Monday, 23 June 2014

Summer 2014 open forum

Keep your fellow Sun Media colleagues and former staffers up to date on happenings at your newspaper and the Sun Media chain.


52 comments:

  1. So with the Sarnia call centre, various press facilities, and folks here and there, would that be another 150 people?
    As much as I'd like to speak to my own situation, it would probably be too obvious from where the comments were originating. Needless to say, morale is lower than a snake's belly.

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  2. look up the word morale, circle it and send it to Stun Media. They apparently do not or are not aware of the word.

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  3. I want to contribute something positive. I was also downsized from Chatham News in November 2012. After a lengthy 26 weeks or so, with a fair severance, I was called to apply to a sales position with their sister publication in July 2013. Now a year later am quite content as a sales rep, and doing well. We made budget this month and our team at least is positive. I enjoy reading this blog now and then, so thought a tiny light at the end of the tunnel story was needed. Take care everyone, and never burn your bridges...you may never know when you might need the support beams intact.. JF



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    1. I agree 13:39, don't burn the bridge BUT if you worked at the call centre you'll have to move to Jamaica. If you build ads move to India. Unless you work at LFP or one of the Sun papers, even Sun News TV your job is on the line.

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  4. Ever since they moved the staff from the Tribune, in Welland, to St. Catharines, the coverage of Welland, Pelham, Port Colborne and Wainfleet has dropped considerably. So much for serving the readers of south Niagara.
    Take a look at the Tribune website, nothing but St. Catharines and Niagara Falls news with very few local stories.
    Only a matter of time before they shutter the Tribune completely and make one paper for Niagara

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    1. "Serving the readers"? Sun Media definition...we don't care

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  5. Group Publisher for High River Times, Nanton news and others quits, her papers assigned to another group publisher who now has 8 papers to service, covering most of southern Alberta except for Calgary. In addition he's the advertising go-to for many of them. A huge geographic region with an ever dwindling supply of reporters and staff. Has Sunmedia thrown in the towel in Alberta? Looks like a holding pattern.

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  6. Looks like they gutted the distribution department at the London Free Press. Contracted out the function and got rid of 10 Distribution Coordinators.

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    1. maybe the service will get better?

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    2. Watch as this moves through the southwest. They'll do the same in Woodstock, Sarnia and Chatham..just a matter of time.

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    3. If the service is to get better...they have a long way to go, not any better yet.

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  7. Wave of the future. Surprised it took this long to make the move. Look out all you small papers around London, you're next!

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  8. It appears PKP may still be in command, despite his claim otherwise:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/07/14/pierre_karl_pladeau_still_controlling_quebecor_despite_vow.html

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    1. What? you expected him to keep his word? The only time a politician lies is when their lips are moving, guess that holds true for ex chairmen as well.

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    2. If the only cell company was a Quebecor product, I would rather NOT have a cell phone. If the service is as poor as it is for the newspapers, I think the busy signal would be deafening.

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  9. I see where our wonderful company is looking for a "Publisher & Director of Advertising" in both Belleville and Sudbury.

    Those jobs were posted on the Jeff Gaulin job board along with an editor's job at the Red River Valley Echo in Altona, Manitoba and multimedia journalist jobs at the Winkler Times in Winkler, Manitoba, the Cold Lake Sun in Cold Lake, Alberta and the Calgary Sun.

    Do things stink so bad in these parts of the country as they do in the more southern regions of Ontario where I'm at or is this part of some grand "restructuring" this company is trying (again)?

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    1. Someone made another decision throwing a dart at a board...need a publisher (cause of course we let the others go) in Belleville and throw for double red 25...Sudbury. What are they thinking, they got rid of good, maybe even great people only to think they might have a new direction... for the fifteenth time. Come on head office focus on one of the more important things you came up with the "pillars" great idea???

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  10. Publisher and Ad in Sudbury resigned for a better position elsewhere.

