Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 16, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
38 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD October 16, 1974 I I I I I I SUNday publisher says low funds clouded venture CALGARY (CP) Starting a newspaper has proven dis- astrous more often than not and this city's SUNday was ho exception, but the weekly's publisher, Mike Horsey, thinks he knows what went wrong. The tabloid, which was launched last February, fold- ed in June because it hadn't enough money behind it to last until the gap between costs and income was closed, he said. "I think we made a grave mistake in not budgeting for a longer period of time. "We just didn't have enough money to with I would like to have tripled the financing and we would still be publishing a newspaper.'' Mr. Horsey, now in public relations, worked as a re- porter on Vancouver Sun after editing the University of British Columbia newspaper. With that background he says the newspaper business is in his blood and like many journalists he had a dream of starting his own newspaper. Backed venture So after a quick survey of the retail market he found seven Calgarians who agreed to back the venture and with .the publisher buying a full share, the paper started out on what he now considers a shoestring of about "I should have equipped us better for starters. Then I should have provided more capital funds-and I should have arranged further capital monies. "It's easy to see that we could have invested a quarter of a million dollars in this ven- ture before it returned a dime and instead we invested less than half of that. "It's not so much the loss of money. I am the least able to afford a substantial cash loss, .but I like the product. "We were bright, and a lit- tle sassy, and, we looked, I think, pretty good." SUNday was sassy enough to earn it two defamation suits, from a city alderman and a public school board trustee, but with the paper gone belly up, these now are in limbo. Copied dairies Much of the staff was cribb- ed from Calgary's two dailies, The Herald and The Albertan, with the rest made up of local people who wanted to write, including a rabbi who put out a -gossip column and a former football player who did the literature and arts pages as well as sports. Many of the feature stories in SUNday could be found in any daily with exceptions oc- curring when the staffer bore down on an issue, using the time a weekly affords. Mr. Horsey especially remembers a couple of good consumer features, a hard look at the problems of some individual communities and sports sto- ries on things like squash, box- ing and cross-country mo- torcycle racing. The paper was sprinkled with weekend news and sports provided by United Press In- ternational and even had a short story and poetry page. Most of the dis- tribution was home delivery but SUNday could be bought on the street for 25 cents. Mr. Horsey said he was trying to distribute it free to each household once and while he never quite made the paid circulation was getting up. around Had many ads i Between 30 and 40 per cent of its 28 to 32 pages were ad- vertising including a couple of major department stores and Mr. Horsey feels if SUNday could have lasted to the "back to school" and Christmas advertising of the fall and ear- ly winter, the tabloid could have survived. was an interesting thing, especially when it was dying, to just look at the number of pages of advertising we had. and know what your cost is and know you're not going to make it. The gap was cer- tainly closing." As the end drew near and the Calgary backers refused to put any more money into SUNday, Mr. Horsey said he tried convince eastern pub- lishers to buy half of the oper- ation. Had he started that pro- ject sooner, he said, he might have been able to close a deal and kept the sheet going. The 33-year-old Mr. Horsey says he's not going to try it again but remains convinced the publication could have been a success. The concept is pretty good and I think it's possible. "There are one or two things that will affect it. One of them is the current eco- nomic situation. It's slowing to a crawl... and I think one of the first things to go in an economic recession or a depression is a new publica- tion which has not proved it's .worthwhile. "The other major factor is the cost of paper. "The price of paper and the economic climate are against it so I don't think you'll see any Sunday papers or any kind of new successful publi- cations for a little while now." Sears programs! ling domes out in the wash heavynjuty automatic Kenmore Pre-soaks, heavily-soi jeans. Handles delicate lingerie wit 2nd low speed. 