Media companies Postmedia and Torstar have traded between them more than 40 community newspapers and it looks like many will close.
A press release that went out this morning stated that Postmedia would get two dozen community newspapers and two free commuter dailies from Torstar, and at the same time give 17 newspapers — 15 community papers and two big-city free commuter dailies — would go to Torstar.
No cash changed hands during the deal, as the papers “have approximately similar fair values,” Postmedia said, but the fate of almost all papers is the same — they’re destined to be closed either right away or in the near future.
Properties Acquired by Postmedia from Torstar
Central Hastings News
(and the Exeter Weekender)
Ottawa East News
Ottawa South News
Ottawa West News
Quinte West News
St. Lawrence News
St. Mary’s Journal-Argus
(and the St. Mary’s Weekender)
St. Thomas/Elgin Weekly News
Stratford City Gazette
West Carleton Review
The only papers in the deal that Postmedia plans to keep running are the Exeter Times-Advocate and the Exeter Weekender. In total, the shutdowns are expected to cost 244 jobs.
“This transaction allows Postmedia to focus on strategic areas and core products, and allows us to continue with a suite of community-based products, in a deeply disrupted industry,” said Paul Godfrey, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Postmedia.
Torstar got several local papers in the transaction which included: Niagara Advance, Niagara Falls Review, St. Catharines Standard, Thorold Niagara News, Fort Erie Times and the Welland Tribune as well as the following:
24 Hours Toronto
24 Hours Vancouver
Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin
Inport News (Port Colborne)
Orillia Packet & Times
Only four papers — St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune and Peterborough Examiner — will continue to operate. The rest will all be closed in a move that Torstar says it expects will results in cost saving synergies of between $5 and $7 million.
The Torstar closures, which are effective immediately, will affect 46 full-time and part-time employees.
“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. “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.”
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