Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Kamloops paper to fold

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KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- The Kamloops Daily News is the latest newspaper to shut down operations as the newspaper industry struggles with declining revenues.

Rob Munro, vice-president of the Media Union of B.C., says the newspaper's parent company, Glacier Media, gave his members notice it plans to stop publication within the next 60 days.

The company did not say how many people will be affected by the move, but Munro says there are 34 full-time staff at the daily as well as 12 contracted delivery drivers.

The paper began publishing more than 80 years ago and has a circulation of nearly 27,000. It's the only daily newspaper in Kamloops.

In a story posted on the Kamloops Daily News website, publisher Tim Shoults says he is saddened by the news, but the closure is necessary because of declining revenues and a failure to sufficiently cut costs.

"We have struggled for the last several years, worked tirelessly and taken many difficult steps along the way, which were designed to ensure our future," he said.

"Unfortunately the realities of our industry, our local advertising market and our labour situation were too great for us to overcome."

Glacier Media wasn't immediately available for comment.

The closure comes about three months after Glacier Media decided to contract ad production out to India and the Philippines for a number of publications in B.C., including the Kamloops Daily News, which lost five non-unionized staff.

Munro says the announcement Monday wasn't a complete surprise given the previous outsourcing decision and the closure of other small newspapers in the area, but it's still tough for his members.

"A lot of these people have been there most of their working life, and there aren't a lot of other jobs out there right now," he said. "It's going to be extremely difficult."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 7, 2014 B4

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