Thursday, 12 March 2009

A weaker West

Alberta's Black Wednesday affected more than the Edmonton and Calgary Suns, including two weeklies that were shut down, TSF readers say.

Alberta's Jasper Booster and the Morinville/Redwater Town & Country Examiner were closed and there were layoffs at the Sherwood Park News, published Tuesdays and Fridays, and the daily Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune

A TSF reader says the Town & Country Examiner, the "newly merged paper that arose out of the ashes of the Morinville Mirror and the Redwater Tribune," printed its last issue Wednesday.

Another source says 10 more Sun Media weeklies in Alberta will be scuttled by next week.

And the Edmonton and Calgary Suns were not alone in staff cuts Wednesday.

"The layoffs may have been more widespread than just Edmonton and Calgary," a source says. "I checked with an old friend and the twice-weekly Sherwood Park News had to lay off a reporter, Erin Pentlechuk, and Renee Lippa, advertising sales assistant.

"Not sure what the other weeklies or small dailies were facing today."

Another TSF reader says "four people were cut from the newsroom of the daily Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune," including the paper's lone staff photographer.

Also gone in Grande Prairie: An editorial assistant, a reporter for special publications, and Bill Scott, a copy editor "who has been with the paper since the 1960s and was once the managing editor before slowly easing into retirement."

The Herald-Tribune has lost six newsroom employees since Black Tuesday in December.


  1. So much for the community newspaper division's glory days. Through the '90s, Bowes was buying papers left, right and centre. Times sure have changed.

  2. That's how Sun Media will enchance its coverage without CP, just gut every paper and send the Sun reporters to all the remote spots if breaking news occurs. Brilliant PKP, you are a god among us mere mortals.

  3. I am a 12 year employee from a weekly Sun Media publication in Alberta and I was told late today from a reliable source that "no more papers are closing in the west". The THREE (not 10) papers which were closed were Jasper, Morinville and Redwater.

  4. FYI: Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune laid off four people in their newsroom on March 10. Gone are the editor of Ink, a weekly magazine (which is also being shut down), another desk editor who was on contract, a part-time composing staffer who worked in the newsroom and, most surprising of all, the lone staff photographer! That means for the first time since the DHT went daily in the mid-1960s, it will not have a staff shooter. Reporters will be expected to shoot everything for their stories, as well as standalone photographs and spot news (i.e. day-and-night scanner duty). By the way, the DHT has NEVER been a member of CP's photo service and will have to rely heavily on whatever it gets from the other publications in Quebecor.