People accustomed to checking all three online media sources in Abbotsford woke up to a notice that the Abbotsford Times was unavailable.
James Kwantes of the Vancouver Sun Tweeted this morning that the Abbotsford Times has been shut down by Black Press.
No formal announcement has been made by either Black Press or Glacier Media but rumours had been circulating for weeks that the money-losing newspaper might be shut down when ownership was transferred this month.
The six-paper swap which the Lower Mainland’s rival community newspaper chains announced in October has affected markets in the Fraser Valley and suburban Vancouver where one chain appears to have a decided advantage over the other in terms of revenue and market penetration.
In a statement published on the Abbotsford News website this afternoon, Randy Blair, president of the Black Press Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island divisions, is quoted as saying, “”It was our belief that it didn’t make sense for readers to receive two community newspapers in the Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack markets on the same publishing days with tremendous duplication of content,” said Randy Blair, president of the Black Press Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island divisions.
“In light of this, Black Press has harmonized publication days in the Chilliwack market so that the Chilliwack Times and the Chilliwack Progress will publish on different days.”
“We are also going to work hard at differentiating content between the Times and the Progress which will provide readers with a greater mix of editorial content as a result of expanded coverage of community news and events.”
“In Abbotsford, we have elected to close the Abbotsford Times because it was losing a considerable amount of money, and over 65 per cent of the Abbotsford Times staff, including every reporter, elected not to transfer their employment to Black Press as part of the sale.”
Twitter posts about the news included:
No glacial pace for Glacier Media when it comes to shutting down money-losing Abbotsford Times. Hometown now a 1-newspaper city
Black Press says the @abbytimes was losing too much money. Majority of staff took buyout when company purchased it from Glacier
More to follow …
Updated 16:14 pm, 02/12/13