A swap deal between Postmedia and TorStar will see 36 newspapers shuttered—all but two of them in Ontario. The two organizations are swapping a total of 41 daily and weekly newspapers. Postmedia will close 23 of the 24 publications it takes over, putting 244 people out of work by mid-January. TorStar will immediately shut down 13 of the 17 newspapers it acquired from Postmedia and lay off 46 staff.
Communication Workers of America (CWA) Canada President Martin O’Hanlon called it a “dark day for local journalism” and said it is a “deathblow to local newspaper competition in many communities.” O’Hanlon added, “it’s bad for local journalism and bad for municipal democracy.”
CWA Canada represents workers at the Peterborough Examiner, which will continue to operate under TorStar, and at Northumberland Today, one of three dailies that will shut down immediately. With the exception of Exeter Times-Advocate/Weekender, Postmedia plans to close all of the community newspapers it acquired. Of the 17 newspapers acquired by TorStar, only four dailies will survive.