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12 Local Newspapers Axed

With more newspapers going digital, what does the future hold for print media?

The death knell continues to ring for newspapers across Canada as Postmedia announces it will be ending the print edition of 12 Alberta newspapers.

In case you didn’t know, Postmedia is the largest media company in Canada. It owns hundreds of news brands including The National Post, The Financial Post, and The Calgary Herald.

In addition to these larger media outlets, Postmedia also owns smaller newspapers across Canada too.

Postmedia has had to face a harsh reality in recent years. We live in a digital age, and people are getting their news online, not from a traditional newspaper.

Online classified options for buying and selling and fewer people reading print newspapers means less money. That makes it hard for big hedge funds like US-based Chatham Asset Management twhich Bought 66 percent of Postmedia in 2019 to pay off the huge debt they incurred to build up their media empire. Since then, many of Postmedia’s print publications have been struggling to keep the lights on.

Unfortunately, that means closing these print publications and going digital. In January, the company added another 12 names to its list of axed print publications:

  • The Bow Valley Crag & Canyon
  • The Cold Lake Sun
  • The Cochrane Times
  • The Leduc-Wetaskiwin County Market
  • Fort McMurray TODAY
  • The Peace Country Sun
  • Vermilion Standard
  • The Airdrie Echo
  • Hanna Herald
  • The Pincher Creek Echo
  • The Whitecourt Star
  • The Drayton Valley Western Review

Since late February, instead of a physical newspaper, these newspapers are now only available digitally.

While this isn’t earth-shattering for readers that already get their news online, this is a punch to the gut for many of Postmedia’s employees.

They are invisible, but behind each of these smaller local newspapers were a team of Postmedia employees. By moving these newspapers to digital-only, all of these employees are out of a job.

Postmedia broke the news to its employees through an internal memo. The memo notes that the company was reducing its debt and lowering costs.

For Postmedia’s employees, this translates to, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

To rub salt in the wound, Postmedia wants to start outsourcing its remaining print operations. That means paying an outside business to do the same job Postmedia’s employees were already doing, but for less.

Switching from print to digital isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. For every print publication that Postmedia pulls the plug on, the team behind it suffers.

For those working in print media, it may be only a matter of time before the digital grim reaper comes knocking.

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