Torontoist first learned of the mysterious case of the disappearing National Post this weekend, when we woke to find newspaper boxes empty throughout the downtown core. We had just started coming to grips with losing the Post’s Toronto magazine-style insert—a Saturday morning without the paper altogether seemed rather overwhelming. The forlorn boxes, like the one above at Bay and Bloor, bore only a sticker, notifying readers that those locations would no longer be serviced.
What, exactly, was going on?
The National Post is published by the beleaguered Canwest, which has been shrinking its newspaper operations at a somewhat alarming clip. It recently announced a significant cutback in service to Manitoba and Saskatchewan: it will no longer print paper editions of the paper during the week, and is eliminating home delivery entirely. Canwest stock has plummeted in value recently, losing ground far more quickly than rival media organizations. With its credit rating now under review by several agencies, industry observers have been increasingly vocal in expressing their concern.
Given the dire straits of its parent corporation and the Post’s retreat from other markets, it was easy to jump to the conclusion that the decision to stop servicing many Toronto-area newspaper boxes was ominous indeed, and perhaps a portent of graver things to come. We’ve been told, however, that such worries are overblown. A representative of the Post, in a conversation with Torontoist, said that the paper remains fully committed to the city, and that the decision to stop servicing some newspaper boxes reflects those locations’ poor sales and not a general retreat. For the moment, at least, Post readers and lovers of media diversity can breathe a sigh of relief: your Saturday morning fix is just a corner store away. Should further cuts to service in Toronto be announced, however, the National Post may find itself in the uncomfortable position of reporting on its own death-watch.
Photos by David Topping/Torontoist.