Tag Archives: Transcontinental Media

NDG Monitor to go online-only

NDG Monitor

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.

Halifax Daily News gone, replaced by Metro

The news was announced this morning, with some Daily News employees hearing about it from other media (how classy). Transcontinental, the publisher of the Daily News, as well as free daily Metro newspapers in major cities (including Montreal), and community weeklies including the West Island Chronicle and Westmount Examiner, is going to replace a small daily newspaper with a free one that relies mostly on wire copy mixed with advertising.

The paper will go from 92 employees to 20. And journalism in Halifax suffers.

The Chronicle Herald, the other (and much larger) Halifax daily, naturally has the story.

Some other coverage:

UPDATE: The King’s Journalism Review has an entire section on the Daily News and its history, including interviews with now-unemployed staff. Meanwhile the Canadian Association of Journalists calls the paper’s demise a “dangerous trend” towards “news lite”

Transcontinental to talk about their black friends more

Transcontinental’s Serge Lemieux: Cultural communities Yay!!!!!111

Transcontinental, which owns 61 community weeklies in Quebec (22 of them on the island of Montreal), has decided to reverse its position banning brown people from its papers.

At least, that’s the best I could figure out from this editorial, which is running in all of Transcontinental’s newspapers this week. In it, the general manager of Transcontinental Newspaper Group, Serge Lemieux, has finally clued in to the idea that covering community issues involves covering cultural communities as well. Apparently it took the Bouchard-Taylor Commission into reasonable accommodation for him to figure this out.

The article doesn’t mention exactly what they’re going to do, only that they’ll be “celebrating cultural diversity.” In fact, it goes into more detail about what they’re not going to do, specifically that they won’t be publishing articles in “all the world’s languages” because they find it “undesirable” to do so. Instead, they’ll publish articles “exclusively in French or English (as the case may be)” (French versions of this editorial don’t mention articles in English).

We’ll see what they have in mind.

Speaking of nonsensical Serge Lemieux columns, this one, which in the same breath blames the media for oversensationalizing the issue of reasonable accommodation and says the commission looking into the issue has been a good idea, is also appearing in Transcontinental papers this week.

Ironically, both these articles serve to remind us, in case we didn’t know already, how little local journalism actually comes out of Transcontinental weeklies. A large amount of content is syndicated across many papers, their websites are identical and even most of their logos have the same design elements. All that’s left are some fluff stories about aging grandmothers, rewritten press releases about local events, and a couple of local issue stories written by overworked, underpaid journalists.

But I guess “celebrating cultural communities” will fix that.