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Sdaysonly best value Available from coast to coast in Canada through ail Simpsons-Sears stores and selected catalogue sales offices, this very special offer is the sincerest effort Simpsons-Sears can make to bring you merchandise that combines fine quality with the lowest possible price. Simpsons-Sears Ltd. Cowboy started literary paper By JOHN LeBLANC TORONTO (CP) A one- time cowpoke and stagecoach driver came out of the west to become the social and cultural arbiter of Toronto through a literary creation that now is foundering in its 87th year. Edmund Ernest Sheppard founded Toronto Saturday Night, aimed at the elite up- per class of the 1880s. It grew into a national institution and an outlet for some of the best Of Canadian writing, un- derwent a name change and various rebirths, and became an articulate voice of Cana- dian nationalism and culture. But readership and finances dwindled and editor Robert Fulford announced last week that Saturday Night is suspending publication. Barr- ing an unforeseen rescue operation, it looks like the end for the monthly magazine.. Sheppard, a native of St. Thomas, Ont., who had picked up the free-and-easy ways of the United States southwest and Mexico before coming to Toronto, started the magazine in 1887. He gave the burgeoning then with about its first consistent coverage of books, art, the theatre and other cultural topics. In fact, he also reviewed clergymen's Sunday sermons, rating them as he would a the- atrics' performance. The same went for church choirs and organists, then a promi- nent element of the Toronto musical scene. cial chicanery in the booming stock market, and was said to have been threatened. with more lawsuits than any editor of his time. Hector Charlesworth, who had had his adolescent poetry published in Saturday Night, succeeded him but left six years later to head .the Cana- dian Radio Broadcasting Commission, parent of the CBC. Under the next editor, B. K. Sandwell, Saturday Night at- tained its golden years of in- fluence, between 1932 and 1951, although its circulation touched only It peaked at eight years ago and has dropped now to between and Chronicle Society doings and an early column of comment and ad- vice aimed at women were handled by a Lady Gay, who apparently was Lady Willison, wife of a distinguished daily journalist. Much of the chit-chat had to do with titled people in Britain, as did a good part of the weekly's lavish il- lustrations. Along with pro-British and pro-business articles, the ear- ly reader also had to accept otherwise-unpublishable fic- tion from Sheppard. But he published good writ- ing, too. including Canadian greats Stephen Leacock, Charles G. D. Roberts, Pauline Johnson and Archibald Lampmen. From abroad came pieces by such writers as Emile Zola, Rider Haggard and Thomas Hardy. The early Toronto Saturday Night denounced immorality in the theatre but welcomed ads from burlesque houses. The prim Ladies' Home Jour- nal was attacked as covertly "pandering to the immoral." Equality Editor Fulford wrote in an 85th anniversary publication two years ago that not since Sandwell's time has the maga- zine been "so carefully read, so thoughtfully pondered and so eagerly awaited." Sandwell had made it "the authentic voice of a distinct class the liberal elite of English-speaking Canada, the class that more or less deter- mined the affairs of Canada as a whole in the years that Sand- well flourished." After Sandwell, Saturday Night fell into a succession of owners including Jack Kent Cooke, the broadcasting and sports magnate, a brief 1962-63 group of nationalist Social Creditors. Somewhere along the line, it developed into an American- style publication, and it was not until the 1963-68 regime of Arnold Edinborough, scholar- ly owner and editor, that it got back some of. its old character. Mr. Fulford, 42, one of Can- ada top journalists and critics, has steered Saturday Night in a strongly nationalistic direction the last four years. "We are aiming at trying to analyze the mind and culture of English he said this week. "We got pretty deeply into the subject. Maybe we just weren't good enough." A British Columbia reader may have pronounced the magazine's obituary in a letter to the editor as far back as 1970: "There was nowhere a jour- nal like Saturday Night 40 or 50 years ago. The paper was quite posh as a social medium, snobbish I'd say, and your east's climbers loved it We westerners sometimes felt aloof from commonness merely by fetching Saturday Night from our boxes in the post office. Your present journal is in (he grip of moder- nists Simpsons-Sears supports the United Way and our community. Store Hours: Open Daily a.m. to p.m. Thursday and Friday a.m. to 9flO p.m Centre Village Malt Telephone 328-9231 Firmly for the status quo, the editor also attacked ideas such as votes and equal pay for women, minimum wage laws and the formation of the girl scoots. After a couple of decades, Sheppard sold the magazine that was doing no more loan holding its original circulation. Successive editors in the next few years expanded it to X pages from 12 and gave it the form and character it was to retain until the late 1940s. Charles F. Paul, editor from 1909 to 1926, castigated finan- FEWER QUIT FARMS WASHINGTON CAP) The United States department of agriculture reports a sharp drop in the rate at which Americans moved off farms daring the 1970s. The department's economic research service reported Fri- day that the US. farm popula- tion declined only 0.8 per cent a year from 1970 to 1973, com- pared with a 4.8 per cent average annual decline in the 1980s. The research service said 9.5 million Americans now live on farms.