Trio to bid for three Canwest papers

Three Canadians involved in the media industry are preparing to bid for three Canwest papers, The Globe and Mail reports. The consortium is looking to buy the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen and The Gazette in Montreal.

The group includes former senator and a founder of CityTV, Jerry Grafstein, former Global TV executive and Montreal Star editor Raymond Heard and editor of Quebec’s largest English-language weekly, The Suburban, Beryl Wajsman.

Grafstein told the Globe:

“I’m a believer in the future of newspapers. We believe that there’s a strong role for Canadian newspapers in every community. We think they should be locally owned and controlled and we have very interesting and important ideas about how to generate attention and interest on the Internet to support these newspapers.”

While the entire publishing division was put up for sale together, this offer is interested in only three papers and Grafstein dismisses the notion that the synergies that exist between the papers make for the best or only business model. He told the Globe:

“If you take a look at the history of newspapers in North America, the strongest papers are those that are rooted in each community. I believe it’s from the bottom up, not the top down.”