Saturday, 23 June 2012

Open Forum 3

Keep in the loop by posting comments here on any Sun Media subject: layoffs, retirements, deaths, cutbacks, your memories, union settlements/strikes etc. 

Comments will be moderated and posted, but they won't be edited so do try to be tidy in your typing. 

Open Forum 2

175 comments:

  1. When I worked for one of Sun Media's western small-town weeklies, William Wolf-Wylie was one of the few people in the chain who seemed to get it, who knew how important adapting to the Internet era was and who had the skills to help those interested to maximiize the poorly designed websites we had to deal with. Good luck to him, he deserves it.

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  2. This site used to be full of useful and interesting gossip...now virtually nothing. Any idea for a better site for "news gossip?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe there is no gossip.

      Delete
  3. Looks like Montreal Miror is gone:

    http://j-source.ca/article/sun-media-shuts-down-cultural-weekly-montreal-mirror

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  4. ... and yet Pierre Karl Péladeau is still the CEO of Quebecor.

    Apparently Quebecor's profit rose 52%, but that's probably due to the government subsidies and the cuts they made in a lot of places. PKP is literally responsible for killing the newspaper industry.

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  5. I cannot believe that the entire Sun chain is running this illiterate spam as a story on July 1. It's the top Google News hit for 'Euro 2012' and it's on all the sites. A new low has been reached.

    WatCh Euro 2012 online - Italy vs Spain liVe streaming - UEFA Euro Cup 2012 Final live streAm FrEE

    http://www.intelligencer.ca/ur/story/146439

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    Replies
    1. Not that Sun Media is without blame for allowing that story to remain on their websites, but I think the true culprits are the spam attackers who post that junk. It's unfortunate that the websites are vulnerable to that kind of attack.

      Delete
    2. So even though these "exciting" new websites took months to unveil, they can still be hacked this easily?
      Nice IT people Sun Media has.

      Delete
    3. Well, I looked into this and the "story" linked above wasn't a news story, it's part of the "Ur" content that Sun Media hosts on all the community sites (UrBelleville, UrNiagara, and so on). To post content all you have to do is register a username and password. Sun has a responsibility to monitor those websites but I don't think it's fair to blame them for this. Belleville has a bunch of other spam advertisements in their Ur section at the moment.

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  6. A new low? No, that's coming soon when all the papers in the chain will be forced to abide by a 400-word limit for news stories and a 600-word limit on features. To make room for more graphics and stock pics and useless eye candy. It starts this week for some papers, and will be rolling out to all of them soon (though probably not The Sun because they have enough journalists to revolt against this garbage). Journalism is truly dead with this company.

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    Replies
    1. Awesome. So this embarrassment of a company will just keep getting worse. Fabulous.

      People want local news, especially in the smaller communities where the local paper is the only media that truly gives a crap about them.

      This so-called media company just doesn't get it and I doubt they ever will. It's just sad and the worst part is it didn't have to be this way.

      Delete
    2. I guess the strategy is to get readers used to reading irrelevant garbage, graphics and assorted other crap instead of local news so they won't notice when Sun Media goes reporter chopping again.

      Who needs reporters when your paper can be filled with nonsense?

      Delete
    3. Good grief. What an embarrassment Quebecor is to the world of journalism.

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    4. Anything further on this? We haven't heard it. Here's hoping the new top dude in editorial would see how ridiculous it is.

      Delete
  7. super news, now we'll be told we have to write 6 stories per day because they're shorter stories now

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    Replies
    1. You have to write six stories per day if you want to keep up with the out-of-market stuff Stun Media puts on your website.
      If you want local stuff to be the first thing people see, you've got to break your neck writing one story after another just to bump the flood of irrelevant stuff off the website.
      As July 2 @ 7:20 p.m. correctly stated, Quebecor is an embarrassment to the world of journalism.

      Delete
  8. 600 word features? Wow, good luck writing anything in-depth. Good luck writing anything that needs time and space to do properly. Good luck at the ONAs competing against papers which still believe in journalism, and allow their writers to practice it. Good luck to all employees stuck in this Godforsaken company which has sucked the enthusiasm and morale out of so many people. To the 'professionals' who came up with this latest brilliant idea - shame on you. You don't belong in this industry, and the sooner you leave the less swill there is for the rest of us to wade through.

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    Replies
    1. let's just all whittle everything down to soundbite size or the size of a tweet and we'll be perfectly irrelevant alot faster

      Delete
  9. Well, the NNAs could introduce a category for the the best 75-word investigative brief. Quebecor could do quite well there.

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  10. i think it is important to acknowledge that this company has many many very good journalists, the problem is now the inexperience at ME and publishers levels that hurts so many of our papers and regions. Were some of these people never required to submit a CV??

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    1. I've seen quite a few people in management that are making decisions about departments they have no knowledge or experience in. Others are cast in roles that are simply not in line with their background and training but remain employed because a higher level of management likes them.
      I'm sure this happens in many other corporations too but it seems to be happening more and more with Sun Media.

