By Ronan O’Beirne, Associate Editor
Black Press, of Surrey, B.C., has acquired 11 community newspapers from Glacier Media—and sold four papers to the same company.
Black Press’ new papers include Surrey Now, the Langley Advance and the Maple Ridge Times, as well as the Vancouver Island Newspaper Group, which includes the Nanaimo Daily News, the Harbour City Star, the Alberni Valley Times, the Cowichan Citizen, the Parksville Oceanside Star, the Tofino/Ucluelet Westerly News, the Comox Valley Echo and the Campbell River Courier.
The Victoria Times-Colonist said it is not included in the sale.
At the same time, Black Press is selling four titles to Glacier: the Tri-City News, the Burnaby NewsLeader, New Westminster NewsLeader and the Richmond Review.
On B.C. Local News, Black Press president and CEO Rick O’Connor said, “While we are pleased with the acquisitions, we are disappointed to be selling these excellent community newspapers.
“We believe in the value our Black Press colleagues at these newspapers have created and the many long time staff members will be missed.”
Asked what effect the acquisition would have on staff, O’Connor told J-Source it was “far too premature to talk about our business plans going forward.”
Black Press said it would assume control of some titles on Jan. 1, 2015, and the remainder on Mar. 2.
In a statement, Glacier said the sale’s net proceeds would be used to pay down debt.