Westmount Examiner and West Island Chronicle to stop publishing

Montreal is losing two longtime English-language community weeklies, with both The Westmount Examiner and The West Island Chronicle set to cease publication next week.

Transcontinental Media is shutting down two English-language weeklies

Rumours that two Transcontinental media newspapers are closing are true, says Westmount Examiner. (CBC) (Shutterstock)

English Montrealers are losing two long-running weekly newspapers, with both The Westmount Examiner and The West Island Chronicle set to cease publication next week.

Both community papers are owned by Transcontinental Media.

Jennifer McCaughey, a spokesperson for the company, said ceasing publication was a "difficult decision" but that the organization is launching two monthly, bilingual publications.

The closing of the two weeklies has led to the layoff of three employees, said McCaughey.

Some jobs will be saved because the new publications will merge current staff.

"We have conducted a comprehensive analysis of the markets in the West Island of Montreal and Westmount and have concluded that these two weeklies, the Westmount Examiner and the Chronicle are no longer financially viable in the long term," said McCaughey. 

"We are therefore ceasing their publications."

TC's new monthlies will not host the same news content, but will focus more on entertainment, family and community life. 

The monthlies will be distributed in several boroughs across Montreal—including Westmount—but not the West Island.

Not 'reflective of the community'

The demise of the Examiner came as no surprise to Westmount Mayor Peter Trent, who felt the paper had lost touch with its audience. 

"The reporters, no matter how good, were essentially parachuted in and didn't know the community. It really wasn't reflective of the community," said Trent.

Westmount is still served by another weekly, the Westmount Independent.

The Chronicle, for its part, had also slipped from its former glory, according to a former writer at the paper.

"Am I sad to see it die? Yeah, of course. But when I saw it recently in a Publi-Sac, I was just ashamed.  I thought, 'look at how low we've come,'" said Frederic Serre, who reported for the paper from 1989 to 1995, a time when morale was high. 

"We were working long hours but it was really worth it."

The West Island Chronicle has been publishing since 1925, while the Examiner was founded in 1935.

Both newspapers served as a training ground for many Montreal journalists.