      Delete
  11. Akin apparently out at Sun TV. Instead more bimbos.

    http://twitter.com/natnewswatch/status/221247371365974016

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  12. While cutting elsewhere, Sun Media invested big bucks launching Groupon competitor StealTheDeal.com . As with everything they touch, they've botched it and rumour is they are shutting it down at the end of the month. Promos have disappeared from print and online.

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    Replies
    1. In the small towns I've worked in, many clients simply don't care about Internet advertising or they just don't see the need for it. Print editions still have a place in small towns, if not everywhere else as well, and it's a tough sell to get small businesses to go on the web.
      And where do a lot of Sun Media properties lie? In small towns, of course.
      The apparent demise of StealTheDeal.com could be attributed to the fact that Sun Media simply doesn't understand their own products or the markets they are in (again).

      Delete
  13. 10:39 - many of the chain's ME's are unqualified to deliver the paper, much less run it. But they have a quality valued by head office that I would term 'malleability' and others who are less kind would call 'a complete lack of backbone.'

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  14. The 400 limit is killing reporters at our paper. Some stories need to be told in a longer format, but no one in charge wants to hear that. Memos fly the second a story is over the 400 word limit.
    Stories that are 200 words are expected to have fact boxes and graphics with them as well. What kind of 'facts' can you have along with a 200 word story?
    This is not an old school reporter gripe against change. This is a gripe against common sense.
    Let's keep ripping off our readers and give them all flash and no substance.

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  15. We are making it easier for the local radio station to use our stuff every day straight out of the paper without any editing down in size. Brilliant decision!

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  16. If the radio stations want to rip you off, make them at least credit the source - or pay for it.

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    Replies
    1. nobody in power will even talk to the radio station about this issue

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    2. It's not that hard to do. Other products in the chain have done this or are doing this.

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    3. Of course nobody in power will talk to the radio station about it. Based on my own past experiences with this company's management, I'm guessing your people in power are either:
      (a) glorified sales reps who think the whole industry revolves exclusively around their department and have no interest and little respect for those in the editorial side
      (b) wimps who are in way over their heads and don't want the extra headache
      (c) people who talk a big game yet turtle when competition does something to them
      (d) people just looking for the next thing to cut so they can justify their jobs and look good to their bosses
      (e) all of the above

      Delete
  17. Anyone else having issues with these Zimbra e-mails? Once again, I can't go from my sent folder to my inbox because "the server or the network is too slow to respond."
    I've also had complaints from many people saying their e-mails bounce back now that these new e-mails are in place.
    For a company that wants stories, photos and ads e-mailed God knows where, they sure do like to implement inferior e-mail systems.
    All I know is, I didn't have these issues with my old e-mail address.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zimbra is cheaper than exchange.

      Delete
    2. It just took me five minutes to open a simple photo thanks to this Zimbra e-mail system Stun Media is now using. The program would just freeze and eventually give me some B.S. error message.
      As 12:21 p.m. July 26 stated, I didn't have these sorts of issues with my old (and far superior) e-mail account.
      It's amazing - this company even bungles giving employees properly functioning e-mail accounts.

      Delete
    3. It figures The Corporation would go for the cheapest, crappiest e-mail systems around.
      For the last five minutes, I've been trying to something as simple as open an e-mail to no avail. "The server is too busy" or some crap like that.
      It is 2012 and Sun Media hasn't even mastered e-mail.

      Delete
    4. I have missed press conferences and other assignments because I thought I wasn't included on e-mail lists or that someone forgot me.
      Now, I'm finding out people are in fact sending me notifications, but they aren't getting to me for some reason.
      I'm betting that it has to do with these absurd new e-mail systems we have. I never had a problem with my old Bowesnet account but it's been nothing but problems with this cheap Zimbra system.

      Delete
  18. it continues to be that this company likes to tell us how it is always moving forward yet it continually screws up anything technology related, from websites to email systems. We are so in the minor leagues compared to others that it is pathetic. For once I would like to see this company get it right it in its own house before it mocks other media companies.

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  19. Someone somewhere decides to centalize many different departments, thus saving thousands of dollars. Reduce customer service as so many have left us us for better climbs,lets face it the ones with us now don't expect much from us anymore. Move all of the circ and classified to Sarnia then wait for a "glitch" that costs thousands of dollars in lost class revenues, cause everyone knows classified is doing so well compared to all the free online ads. Now throw in a substandard phone system, and a non functional email system...seems like success follows Sunmedia. Only thing missing is an oil shortage, cause centralizing and trucking newspapers saves money. Wow did all the university business drop outs end up running Sun Media, my guess is no, they wouldn't screw it up so badly.

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    Replies
    1. Sarnia also tried to swipe all the print jobs as other presses in the region closed with jobs transferred up there. That plan didn't work, though, as the Sarnia press was still closed a few years ago and print jobs moved yet again, this time to London.
      The fact the group publisher is in Sarnia is no coincidence. Gee, I wonder if he's trying to make his numbers look good?

      Delete
    2. The group publisher and group ME models have become a joke. If we see our group publisher in our building it's a shock and the group ME is a ghost and does nothing beyond his own paper and I don't think he ever picks up any papers in his group to even know what is in them

      Delete
  20. I see where Brantford is hiring a "Regional Director of Advertising" for the south region.
    Is this a new position or did someone get wise and leave the company?
    Anyone hear how this regional sales concept is going? Based on how the regional editorial strategy is going, I'd say that's probably a mess as well.

