Journal/Peladeau settle two year lockout

Locked out in Jan. 2009 by Quebecor, journalists at the Journal de Montreal finally settled a deal last night (Feb. 26) that will see 61 keep their job, out of 253 locked out. The rest get severance. So, once again a mogul decides to cut costs by cutting staff in a newspaper newsroom. Admittedly, the union had a good contract, which is what unions are supposed to do. Still, here’s another example of a wealthy corporation, buoyed by cable monopolies, cutting costs for the sake of costcutting instead of worrying about the journalistic quality of the product they’re producing. Well, guess it’s not for nothing that Peladeau bought the Sun chain, which is losing readers dramatically as its understaffed newsrooms recycle QMI stories instead of create their own.

Montreal Gazette, Feb. 27 20111

Ottawa Citizen chops ten editorial positions

The PostMedia buyouts are proceeding, with the Ottawa Citizen taking ten editorial positions out, among 42 in other departments. This is just one of several more cuts coming at PostMedia’s newspapers, making the incredible shrinking newsroom even smaller. How this helps responsible journalism I don’t know. People are always complaining about poor journalism; this isn’t going to help.

J-source, Nov. 1 2010

The other Black kills two BC dailies

After Black Press bought a BC chain of papers, it announced that two dailies would die this fall: Nelson Daily News and Prince Albert Daily News. Kind of glad Black Press didn’t take over the CanWest dailies.

J-Source, July 6 2010

ABC looking at 25 per cent cuts

While ABC isn’t talking numbers, speculation is that it may slash 25 per cent of its workforce, and rely more on contract/freelancers. I seem to recall CBC doing this 20 years ago, but not having enough money to hire those magical freelancers. The quality of the news hasn’t been that good since, nor have their TV ratings improved (CBC radio one has held up pretty well over the past decade.)

Associated Press, Feb. 23 2010

CITY TV whacks local news

CITY TV has five stations, all of which except Toronto are losing their noon, five p.m., six p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, essentially leaving the morning show to do local news. And Rogers has the gall to state “We strongly believe in local television and we’re strongly committed to local television.” Oh yeah? Then why are you cutting local content? Some practitioners are so focused on staying on message they forget that the message doesn’t make sense. 60 jobs will be lost in all.

Globe and Mail, January 20 2010

La Presse lives!

Well, another win for the good guys. After threatening to close its doors Dec. 1 without significant concessions from its eight unions, a deal was hammered out with the last one yesterday. It was ugly for the staff, starting with a four per cent raise over five years, return to a five day workweek instead of four days, and rollbacks in benefits, but a major Canadian newspaper will continue to exist. First CHEK Victoria, now La Presse; good things are happening in Canadian media.

The newspaper wins frequent praise from within its industry and from media observers for the depth of its coverage, from international issues to municipal politics where it played a key role this year in breaking details of Montreal’s construction scandal.

CP/Canoe, November 26 2009

Fate of Boston Globe up in the air

Media news from south of the border just gets grimmer and grimmer by the day. A day after rejecting a package of cuts to wages and benefits, Boston Globe employees wait for the axe to fall. Owner New York Times is promising a 23 per cent wage reduction across the board. Among the benefits the union rejected was a lifetime job guarantee (who in this economic environment has a lifetime job guarantee?) Anyway, the matter is likely to go to the courts. Either way, things aren’t going to be good for the staff; the Times estimates the Globe loses $85 million a year.

Bloomberg, June 10 2009

Sun centralizes its regional papers

Came across a bleak site called Toronto  Sun Family, which these days seems to be monitoring the last reflexive efforts of the Sun chain and its community newspapers to survive. The latest seems to be regionalizing pagination and editing for some of the Ontario community papers. Take a look at the last comment of three that describes the Sun organization chart of the future, including its Indian operations.

Toronto Sun Family, March 31 2009

CP to cut 25 jobs

With the loss of membership by CanWest Global and Quebecor, together with a bid to find a new business model, Canadian Press announced it was cutting 25 jobs, about eight per cent of its workforce. Buyouts if possible, layoffs if necessary. The Globe also reports (B8 national edition; I can’t find a link) that Parliament has agreed to let CP suspend its pension contributions 2009 through 2011, which has to be gloomy news for the staff.


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