Rushhour silently ended

In November 2006 Canadian media group CanWest proudly presented RushHour, a free commuter tabloid for Ottawa, to be distributed in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday – with a weekend edition available online. Initial circulation would be 20,000 – later cut down to 8,000.

In February 2007 editions for Calgary and Edmonton (both five days a week) followed, joint circulation of both new editions was around 15,000.

The launch was a somewhat half-hearted (afternoon, small circulation) attempt to re-enter the free daily market in Canada after the Dose-disaster and the launch of strong competitors by Metro International (and local partners) and Sun Media (24 Hours/Heures) in several markets (including Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton).

Without any publicity the Ottawa edition was closed down in April 2008, soon followed by both other editions. CanWest – faced with a huge debt problems – failed to mention anything about the closure RushHour in their press releases or in their annual report (they did mention the launches in earlier reports). Marv Carlson of ABYZ Newslinks, who lives in Calgary, even checked train and bus stations and called up the paid mother paper Calgary Herald (without being called back), but never found any trace of a RushHour – the paper that it.

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