The Halifax Chronicle Herald announced it’s launching a new weekend edition that will be larger than the Saturday and Sunday newspaper combined with more columns and local content. The new weekend edition will be published on April 20, ending a 15-year run for the Chronicle Herald’s Sunday edition. J-Source associate editor Tamara Baluja reports. 

By Tamara Baluja

The Halifax Chronicle Herald is ceasing publication of it Sunday edition next month. The paper announced it’s launching a new redesigned weekend edition that will be larger than the Saturday and Sunday newspaper combined with more columns and local content. The new weekend edition will be published on April 20, ending a 15-year run for the Chronicle Herald’s Sunday edition.

The changes are not about cost-savings, Mark Lever, the company’s president and CEO, told J-Source. "I know there is a lot of public perception about the challenges of the industry, but this is being done to give our readers really great content and keeping in mind how they consume our content."

Currently, the Chronice Herald circulates 100,000 copies on Saturday compared to slightly less than 70,000 on Sundays, Lever said. The new weekend edition will boost the Saturday page count from approximately 60 to 100 pages, and Lever says he anticipates a boost in readership. 

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There will be no job losses as a result of this change and the Chronicle Herald will continue to publish online daily, Lever added, with all distribution savings reinvested in the operation. 

The cancellation of Sunday editions has been a trend among Canadian and United States dailies, said Kelly Toughill, J-Source Business of Journalism editor and director of the school of journalism at the University of King’s College. 

"It's sad to see the Chronicle Herald edition shut down, but it isn't a huge surprise. It was launched to compete with the Sunday edition of the Daily News, which folded several years ago. Canada doesn't have a very long tradition of Sunday papers. They really only began in the 1980s, so we are returning to an earlier era."

Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.