper, the latter serving as chairman of the Post. Editor-in-chief Matthew Fraser departed in 2005 after the arrival of a new publisher, Les Pyette – the paper's seventh publisher in seven years. Fraser's deputy editor, Doug Kelly succeeded him as editor. Pyette departed seven months after his arrival, replaced by Gordon Fisher.
Since Izzy Asper's acquisition of the National Post, the paper has become a strong voice in support of the state of Israel and its government. The Post was one of the few Canadian papers to offer unreserved support to Israel during its conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon during 2006. Canadian pundits argue whether the Post's support of Israel is a legacy of its late founder's political ideology or a shrewd business manoeuvre.
The Post effectively abandoned its claim as a national newspaper in 2006 as print subscriptions were dropped in Atlantic Canada and then print editions were removed from all Atlantic Canadian newsstands except in Halifax as of 2007. The newspaper continued its erosion in 2008 with the announcement that weekday editions and home delivery would no longer be available in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Politically, the Post has retained a conservative editorial stance under the Aspers' ownership. The Asper family has long been a strong supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada, though they have always had libertarian leanings. Izzy Asper was once leader of the Liberal Party in his home province of Manitoba. The Aspers had controversially fired the publisher of the Ottawa Citizen, Russell Mills, for calling for the resignation of Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien.
However, the Post endorsed the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2004 election when Fraser was editor. The Conservatives narrowly lost that election to the Liberals. After the election, the Post surprised many of its conservative readers by shifting its support to the victorious Liberal government of prime minister Paul Martin, and was highly critical of the Conservatives and their leader, Stephen Harper. The paper switched camps again in the runup to the 2006 election (in which the Conservatives won a minority government). During the election campaign, David Asper appeared publicly several times to endorse the Conservatives.
Like its competitor The Globe and Mail, the Post publishes a separate edition in Toronto, Canada's largest city and the fourth largest media centre in North America after New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The Toronto edition includes additional local content not published in the edition distributed to the rest of Canada, and is printed at the Toronto Star presses in Vaughan.
On September 27, 2007, the Post unveiled a major redesign of its appearance. Guided by Gayle Grin, the Post's managing editor of design and graphics, the redesign features a standardization in the size of typeface and the number of typefaces used, cleaner font for charts and graphs, and the move of the nameplate banner from the top to the left side of Page 1 as well as each section's front page.
In 2009, the paper announced that as a temporary cost-cutting measure, it will not print a Monday edition from July to September 2009. On October 29, 2009, Canwest Global announced that due to a lack of funding, The National Post might close down as of October 30, 2009, subject to moving the paper to a new holding company. Late on October 29, 2009 Ontario Superior Court Justice Sarah Pepall ruled in Canwest's favour and allowed the paper to move into a holding company.  Investment bankers hired by CanWest received no offers when they tried to sell the National Post earlier this year. Without a buyer closing the paper was studied, but the costs were greater than gains from liquidating assets. The lawyer for CanWest, in arguing to Justice Pepall, said the National Post added value to other papers in the CanWest chain.
On October 28, 2011, The Post announced its first ever yearly profit.
The paper now belongs to Postmedia Network Canada Corp. which is a Canadian media company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, consisting of the publishing properties of the former Canwest, with primary operations in newspaper publishing, news gathering and Internet operations.
The ownership group was assembled by National Post CEO Paul Godfrey in 2010 to bid for the chain of newspapers being sold by the financially troubled Canwest (the company's broadcasting assets were sold separately to Shaw Communications). Godfrey secured financial backing from U.S. private-equity firm Golden Tree Asset Management as well as other investors. The group completed a $1.1 billion transaction to acquire the chain from Canwest on July 13, 2010. The new company has over 5,500 employees. The company's shares were listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2011.
2006 Iran Controversy
On May 19, 2006, the newspaper ran two pieces alleging that the Iranian parliament had passed a law requiring religious minorities to wear special identifying badges. One piece was a front page news item titled "IRAN EYES BADGES FOR JEWS" accompanied by a 1935 picture of two Jews bearing Nazi-ordered yellow badges. Later on the same day, experts began coming forward to deny the accuracy of the Post story. The story proved to be false, but not before it had been picked up by a variety of other news media and generated comment from world leaders. Comments on the story by the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper caused Iran to summon Canada's ambassador to Tehran, Gordon E. Venner, for an explanation.
On May 24, 2006, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Doug Kelly, published an apology for the story on Page 2, admitting that it was false and the National Post had not exercised enough caution or checked enough sources.
Canadian Islamic Congress
Since 1998, the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) has been actively monitoring media coverage for anti-Muslim or anti-Islam sentiment and has issued reports highlighting its findings. It has opposed the use of phrases such as "Islamic guerrillas," "Islamic insurgency" and "Muslim militants" saying that terms like "militant" or "terrorist" should be used without a religious association "since no religion teaches or endorses terrorism, militancy or extremism." The Congress has singled out the National Post, saying the paper "consistently is No. 1" as an anti-Islam media outlet.
