Winnipeg Free Press


Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg Free Press
Front Page - January 11, 2007
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner FP Canadian Newspapers
Publisher Bob Cox
Editor Margo Goodhand
Founded November, 1872
Headquarters 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Official website winnipegfreepress.com

The Winnipeg Free Press is a daily (excluding Sunday) broadsheet newspaper in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Founded in 1872, as the Manitoba Free Press, it is the oldest newspaper in western Canada. It is the newspaper with the largest readership in the province.

The Free Press is regarded as the newspaper of record for Winnipeg and Manitoba. It also provides coverage of national, international, sports, business, and entertainment news. Various consumer-oriented features such as homes and automobiles appear on a weekly basis. The newspaper's main competition is the Winnipeg Sun, a print daily newspaper.

The Manitoba Free Press was launched November 30, 1872, by William Fisher Luxton and John A. Kenny. Luxton bought a press in New York and they rented a shack at 555 Main Street, near the present Main and James Street corner.

The Free Press is a newspaper of liberal orientation. Its motto was and remains "Freedom of Trade, Liberty of Religion, and Equality of Civil Rights." It became a leading daily and its sister weekly, the Prairie Farmer, became the most widely circulated farm weekly in Canada. Of 20 newspapers that started in Manitoba between 1859 and 1890, only the Free Press survived.

In 1874 the enterprise moved to a new building on Main opposite St. Mary Avenue. In 1882 it moved to a building on McDermot Avenue east of Main Street, stayed there until 1900, and then moved to a new address on McDermot and Albert Street. Because of its growth it moved in 1905 to a four-storey building at Portage and Garry. In 1913 the paper occupied the building at 300 Carlton St. and remained there for 78 years, becoming known as the old lady of Carlton Street. In 1991 the Free Press moved to its present location at 1355 Mountain Avenue in the Inkster Industrial Park.

About 1892, control of the Free Press passed to Clifford Sifton. From 1901 to 1944, John Wesley Dafoe served as editorial writer, editor-in-chief and president, earning a reputation as one of Canada's leading journalists. Dafoe fought for Western issues such as breaking the C.P.R.'s monopoly in the Prairies and lower freight rates. He actively promoted Dominion status and autonomy for Canada. In 1931 the name of the Manitoba Free Press became the Winnipeg Free Press. For much of the 20th century, the paper's main competition was the Winnipeg Tribune, a broadsheet that opened in January 1890 and was shut down by its then owner, the Southam chain, in August 1980.

The parent company of the paper, F.P. Publications, began buying other newspapers. By the late 1970s, its holdings, which included Ottawa Journal, The Vancouver Sun, and The Globe and Mail, made it one of the largest publishers in Canada.

In 1979 F.P. Publications was purchased by the Thomson Corporation's stable of Canadian newspapers. It was acquired from Thomson in 2001 by FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership, which also owns the Brandon Sun.

As of November 1, 2009, the paper ceased publishing a regular Sunday edition. In its place, a Sunday-only tabloid called On 7 was launched. It is available for purchase only from vending boxes and retailers. On March 27, 2011, the Sunday newspaper was retooled as a broadsheet format called Winnipeg Free Press SundayXtra, due to the impending arrival of Metro in the Winnipeg market.

According to Canadian Newspaper Association figures, the newspaper's average weekday circulation for the 6 month period preceding March 31, 2006 was 119,082. This figure was 161,925 on Saturdays, and 114,966 on Sundays.

2008 Winnipeg Free Press Strike

At noon on Monday, October 14 (Thanksgiving Day), 1,100 employees went on strike at 1355 Mountain Ave. The strike ended 16 days later, on Wednesday, October 30, with the paper resuming publication the following day, Thursday, October 31.

Free Press Archive

Various databases exist that provide past editions of the Free Press:

  • ProQuest — May 1, 2006–current (full text), 1981–April 30, 2006 (index only)
  • Fpinformart.ca — May 21, 2002–present.
  • Factiva.com
  • NewspaperArchive.com — 1874–1981 - (newspaper image)

Microfilm copies are also available at the Manitoba Provincial Legislative Library.

External links


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