Halifax weekly the Coast bought by B.C.-based media company

·2 min read
The co-founders of the Coast announced Wednesday the Halifax weekly paper was being sold. (thecoast.ca - image credit)
The co-founders of the Coast announced Wednesday the Halifax weekly paper was being sold. (thecoast.ca - image credit)

The Coast, Halifax's local independent weekly paper, has been acquired by Victoria-based Overstory Media Company.

In a statement Wednesday, Coast co-founders Kyle Shaw and Christine Oreskovich wrote "we felt we owed it to our team and readers to find a partner that could coach and mentor the Coast into being a stronger digital media outlet. Overstory is that partner."

They said the paper's editorial and reporting team is staying in place.

Overstory CEO Farhan Mohamed said the Coast will maintain 100 per cent creative and editorial control over the publication.

"When a local outlet gets purchased there's always that question of what's going to happen to it, is a new owner gonna come in and rip it apart? We're not like that. We're going to be a team," Mohamed said in an interview.

The Coast, founded in 1993, cited rising operation costs, a struggle producing online content and general pandemic-related difficulties as the reason for the sale.

Taryn Grant/CBC
Taryn Grant/CBC

The paper cancelled printing in 2020 and shifted to online reporting, trying to keep up with the breakneck speed of the early pandemic news cycle.

"We really were competing day to day with Facebook and Google," Oreskivich said in an interview.

"It wasn't like in the old days when you saw readership go to radio or a competitive paper, we really had to fight to get it back."

The Coast is also known for hosting and promoting Halifax events like Oyster Fest and Burger Bash.

Overstory Media Group has been acquiring local media groups and publications since its founding in 2021. It was founded by Mohamed and Andrew Wilkinson with the goal of acquiring local publications and building a network of media groups.

On its website Wednesday, Overstory wrote it was "proud to announce the acquisition of the iconic Halifax publication, The Coast, taking our roster of publications truly coast to coast across Canada."

Neither Overstory or the Coast would disclose the price of the deal.

Overstory now owns nine local publications in Canada. The Coast is its first acquisition east of Alberta.

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