Black is charged with treating his newspaper empire as a personal fiefdom and heading an alleged $84 million fraud at Chicago-based publisher Hollinger International Inc.
Black has maintained his innocence.
He could face up to 101 years in prison if he is convicted on charges of fraud, obstruction of justice, racketeering and tax evasion.
Other potential witnesses include former Reagan and Bush administration Pentagon official Richard Perle, former Illinois Republican Gov. James Thompson and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, lawyers said.
Pearl, Thompson and Kissinger were members of Hollinger's board who may have been aware of the payments to Black and his associates, The Toronto Star reported.
The case grew out of institutional shareholders' objections to payments allegedly pocketed by Black and his co-defendants that precluded them from competing with media properties they were selling off, the newspaper said.
Twelve jurors and as many as eight alternates are expected to be selected over the next two days.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]