Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sun Media buys out '24 Hours' partner

Sun Media Corp. has bought out its local partner in Vancouver's "24 Hours" free daily, The Jim Pattison Group, for an undisclosed amount. "It's not a strategic investment or core holding for the Pattison group," former 24 Hours president and senior Pattison executive Glen Clark told the Vancouver Sun. "On the other hand, Sun Media is developing the brand all across the country. It's a core business for them, there are synergies for them. It made more sense for them to own 100 percent."

The first edition of 24 Hours was published in Vancouver on March 30, 2005. At the time, Sun Media was already publishing versions of 24 Hours in Montreal and Toronto. Sun Media has since launched in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa in French and English. The current weekday circulation of 24 Hours Vancouver is 210,400 readers, the Vancouver Sun story said.

When 24 Hours started publication, it faced fierce competition from two rival publications. One was Metro, majority-owned by Swedish publisher Metro International SA and minority-owned by CanWest Global Communications Corp. (now CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.). The other was Dose, owned by CanWest. CanWest has since sold its interest in Metro, and Dose is now publishing an online edition only.