Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Sun casualties: 2016

Early in January, PM axed former Sun Media weekly What's Up Muskoka and Muskoka Magazine, published 10 times per year.

On Black Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, PM announced more cuts at Suns in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. At least one other paper saw cuts.

TSF forum posts:

None gone from Ottawa Citizen today, but 12 gone from the Ottawa Sun newsroom: Chris Hofley, Mike Sutherland-Shaw, Matt Day, Corey Larocque, Tony Spears, Shane Ross, Paul Rutherford, Don Wilcox, Danielle Dube, Keaton Robbins, Sam Cooley, Julienne Bay. Surviving in OttSun editorial because of seniority provided in the CBA: columnist Sue Sherring (go figure), reporter Jon Willing, photogs Tony Caldwell and Errol McGihon, reporter Aedan Helmer, sports guys Tim Baines, Bruce Garrioch and Don Brennan, ME Michelle Walters. Bets are the Sun will be shuttered on Friday, April 1 right after the Competition Bureau's influence ends.

2 mail room staff cut in Sarnia, 3 sales people are reported to have left for other employment. Part of the duplication now that Windsor is printing their products? Oh and someone mentioned print quality would be better in Windsor...apparently not.

203 comments:

  1. Thought I'd seen it all with Quebecor but this idea of 1 newsroom with 1 group of writers writing for 2 papers and a 'rewrite desk' making the copy either tabloid-esque or broadsheet-ish tops them all for sheer, bone-out stupidity. What a disaster.

    Is this a plot by PKP to make people nostalgic for his Centres of Excellence and other 2006-era initiatives?

    Speaking of, Quebecor tried to nationalize sports coverage, you may recall; it quickly went off the rails because sports, unlike showbiz or lifestyles, is local. Nevertheless, PM is going to attempt just that.

    With tens of millions more in cuts needed in the next 15 months or so, what and who is next?


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  2. "Sue Sherring (go figure)"!? was it necessary to take a gratuitous shot like that?

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    1. Maybe not necessary, but well deserved.

      While the drive to unionize the newsroom was underway Sue Sherring was a vocal critic of the Union.

      Given her stance, it's unfortunate that she continues to have a job due to the protection of the very union she so vehemently opposed.

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  3. The sports departments in Calgary have been gutted. Randy Sportak, George Johnson and Ian Busby. Cops and courts guy Jason van Rassel on the news side.

    Margo Goodhand is out in Edmonton, no surprise after she wrote critically about her own paper's editorial direction during the election.

    There are more. I can't think of them all right now.

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  4. The gutting of the sports depts has only just begun, if postmedia follows through on having a centralized national sports desk. Maybe not the writers, but certainly deskers and editors.

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  5. I'm wondering if any of the Calgary Herald staff who were terminated this week were part of the 'scab crew' brought in to 'cross the line' during the strike of 1999 and ultimately the busting of the union in 2000. Might be a little bit of Karma at work here.

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  6. They worked for an extra 15 years while union people lost their jobs and thats karma?

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    1. The Herald attempt to unionize is an example of why you shouldn't trust unions. I know people who were there at the time. Basically the union showed up, promising gumdrops and rainbows, organized and then went 'Uh oh' when they realized provincial labor laws are much less pro-union in Alberta than in Ontario. They had no clue how to react. Thus a strike that lasted a long while until the union snapped in two.

      Complete amateur hour and it caused a lot of pain and grief for nothing, obviously.

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  7. It's not karma, people, it's the internet

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  8. From the biz side, Moodys just downgraded Postmedia...it is considered a 'junk' stock now. If you thought this week was bad ......

