Hope for 5 Essex County community newspapers slated to close
A stack of LaSalle Post newspapers are seen on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Source: Robert Stewart)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Essex County is asking Postmedia reconsider its decision to close five community newspapers in the region.
In April, Postmedia announced it would close 15 community newspapers in Manitoba and Ontario, including five across Windsor-Essex.
Essex County Warden Gary McNamara posted a tweet on May 5 outlining his dismay with the decision as local newspapers are the lifeblood of small town Ontario.
“My tweet was the representation of Essex,” says MacNamara.
Following his tweet, McNamara says the president of Postmedia, Andrew MacLeod reached out to the mayor last Friday.
McNamara says they discussed the situation by phone, including potential for continuing local news on an online platform for the newspapers.
McNamara says MacLeod told him he was “willing to do a six-month to a year experiment, maybe through a virtual weekly where we can still engage the local reporters and work with the local municipalities and communications folks and he says I haven’t got the format exactly how I want to do this.”
For now, McNamara says he remains cautiously optimistic.
“It’s good news, but it will be great news if, in fact, there is something that comes forward. Obviously it’s going to take the involvement of the community to put these ventures in place and it costs money,” says McNamara.
“Without advertising and contribution with subscriptions and so forth, it’s very difficult to put these programs in place. They are willing to inject funds and they realize that there very well will be a loss for six months until they get up and running, but they are willing to do that.”
McNamara plans to have additional conversations with MacLeod and will share further details in the future.
“I’m waiting for the call back. The only item I suggested to Mr. MacLeod was the fact you can’t sit on this forever. Time is of essence.”