William Southam

William Southam, newspaper publisher (born 23 August 1843 near Montréal, QC; died 27 February 1932 in Hamilton, ON).

William Southam, newspaper publisher (born 23 August 1843 near Montréal, QC; died 27 February 1932 in Hamilton, ON). Southam was a typical 19th-century printer-publisher who lived to see a modern newspaper chain bearing the name he shared with the six sons who were the instruments of his dream. Southam had spent years on the London Free Press when, in 1877, he and a partner took over the ailing Hamilton Spectator, hoping a return to Conservative government in Ottawa would improve its health; it did. Despite comparatively low start-up costs, he continued to buy existing dailies rather than begin his own, acquiring the Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Windsor Star and Montréal Gazette. Subsequent diversification into broadcasting, magazines and business publications did not prevent Southam Inc from retaining a high-quality and devoutly Conservative flavour traceable to its founder's influence.