More newspapers in B.C. shut down
The newspaper industry in BC saw not one, but three community publications announce the closure of operations over the past few days.
Glacier Media, which publishes the Alaska Highway News in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek Mirror, announced last week that both publications in Northeast B.C. will cease operations.
“With the significant changes to the media landscape that we have lived through, we have now come to a place where the business model is no longer sustainable,” Peter Kvarnstrom, President, Community Media Division of the Glacier Media Group said in a statement to readers posted on the Alaska Highway News website.
“We have continued to deliver strong readership throughout our time, but the advertising has shifted heavily to online platforms such as Facebook or Google.”
The Alaska Highway News was first published in 1943 while the Dawson Creek Mirror was founded in 1930 as the Peace River Block News.
Monday, another publication announced it was ceasing operations when the Kamloops This Week said both the newspaper and the website, will be closing later this month.
The decision comes after 35 years of publishing in Kamloops. The final edition will be October 25th, leaving Kamloops without a newspaper for the first time since 1884.
Aberdeen Publishing, which publishes Kamloops This Week, said the decision was due to myriad challenges, including market conditions and unrelenting rising costs.
“We face a bunch of issues that are outside of our control,” said Robert Doull, president of Aberdeen Publishing in a statement on the newspaper website.
“Our paper costs have increased. Our printer went out of business with 10 days’ notice and the sole available replacement is only able to give us a smaller page size at a higher price.”
Doull also said website views have fallen by half as a result of Meta and Google blocking news links due to the Online News Act, while lease rates for office space have doubled.
“To operate our business, we need a stable revenue base and controllable costs so that we can commit to providing forward advertising contracts with certainty,” Doull said.
Last month, the independent Fort Nelson News after publishing its first edition in 1959.
“This comes as a result of the worldwide trend embracing social media and the internet in all its forms, as well as the slump in local business activity, which has aggravated the situation over the years,” the statement to readers on the website said.
The final edition of the Fort Nelson News was September 13th, 2023.
Glacier Media formerly owned the Nelson Daily News and Prince Rupert Daily News before the company sold the newspapers in 2010 to rival Black Press, which subsequently closed the daily publications to focus on its own weekly papers already owned in both cities.
The closure of the NDN spawned the opening of The Nelson Daily online newspaper by former reporters at the Nelson Daily News. The Nelson Daily is part of Lone Sheep Publishing, which includes Rossland Telegraph, Boundary Sentinel in Grand Forks, Castlegar Source and Trail Champion.
In July, Glacier Media terminated print editions for three of its Lower Mainland newspapers — Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and the New Westminster Record.