Halifax — It was announced today that The Chronicle Herald, the country’s oldest independently owned newspaper, is purchasing every Atlantic Canadian Transcontinental Media paper — 28 in total — despite its own newsroom having been on strike for more than a year.
Transcontinental revealed that all its news outlets in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador will be taken over by SaltWire Network Inc., which publishes the Herald.
“If the Irvings can do it with BNI in New Brunswick, we can do it in the rest of Atlantic Canada,” bragged Ivan Sorel, chief operating officer of The Chronicle Herald. “We’ve proven our ability to take a thriving independent publication and turn it into an absolute bottom-of-the-barrel rag. Just look at our track record! In January many believed the employee strike could go on forever — in fact, we believed it ourselves. And it’s still going! Now that’s persistence.
“Let’s see, what else… oh yeah! We lured young journalism grads to scab for us instead of paying our experienced staff their fair, sought-after wages. Those poor grads were just trying to get their feet wet, and this pretty well destroyed their careers before they started! You think you can get a real job after scabbing? Not likely. Not to mention the union threatened to expose the scabs… scary stuff.”
We spoke with an anonymous Halifax Typographical Union member who said that if nothing else, The Chronicle Herald has demonstrated time and again that it can utterly ravage the credibility of a paper, and tear apart the fabric of the community it’s meant to represent.
“They published some very poorly researched, sensationalist stories just to sell copies,” said the source. “They got rid of bylines so no one would be accountable for the crap they printed. The newsroom went through several rounds of layoffs in the past few years; there’s no job security. I could go on and on. Advertisers either pulled out voluntarily or were threatened until they did so.
“And god knows how they’re affording to buy all these other papers. They must have been keeping a secret stash of a couple million bucks in an emergency fund. But yeah, if anyone can annihilate the reputation and viability of these other papers, it’s these guys.”
Some of the papers involved in the sale include: The Beacon in Gander, N.L., The Citizen Record in Amherst, N.S., The Guardian in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and the Sackville Tribune Post in New Brunswick.
“Why negatively impact the lives of a few dozen employees, when we can fuck with more than 650 people who will rely on us for their livelihood?” queried Sorel. “Ambition is extremely important in this industry.
“Go big or go home.”