Black Press Sews Up Ownership Of Fraser Valley Newspapers

Media ownership in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island is more concentrated than ever after more community newspaper swaps between the remaining chains were announced in a report in this morning’s Globe and Mail.

In the Fraser Valley both the Abbotsford and Chilliwack Times were absorbed by Black Press last year leaving the Langley Advance and the Maple Ridge Times as the only non-Black Press newspapers in the Valley.

Now both titles have been bought by Black.

[excerpt] Black Press and Glacier Media Inc. have struck deals to swap more than a dozen community newspapers and digital titles in British Columbia, concentrating media ownership across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

In one deal, Black Press will acquire 11 titles from Glacier Media including the Nanaimo Daily News, Alberni Valley Times and Maple Ridge Times. In a separate purchase, Glacier is buying the Tri-City News, Burnaby New West NewsLeader and Richmond Review in return.

Today’s news follows on previous amalgamations, swaps and closures as the in industry re-organizes itself in the face of dropping revenues and increased online competition.

[excerpt] The two companies have swapped newspapers before, most recently in 2013 when Black Press acquired the Abbotsford/Mission Times and Chilliwack Times and Glacier received four titles in return, including the North Shore Outlook.

Little more than a month later, Black Press closed the Abbotsford/Mission Times, which was losing “a lot of money” and competed with the company’s Abbotsford News. But Mr. Black pointed out that the company has kept both of its Chilliwack papers afloat.

The remaining titles Black Press is buying are the Harbour City Star, Cowichan Citizen, Parksville Oceanside Star, Tofino/Ucluelet Westerly News, Comox Valley Echo, Campbell River Courier, Surrey Now and Langley Advance.

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