Two of Canada's publishing giants have announced that they're swapping ownership of more than three dozen newspapers.
And one of them, Postmedia, immediately declared that it will shut down 22 of the 24 titles that it has acquired.
"The transaction is not subject to the merger notification provisions of the Competition Act and no regulatory clearance is required to close the transaction," Postmedia said in a news release.
No money changed hands because Postmedia and Torstar concluded that the properties have "approximately similar fair values".
The only B.C. newspaper involved in the deal is 24 hours Vancouver, which Postmedia has turned over to Torstar.
Torstar already owns controlling interest in Vancouver's only other commuter paper, Vancouver Metro.
Torstar's news release did not indicate that 24 hours Vancouver will be closed.
Its newsroom was shut down last year after Postmedia bought it from Quebecor as part of a huge deal that included the Sun newspaper chain. Postmedia owns the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers.
24 hours Vancouver was created in 2005 as a partnership between the Jim Pattison Group and Quebecor. Pattison dumped his 50-percent share a year later.
The first president of 24 hours Vancouver was former B.C. premier Glen Clark, now president and chief operating officer of the Jim Pattison Group.
Below, you can see the list of papers that have changed hands. Of those acquired by Postmedia, only the Exeter Times-Advocate and the Exeter Weekender will be kept open after mid-January.
“What makes this particularly difficult is that it means we will say goodbye to many dedicated newspaper people," Postmedia CEO and executive chairman Paul Godfrey said in the company's news release. "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."
Properties Acquired by Postmedia from Torstar
Central Hastings News
(and the Exeter Weekender)
Ottawa East News
Ottawa South News
Ottawa West News
Quinte West News
St. Lawrence News
St. Mary’s Journal-Argus
(and the St. Mary’s Weekender)
St. Thomas/Elgin Weekly News
Stratford City Gazette
West Carleton Review
Properties Sold by Postmedia to Torstar
24 Hours Toronto
24 Hours Vancouver
Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin
Fort Erie Times
Inport News (Port Colborne)
Niagara Falls Review
Orillia Packet & Times
St. Catharines Standard
Thorold Niagara News