1000 Island Publishers sells to Osprey

For the first time since 1937, a Scott name wonÔÇÖt be associated with the Gananoque Reporter when todayÔÇÖs edition hits the streets.

Osprey Media LP has purchased 1000 Islands Publishers and the Gananoque Reporter. The deal officially closed yesterday. Paul Scott will remain with the paper for three months as the publisher and general managerÔÇöthen heÔÇÖs calling it a career. Osprey has also hired all of the companyÔÇÖs staff, he added.

“In the last few years things have changed,” Mr. Scott said. “Costs continue to go up, technology continues to advance. Some reinvestment needs to be done in this company. The necessity for added capital investment is moving faster than my ability to pay down the debt.

“Things are becoming more and more competitive in the marketplace. I have a business to think about and staff that I have worked closely with for many years.

How do I look after their futures?”

Mr. Scott indicated he and his wife Carolyn also had their retirement to think about. In recent years, an exit strategy has been on his mind and selling to Osprey was their best option.

What he does want to stress is the staff will continue to produce the award-winning newspaper the community has come to expect. “The ownership has changed but everything else stays the sameÔǪ People will continue to get their paper on time. Our print clients will continue to receive the quality and service they have come to expect. ThatÔÇÖs how you grow a business.

“After the initial shock, itÔÇÖs business as usual.

Osprey wants to invest in the community and that is the key.”

Osprey Media founder and owner Michael Sifton talked to the Reporter Friday from his Toronto office and officially visited the company to meet the staff for the first time yesterday.

“Gananoque is an important component of Eastern Ontario,” Mr. Sifton said, adding everything about the local operation was attractive. “The Reporter and the high quality printing plant were important. Osprey isnÔÇÖt into sheetfed glossy and this was an opportunity to add that facility.

“That is also my favourite part of the world,” he said. “We had a family cottage in that area long before I was around. I have many fond memories from my childhood.”

He met his wife at QueenÔÇÖs University and his daughter currently attends QueenÔÇÖs.

There will be a transition period but Mr. Sifton said he doesnÔÇÖt foresee any large changes. “I believe in maintaining the local identity. We are big proponents of newspapers being a meeting place, a builder of the community. We donÔÇÖt go in and mess with the heritage and we certainly arenÔÇÖt proposing any radical changesÔǪ I donÔÇÖt want to mess with success.”

Mr. Sifton said itÔÇÖs key that his people in the field make decisions without fear of second guessing.

“ItÔÇÖs about trust, we canÔÇÖt do it any other way. If we tried to make decisions from afar it would be wrong. I do have to trust people in the fieldÔÇötrust is the hallmark of this company. People also have to trust me.

“IÔÇÖm excited for the paper. We can bring in resources independents donÔÇÖt have access to. Our goal is to produce a superior product.”

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