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    Replies
    1. south region is a mess

      Delete
  21. to 11:23
    Yes Sarnia did try to get the press jobs. Seems to me that the publisher in Sarnia was trying to protect his staff. Take a look at the papers that printed in Sarnia and the new improved printing from London. Sadly he lost a battle and so many readers and advertisers are paying the price. If the publisher(s) in other regions had tried as hard maybe the community papers wouldn't be swallowed by the big urban papers. Should have closed London and kept all the smaller better run press operations, but that would have made sense.

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    1. I've known papers that lost major advertisers in large part due to the crappy print jobs they were getting out of Sarnia.

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  22. hmm Sarnia only printed a couple of papers, London maybe, Sarnia hard to believe.

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    Replies
    1. Feel free to believe it. It happened.

      Delete
  23. This Nov. 5 marks the 20th anniversary of the ousting of Doug Creighton. It is difficult to argue that Nov. 5, 1992, was not The Day the Music Died at 333, considering the events of the past 20 years. That call to the atrium was the beginning of the end of the Sun we knew and loved. The aftermath has affected hundreds of lives. Few who were in the atrium that day remain on the job. Many of those forced to move on with their lives have landed on their feet. Others who lost dream jobs remain bitter and disillusioned. Few of us have forgotten the events of Nov. 5, 1992. There is a book to be written and a movie to be filmed (hello Gail Harvey) on the rise and the fall of the Toronto Sun. There are many untold pre and post-Nov. 5, 1992, stories to be told by those who have the facts, not rumours. The rise of the Toronto Sun in the 1970s remains one of North America's headline success stories. Print it, film it, before it is too late. Meanwhile, Nov. 5, 1992, plus 20. Time for reflection.

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    1. It's not just at the Toronto Sun, but throughout the chain. I just came from an assignment where I heard wives of two former staff members lament the shape the paper is in today and the damage the company has done to it.
      They even recalled so much camaraderie between staff members that the paper, which is a community weekly, even had a softball team.
      Today, the office is nothing but a memory, the staff is splintered off and no one sees each other anymore.
      Of course, there is hardly any staff left so that is another issue.
      Just a damn shame.

      Delete
  24. From a personal standpoint, The Day The Music Died (And Died Some More And Will Continue To Die Even More Until It Can't Die No More) will arguably still be Dec. 9, 1998.

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  25. Haven't seen a Donato cartoon for weeks. Retired, or forced out?

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    Replies
    1. Thought the same and checked with Andy. He says he took the month of August off. We're not sure if that has anything to do with Sun Media cutting back on his contract workload, but the Sun without a Donato cartoon is not our kind of Sun.

      Delete
  26. How about that paywall?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, please enlighten us on what you know about the paywall.

      Delete
    2. When I used to work there, PKP came in one day and gave us a speech on how he had the intention to turn the newspapers' websites into paywall websites.

      He wanted everyone to pay for everything on their websites. So far, it hasn't really happened except for the subscribers getting digital editions of the newspapers.

      When he said it, I tried my best to not laugh. The fact is, the major newspapers have tried to do this and failed every time. The fact is, it's the advertisements that keep the newspapers going, and the same applies to the newspapers' websites.

      Delete
    3. But over the past couple years, Carlos Slim, the Mexican tycoon considered to be the world's richest man, has invested heavily into the New York Times, forcing it to bring back a paywall and this time it seems to be working.

      Meanwhile investing guru Warren Buffett has just snapped up dozens of newspapers in the U.S. and says he is doing it because he believes paywalls will work.

      Gannett in the U.S. and Torstar and Postmedia here have recently gone to paywalls at some papers.

      Not saying it will work, not saying there won't be a backlash from the public, but it seems inevitable Sun Media will go down that path and it's a reason for the recent website redesigns, and all the work the sites are for those us who are still left.

      Now can anyone high up in Sun Media enlighten us on what's to come?

      Delete
    4. Pay walls will work, backlash from readers? these are people that want the news but like the fact they don't have to pay for it. Free lunch might soon be over for the freeloaders. Time to be paid for what we all offer. Expect them in the Urban papers first then trickle down to the smaller community papers. Ask your circulation dept and they will tell you how many readers they have lost, then ask how many pay for an online paper delivery, you'd be shocked, I know I was. Now add to that the number that look at the paper FREE and you'll fall off your chair. Why give something away when you can get something for it, after all we're not radio.

      Delete
    5. My community paper used to be a subscription paper because the publisher at the time agreed that people should be paying for what we do. Then, a competing weekly opened up, offered it for free, and caused us to scrap the paid subscription service.
      The other paper could offer advertisers greater exposure because they were delivered to every home while we just had a portion of the market.
      I can see a paywall system online failing for the same reason if it comes to the community paper level. There are markets where the competition is given away for free so if Sun Media tries a paywall, readers and advertisers will just turn to the free paper.

