The Canadian Jewish News will stop printing after 42 years, the victim of a weak advertising market and changing reader habits that have driven more of its niche audience toward free online content.
The independently owned weekly newspaper, which has a circulation of 40,000 copies a week and is considered the national voice of the country’s Jewish community, told readers in an online note that it would stop printing June 20.
Like newspapers across North America, it hasn’t been able to replace the money it is losing in the print ad market with digital alternatives. It had been lowering its ad rates in an attempt to win business, but couldn’t convince national and local advertisers that it offered the value it once did.
“We’ve just had to cut, cut and cut, and if you’re a newspaper whose sole income comes from a published newspaper you just can’t do that,” said Donald Carr said, who is president of the non-profit paper. “The printed page just hasn’t been all that exciting for advertisers.”
The newspaper’s 50 employees have been told of the decision, and the prospect of a digital edition is in its very early stages. Mr. Carr said if the paper is to live online, it needs financial backing that would reduce its reliance on the advertising market.
“We’ve been a not-for-profit from inception and always have been,” he said. “We’re hoping that with financing we may be able to get from the community or from individuals, we can continue on the Internet.”
Mr. Carr wrote in a note to readers that “we have known of the ravages that printed newspapers and magazines have been experiencing across the world,” adding that smartphones have become the primary way to deliver news. He believed the paper could survive because it served a niche, but conceded Monday that he was incorrect.
“While we were alert to what was happening around us, we hoped that The CJN, with its niche attraction, would not be like others, and that our print edition would survive and flourish,” he wrote. “We made substantial operating changes, which we thought would assist. After careful analysis, we have concluded that they do not.”
The company runs its news operations from Toronto and Montreal, and has correspondents across the country and in Israel. Its mandate it to provide its readers with “news of the Jewish community in Canada, Israel and throughout the world … it offers a wide array of features, commentary and opinions, as well as weekly stories and features on arts, travel, business, campus life, sports and health.”