What Does the Future Hold for Montreal’s Hour Magazine?

Rumors are swirling in Montreal about the fate of former AAN member Hour magazine, the Montreal Gazette reports.

In the wake of an apparent staffing purge, nobody at publisher Communications Voir Inc., Hour‘s publisher, was available late Thursday to comment on a range of unconfirmed reports and rumours swirling around the tabloid’s fate and future.

Current rumors include that the paper will go online-only, that it will become an insert in the French-language Voir, that it will no longer offer an arts section, and that it will be re-branded Hour Community.

That last rumor seems to have some currency, as Hour‘s Twitter page has a new avatar and a message posted Friday asking readers to “stay tuned for the launch of HOUR Community this coming April 14.”

Several staff members wrote in columns last week that the paper is indeed about to change.

“The global decline of newspapers has claimed yet another victim, Montreal’s venerable Hour magazine, at least as you’ve known it, which for almost 20 years has always gone the extra mile covering this city’s fabled underground cultural scenes,” columnist Richard Burnett wrote. “Don’t get me wrong, a new Hour will publish next week, but it will be a different paper than the one you are reading now, with an all-new editorial team.”

Columnist Jamie O’Meara penned a similar farewell:

All good things must come to an end. My time here at Hour — for reasons ostensibly economic — is one of those things. C’est la vie, indeed. I will look for new challenges, and in the meantime I’m told that Hour will take a different shape in coming weeks. I look forward to reading it.