Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quebecor axing 500 jobs at Sun Media

MONTREAL—Quebecor Inc. is cutting some 500 jobs at its Sun Media newspaper division—a move that includes the closure of two production facilities in Ottawa and Kingston.
The downsizing is part of the Montreal-based media group’s efforts to reduce annual costs by $45 million.

There had been earlier reports Quebecor would eliminate the position of publisher at some newspapers.
Quebecor’s president and CEO, Pierre Karl Peladeau, said the restructuring is warranted by changes in the newspaper industry.
“With the recent announcement of a major strategic redesign of Sun Media’s organizational structure, the restructuring further streamlines and optimizes the organization’s operations,” he said in a release today.
“By doing so, Sun Media Corporation is proactively leading the way to ensure long-term success.”
It remains committed to its publications, which include the Toronto Sun and other dailies across Canada under the Sun and other banners, Peladeau added.
A representative for Sun Media did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Sun Media has 36 paid-circulation daily newspapers and six free daily newspapers, as well as almost 200 community newspapers, shopping guides, and other specialty publications.
It also provides commercial printing and related services, as well as distribution for newspapers, flyers, and magazines.
“Clearly, this is a blow to journalism in Canada,” said Paul Morse, head of the Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild, which represents some of Sun Media’s employees.
“The erosion of these kinds of jobs is significant problem for newspapers that are going to be dealing with trying to put out quality journalism with workforces that are clearly stretched beyond the limit.
“This is a terrible day for journalism in Canada,” he stressed.
Quebecor said the “innovative plan will streamline decision-making and operational structures in order to achieve greater efficiency in all activities, from the editorial to the industrial operations.”
“Sun Media Corporation is also planning to redesign its sales activities to strengthen its business strategy≤” the company said.
“At a time of negative growth in the industry, maintaining reasonable cost-effectiveness is essential,” it added.

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