Vancouver-based Glacier Media posts $28.3-million profit

A  Vancouver-based newspaper publishing company posted a healthy profit in 2008.

Glacier Media Inc., which owns daily and weekly community newspapers from B.C. to Quebec, reported $28.3 million in net income, compared with $30.6 million in net income  in 2007.

The company's revenues increased from $216.4 million to $249.1 million.

"Despite the overall growth achieved in 2008, Glacier experienced softening of revenues in some of our businesses in November and December as a result of the weakening economy," the company reported.

It cited higher newsprint prices, $1.7 million in fourth-quarter severance costs, nonrecurring expenses, and year-end adjustments as reasons why fourth-quarter EBITDA (earnings before income tax, depreciation, and amortization) was lower than expected.

Glacier Media owns Business in Vancouver Media Group, Business Information Group, Glacier Newspaper Group, Western Producer Publications, Farm Business Communications, Specialty Technical Publishers, and various electronic and multimedia information sources.

It bought some of the assets of Hollinger International, which was previously controlled by Conrad Black and David Radler. Glacier's chairman, Sam Grippo, formerly worked for Black and Radler, overseeing community newspapers in Metro Vancouver.

Glacier's  largest shareholder, Madison Venture Corporation, held 33 percent of the shares as of the company's last information circular, which was distributed in May, 2008.   Madison's principals are Grippo, Glacier president and CEO John Kennedy, and Glacier secretary and director Bruce Aunger.

Last December, Glacier reported that Montreal-based Montrusco Bolton Investments owned 10.2 pecent of  Glacier's shares.