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Maclean-Hunter

Maclean-Hunter (M-H) was a Canadian communications company, which had diversified holdings in radio, television, magazines, newspapers and cable television distribution.

History

The company began in 1887, when brothers John Bayne Maclean and Hugh Cameron Maclean launched their first trade publication, Canadian Grocer & General Storekeeper. Hugh left the company in 1899 and later return to Toronto to establish his own publication firm. John subsequently expanded his company into other areas of publishing, launching the general interest magazine Maclean's in 1905, the business newspaper Financial Post in 1907, the lifestyle magazine Canadian Homes and Gardens in 1925, the women's magazine Chatelaine in 1928, and its French-language counterpart, Châtelaine in 1960.

Horace Talmadge Hunter joined Maclean Publishing in 1903, moving up the management ranks from general manager in 1911 to succeed John Bayne Maclean as president in 1933; in 1945 the company's name was changed to Maclean-Hunter. Hunter retired in 1952 and died in 1961. Hunter's son Donald Fleming later became president and chairman of M-H.

In 1961, the company began to diversify, adding its first broadcasting asset, radio station CFCO in Chatham, Ontario. In 1968 Maclean-Hunter Publishing Company Limited was renamed to Maclean-Hunter Limited and finally as Maclean Hunter Limited in 1981.[1]

In the 1970s, M-H merged its Le Maclean French-language magazine with Actualité, and began publishing L'actualité. In 1982, the company acquired a controlling interest in Sun Media; ownership of the Financial Post was transferred to Sun Media for $46 millions in 1987 to facilitate the publication's expansion from a weekly to a daily newspaper.[2] The following year Maclean Hunter acquired additional shares of Sun Media, bringing its total ownership to 60.5% of all shares (up from 50.8% in 1987).[3]

By the early 1990s, Maclean-Hunter's assets also included cable television services in 35 Ontario markets, 21 radio stations, television station CFCN in Calgary and a significant minority share in CTV.

Maclean-Hunter was acquired in 1994 by Rogers Communications. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved the transaction, but required Rogers to divest itself of some of Maclean-Hunter's individual assets to alleviate concerns about concentration of media ownership. Shaw Communications acquired some of the cable holdings and radio stations, Telemedia and Blackburn Radio acquired other radio stations, and the consortium of Baton Broadcasting and Electrohome acquired CFCN and the CTV shares. Sun Media was sold in an employee buyout in 1996.

Maclean-Hunter also had cable holdings in the United States, which were acquired by Comcast in 1994 for $1.27bn.[4]

Maclean-Hunter lives on in the publication Maclean's magazine.

In 2016 L'actualité was sold to Mishmash (XPND Capital).

The former assets of Maclean-Hunter were sold by Rogers to St. Joseph Communications in March 2019.[5]

Operations

Maclean-Hunter's main office was at College Park from the 1980s until its acquisition by Rogers in 1994. Its previous head office was in a series of buildings along the corner of Dundas Street and University Avenue. Maclean's magazine moved to Rogers Communications premises at 1 Mount Pleasant Road (Rogers Building) and remained there until it was sold to St. Joseph Communications.

In 1948, M-H moved their printing plant at 210 Dundas Street West to North York (Highway 401-Yonge Street).[6] The large plant was built near the home of Robert Earl Bales, Reeve of North York. The plant was sold and demolished in 2001 for re-development as "Mansions of Avondale" condominiums and Avondale Park. Macleans along with other Rogers Media print publications are now printed by Transcontinental.[7]

Presidents

  • John Bayne Maclean — 1887-1933
  • Horace Talmadge Hunter — 1933-1952
  • Floyd Chalmers — 1952-1964 - chairman 1964-1969
  • Donald Fleming Hunter — 1964-1976 - later as chairman
  • Frederick T. Metcalf — 1977-1984 - later as chairman
  • Donald Graham Campbell — 1984-1986
  • Ronald Osborne — 1986-1994

Assets

At the time of Maclean-Hunter's takeover by Rogers in 1994, the company owned the following assets:

Television

Rogers immediately spun off Maclean-Hunter's television assets. Baton Broadcasting and Electrohome acquired CFCN-TV and Maclean-Hunter's share of CTV, a transaction which moved Baton significantly closer to its eventual takeover of the entire CTV network. Shaw acquired Maclean-Hunter's share in the New Country Network, which was licensed but had not yet launched at the time of the takeover.

  • Calgary - CFCN-TV
  • 14.3% of CTV
  • 60% of New Country Network

Radio

Maclean-Hunter owned 21 radio stations. Most were spun off by Rogers to other owners; only the Kitchener and Ottawa stations are still owned by Rogers today.

Cable television

Maclean-Hunter Cable served the following markets in Ontario. These were acquired by Rogers, although some were later sold to Shaw Cable or Cogeco.

References

  1. ^ "Maclean Hunter Publishing Limited - Dictionary definition of Maclean Hunter Publishing Limited - Encyclopedia.com: FREE online dictionary". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Maclean Hunter, Toronto Sun dealing for business paper?". The Ottawa Citizen. Ottawa. 2 October 1987. p. A17.
  3. ^ "Maclean Hunter increases its stake in Sun". The Toronto Star. Toronto. 8 January 1988. p. E3.
  4. ^ "Comcast Corp. to buy Maclean Hunter cable operations in the U.S.". The Gazette. Montreal. AP. 1994-06-20. p. B1.
  5. ^ "Rogers Media sells magazines to St. Joseph". MSN. Archived from the original on 2019-08-20.
  6. ^ Heritage property research and evaluation report – Maclean Publishing Company Building, 481 University Ave (PDF). City of Toronto (Report). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Press Releases". Drupal. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
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Maclean-Hunter
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