Thursday 1 August 2013

Dresden-Bothwell Leader-Spirit axed

 Make that 12.

Twelve Sun Media newspapers shuttered since last fall. The latest casualty this week - the Dresden-Bothwell Leader-Spirit in Southern Ontario.

Not a large newspaper, but community to the hilt with solid advertising support as we discovered in this online copy of a printed issue from April:

Twenty pages. Solid community effort. Sad that effort is not worthy of Sun Media's stable of newspapers.

If this is a Sun Media link, it might soon be deleted, as was the link to the newspaper's website.

The Leader-Spirit doesn't have a history of 100 or so years, as many of the Sun Media casualties had, but it did have devoted readers and advertisers. 

Internet sources say The Dresden Leader, originally known as the North Kent Leader, was founded in 1965 by Ted Misselbrook and Gord Clauws. The Spirit of Bothwell was launched in 1992 by Jim Kish. They merged in 2008.

As we've suggested before, independent dailies and weeklies owned and managed by many of the hundreds of laid off media employees could be the answer for journalists, advertisers and readers.

Print is where the money is and not all advertisers and readers have abandoned the format. To appease generations young and old, quality community print/online newspapers out of the grasps of out-of-touch conglomerates make sense.

That is why we are rooting for the Chatham Voice, recently launched and sounding like a keeper.

Sitting here thinking of the very talented Sun people pink-slipped over the past two decades leaves us wondering why more of the men and women haven't launched independent newspapers.

We'd subscribe to any community newspaper offering the talents of Mark Bonokoski (Bancfoft), John Downing (Toronto), Gary Dunford (wherever he hangs his hat), Moira MacDonald (Toronto), Bill Brioux (Brampton) etc.

The writers, photographers, editors and execs out there wondering what to do next would do justice to communities abandoned, or neglected, by the conglomerates.

All you have to do is commit to the "community" 100%, working there, living there, eating there, playing there. 


  1. I have no doubt the former Toronto Sun people you mention would do well with small independent newspapers.
    There are countless others, however, who until recently worked at smaller Sun Media newspapers. They would do as well as, if not better than, the higher-profile sorts you mention. Let's not forget their experience and talents. These people may not have big names but they are very capable professionals who have been kicked to the curb by this short-sighted corporation.

  2. Don't think you will be seeing Sun Media do an inventory any time soon on the number of MEs, managers and publishers who flee at the end of every day from the communities they supposedly 'manage'. This has become something readers and advertisers in our city have talked about in the past several years. The community gets it by understanding that businesses must create roots and all the importance on local,local today. Not sure Sun Media gets that ....

  3. Nobody at Sun Media even knows what a community is all about. They keep pushing what THEY want forgetting what the reader wants. At our paper we are counting the days until they come to lock the doors. There is no fight left in anyone in our building. When, not if Metroland comes to town, people are already updating their resumes, hard to keep fighting for a company that doesn't care.

  4. To 10:18: Absolutely, there are numerous talented editors, photographers, reporters, ad salespersons etc. out there who would be productive at new independent community print/online newspapers. Most men and women with newspapers in their blood don't care how many millions conglomerates make and don't make. They just want to earn a living by using their skills to produce a product their community looks forward to reading. If the passion is there, pros of any age can produce newspapers worthy of attention. We mention the Sun vets only as an example of the sidelined talent available.

  5. The Crowsnest Pass Promoter in southern Alberta is having its doors closed this week, leaving a very happy independent in the community.

    Posted by John Prince at 4:57 PM 12 comments Links to this post
    Labels: Annexation, Mayor Decoux, MD Ranchland, muncipal council, Nanton News, Sheena Read, war
    FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2013

    Just heard from a reliable source who wishes to remain anonymous but who nevertheless would be in the know (having a very reliable source within the SunMedia organization) on this sort of thing, that as of next week (August 28) the Crowsnest Promoter will be closing.
    If this in fact is true it will not only be a terrible blow to Joni MacFarlane and the others that work there, but to our community as a whole. I'm still in shock!
    Timing couldn't be worse with an election coming up.
    I can't understand it. I can't even understand the people who can understand it.

  6. A study into the closing of the Cincinnati Post showed there is a period of time where involvement in municipal politics decreases. "Although our findings are statistically imprecise, they demonstrate that newspapers — even underdogs such as the Post, which had a circulation of just 27,000 when it closed — can have a substantial and measurable impact on public life."