Tag Archives: Transcontinental Media

Who wants to buy Transcontinental’s community newspapers in Quebec?

As was rumoured last week when it sold its Atlantic Canadian newspaper portfolio to the owners of the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Transcontinental announced this morning that it has put its remaining newspapers, including Métro in Montreal, up for sale. This includes 93 publications, almost all of which are community newspapers in Quebec (there’s also the Seaway News in Cornwall, Ont.). And Transcontinental has grouped them into 27 groups, mainly by region.

The magazine Les Affaires and things like Publisac are not part of the sale process.

No buyer has been announced, and the process should “span several months.” Transcontinental will remain in charge of the newspapers during the process, and “will also continue to be the publisher of newspapers that may remain unsold.”

It’s unusual to announce a sale without a buyer lined up already. But there are also no obvious buyers for a collection of newspapers like this. Nevertheless, let’s go through the possibilities.


Many of these newspapers used to be owned by Quebecor, until they were sold en masse to Transcontinental in a deal first announced more than three years ago. (That deal also evaluated the newspapers at roughly $1 million apiece on average.) So buying them back, even at a discount, would be a big step back for this company that has shed assets to focus on its core properties Videotron and TVA.

On the other hand, Quebecor is going back to the past a bit, bringing Pierre Karl Péladeau back as CEO. If he wasn’t crazy about the sale of the newspapers in the first place (PKP stepped down a few months before it was announced), he could bring them back.

Buying the newspapers would let Quebecor re-establish a Quebec-wide source of local news, which would feed not only those local papers but also the Journal de Montréal/Québec and TVA.

But with Videotron spending a lot of money on building its wireless network and upgrading its cable network, TVA still trying to pull TVA Sports into the black, and the company prioritizing buying back the stake in it held by the Caisse de dépôt, there isn’t much extra cash lying around.

Groupe Capitales Médias

The owner of the half-dozen newspapers that used to be part of the Gesca chain (except La Presse) has regional news coverage as its core mission, so this purchase would make sense in that way.

Unfortunately we know little about GCM’s finances because it’s privately owned and Martin Cauchon still hasn’t been very forthcoming about where he got the money to buy the papers in the first place.

There’s also the fact that this purchase would further drive down competition, though the Postmedia/Sun Media deal effectively established that the Competition Bureau doesn’t care about that anymore.


There are several community newspaper publishers in English Canada. Among them, Torstar would seem the most likely candidate to make a bid here. Postmedia doesn’t exactly have a lot of extra money lying around, Black Press and Glacier Media operate only in western Canada and the new Saltwire Network is too new to think about expanding right away (and if it was interested, it might have already bought them).

Torstar co-owns the other Metro newspapers in Canada, so it makes sense to buy Métro Montreal, perhaps separately from the others. And it had an interest in buying the Canwest chain until it lost out to Postmedia in the bidding. Its financial situation isn’t nearly as precarious as Postmedia’s.

But language is a big barrier for Torstar and the others. You can’t share articles or editors or page layouts when you’re working in a different language, and none of their current assets operate in French. There wouldn’t be that much efficiency in sharing resources.

XPND Capital

Alexandre Taillefer has made it a thing to try to rescue industries in need of innovation. He launched Téo Taxi to help the taxi industry compete against Uber. He bought Voir, and when Rogers decided to offload its Quebec publications he bought L’Actualité as well.

He definitely has the money, but does he think he can turn a profit on community newspapers?

Various local owners

An interview Transcontinental president François Olivier did with Presse Canadienne suggests this is the company’s actual vision, to sell off “at least half” of the publications to local owners who would be responsible for editorial and marketing, and would keep Transcontinental as their printer. Olivier also says that the newspapers are profitable, though that’s a difficult thing to measure on an individual basis when so much of newspaper operation is centralized.

There have been a few side deals where papers have been sold to entrepreneurs in their communities interested in buying. Others could be found to take over many of the remaining newspapers, but it’s almost impossible to find buyers for all 93. So going this route might mean many of them eventually get shut down, despite Transcontinental’s promise. (Olivier repeats in his interview that this won’t happen because the papers are profitable.) It would also mean breaking up the network, which relies a lot on centralized resources like editing, pagination and administration.

Rogers, Bell or some other rich media company that doesn’t own newspapers

Anything is possible, but why would they?

