Seaway News among TC newspapers for sale

The offices of Seaway News and TC Media on Campbell Street in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. TC Media is selling all of its newspapers in Ontario and Quebec. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The media landscape in Cornwall could be changing as the parent company of Seaway News is selling its Quebec and Ontario newspapers.

Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. (TC Media) announced its plans Tuesday after selling 27 Atlantic Canada publications last week and their Saskatchewan newspapers in 2016.

The company said it’s part of their “business transformation strategy,” which appears to be steering away from newspapers and toward specialty publications and distribution.

The process is expected to take several months.

TC Media has 93 local and regional publications in both provinces.

Seaway News, an Ontario Community Newspapers Association award winner, and Cornwall Express are the only Ontario publications.

General Manager Rick Shaver referred questions to the company’s corporate communications department.

Katherine Chartrand, senior director of corporate communications for TC Transcontinental, provided the following statement to Cornwall Newswatch:

“TC Transcontinental announced today that it is launching a sale process for its Quebec and Ontario newspapers, including Seaway News. We are convinced that selling these assets to local players is the best course of action in order to contribute to the continued sustainability of local media. While we do not know what the sale process outcome will be, we can confirm that TC Media will continue to publish unsold publications and to create quality content for the communities they serve. It is business as usual at Seaway News, a publication with deep roots in the community and a strong team of talented media experts, including General Manager Rick Shaver.”

The community newspaper was founded in 1985 between Shaver and Dick Aubry.

TC Media said it would continue to print and distribute newspapers with new owners and would remain publisher of any newspaper not sold.

This is the latest development to hit the newspaper industry locally.

Earlier this year, the Postmedia-owned Cornwall Standard-Freeholder saw some employee positions cut through voluntary buyouts as part of Postmedia’s plan to reduce its expenses.

The buyout offer, announced in November 2016, happened as the company reported a net loss of $99.4 million.

The Cornwall Standard-Freeholder building on Montreal Road in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday April 18, 2017. Postmedia had voluntary buyouts at a number of its papers in late 2016 which included several positions at the Freeholder. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)