Monday, 22 February 2010

1945 - 46: When the Free Press and Trib "merged"

On November 10, 1945 Winnipeg newspaper readers had to to a double take at the newsstand when they found joint editions of the Winnipeg Free Press and the Winnipeg Tribune, complete with side-by-side mastheads and editorials !

This wasn't a cost savings measure or a wartime conservation tactic, instead it was due to a strike by the typographical union at both outlets. The two papers took a joint stand against the union, as described in this joint letter to readers on November 10, 1945. 

As for the union, their statement about the situation was also printed in that day's paper. They set up shop in the basement of the Ukrainian Labour Temple and published "The Winnipeg News", a biweekly paper.

For the first week the paper was thin, reduced to a seven page newsletter, and the typesetting left something to be desired. Within a couple of weeks, though, the bugs were ironed out and it began to look like a big-city newspaper again.

One thing missing were the financial pages which left
financial institutions scrambling to get up-to-date stock and commodity prices to their customers.

The final joint edition rolled off the presses on April 12, 1946 when the strike ended. In their first individual publications of 1946 the two papers did one last thing together; they released their a joint letter to the labour minister calling on him to investigate the actions of the union.

For some background on the union side of things check out 1940's: The Newspaper Strike


Grant said...

Very cool - though I love browsing the old Tribune stuff in the U of M archives, I had no idea that they ever produced a joint edition with the Freep.

Thanks for bringing this up! I wonder what the financials were like, if they were sharing advertising. Or the newsroom culture!

(PS. That final link is broken)

Christian Cassidy said...

They did run separate advertising departments. Throughout the paper you would see ads with "respond only to Tribune box 4234" or only Free Press.

It would have been an interesting time !

Grant said...

Ha! That's in some ways similar but in other ways just the reverse of the newspaper operating agreements in some U.S. cities, where they merged business departments but kept the editorial departments separate.

Cool find.