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Kamloops Daily News to close after an 80-year run

The Kamloops Daily News is the latest paper to shut down operations as the newspaper industry struggles with declining revenues.

Rob Munro, vice-president of the Media Union of B.C., said the newspaper's parent company, Glacier Media, gave his members notice that it plans to stop publication within the next 60 days.

The company did not say how many people will be affected by the move, but Mr. Munro said there are 34 full-time staff at the daily as well as 12 contracted delivery drivers.

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The paper began publishing more than 80 years ago, and has a circulation of nearly 27,000.

It's the only daily newspaper in Kamloops.

In a story posted on the Kamloops Daily News website, publisher Tim Shoults said he was saddened by the news, but the closing was necessary because of declining revenues and a failure to sufficiently cut costs.

"We have struggled for the last several years, worked tirelessly and taken many difficult steps along the way which were designed to ensure our future," he said.

"Unfortunately the realities of our industry, our local advertising market and our labour situation were too great for us to overcome."

Glacier Media wasn't immediately available for comment.

The closing comes about three months after Glacier Media decided to contract out ad production to India and the Philippines for a number of publications in B.C., including the Kamloops Daily News, which lost five non-unionized staff.

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Mr. Munro said the announcement Monday wasn't a complete surprise given the previous outsourcing decision and the closing of other small newspapers in the area.

But he said it's still hard for his members.

"A lot of these people have been there most of their working life, and there aren't a lot of other jobs out there right now," he said. "It's going to be extremely difficult."

Last year, the Kamloops Daily News was nominated for two Jack Webster Foundation awards, which recognize the best of journalism in the province. The newspaper's long-time former editor, Mel Rothenburger, was given a lifetime achievement award by the foundation in 2011.

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