Kinistino, Birch Hills paper to close
The Kinistino/Birch Hills Post-Gazette will publish its final edition on Dec. 23.
The newspaper, which used to be two separate newspapers until about 20 years ago when they merged, is operated by Sun Media, a division of Quebecor Inc., based in Montreal.
According to Sun Media regional publisher Ken Sorensen, the paper will be folded into the Melfort Journal, another Sun Media property. He said it would see the same amount of coverage in both Kinistino and Birch Hills, including the page space to print it, and allow the Melfort Journal to have better coverage of what is going on in the area.
"We're not closing it down as such," he said Wednesday. "It's the very same people hired to do the very same job. It's all the same news, entertainment, arts and sports."
Sorensen said both the Kinistino/Birch Hills paper and the Melfort Journal are currently printed in Melfort and driven out to both communities every week for deliveries. This way, he said, the paper would save money while getting more exposure.
Sorensen said the decision was made by Sun Media and he supported it. He said it would lead to more possibilities for all of the communities involved in the transition. He added that current subscribers of the Kinistino/Birch Hills Post-Gazette would have their subscriptions automatically switched over to the Melfort Journal and he does not anticipate a change in service for customers.
"I think it's better for the readers, the advertisers and it's better for us."
He said that the change would result in better coverage for the area, adding that newspaper consolidations are not uncommon in the media business. He said the new Journal would not suffer for the change.
The Journal and other Sun Media papers would undergo a redesign in the new year, Sorensen said.