Who is killing the community newspaper?

Bid adieu to the Richmond Review

Plus, a new talk radio station unveils its lineup and the VPD builds an app for stolen bikes

UPDATE, Sept. 10: Glacier’s will be closing down its papers in Coquitlam, Burnaby and New Westminster as of October 1.

Paper tigers
After eight decades in print, the owners of the Richmond Review announced Tuesday that it would shut down, laying off its four reporters. For B.C.’s community newspapers, it is by now a familiar script: through horse-trading, Glacier Media or Black Press—B.C.’s two local news conglomerates—become the sole owners of a community’s weeklies. And then one of those papers shuts down. First in Abbotsford, now Richmond. And they likely won’t be the last: as a result of a swap in December, Glacier Media is sole owner of both papers in New Westminster, Burnaby and Coquitlam. 

These competition-killing closures add to the pile of community news casualties over the past three years. In May, the independently-owned Prince George Free Press shut down. In March, Black Press closed down weeklies in Campbell River and Parksville. In 2014, Glacier closed the Kamloops Daily News, the South Delta Leader* and the North Shore Outlook—and the year before, the Abbotsford/Mission Times. And if you look back to 2012, Prince Rupert, Quesnel and Nelson all lost community papers. 

Listen up
The outlook for broadcasters, or one at least, is a tad sunnier. Roundhouse Radio, Vancouver’s talk station-to-come on 98.3, revealed its initial lineup of hosts on Tuesday, which include failed mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe, veteran broadcaster Terry David Mulligan and Martin Strong, a former radio jockey at Rock 101 and the CBC. The station, which describes its mission as hosting “intelligent conversations from a unique, hyper-local perspective,” is owned by a group that includes Kelowna lawyer Rick Pushor and two other family members; Dave Daudrich, an auto dealership owner; Una Gabie, a former lawyer at Pushor Mitchell LLP; Craig and Candace Cameron, the former a pharmaceutical entrepreneur; and broadcaster Don Shafer. Roundhouse Radio goes live in the fall. 

A new stage
Vancouver is about to get a new theatre next to the Olympic Village, thanks to a combined $2-million donation from Goldcorp and BMO—and, importantly, $18.1 million in funding from the city, province and the feds. The 250-seat venue will be the new home of the Arts Club and Bard on the Beach—which will keep the tent but add access to a year-round space. As for the name, the BMO Theatre Centre, BMO Financial Group paid $1.5 million for naming rights. 

*As former staffer Adrian MacNair notes, the South Delta Leader was axed in 2014.