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  11. Excellent all the best to them. Better to be out of this mess.

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  12. Anyone hear recent rumors of another round of papers being sold off?

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    1. Nope. Wanna start one? ;)

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    2. well if we are going to talk rumour.. ive heard twice in the past three weeks people mention torstar buying the dailies in niagara... one from someone close to sun media.

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    3. One could only hope!

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  13. Yes, with the press release from last week, that seems to be the rumour.

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  14. Not sure about selling off papers. That's what Quebecor brass wanted to do last winter -- they came close to selling everything, including the Sun papers. But then PKP shook his fist and refused to sell. That's why the big corporate shake-up in the spring. With the announcement of the Media Group - which will "consolidate" all its media properties, French and English, under one umbrella - one might think the plan is to cut like never before rather than sell. If you're in Sun Media management right now? Buh-bye. And if you're at any of the papers? It's going to be another Merry Christmas. Remember that each quarterly report this year has shown steep declines in revenue, only off-set by their cost-cutting. All of us who saw this as a death spiral - you cut your content, so advertisers and readers bail, meaning you then cut more of your content producers, etc etc - will be proven right. The papers will be strictly shells - paginated elsewhere, staffed by freelancers and students. But vanity-driven PKP wants the brands, so he can promote himself as a media titan. Cue the laughter now.

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  15. Same as previous post except for more closures to come before end of the year

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  16. Nothing happens in August. The executives don't want their summer vacations disrupted with things like laying people off. So by mid-September they will regroup. By October the mass "restructuring to ensure the profitability and future of Quebecor" will begin in earnest. From what I understand to be coming, expect much blood-letting. If your paper is sold, count yourself lucky. Otherwise, bone up on your French.

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  17. Sad news. Jef Gibbs, long time ad rep at The Edmonton Sun passed away suddenly on Aug 11, 2014. Although he left The Sun in 2001, he was there 20 years, through the good times, and had many friends. He will be missed. http://www.serenity.ca/obituaries/Jeffrey-Gibbs/#!/Obituary

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  18. Can Sun Media be far behind? http://jimromenesko.com/2014/08/08/here-are-the-new-jobs-being-offered-to-gannett-journalists/

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  19. Say what you will about these new Gannett jobs, but they do indicate an organization attempting to cobble together a cohesive long-term strategy in extremely difficult times. A vision, even. (Again, whether you agree/disagree with that vision is another point altogether.) Sun Media, conversely, has absolutely no vision or digital strategy (a point lamented in the past by senior managers/editors). Yes, the corporate yes-men flap their lips about this and that, but really, their job is to figure out how to implement the cuts that now occur every 6-9 months across the chain. (October-November is coming.) I can see the corporations that are still in the game, like Post Media and TorStar and Bell, adopting similar practices or job models. But Sun Media? Hopeless cause. Its energies are solely devoted to cutting its content producers, not creating new roles for them, as it circles the drain faster and faster. For the Quebecor/Sun VPs and executives, it doesn't matter; they are calculating their years to retirement and the size of their buyouts. To suggest they might attempt a Gannett-sized undertaking is to give them way too much credit.

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  20. Sad news out of Brockville with the death of their sports editor:

    http://www.recorder.ca/2014/08/21/greatly-diminished-by-our-loss

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  21. Who did the Crosby brainfart? No one ever hear of oversight?

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  22. Oversight? Haven't you heard having layers of editing to guard against this sort of clusterf--- isn't efficient? That all that counts are web hits and not the quality of the content? Another bungle by an organization that only knows how to bungle. From cover to cover, in every section, the Suns are a sad sorry shell of their former selves. The Crosby story only serves to illustrate it.

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  23. Heads will not roll over this because there are few heads left to roll. So embarrassing for the chain especially given that it likes to mock other national media repeatedly in its papers and on Sun TV

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  24. A Haiku for Sun Media staff
    Ludicrous demands
    Less staff, no raise, morale low
    Praying for buyout

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    1. Paranoia running wild in our paper. Every rumour kills what's left of any morale we may have.

