Canadian newspapers might be in decline, but they are still the largest source of journalism in this country.
Black Press axing half of Alberta daily’s unionized staff - More than half of the unionized staff at the Red Deer Advocate are losing their jobs as a result of the closure of the Alberta daily’s pressroom and mailroom. Mary-Ann Barr, secretary-treasurer of the Media and Communications Workers of Alberta (CWA Canada Local 30400), said the union is “extremely disappointed and saddened by the employer’s announcements Monday and today that 25 people will be laid off.” Four employees in the pressroom and 19 in the mailroom will be out of work, effective July 1. As well, two people employed in classified/reception will lose their jobs as of Friday, said Barr. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon called the layoffs by Black Press Group Ltd. “callous” and “unnecessary.” “This shows how much Black Press cares about Red Deer,” he said. “How can this company justify throwing 25 Red Deer residents out of work when it is poised to receive substantial subsidies from the federal government as part of the news industry bailout package? Sadly, it’s another case of profits over people.” The company has indicated it is moving the pressroom and mailroom work to other Black Press operations, said Barr. “Over the past few years, there have been gradual reductions in Advocate [...] Media union welcomes federal aid for news industry, cautions about possible loophole - OTTAWA — CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, welcomes the measures in today’s federal budget to help the news industry, but worries a possible loophole could let a company like Postmedia funnel millions to its vulture fund debt-holders and to executives. The budget includes $595 million in tax credits and other incentives over five years, and allows non-profit media organizations to effectively be eligible for charitable status. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon applauded the funding, saying it should go a long way to helping local news outlets survive and even thrive. But he added that the union can’t fully endorse the package until further details are provided. “We need to know there will be rules to ensure that a company like Postmedia can’t simply take millions of dollars in labour tax credits and pass that on to the debt-holders who control it or to pay huge executive salaries or bonuses,” O’Hanlon said. “The money must go toward improving journalism.” In a shocking and shameless move, Postmedia boosted CEO Paul Godfrey’s compensation package to a whopping $5 million last year, while laying off workers and pleading for a government bailout. The company has also been paying tens of millions of [...] Remaining staff struggle to cope after layoffs at Ottawa Citizen, Canadian Press - CWA Canada members at two news operations that are laying off yet more staff are struggling to cope with the grim realities of their decimated workplaces. Postmedia has informed the Ottawa Newspaper Guild (CWA Canada Local 30205) that another three of its members, including President Debbie Cole, will receive official notice in early March. Earlier this month, members of the Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213) who work for The Canadian Press (CP), were dismayed to learn of more devastating cuts that will include the loss of six journalists in Toronto and Halifax. This is the fourth round of layoffs at the news agency since last spring; the loss of 30 jobs equates to 15 per cent of CP’s unionized staff. Hardest hit is Halifax, which is seeing its bureau staffing halved to three positions. Terry Pedwell, president of the CMG’s Canadian Press branch, said it was “devastating and angering to witness the shrinking of our 102-year-old press service.” Calling CP the “backbone of Canadian journalism,” Pedwell added: “We understand the job cuts are due to declining revenues … This is not new, but these deepening cuts come at a time when the strength of democracy and media’s role [...] Media union hails Godfrey’s step down as Postmedia CEO - Media union CWA Canada, which represents staff at several Postmedia newspapers, welcomes the announcement that Paul Godfrey is stepping down as CEO. “It’s just a shame it didn’t happen years ago,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “It is not hyperbole to say that Godfrey has been a disaster for the newspaper industry in this country.” “Godfrey has presided over the destruction of a once-proud chain, laying off thousands of staff and leaving decimated newsrooms. It has been a nightmare for workers, bad for society, and damaging to our democracy. “Especially galling is the fact that Godfrey took a huge raise last year, to $5 million, and funnelled millions more to Postmedia’s vulture fund owners, while demanding that staff take concessions on pension and benefits. Unfortunately, there is no indication that new CEO Andrew MacLeod will be any different.” It was under MacLeod, chief operating officer, that Postmedia moved last June to close six small-town newspapers, cut print publication of four more, and cut another 10 per cent of its workforce by the end of August. Although MacLeod is taking over the company’s helm, the 80-year-old Godfrey will remain as executive chair, according to Thursday’s announcement. It came as the company reported a $1.4-million net loss for the quarter [...]
Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada
19.03.12 Marc Edge | J-Source – How to fix Canada’s biggest media problem in one easy step
19.03.08 J-Source – Changes come to one of Atlantic Canada’s largest media companies
19.03.07 J-Source – A fourth-generation newspaper rides the waves of change
19.02.08 CanadaLand – Postmedia’s deep ties with the company Jeff Bezos has accused of extortion
19.01.26 Slate – The Crisis Facing American Journalism Did Not Start With the Internet
18.12.31 The Atlantic – The media’s post-advertising future is also its past
18.12.19 Policy Options – Funding for Canadian media: The who, why and how
18.12.13 National Observer – Press council comes down on Toronto Sun for ‘serious breach’ after false report about goats
18.12.11 National Public Radio – Local newspaper closures come with hefty price tag for residents
18.12.10 Toronto Star – Journalism too important to go the way of the video store
18.12.06 Media in Canada – Postmedia reduces print schedule for Northern papers
18.12.05 J-Source – Can digital journalism serve readers who can’t get online?
18.12.04 The Tyee – More fuel for investigation into Torstar, Postmedia newspaper swap
18.12.02 The Conversation – Nonprofit news: Lessons from south of the border
18.11.28 Halifax Examiner – Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey was paid $5 million in 2018, but says his company is so broke it needs public subsidies
18.11.23 National Post – Andrew Coyne: Liberals’ $600M aid package for news media will irrevocably politicize the press
18.11.23 The Globe and Mail – My small-town newspaper died a year ago. The community has been grieving ever since
18.03.11 Toronto Star – Serious journalism is vital to healthy democracy and requires support
18.03.04 John Longhurst – Turning Newspapers Into Charities: A New Model for the Future?