      Delete
    6. Why pay to read the paper online when the radio is reading our content for free online. These paywalls will not work in small communities where there are radio stations and free newspapers

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    7. Good luck with that. The reason people are charged for newspapers in print is to pay for the printing. Readers at THE PRODUCT you sell to advertisers.

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    8. With media people, such as the unfortunate ones stuck working for Stun Media, asked to piggyback off of social media as well, I've often wondered what impact newspaper websites will see over the long haul.

      I know I've gotten news - or at the very least, a headline scan - through stuff newspaper, TV and radio people post on Twitter and/or Facebook. I get news I'm interested in, sift through the other stuff, and only click on an actual website to find more if it's something that truly interests me.

      I've found that social media has drastically reduced the time I spend on actual newspaper websites.
      If newspapers go to a paywall system, I'll merely find other methods (free sites, Twitter, Facebook, TV, radio etc.) to get what I want to know. There are plenty of ways to get the info you want nowadays without having to give PKP or other media companies your money for the privilege of viewing their websites.

      Besides, all it takes is one person with a subscription and they can post what's on the paper's site on their blogs or social media feeds thus giving yet another method of getting around paying for it.

      Bottom line - I can't see paywalls working, especially at the community newspaper level. That being said, I'm sure Stun Media will eventually go that route as the company seems more interested in furthering its own agenda than actually listening to the readers.

      Delete
    9. If the system itself is proven to be successful, why is it not implemented everywhere yet? Quebecor bought the newspapers years ago and they talked of doing it back then.

      So far, nothing. Their redesigned websites still need a lot of work. Their search engine is problematic too as well since they don't offer you the option to index the articles by date. That's a big problem if you ask me. I can easily google for it on Google, but not on the website. I pity the not-so-tech-savvy readers who won't know where to start.

      Delete
  27. Former Toronto Sun colleagues Cal Millar and Ian Robertson have a new book out, How a Colonel Became a Killer

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Colonel-Became-Killer-Millar/dp/1477590870/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346990639&sr=8-1&keywords=how+a+colonel+became+a+killer

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  28. Elizabeth McGibbon, one of the Toronto Sun's library pioneers has died at 61. Our condolences to family and friends.

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  29. 1:51 not sure where you live but radio in most small towns you're right reads the paper on the air. I think in the end a free paper follows the old adage "you get what you pay for" Listen to local radio, they're only as good as the content they get from the local paper, a free paper is nothing more than fish wrap with a little colour. In the end most that will read a free deserve the content they get. They also don't spend money like someone that buys a paper. Lets hope it works more jobs will be on the line if it doesn't.

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    Replies
    1. I work for a free paper and I'd like to think it's worth more than "a fish wrap with a little colour."
      I cover as much as I can get to considering the very limited staff we have.
      I'm not quite sure I understand the apparent implication that if a paper has to be paid for, it automatically is better than a free paper.

      Delete
  30. Quebecor will launch paywalls, piss off lots of people, and then remove paywalls. That is just the way it is done around here. There never appears to be much thought put into things and it is always us at the community level that have to face the backlash. We can count on one hand easily the number of initiatives that have been announced or started and then cancelled

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  31. Paywalls only work at papers like the Economist, FT or WSJ, where readers can make money off their content, special reports and incredibly specialized and expert beat reporting, and it's usually corporate buying. If you're behind a paywall at a Sun Media POS, what you do doesn't matter, because nobody is going to pay to read it online.

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  32. why would someone want to subscribe for 'local' news by way of a paywall to a local community paper when its going to be just like the websites are now -- filled with non local crap from Toronto, and hardly any local content anymore because our reporting staff has been slashed. This company needs to stop thinking our readers are idiots

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  33. When the company understands the "idiots" are the ones that pay the bills, it will be too late. What a shame to see the end of so many good newspapers.

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  34. So, what does all this translate into? I note people have already been canned because of this, as noted by the paragraph buried near the bottom:


