Home > Industry stuff > Sayonara, Postmedia! We welcome our new Glacier overlords.

Sayonara, Postmedia! We welcome our new Glacier overlords.

October 19, 2011

I’m taking a break from my self-imposed exile to celebrate the abandonment of the B.C. community news sector by Postmedia. I’m sure you’ve already heard that Glacier agreed to buy Postmedia’s Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland papers, along with the Victoria Times-Colonist, for 80-some million dollars.

This has been greeted, predictably, with great enthusiasm from at least those people in my Postmedia newsroom. As I explained several months ago, Postmedia never knew what the fuck to do with its community papers. (Actually, that may be wrong. They took profits from the community papers and threw them into the great mysterious Postmedia debt hole. Unfortunately, that debt hole was posed to gobble up all the chain’s money for a great number of years.)

To escape that burden (sorry Vancouver Sun and Province journos!) feels like a new lease on life.

Sure, an avalanche of money isn’t about to flow our way. It never does. But at least there will be hope for the future and competency in the present. For one, Postmedia’s “digital-first” strategy, with its focus on page views at the expense of building good and readable news sites, was idiotic. Photo Galleries! Photo Galleries! More Photo Galleries.

Thankfully, judging by Glacier newspapers’ sites (including that of the Powell River Peak [!]), there doesn’t appear to be the drive to obtain page views, no matter how fleeting, at all else. The sites also appear, while not exactly beautiful, at least competently put together and simple. That’s another welcome change from the scrapheap of random widgets, links and ads that currently comprise the Lower Mainland papers’ sites.

On a not-unrelated note, I’m going to try and update this blog every week or so. Sometimes posts may come more frequently. Probably, they’ll be more sporadic. But either way, I hope to still be here.

It’s a brand new day!

Am I wrong to be so optimistic? Post a comment below.

  1. Anonymous
    October 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Glacier runs lean outfits, especially their newsrooms. The papers they bought don’t have lean newsrooms so how long before the fat is liposuctioned? And there are some obvious money losing nags thrown in with the race horses so how long before Glacier thins the herd? And will Glacier turn around and flip some of its new papers the way Postmedia did after their sale last year? I think this is the beginning of something more, not the end.

  2. Anonymous
    October 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I think you are being overly optimistic –
    “First of all, community newspapers are not really core to our long-term future because basically we’re a large, urban city newspaper group,” said Paul Godfrey in this article http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/51667–glacier-media-to-acquire-b-c-papers-from-postmedia-for-86-5-million#.Tp41MlBF1tE.facebook

    • October 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      That’s why I’m optimistic. Because Godfrey and co. didn’t give a shit about his community papers (and for good reason, they comprised just a tiny portion of his empire).

  3. Anon
    October 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I’m amused by Paul Godfrey’s claim that the Times-Colonist didn’t embrace Postmedia’s “digital-first” platform. This from a guy who introduced an “Ask Paul” page on the internal company website where employees could ask him questions. During the year I spent there, he didn’t answer a single one. .

  4. October 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Did you just join the family? If so, welcome!

  5. Anonymous
    October 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

    From one reporter to another… HORRAY!!!!!!!!!!!

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