If you went to the Guelph Mercury website with longing this morning, you may have been surprised to see that there were new articles posted there. The pleasantness of that surprise was somewhat diminished though when it was revealed to you that those articles came courtesy of the Hamilton Spectator. So is this the fate of the Mercury now, to be an up-to-date pipe for other newspapers in the Metroland family still printing?
I wasn't the only one that notice. This tweet was posted earlier this evening.
The @guelphmercury home page today: nine stories, one from #Guelph. #cdnmedia pic.twitter.com/1SJ4v8AmfW— Stephanie MacLellan (@smaclellan) February 2, 2016
For the record, that singular Guelph article is actually sourced from last week's Guelph Tribune. Still, like Stephanie MacLellan and others that follow the Mercury on Twitter, I noticed earlier today the trend, so I decided to write to Spectator editor Phil Berton to ask him the question: Is there a plan going forward to make the Mercury website a platform for Spectator articles, or is this a temporary situation until Metroland decides what they're going to do with the Mercury website?
"Spectator articles have always appeared on the Merc's site, as they do on the Star and Record sites, but there is no plan to make the Merc a platform for Spec articles," Berton said. "I think the company is still looking at options."
I asked the same question to Donna Luelo, publisher of the Mercury and the Waterloo Record, but she hasn't gotten back to me yet. So the good news is that the Mercury website and its archives isn't going to disappear any time soon; the bad news is that the distinctive Guelph flavour is going to be lost day after day.