Wednesday, 1 April 2009

AB/SK lowdown

Talk about multi-tasking, Sun Media is becoming a haven for group newspaper responsibilities.

The days of one newspaper, one publisher appear to be over. That applies to dailies and weeklies in Ontario and other provinces.

This is a timely e-mail from a reliable and "faithful" TSF reader:

"I find it rather ironic - and troubling - that on the same day our office finally gets some clarification on what the heck is going on, others in the organization also take a hit.

"And we also got the word on the big 'master plan' by Sun Media (which you already stated in the Brantford story) - regionalization.

"This straight from Kent Keebaugh, senior group publisher for AB/SK (a step below Craig Martin, vp western operations).

"Following on the heels of the dispatching of the publisher of Devon (Dispatch) and Beaumont (News), the 'new' regionalization concept will see the present publisher in Leduc (Representative) also become the publisher in Devon and Beaumont;

The six-month stint of the publisher in Lacombe (Globe) will come to an end in a few weeks as he is being ditched;

The present publisher in Wetaskiwin (Times-Advertiser) will add publisher of Camrose (Canadian) and Lacombe to his responsibilities;

The present publisher in Camrose will receive the new title of general sales manager for Camrose, Lacombe and Westaskiwin;

The publisher in Sherwood Park (News) will regain the additional post of publisher of Fort Saskatchewan (Record), plus take on that position for Spruce Grove (Examiner)/Stony Plain (Reporter) since the present publisher in Spruce/Stony accepted a severance package;

That means the publisher who moved six months ago from Lacombe to Fort Saskatchewan will be moving to Spruce Grove to become the general sales manager for that operation;

The new general sales manager for Fort Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park is the current sales manager in the Park;

All composing (if it hasn't been done already) for all of the above papers will be done in Edmonton;

The Lloydminster press plant is slated to be shut down in the next few weeks, meaning all Sun Media work from there is being moved to Leduc;

The paper in Fort Saskatchewan is moving to a one-issue per week newspaper (likely Thursday publication) from the twice-per-week it has been since it bought up Fort Saskatchewan This Week many years ago;

Staying in the Fort, no decision has been made yet on what the office set will become since Sun Media is now looking at turning all smaller weekly papers into a simple outpost with all (other than editorial) office functions being regionalized;

While being told everyone's job is safe for the foreseeable future (whatever that means) the concept being floated around is that sales and editorial in smaller operations will be done via laptops and only a small office available for meetings with clients (or interviews) and to get photocopying and faxing done.

The indication was that sales and editorial staff would be responsible for doing their jobs out of their homes - with likely no compensation for cellphones or Internet by Sun Media.

If this is the direction PKP is heading, as was stated today - if we leave the communities, they will leave us . . . and it's already starting.

To quote Dilbert from the other day -

Employee: "Are you saying your company policy requires you to lie to employees and give them false hope?

(Boss): "Exactly."

Employee: "That's cruel."

(Boss): "In six months you'll wish you had some false hope too."


  1. This isn't meant to go with the above posting:

    Why is Fool's spelled Foool's (three 'o's) on the front of today's Sun. Surely, it's not on purpose. Another page 1 mistake on the heels of Eglington, perhaps?

  2. Radical ideas.
    But one great Dilbert.