'End of an era': Newfoundland Herald releases final print edition after 76-year run

·3 min read
The Newfoundland Herald has released its final print edition after a 76-year run of the magazine.  (Heather Gillis/CBC - image credit)
The Newfoundland Herald has released its final print edition after a 76-year run of the magazine. (Heather Gillis/CBC - image credit)
Heather Gillis/CBC
Heather Gillis/CBC

If you've dreamt of making it on the cover of The Newfoundland Herald one day, you've run out of time.

The staple of Newfoundland and Labrador culture, arts and entertainment publishing is coming to an end after a 76-year run as one of the most identifiable brands in the island's history.

The Herald has published its final print edition, currently on news racks and magazine stands.

In a statement, Lindsay Andrews, general manager of the Newfoundland Broadcasting Company, which publishes the Herald, said the decision was made because of the "ever-changing landscape as it relates to technology and the shift from print to digital."

"While it is always sad to see a part of our history go, it is also a time to reflect on the many accomplishments of The Newfoundland Herald," said Andrews.

"For over 75 years, The Herald has been a part of the Newfoundland culture. The Herald has covered everything from local politics to business and crime stories. But most would consider the Herald as Newfoundland and Labrador's entertainment magazine."

Geoff Stirling, founder of NTV News, was also the man behind the original magazine.

On May 12, 1946, The Sunday Herald made its debut, selling 10,000 copies in just two hours, Andrews said.

Ryan Cleary, whose two decades in journalism include a stint with The Herald, said Stirling actually bought 60 tons of newsprint from former premier Joey Smallwood — who tried unsuccessfully to get his own newspaper off the ground.

He said the the Herald's shutting down is "like the loss of a family member" and a loss to journalism in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Terry Roberts/CBC
Terry Roberts/CBC

"From my perspective, The Newfoundland Herald is an institution," Cleary said Wednesday.

"Its roots go to the core of Newfoundland, not just in entertainment but also as a news magazine.… A magazine like The Newfoundland Herald was a reflection of the people and the place."

The magazine will move online, where archival editions will be posted.

"We would like to thank our thousands of loyal readers over the years. We appreciate all of the support we have received," said Andrews.

"We also want to sincerely thank all of our team at The Newfoundland Herald for their loyal work and contribution to this final chapter as a weekly print edition. It truly is the end of an era."

'It was pivotal'

Geoff Meeker spent the 1980s working at the Herald, starting as a freelance columnist and rising through the ranks to become the magazine's managing editor until he left in 1989.

Meeker said he was shocked and hurt to learn of the magazine's end on Wednesday, as the magazine had been with his family for two generations: his father, Ken Meeker, was managing editor in the 1960s.

"It was pivotal in my early years," he said.

The magazine changed and evolved a lot over the years, said Meeker, but its consistency meant a lot to people.

"It strove hard to contain something for everyone. The idea was that the kids would like it, the mother would like it, the father would like it."

CBC
CBC

Meeker said he remembers his time at the Herald as a fun time with no bad days.

"It meant a lot to me on a number of levels. Mostly I just couldn't believe I could go to work and have so much fun every day."

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