Someone rich who’s new to the media industry

Anyone who works at a struggling newspaper company fantasizes about a rich benefactor who buys the paper, doesn’t care about wasted money and doesn’t impose any editorial views. Unfortunately very few people like this exist. But there could be someone who decides to jump in and try to save the industry. We saw it with Cauchon’s purchase of the GCM papers, and with Taillefer’s purchase of Voir and L’Actualité.

It could even be someone, or a group of people, within Transcontinental itself that decide to start a new business. Some of them have decades of experience with community newspapers and could decide to become entrepreneurs.

No one

Finally, there’s the possibility that Transcontinental doesn’t find any takers for the majority of its collection. If they’re making money, it could decide to cancel the sale process and keep them. If they’re not, it could be the beginning of the end. They could remain running for a bit longer, but eventually the company would throw in the towel, and when it does there won’t be another sale offer, everything will just be shut down.


Got about $100 million lying around? How about $75 million? Or maybe just a few million for a few papers in your region? If so, contact Allison Dent (dent.allison@rcgt.com) or Arnaud Vital (vital.arnaud@rcgt.com).

We’ll see which of these options comes true in the coming months.

Newspapers for sale

  • Abitibi-Témiscamingue
    • Le Citoyen Rouyn-Noranda
    • Le Citoyen de la Vallée-de-l’Or
    • L’Écho Abitibien
    • La Frontière
  • Chambly
    • Journal de Chambly
  • Chaudière-Appalaches – (Portfolio 1)
    • Le Peuple Lévis
    • Le Peuple Lotbinière
  • Chaudière-Appalaches – (Portfolio 2)
    • Beauce Média
    • L’Éclaireur Progrès
    • Hebdo Régional
    • La Voix du Sud
  • Cornwall (Ontario)
    • Seaway News
  • Drummondville
    • L’Express (Wednesday/Sunday)
  • Estrie
    • Le Progrès de Coaticook
    • Le Reflet du Lac
  • Gaspésie
    • L’Avantage Gaspésien
    • L’Avant-Poste
    • L’Écho de la Baie
    • Le Havre
    • Le Pharillon
    • Vision Terre et Forêt
  • Granby/Cowansville
    • L’Avenir et des Rivières
    • Granby Express
    • Journal Le Guide
  • Lanaudière
    • L’Action D’Autray
    • L’Action (Wednesday/weekend)
    • L’Express Montcalm
  • Laurentides – (Portfolio 1)
    • Journal Le Nord
    • Le Mirabel
  • Laurentides – (Portfolio 2)
    • L’Information du Nord Mont-Tremblant
    • L’Information du Nord Sainte-Agathe
    • L’Information du Nord Vallée de la Rouge
  • Laval
    • Courrier Laval
  • Longueuil
    • Brossard Éclair
    • Le Courrier du Sud
    • L’Information d’Affaires Rive-Sud
    • Le Reflet
  • Mauricie
    • Le Courrier Sud
    • L’Écho de la Tuque
    • L’Écho de Maskinongé
    • L’Hebdo du Saint-Maurice
    • L’Hebdo Journal
  • Montreal (Portfolio 1)
    • Ambiance/Rendez Vous
    • L’Avenir de l’Est
    • Cités Nouvelles
    • Courrier Ahuntsic
    • Courrier Bordeaux-Cartierville
    • Corriere Italiano
    • L’Express d’Outremont
    • L’Express Mont-Royal
    • Le Flambeau Mercier-Anjou
    • Le Guide Montréal-Nord
    • Le Magazine de l’Île-des-Sœurs
    • L’Informateur de Rivière-des-Prairies
    • Journal de Rosemont
    • Messager Lachine & Dorval
    • Le Messager LaSalle
    • Le Messager Verdun
    • Nouvelles Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
    • Les Nouvelles Saint-Laurent News
    • Le Plateau
    • Progrès Saint-Léonard
    • Villeray?Parc-Ex Petite Patrie
    • La Voix Pop
  • Montreal (Portfolio 2)
    • Métro Montreal
  • Outaouais
    • Le Bulletin
    • La Petite-Nation
    • La Revue
  • Quebec City
    • L’Actuel
    • L’Appel
    • L’Autre Voix
    • Beauport Express
    • Charlesbourg Express
    • Le Jacques-Cartier
    • Journal Habitation
    • Le Québec Express
    • Québec Hebdo (website only)
  • Repentigny
    • Hebdo Rive-Nord
  • Rimouski
    • L’Avantage votre journal
  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
    • Le Courrier de Saguenay
    • L’Étoile du Lac
    • Le Lac-St-Jean
    • Les Nouvelles Hebdo
  • Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
    • Le Canada Français
    • Le Richelieu
  • Sorel
    • Les 2 Rives
  • Thetford Mines
    • Courrier Frontenac
  • Valleyfield
    • Coup d’œil
    • Le Journal Saint-François
    • Le Soleil de Châteauguay
  • Victoriaville and Plessisville
    • L’Avenir de l’Érable
    • La Nouvelle-Union (Wednesday/Sunday)