    MESSAGE FROM PIERRE KARL PÉLADEAU, PRESIDENT & CEO TO ALL SUN MEDIA EMPLOYEES IN ENGLISH CANADA

    Sun Media is today announcing the reorganization of its editorial, advertising and industrial operations.
    The appointment of veteran news executive Eric Morrison to the new position of Senior Vice-President of Editorial signals an important step forward in Sun Media's plan to provide great leadership in what we do best -- creating news and information content that our customers want and need.
    In the new editorial structure, content will be the responsibility of local editors, Regional Content Directors and, ultimately, the executive-level editorial direction of Eric Morrison. The objective is to build on the strong foundations of our newspapers by establishing a more effective model to replace the historic reliance solely on local publishers and editors.
    We will maintain the successful system of using the QMI Agency to handle content from the Quebecor Media newspapers, websites, and broadcast assets. A significant improvement will be the ability of the Senior VP Editorial to co-ordinate coverage on big breaking stories in all regions; plan series, investigative pieces and exclusives; and produce international and national coverage in all content areas, including Sports, Business, Life, Entertainment. Eric will be able to assign the resources to generate, or co-ordinate, visual content, graphics, photographs and video, for all mediums and all platforms, and help us to add context and
    understanding to all the coordinated coverage. This will be extremely valuable at a time when we are entering a universe of metered web access and competitive challenges.
    As part of the evolution, publishers will no longer have responsibility for content and will focus on relationships with the community – our readers, advertisers, business opportunities and sales. In today's competitive environment, these relationships are more important than ever to the success of our businesses.
    Publishers will report to Regional Sales Directors who will be responsible for overseeing the development of opportunities on a daily basis. These Regional Sales Directors in turn will report to a VP of Advertising - Mike Power for Ontario and John Caputo for Western Canada. They will set the strategic direction and evaluate business opportunities to deliver maximum value to our customers.
    On the operations side, Richard Tremblay, the current VP of Operations of Quebecor Media, will oversee all industrial operations of Sun Media, focusing on reliability, efficiency, performance and operational excellence.
    The new structure builds on our experience over the past decade. In the evolving media business, Quebecor has led the way in creating centralized operations and pagination in Canada. Now we are improving the way we produce and manage multimedia content with the ability to increase our speed to market.
    Most importantly, these changes will ensure that we are focused on providing the right content through our various platforms to all of our customers while offering our advertisers a unique proposition in a multi-platform and multi-product environment.
    Unfortunately there are people impacted by the implementation of the new model. We very much appreciate their service and thank them for their contributions. We wish them all well. Our audience wants us to be more visual, social, interactive and personal. By improving the way we draw upon our many talents we will produce better journalism and be more relevant to the needs our audience and our advertisers.

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  35. Both VP's Julia Kamula and Gord Norrie apparently the first to get chopped

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  36. No more VP's. Look out anyone who has multi branch responsibilities i.e. groupies and multi market publishers. Firm up your credit ratings as I suspect you're next.

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  37. I smell layoffs. And this sounds like it's leading to a central newsroom if not a pagination centre. I'm not sure that rural and small communities will be well served by this.

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  38. A publisher who has no say in the editorial content of the paper ... we're officially in the Bizarro Newspaper World.

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    Replies
    1. Since most publishers are glorified sales people, they'll keep sticking their noses in there no matter what.
      If one article even hints about something negative for an advertiser, the publisher will inject his/her opinion and try to make changes, don't you worry.

      Delete
  39. I hear the Publisher of the Ottawa Sun (Rick Gibbons) was given his walking papers today. I suspect he will not be the last.

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  40. this has every appearance of being just the first move in a larger reorganization. I agree with Rob. This smells of more layoffs coming that will hit every level of the company from rural to urban

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  41. This is likely what The Corporation had in mind when they were in a mad rush to have everyone use up their vacation time earlier this year. As mentioned, they likely plan another round of massive layoffs for this year.
    Let the bloodletting begin in "English Canada"!

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    Replies
    1. I'm surprised there's anyone left to let go.

      Delete
    2. What's the "model" in Quebec?
      I too noted the memo is for workers in "English Canada." What is the plan for "French Canada"?

      Delete
  42. So is Sunmedia bottoming out and putting a nice spin on it, or are they firing management types so they can afford more content producers?

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  43. http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/09/27/the-calgary-sun-says-goodbye-to-publisher-gord-norrie

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  44. If publishers are to be held responsible for building community relations then how is it possible to NOT afford them the authority and responsibility for what appears in the newspaper they are trying to sell to their community.

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  45. Well, Christmas is right around the corner. Tis the season for layoff announcements sometime around 4pm the Friday before Christmas Day when all managers are gone and there's no one in the building to answer to more of the same BS.

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  46. "Most importantly, these changes will ensure that we are focused on providing the right content through our various platforms to all of our customers while offering our advertisers a unique proposition in a multi-platform and multi-product environment."

    This is one of the parts where I scratched my head.
    Is this a sign of a central editorial hub coming in to further control what messages all Sun Media papers put out?
    Is this a way for Peladeau to ensure he has the means to ram his agenda through even more?
    I would think "providing the right content" would mean more local content in print and web editions but, sadly, I don't believe this to be the case.

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  47. maybe a bad time to be an editor or managing editor? Remember, November layoffs? It will come sooner than later

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  48. I expect a solid pruning of copy editors in the fall, followed by total bloodshed once the new guy has a plan in place for low-cost centralized sweatshop pagination ... first in Ontario, then Mumbai.

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  49. I'm gonna be an optimist here: while Julia was very nice, she's from advertising; in Morrison, they're bringing in an editorial guru, so that bodes well. I predict you're gonna see a streamlining of publishers i.e. one for every three or four papers. Maybe the same for managing editors.

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    1. I predict that the small community MEs will become history and replaced by one group ME located at a bigger central paper. They already have group MEs, so it is just a next step to get rid of lower MEs and have all local copy sent to one central location for editing

      Delete
  50. Our publisher is now publisher of three more papers and one is very far away from the home paper

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  51. "The objective is to build on the strong foundations of our newspapers by establishing a more effective model to replace the historic reliance solely on local publishers and editors,"
    PKP's memo states.

    Personally, I never found a problem with relying on local publishers and editors. They tended to give their communities local news, which is what they want, rather than a bunch of out-of-market stuff.
    Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but this sounds like what others have said above - a move towards one central news service, to cut back on staff even more and possibly even to control the tone of the newspapers from one location.

