Canadian Magazine Industry News
9 July 2013,     WHISTLER, BC
Glacier Media picks up competitor Pique
 
Glacier Media has acquired Pique Publishing, publisher of Pique Newsmagazine, which competes in the Whistler marketplace with Glacier's Whistler Question.

"We have been publishing in Whistler for a long time against a strong competitor in the Pique," said Peter Kvarnstrom, Glacier Media president of community media. "With significant product differentiation, we felt that the opportunity to operate both the newspapers in the sea-to-sky marketplace was clearly possible. We approached Bob Barnett a couple of years ago to indicate our interest in purchasing his business," he told Masthead.

Barnett and his late wife Kathy, who passed away in 2008, established Pique Newsmagazine in 1994. The ownership change was announced July 2 by the Glacier Media Group, publisher of more than 100 local daily and weekly newspapers, websites and related publications in Western Canada.

Pique employs 20 and no staff changes are expected. According to Kvarnstrom, while the Pique and the Question are historically competitors, they will be able to carry on as separate entities.

"The Pique offers strong news reporting combined with strong in-depth features and opinions through several long-standing columnists [and] appeals to a slightly younger and transient public. The Question relies heavily on its strong coverage of civic issues, hard news and less opinion," said Kvarnstrom of the publications' differences. He also noted that the Question's distribution is restricted to the Whistler/Pemberton area, while Pique has expanded distribution in Vancouver.

A story on piquenewsmagazine.com cites a changing industry and a difficult economy as Barnett's reasons for the sale. Barnett also posted an editorial in which he thanks staff, contributors and advertisers. "There are very few towns where a handful of people could start a paper from scratch and the paper still be around more than 18 years later. We could have had Hemingway, Tolstoy and Faulkner writing for us but we wouldn't have survived without the support of the community," he wrote.
— Jef Catapang
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