The Free Press Newspaper shuts down operations
February 28, 2017
The Free Press Newspaper, serving NDG, Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead, prints its final edition today and we are all the poorer for this.
I would like to personally thank publisher David Price and chief reporter Isaac Olson for the excellent job they did. As a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc and the communications and marketing specialist for the English Montreal School Board, I truly appreciated their community approach to journalism. The paper was delivered to every home in its circulation area by Canada Post and dropped off at apartment buildings, condos and other depots. Price also publishes The Westmount Independent, which successfully ran the Westmount Examiner out of business.
Sadly, the Free Press did not get sufficient advertising support to keep on going. The Quebec Liberal government, in one of its infinite bonehead moves, has now given municipalities the option NOT to advertise by-laws to the public and instead do so on the web. In Côte Saint-Luc, we will not go that route. I know that in my particular district there are still many seniors? We are not there yet. Nonetheless, our Premier Mr. Couillard once again is going forward with legislation without doing any proper consultation. But I digress.
We are fortunate to have The Suburban Newspaper, which I write for. Because of its wide circulation reach, business remains pretty good. It was still nice to have two papers covering City Hall and the community. The Montreal Times has a large drop off circulation, but I have still not figured out its editorial mission. It is too bad that municipal affairs is not on its priority list. Then there is The Montreal Gazette. Just a few weeks ago I heard Tommy Schnurmacher on CJAD with Aaron Rand, predicting that The Gazette will fold up and The National Post will take over as our paper with a small Montreal section. I remain an avid reader of The Gazette print edition. But I am among a minority in that department.
The Free Press filled a void left by The Monitor, which folded in 2009. It began as an NDG paper only and expanded to Hampstead and Côte Saint-Luc. Perhaps the writing was on the wall a few months ago when Price had to let go his only sales representative and he assumed that role as well.
Isaac Olson is one terrific reporter whom I hope finds employment elsewhere.
The newspaper business is no doubt in trouble. It is sad to see the Quebec government kicking it in the teeth.
It is sad when a newspaper closes its doors. I always looked for the Free Press copy as it was an honest piece of reporting. Its a sad day to lose it.
Posted by: Steve Acre | March 01, 2017 at 03:42 PM