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  52. I suspect that all departments will be impacted. Reader Sales VP was looking for staffing charts. Will be a bumpy ride until black Christmas 2. All departments will be centralized. Call centre to take the calls, no one in a local office, sounds like a success story for the competition, certainly not for any local community paper. One model, a Sun or Free Press model. Come on readers and advertisers, put a stop to this before it's too late.

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  53. No need to be an optimist, Julia was THE ONLY person that was getting "it" I suspect she said no too often and was shown the door. she will be missed by the communities that she loved working with, and they her. Another newspaper group will be happy to welcome her, hope they have room for more of us, the dark days have just started.

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  54. The St. Catharines Standard building has been sold.

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    1. Well, that took quite a while! I remember it being put up for sale a couple years ago or more. I'm not surprised though, considering the shape the building is in.

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  55. Globe and Mail rolling out "metered paywall" Oct. 22.

    It's only a matter of time before Sun Media copies the idea and does it too. Since they paint dailies and weeklies with the same brush, it will really destroy the smaller papers.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/the-globe-to-roll-out-metered-paywall-as-industry-shifts-to-digital-revenue/article4612259/

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  56. Any word on how Ontario markets are being reorganized with today's announcement of group publishers being shown the door?

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  57. Several regional publishers gassed today. Surprising, given a couple of them were well-regarded and knew the business.

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  58. here is the latest from niagara, where a veteran, experienced publisher is gone yet an inexperienced one from a weekly background remains.... plus info on st. catharines standard move..

    http://www.bulletnewsniagara.ca/2012/10/24/media-publisher-of-st-catharines-standard-victim-of-corporate-restructuring/

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  59. John Downing, the Toronto Sun's loss and blogdom's gain, writes another gem about newspapering in the good old days of the Tely, Star and Globe.

    http://blog.johndowning.ca/2012/10/capturing-sexual-predators.html

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  60. Here's the Globe's take. I havenever been happier about one firing in particular:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/sun-media-dismisses-regional-publishers-in-reorganization/article4637645/

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  61. Peter Worthington's detailed account of the fall of the Tely and rise of the Toronto Sun 41 years ago today.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/10/31/worthington-its-our-birthday

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  62. Halloween tricks at the Sun...a few more terminations. Unclear as to how many, but one long time manager. Anyone shed any light?

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  63. Merv Hawkins is gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. did he leave or was he pushed?

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    2. don't get too comfortable, more layoffs by mid November.

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    3. Brantford Expositor publisher and secretary fired Nov. 06.

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  64. Heard a rumour that our digital group was terminated but our publisher is gone too so we're not sure what's going on? Any news?

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  65. re: Merv. Pushed.

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  66. More bloodletting in Niagara: in St. Catharines Rita Woodhead, the publisher's secretary (not surprising, since the publisher was let go a couple weeks ago); John Mosley in advertising; Mishka Balsom, the publisher of the Niagara Magazine group; and Tim Dundas, the publisher of a number of Niagara weeklies.

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  67. Are there any management terminations occurring outside of the Niagara/Brantford area?

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  68. Apparently, The Amherstburg Echo has also bit the dust:

    http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Despite+closures+weeklies+called+viable/7443108/story.html

    Sad to see a paper as old as that fall victim to Sun Media's idiocy.

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  69. Publisher of the Barrie Examiner bit it. The group publisher got it a few weeks back and their VPs before that. Does a ship without a rudder eventually sink?

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  70. the bloodletting is about to begin for MEs too... just watch

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  71. For once it's from the top down instead of just editorial. No more top heavy papers. Big paycheques are getting a taste of that layoff terror that editorial types have been living with for decades.

    Sounds like they plan to copy the Post system of one centralized office replicating pages for the entire chain.

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  72. Our city editor at the Peterborough Examiner is leaving but they won't replace her. Same with ME last year. Getting pretty thin.

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  73. Heard the Sault Star publisher was let go this week.

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  74. This purge of publishers will save staff positions ( for now ) but clearly indicates that PKP has given up on Sun Media as a long term business. He will squeeze every last dollar of profit until things implode. Without any senior leadership I would give it six months to a year.

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  75. people in our paper are waiting to take a buyout, they can't take the pressure anymore. Moral is so low it will never come back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The morale was pretty bad at Welland Tribune before the entire prepress dept was eliminated.

      Delete
  76. Sun Media's last buyout offer at our place was a joke, the minimum required by labour law and no extras, not even tax counselling or a bare bones job-finding course - in other words, the exact same package you'd get if you were laid off. Their buyout offer was essentially lay yourself off or wait for us to do it. We all chose to wait.

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  77. In the financial release today they said there's another restructuring being announced today.
    "On
    November 13, 2012, Sun Media Corporation also announced new restructuring initiatives designed to streamline its
    organizational structure to support better execution of business processes, while improving cost effectiveness. All these
    initiatives are expected to yield total annual savings of more than $45.0 million."
    Has anyone heard what they're doing now?