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  9. Great read from the Globe about the Sun and Herald in Calgary. Pretty obvious one paper per city is going to be the norm, soon enough. Will be interesting to see how things shake out in Toronto between the Sun and NP.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/alberta/postmedias-calgary-sun-calgary-herald-merger-signals-more-than-just-financial-struggles/article28361686/

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  10. Wow, we thought moral was low before. All time low now. We thought that PM meant to help us grow, or at least hold of the end, looks like they are no different, but worse. They left us with an impression that they were all about communication with staff, when it would now seem it was all smoke and mirrors. I know for one that as soon as a package is offered, I'll be taking one, while they are still available.

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  11. I just don't know how we are still publishing anything based on what I've read of late. PM apparently has no money yet there seems to be end to the foolishness. Not to throw anyone under the bus but there are newspapers that have made little or lost for a number of years. Those newspapers that have been making money have lost press facilities to consolidations. As soon as that happened our bottom line went with the press closure. Then we started to truck newspapers all over hells half acre, which cost even more than the press rooms that were lost. Then we started to lose managers, publishers were let go, then replaced with regional publshers then in turn became ad directors that appear in the office once maybe a week. Sixty percent of our staff gone and yet we continue to put out a daily newspaper, lower quality, poorly printed. Newspapers go undelivered and if by chance a reader gets through to someone to complain it is to a call centre. I counted local news stories in our paper...7 without including the court beat. We have no morale no direction, we are holding on by a string. There was a day we were proud of our product now we wait to hear that it possibly going to be closed or staff reduced yet again. Someone suggested that being nice to the competitors, hope you all heeded that suggestion...I have.

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  12. What's most baffling and disheartening about this week's cuts is the number of managers who kept their jobs. Disheartening because it means they are not the least bit committed to producing worthy content or attracting readers.

    Out of 90 layoffs, only 3 senior managers - and at the Journal, the EIC's termination was payback for her criticizing Postmedia's pro-Tory editorial edicts.

    It's hilarious how, for all the supposedly hard-nosed, alpha-male managers the Suns have, it was a woman at the Journal who showed some balls.

    The bros in charge just nod yes, yes, yes, to whichever corporate master is yanking their leash.




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  13. Certainly been true over the years with the "bros" at the Ottawa Sun.

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  14. Once the merged newsrooms have settled in, they will cull further. The idea of tailoring for 2 papers won't last long.

    Before that, the next moves will happen in areas where there are competing centralized depts - entertainment, lifestyles and sports.



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    1. Anything will be better than the showbiz and life copy we are forced to run from Toronto.

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  15. The Suns were always going to be shut down; that was the motivation for their purchase. It was just a matter of how and when.

    The real danger for Canadian cities is you have a situation where disasters like the Flint crisis occurs because the journalistic will is not there to uncover them. And trust me, the people currently running things would never get in the way of advertisers.

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  16. No more tired, predictable ent content from the Toronto Sun, please. If you are going to cover that arena, you got to realize it is not 1983. PM copy, with a fresher staff of editors and writers, would actually be an improvement.

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  17. More than a little strange to click on a Herald story written by a Sun reporter with pix from a Sun photographer. It's clear what really happened last week is that one of the papers in each of these markets was shut down. Just hard to tell which one.

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  18. FYI all, Metroland has started reduction closing Guelph newspaper. Makes those of us in a smallish local paper, with less circulation more than a little nervous. If Guelph can lose their daily newspaper, there are lots of us that work for a newspaper a lot smaller and far more less profitible than Guelph

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    1. I can see the crows circling now... Small dailies which also have a free distribution paper included in the mix are likely all going the way of Guelph.

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  19. More firings at the Herald/Sun (or 'Hun') today

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  20. The latest Godfrey, post-layoffs, interview. Not much new, although he does float cost-cutting ideas like changing how papers are laid out, making press deadlines earlier and chopping the number of paper boys.

    http://www.metronews.ca/news/canada/2016/01/26/paul-godfrey-on-postmedia-s-woes-unprofitable-tablet-specific-business-model.html

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  21. "So why would Warren Buffett, arguably one of the smartest investors ever, make repeated investments in newspapers? The first reason is that most newspapers remain very profitable operations," Terry Kroeger, president and chief executive of BH Media - a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway group - told a symposium on the future of local newspapers (in 2015).

