Alt-weekly death spiral spreads to Toronto

A little over a week ago was the second anniversary of the death of Mirror, the last of two alternative weekly newspapers in Montreal. That move came less than two months after the other, Hour, finally ceased production. It’s been five years since the death of ICI, and one year since Voir’s Montreal edition cut costs by going biweekly instead of weekly (it also killed editions in Mauricie, Saguenay, Gatineau and Estrie in the span of about a year).

Now, Canada’s largest city is feeling our pain. Word came out Wednesday that The Grid (a successor to Eye Weekly) is shutting down immediately after years of losing money for its parent Torstar. Thursday will be its last issue.

The shutdown leaves NOW as the only alt-weekly left in Toronto.

The Grid’s end is particularly painful for those who appreciated its award-winning design. While other papers were cutting back on the little things and going as cookie-cutter as possible to save money, The Grid put in the extra effort and created a paper that was as interesting to look at as it was to read.

2 thoughts on “Alt-weekly death spiral spreads to Toronto

  1. Dilbert

    No real surprises here. Print media in general is suffering greatly these days, and weekly inkies are quickly becoming less and less relevant in people’s lives. The advertisers (especially entertainment venues) have moved online with a web presence, and they update their schedules there. People are liking on Facebook, chatting on twitter, and going all foursquare on places too. Print weeklies aimed at a younger audience are pretty much completely out of touch the demographic.

    Good design won’t save a paper that is always going to be about 6 days out of date.

    It’s only surprising that they didn’t try to take it online. They might have had a chance there.

  2. earl

    In our 15 years of publising, we planned and have validated this: if the magazine is a real magazine and not a bunch of flyers with a cover, with regular features etc, and if the DNA of its content connects with the intended readership in a cultural and not just in an information dump manner, the magazine will grow. Check out ours – PANORAM ITALIA – because, in light of the news reported here, and not to appear arrogant, PANORAM ITALIA ‘s two magazines – one in Toronto and the original in Montreal, are growing both in their print incarnations and in its on line life.


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