Newspaper Deathwatch: SaltWire Network (Cartoonists MacKinnon and de Adder)

From The Toronto Star report:

HALIFAX – A private equity fund is initiating insolvency proceedings against Atlantic newspaper owner SaltWire Network Inc., claiming it owes tens of millions of dollars after several years of mismanagement.

In documents filed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on Monday, Fiera Private Debt Fund said SaltWire and The Halifax Herald Ltd. together owe it $32.7 million, plus almost $600,000 of accrued and outstanding interest.

From the CBC:

A company that owns nearly two dozen newspapers in Atlantic Canada has debts of almost $100 million and is filing for creditor protection.

SaltWire Network made the application in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, according to court documents filed on Monday.

The court documents said SaltWire has assets of almost $33 million and more than $94 million in debt, with roughly a third of that owed to its lender, Fiera Private Debt. However, SaltWire claims its debt is closer to $64 million, according to documents submitted by its lawyers.

SaltWire also owes more than $7 million in unpaid HST to the Canada Revenue Agency, while the Chronicle Herald owes $2.6 million for missed pension plan payments, the documents said.

The SaltWire Network‘s major daily newspapers are The Chronicle Herald (Halifax), the Cape Breton Post, The Telegram (St. Johns) and The Guardian (Charlottetown).

The Halifax Chronicle Herald/SaltWire’s Bruce MacKinnon and freelancer Michael de Adder are the main editorial cartoonists who could be affected by the newspaper group’s troubles.

Michael de Adder noted the problem on his Patreon page under the heading of More Bad News:

Last month I lost my biggest client [Washington Post]. It left me with a 25% of my income intact.

This month my second biggest client is applying for bankrupcy protection. I’m not sure where this leaves me yet. Not in a great place.

I recently asked my third biggest client for a reasonable raise. Not sure they can afford it.

Three  years ago I had a diversified clientele that could weather a bit of  this. But I had to give it all up for a job that was supposed to be  stable. I was supposed to be in a better position.

It left me vulnerable.

What can you do?

Michael continues to survive a hard knock life.

Canada’s Media Landscape © 2021 Michael de Adder

One thought on “Newspaper Deathwatch: SaltWire Network (Cartoonists MacKinnon and de Adder)

  1. As much as I wanted to support the Chronicle-Herald, their woes over the last decade or so finally made me throw up my hands. Their newspaper was so thin and yet expensive (last I knew $5+ per wafer-thin issue), the writing, editing and proofing a constant source of sad bemusement, and then they finally told me that they could no longer deliver to my location, but could leave my sub copies a few blocks away for pickup. Okay guys, time to hang ‘er up.

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