Transcontinental/Chronicle Herald sale continues regional monopolization of newspapers

The Halifax Chronicle Herald surprised me this morning by announcing it is purchasing almost all of Transcontinental’s print assets in Atlantic Canada, including 27 newspapers, one online-only news outlet, and four of Transcon’s six printing plants. (This despite the fact that the paper is 15 months into a general strike.)

Included in the sale are newspapers like the St. John’s Telegram and Charlottetown Guardian. The sale takes effect immediately, Transcontinental said. No word on purchase price, but we’ll probably learn that at Transcontinental’s next financial report to shareholders.

This sale follows several recent region-wide newspaper selloffs, including Quebecor selling 74 community papers in Quebec to Transcontinental, Transcontinental selling its 13 Saskatchewan newspapers to Star News Publishing, Transcontinental buying all of Rogers’s business-to-business magazines, Gesca selling all its newspapers except La Presse, and swaps of newspapers between Black Press and Glacier Media in B.C. (Not to mention the whole Postmedia/Sun Media thing.)

The result of most of these transactions is that the country is being divided up regionally, and community newspapers are avoiding competition so much that their owners are swapping assets to stay away from each other’s markets.

After the Transcon/Chronicle Herald deal, the new owners (who have incorporated as Saltwire Network) made it clear they have no plans to expand into New Brunswick (beyond the purchased Sackville Tribune Post, which is on the Nova Scotia border) to avoid competing with the Irving-owned Brunswick News. The Transcontinental-Quebecor deal ended the companies’ competition in Quebec, which had heated up a few years earlier when Quebecor decided to launch some new publications on Transcontinental territory.

A look at which groups own more than a nominal number of newspapers in each province shows how fragmented it has become (numbers are based on a quick count and may not be exact):

  • British Columbia: Black Press (77), Glacier Media (25)
  • Alberta: Postmedia (36), Glacier Media (17), Black Press (12)
  • Saskatchewan: Glacier Media (15)
  • Manitoba: Glacier Media (9), Postmedia (9), FP Newspapers (9)
  • Ontario: Torstar (115), Postmedia (61)
  • Quebec: Transcontinental (100)
  • New Brunswick: Brunswick News (24)
  • Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island/Newfoundland and Labrador: Saltwire Network (34)

Besides Alberta and Manitoba, no province has more than two major community newspaper publishers (as measured by number of titles). But just as importantly, no publisher operates substantial operations in more than four provinces.

As a result of the latest sale, Transcontinental will drop to being a Quebec-only newspaper publisher (except for papers in Cornwall, Ont., and its partnership in the Halifax Metro free daily).

The transactions make sense from a business perspective, and as much as we can complain about lack of competition, the truth is that healthy competition in community newspapers just isn’t possible as the industry continues its slow death march.

We may see further consolidation (particularly in western provinces) in the future, and if the situation doesn’t improve, major shutdowns. And if one of these companies goes under and is forced to shut down completely, it could leave an entire province without community media.

Quebecor sets sights on Transcontinental with two new weeklies

Quebecor Media announced today that it is launching two new weekly community newspapers: Echo de Laval and Echo de la Rive-Nord. (Their newspaper naming team must have spent minutes on those.)

Like similar papers throughout the province, these are free papers heavily supported by advertising. Echo de Laval will be distributed to 120,000 homes in Laval, while the Echo de la Rive-Nord goes to 66,000 homes in Saint-Janvier, Sainte-Thérèse, Blainville, Rosemère, Boisbriand, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Bois-des-Filion and Lorraine (in other words, the middle north shore).

