Northumberland News Stops Print Edition

In an announcement today, Metroland Media said that they have “sought bankruptcy protection and will cease the print publication of its weekly community newspapers across Ontario, moving to an online-only model”.  That means that the 14 September print edition of Northumberland News was its last edition.  Distribution of flyers with the paper will also stop.  Daily newspapers like the Peterborough Examiner and the Toronto Star will continue to operate. The announcement said that “the move involves 605 layoffs, nearly two-thirds of the workforce” although there is no word on how many are affected at the Cobourg office.  Because “the Company does not have sufficient funds  … no termination or severance pay will be paid”.   Further, “according to a breakdown of the jobs affected, 104 unionized employees, including 68 journalists have been laid off, with the rest coming from non-unionized job categories.”

Approximately 65 newspapers are affected in Southern Ontario.

The announcement said that the company is exiting the flyer business which included printing as well as distributing flyers.  They also produce and print multiple magazines but there’s no word on that although I would not be hopeful.  In addition there’s a parcel delivery business but since it’s not mentioned, it’s likely to continue.

The company said that:

Metroland has faced substantial declines in both print advertising and the flyer business over the past several years, to the point where the community newspaper business is no longer viable in printed form. We simply don’t have the financial resources required to fund large, sustained operating losses indefinitely.

Further

The decline of the print and flyer distribution business was significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by the reduction of flyer usage both by readers and advertisers as a marketing vehicle.

This shut-down continues a trend with the most recent event being the shut down of Northumberland Today in November 2017.  In reporting on this event, Cobourg Blog said:

Northumberland Today was originally a number of separate newspapers covering Port Hope and Colborne as well as Cobourg. The Cobourg paper was the Cobourg Star and (as far as I can tell), was founded in 1831. The Cobourg Sentinel ran independently from 1861-1879 then merged with the Star in 1880 to become the Cobourg Sentinel-Star (1880-1972), the Cobourg Star (1973-1976) and the Cobourg Daily Star (1977-Feb. 2009). The Cobourg World ran from 1864 -1948. The Star changed to Northumberland Today as of February 2009.

The good news is that the paper will continue online. And of course there are plenty of other online news sources. 

Resources

Print Article: 

 

15 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark
5 months ago

I had stopped delivering any newspaper / flyers over 10 years ago because smell of of the newsprint
My children were the first ones in neighborhood to deliver the NN when it started up in 1991

Michael
5 months ago

It’s been a long time coming. Sad to see the print go, but it was inevitable.

Sandpiper
5 months ago

I guess John,s Idea / dreams of retiring just went out the Window
unless Trudeau shuts him down as well

Jade
5 months ago

Extremely saddened for those working for N.N and the carriers. I will miss paper in hand and flyers. Not everyone is able to see online. Let’s hope Meta gets back to allowing our Pete Fisher to continue sharing at some point.

Gerald
Reply to  Jade
5 months ago

Today’s Northumberland’s web page is still online, I read it daily. His Facebook page no longer allows him to post his news there.

Jade
Reply to  Gerald
5 months ago

Yes I know , I follow Pete there and on X , but I prefer FB. Thank god we have this site and Pete

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Jade
5 months ago

Jade, if you want to see links to news on Facebook tell Justin about your displeasure with his Online News Act (Bill C-18).

Brian Murphy
5 months ago

We are old school so we are going to miss reading the hard copy print newspapers and flyers. I also feel bad for all the paperboys & girls that will be out of a job. 🙁

Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

The decline of local print newspapers has been evident for a many years. Towards the end Northumberland News was almost nothing but advertising and flyers, not much actual news. What the public needs is actual unbiased factual reporting. Not opinions and analysis but facts. This loss contributes to the government and others acting with little oversight from the taxpayers. When the government heavily subsidizes certain news outlets and controls the narrative how can the public truly know what is accurate? Canada is going the route of many developing nations, being kept in the dark.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

There is one great alternative available both in huge monetary savings and unbiased factual reporting to the public.
It would be of great benefit to the all we taxpayers in these days of ever increasing financial costs.
Disestablish the CBC.

Pete M
Reply to  Bill Thompson
5 months ago

I interesting Bill,
Can wait to hear Keith Oliver rebuttal!😉

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
5 months ago

CBC News should be defunded. All it does is echo the party line. CBC News is deceitful — all one needs to do is listen to the constant lies they continually peddle about Ukraine. That is largely true of the msn. It is local news that continues to present truthful news because local people can easily determine if there is any lying going on. Long live local.

cornbread
5 months ago

The end of an era in Canadian newspapers. We loose our local “touch” that once kept us together. From a kid that used to deliver the “Paragon Press” in Mount Dennis in 1952 for about 3 cents a house. Toronto-Jane St. & Weston Rd.

Michael
Reply to  cornbread
5 months ago

The business model changed to a “free newspaper” and the carriers dependent upon gratuities from homeowners and residents.

I prefer your system where people got paid a reasonable wage for the work they do.

The panhandling was crass.

andre
5 months ago

The online model is trawling for clicks using fear, outrage, and anger. Most people barely know what cookies are so the online sites can tell what articles we read, how long we linger, and what headlines work best, as if they were looking over our shoulder. Add the “State Media” aspect of money from the government for favourable press and read the media in terms of “what is the latest narrative”. I hope Google & Meta stand firm.