Six months ago Nelson had three papers. Within a month it will have but one.
Former editor Chris Shepherd of the Nelson Post (an online news site) is reporting that the Express will publish its last issue on Feb. 22. Shepherd, who edited the Express for two years between 2007 and 2009, writes that the Express is a 22-year-old newspaper that began as a monthly before becoming a weekly newspaper after two years.
The Express newspaper will close its doors early next month.
The paper is one of the last independent newspapers in the province, owned and operated by Nelson resident Nelson Becker. The Express has started notifying advertisers and businesses there will be two final issues: Wednesday, Jan. 19 and Wednesday, Feb. 2.
Becker has said he will speak with the media next week.
Remaining news outlets in Nelson include the Black Press-owned Nelson Star (which is now edited by the former editor of the Daily News), Post and sister site News in the Kootenays, the Nelson Daily (a site run by two former Daily News reporters) and a pair of radio stations, the Bridge, KBS Radio and Kootenay Coop Radio.
I am, shamefully, a couple days late on this.
It deserves to be mentioned that last Thursday was the one-year anniversary of the death of Michelle Lang, a Calgary Herald reporter who previously worked for the Prince George Free Press.
The Herald had a nice story on her final day last week. Find it here….
From the story:
Lang was remembered last week by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk during Team Canada’s Christmas Day tour of the front-line Canadian troops.
“I was here with Michelle last Christmas Eve,” Canada’s top soldier told Postmedia News.
“Boy, she gave me a tough interview . . . but what a wonderful person,” Natynczyk recalled.
According to a story in today’s paper:
“The objective of the meeting will be to look for common ground on defining ‘fair and balanced’ coverage of the team,” Rothenburger said. “Right now we have different opinions on that.”
Yesterday, Gregg Drinnan‘s former colleague Angela MacIsaac asked on her Twitter feed: “I wonder if any newspapers would have the balls to boycott coverage of their #WHL teams in defence of Gregg Drinnan.”
That’s an interesting question. First of all, is it even possible when you have to fill your sports pages? Let’s look at B.C.:
In Vancouver, the Province and the Sun don’t need the WHL to fill their pages. But Chilliwack’s two twice-weekly papers probably do. Kelowna has a paid daily that needs feeding, although the Cap News could probably get by. The Cranbrook Daily Townsman definitely needs the Ice coverage. But in Prince George, they have a Junior A team with which to weather the storm.
But any boycott would probably start in Kamloops and would have to be launched by the Daily News, which for the moment seems inclined to talk before waging war. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the Jan. 11 meeting. If the Blazers come to the table demanding sugar and spice and everything nice from the Daily News, I’d like to see a boycott threatened.
I doubt it will be necessary, though. The Blazers have taken a PR schellacking, especially on Twitter. (Buzinga of the week goes to Dylan Bumbarger, who wrote:
Next: @blazerhockey fires scoreboard operator for being too negative
The tweet was instantly retweeted again and again.
Vancouver Sun sports reporter Elliott Pap wrote about the issue for today’s paper:
The Blazers informed Daily News sports editor and hockey beat writer Gregg Drinnan in a three-page letter dated Dec. 22 that he would no longer have access to players, coaches or other team officials. Copies were also sent to WHL commissioner Ron Robison and Board of Governors chairman Bruce Hamilton.
Meanwhile, even my blog stats show people care about the issue. This blog usually is frequented almost exclusively by readers in Western Canada. But today? Regina, Portland, Port Elgin, Summerside, Unity, Sask., Saskatoon, and so on. If that doesn’t show the Blazers play has backfired, I don’t know what does.
Also, this blog usually doesn’t get much traffic via search engines, a fact I don’t mind. This issue, however, has clearly touched a nerve. Here are some of the searches that led people to this blog yesterday (I culled a half-dozen non-Blazer-related searches):
|drinnan banned by kamloops blazers||4|
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|kamloops blazers ban kamloops daily news||1|
|greg drinnan blazer||1|
|greg drinnan decision||1|
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|“kamloops blazers” “greg drinnan”||1|
|blazers ban sports||1|
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|greg drinnan january 2011||1|
I think it’s only a matter of time before the Blazers cave off the ice like, well, they have been caving on the ice.
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