The Whitehorse Star is closing after 124 years

The Whitehorse Star, Yukon’s oldest newspaper, will be publishing its final edition on May 17.

According to reports, the publication’s owners had been working for several weeks with a group of residents to help sell the paper and keep it afloat. That effort came up short and it was decided the independently-owned paper would cease operations instead.

“This decision has not been made lightly, but due to several overwhelming factors persistently working against us, it is necessary. It’s no surprise to most that the newspaper industry has faced significant challenges in recent years, a decline in circulation being one,” said the owners in a release.

Media in Canada pointed to the lack of advertisers as a reason for the move. For example, more and more brands are moving their advertising to other media, especially social networks.

Jim Butler, longtime editor of the Star did an interview with CBC and pointed to the changes in the publication’s business operations.

“Social media has been devouring newspaper revenue sources like some sort of crazed Pac-Man on the loose in 1982. It was us last week, it’ll be someone else next week. I’m not divulging any secrets when I say our full-page ads by major local and national businesses had a devastating drop-off in recent years,” he said.

“Most of our fliers are gone. Classified ads, 99 per cent eliminated. Our lucrative real estate supplement, gone. Very significant fall-offs in Yukon Government and City of Whitehorse print advertising. Legal ads, gone. Even birth and marriage announcements are non-existent in local newspapers.”