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Poll: The Times Colonist: Will it survive? (1 member(s) have cast votes)

The Times Colonist: Will it survive?

  1. Yes - The TC will always be here as a daily paper (17 votes [20.99%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.99%

  2. Yes - but not a daily (26 votes [32.10%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.10%

  3. Yes - but Internet only (13 votes [16.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.05%

  4. No - it is no longer viable (25 votes [30.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.86%

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#61 mat

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:17 PM

Maybe this thread title needs to be changed? It's not really about the physical size of the paper.


I have changed the thread title - all TC issues and comments for either the print editions or online can be posted here.

#62 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:32 PM

http://www.thestar.c.../article/600594

Canwest expected to get another extension
STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR

Canwest Global Communications Corp. is expected to get another reprieve this week as it faces a deadline late today for renegotiating borrowing conditions on its debt as well as an estimated $38 million in repayments due Friday.

The national broadcaster has been shopping around some of its assets and making smaller agreements to sell certain divisions, and that could give the lenders confidence that progress is being made, said Chris Diceman, senior vice-president of debt rating service DBRS.

`Our general expectation at this stage (is) that they will be extended probably for another short period of time," said Diceman.

`Should they have additional (deals) that are in the works, I'm thinking the banks might give them some time to fully execute on those."

Canwest (TSX: CGS) was granted its first extension in late February when it was given 12 extra days to continue talks intended to stave off a potential bankruptcy protection filing.

The extension restricted Canwest to borrowing $112 million, down from $300 million, by its lender Scotiabank (TSX: BNS). The company has already borrowed $92 million.

Friday is the due date for subsidiary Canwest Media to pay back interest on its senior notes, a payment credit rating agency DBRS estimates is about $38 million.

#63 Willa

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 12:05 PM

A brave, personal piece from one of the Times Colonist's reporters. In today's paper, and online here:

http://www.timescolo...1662/story.html

#64 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 12:12 PM

Wow

#65 Caramia

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:24 AM

Great article. And I agree - a brave and very honest look into a story that can't have been easy to share. Kudos to Bill Cleverley for writing it and the TC for printing it.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#66 Hmmm

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 12:09 PM

Interesting discussion. It's tough to read the sort of comments that say the Times Colonist is a poor paper and a waste of time. I know this paper is far from perfect, believe me. It's mostly a reflection of cost-cutting approach of Canwest... but it's always been the same with newspaper chains... Southam, Thompson, whomever.

I have written for this paper for 20 years. I always wanted to be a reporter. I went to university for training. Then I worked on smaller papers for a number of years, finally working my way here. I have given the best years of my working life to the TC, often working in less than ideal circumstances. It looks like its going to all disappear, judging from news reports... And I don't mean just the TC.

A couple of observations. Eighty to 90 per cent of the news on the web comes from newspaper sources. When these newspapers — who have yet to figure out how to make money as purely online companies — disappear, readers will be left mostly with a morass of information. Some (much, much less) will be written by trained journalists, other stories will be penned by amateurs. The irony is that, with so much high-tech communications capability, we were find ourselves in a bit of a wilderness for some years.

These days, the trained journalist is not held in particularly high regard. But there is something to be said for someone who has spent years learning which sources are credible, how political and other systems work, and what makes a story. There's also the craft of writing a tight, well-written story — rather than wading through someone's opinion-plugged blog trying to find the real gist of what's going on.

I think after the demise of newspapers, there will be more of a demand for credible news sources. This will eventually appear online in some financially sustainable manner, I'm sure. Eventually. The scary bit is the transition.. how long will it take? Three years, five? What kind of impact will this have on society? Will governments remain accountable? Most journalists currently working — many of them talented and highly skilled —will not be able to make that transition.

#67 G-Man

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 12:52 PM

^ True. It is sad but in some ways I have found the last few weeks invigorating as we are truly witnessing a historic change in media. While many have pointed to the web for many years as the new media, it is only now that we are seeing the momentous shift that we knew would eventually come, perhaps sooner than we thought. I for one still love reading the paper and while I often disagree with it, love the feeling of my morning paper.

I agree that there is a chance that during this transition we will lose a lot of good journalists and perhaps even more importantly we may have a gap in the media armour that protects society from those that may take advantage of us. That said when we come out the other end I think we will have seen the end of mass media corporations and that will be a good thing for journalists, readers and socioety as a whole.

#68 jklymak

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 01:05 PM

No doubt there will be some pain. OTOH, I really hold out hope for local weeklies. There will still be a demand for local investigative journalism and a weekly format will still allow the important stuff to be published without the padding from the news wires.

#69 Caramia

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:20 PM

I think some of the worst critics of a newspaper are the same ones who spend hours pouring over them. :P Here on VV our online discussions are frequently determined by the news that the TC delivers.

I agree with Hmmm that the new era in media will be shallower, cluttered with trivia and stupid memes, lacking a standard for reputable sources. I can think of several threads on this forum that are so packed with misguided conjecture that it would be virtually impossible for a novice to tell reality from fiction. In an online discussion between peers, that's fine. As a primary news source?

I am sure it will sort itself out eventually. And I don't think print is dead yet either. I think we will have print news sources for a good 30 more years. People are just used to them, they are part of millions of morning routines. Maybe some companies won't make it, or big companies might break into small ones, but something will fill the void - and hopefully people will still be willing to pay for quality local news. I know I am.

