It was in the summer of 1980 when Michael Atkins and Norm Tollinsky, his then managing editor of Northern Life (a weekly newspaper in Sudbury), began the improbable adventure of creating a business paper for Northern Ontario.
It was a different time. Northerners loved their communities but didn't have much interest in or access to business news from their contemporaries across the North. It's a big place and there was no internet. If the business event was not important enough to sneak into the Globe and Mail it could take months to find out that your friend in Thunder Bay got a new job as the vice-president of a mining company or that somebody you knew was going broke.
The idea was to share the spirit and business of the North once a month. The subtler goal was to help Northern businesspeople feel more confident and proud of who they were and what they did. Six years later, Laurentian Publishing Ltd. launched the Northern Ontario Business Awards, which more directly celebrated the best among us.
Village Media is one of the most successful local digital news networks in Canada. It was started by Jeff Elgie six years ago and now, through wholly owned and licensed sites, does business from Halifax to Vancouver. More importantly, Village Media has a strong presence in Northern Ontario and owns leading digital news websites in North Bay, Timmins, Elliot Lake, Thunder Bay (licensee), and Sault Ste. Marie (where it all started). They recently purchased Sudbury.com.
Jeff Elgie, president of Village Media, is a former winner of not one, but two, Northern Ontario Business Awards. The key to Village Media's success is an unrelenting focus on local content, the best platform in the business, and the entrepreneurial flair to take risks.
The synergy of Village Media’s extraordinary Northern Ontario footprint is perfect for Northern Ontario Business.
April will be our last print edition.
We are delighted to report NOB’s longtime managing editor, Ian Ross, will continue to lead our publication along with senior reporter Lindsay Kelly. As has been the case for years, northernontariobusiness.com carries more news than the print edition. The bonus now is that Ian will have direct access to more than 25 reporters across the North, and all Northern Ontario Business news will now be distributed throughout the Northern Ontario network of Village Media community sites.
Abbas Homayed, vice-president of Northern Ontario Business, will be joining Village Media as vice-president of business development, with a special focus on business publishing across the North and the Sudbury market.
Michael Atkins, the president of the Laurentian Media Group, will remain a member of Village Media’s board.
It's not without sorrow we bid adieu to our print edition, but the reality is that it is 2020 and not 1980. Our passion is great reporting about business across the North and that will only get better.
So make sure you visit www.northernontariobusiness.com/newsletter/subscribe right now and sign up for your weekly newsletter to cover all the business news that's fit to print across the North.
We look forward to continuing to serve Northern Ontario with the independence you've come to appreciate and the passion we feel for the North.
We want to thank our readers, our advertisers, and our sponsors for their extraordinary support over the years.
We could not have made it without your belief in us. We know you will continue to enjoy our work. Most importantly, and with gratitude, we thank the extraordinary people who have made Northern Ontario Business what it is today. We have been bumblebees. We were not supposed to be able to fly.
With this transaction, we are selling to another bumblebee company: one that is headquartered in Sault Ste. Marie and does business around the world as if that is a normal thing to do.
These are unpredictable times. Northernontariobusiness.com communicates with businesspeople who make or influence important decisions every day. Never have these decisions been more important to our lives and our prosperity. We now have more resources to bring you the context, the people, and the data you need to know from across this amazing landscape. Our future is bright.