BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Sunday, 15 July 2007, 22:56 GMT 23:56 UK
Media reaction to Black verdict
Conrad Black once controlled some of the world's most influential newspapers, but over the past few months he became one of their hottest stories.

The media baron faced charges over claims he stole $60m (29.5m) from investors in newspaper firm Hollinger International when he was at the helm.

He has been convicted of three fraud charges and one of obstructing justice.

The weekend press chronicled Black's fall from grace in considerable detail.

The Sunday Telegraph

"I'll see you in the spring!," reads the headline in the paper, quoting the disgraced media tycoon's confidence that his appeal will be successful and he will return to the UK next spring.

But the newspaper, which was owned by Hollinger International under Black's leadership for 18 years, dismisses Black's view that his vindication was near.

Instead, its Chicago-based reporters write: "It seems certain that he will soon be swapping his old life of lavish parties and private jets for a stint in a US federal penitentiary, an orange jumpsuit replacing Savile Row tailoring."

The Financial Times

Of all the chief executives facing jail for their crimes, the FT says he was "the most baroque and flamboyant".

The Independent on Sunday

"An arrogant fraud," is how the newspaper describes him and picks out his refusal to admit that a $7.2m so-called 'non-compete' payment "was not properly authorised", combined with his "underhand attempt to sell the Telegraph Group to the Barclay twins" for his eventual undoing.

The Observer

Peter Preston in The Observer is possibly the most generous of the UK media commentators.

Calling him a "political thinker and talent spotter", Mr Preston says "rough but mildly benevolent justice" would be fitting, which would see Black receive a jail term of no more than 29 months - the same as his former business aide David Radler.

Chicago Sun-Times

Another newspaper once under the Hollinger International umbrella hails the verdict and makes great efforts to distance itself from its former boss.

"Everyone who worked under the trying regime of Conrad Black is breathing a great sigh of relief," staff writes in an editorial, insisting that the newspaper had "already moved on".

New York Times

A military history buff, Black's tendency to comparing "his business strategies to great battles," is alluded to and the paper also reflects "the degree to which his own bullheadedness has worked against him".

Globe and Mail

The Toronto-based publication takes a similar line, describing Black "defiance and combatative approach" as his "own worst enemy".

"At a time when compromise or conciliation might have allowed Lord Black to negotiate a retreat with dignity from his Chicago-based Hollinger International, he instead pursued a fatal strategy to fight and deceive his opponents in a series of battles."

The National Post

In a much less emotional piece, another Canadian title founded by Black in 1998 talks about the "famously complicated relationship" Black had with Canada, his country of birth that he renounced to become a British peer.

"He simply outgrew the country, at least in his own mind, and it hurt and bewildered him as much as it did us.

"And so, in his blustering, unpleasant way, Conrad came to represent those who wished for a bigger country, a country in which people could lead larger lives."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific