Edmonton alt-weeklies SEE Magazine and VUE Weekly, once bitter rivals, have announced plans to merge.
Both publications have been bought by Bob Doull, who owns 13 community newspapers in British Columbia:
Doull said the new paper will be larger than either of the two current versions. He doesn’t want to lose staff. If people are willing, they could theoretically move to one of his other properties. But none of those decisions have been made. On Wednesday, he was shuttling between the papers’ offices, speaking to staff, to insurers and, in the early afternoon, to my delight, answering the phone.
Doull purchased VUE from founding publisher/editor Ron Garth in January of this year and finalized the deal for SEE Magazine on May 16. The two papers have had a contentious history stretching back to 1995:
Here’s what happened: At one time, there was the Edmonton Bullet, a flaky, literary arts rag run by a bunch of new-age hippies . . . Along comes Ron Garth to start up a new magazine called Something Entertaining in ’87 – the Bullet’s only competition – which he later turned into SEE magazine. Already floundering, the Bullet folded, its remains absorbed by SEE.
This new magazine was struggling, too. After a time, there were new owners and Garth was forced out. He didn’t take it lying down. Later that same night, legend tells, the determined publisher and several loyal henchmen staged a bold midnight mutiny. They went to the SEE offices, absconded with all the gear necessary to put out another issue and moved it all into Garth’s basement where they worked feverishly to publish a brand new magazine that looked exactly like the old one. Except it was called VUE. It appeared on the newsstands later that week as if nothing had happened. Readers were mystified. No explanation was offered. The week after, SEE – minus Garth – was back on the street, too.
The combined publication will take VUE‘s name.