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Canada's community newspaper industry is wondering who will end up owning CanWest's community newspaper holdings in the wake of a recent $255 million sale of some of the company's publications.
Transcontinental defines a community newspaper as "small local dailies or newspapers published less than five times a week that primarily cover local news." The deal includes 12 community newspapers, 10 of which are dailies, and 32 related publications. Transcontinental now owns 79 community newspapers, 10 of which are dailies, in eight provinces, as well as 83 related publications.
The deal also has industry stakeholders wondering who will buy CanWest's remaining 39 community newspapers. According to the Canadian Community Newspapers Association's (CCNA) Snapshot 2002: The Developing Picture of Canada's Community Newspaper Industry, as of November 2001, CanWest owned 24 community newspapers in British Columbia and 15 in Ontario.
Osprey CEO Michael Sifton agreed. While he would Fendi Karlito Purse
the company a stronger presence in Western Canada.
The deal makes Transcontinental a player in Eastern Canada and gives Fendi Iphone 7 Plus
not say whether Osprey had made an offer on CanWest's Ontario community newspapers, he did say Osprey is open to expansion within Ontario. "Osprey, since the time it was created, has expressed interest in the CanWest papers," said Sifton. "Osprey is currently Ontario based and covers most parts of the province. The CanWest properties would be Fendi Peekaboo Price 2017
Osprey, which is partially controlled by the Sifton family, bought 28 newspapers from Hollinger Inc. for $220 million in July 2001. "It fits in nicely with the group of papers they already have in Ontario," said Cumming.
Speculation is strong about Transcontinental buying papers, in part due to comments made in the company's literature handed out after its recent CanWest purchases. A release from the company says the CanWest deal "creates an attractive platform for further growth in Eastern and Western Canada."
Industry ponders future of CanWest properties
complementary and continue to expand our presence in Ontario."
Many players are assumed to have an interest in the CanWest papers. CCNA president Jim Cumming, Fort Frances (ON) Times, said two players could have a strong interest in the Ontario papers: Osprey Media Group and Metroland, a division of Torstar Inc.
Metroland owns a variety of newspapers close to, or in competition with, the CanWest papers. Buying the CanWest papers would give the company a stronger hold on Ontario. Metroland president Murray Skinner was unavailable for comment. or Ontario papers could be the FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership (FPCN). FPCN purchased the Winnipeg Free Press and the Brandon Sun in November of 2001. Bob Silver and Ron Stern, who are shareholders in Winnipeg based Western Glove Works, own FPCN, one of Canada's largest makers of jeans and casual wear. Stern is also chief executive and part owner of Alberta Newsprint Co., chairman of Supreme Graphics Ltd. and a former publisher of Vancouver Magazine.
CanWest recently announced the sale of 44 publications to Transcontinental Group. The sale includes what Transcontinental and CanWest are calling community dailies, weeklies, monthlies, shoppers and insert publications. Fendi Handbag Shopstyle The deal also includes commercial printing operations Ad Venture in Saskatoon and Williams Crue in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
CanWest estimated that combined, the newspapers in the deal employ close to 900 people and generate annual revenues of almost $100 million. The transaction is subject to approval which is expected in mid August.
Neither Silver nor Stern was available for comment.
British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspapers Association president Peter Kvarnstrom said he felt it was 'highly unlikely' CanWest would sell its community newspapers in British Columbia. "Because CanWest has the two daily newspapers here, they have a nice hold on the market that they can control," he said. "Whomever they sold the community newspapers to, they would come into competition with right away. If they were to sell them, I would imagine the buyer would be Transcontinental. There have been a lot of rumours and those rumours have revolved around Transcontinental."
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