It’s the end of one era and the start of a new.
Members of the Deep River Community Association (DRCA) agreed last week to sell the North Renfrew Times to a new private company formed by the newspaper’s three full-time staff – former business manager Kelly Lapping, editor-in-chief Terry Myers and associate editor Vance Gutzman.
A motion to approve the sale was ratified by a near unanimous vote of DRCA member clubs and the board of directors at a special general meeting held Thursday night at the North Renfrew Long Term Care Centre.
DRCA president Steve D’Eon presented the proposal as a “win, win, win.”
The DRCA will continue to serve the community as the umbrella organization for roughly 50 clubs and community organizations; the community will continue to have the benefit of a local newspaper reporting on local politics and events; and the staff of the newspaper will have the opportunity to chart a new path for the paper’s future.
Following Thursday’s meeting, an agreement to complete the sale of the newspaper from the DRCA to Digest Media was finalized Friday.
The name of the new employee-owned company – Digest Media – reflects the roots of the newspaper as the “Deep River Digest,” a mimeographed newsletter produced for the early residents of the community beginning in the mid-1940s.
The Deep River Digest and Advertiser, as it was then known, was renamed the “North Renfrew Times” following a reader contest in 1956.
Speaking on behalf of the new owners, Gutzman said the focus will be on continuing to serve the local communities of North Renfrew, including features of the newspaper like “club news” and the NRT editorial board.
“We’re excited,” he said.
“We see exciting new growth opportunities for the NRT and we look forward to sharing them with our loyal readers, advertisers and the community in the weeks, months and years to come.”
Watch for more information and an opportunity to meet the newspaper’s new owners in the coming weeks.