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  78. Another 500 Sun Media jobs cut by Quebecor and two production facilities in Ottawa and Kingston whacked. Gotta save another $45 million.

    http://business.financialpost.com/2012/11/13/quebecor-cuts-500-jobs-at-sun-media-to-trim-45-million-of-costs/

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  79. Heads up everyone...here comes Christmas!

    http://www.cp24.com/news/quebecor-cutting-500-sun-media-jobs-to-trim-45m-1.1036195

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  80. Another black christmas...

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/business
    /Quebecor+jobs+Media/7539960/story.html

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  81. Just announced, Sun Media to cut 500 jobs!! What a surprise... not.

    http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1286916--sun-media-to-cut-500-jobs

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  82. Posted to the community websites:

    Sun Media Corporation announced Tuesday a restructuring initiative expected to result in over $45 million in annual savings.

    The moves, which include the closure of production facilities in Ottawa and Kingston, include the elimination of nearly 500 positions across the organization.

    "This restructuring is regrettable but warranted by changes in our industry which force us to align our cost structure with the new reality," said Pierre Karl Peladeau, president and CEO of Sun Media.

    "With the recent announcement of a major strategic redesign of Sun Media's organizational structure, restructuring further streamlines and optimizes our operations. By doing so, Sun Media is proactively leading the way to ensure long term success."

    Peladeau said the initiative doesn't diminish his company's commitment to its publications, readers, advertisers or employees.

    "We will continue to deliver quality content, with local presence, and maximum value to our advertisers," he said. "We very much regret the impact that this has on employees who are departing our organization and would like to thank them for their contribution."

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  83. Sun Media cutting 500 jobs, closing two printing plants:

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Quebecor+jobs+Media/7539960/story.html

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  84. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57548432-93/google-makes-more-money-from-ads-than-print-media-combined/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title

    Here is the reality of Newspaper business.

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  85. Add Daryl Smith's name to the list of those that have been purged recently by Sun Media.
    Smith had been the group publisher for southwestern Ontario and also ran the Sarnia Observer.

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  86. ... All I can hear is the sound of Metroland laughing...

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  87. "Peladeau said the initiative doesn't diminish his company's commitment to its publications, readers, advertisers or employees."

    Of course it doesn't diminish Stun Media's commitment to publications, readers, advertisers or employees. There didn't seem to be much commitment there to begin with.

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  88. PKP is living in a dreamland. If he ever spent time on the streets in our communities he'd hear it -- we are not about local anymore. Stop insulting readers by trotting out the local-is-important crap

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  89. As an ex Sun employee I hear today Nov 13 12 that more layoffs has taken place! Pierre Karl you can cut all you want!Prick!It will be your demise! You bought what was once a great paper and turned it into shit! The families you have destroyed! The lives you have ruined! The damage you have done is beyond salvage! Your product is a shallow hollow wisp of what it once was! In all areas you have failed the people that have made you rich! Well actually, you didnt work for it, you inhereited the wealth. You may have money, but you have no respect! 7 degrees of separation! A phrasae that will ensure you are hated by all!

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  90. A few cuts at Chatham Daily News and the weekly; a couple more in Sarnia. So sorry to see former (idiot) bosses getting cut this time ...

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  91. How many in Sarnia and who?

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  92. Any changes in Niagara after the sweeping changes last week or two?

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  93. Can anyone actually confirm that a Edmonton photographer was let go?

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  94. Heard rumors of a Niagara Regional Management switch today.

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  95. Major changes in Niagara.
    Four fulltime lost at Welland Tribune in the last week
    http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2012/11/14/mark-cressman-new-standard-publisher
    http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/2012/11/14/michael-cressman-new-publisher-of-niagara-falls-review
    http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2012/11/14/john-tobon-new-tribune-publisher

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  96. Niagara this Week must love this move

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  97. Community must be laughing at the 'new publisher' announcement stories in the papers. Another year, another cookie cutter story about how a 'new' publisher is "excited" to be in their new community. LOL. There is zero connection with our communities, never will be again, plus our communities know it. If PKP had a dime for every stock story in the past three years that said a "new" publisher is happy to be in his or her new community, he's be able to buy two NHL teams

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  98. Does anybody know the Canada Post mailing address for Quebecor? Also, who is their Vice President in Charge of Editorial or Newspaper Content? What I mean by that is there anyone as the boss of Southern Ontario or higher still? Any help would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The information you're looking for can be found on the Quebecor website.

      Quebecor
      612, Rue Saint-Jacques
      Montreal, Quebec
      H3C 4M8

      Excerpt from a September press release:

      TORONTO (Sept. 27, 2012) - Sun Media announces today the appointment of Eric Morrison as Senior Vice-President of Editorial with a mandate to lead the reorganization of Sun Media's news operations on all platforms.

      Delete
  99. might just rethink that. paper costs money and the letter will be thrown out anyway. keep in mind this company knows what the reader wants, who are you to tell them...keep the 61 cents scream into a pillow and dream of days when PKP gets a new play thing and leaves his newspapers alone.

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  100. I had a publisher from a rival newspaper chain talk today about how newspapers aren't dying, they're killing themselves by trying to focus on the internet rather than on what they are ..... a newspaper.
    I almost screamed YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Can't believe someone gets it.

