Postmedia’s takeover of the Brunswick News media empire is complete.
The Canadian mass media conglomerate, which owns newspapers including The National Post and dozens of other brands, announced the $16-million deal had closed in a media release on Friday.
The purchase includes all daily and weekly newspapers previously owned by J.D. Irving Ltd., along with its digital properties and parcel delivery business.
The news marks a massive shift in the New Brunswick media landscape, known for JDI’s almost complete domination of the newspaper market.
Unionized reporters and publishing staff at the Moncton Times & Transcript are represented by the Moncton Typographical Union.
“We’ve been told everything is status quo,” said union president Dave Arsenault in a text message. “Except the building is now split. Postmedia is renting the production facility and the office is being used by Cavendish and other JDI.”
Cavendish Farms is a food processing business belonging to JDI, a conglomerate involved in sectors ranging from forestry to shipbuilding. JDI is privately owned by the billionaire James K. Irving.
The Moncton Typographical Union is part of the Communication Workers of America-Canada.
CWA-Canada also includes locals at Postmedia newspapers like the Montreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen.
“They’ve stated our contract will be honoured,” said Arsenault, a longtime print shop worker. “So far no reason to not believe them.”
No layoffs are expected among members of the Moncton Typographical Union, he said. “Not anytime soon anyway.”
Senior editors at Brunswick News didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
In Moncton, signage at the Times & Transcript building had been removed, but otherwise there have been no changes, according to Arsenault.
“Reporters are not returning to the office and will continue from home,” he said. “No layoffs or any changes at all other than the building being split. Postmedia just took over officially yesterday. So we shall see what comes.”
This article was updated at approximately 12:04 a.m. on Sunday, March 26, 2022, with more details and background. David Gordon Koch is the manager and a reporter with the NB Media Co-op.