metroland media

Metroland ceases publication of community newspapers across Ontario

Canadian mass media publisher and distributor, Metroland Media Group, is seeking protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and is ceasing the publication of most of its community newspapers across Ontario. 

The sister company to the Toronto Star will move 71 of its community newspapers to a digital-only model, and continue to publish its six daily publications both online and in print. 

These daily publications include the Hamilton Spectator, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Peterborough Examiner, Welland Tribune, and the Waterloo Region Record. 

"A lot has changed in the past several years, said Lee Ann Waterman, Vice-President, Editorial at Metroland Media. 

"Our newsrooms became digital first – meaning all stories, big or small, were available on our websites before they were published in print, and, as advertising dollars and newspapers shrunk, many stories never made it to print at all," she said in a statement. 

"Becoming a digital-only business is the next step in our evolution – precipitated by the loss of revenue from print advertising and our flyer distribution business, as well as the stranglehold Big Tech has on digital advertising. Our newspapers are gone but we are still here." 

The recent move involves 605 layoffs, which is roughly two-thirds of the company's workforce. 

"The decline of the print and flyer distribution business was significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by the reduction of flyer usage both by readers and advertisers as a marketing vehicle," Metroland said in a statement. 

“The company has determined that in order to survive as a going concern, it must end its weekly paper and flyer businesses and convert to a digital strategy."

Lead photo by

Tim Mossholder


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