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Closure comes with sale from Torstar group of Metro Ottawa, seven community papers

Metro Ottawa and several other Ottawa community news outlets will be closed as part of an acquisition by Postmedia, who has said in a press release that it will not continue to operate them.

In a deal between Postmedia and Torstar group, which owns Metro and several other community news outlets in Ottawa, Postmedia will acquire 22 community newspapers from Torstar in exchange for 15 of its own community newspapers.

Of the 22 community papers it has acquired, the only two it will continue to operate are the Exeter Times-Advocate and the Exeter Weekender, closing the rest. This means that Metro Ottawa, in addition to seven other publications in and around the Ottawa area would be closed if Postmedia follows through with its plan.

“What makes this particularly difficult is that it means we will say goodbye to many dedicated newspaper people. However, the continuing costs of producing dozens of small community newspapers in these regions in the face of significantly declining advertising revenues means that most of these operations no longer have viable business models,” said Paul Godfrey, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Postmedia in the press release.

A spokesperson for Metro Ottawa confirmed that the paper will be among those that will close, but said that she wasn’t at liberty to say more.

Other local papers that have been sold to Postmedia and are set to be closed include Ottawa East News, Ottawa South News, Ottawa West News, Kanata Kourier-Standard, Nepean/Barrhaven News, Orleans News, and West Carleton Review.

A spokesperson for Ottawa Community News, which oversees these publications, said she was not at liberty to comment on the issue.

A full list of the papers involved in the transaction can be found on Postmedia’s website.

According to the CBC, the deal will result in the loss of almost 300 jobs in total.

The mass newspaper closing could also garner a response from Canada’s competition bureau. Since the deal did not involve cash, the parties did not have to tell the competition bureau beforehand, but a spokesperson for the organization told the CBC that the competition bureau “will be undertaking a review of the transaction.”