Torstar and Postmedia swap newspapers, close many of the titles

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TORONTO — Torstar Corp. and Postmedia Network Inc. will close a number of community and daily newspapers including free dailies in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Ottawa as part of a deal to swap titles.

Postmedia (TSX:PNC.A, TSX:PNC.B) announced it will cut 244 jobs as it plans to shutter 21 of the 22 community newspaper properties it has acquired from Torstar as well as the Metro Winnipeg and Metro Ottawa free dailies.

Meanwhile, Torstar’s Metroland Media Group Ltd. said it will close three of the seven daily newspapers in Ontario it acquired from Postmedia as well as the eight community newspapers purchased.

The daily publications that will close are the Barrie Examiner, Orillia Packet & Times and Northumberland Today, while it expects to continue to publish St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune and Peterborough Examiner. The closure of the newspapers will affect 46 full-time and part-time employees.

Torstar (TSX:TS.B) will also close the free dailies 24Hours Toronto and 24Hours Vancouver, a move that will result in the loss of one job.

The companies say the transaction is effectively a non-cash deal, as the consideration for the publications being purchased is roughly equal to that of the publications being sold.

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Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.

The Canadian Press