The Scope newspaper folding after 7 years
A mainstay of the St. John's arts and entertainment scene will disappear when The Scope publishes its last edition in December.
The monthly independent and locally-owned paper was co-founded by Elling Lien and Bryhanna Greenough more than seven years ago. It has also been a free publication, and available in the greater St. John's-Mount Pearl area.
Lien and Greenough said there were a number of factors in their decision to shut the paper down — including not being able to pay themselves appropriately over the years.
"One of them [factors] is, I think, looking into the year ahead and realizing that in order to accommodate our customers, we would have to grow beyond our 32 pages, and that was going to hurt," Greenough told CBC St. John's Morning Show host Anthony Germain.
"It's like — what are you willing to do, you know? It would mean working harder, with less compensation, less support available, and after seven and a half years, it feels like things should start to feel a little bit easier rather than harder."
Greenough said while they've always been proud of the paper's local focus, they are not where they'd like to be.
After seven and a half years, it feels things should start to feel a little bit easier, rather than harder- Bryanna Greenough
"In order for us to take the leap forward to a bigger paper with more pages in it, it would increase our production costs so much it would really be a step backwards. It would turn our printing job from one run to to two separate runs — and then you'd have to take the two sections together to make a single paper — and the cost of that is very high. And of course we'd need more advertising revenue, sort of all at once, in order to do that."
Lien said they told the staff of their decision last week.
"Well, the staff, they're heartbroken, like anybody you'd tell that to," said Lien.
"But we feel really lucky that we've been able to gather together people who are just excellent people. The good thing about running your own business is you can really choose your favourite people, surround yourself with them, and we really have faith that they're going to do fine afterwards."
Lien said one of the things he is most proud of is the RPM Challenge, a competition that encouraged musicians to record an album in 28 days. The challenge ran for three years.
"We've been able to do [it] here in town — and we don't want to let that ball drop. I plan on starting a non-profit organization that looks after it here."
The Scope's website will also shut down in December.