Big changes at Cranbrook’s Kootenay News Advertiser

Photo Darcy Wiebe and Chuck Bennet

(L) Kootenay Advertiser publisher Darcy Wiebe and (R) regional group publisher for Black Press in the Kootenays, Chuck Bennett.

On the heels of sales rep, Steve Zsillei, leaving the Kootenay News Advertiser to sell automobiles at Cranbrook Kia — news comes that long time publisher Darcy Wiebe and the newspaper's owner Black Press have parted ways.

Regional group publisher for Black Press in the Kootenays, Chuck Bennett, (based out of Nelson) has taken over day-to-day operations of the twice-weekly Kootenay News Advertiser.

Both "competing" newspapers in the Cranbrook market, the Daily Townsman and the Kootenay Advertiser are owned by Black Press, leaving some to wonder if a combined publishing schedule might be in the works.

The Townsman office, located on Cranbrook Street, recently finished the installation of a new and upgraded web offset printing press. It is the printer for all or most of the Black Press papers in the region including the Cranbrook Townsman, Kimberley Bulletin, Kootenay News Advertiser, Invermere Echo and Columbia Valley Pioneer (jointly operated), Creston Advance, Fernie Free Press, Golden Star, Revelstoke Review, Nelson Star, Castlegar News, Trail Times and Grand Fork Gazette.

Black Press started in central B.C. and is now based in Victoria — it is the dominant regional newspaper publisher in most of the province after swapping assets with main rival Glacier Media several years ago. Owner David Black has been in the news lately with his proposal to build a oil and gas refinery in the Prince Rupert area.

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