New ?Honolulu Star-Advertiser? Owner Buys 11 B.C. Papers, Folds Five

By: Mark Fitzgerald

David Black’s Black Press has bought 11 British Columbia papers from Glacier Media and announced the closing of five of them, including the century-old Nelson Daily News and Prince Rupert Daily News.

Black recently completed the acquisition of the Honolulu Advertiser from Gannett, which he merged into his Honolulu paper, the Star-Bulletin, to create the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Black Press COO Rick O’Connor told Business in Victoria that about 40 people will likely lose their jobs when the papers are shut down.

Victoria, B.C.-based Black Press has a heavy presence in the province, publishing 81 newspapers there, not including the newly acquired papers.

No terms were disclosed in the acquisition, which included the Trail Daily Times; Creston Valley Advance; Fernie Free Press Grand Forks Gazette; Cariboo Advisor;  and Coast Mountain Advisor.

O’Connor told Business in Victoria that the purchase would “fill in the holes” between its existing B.C. papers.

“In some cases they were good solid community papers in markets where we had no paper,” O’Connor said. “In other cases the papers were losing significant amounts of money and they were sort of part of the package, so to speak. It was like, ‘If you’re buying the Trail paper, then you’ve got to take the Nelson paper as well even though it’s losing a lot of money.’”

The sale, so close on the heels of the surprise bid for the Star-Bulletin, does not signal the start of a buying spree, O’Connor told the business publication.

“Just in case somebody from the bank reads this, we’re not looking at expanding at this point,” he said. “We’re looking at basically filling in the holes and looking at synergies. We’re definitely not looking at any expansion plan.”

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