April 15, 2015 - 10:31 AM
KELOWNA - A lot of people have heard the story of the rise and fall of Conrad Black and David Radler but not many will know that one of the first threads in the unravelling of their media empire Hollinger Inc. was pulled here in Kelowna.
That sordid tale is laid out in A Costly Stand, a book recently written by Mary Lynn Winkler, wife of Paul Winkler, the former publisher of the Kelowna Capital News.
Winkler, a group publisher with Southam Newspapers, was hired in the late ‘90s by Lower Mainland Publishing, a division of Hollinger, to oversee the Capital News and several other titles.
However, Winkler found himself in the middle of some high-level corporate shenanigans, osstensibly competing against what was supposed to be the independently owned Kelowna Daily Courier, but which was actually owned by David Radler through some proxies.
When ordered to downplay his own publication in favour of what was supposed to be a competitor, Winkler refused to play ball. He soon found himself out of a job and blacklisted within the industry, unable to tell his story because the very people he was up against controlled the majority of newspapers in Canada.
“The pinnacle came when I was told to set up a printing press in a barn when the Daily Courier was facing a labour dispute. There was no way I was going to do any of that,” Winkler, who is in Kelowna for a book-signing, says.
But out of a job and out of the loop, Winkler faced an uphill battle convincing anyone of what was going on.
“I couldn’t get anybody to listen to me. The Ontario Securities Commission said they saw no reason to investigate further. It was a very trying time.”
Vindication for Winkler came when American securities investigators, who were looking into Hollinger’s activities south of the border, somehow became aware of his complaint against Hollinger and interviewed him.
Paul and Mary Lynn Winkler will be signing copies of A Costly Stand at the Ramada Inn on Highway 97 from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015