30th Anniversary: Saanich News proud to be part of community it serves

Paper has grown from a circulation of 8,000 in 1986 to more than 31,000 today

Black Press owner David Black reads the Saanich News in his Beach Drive home office in Oak Bay. Black purchased the Saanich News in 1989.

The Saanich News has come along way.

Certainly the media and newspaper landscape has changed.

The News started with an 8,000 circulation in 1986, and now 400 carriers deliver more than 31,000 issues, twice a week with thousands more accessing their local news through saanichnews.com, blackpress.tv, Twitter and Facebook.

Since October 2014, the Saanich News has run out of Munro Centre at 3550 Saanich Rd. Previously, it was located in downtown Victoria.

When the Saanich News returned to Saanich. It employed five people in the office. Those numbers have since grown to nine, with a publisher, editor, two reporters, three sales associates, a circulation manager and production artist.

The substantial growth witnessed by the Saanich News underlines the promising future that lies ahead for community newspapers as we continue to evolve delivering local news on multiple platforms.

“The strength is in the community news. It will always be needed,” said Black Press owner David Black, who has owned the Saanich News since 1989.

Black bought the Saanich News soon after his family moved to Oak Bay from Williams Lake in 1985.

“As a business, it’s going well,” Black said. “Unlike most papers in Canada, the Saanich News is doing better than last year, typical of the Greater Victoria papers. Readership is continuing to be very good, as are the financials.”

Through the years, the Saanich News has run through different models.

Until recently, we were centralized in downtown Victoria with the Oak Bay News, Victoria and Esquimalt News. The model was well received, but ultimately, the centralized model was broken up in 2014 when the Saanich News and Oak Bay News returned to their communities.

“We tried different things, we tried to consolidate everyone downtown, and for quite a while it went over well,” said Black. “Eventually, we realized that it was better to put the paper back into the communities they’re looking after. Our role is local, local, local, so the more we can do that, the better.”

Through the years, the Saanich News has played a huge role in covering municipal politics and community news.

Saanich News publisher Oliver Sommer said he is proud of the role the newspaper plays in the community it serves.

“It is a privilege to be able to share in the important events – the triumphs and the sorrows – that help to shape the community we call home,” he said.

“We take pride in out ability to highlight the accomplishments of Saanich’s residents and their neighbours and bring them to your doorstep.”

 

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