The papers’ launch is significant for a few reasons:

  • Quebecor decides on the business model for these publications, without having to worry about appeasing unions. They’ve already said the two newspapers will work together, and other processes might be in place that would make unions cringe.
  • The launch comes while journalists at the Journal de Montréal are still locked out. Having newspapers in Laval and the immediate north shore will give much-needed content to Quebecor’s Agence QMI, which could in turn feed the Journal de Montréal. (The Laval paper is already making heavy use of QMI stories from 24 Heures.)
  • The launch of these papers breaks an unofficial agreement between Quebecor and Transcontinental Media to stay off each other’s turf. Transcontinental has papers all across the island of Montreal, as well as the Courrier Laval, one of its larger papers. Quebecor has papers on the south shore, meanwhile. The launch of the Echo de Laval will put the two in direct competition, during a time when that’s the last thing small newspapers want.
  • The previous point is made worse by the fact that two of the people named in the press release used to work at Transcontinental’s Laurentians paper, Le Trait d’Union. Mario Marois, who was Trait d’Union’s publisher until recently, becomes publisher of l’Echo de Laval. Guy Crépeau, who has worked as a journalist and as ad sales supervisor for Trait d’Union, becomes the news director for both Quebecor papers.

Quebecor says the two papers will add 23 jobs (Sun Media VP Charles Michaud specifies this includes seven full-time journalists and one part-time journalist). Their first issues come out Thursday.

Non, l’autre pair

Quebecor’s press release says that “selon le nouveau modèle d’affaires de Quebecor Media, journalistes et équipes de ventes travailleront de pair au sein des deux publications.” Some have interpreted this to mean that the wall between editorial and advertising would come down at the two papers, with both sides working together. Cécile Gladel and the STIJM are already calling foul.

Michaud, who is the big boss of Quebecor’s community weeklies, says this isn’t the case:

Pas question de mélanger les genres. La publicité et la rédaction restent bien distincts l’une de l’autre.

Il faut comprendre que les deux salles de rédaction travailleront de pair pour les nouvelles qui touchent les deux territoires. Ce sera d’ailleurs la même situation au niveau des ventes de publicité.

In other words, the papers will work together on news-gathering and advertising sales, but there won’t be advertorials or special journalistic treatment for advertisers. The advertising-editorial wall remains in place. (He made a similar statement to Le Trente when asked about it.)

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West Island newspaper editors give up on former jobs

A month after their positions were eliminated, and after surprising their bosses by saying they would not accept demotions, the editors of the West Island Chronicle and Cités Nouvelles have both confirmed that they’re not going back to their jobs. Negotiations between their union and Transcontinental Media general manager Serge Lemieux did not result in a decision favourable to them, and they’re leaving their newspapers.

For reasons that are still unclear, Lemieux apparently agreed to consider reinstating the editor position at Cités Nouvelles, but not the Chronicle. Both newspapers previously had one editor and one reporter. Even then, Marie-Claude Simard said she wouldn’t be interested in returning to her job at Cités Nouvelles.

So all that’s left for her and Albert Kramberger is to discuss their severance packages.

Of the four journalists at the two newspapers, only Olivier Laniel of Cités Nouvelles is still there. His reporting has been the only news in either paper since the beginning of January (his Cités Nouvelles articles are translated for the Chronicle). Raffy Boudjikanian, his former counterpart at the Chronicle, has already moved on and has been getting some work at the CBC.

One journalist covering the entire West Island for two newspapers.

It’s possible Transcontinental might choose to hire someone new, at least for the Chronicle. Maybe they’ll pick some eager kid straight out of university. And that kid will jump into a job with a lot of responsibility and little pay, and wonder: How did I get so lucky to land this job?

It’s amazing how much history can be erased with a simple turnover.

Transcontinental centralizes pagination in Maritimes

It’s the craze that’s sweeping the nation: centralized pagination. Instead of having people layout their own newspapers, big newspaper companies (including Quebecor and my employer Canwest) and have editors send stories to a pagination factory where specialists put together the pages for you and send them back.

The presentation is usually the same: The specialists are well-trained, local reporters and editors remain in control and have the final say, this will create “efficiencies” and allow journalists more time to focus on their core function – writing copy.

The hidden reality is that these copy editors tend to be non-unionized and have lower salaries, they have little connection to and may not even be familiar with the communities they serve, and the local journalists don’t have the time to correct all of the things a lazy, overworked copy editor hundreds of kilometres away might have done that they don’t agree with.

And, of course, with efficiencies come layoffs.

Transcontinental Media, which has already done this for its community papers in Quebec, is setting up a pagination shop in Charlottetown to handle layout for its Maritime papers. The number of layoffs isn’t known yet, but there will be some.

