Prince Albert Daily Herald lives on with employee buyout

The Prince Albert Daily Herald announces it had reached an agreement with Star News Publishing for an employee buyout, with a deal expected to close in the near future.

Newspaper going back to its roots as locally-owned paper

Star News Publishing said on Dec. 9 that it planned to sell or stop publishing all of its newspapers in Saskatchewan, including the Prince Albert Daily Herald. However, Herald employees have reached an agreement with Star News Publishing to keep its printing presses rolling, as a locally-owned paper. (Submitted by Sarah Soloducha)

It's a new dawn for the Prince Albert Daily Herald with an agreement signalling the printing presses will keep rolling for the daily.

While other smaller community newspapers in Saskatchewan have had to close up shop, Herald employees have been in talks with Star News Publishing to keep their newspaper from going down the same road. The paper announced on Friday it had reached an agreement with Star News for an employee buyout, with a deal expected to close in the near future.

"It feels fantastic," said Peter Lozinski, who has served as the paper's editor for the past year. He said the staff, which includes 10 full-time employees, is relieved to have some measure of certainty going forward.

This paper started as a locally-owned newspaper. It's now continuing as a locally-owned newspaper. It's getting back to its roots in that way.- Peter Lozinski, editor

"This isn't about me or any other single person in this building. It's about all of us, a very good team, and we're all very happy that we can keep doing what we're doing."

Current publisher Donna Pfeil is leading the way on keeping the paper running, according to Lozinski, but the paper will be employee-owned going forward.

"This paper started as a locally owned newspaper. It's now continuing as a locally owned newspaper," he said. "It's getting back to its roots in that way."

Paper operated by — and for — locals

Pfeil said that as the third-largest city in Saskatchewan, Prince Albert "deserves and needs a daily newspaper operated for and by locals," and said the staff was committed to continuing to serve the city.

The decision is a good one not just for the staff and the city, but also the industry, said Roger Holmes, owner of Star News Publishing, in a press release.

"These employees are passionate about Prince Albert, and I have every confidence they have the tools they need to succeed."

Holmes told CBC News last week the company has plans to "exit the Saskatchewan market."

He closed the Moose Jaw Times-Herald just 10 days ago. 

The Oxbow-Carnduff Herald-Gazette has been given until Dec. 22 to find a buyer or it too may shut down.