'It's shocking': Moose Jaw Times-Herald, city's only daily, to print final issue next month

Roger Holmes, president of Star News Publishing Inc. which owns the paper and several others in the province, confirmed the news Wednesday afternoon.

Owner Star News Publishing to stop updating website Dec. 7

The Moose Jaw Times-Herald has operated out of its offices at 44 Fairford St. W. since 1954. (Google Street View)

After more than a century of publishing, the Moose Jaw Times-Herald will print its last issue on Dec. 7.

Star News Publishing Inc., the company that owns the newspaper and several others in the province, informed senior staffers, including managing editor Marlon Hector, about the decision Wednesday afternoon.

"The online presence as produced by Star News Publishing will also cease at that time," said Roger Holmes, president of Star News Publishing.

As for the newspaper, "We are preparing to do sort of a retrospective between now and the time the paper closes," he said.

Former Times-Herald staffers met news of the impending shuttering with a mix of nostalgia and surprise.

"It's shocking to me," said Kevin Mitchell, the sports editor at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix who got his start in journalism at the Times-Herald in 1990.

"Especially given the age of the newspaper and how it's embedded itself into the fabric of the community." 

A long history 

The paper began as a weekly called the Moose Jaw Times in 1889. It went daily, under the name Evening Times, in 1906.

​All of the newspaper's employees live and work in Moose Jaw, according to its website.

Holmes says 25 people currently work there. 

Mitchell said the paper's demise will not only rob Moose Jaw residents of a key source of hyper-local news, but also end the paper's reign as a fertile training ground for new journalists.  

"They bring in a lot of reporters from out of town and it kinda became their life," he said. "You'd kind of immerse yourself in the city and learn the ins and outs.

"I would put in quite often 50- and 60-hour work weeks just because you wanted to get the job done. We were passionate about what we did."

'Difficult in new reality'

Star News Publishing acquired the Times-Herald in June 2016. Shortly after that, in a bid to save on costs, the paper stopped being printed on Mondays.

"Small-market daily newspapers are finding it especially difficult in the new reality," said Holmes on Wednesday.

Star News Publishing owns several other papers in the province, including the Prince Albert Daily Herald, the South Central Star, the Oxbow-Carnduff Herald Gazette and the Waterfront Press in Lumsden. 

The Times-Herald "is the only newspaper that is being affected at this time," said Holmes.


Guy Quenneville

Reporter at CBC Saskatoon

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