It could be worse: They could be outsourcing pagination to Bangalore.

Merry Christmas from Transcontinental (P.S.: You’re fired)

When was the last time you read a community weekly from Transcontinenal Media? When was the last time you learned anything interesting from it about your neighbourhood that you couldn’t get from the borough newsletter?

Most of the on-island community papers are pathetic – many don’t even have a full-time journalist – but others have been giving it the ol’ college try despite their tiny budgets.

Those budgets, though, are about to get smaller.

On the Friday before Christmas, just days after the latest earnings report showed good news for the parent company, journalists at Transcontinental-owned weeklies across town got the news that their services would no longer be required starting Jan. 8. Among them are two on the West Island: Raffy Boudjikanian of the West Island Chronicle and Olivier Laniel of Cités Nouvelles. It’s unclear at the moment (even to them) if these are temporary or permanent layoffs.

Normally, the downsizing of two journalists wouldn’t be a big deal, but these newspapers are running on a skeleton staff as it is. What was once a newsroom of three now becomes a newsroom of two.

One of those is the editor, who will now become a reporter. Albert Kramberger at the Chronicle, Marie-Claude Simard at Cités Nouvelles and Wayne Larsen at the Westmount Examiner. This appears to also be the case chain-wide. Their salaries will remain essentially the same or have slight reductions, depending.

Montreal regional manager Stéphane Vinet

The exact nature of the measures taken by Transcontinental is not absolutely clear. According to Benoit Leblanc, president of the Syndicat de l’information de Transcontinental, they affect a dozen employees, three of whom have definitely lost their jobs. Another vacant position is being eliminated.

As for Transcontinental, it’s not talking to the media. Stéphane Vinet, the Montreal regional manager for Transcontinental Media who is responsible for weekly papers on the island, did not respond to a request for information.

His name, meanwhile, is being spoken along with unkind words by some of the journalists involved.

Those who spoke to me asked me to not to name them for fear of reprisals. So I offer them anonymity even though the entire pool of editorial staff at the three newspapers mentioned above is less than a dozen. One journalist was angry, saying Transcon “declares journalists are obsolete for their ad rags” and that this was a retaliation for union grievances. Two others shrugged and accepted the cost-cutting as a fact of life, and that they’ll just find other sources of income.

It’s easy to say (as I did above) that these newspapers are garbage and this is just the continuation of their suicidal death spirals. Looking back just a decade, many of these newspapers looked a lot different, they were well connected with their communities, they didn’t just copy-paste press releases or use the same stories as their neighbours.

But there’s still just a little bit of journalism coming out of these papers, and that’s where they’re cutting. Laniel last week compiled a list of salaries for West Island mayors. Boudjikanian has been following the case against a snow plow company that hasn’t delivered on its promises. Neither of these can be replaced by a press release.

The cuts also mean an end to paid freelance work, what little is left of it anyway. Unpaid contributors, of which there are unfortunately many, will not be affected. Since, you know, they’re unpaid.

Transcon makes bilingual papers French-only

CTV seems to be the only outlet so far to note that five Transcontinental community weeklies in Montreal have given up on trying to be bilingual and have switched to French-only publication.

The papers in question are:

Transcontinental says they’ll keep some English content online (and by that I assume they mean they’ll link to stories from the anglo papers like the West Island Chronicle and Westmount Examiner).

The anglos CTV talked to complained about the lack of news about their community as a result of this change, but when we’re talking about 12-page issues that contain maybe a page and a half of editorial content (most of which is fluff pieces or borough announcements), I think it’s a bit too late to complain about the loss of community news.

Transcontinental wants your copyright

Following in the footsteps of TVA Publications, Transcontinental is now demanding that freelancers sign contracts that assign to the publisher all rights associated with submitted pieces (PDF).

In Transcon’s case, at least, there is still a provision for additional fees if the pieces are reused in other publications.

Like it or not, publishers (especially mega-corporation multi-media publishers) are pushing freelancing in this direction. The issue is whether freelancers will be paid more for the additional rights they’re giving up.

NDG Monitor news article actually a press release

NDG Monitor

The NDG Monitor, which shut down in February and became online-only, and recently criticized a borough-produced newspaper for being nothing but press releases, is now itself cutting and pasting press releases to create news stories, as evidenced by this story which is identical to this release from Concordia University (and doesn’t mark it as such).

