Future still uncertain for Sackville Tribune-Post and Amherst News

The Sackville Tribune-Post closed its downtown offices in 2018 to save money in the face of declining ad revenues

The Saltwire Network says it is assessing the future of its weekly newspapers in Atlantic Canada including the Sackville Tribune-Post and the Amherst News after announcing the permanent layoff of 109 employees yesterday.

The company, which also owns daily papers in Halifax, Charlottetown, Sydney and St. John’s, suspended the publication of its weeklies in March because of a collapse in local advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an e-mail today to Warktimes, Ian Scott, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Saltwire Network, said the future of the Sackville and Amherst papers will depend on market conditions.

“We’re continuing to evaluate which publications return and when they will return,” Scott wrote. “In all cases, the decisions are being made with an understanding of market demand (advertising and circulation).”

He added that the company has relaunched the South Shore Breaker in Nova Scotia’s Queens and Lunenburg counties “because market demand has shown the customer base is there to support it.”

He said all other papers are being assessed in the same way.

“I cannot offer more specifics of the market demand for The Sackville Tribune-Post and the Amherst News in particular, but we will be very keen to return as quickly as possible in as many markets as is possible,” Scott wrote.

In announcing the 109 permanent layoffs yesterday, Scott said that after the pandemic began, advertising plummeted as businesses closed and customers stayed home.

“The loss has cost the company millions in revenue to date without expected improvement in the coming months,” he added.

To read my previous story about the papers shutting down temporarily in March, click here.

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2 Responses to Future still uncertain for Sackville Tribune-Post and Amherst News

  1. Dodie says:

    We need our local paper.

  2. Shawn Mesheau says:

    Thanks for the update Bruce. On Monday I actually had reached out to the Tribune through their Facebook page asking if there had been a decision made as of yet as to when they would start publishing the paper again. Not sure who the person was who responded, however, they indicated not that they were aware of.
    So your article was timely and provided clarification.
    Thanks again.

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