It's news that nobody likes to hear...losing one's job right before the holidays, leaving the uncertainty of the new year hanging over your head like rotten mistletoe as you try to celebrate the festive season. However, such is the case for the staff of the Oxbow-Carnduff Herald-Gazette.
The presses grind to a halt on Friday as the final edition of the newspaper is released, after two deals with prospective buyers fell through. The Carnduff Gazette was first published in 1899, while the Oxbow Herald went into circulation in 1913. The pair were merged under Star News Publishing in 2016, however, they are now among the dominoes falling in the company's scramble to vacate the province, following in the wake of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald (now closed) and Prince Albert Daily Times (purchased by it's employees).
For Editor Melissa Buchanan, she will try to focus on everything but her occupation throughout the Christmas season.
"There's only two of us that work in the Carnduff office, myself and Chrystal Pickard. I know that Chrystal plans on spending some time with her kids and being a stay at home mom," shared Buchanan, "I've made the decision that I'm not going to worry about what's going to happen next until after the holidays. I have a two year old son, so my goal is to spend that time focussing on making this a happy time for him. After the new year I'll worry about what's next."
"We've been kind of preparing ourselves all month for this to be the end, especially once we heard about Moose Jaw. They wouldn't close them and keep us open. It's sad, but at the same time I feel like a lot of print media is going by the wayside as people become more familiar in utilizing the internet. Nobody's willing to wait till Friday to hear their news when they're getting it all immediately online, so I understand why it's not happening anymore, but obviously we're not thrilled," she expressed.
It's been a community minded paper, with community centered news, and Buchanan noted that it will be the community suffering the most from the closure, and folks will miss it.
"Who doesn't love to pick up a paper and see their kid right on the front page? That's a delight to any mom, or grandma, or whoever. We were trying to involve a lot of the community. We had just initiated a 'Student of The Week' a few months ago, that was a really popular section of the paper, and we had a lot of parents really proud and showcasing that off to family members."
She also shared a few memorable highlights from her tenure as editor of the small town publication.
"I really enjoyed Sheri Vincent her story with her battle with Lyme disease, I feel like that was something that really spurred movement in our community. It really brought a focus to her struggle and what she was doing about it. I also absolutely adored covering the dances at the community friendship center, with everybody pulling me in to dance with them while I was there reporting, that was a fun day. Anything happening at Cariville's school was always a party, a huge success and quite fun for me. That community was always welcoming to me, and did their best to make sure that I could come to anything that they had going on."
"Really, all my stories were fun to cover because it was all fun, good stuff. There were no downsides, because everything was a happy, good story. I really enjoyed my time," concluded Buchanan.