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Only Non-Irving Owned Newspaper in New Brunswick Goes Under

posted by Stuart Neatby Geography: Atlantic New Brunswick Topics: media

October 27, 2008

Only Non-Irving Owned Newspaper in New Brunswick Goes Under

A press release issued by the Carleton Free Press, less than a year after the small paper began circulation in northern New Brunswick:

Carleton Free Press suspends publication

Citing the downturn in the economy and inability to compete with a chain that has cut its advertising and subscription prices to the bone for the next year, the Carleton FreePress today announced it is suspending publication.

Today’s paper will be the last.

“We have tried everything,” said publisher Ken Langdon. “Our staff has been heroic, right down to the last person. We’ve got a good paper. We’ve earned a place in the fabric of Carleton County, but in the end we simply cannot compete with Irvings’ financial power.

“Brunswick News can afford to drop a few million dollars here to get the Bugle-Observer’s monopoly back and the Irving chain’s manager is willing to do what it takes here to discourage any others who might take heart from our success to compete in other New Brunswick markets,”

Langdon said three factors converged in the last few weeks to create insurmountable problems for the paper. One was the market crash and the fallout on the local economy. The other was the cost of adding a second paper on Fridays, which the FreePress felt it had to do to compete. The third was a Bugle-Observer announcement that it was cutting its ad prices in half for the next year and it’s per issue price from $1.25 to 25 cents. (This week it offered a year-long special buy at 29 per cent of its regular ad rate.)

“The last few weeks have been harrowing,” said Langdon. “We have wracked our brains to find a way to save the paper but we can’t alter the numbers.

“Big bucks have prevailed.”

FreePress editor Bob Rupert said the death of the “little paper that could” is a bitter pill to swallow.

“We feel badly for our readers, we feel badly for our advertisers and we feel badly for a community that really needs an honest paper with the courage to publish all of the news—even if it hurts,” said Rupert.

“Since Day One we have been warned that Brunswick News would stop at nothing to get back its stranglehold on this market and that’s exactly what has happened.

“So we are going down today, but we can hold our heads high. We tried to bring an independent voice to Carleton County and for a while we were winning. The closer we got to victory the more Brunswick News spent to stop us.

“What is really sad here is that our employees lose their jobs. We’ve raised a family here. The loss is personal.”

Eloise Durling
The Carleton FreePress
506-325-3733 ext 208

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Sad news, but the headline is misleading

Adieu to the Carleton Free Press, it really is a shame to lose publishing alternatives to the Irving empire, but you can only call the Carleton Free Press the last non-Irving owned paper if you ignore the Francophone population's Acadie Nouvelle.

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