BUSINESS

Guelph Mercury To Stop Printing Newspaper, Will Affect 26 Jobs

01/25/2016 02:46 EST | Updated 01/25/2016 05:59 EST

A newspaper with a history as old as Canada itself will print its last issue this week.

Metroland Media Group announced Monday the last edition of the Guelph Mercury, established in 1867, will be published Friday.

The closure will affect 23 full-time and three part-time employees, according to a press release on the newspaper's website.

The company said the newspaper was suffering financially, with circulation dropping to less than 9,000 home-delivery subscribers.

Publisher Donna Luelo said "the decision was not made lightly," and that shutting down the print edition was the only viable option.

"The decline of classified and national advertising in recent years has made it impossible for the printed copy of the daily newspaper to remain profitable," she said in the release.

Tony Saxon, a sports reporter for the Mercury, tweeted news Monday.

Local MPP Ted Arnott also weighed in.

Others tweeted about their personal experiences with the newspaper.

The Mercury began as a weekly paper called The Advertiser in 1854. A Toronto newspaperman named James Innes bought The Advertiser and another weekly called the Mercury in 1862.

Both papers were turned into a daily in 1867.

The newspaper was locally owned until it was bought in 1947 by the Thomson Newspapers Corporation.

In 1995, it was purchased by Hollinger Inc., and ownership changed again twice in 1998. The Mercury was briefly owned by Sun Media before it was sold to Torstar the same year.

The company said its local real estate guide and lifestyle magazine will continue printing.