Less than a year after it relaunched itself, the NDG Monitor newspaper will stop printing as of next week and focus exclusively on its website. The decision results in the layoff of two salespeople and a newspaper manager, but not the editor, reporter or freelance columnists.
The newspaper dates back to 1926, though its downfall began in 1996 when it was acquired by Transcontinental. In an effort to save costs, the community newspaper chain (which owns just about all of the community weeklies in the Montreal area, except The Suburban) cut staff and increased "efficiencies" by having the newspapers share content and design. It even went so far as to rename the Monitor the West End Chronicle, essentially making it a zoned edition of another newspaper (and confusing plenty of readers).
Transcon brought the name Monitor back last year, but by then it was too late. The paper had lost all its personality, and people stopped reading it.
I'd wish it luck online, but the website is so crappy (Transcon cookie-cutter messiness that's more interested in pushing other Transcon products than featuring local content) that without a significant redesign I'm pretty sure it's on its way to failure as well.
The Monitor's final print issue will be Thursday, Feb. 5.