Postmedia to lay off 11% of its journalists
Metroland Media Group Ltd.
About 11 per cent of Postmedia’s roughly 650 journalists will be cut as one of the largest media companies in Canada prepares for an “extremely turbulent stretch,” the Star has learned. Postmedia’s editorial senior vicepresident Gerry Nott announced the layoffs in a Tuesday call with employees. Aside from Brunswick News and Postmedia Editorial Services, “There isn’t a property in our network that won’t be affected by a restructuring, reorganization or a layoff,” Nott said. “This is about aligning our cost structure with our revenue stream against ongoing decline in our industry and strong economic headwinds,” he said. “This will not be easy. Change is difficult.” Postmedia Network Canada Corp. posted a net loss of $15.9 million in the quarter ending Nov. 30, 2022, compared to $4.4 million in the same period the prior year. Last week, it announced that 12 of its community papers in Alberta would move to digital-only and that print operations elsewhere would be outsourced. The company is trying to shift to digital from print across the country. Postmedia also recently stopped printing Monday editions of the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, Montreal Gazette and the Sun and the Province in Vancouver. Employees were told that there are options for a “voluntary layoff” package. Postmedia can’t afford voluntary buyouts, said Nott. A voluntary layoff would entail getting 2.6 weeks worth of pay per year of service, or whatever is stipulated in an employee’s contract. During a question and answer portion of the meeting, Nott was asked if any papers would be shuttered. He said none that he was aware of. Nott informed employees that more details about where layoffs would happened would be rolled out in about 24 hours. Union protocols will be followed, Nott said, and conversations with editors about where cuts will happen were to begin immediately. There will be management layoffs in editorial as well, he said.