Glacier and Black Press newspaper deal reduces competition in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley

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      Two large B.C.-based publishing companies have made another deal to reduce how much they must compete with one another.

      Glacier Media Inc. has announced that it's bought the Tri-City News, Burnaby NewsLeader, Richmond Review, and New Westminster NewsLeader from Black Press.

      The publicly traded Glacier already owns the Coquitlam Now, Burnaby Now, Richmond News, and Royal City Record.

      The transaction gives Glacier a monopoly over English-language community papers in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby, Richmond, and New Westminster. This is in addition to its monopoly over English-language community papers on the North Shore and in South Delta.

      Glacier also owns the Vancouver Courier, the Westender, and Business in Vancouver, among other properties.

      Meanwhile, the privately owned Black Press is taking over control of the Surrey Now, Langley Advance, and Maple Ridge Times from Glacier. Black Press already owns the Surrey–North Delta Leader, the Langley Times, and the Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows Times.

      There's no word on whether this deal will have any impact on employees at any of the newspapers.

      In addition, Black Press bought Glacier's community newspapers on Vancouver Island and will take control of them on March 2, 2015. Glacier has announced that the proceeds from this sale will go to pay down the company's debt.

      According to Glacier's balance sheet, it had $76.2 million in long-term debt as of September 30, 2014. As of this writing, Glacier Media shares were trading at $1.58, up nearly two percent on the day.

      Meanwhile, Glacier retains ownership of Victoria's daily newspaper, the Times-Colonist.

      In October 2013, Glacier and Black Press swapped papers to give Glacier greater control over community-newspaper markets on the North Shore and in South Delta and Vancouver. In return, Black Press received the Chilliwack Times and the Abbotsford-Mission Times.

      In effect, it appears as though the two publishing giants are dividing up the southwestern B.C. market, with Glacier taking control over the western section of the Lower Mainland and Black Press being left with most of Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley.

      Over the first nine months of 2014, Glacier reported net income of $10.9 million on revenues of $208.7 million. That's a significant increase over net income of $2.6 million on revenues of $219.5 million in the first three quarters of 2013.

      Today's deal comes a day after Premier Christy Clark approved construction of the Site C dam along the Peace River.

      Black Press owner David Black has long advocated for this project, which will result in an enormous expenditure of public funds in the B.C. Interior, where he owns many newspapers.

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      8 Comments

      SPY vs SPY

      Dec 17, 2014 at 11:50am

      Just why do you call them - News Papers - They only have a few reporters - And they only re-write information gathered by by other news organizations???

      There major function is to sell Advertising, the BC Liberal Party and the Federal conservative Party.

      NEWS - My ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      edge

      Dec 17, 2014 at 1:32pm

      Thanks to the corporate ownership of the media landscape, real journalism is never read by the average Canadian, and thus instead of citizens, we have consumers. Instead of political debate, we have sound bites.

      It is scandalous that this is allowed.

      Skipp Add

      Dec 17, 2014 at 2:15pm

      There are some really good reporters in some of these local papers. Jeff Nagle comes to mind. I hope journalists like him are retained in this concentration.
      I'm surprised the Province - which some now call the ASS CRACK DAILY because of it's right-wing bias, or the Daily Auto Trader because of it pages of car ads - and the Sun still survive. Although we are now seeing stories by the same reporter in both. Their regional reporting is weak unless it's crime story, a natural disaster or something else that sells, Vancouverites really don't know a lot about the growing social problems in Surrey, controversial land use issues in the Township of Langley or the metamorphosis of Richmond in the past two decades. They know a lot about Vancouver, but we know little of them.
      I wish the Straight could do a regional section on important issues such as these.

      stampeder

      Dec 17, 2014 at 3:59pm

      Vancouver-area media is always giving us both sides of a story: the right wing and the very right wing (the Georgia Straight and The Tyee being the exceptions, but not so much the CBC anymore).

      AKG

      Dec 18, 2014 at 2:00pm

      Considering Glacier is bleeding money, I can't see anything but trouble for the markets where it's now got a monopoly. Vancouver's two community papers, the Westender and Courier, have different enough approaches to stand alongside one another in the same market, but the Burnaby, Richmond and Tri-Cities papers? Not so much.

      Islander

      Dec 18, 2014 at 10:24pm

      Spy vs Spy - There are many excellent writers working for local papers covering local issues. When you see national news in a local paper, those papers pay and receive their stories from wire services. Why should you even be complaining because it's people like you, I, who get our news online that's destroying the printed versions of newspaper. But remember this Spy… be careful where your "news" comes from, because there are no regulations online to tell the truth, like the standard of ethics that newspapers and the CBC have to adhere to.

      Christopher

      Dec 19, 2014 at 9:19pm

      You have Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows TIMES in this story repeated... Glacier sold the TIMES to Black Press, which already owned the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows NEWS.

      ellyn

      Apr 7, 2015 at 1:41pm

      Happy this newspaper has been sold. The previous company mismanaged this publication. This newspaper is filled with few sales whose head on the 10th heaven.

      Hope this brand fades out in sunset.