National Post suspends Monday print edition for yet another summer

The National Post won't publish Mondays between June 27 and Sept. 5 for the third year in a row, the company announced.

It's the continuation of a cost-cutting move made at the height of the recession, despite a more optimistic new ownership and economy.

"Although the business outlook for the country has improved," wrote Post publisher Douglas Kelly in a note to readers, "change continues to sweep through the publishing industry, causing us to adapt our business model constantly."

When the Post first announced a similar cutback in 2009, it reflected turmoil at then-owner Canwest, which hadn't yet filed for bankruptcy.

The national newspaper also reduced its number of daily print copies. Readers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan can now only find one on Saturdays. Distribution has also been limited in the Maritimes during the past five years.

Generally, the changes heightened speculation the National Post could be the first major daily in Canada to shift to a digital-only format.

Last summer, the sale of Canwest's newspaper assets to Postmedia Network resulted in even more consolidation, ahead of a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Christie Blatchford, hired away from The Globe and Mail to become the chain's marquee writer, will be published in all the major Postmedia-owned dailies starting this week, in addition to the National Post.

Bruce Arthur, the longtime Post sports columnist, recently started to appear in local print editions across Canada.

Postmedia also instituted a pilot paywall on two sites, the Victoria Times-Colonist and the Montreal Gazette, in an effort to build subscription revenues for local news.

While the National Post has promised free daily online content throughout the summer, along with a return to a Monday print edition planned for Sept. 12, even more changes are surely yet to come.