Former PC cabinet minister Kevin Klein buying Winnipeg Sun from Postmedia

A former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and MLA is buying a Winnipeg newspaper.

Kevin Klein has agreed to purchase the Winnipeg Sun, where he once was the publisher, Postmedia said on Monday morning.

The Klein Group, of which Klein is president and CEO, is also buying the Graphic Leader in Portage la Prairie and the Kenora Miner and News.

Postmedia’s commercial print division in Winnipeg, including all associated digital properties, contracts and other related parts of the businesses, is also part of the sale to the investment group.

Postmedia said all employees are expected to keep their jobs. 

“In an age where information is abundant and easily accessible, the role of local journalism is more crucial today than ever before,” Klein said in a news release.

“We are honoured to take ownership of these local newspapers and are dedicated to preserving their legacy of providing trusted, community-focused news.”

Klein has been writing a regular column for the Winnipeg Sun since he was defeated in last fall’s provincial election.

His LinkedIn account says he was publisher of the newspaper from 2007-13.

Klein served as a Winnipeg city councillor for one term, beginning in 2018.

He ran for mayor in 2022, but came in third place.

Klein entered provincial politics two months later, winning the Kirkfield Park byelection for the Progressive Conservatives. He became the environment minister in early 2023.

Klein told CBC News last month that he would likely run for leadership of the PC party. Members will choose their next leader in April 2025.

Postmedia stories will remain

Staff at the publications were informed of the sale on Monday morning.

In the memo to employees, Postmedia called the sale a “new and unique model,” as the company will continue to provide support to the new owners, as well as national news stories and opinion pieces to supplement local coverage.

“This is a model that is unique to a distinct market where we have no other geographic presence — the papers were no longer sustainable for us, and we were able to attract a local group with a commitment to keeping operations going.”

The memo described the sale is good for the communities and employees, as the Klein Group is expected to keep running the publications in their current form.

It also said while there are benefits to this unique transaction in which ownership is sold but support is still being provided, it isn’t indicative of a wider strategy for Postmedia.

Last Friday, Klein didn’t return CBC News’ requests for comments about the pending sale. Postmedia said it doesn’t speak about rumours.