I’d say I was shocked, but I wasn’t. I’d say I was disappointed, but my expectations for this Transcontinental project were low to begin with.

The Monitor’s deterioration as a legitimate news outlet began long before its last issue came off the presses. It started in 1996 when it was sold to Transcontinental, which gutted everything to save money.

Now all it does is list community events and republish open letters, while contributing whatever news articles can be churned out with as little effort as possible. The rest of the website is filler from Transcontinental and its other community weeklies.

The Monitor is going to die eventually as a forgotten relic of a time when small communities could sustain local newspapers. Though I mourn the loss of any voice and the job of any journalist, part of me thinks they should just put it out of its misery.

All communities are alike to Transcon

Transcontinental weekly feeds

This is one of the reasons I’m not crazy about the Transcontinental weeklies. They have so little content of their own, but mask that by copying content from other papers or from the network. The result is the exact same story on the websites of multiple papers.

Perhaps I’m the only one affected because I subscribe to many of these papers, but I don’t understand why stories not based in a particular area are included in the feed (and posted to the website) of a community newspaper for that area.

Michel Vézina moves to Transcontinental

Michel Vézina, the former ICI columnist who quit in January when he wouldn’t sign a contract that would allow his work to be republished freely in other Quebecor publications (including the Journal de Montréal), has resurfaced at Transcontinental, where he will be writing about the arts for MontrealExpress.ca and the various Transcontinental-owned community weeklies.

I’ll note the irony that he will now be writing what is essentially a syndicated column after having objected to syndication.

Courrier Laval loses half its reporting staff


The fallout from the cuts at Transcontinental are starting to trickle down. The Courrier Laval has lost two of its four reporters, leaving two people to write all the news from across the island.

One of the reporters losing her job is Nathalie Villeneuve. You might remember her as the person whose story TVA picked up without attribution. Now what will TV news report on?

Meanwhile, the union representing employees at Transcon’s community weeklies is bemoaning the situation at papers in the centre of the island of Montreal (Villeray, Rosemont, Ville-Marie, etc.) who have even fewer journalists and can’t do much journalism of their own.

I can attest to that. There’s plenty of syndicated content (mostly about cars), but very little of local interest comes out of those papers.

UPDATE: Voir’s Steve Boudrias calls this cut “absurd”, with some thoughts on the state of community journalism.

Journal Daily Digest: Cauchon sticks his nose in it

Journal de Montréal picket

The link of the day comes from this morning’s Le Devoir, in which media reporter Paul Cauchon does an analysis of the Journal situation, the freelance columnist problem and the role of unions in media. It’s a bit opinionative (and, since it’s in Le Devoir, that opinion is left-of-centre), but worth a look.

Tout le monde won’t shut up

Patrick Lagacé and Bernard Landry were on Tout le monde en parle last night, and both answered questions about the Journal. Landry recently quit his column (with a lame excuse) and Lagacé had to answer for his boyfriend Richard Martineau, who just won’t quit. Rue Frontenac was watching and has the play-by-play. As does Richard Therrien.

On the other channel (with twice the audience), TVA had the premiere of Star Académie, and Journal workers were picketing outside giving out flyers to audience members. (The Clique du Plateau wonders if Rue Frontenac’s critique of the show would have been as critical if it had appeared in the Journal)

In other news

Meanwhile, a journalist at Transcontinental in Quebec City has gotten her job back after she was fired last year, coincidentally (or not) as she was organizing a union for their community weeklies in the area.

End of the road for The Monitor

The final issue of the NDG Monitor went out today. It includes a column from editor Toula Foscolos on the print shutdown, one from Noah Sidel and another from Bram Eisenthal, plus a message from the publisher. Foscolos says many readers accused Transcontinental of not caring about them, which she counters with the fact that the paper has been running with a deficit for years now.

Frankly, I’m surprised they’re keeping the editorial staff and trying to do this online. Transcontinental’s cookie-cutter community websites are awful, and most of the content you find on them links to or is copied from other community newspaper sites.

Though I don’t want to see any local journalists lose their jobs, I can’t help but think that the online Monitor experiment will eventually fail, and those remaining will either have to move to other papers (the Westmount Examiner and West Island Chronicle are also owned by Transcon) or find another career.

Hour also covers the NDG Monitor shutdown, and CTV News had a story about it on today’s newscast, but its website won’t let me link to a specific video, so you’ll have to find it yourself.