Copies of The Petrolia Topic. June 26, 2018 (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

Petrolia Topic Among Latest Postmedia Closures

The Petrolia Topic is among six small-town newspapers being closed by Postmedia Network.

The company said Tuesday it’s also stopping print publication of four more papers, and cutting about 10% of its workforce across the newspaper chain by the end of August.

Postmedia also owns the Sarnia Observer.

The Petrolia Topic dates back to 1874.

Town mayor John McCharles says he’s disappointed.

“We’re going to miss the topic,” McCharles said. “It’s sort of been the newspaper that a lot of people grew up with around Petrolia. I think it’s something that’s happening throughout Canada, the newspapers are disappearing. That’s also a disappointment to me as well.”

Mayor McCharles says the loss of the newspaper leaves a hole, for local businesses looking to advertise, and for getting community information out to the people.

Media Sales Manager Greg Holmes says they’re deeply saddened by the closure of the Topic but he says there are no resulting job losses locally. “In it’s current form, there were no employees specifically attached to that title and as such no resulting job losses locally,” says Holmes. “The reality is that the Petrolia Topic was a subscriber-based publication with less than 300 subscribers weekly.”

Holmes says Postmedia also operates Sarnia & Lambton County This Week, which is a free publication that’s distributed to over 42,000 homes throughout Lambton County every week, and over 2,400 copies reach homes in Petrolia and area. So, he says there is no advertising hole left by the closure of the Topic.

Other papers being closed include the Norwich Gazette, the Ingersoll Times, the Kapuskasing Northern Times, and Alberta’s Camrose Canadian, and Strathmore Standard.

The Northern News and Pembroke Observer in Ontario and the Graphic in Manitoba will continue to have a digital presence only.