Kamloops This Week sold

Kamloops Daily News
October 1, 2010 01:00 AM

Victoria's Black Press has sold Kamloops This Week to another B.C.-based publisher.

The paper announced the sale Thursday to Thompson River Publications Ltd. Partnership as of Oct 1. The company is headed by president Robert Doull, who owns several community newspapers in B.C. and Alberta.

The firm also purchased the Merritt Herald, one of two community papers in the Nicola Valley.

Kamloops This Week publisher Kelly Hall becomes group publisher for Thompson River Publications and heads its central Interior group.

Hall said the shift to a new owner is "seamless" and won't result in job loss or any visible changes to the newspaper.

The paper will continue to be printed in Vernon and its website will not change, he said.

Doull owns 10 papers, including in Oliver, Invermere and northern B.C.

"He's a real visionary when it comes to our newspapers and the growth potential," Hall said.

Shawn Thompson, a professor at Thompson Rivers University's journalism program, said the sale of a paper owned by Black Press for nearly two decades is another example of changes wrought by the Internet and shifting business models.

"The newspaper industry and whole media industry is really in flux. I don't think I've seen so much flux in my lifetime."

Kamloops This Week reduced publication from three days to two days a week in 2009. It began operation in 1988.

Black Press purchased 11 B.C. newspapers this summer from Glacier Media, shutting down four of them in the Kootenays.

Canwest, which operated some of Canada's largest dailies, underwent bankruptcy and subsequent division and sale of assets this year.

"It's a period of great change," Thompson said of newspapers and media consolidation and finding new models in the wake of the Internet.

"I don't think anyone has a good idea yet how it will settle down and how newspapers will emerge out of this."

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