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Metroland Media Files For Bankruptcy, Ends Print Editions Of Newspapers

Metroland Media Group has filed for bankruptcy and announced that it is ending the print editions of its community newspapers across Ontario.

Metroland said that it will attempt to restructure its finances and operations under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. The company is also ending is flyer business.

Ceasing to print the community newspapers and moving them to online only editions will result in a loss of 605 jobs or about 60% of Metroland's total workforce, according to the company.

Owned by NordStar Capital Inc., Metroland operates seven large daily newspapers in Ontario, the Hamilton Spectator, Peterborough Examiner, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune, the Waterloo Record, and the flagship Toronto Star.

Those daily newspapers are not currently impacted by the bankruptcy filing and will continue operations as normal, including print editions, said Metroland Media.

Metroland's bankruptcy follows years of consolidation across Canada's newspaper industry, which has endured mass layoffs and publication closures.

Publishers and politicians blame U.S. technology companies taking the bulk of online advertising dollars for the demise of Canadian news publications.

The federal government has said that Alphabet (GOOGL) and Meta Platforms (META) have a combined 80% share of the $14 billion online ad market in Canada.

Since 2008, more than 475 Canadian news outlets have closed, according to the federal government in Ottawa.

Earlier this year, Ottawa passed the “Online News Act,” which forces companies such as Alphabet and Meta to pay Canadian media outlets for content they share or repurpose.

Meta and Google responded to the legislation by blocking content from Canadian news outlets from their services.

Metroland Media’s bankruptcy filing comes after talks this past summer to merge The Toronto Star with rival newspaper publisher Postmedia failed to result in a deal.

NordStar Capital is a privately held concern. Its stock is not traded on a public exchange.