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Independently owned publication challenges Thomson's daily paper.

"From Connaught to Kamiskotia" is the theme line appearing under the flag on the front page of The Timmins Times.

Free distribution to every household in the city "has been and will continue to be our selling point to people who are looking to do image or sale advertising," says The Timmins Times general manager and managing editor Kevin Vincent.

The weekly, employee-owned newspaper was started in March and is distributed free-of-charge to 20,000 households and businesses in the city.

Since first appearing in a market with a well-established daily newspaper, The Timmins Times has attracted much attention. Of course, some of that attention has been from the Thomson Newspapers-owned The Daily Press.

The competition between the two papers for local advertising dollars has heated because all of The Timmins Times' employee-owners, except Vincent, are former employees of The Daily Press.

Vincent, the major shareholder, has 14 years of experience in local television broadcasting and management.

With the support of local advertisers, The Timmins Times has grown to 32 to 36 pages weekly. Bert Major, Lois Perry and Bob Baker make up the advertising department.

While Vincent acknowledges that there are advertisers in the community who are waiting to see if his paper will be put out of business by The Daily Press, he vows that "it's not going to kill this one."

Vincent predicts that his paper will be producing a profit by Christmas. He credits the success to hard-working staff members "who care a lot about the end-product."

The paper's start-up costs were kept to less than $75,000, and its accounts receivable have been paid promptly, a fact Vincent attributes to the advertisers' awareness that it is a young operation that needs its cash flow.

Vincent and news editor Jeff Nash pride themselves in not being afraid to "chase up an issue."

"We're not afraid to hit city hall," says Nash.

"We are praised because we don't back off and take the words of a politician or other public official as verbatum," adds Vincent.

Nash and Vincent also try to offer their readers some insight into current issues.

In this area, a weekly newspaper has advantages over its daily competition because it is solely devoted to the local community and there is more time for research.

"This allows us to go deeper. We don't have to ram something into the paper that is half-finished or that is one-sided," Vincent explains.

The paper, initiated by Vincent, came along at the right time for Nash, who was considering starting his own mining paper.

It also came along at the right time because there were several experienced newspaper people available to start up the enterprise, adds Vincent.

With a recession in full swing, it was also a good time to come in and offer advertising with a "better reach" for the dollar, he adds.

The Timmins Times is produced with the use of four Macintosh computers and a laser printer. It is printed on Thursday and distributed by a network of carriers on Saturday and Sunday.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Report on Timmins; The Timmins Times weekly
Author:Smith, Marjie
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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