    Mr Kroeger said the biggest reason for newspapers going bust has been too much debt, typically caused either by too-elaborate plant expansions or aggressive acquisitions where high prices and bad timing placed burdens on newspaper companies.

    BH Media continues to invest in newspapers.

    Print media isn't dead or dying. It's changing. A great read is "Greatly Exaggerated: The Myth of the Death of Newspapers" by Marc Edge.

    After being cut from Sun Media a few years ago - through a lot of blood, sweat and tears - I launched a community newspaper. Many issues made a profit within its first year of operation. I hope other journalists or entrepreneurs will see the light and start up publications where PM is slashing and burning. Now is the time. Just saying.

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  22. Fairly entertaining war of words between Godfrey and Torstar Chair John Honderich.

    Specifically, Honderich argues there were Canadians interested in buying bankrupt CanWest (which Godfrey said there were not): a group led by Michael Sifton, who Sun folks would remember from a short-lived tenure when Quebecor bought Osprey; and the Star itself.

    Indeed, TorStar put in a $800 mil offer that came THIS CLOSE to snagging CanWest until the hedge funds swooped in, as they always do when there is a distressed company to be bled dry.

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/01/26/paul-godfrey-get-your-facts-straight-honderich.html

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    1. Mr. Godfrey, other than Trump is the king of spin. Who pays for the spin...all of the employees. Be sure that the hedge funds (American) are getting paid. Bumpy road ahead.

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  23. We're being herded to the end. What has basically been implied is that if we don't like the changes that are coming or will come, there won't be a newspaper anymore. I read now that it has become as bad as impacting "number of carriers" I wonder how the advertisers are looking at this mess of a company. Please offer a package, we're waiting to get out while we can. Oh and on another point. The local indep paper is NOT looking to hire the people that browbeat then when they first started business...I know I asked.

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  24. Good to know. Might not be as bad as you might think with the competitors. I touched base with two and they are very open to talking to some of the people that will certainly be displaced. Advertisers are noticing what is happening. Spoke to a town councillor that is more than concerned about losing more jobs and maybe even the chance to lose the towns daily paper. Lets face it folks, we're all concerned!

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  25. The TO Star has a damning write up on Post Media

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  26. As of today, the Guelph Mercury is gone, and community showed up to hug it:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/crowd-shows-up-for-guelph-hug-mob-to-thank-mercury-staff-1.3423859

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  27. Scathing analysis of the whole Postmedia debacle:

    http://www.thestar.com/business/2016/01/30/the-problem-with-postmedia-olive.html

    Question is, since everyone agrees the company is not long for this world, what happens to all those merged newsrooms when the fire sale begins?

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  28. Speaking of merged newsrooms, what is the timeline for the TO Sun to be moved into the Post building? Or did it happen and I missed it?

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    1. Jim Slotek posted this on FB: "They have pushed up our move to the Postmedia building to mid-March, and we are informed today that the artwork on the Sun walls will be auctioned off. It will be strange to move. My connection to 333 King goes back to my Ryerson days, when I had an after-school job as a proofreader."

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  29. All I know is that we are still being paid. Guess they are viable till the money runs out. I can't imagine after reading that article that PM Trudeau would be too helpful with the Conservative biased Godfrey. Lets all be careful, remember when we thought it couldn'tbe worse than Stun Media?

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  30. As articles have noted, when Postmedia seeks creditor protection the company could be broken up, with newspaper assets sold off to U.S. hedge fund creditors in a debt for equity swap.

    So don't think, even if PM goes under and everything is sold off, that things are going to improve.

    U.S. hedge funds are still probably going to end up with most of Canada's major papers. Or what's left of them.

