New Brunswick

Brunswick News to stop Monday editions of 3 daily newspapers

Brunswick News is going to stop printing a Monday edition of its three English-language daily newspapers, according to a memo sent to people who deliver print editions of the Telegraph Journal, the Daily Gleaner and the Times & Transcript. 

Company also plans to stop charging for two of its weekly papers

Brunswick News will stop printing a Monday edition of its daily newspapers beginning Jan. 31. (Gabrielle Fahmy)

Brunswick News has decided to stop printing a Monday edition of its three English-language daily newspapers.

The rationale was explained in a memo obtained by CBC News sent to people who deliver the company's print editions of the Telegraph-Journal, the Fredericton Daily Gleaner and the Moncton Times & Transcript. 

"This business decision is due to lower sales on this day of the week, which have made it more difficult to print and distribute the product," the memo says. 

The memo states the move will save printing and distribution costs.

The memo also says there will still be a Monday "replica" edition of The Telegraph-Journal available online.

Jamie Irving of Brunswick News was asked for comment on the changes, but there was no response by publication time.

The end of Monday print editions is not unusual in the industry.

Tim Currie, the director of the school of journalism at the University of King's College, says the move is not really surprising given how local newspapers are starved for revenue. (University of King's College)

In the summer of 2017, the National Post announced it would no longer print a Monday paper.

Other newspapers have taken similar steps, including L'Acadie Nouvelle, the French-language New Brunswick daily that will stop printing on Mondays beginning this summer.

At the time of the announcement late last fall, publisher Francis Sonier said 50 per cent of the paper's readers only read the digital edition.

Tim Currie, the director of the school of journalism at University of King's College in Halifax, said the move by Brunswick News reflects an industry that is now serving mostly older readers.

"This move isn't surprising — and may be necessary, given the severe revenue pressures most local papers are under," Currie wrote in an email to CBC News.

"Still — it's unfortunate. Reading a daily newspaper is a habit for most people. When you weaken that habit, you weaken the audience ties. It can become a snowball."

The change with the dailies is not the only one coming from BNI at the end of the month.

Other changes

The same memo also said the Bugle-Observer, based in Woodstock, and the Miramichi Leader would no longer be offered as paid newspapers.

Instead, the memo said, "we will deliver them once per week, by Thursday, to all households in their coverage areas as a flyer package."

For Currie, this change is a bigger concern. 

"I'm more worried about this," he said. 

"Something you pay for has value. It's about perception."

Currie said in the early 2000s, newspapers made the mistake of giving away too much of their content for free and paid a big price for it. 

"It helped support a notion that news wasn't worth paying for," he said. "And that's still a major challenge today.

"When editorial content appears alongside daily deals for the grocery store — that's not a good thing. And wouldn't bode well for the future of those papers."