New Brunswick — The Manatee, Atlantic Canada’s biggest satirical news website, has announced its purchase by Brunswick News Inc. (BNI), one of the Irving Group of Companies’ subsidiaries. BNI owns all English newspapers in New Brunswick, and in 2004, bought Here magazine, a weekly arts and entertainment publication, which it then shut down in 2014.
A BNI spokesperson says that the purchase of The Manatee will not impact the online paper’s content in any way.
“We at BNI sure love a good chuckle as much as the next guy, which is why it made sense to us to put in an offer that The Manatee founders couldn’t refuse,” said Janice Hoyt. “I don’t mean that in a sinister way! I mean we gave them lots and lots of money. And in exchange we’ll be implementing a paywall and subscription model to The Manatee, as it isn’t profitable to give people free content.”
Hoyt added that some readers might get the idea that like BNI’s newspapers, The Manatee will no longer cover anything related to the Irvings, but promises that that won’t be the case at all.
“We’re working on a hilarious story about the Irvings playing a neat prank on Blaine Higgs, where we joke that if he doesn’t give us more tax breaks, we’ll fire all our employees! What a hoot!” laughed Hoyt.
The Manatee founders Shauna Chase and Alex Vietinghoff said they’re happy with the purchase.
“We’ve been doing this for almost seven years, and basically haven’t earned a dime until now,” said Chase, sipping Châteauneuf-du-Pape from a golden wine glass.
“We got enough from this deal to pay ourselves, and finally pay all the volunteer writers from over the years. I’m planning on retiring in my thirties now.”
Due to an NDA, Vietinghoff couldn’t say exactly how much money the deal involved, but did drop plenty of hints.
“You know that NFT crypto art that just sold for $69 million? Well let’s just say The Manatee is like one big, sweet crypto art,” said Vietinghoff, with a sly wink.
“I’ve always been on the hunt for a good get-rich-quick scheme. With my share of the money I plan on launching my own cryptocurrency: Manacoin. I think it could be the next big thing.”
Regular readers expressed their concern on social media.
“Wow, never thought The Manatee was just run by a bunch of SELL-OUTS!” said one commenter.
“Our Irving Overlords just snatched up the last bastion of free speech in New Brunswick!” said another.
Hoyt said that as part of the sale, all articles mentioning the Irvings in a negative way will be deleted, so advised any readers who want to see them to go screenshot those stories by April 3.