Hmmm I hope as you read through these forums you also find the many instances of praise that the TC has received from VV members for individual articles and journalists.
:)
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#70 AnonAnnie2

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 07:17 PM

Hmmm....I am sorry you are having to read the negatives about the paper you work for, that must be difficult.

I almost wrote 'about the paper for which you write' and remembered my experience working with the 'traditional' journalist, the paper journalist who turned to 'online', the one I mention earlier in this thread.

You don't write for the paper, you write for the reader and the paper will do with your work what it will.

There are online success stories, the one I mentioned earlier, the publisher is a trained journalist and while his transition was initially difficult (he may not have seen it that way but from where I was sitting it was not easy!) he loved the challenge and found 'his' way in the end. Anyone can if they decide to.

Good luck Hmmm.

#71 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:52 PM

A-Channel reported on the 6 o'clock news tonight that the T-C is cutting its Monday paper to reduce costs. Anyone know more about this?

#72 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:58 PM

A-Channel reported on the 6 o'clock news tonight that the T-C is cutting its Monday paper to reduce costs. Anyone know more about this?


Back in the olden days the Colonist was Tue-Sun and the Times was Mon-Sat.

#73 yodsaker

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:59 PM

They can go ahead as far as I am concerned. Its the week's thinnest paper and if subscribers want only Sat & Sn the T-C stiffs them into taking Mon as well. Maybe that's the only way they could recoup some of its costs.

#74 mat

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:16 PM

They can go ahead as far as I am concerned. Its the week's thinnest paper and if subscribers want only Sat & Sn the T-C stiffs them into taking Mon as well. Maybe that's the only way they could recoup some of its costs.


Not sure even the TC staff know what is going on. The TC, Van Sun and Province are the 3 major dailies that actually make money for Canwest - at the same time they are being hit by a big downturn advertising revenue, and a big loss in monthly, and annual, print subscriptions.

Honestly and hopefully - they should be sold off. The TC especially. There is a big market for local news, and some big pockets on the island for advertising. Canwest seems to be the operator pulling the TC down.

Cutting just a Monday print is non sensical - from an overall business view you either cut large, or put money in to keep everything going. You can look how US papers have done this over the past few months (for better or worse)

#75 Caramia

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:04 PM

I agree mat - The TC staff all the way up to upper management are very engaged with the local community - whether by corporate culture or directive, I see them at every fundraiser and good cause, sometimes hosting or sponsoring them. There is a lot that wouldn't get done in this city without that level of involvement. It goes beyond the writing. A good trait in a local paper.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#76 AnonAnnie2

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 01:35 AM

Cutting just a Monday print is non sensical - from an overall business view you either cut large, or put money in to keep everything going.


Cut the Monday edition - because it is 'thin' equaling not making money? - guess what day-of-the-week then becomes the next 'thin' edition? Tues. and on it goes.
I agree with Mat this is not exactly an approach that makes sense. FYI I've not found any reports/news that speak to this - I think its a rumor at this point.

#77 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:35 AM

Cut the Monday edition - because it is 'thin' equaling not making money? - guess what day-of-the-week then becomes the next 'thin' edition? Tues. and on it goes.
I agree with Mat this is not exactly an approach that makes sense. FYI I've not found any reports/news that speak to this - I think its a rumor at this point.


The A-Channel item said that "a source inside the paper" told them about the cut. Nothing official yet, so no news coverage. It's also possible the source leaked it to provoke some phone calls and deter the management from going ahead.

The cut makes sense because every run of a newspaper has fixed set-up costs that are the same whether you're printing a thin Monday edition or a fat Friday one. Thursday to Sunday editions are bigger and more profitable.

There have already been such cuts elsewhere. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press now only print on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Other Michigan papers announced similar moves this week: http://www.newsandte...23-09_date.htm

#78 AnonAnnie2

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:38 PM

The A-Channel item said that "a source inside the paper" told them about the cut. Nothing official yet, so no news coverage. It's also possible the source leaked it to provoke some phone calls and deter the management from going ahead.

The cut makes sense because every run of a newspaper has fixed set-up costs that are the same whether you're printing a thin Monday edition or a fat Friday one. Thursday to Sunday editions are bigger and more profitable.

There have already been such cuts elsewhere. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press now only print on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Other Michigan papers announced similar moves this week: http://www.newsandte...23-09_date.htm


Really? Same costs?
You clearly are far more experienced that I that is certain, however, back-in-the-day...when I worked for Nanaimo Daily Free Press...I was told to add pages cost a ton of money and I'd better have enough ads sold to warrant doing so (which I always did).
So, my then-boss was blowing smoke it seems.

#79 mat

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:42 PM

Really? Same costs?
You clearly are far more experienced that I that is certain, however, back-in-the-day...when I worked for Nanaimo Daily Free Press...I was told to add pages cost a ton of money and I'd better have enough ads sold to warrant doing so (which I always did).
So, my then-boss was blowing smoke it seems.


I think Jaques was talking about press setup and start costs. There is certainly a price for adding pages, but if I have it correct just the 'press set' accounts for 35-40% of the cost for each run.

#80 yodsaker

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:12 PM

Its Thursday through Sunday ads that pay the freight on a daily. Ask any carrier what the heavy days are and it was the same when I was a carrier in 1958.

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