The big Toronto-based dailies gave major play to yesterday's announcement that the venerable Saturday Night is going ''on hiatus." Here's the Star's front-page take. Here's what the Globe and Mail had to say. The Post's Robert Fulford, who used to edit SN, has his reminiscences here (sub. req'd.).
Most of the newspapers that published in 1887, when Saturday Night was founded, have expired. So have all the other weeklies and monthlies of that era. But Saturday Night, having lived through several generations of readers and writers, long ago established itself as the oldest continuing (more or less) title in the periodical press of Canada.
This history may be fairly well known, but how many of us are aware of the more remarkable fact that Saturday Night has also been declared dead more often than any other journal?
In the last 60 years, to my certain knowledge, the coroner has signed its death certificate three times -- and that's not counting the announcement yesterday by its owner, St. Joseph Media, that Saturday Night will suspend publication following the Winter 2005 issue, the one that appears in the National Post on Nov. 26.
Nobody is ready to write SN's obit yet, given that the mag has recovered from several near-death experiences in its 118-year history. Maybe it's denial, or wishful thinking. Or maybe, with some of the big media bucks out there (at Torstar, Rogers, or Bell Globemedia) and some vision, Saturday Night can be revived and revitalized into a rocking Canadian title.