Torstar's Metroland Media stops publishing six weekly newspapers in Ottawa in wake of October purchase of Performance Printing, publisher of EMC publications

Sandy Yang

Sandy Yang

Dec 22, 2011 – Industry Intelligence

LOS ANGELES , December 21, 2011 () – Metroland Media Group Ltd. has stopped publishing six weekly newspapers in Ottawa in the wake of its October purchase of Performance Printing Inc. for C$22.5 million, the Ottawa Citizen reported on Dec. 16.

Torstar Corp. owns a majority of Metroland, which cut the Ottawa This Week newspaper editions for central, east, south and west Ottawa in addition to nearby cities of Barrhaven and Nepean.

Before the October acquisition, Metroland published 15 newspapers in Eastern Ontario and Performance Printing published 21 EMC titles. Metroland reported that their combined circulation exceeded 500,000.

Mike Mount, Performance Printing’s former president and the current vice-president and regional publisher for Metroland’s Ottawa Region, said that the staff and distribution systems for the cancelled newspapers would now be transferred to working on the EMC titles that had previously been published by Performance Printing.

Mount said that the company seeks to combine newspapers in areas that have two publications in addition to merging distribution, possibly resulting in an increase in content and larger newspapers.

In an effort to cut staffing costs, Metroland is giving its employees the option of a voluntary buyout.

The Performance Printing acquisition was also intended to expand Metroland’s reach and allow it to appeal to a wider group of advertisers, according to Torstar's President and CEO David Holland in a statement.

Metroland’s October acquisition of Performance Printing is among a number of ownership shuffles within the region of Ottawa’s community newspaper business, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

Torstar also said in October it was paying $51.5 million to boost its ownership in the chain of free newspapers Metro, increasing its stake to 90%.

The primary source of this article is the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto, Canada, on Dec. 16, 2011.

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