Whitehorse Daily Star

Your support has been greatly appreciated

This is an open letter from the owners of the Whitehorse Star.

By Whitehorse Star on April 10, 2024

This is an open letter from the owners of the Whitehorse Star.

We would like to thank all the loyal supporters of the Whitehorse Star and let our customers and clients know that deciding to close the Star was very difficult for us.

This decision was not taken lightly.

We are not “tired”.

We are heartbroken.

Our dedicated staff have held on with us throughout these difficult years as advertising here locally (and throughout the world) has increasingly transitioned to social media platforms.

They have also had to manage the uncertainty and stress of not knowing what would become of us.

We appreciate them very much, and feel sick about having to let them go; only grateful we were able to give them enough notice to seek other employment.

As with all sectors in Canada in this economic climate, our expenses are higher than ever.

We need more staff in order to cover local stories on a daily basis and print here locally, but do not have the resources to hire.

We are not alone in this predicament.

More than two dozen newspapers in Canada closed their doors in 2023 alone; much larger companies with much deeper pockets.

We are one of the last, truly independent newspapers in Canada.

Our philosophy and work ethic have always revolved around our incredible community: local stories, local voices and local events.

Printing here in our community, versus outside the territory, is important to us, as are our local press employees.

Newspaper advertising still works!

Our loyal advertisers see results, and our loyal readers still want to feel an actual paper in their hands (and get ink on their fingers); however, we are facing what much larger newspapers with more resources throughout the country are experiencing.

That is: higher costs paired with lower advertising revenues.

Since our planned closure has become such a huge issue on social media, we felt it was now time for us to comment and share some of our concerns.

We had been negotiating with a group interested in purchasing the Star but, unfortunately, could not come to an agreement that would work for all parties.

The negotiations fell apart for myriad reasons, the biggest being the buying group’s proposed future operational plans that, in our opinion, simply were not realistic.

We may still be open to a reasonable offer; however, could not accept the terms put forward to us.

It is important to note that the financial aspect of a purchase is not the paramount item for the selling group; rather, any offer needs to be based on a realistic plan to keep the Star operational long-term.

In our decades-long experience in this business, the start-up costs for a turn-around plan would be enormous.

As well, maintaining it over the long term would be a continuing challenge.

Given the situation, it is our heavy-hearted opinion that an orderly wind-up of operations is in the best interest of staff and suppliers.

Thank you again to everyone who champions local journalism and print news.

Your support over the decades has been so greatly appreciated, and we will miss showcasing your stories every day. Illegitimus non carborundum.


Michele Pierce
Melanie Pierce
Joni Pierce
Jessica Pierce
Judy Gibbons
The Whitehorse Star

Comments (6)

Up 0 Down 0

Doug Caldwell on Apr 13, 2024 at 11:15 am

Sad news indeed. I had hoped the Star would have not been affected by the new age technology that has altered the world in which we live, but it was inevitable. Social media and the opportunity to reach millions of people in the global audience has prompted businesses and governments to shift their advertising buy to various on-line services rather than traditional newspaper and radio & TV advertising as in the past. These two sectors were the primary income for media, but because it is easier,cheaper and faster to promote digitally, advertisers are moving to these services and abandoning traditional media.
Time will tell if the digital options are reaching the target audiences effectively, however many are not yet scrutinizing how effective these new methods are in delivering consumer information services. There is a big difference in measuring your promotional effectiveness from counting how many cans of beans got sold because on an ad compared to the level of attendance for government-provided services from a notice posted on Twitter. Much of the Yukon’s population do not subscribe to Twitter or the alternatives, so how effective is government’s communications with the public today compared to the traditional media methods? It would make an interesting research project I think.

Up 32 Down 13

Dave Avoledo on Apr 10, 2024 at 9:50 pm

Never thought I would have tears in my eyes over something like this, but there are. loved the Star as in my mind it was the only paper that printed the truth. especially since Dave Robertson left the News.
Very unfortunate that we will only have a national rag left who are owned by a huge national company. Only paper of the two that would publish actual letters to the editors that would publish as written rather than edited to another way of thinking.
After reading the CBC (gov't funded) interview with Jim Butler now realize that there is no way out of this predicament for the Star. (Note "The Star" just like "The Yukon". Unfortunately the newspaper industry is like any other business. Not enough revenue--no business
Thank you too all the people over the years who have provided us with all the local, regional and world news for all these years
Wishing all the best to the owners and staff.
Illegitmus non carborundum

Up 21 Down 33

David on Apr 10, 2024 at 7:33 pm

We're a territory with a small population and we need two or three media companies to independantly (independant of the government) report on the news, so that we can read everything that is happening, not just what the current party in power wants us to hear/read. I am in favor of the territorial government subsidizing the Whitehorse Star the same as the federal government subsidizes CBC.

Up 30 Down 6

Virginia Labelle on Apr 10, 2024 at 6:28 pm

Thank you for all your work over the years, and for hanging in for as long as you did!

Up 28 Down 7

Wes on Apr 10, 2024 at 5:58 pm

My birth announcement was in The Star.
I was hoping my obituary was going to make it too.
Oh well.
Thanks Star. We love ya.

Up 34 Down 6

YT on Apr 10, 2024 at 5:56 pm

Well, Yukoners really appreciate your work throughout the years and your efforts to try and keep things running.
This cannot have been easy.
Best wishes

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