Postmedia lays off staff, merges newsrooms: company memo

TORONTO -- Postmedia has cut approximately 90 jobs and merged newsrooms in four cities as it steps up plans to slash costs amid mounting revenue losses.

See Full Article

The company owns two newspapers in each of the cities of Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

On Tuesday, Postmedia said those cities will each have one newsroom, but they will continue publishing two newspapers.

"We will continue to operate separate brands in each of these markets," Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey said in a memo sent to staff.

"What is changing is how we produce these products."

The two Calgary newspapers -- the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald -- will share one editor, as will the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun, Godfrey said.

He said the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun will also have one editor and the company is looking for someone to fill that role.

"We know this will not be without its challenges and we know there will be bumps along the road," Godfrey said.

"But not changing is simply not an option and over the next few weeks and months I am confident that our new newsroom design will not only result in some important cost reductions but that we will be focused on creating the best products for our audiences and clients across the country."

In all, about 90 staff were laid off. Phyllise Gelfand, the company's vice-president of communications, said those losses included about 35 people in Edmonton, 25 in Calgary and 12 in Ottawa.

Gelfand said there were no job losses in Vancouver but the company will offer buyout packages in the coming days.

Ottawa Sun columnist Sue Sherring said while she kept her job, the cuts nonetheless sting.

"It's happening everywhere (in the business)," Sherring said. "It's not fun."

Paul Morse, president of Unifor Local 87-M, which represents some of the Ottawa employees who were let go, accused Postmedia of breaking its promise to continue operating two independent newspapers in each of those four markets.

The reality is that all the information will be coming out of one newsroom, he said.

The layoffs included Stephanie Coombs and Margo Goodhand, who were the managing editor and editor-in-chief at the Edmonton Journal, respectively.

National Post sports reporters David Alter and Eric Koreen, as well as the sports department's web producer Kaitlyn McGrath, tweeted that they were also affected by the cutbacks.

Gelfand said the company is creating a national sports writing team, which will consist of existing employees.

The cuts come less than a week after Postmedia announced it was stepping up its efforts to cut costs to overcome continued losses in advertising, print circulation and digital media revenue.

The company, which owns the National Post, the Toronto Sun and other major Canadian newspapers, is now aiming for cost reductions of $80 million by mid-2017 -- up from its previous goal of $50 million in cuts by the end of 2017.

Postmedia said it was on track to meet the $50-million target by this May 31, the end of its fiscal third quarter.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Wynne: Ontario auto sector concerned about U.S. trade

    Economic CBC News
    Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says leaders of the province's auto sector have told her trade with the U.S. is their top concern. Wynne, who met with several industry leaders in Toronto on Friday, says her government has been lobbying U.S. Source
  • It may be approved, but analysts skeptical Keystone XL will be built

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - U.S. President Donald Trump has given TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) their long awaited presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, but analysts still aren't counting on it getting built. The company still faces a long list of permits and approvals before it can start construction, especially in Nebraska where a state commission isn't expected to rule on the project until the end of the year. Source
  • Ski-Doo maker BRP posts stronger Q4 results

    Economic CBC News
    The company that makes Ski-Doos, Sea-Doos and Spyders is reporting a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter. BRP Inc. of Valcourt, Que., had $136.6 million or $1.22 per share of net income in its fourth-quarter ended Jan. 31. That compares with a year-earlier loss of $28.7 million or 25 cents per share in the comparable period last year. Source
  • Kraft Heinz lays off 200 workers in Canada, U.S.

    Economic Toronto Sun
    PITTSBURGH — Kraft Heinz Co. has laid off 200 white-collar workers in Canada and the United States. Michael Mullen, the company’s senior vice-president of corporate and government affairs,, says the company is realigning its administrative functions to be more efficient. Source
  • Kraft Heinz lays off 200 white-collar workers in Canada, U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    PITTSBURGH -- Kraft Heinz Co. has laid off 200 white-collar workers in Canada and the United States. Michael Mullen, the company's senior vice-president of corporate and government affairs,, says the company is realigning its administrative functions to be more efficient. Source
  • Twitter exploring subscription-based version for first time

    Economic CBC News
    Twitter Inc. is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time. Source
  • Keystone XL: A chronological look at the controversial pipeline project

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - Since TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) first proposed the 1,897-kilometre Keystone XL pipeline, the project has been studied, stalled, slammed and hyped -- all amid political pressure from interests on all sides of the debate. Source
  • Samsung shareholders welcome stock price gains, rue scandals

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Shareholders of Samsung Electronics praised the company Friday for big gains in its share price while lamenting its involvement in a massive corruption scandal that brought the arrest of the company's de facto leader. Source
  • Inflation rate cools to 2% in February

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's inflation rate was two per cent in February, a slight cooldown from January's level. Statistics Canada reported Friday that if the impact of gas prices is stripped out, the cost of living increased by 1.3 per cent in the year to February. Source
  • Canada's inflation rate dips 2.0 per cent in February: StatsCan

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The pace of inflation in Canada ticked lower in February as higher prices for gasoline were offset in part by lower costs for fresh fruit and vegetables. Statistics Canada says the consumer price index rose 2.0 per cent on a year-over-year basis in February. Source