Black Press reaches deal to acquire NNSL, newspaper says

NNSL's Yellowknife office in February 2021
NNSL's Yellowknife office in February 2021. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

Northern News Services says it will be formally acquired by Black Press Media on April 1, ending the Yellowknife-based group’s near half-century of independent news publishing.

Negotiations for Black Press to buy Northern News Services – known as NNSL – were first reported by Cabin Radio in February. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Black Press publishes more than 170 newspapers in western Canada and the United States. Papers under its control include Yukon News alongside 14 titles in Alberta and dozens in British Columbia.

The sale of NNSL includes all of its newspaper titles – two Yellowknifer editions per week, Nunavut News, Kivalliq News, Hay River Hub, Inuvik Drum, and News/North – alongside the group’s websites and its Canarctic Graphics subsidiary.



Reporting for the first time on its own sale on Friday, NNSL quoted its publisher Bruce Valpy as saying: “I don’t expect that there will be any change whatsoever beyond what we’ve always done, which is report the news and express our opinions about what’s going on locally.”

Karen Sigvaldason, NNSL’s president and daughter of late founder Jack “Sig” Sigvaldason, was said by the newspaper to have expressed confidence that Black Press Media would uphold NNSL’s role serving northerners.

Employees of NNSL were understood to be waiting to hear more about their futures on Friday.

Black Press has already been supporting NNSL behind the scenes for weeks, helping the group to rebuild its website after NNSL’s web presence was knocked offline for days in late January.