Next week, a northern weekly newspaper will go to print for the last time.
The news about The La Ronge Northerner’s office closing came on Wednesday from its publisher, Glacier Media.
Its last day of operations will be August 7, group publisher Brent Fitzpatrick confirmed on Thursday.
The weekly newspaper has a reported circulation of just over 800, with two-thirds of that in the La Ronge area.
Past owner Gill Gracie weighed in on the closure on Thursday.
“It’s sad to see its demise because it’s survived through a lot of struggle and various owners,” she said.
She operated the newspaper from 1983 to 1992.
The newspaper has not only changed hands multiple times, it’s also changed focus, Gracie said.
During her reign, the weekly paper focused on the north in general. Gracie is critical of Glacier Media’s concentration on just La Ronge, among other things decreased staffing.
“Our best issue was about 32 pages, it was down to eight last week. It’s very sad to watch, really,” she said.
“You have this urge to do something about it. And I get asked, you know, every second week ‘why don’t you take it back over?'”
She does acknowledge that the changing way people consume their news is now less print-focused, but Gracie said she prefers newspapers because they leave a permanent record.
The fast pace of new media can lead to inaccuracy, she added.
Earlier this year, The Northerner’s owning group, Glacier Media, released disappointing first-quarter profits.
Its cash flow from operations (before changes in no-cash operating accounts and non-recurring items) dropped 25 per cent compared to the same period last year.
It still pulled in $65.8 million in consolidated revenues in that first quarter, which is down six per cent from the same period last year.
Fitzpatrick declined to comment further on the announcement until Friday.