Council Wants Answers On Cuts

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Sault Ste. Marie City Council wants some answers surrounding the cuts at the Sault Star, first reported by Saultonline.com last week.

Normally, it’s the newspaper reporters asking the questions, this time council wants to grill the newspaper on the cuts announced last week. The paper is expected to stop printing in the Sault at the end of the month.

23 positions are being cut locally and the printing of the paper is being moved out of the city to North Bay.

Council voted Monday night on a resolution asking Sault Star owner, Sun Media to reconsider its decision to gut the paper locally.

The resolution moved by Ward 2 Terry Sheehan and Ward 6 Joe Krmpotich say the cuts will negatively affect the communication of timely news and shifting well paying jobs out of the city.

Sheehan noted similarities between the announced cuts at the paper and what happened to local television service more than 10 years ago when MCTV cut jobs and moved the production of its daily local newscasts to Sudbury. “Here we go again” Sheehan said.

“We need to be a voice on behalf of the people who lost their jobs and the voice of the community,” he said.

Council wants representatives of Sun Media to appear at a council meeting to explain why the cuts are being made.

Watkins said he wants to see management explain what is happening at the city’s only daily newspaper, and what if anything the city or community can do to save the jobs.

“This is another case that the highway goes both ways,” he said.

Ward 1 Coun. Paul Christian noted that with the city’s aging population, not everyone can access electronic media.

The Sault Star along with many other newspapers in Canada and the U.S. have suffered financially with dwindling advertising dollars doubled with lower paid circulation have forced many newspapers to stop publishing altogether.

The Sault Star has been printed locally for 102 years.