Torstar and Postmedia swap community newspapers, 244 jobs cut

metroland

A number of community and daily newspapers will close as a result of a deal to swap more than 40 publications between TorStar Corp. and Postmedia Network Inc.

Postmedia announced Monday it will shut down 21 of the 22 community newspaper properties it has acquired, affecting roughly 244 jobs.

“What makes this particularly difficult is that it means we will say goodbye to many dedicated newspaper people,” Postmedia executive chairman and CEO Paul Godfrey said in a statement. “However, the continuing costs of producing dozens of small community newspapers in these regions in the face of significantly declining advertising revenues means that most of these operations no longer have viable business models.”

Torstar’s Metroland Media Group Ltd. said it will close three of the seven daily newspapers in Ontario it acquired from Postmedia as well as the eight community newspapers purchased.

According to The Canadian Press, the publications set to close are the Barrie Examiner, Orillia Packet & Times, and Northumberland Today, while Torstar expects to continue to publish St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune and Peterborough Examiner.

“This transaction will allow us to operate more efficiently through increased geographic synergies in a number of our primary regions,” said John Boynton, President and CEO of Torstar Corporation in a statement. “By acquiring publications within or adjacent to our primary areas and selling publications outside our primary areas we will be able to put a greater focus on regions where we believe we can be more effective in serving both customers and clients.”

The transaction is effectively a non-cash transaction, since the value for the publications purchased is approximately equal to the value for the publications sold.


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