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Glacier to close Merritt News

July 26, 2012

The Merritt News is ceasing publication.

On Thursday the following announcement appeared on the Glacier paper’s website under the byline of interim publisher Tim Shoults (who is also the publisher of the Kamloops Daily News):

Dear Readers,

I regret to inform you that the Merritt News has decided to cease publication. The last issue will be published next Thursday (Aug. 2, 2012).

The closure is due to economic reasons. The paper is operating at a loss and has not performed financially as we expected for an extended period of time.

We do not project being able to return the operation to a profitable position and have therefore made the difficult decision to cease operations.

We wish to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to our staff, contractors and carriers for their many years of service.

We also want to thank our readers and advertisers for their loyal patronage over the past 21 years.

Five people, including two editorial staffers, will lose their jobs. The newsroom consists of editor John O’Connor and reporter Robin Poon.

The paper had been publishing since 1991. The town is left with Black Press’s Bob Doull’s Merritt Herald.

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  1. July 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    To clarify, the Merritt News wasn’t one of the PostMedia acquisitions — Glacier acquired it back in 2006. Further, the decision to cease publication in Merritt is in no way a reflection on the health of the chain or a hint at the future of other operations. It was based specifically on what was happening in the local market after an extended period of underperformance.

  2. Pen and Pad
    July 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Is this the first of what could be several paper closings by Glacier or is this just an anomaly? It’s been more than a year since Glacier scooped Post Media Papers and were undergoing an evaluation of them. The sole criteria of this evaluation is economic given their statement ‘The paper is operating at a loss and has not performed financially as we expected for an extended period of time. We do not project being able to return the operation to a profitable position…..’ blah, blah blah. If this is the case, then the Merrit News isn’t the only nag in Glacier’s stable and that begs the questions ‘whose next?’ At least Glacier had the balls to pull the trigger themselves and not flip the paper to Black who played executioner like they did with the Prince Rupert Daily News (another example of a nag that was put down, incidentally).

    • July 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      **Meant to leave this comment as a reply to Pen and Pad – sorry for the duplication.**

      To clarify, the Merritt News wasn’t one of the PostMedia acquisitions — Glacier acquired it back in 2006. Further, the decision to cease publication in Merritt is in no way a reflection on the health of the chain or a hint at the future of other operations. It was based specifically on what was happening in the local market after an extended period of underperformance.

      • Pen and Pad
        August 6, 2012 at 11:33 am

        It’s naieve to believe that the Merrit is the only market that a paper in the stable is underperforming in. It’s a canary in the coal mine. It’s also an example: weak members of the herd get culled.

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