Sunday, 13 December 2009

Freep cuts scoop?

Rockin' On: The Blog says the London Free Press is facing a major shakeup this Christmas season.

Butch and the boys down London way usually are ahead of the twitter at the Freep, so TSF will wait for insider announcements of any staff cuts.

But the contents of the other blog, which also hint of more changes at Sun Media's Woodstock and St. Thomas papers, do make an interesting read.


  1. I bumped into a person with LFP connections and learned of the December layoffs. I knew there was some truth to their story as this person is closely connected to the paper and its staff. I then lucked out and bumped into another person, this person actually on the paper's staff, and using what I already knew I pumped this person for confirmation. This person agreed four ad staff and a super are going. Editorial it was believed would take a hit of at least four, the person had names for those four, but possibly as many as six may go. And six paginators at about half the rate paid to those leaving will be hired by the LFP apparently. The rumours about St. Thomas and Woodstock are just that rumours. Surely the only paper affected in the entire Sun Media/Quebecor operation is not just the LFP. That would be odd.
    If anyone hears anything please contact Rockinon at .

  2. Huh. I'm a bit surprised. That wasn't supposed to happen until January.
    Management was supposed to wait until the new year to alleviate the bad press associated with canning people right before the holidays.
    I guess word came down from up on high, eh?

  3. I can confirm: 5 people in editorial. 4 advertising staffers.
    I can also confirm further losses at other newspapers in Region 7. That may not happen until the first or second week in January. Newsrooms will be hit hardest.

  4. St. Thomas and Woodstock are not mere rumours. And neither are Delhi, Simcoe, Brantford, Norwich, and Ingersoll.
    Pierre Karl is sharpening his favourite scythe as we speak. The weeks before Christmas are going to be memorable for a lot of people, and for all the wrong reasons.

  5. One weekly paper in that group has been going for months with no full time reporter and using just contributors or neighbouring papers to fill the pages and the same has been happening at some other small papers.... good example of what's coming. Don't get confortable thinking you only write for paper XYZ because it's where your chair is. If your region has many papers, clustering and consolidation are coming very soon

  6. That's very true, I'm sorry to say.

    Regional consolidation of editorial and advertising staff for Ontario newspapers will commence in the new year. Editors become reporters and photographers, reporters will be chopped or be forced into multi-faceted roles, including ad-building in some cases.
    It's not going to be pretty, but this explains why some local unions are wondering why contract negotiations have been mysteriously pushed back by HQ.

    Unfortunately, the remaining classified staff are to go the way of the dodo too, generally replaced with a low-paid receptionist and a few standalone terminals at the front counter. Incoming foot traffic are to be diverted to the web wherever possible, or the in-house self-serve terminals.

    Comp staff centralization will deepen to include the last stubborn 'hangers-on.'

    Advertising staff will be forced into the new 100-percent commission model, or suffer drastic territory reductions and a 're-evaluation' of key accounts to enforce compliance.

    All in the name of progress...

    What a terrible company we work for.

  7. Terrible company? You are criticizing Quebecor and Pierre Karl for wishing to remain profitable in a financial environment like this?
    Putting it simply, we are paying far too much for too small a gain.
    When your home computer becomes inefficient, do you not go out and upgrade your machine? This is what our company must do to ensure profitability!
    If this requires outsourcing Canadian jobs to India, or to third party specialist vendors within the continental U.S. or Australia, then that is what must be done.
    You wouldn't stop using your home computer because you don't like where the parts come from...
    In as little as two years from now, newspapers will look very different, and work very differently from what we see and work in daily. They will be more profitable, more flexible and these changes, however drastic they may look from the outside, will be nothing more than a distant memory.

  8. Good Lord, Mike. Do you have a soul? We're talking about people here. Canadian workers. Your countrymen!
    You would rather see your own economy fail, while supporting slave labour in a third world country rather than give decent, hard working Canadians an opportunity to shine?

    Shame on you, 'Mike.' Shame on you! People like you are the reason QMI has deteriorated into the mess it is today.

  9. Personally, I'm going to embrace this widespread philosophy that Mike has so eloquently explained.

    Early in the new year I'm going to have my right arm amputated. I expect it to increase my efficiency significantly by reducing redundancy. My left arm will take up the slack, because darn it, we're a team. Similarly, around Easter, I'm going to poke out one of my eyes.

    If I were a big corporation, my stock would be soaring with the announcement of these changes.

    Merry Christmas all. Try not to think about January.

  10. Mike must be pretty high up the food chain. No need to worry about his job...right?

  11. I was wondering that too. I think I know which "Mike" that is, and it's right in character...