- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

In a spate of pre-spring house cleaning, we found boxes of records from my dear-departed Around the Sound Local Food Market. The store wasn't even three years old when the Owen Sound Fire Department called me at 4 o'clock one morning in May of 2011 to say an apartment above us was on fire and Around the Sound was full of smoke and water.

It was a sudden and traumatic end, and I'd never want to repeat it.

It looks like the denouement of the Owen Sound Hub will be much more intentional and under control.

Unless a new ownership group and editor want to sustain this kind of alternative media in our community, we plan to celebrate its life and my 70th birthday on October 28 of this year.

This is my own responsibility. As both editor and publisher I had to choose between running a newspaper and running a business, and I chose the former, and that is not sustainable.

We wanted everyone to have access to all the content. No subscription fees. Newspapers never did pay the bills with the subscribers' money anyway. Newspapers have been maintained out of owners' pockets, by philanthropists or by advertising.



In fact many newspapers, including the Owen Sound Tribune in the late '90s, were free, delivered to every house in the city and area by boys and girls who did it for pocket money.

The carriers, the newsprint, the printing, the offices and all the editorial staff were paid for by pages and pages of notices of weddings, births, deaths, anniversaries and graduations.

Want ads, classifieds, government notices, display ads. Car dealerships, stores, real estate agents – even churches paid for ads.

All the things that are now on Facebook, Instagram, websites and Google ads. All these kept papers running.

tribuneadsmindyweddingThe advertising model worked for decades, and still pays most of the bills for local online and print newspapers.

We are very grateful to those who do choose to advertise in the Owen Sound Hub. You have  paid for web and technical support, editorial assistance and reporters and photographers.

Peter Reid generously exchanged advertising on the Hub for our office in the historic Chicago Building on 10th Street East downtown.

Together we created the Community Incubator to share the space – such an ironic name for a communal resource opened less than a month before a communicable disease pandemic was declared! In spite of the timing, some amazing things continue to happen there.

Some kind neighbours have taken out ads on behalf of organizations like the United Way of Bruce and Grey, giving them promotion and us a little cash flow.

Others bartered – event tickets and restaurant meals in exchange for advertising. We were very grateful and shared those around among Hub folk.

When it comes to work we need to keep the Hub up to date, we've reached the end of our resources to pay people for that work.

You will see some changes – less outside content like media releases and city, county and regional announcements. David Galway will still be contributing his amazing photo essays – thank you David! – and we will do our best to get all letters, columns and opinion pieces published in a timely way.

It looks like the Owen Sound Hub is going to be more like a campfire going out at the end of a good evening – that time when you decide not to add any more wood because it's time to call it a night.

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