Osprey expands in Ontario markets

Osprey Media Inc. is expanding in Ontario. In addition to acquiring new papers, Osprey-owned papers have also joined ComBase, the most authoritative market analysis study in Canada.

Most recently, Osprey bought the Haliburton (ON) County Echo and the Minden (ON) Times.

“We think that itÔÇÖs an exciting opportunity, and we see it as a tremendous fit in operating style between Osprey and our publications,” said Len Pizzey, who has owned the County Echo since 1985 and the Times since 2001.

“The publications will retain their independent editorial style and connection with the community. OspreyÔÇÖs style is not to homogenize papers, but to let publishers operate to their own understanding of the marketplace, and that is one of the things that is attractive about them,” he said.

Pizzey is also enthusiastic about the opportunities that the sale presents for his employees. “[Osprey] brings new opportunities to staff, especially for young people. We have always been able to attract good young reporters. Being part of a larger group means that they will be perhaps more easily able to get opportunities to move up, to expand their career opportunities,” said Pizzey.

Osprey also purchased the Espanola (ON) Mid-North Monitor, a weekly paid newspaper, circulation 3,347, from publisher Judy Skidmore who has owned the 26-year-old newspaper since 1997.

The interim publisher of the Monitor, effective September 1, will be Ray Ethelston, who is also publisher of the Elliot Lake (ON) Standard.

Skidmore will continue to own and operate the Working Forest, a seven-time per year tabloid for the logging industry.

Osprey also acquired the national wine-culture magazine Vines, along with an annual tour guide “Wine Escapes Niagara” and the “BuyerÔÇÖs Guide to Canadian Wine.”

Part of this rapid expansion is Osprey signing onto ComBase, the ongoing study of market readership.

ComBase president Elena Dunn said, “ItÔÇÖs important for the long-term viability of ComBase in Ontario.

“Osprey is a market leader with a growing list of newspaper products that it owns, and any decisions that it makes about research are likely to be closely followed by the other chains in Ontario. We are absolutely delighted to have Osprey,” added Dunn.

“We are looking forward to participating,” said Osprey Media vice-president, corporate sales, Shannon McPeak.

“I support research information as a sales and marketing tool as long as itÔÇÖs affordable, so weÔÇÖre looking forward to ComBase and the results it will bring,” she added.