Winchester Press owners refute closure; looking for buyer

The digital masthead of the Winchester Press newspaper on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. ( via Newswatch Group)

WINCHESTER – The owners of the Winchester Press refute a claim on the newspaper’s Facebook page Friday that the newspaper is closing.

But the immediate future doesn’t appear to be too good for the 131-year-old publication.

In a Facebook post Sunday night with a “from the owner” salutation, Beth Morris says the plan was to give staff eight weeks notice and that the paper would be closing down in “an orderly manner.”

“Unfortunately, rumours spread quickly, and the staff published a statement that the Winchester Press was officially closed. This inaccurate and false statement may force us into bankruptcy,” Morris wrote.

Morris adds that the office is not closed and that she is working to get a new owner for the company to continue publication of the Press.

“That takes a bit of time, and details will have to be worked out. Please be patient while we try and make this happen,” she said.

The paper has a circulation of 2,813, according to the Ontario Community Newspapers Association. It covers rural southern Ottawa, Dundas County and Kemptville.

It’s owned by the Morris Newspaper Group, which also owns the Prescott Journal. The Prescott paper announced a two week shutdown for its printing (Jan. 8 and Jan. 15 editions).