|Categories||General interest magazine|
Saturday Night was first established in 1887 as a weekly broadsheet newspaper about public affairs and the arts, and was later expanded into a general interest magazine. The editor, Edmund E. Sheppard, was prevented from editing a daily newspaper due to an earlier libel action in regards to an incident involving Louis Riel. Additionally, Blue laws in Toronto prevented publication on Sunday. So, in its first years, the paper was restricted to being a weekly publication, published on Saturdays, hence the name. It had a circulation of 10,000. In 1925 the magazine sold 30,858 copies.
Saturday Night went through a number of owners, formats, and frequencies of publication. Its content went through periods where it would focus more on news, and at other times a greater focus on feature columns. In the 1950s, the magazine reduced its format size to a news magazine size, similar to Time.
The magazine was purchased by Conrad Black by his company Hollinger Inc. in 1987. The magazine lost money for Black for the years he owned it, never recovering even in the late 1990s when many other Canadian magazines saw their fortunes improve. The last standalone monthly issue was March 2000 (Vol 115 No 2, Issue #3819) under editor Paul Tough.
After a hiatus of two months it was relaunched as a weekend magazine insert within Black's National Post, continuing as Vol 115 No 3, Issue #3819. It was issued weekly in this format under the editorship of Dianna Symonds until September 22, 2001 (Vol 116 No 35 Issue #3885) when it was cancelled as part of CanWest's cutbacks at the National Post.
The title was purchased by MultiVision Publishing and re-emerged under editor Matthew Church as a bimonthly (and later 10 times-a-year) newsstand magazine (with some copies inserted in subscription National Posts) beginning in April 2002 as Vol 117, No 1, Issue #3886. Later purchased by St. Joseph Media, publication was ended in November 2005 with Issue #3916, which is at present the last printed issue of Saturday Night.
On October 20, 2005, the company announced that publication would be "suspended" due to insufficient advertiser support. The editor at the time of suspension was Gary Ross, who had been editor since 2004.
On December 18, 2008, the Saturday Night website was relaunched as a blog, with the initial post indicating that the site would "canvas the country and present you with a unique and intriguing perspective on our national life in politics and power, sex and crime, entertainment and culture, arts and literature, style and design." However, after five posts made that day, the blog was abandoned and has not been updated since.
Editors and contributors have included Robert Thomas Allen, Hector Charlesworth, Robertson Davies, John Fraser, Sylvia Fraser, Robert Fulford, Douglas Gibson, Peter Gzowski, Ernest Hillen, J. Timothy Hunt, Michael Ignatieff, Yousuf Karsh, Erna Paris, Alexander Fraser Pirie, Mordecai Richler, Bernard Keble Sandwell, Clarence Tillenius, Martin Vaughn-James (as cartoonist), Paul Tough and Kenneth Whyte,., Bharati Mukherjee