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

  • Airbnb drops lawsuit against NYC over new state law

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Airbnb has agreed to drop a lawsuit against New York City over a new state law it said could have deterred hosts and impaired its revenues. The settlement was reached Friday. Source
  • France pledges $30 million for wartime heritage protection

    Economic CTV News
    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- France committed $30 million toward protecting cultural heritage sites during wartime on Saturday, a first step in the creation of an international fund aimed at preventing destruction like that carried out by Islamic State militants. Source
  • The best and worst ways to budget for the holidays

    Economic CBC News
    Presents. Parties. Travel. The holidays can drain our energy, and our bank accounts — even if we try our best to prevent it. We checked in with some of Canada's top personal finance experts for their best budget tips, but also their biggest blunders, because even the smartest money-handlers know holiday pressure can lead to poor decisions. Source
  • Angry Air Miles collectors demand back points they rushed to use on 'junk'

    Economic CBC News
    On Thursday, Air Miles cancelled its controversial expiry policy. But the move is only fuelling the fury for many collectors who used their points on stuff they didn't really want to beat the clock. Source
  • Death threats and abuse for woman leading Brexit court fight

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- Gina Miller is paying the price for going to court. The financial entrepreneur says she has received death threats and racial and sexual abuse since she won a High Court ruling forcing the British government to seek Parliamentary approval before leaving the European Union. Source
  • Air Miles rep: 'Options' may exist for panic redeemers

    Economic CTV News
    Air Miles Canada may have thought abandoning its unpopular expiration policy would calm the cardholder backlash from those who rushed to spend miles, but were frustrated by full flights, sold out merchandise, and long customer service delays. Source
  • Irving mill faces steep fines after being charged with polluting St. John River

    Economic CTV News
    SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Irving Pulp and Paper is facing 15 counts of polluting the St. John River at its mill near the Reversing Falls tourist attraction. An Environment Canada spokesman says Irving has been charged under federal Fisheries Act provisions on the deposit of harmful substances into fish-bearing water. Source
  • Costco investigated over allegations pharmacy directors accepted kickbacks for certain brands

    Economic CBC News
    Costco is being investigated by Ontario's Ministry of Health for its compliance with the province's legislation on selling pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs. The health ministry investigation comes after the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) announced it would hold disciplinary hearings for two Costco pharmacy directors because of allegations that they accepted Source
  • Costco to be investigated by government over compliance with drug-selling rules

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Costco is being investigated by Ontario's Ministry of Health for its compliance with the province's legislation on selling pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs. The health ministry investigation comes after the Ontario College of Pharmacists announced it would hold disciplinary hearings for two Costco pharmacy directors because of allegations that they accepted kickbacks for stocking certain brands. Source
  • United Airlines will pay US$2.4 million to settle with SEC

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The parent company of United Airlines will pay US$2.4 million to settle civil charges by securities regulators over flights that were started to help an official who oversaw one of the airline's hub airports. Source