Long-running Nanaimo newspaper, in business since 1874, to shut down today

NANAIMO, B.C. – The Nanaimo Daily News will stop publishing today, ending 141 years in business.

The newspaper on Vancouver Island made the announcement Friday on Facebook and Twitter, thanking its advertisers and readers for their support.

The paper, which publishes five times a week, will close on Friday. Its website lists 10 staff members on its news team, including three reporters and a photographer.

Black Press bought the paper from Glacier Media in December 2014. The media company also owns the Nanaimo News Bulletin, which publishes twice a week.

Rick O’Connor, Black Press CEO, said the decision to close the paper was not taken lightly.

He said Nanaimo Daily News staff had made a number of improvements to the content and format of the paper over the past 10 months. While the improvements were well-received by existing readers, they did not translate into an increase in paid circulation or advertising revenue, he said.

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“As a result Black Press was unable to develop a sustainable business model that would offset the high cost base of the Nanaimo Daily News in relation to its low paid circulation base,” he said in a statement.

“The cost of supporting the operation of the Daily News has been substantial and we didn’t feel those losses would be reduced in the future.”

O’Connor said Black Press will continue to invest in the twice-weekly Nanaimo News Bulletin and will expand its efforts to cover local issues.

“The community newspaper model continues to enjoy strong readership and advertising support, making it a highly effective local media option with a bright future in the print and digital space,” he said.

“Black Press is very appreciative of the support readers and advertisers have afforded the Nanaimo Daily News and Nanaimo News Bulletin over the years and we will continue to work hard to make a meaningful contribution to life and commerce in Nanaimo and the region.”

On its website, Black Press says it is the largest independently owned newspaper company in Canada, with operations in British Columbia and Alberta.

It also has holdings in Washington, Hawaii, California and Ohio, and employs 3,500 people.

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