Nova Scotia

Chronicle Herald shuts down its Cape Breton paper, citing 'headwind of union sympathy'

The Chronicle Herald has announced it's shutting down the Cape Breton Star, its weekly publication on the island.

Company says Thursday edition of Cape Breton Star will be its last

Striking Chronicle Herald journalists Tom Ayers and Ed MacLellan picket outside the Herald's office in Sydney, N.S. (Joan Weeks/CBC)

The Chronicle Herald has announced it's shutting down the Cape Breton Star, its weekly publication on the island.

The company said in a statement Thursday that the Cape Breton Star has "come up against a prevailing headwind of union sympathy in industrial Cape Breton."

Chronicle Herald journalists have been on strike across the province for the past eight months.

Paper launched in 2014

The Star was launched in May 2014, a member of the Herald's community newspaper network. The company said the publication once received strong community support, but the situation changed after the strike began. The Herald said it will continue to publish a Cape Breton edition of the newspaper.

Tom Ayers, a reporter with the Herald's Cape Breton bureau, says he and other striking journalists appreciate the support from the community. The union is asking companies to stop advertising in the Herald during the strike.  

The Herald has announced the Star's last edition was published Sept. 15. (Hal Higgins/CBC)

"We know for a fact that their advertising is down in the daily newspaper," he said. "We know that their readership is down in the daily newspaper.

"People tell us every week on the picket line—they stop by and tell us they stopped reading the paper. They won't take it until the strike is over."

Herald CEO Mark Lever said in a statement that his company "can't be in the business of pushing boulders up hills."

"The product lifecycle is a normal course of business. Products come and go all the time," he said. "In the case of the Cape Breton Star, that lifecycle was accelerated."

The Herald declined an interview about the closure of the Star, and will not say whether any staff will be laid off as a result.

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