Response from the National Post
A number of writers for the National Post have subsequently criticized the CIC over accusations that the newspaper is anti-Islam. Alexander Rose, wrote that "judging by its [CIC's] support for the  Durban Conference, during which hook-nosed Jews were equated with apartheid and genocide, the CIC doesn't seem to have problems with some kinds of truly inflammatory racist language" and that the CIC's "fetish for censorship in the interest of "social harmony", as the CIC puts it, reeks of the very authoritarianism oppressing Muslims in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia." In addition, Rose stated that "By editing out bad language, it seems, the CIC believes that correct thoughts will result, even at the necessary expense of reporting the truth." Robert Fulford wrote that the CIC "justifies its existence mainly by complaining about acts of prejudice that haven't happened" and that "it's ridiculous to suggest that we avoid the subject of religion when crimes are committed in the name of that religion by men and women considered part of it", while Jonathan Kay wrote that "the folks at the Canadian Islamic Congress purport to be the arbiters of what can and can't be said in this country" and that CIC President Elmasry is "the country's self-appointed judge of all that is hateful." 
Editors in chief
Editorial positions in 2010s
- Doug Kelly, Publisher
- Stephen Meurice, Editor-in-Chief
- Kevin Libin, Managing Editor, News
- Jonathan Kay, Managing Editor, Comment (1998-2014)
- Benjamin Errett, Managing Editor, Features
- Grant Ellis, Managing Editor, Financial Post
- Gayle Grin, Managing Editor, Design and Graphics
- Terence Corcoran, FP Editor
- Diane Francis, FP Editor-at-large
- Rob Roberts, National Editor
- Ron Wadden, Toronto Editor
- Michael Higgins, Foreign Editor
- Jo-Anne MacDonald, Night Editor
- Jim Bray, Sports Editor
- Jeff Wasserman, Photography and Multimedia Editor
- Maryam Siddiqi, Deputy Managing Editor, Features
- Barry Hertz, Arts & Life Editor
- Mark Medley, Books Editor
- Jessica Johnston, Travel Editor
The following are a list of past and present columnists in the National Post.
- Patrick Allossery
- Bruce Arthur
- Dave Bidini
- Conrad Black
- Christie Blatchford
- David Booth
- Kelvin Browne
- Jonathan Chevreau
- Claudia Cattaneo
- Terence Corcoran
- Andrew Coyne
- Barry Critchley
- Robert Cushman
- Father Raymond J. de Souza
- Graeme Fletcher
- Peter Foster
- Diane Francis
- David Frum
- Robert Fulford
- Jamie Golombek
- Shinan Govani
- Lorne Gunter
- William Hanley
- Christopher Hitchens
- Brian Hutchinson
- John Ivison
- George Jonas
- Barbara Kay
- Jonathan Kay
- Tasha Kheiriddin
- Chris Knight
- Charles Krauthammer
- Peter Kuitenbrouwer
- Howard Levitt
- Kevin Libin
- Garry Marr
- Kelly McParland
- Rex Murphy
- Steve Murray
- Christopher G. Nardi
- Amy Rosen
- Chris Selley
- Rosemary Sexton
- Mireille Silcoff
- Lawrence Solomon
- Marni Soupcoff
- Rick Spence
- Bonnie Stern
- Mark Steyn
- Theresa Tedesco
- William Watson
- George Will
- Brett Wilson
- "World Newspapers and Magazines: Canada". Worldpress.org. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
- "Total Circ for Canadian Newspapers". Alliance for Audited Media. March 31, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
- "The newspaper war was fun while it lasted". The Globe and Mail, August 25, 2001.
- The media war against Israel
- "CBC News Indepth: Israel Asper". CBC News.
- "National Post limits Atlantic distribution". CBC News. March 29, 2006.
- "National Post limits Atlantic sales to Halifax". CBC News. August 9, 2007.
- "National Post axes weekday edition in Manitoba, Saskatchewan". CBC News. October 30, 2008.
- "National Post halts Monday edition during summer". newslab.ca, May 3, 2009.
- Wojtek Dabrowski (29 October 2009). "Canwest: National Post could close after Friday". Canadian Online Explorer.
- Friend, David (October 30, 2009). "Will judge's Canwest decision save the National Post?". Toronto: thestar.
- Robertson, Grant (October 31, 2009). "No outside buyer, CanWest shuffles National Post". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved Oct 31, 2009.
- Post toasts 13th birthday with first profit
- "Postmedia Network opens new era for newspaper chain", Financial Post, 13 July 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- Postmedia begins trading on TSX
- Hess, Henry, "Media's portrayal of Islam criticized", Globe and Mail, September 24, 1998
- Petricevic, Mirko, "When religion's in the news; Faith groups often voice outrage about unfair media reports, so scholars are trying to determine if the complaints are valid", Kitchener-Waterloo Record, August 25, 2007.
- Alexander Rose (2001-12-12). "Islamist Purging". National Post (retrieved from the National Review Online (NRO).
- Robert Fulford (2005-07-08). "Elmasry's fantasy outrage". National Post (retrieved from Robert Fulford's website.
- Jonathan Kay (2008-05-05). "Jonathan Kay on the hate speech experts at the Canadian Islamic Congress". National Post.
- "Columnists". The National Post. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- Official website
- Guide to the Post's September 2007 redesign
- Video from Global Ontario on the Post's September 2007 redesign