The Winnipeg Free Press (or WFP; founded as the Manitoba Free Press) is a daily (excluding Sunday) broadsheet newspaper in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It provides coverage of local, provincial, national, and international news, as well as current events in sports, business, and entertainment and various consumer-oriented features, such as homes and automobiles appear on a weekly basis.
|Owner(s)||FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership|
|Founder(s)||William Fisher Luxton|
|Founded||November 30, 1872|
|Headquarters||1355 Mountain Avenue|
132,697 Saturdays in 2015
|Sister newspapers||Brandon Sun|
The WFP was founded in 1872, only two years after Manitoba had joined Confederation (1870), and predated Winnipeg's own incorporation (1873). The Winnipeg Free Press has since become the oldest newspaper in Western Canada that is still active. Though there is competition, primarily with the print daily tabloid Winnipeg Sun, the WFP has the largest readership of any newspaper in the province and is regarded as the newspaper of record for Winnipeg and the rest of Manitoba.
November 30, 1872: The Manitoba Free Press was launched by William Fisher Luxton and John A. Kenny. Luxton bought a press in New York City and, along with Kenny, rented a shack at 555 Main Street, near the present corner of Main Street and James Avenue.
1874: The paper moved to a new building on Main Street, across from St. Mary Avenue.
1900: The paper moved to a new address on McDermot Avenue at Albert Street.
1913: The newspaper moved to 300 Carlton Street and would remain there for 78 years.
1920: The Free Press took its newsprint supplier before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for violating the War Measures Act during World War I. The newspaper won the case, known as Fort Frances Pulp and Paper v Manitoba Free Press, as the court determined that whether the state of national emergency continued after the war was a political matter for Parliament.
1931: The paper was renamed the Winnipeg Free Press.
In 2008, at noon on Thanksgiving Day (Monday, October 13), about 1,000 members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, representing editorial, advertising, circulation, and press staff, as well as newspaper carriers, launched a strike action. The strike ended 16 days later, when the union ratified the final offer on Tuesday, October 28. The contract was ratified by 67% of newspaper carriers, 75% of the pressmen, and 91% of the inside workers, including journalists. The recent five-year contract was negotiated, ratified, and signed in 2013, with no threat of a strike. Workers and managers negotiated directly with great success, without the need of a lawyer that previous contracts had required.
As of November 1, 2009, the WFP ceased publishing a regular Sunday edition. In its place, a Sunday-only tabloid called On 7 was launched, but it has since been discontinued.
On March 27, 2011, the impending arrival of Metro in the Winnipeg market caused the Sunday newspaper to be retooled as a broadsheet format, Winnipeg Free Press SundayXtra. The Sunday edition is now available exclusively online.
According to figures via Canadian Newspaper Association, the Free Press' average weekday circulation for 2013 was 108,583, while on Saturdays it was 144,278. Because of the relatively-small population of Manitoba, that meant that over 10% of the population would be looking at the paper and advertisements. Like most Canadian daily newspapers, the Free Press has seen a decline in circulation, dropping its total by 17% to 106,473 copies daily from 2009 to 2015.
- Daily average
- Charles Edwards (1928 to early-1930s): journalist and news agency executive
- Vince Leah (1980 to 1993): journalist, writer, sports administrator and member of the Order of Canada
- Bob Moir (1948 to 1958): television producer, sports commentator, and journalist
- Hal Sigurdson (1951 to 1963, 1976 to 1996): columnist and sports editor from 1976 to 1989
- Maurice Smith (1927 to 1937, 1940 to 1976): columnist and sports editor from 1944 to 1976
- "2015 Daily Newspaper Circulation Spreadsheet (Excel)". News Media Canada. Retrieved December 16, 2017. Numbers are based on the total circulation (print plus digital editions).
- "History". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- "Manitoba Act 1870". Canadahistoryproject.ca. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- "1874 Winnipeg's First Council Meeting". City of Winnipeg. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- Goldsborough, Gordon (April 11, 2020) [19 November 2011]. "Winnipeg Free Press (Manitoba Free Press)". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- Fort Frances Pulp and Paper v Manitoba Free Press  UKPC 64,  AC 695,  UKPC 64 (25 July 1923) (on appeal from Ontario)
- "Winnipeg Free Press strike continues". CBC News. October 14, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Free Press strike ends". Winnipeg Free Press. October 29, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Winnipeg Free Press strike ends". CBC News. October 28, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Free Press workers ratify new contract". Winnipeg Free Press. April 15, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Sunday Free Press is bigger, better". Winnipeg Free Press. March 26, 2011.
- "2013 Daily Newspapers Circulation Report" (PDF). Newspapers Canada. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- "Daily Newspaper Circulation Data". News Media Canada. Retrieved December 16, 2017. Figures refer to the total circulation (print and digital combined), which includes paid and unpaid copies.
- "Charles Edwards of Broadcast News retires". The Brandon Sun. Brandon, Manitoba. The Canadian Press. August 13, 1971. p. 10.
- Goldsborough, Gordon (April 27, 2021). "Memorable Manitobans: Vincent 'Vince' Leah (1913–1993)". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
- "Vince Leah: Journalist". Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board. 1994. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
- "Bob Moir: Class of 1985". Canadian Football Hall of Fame. 1985. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
- Prest, Ashley; Campbell, Tim (January 18, 2012). "A bit of an icon as a sports editor". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. p. 22.
- "Former FP Sports Editor, Maurice Smith, dead at 75". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. February 21, 1985. p. 51.
- Cook, Ramsay (1963). The politics of John W. Dafoe and the Free Press. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-5119-6.
- Merrill, John Calhoun (1980). The world's great dailies : profiles of fifty newspapers. New York: Hastings House. pp. 351–365. ISBN 978-0-8038-8095-5.
- Paterson, Edith (1970). Tales of early Manitoba from the Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Free Press.