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Postmedia, Torstar swap community newspapers

Toronto-based Postmedia Network Canada and Torstar have reached an agreement to swap a number of community newspapers. Under the terms of the agreement, Postmedia will acquire 22 of Torstar's community newspaper and two free daily commuter newspapers, while Torstar will acquire 15 of Postmedia's community papers and two commuter papers. The Torstar properties are operated by the company's Metroland Media Group and Free Daily News Group subsidiaries. According to the companies, the properties on each side are of approximately similar values.

Postmedia has announced plans to close all of its acquired properties except for two by mid-January. Torstar has announced that it will close 11 of the properties it will acquire from Postmedia.

"This transaction allows Postmedia to focus on strategic areas and core products, and allows us to continue with a suite of community-based products, in a deeply disrupted industry," said Paul Godfrey, CEO of Postmedia. "What makes this particularly difficult is that it means we will say goodbye to many dedicated newspaper people. However, the continuing costs of producing dozens of small community newspapers in these regions in the face of significantly declining advertising revenues means that most of these operations no longer have viable business models."

Properties to be acquired by Postmedia include the Belleville News, Brant News, Central Hastings News, Exeter Times-Advocate and the Exeter Weekender, Frontenac Gazette, Kanata Kourier-Standard, Kingston Heritage, Meaford Express, Metro Ottawa, Metro Winnipeg, Nepean/Barrhaven News, Norfolk News, Orleans News, Ottawa East News, Ottawa South News, Ottawa West News, Our London, Quinte West News, St. Lawrence News, St. Mary's Journal-Argus and the St. Mary's Weekender, St. Thomas/Elgin Weekly News, Stittsville News, Stratford City Gazette and West Carleton Review.

Properties to be acquired by Torstar include 24 Hours Toronto, 24 Hours Vancouver, th Barrie Examiner, Bradford Times, Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin, Fort Erie Times, Innisfil Examiner, Inport News, Niagara Advance, Niagara Falls Review, Northumberland Today, Orillia Packet & Times, Pelham News, Peterborough Examiner, St. Catharines Standard, Thorold Niagara News and Welland Tribune.

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