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  25. There is not a person in our building who does not believe that our paper will no longer exist in its present form by December. Oh looking forward to a morale filled September, October, November and December

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  26. If our circulation drops as fast as it has been we'll be closed in no time. Seems the readers CAN'T be pushed into buying a sub par product, they are smarter than Stun Media thought eh?

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  27. I was axed last fall and this fall I launched my own weekly newspaper. It was terrifying and exciting all at the same time but so far it's a hit :) and I am in competition now with Stun Media

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    1. After walking away to start my own now very successful daily a few years ago I wish you the best of luck with your endeavour. It can be done.

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    2. Wow that's awesome you started a daily. This week's paper and last week's paper made a profit and only six issues have been out. The Sun weekly isn't taken seriously and I've actually been asked by residents already to expand into other areas but will learn to walk before I run.

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    3. Good idea, we've found expanding to be as tricky as the initial start-up. Glad to hear there's other independent minds out there preserving the idea of community news. Around here the Sun weekly isn't taken seriously either, because it's been very poor for years. After a while you may have to learn how to compete with yourself, because we don't get much challenge from competing with them.

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  28. Interesting piece in the FP about Quebecor's telecom plans. While this won't surprise anyone who knows how much disdain Quebecor has for its English papers, is this the first time a Quebecor executive has publicly said, in essence, 'Make me an offer for Sun Media ... anyone ... anyone'?

    http://business.financialpost.com/2014/09/17/quebecor-open-to-deal-with-wind-mobile-as-it-aims-to-become-national-wireless-player-cfo-says/?__lsa=6f09-5894

    The end graphs read as follows:

    Quebecor chief financial officer Jean-Fran├žois Pruneau said Quebecor would entertain offers for its newspapers outside Quebec, though a formal effort to sell the properties is not on the front burner. The company last year unloaded its 74 Quebec weekly Sun Media papers to Transcontinental for $75-million.
    “To be honest, if somebody was to call me (with an offer), I would certainly listen,” he said. “We understand that it is a declining business.”

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    1. Who in their right mind would buy one of these papers? They are interconnected with publishers/sales managers, shared editorial service and here's the big non-selling point no damn presses! Remember when they thought it was a good idea to share services? Now it has made these papers almost worthless. Great call Stun Media. this would be akin to buying an ice company with no freezers. Oh and while it is declining, they have hastened the end by maybe 5-10 years with all of the bad decisions made in the last 3 years.

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    2. Postmedia was circling Sun Media not so long ago. They would then shut down all the Sun Media papers in multiple-paper markets. So Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa Suns would be immediately shuttered, with others to follow. Really, it's the only buyer that makes sense, for the reasons listed above.

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  29. Replies
    1. This question was for Anonymous Sept. 16.

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    2. Alberta. It's called Blackfalds LIFE www.blackfaldslife.com Now I guess you will know who I am... Lisa Joy... is OK. I was managing editor of Lacombe Globe for 7 and half years. I've had three investors wanting in on the action already. Interestingly, I remember when the cuts started in 2008 and we lost our publisher onsite and the managing editors got dumped with more and more and more work. I complained about it back then but now I'm glad. Taught me how to run a paper :) And I kept telling the bosses to make haste and do more for Blackfalds - one of the youngest and fastest growing communities in Canada - but apparently my emails "annoyed" them on the topic. It's population is almost 8,000 and projected to be 33,000 in 10 years. Bottom line - I made haste and they didn't :)

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    3. Congratulations. Good local journalism is not dead.

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  30. Anonymous 16 September 23:32, what/where is the "very successful daily" startup?

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  31. http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/10/02/meet-the-ottawa-suns-new-boss

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  32. http://www.lfpress.com/2014/10/06/postmedia-buys-sun-media-for-316m

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