Toronto Telegram

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Toronto Telegram

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Dates of existence

1876-1971

History

The 'Toronto telegram' (originally the 'Evening telegram,') was launched in 1876 by John Ross Robertson. The 'Tely' strongly supported the British connection in Canada, appealing to British and Imperial sentiments even after Canadian nationalism became fashionable. The newspaper was locked in a circulation war with its afternoon rival, the 'Toronto star', for much of the twentieth century. The battle involved giveaway contests, scoops, and even hiding personalities (like swimmer Marilyn Bell) from the competition to ensure exclusive stories. Following Robertson's death, the paper was continued by a trust he had established. In 1948 the newspaper was sold to George McCullagh, owner of the Toronto Globe & mail, who invited John Bassett to act as publisher. In 1952 Bassett bought the newspaper and attempted to best the Star with new features in his newspaper, the introduction of colour photography (which meant the demise of the famous 'pink' newsprint on which the "Tely" had been printed), and other modernizations (including a news office building). Falling circulation and lack of advertising led Bassett to close the newspaper in 1971.

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