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  101. I find it most interesting that Sun Media seems to be the only media company who gets ink and cyber time when they do layoffs. I really think this stems from having a 51% shareholder that lives in Quebec. Investigate how many Torstar (Metroland), Transcon and Post Media cutbacks have happened in the last 2 years with another major Torstar round rumored for early 2013. Their production floor right above Sun Media's in India is in expansion as we speak. In their typical show no fear fashion, Sun Media published their own cutback stories, something the other companies hide behind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny you post that, as Postmedia's Windsor Star is currently in the midst of a downsizing as it moves into a new office.
      Their publisher/editor-in-chief acknowledges the downsizing (and plans for a metered paywall on their website by the end of next year) here:

      http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2012/11/16/the-times-they-are-a-changin/

      Delete
  102. The difference, 17 November, 2012, 8:08 AM, is that Postmedia owns a dozen or so papers in fairly large markets that are well served by other media. Quebecor owns hundreds of newspapers in small markets that have no other form of public communication. Also, Postmedia papers are part of a segment of the media that is suffering under advertising cutbacks and dwindling readership. Mostly, the Quebecor papers are part of a segment that is still thriving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear a rumour this weekend that some ex-employees are starting up a paper in Niagara

      Delete
    2. Now I'm intrigued. Would love to know who they are and how to get involved with them.

      Delete
  103. Three people have been or will be let go from the Owen Sound Sun Times newsroom. News editor Karen Pridham, who had been there since 1985, is already finished. Two reporters received layoff notices but a couple of older newsroom vets may accept buyouts and save those two jobs. Regardless, the newsroom strength in Owen Sound will be whittled from 11 people to eight. Sad situation.

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  104. Just read the publishers announced in Niagara, it must be extremely rewarding to reveive a promotion from your best friend or your brother.
    I certainly hope Metroland will recognize this disaster and siezes the golden egg. Three Blind Mice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brantford Expositor City Editor and Newsroom assistant let go last week. Ken Koryama from Welland Tribune named new publisher. Managing Editor resigned today

      Delete
  105. Speaking of Metroland... They just purchased an independent weekly in St.Thomas. Looks like they plan on squeezing London for business. Very soon they will be in Sarnia and Chatham, both of those newspapers are ripe for the picking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know Chatham This Week cut at least one reporter during the most recent round of layoffs. I'm not sure if there was anyone else there impacted and who any others may have been.

      Delete
  106. Better to be bought by Metroland then dumped by PKP. At least Metroland's growing, not shrinking.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Dunnville loses its newspaper http://www.dunnvillechronicle.com/2012/11/28/end-of-an-era

    ReplyDelete
  108. Sun Media is putting up a paywall on Dec 4th. What's your thought?
    BTW: Paywalls are easy to bypass. Want unlimited Globe and Mail access ... just block cookies (Firefox) from theglobeandmail.com and sitelife.globeandmail.com. Sun Media block coming soon ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't see a lot of people paying for access to Sun Media newspapers, I know I wouldn't pay for the local newspapers due to the severe cuts they've made there. The reason why I don't want to pay is because I know my money won't go to them.

      Delete
    2. Blocking cookies idea won't work. They will require that your browser is set to accept cookies in order to access stories. That's what other papers already do.

      Delete
    3. Ater I deleted theglobeandmail.com cookie and then blocked it in my privacy settings worked ... thanks for the tip.

      Delete
  109. They gotta try something - you can't keep giving away local news for free online and expect people to pay for it in print. Why would you buy a print edition when you can get the news content online 12 or more hours earlier for FREE. Readers in commmunities who are served by just one newspaper, while they may feel indignant about having to pay (I don't understand this feeling that it's their right to get news for free) will have to pony up; where else are they going to get their local news than via their local rag? Pay walls should have gone up long ago. This misguided strategy of throwing everything up online where it's gleaned for free has contributed mightily to the decline of traditional newspapers. Let's hope these pay walls stymie the bleeding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 12:06 in theory you're on the right track but all of our newsrooms now lack the resources to report on anything that distinguishes our content from free content available on the local radio station website and competing weeklies' websites. This is how people in the community see it and the issue of why they should have to pay to read the same stories they can read elsewhere for free

      Delete
  110. Brace youself, Niagara is about to be hit hard. More layoffs and closings

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  111. Anyone hear anything about Eastern Ontario papers?

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  112. yes poor ontario, i dont think alberta has been hit hard.. or are thelayoffs still coming?? any papers to be closing down? anyone hear?

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  113. just heard both windsor this week and leamington post has closed as well. they are exiting the southern tier of ontario it appears.

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  114. Rumors are spreading that the Niagara region has shut down some of the Shopping News Papers including St. Kits, NF and Welland.

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  115. No rumour. Closures, plus layoffs, but not sure exactly how many for each paper. Also not sure where survivors are going.

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  116. Let-go's (not lay-offs) in Calgary and Winnipeg too. Market is saturated, no where for people to go.

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  117. All the shopping news newspapers in Niagara were merged into one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The merged papers published for three weeks before the entire Shoppers division was killed.

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