rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Code crossover: How long before the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun are merged?

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Journal Pitch

Like this article? Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

How long before the Edmonton Sun and the Edmonton Journal are rolled into one newspaper?

One year? Eighteen months? Two years?

Not much longer, it's said here.

On Monday, the Edmonton Journal cheerfully notified its subscribers they could once again have a Sunday paper.

"Great News!” the Journal exclaimed to subscribers. "Brighten your weekends with the Sunday Sun!"

"We recently welcomed the Edmonton Sun to our growing news family," the pitch went on. "For a very limited time, we are offering our loyal Edmonton Journal subscribers the opportunity to enhance their existing 6-day delivery by adding the extensive Sunday Sun." (Extensive? Typo? Did they mean expensive? Surely not that either…)

The deal costs $4.99 a month, plus taxes, the pitchperson who drafted the note enthused. "These two products combined will ensure you never miss a single day of award winning local news coverage, sports and entertainment." Yadda-yadda.

Alert newspaper readers will recall that it was only back in the spring of 2012 when Postmedia Network Inc. pulled the plug on its Sunday editions in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton as a cost-cutting measure while the venerable newspaper chain tried to reorient its efforts toward digital marketing.

Since then, the Toronto-based media corporation changed course back toward print by purchasing Sun Media Ltd.’s daily newspapers and the rest of Sun's English-language community and trade publications from Quebecor Inc. for the fire-sale price of $316 million.

When the acquisition was announced in the fall of 2014, the giant Toronto-based media corporation promised that both Postmedia and Sun newspapers would continue to operate independently of one another in markets where they competed directly. Just the same, shareholders were also promised there would be "synergies," and that Postmedia expected to find $6 to $10 million in savings, mostly through unidentified shared services.

So far, Postmedia's various corporate strategies have not appeared to be very successful. In July, the company reported losses continued to mount in the third quarter, with digital advertising revenues down 4 per cent from a year earlier, print ad revenues in free fall, down more than 20 per cent, and print circulation revenue down 6.5 per cent.

Here in Edmonton, word soon leaked out that the entire Sun staff would leave its rented offices on Edmonton’s east side and move into the Journal’s half-empty downtown building. That move is now imminent.

Three weeks ago, Journal Editor-in-Chief Margo Goodhand assured AlbertaPolitics.ca that while the advertising staffs might be amalgamated after the move, the Sun and Journal would have separate newsrooms and maintain "distinct print and digital brands."

Except on Sundays, it now turns out. On Sundays, the Journal's fusty readers will have the chance to brighten their weekends with the scruffy little right-wing tabloid.

It's said here that notwithstanding the honourable intentions of the Journal's local managers, this is another step toward the inevitable amalgamation of the two Edmonton dailies.

Having promised to maintain the papers' distinct brands, Postmedia will need to keep them as separate entities long enough to establish its goodwill. But whether the Sunday Sun scheme succeeds or fails, pressure to amalgamate will continue to increase.

If it fails and produces no new revenues, it will make the cost-cutting impacts of a merger look more attractive. If it succeeds and proves synergies are possible, it will have much the same effect. If it drains subscribers from the Journal to the Sun, it will likely only mean the Sun's unrepentantly indecorous style will predominate in the merged paper.

So now that this step has been taken, pressure from head office to fully merge the operations will eventually become irresistible.

Then the only questions will be whether to call the newspaper the Journal Sun or the Sun Journal, whether to publish it in tabloid format or in the Journal's near-tabloid shrunken broadsheet, and whether to bother with a hyphen.

Plus, of course, since the Edmonton print newspaper market will be then a monopoly, whether or not to bother with a Sunday edition.

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.