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  31. What fund would buy something that is taking it's last breath? Do Canadian laws allow this to happen? I have a family member that WORKED in the steel industr until the US took it over and moved it to an American production site.

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  32. While revenue and circulation is plunging (the 2013-14 Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun numbers are pathetic), these papers still make money.

    Without $700 mil in debt, it might be appealing to a smaller media chain or independent owner to pick up one or a few of them.

    But the Postmedia chain as a whole is doomed.

    And eventually these papers will start to lose money, not just make less each quarter. Once that happens, you will see multiple closures by the end of the decade.

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  33. Look, Postmedia is the greatest newspaper company ever. Paul Godfrey and Golden Tree saved journalism in Canada. Without them there would few, if any, newspapers left. We should all say, "thanks, Paul." And, "thanks, Golden Tree."

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  34. I, for one, believe all Canadian newspapers should be merged into one gigantic newsroom, under one editor. it could be headquartered in Saskatchewan or maybe Manitoba. Oh what the heck, even Toronto. That would streamline the news business, save papers and provide the best possible efficiencies for newspapers.

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  35. Folks ...don't give the suits any ideas ... You know they all read this, right?

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  36. Not looking forward to the future, which is a shame. We've all worked so hard at our craft, regardless of what "pillar" you belong. Time to band together and ride out the oncoming storm.

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    1. Really, 'worked so hard at your craft'?? How's this for working so hard at your craft - Warmington on Jan 31/16 -"I take offense at any campaign that sullies the reputation of Godfrey — a great Torontonian and Canadian". What an embarrassment!! I guess he's just honing his PR skills for the day that his column and papers that run it no longer exist.

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    2. Apparently there are exceptions. Ok maybe some were honest and to the point...nope some of those people are gone. Some just just swinging to keep the boss happy.

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    3. The Post also ran a 'Stop Picking On Us' column after the Star's PM evisceration.

      There are always writers and editors happy to suck up to the suits. Remember all the pro-PKP pieces that used to run in the Suns? Or all the free ad space given to Sun News Network? Sun managers, at this point, are used to slavishly pleasing whoever is cracking the whip. It would be amusing if it wasn't so pathetic.


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    4. Seeing as how we are looking at that same column - 'I not only led — with the late great Toronto Sun day-oner Bob MacDonald — the successful “Save Our Sun” campaign against the Toronto Star’s hostile takeover bid in 1999.' - WOW, how'd that work out for you and the rest of the staff? And.... 'I also helped facilitate early conversations that brought Godfrey and his Postmedia people and Pierre Karl PĂ©ladeau’s Quebecor people together'. WOW again!! You should be proud of yourself Joe. You'll be right up there in the News Hall of Fame - Right beside Godfrey!!

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    5. In case you missed Joe's column: http://www.torontosun.com/2016/01/31/torstar-get-off-your-high-horse

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  37. We have a larger city daily not a long ways up the road which is looking a lot as if it will take over running our newspaper at least that is what we are speculating will happen as soon as the cutting and merging begins in Ontario

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    1. Probably should have been done a long time ago. We wondered the same thing when we went from Osprey to Sun...now to Post Media. As long as they have a cheque, many of are waiting to be tapped on the shoulder. Not that we want to be looking for a job these days, but the daily stress of not knowing what is next is more than a little disheartening.

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    2. That's the truth... The hammer coming down will seem more like a mercy kill...

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  38. Great first-person account of the past few years at Postmedia from Margot Goodhand, the Journal EIC who was laid off.

