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There has been a shuffling of papers in Red Deer.
Black Press Ltd., which owns the Red Deer Advocate, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the Red Deer Express from Great West Newspapers, LP. The deal is effective today.
The Express, which publishes on Wednesdays, is distributed to local homes and is also available at drop boxes. Its origins date back to 1964, with Great West Newspapers acquiring the paper in 1995.
Fred Gorman, president of Black Press’s Prairie Newspaper Group and publisher of the Advocate, said no immediate changes to the Express are planned.
“The reader won’t notice any difference,” he said, adding that printing of the Express will move from St. Albert to Black Press’s production facilities at the Advocate.
Gorman also said that the Express should become more visible in the community.
He added that the Advocate, which is Central Alberta’s only daily newspaper, will not be affected by the purchase.
“We expect both to compete as they have in the past with radio and the other media that’s out there.”
Gorman said he’s “excited” about the deal and sees it as a good way to strengthen Black Press’s position in the region.
In addition to the Advocate, the company owns the Stettler Independent, Ponoka News, Rimbey Review, Bashaw Star and Castor Advance.
“We view Central Alberta as a prime economic area to do business. We already own five community newspapers in the area and we print several others.”
Approximately 30 part-time and full-time staff work at the Express, with the Advocate’s payroll numbering about 150.
Express publisher Graham Schofield will remain with Great West Newspapers, with Gorman to act as publisher of the Express until a replacement can be found.
Black Press and Great West Newspapers were involved in another transaction that closed today. Black Press sold the Rocky Mountain Outlook — a weekly newspaper distributed in the Lake Louise-Banff-Canmore area — to Great West Newspapers.
That deal is also effective as of today.
The terms of both sales were not released.
Black Press, which has its headquarters in Victoria, owns more than 100 publications and 17 printing operations in Alberta, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.
Great West Newspapers, which is based in St. Albert, is jointly owned by Jamison Newspapers Inc. and Glacier Ventures International Corp. It and its subsidiaries produce 24 publications, with most of these in Alberta.