The Toronto Star
NEWS, Thursday, May 30, 1996, p. A1
Black plays host to world leaders
By John Deverell Toronto Star
What a week for publisher Conrad Black: first a $294 million grab for a controlling interest in Canada's largest newspaper chain, then the annual meeting of his company Hollinger Inc.
And now, he's the host for a four-day closely guarded meeting of world leaders and royalty just north of Toronto.
At Black's invitation, more than 100 notables from around the globe are hitting town for the annual Bilderberg Conference. They include U.S. Defence Secretary William Perry, Prime Minister Jean Chretien, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger, the queens of the Netherlands and Spain as well as other political, business and academic elite.
Yesterday at the Hollinger meeting in Toronto, Black defended his takeover of Southam as a rescue of a badly run chain that failed to be efficient. "If Southam management had been a little more courageous, it might still be a family controlled business," he said.
Today, Black turns to his duties as a permanent Canadian member of the Bilderberg. For 42 years the secretive organization has devoted itself to strengthening the Atlantic military alliance and economies.
Bilderberg's movers and shakers will be holed up behind heavy security at the King Ranch on north Jane St., a luxurious $60 million resort created by the Koffler family and later ceded to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, which uses it as a "leadership centre."
The guest list and agenda for the four-day conference are secret. A ban on reporters "makes discussion more intimate and candid," Black said yesterday. "There are no massive indiscretions, but the exchanges can be quite heated."
Last year's conference was held in three mountaintop luxury hotels in Switzerland with helicopter transport to the Zurich airport.
A 'friend' of newspapers, B1
color photo: CONRAD BLACK: Publisher has set his sights on giant Southam chain.
Subject(s) - The Toronto Star : Bilderberg Conference Canada Toronto
Length: Short, 242 words
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