    The take-away is, don't believe a word from the mouths of PM executives. In meetings after the Sun sale, Godfrey told editors he was going to reinvest in Sun newsrooms which had been gutted by Quebecor. A year later ....

    http://thewalrus.ca/above-the-fold/#.VrN3eVRpqQ4.twitter

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    1. Brent Butcher, who worked at Postmedia Editorial Services for four years, responds to Goodhand's "cheapshots". https://www.facebook.com/brentbutcher/posts/10153375623828008?pnref=story

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  39. It is interesting that The London Free Press and The Windsor Star are calling themselves sister papers and are inviting summer students to write chanteuse-like cover letters for the pleasure of working hours for chump change (bring your own cell, camera, car, etc.!). It makes one wonder if the plan is to have pillars filling all of the holes in the papers that fall in between. It quite often seems the management does not believe the public knows the difference (and sometimes one wonders if folks do).

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    1. The thing is, they do notice. I got dumped from Stun Media a few years ago and I'm finding real people actually do notice all these ways the papers cut corners, and they don't see the point in subscribing anymore because the quality's gone down so much.

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  40. Not sure if it is the same everywhere... our, very few readers are sick and tired of reading what is happening in Windsor or London or Toronto. Have a friend that WAS an advertiser, they are catching on to the falling circulation. They still list people on the website that are long gone. I think so the public doesn't know how bad it is

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  41. I'm an ex Sun Media employee now working for a major retailer with stores throughout Canada. At a meeting last week the discussion was referencing the ever decreasing circulation in the Niagara Peninsula and if we should make a change. Could be a terrible blow to Niagara if they go through with it.

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    1. I work for a marketing firm that has multiple market buys, mostly with PM, I can tell you it is already in the works to start moving business. Metroland and many of the independent papers are lining up for the win fall. Just to put a cherry on this, we're saving money and expect our buy impact to rep some immediate impact. How does a company promote paid circulation when it is dropping 15% or more?

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    2. We certainly don't promote it. I remember the day that paid was the only game in town. Free is the big game now.

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  42. Free was always the big game...paid is just figuring that out now

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  43. Sad part is now that we're so far behind, will be hard to catch up, after all even PM is pushing for all digital and no paper. Our advertisers are really wondering what is happening and are just as nervous as we are as to our future, our very near future.

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  44. Heard yesterday around a dozen or so people took buyouts at The Ottawa Citizen... harbringer of things to come...

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    1. http://warrenkinsella.com/2016/02/the-ottawa-citizen-with-a-whimper-not-a-bang/

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  45. If they offer it, it would be best to take it. My nephew worked for Radio Shack, almost the same scenerio as our encounter today. Staff were offered buyouts and now in hindsight should have taken them. As a company loses profitability it also loses its ability to payout those left behind. The hedgefunds will get their money first, then it will be a feeding frenzy to get the last bit of scraps.

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  46. This is hilarious. On the same week much of the Citizen's top talent decides to take buyouts rather than stick around until the end. And two weeks after dozens and dozens of layoffs, with more most certainly to come.

    http://www.j-source.ca/article/memo-postmedia-exec-calls-big-projects-affirms-commitment-great-journalism

    Reminds me of Quebecor, when the Sun Media corporate yes-men would send out absurd Big Journalism memos and ideas regardless of the reality staring every employee in the face.

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  47. USA Today piece examines news media and concludes: print is dead - but so is digital.

    An informed nail in the coffin for the idea chasing click-bait and ad revenue that never materialized would save us all.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/wolff/2016/02/14/wolff-prints-dead-but-so-digital/80284046/

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    1. Oh please. This story says Facebook and Google taking away ads. A study by Princeton says FB will lose 80 per cent of its users by 2017. Anyone can quote any study. The debate continues but I for one don't believe print is dead. "Experts" have been saying for more than 100 years - since the arrival of the telegraph - that print was dead but yet here we are. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/22/facebook-princeton-researchers-infectious-disease

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    2. Sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. More than 50 per cent of all digital ad revenue now goes to just 2 players: Google and Facebook.

      If you doubt the death of print you should probably consider the mass layoffs, closures, plunging ad dollars and circulation numbers across the industry before you compare the Internet to the telegraph. This isn't the telegraph. It's the automobile in the era of the horse and buggy. I am sure there were people in 1901 who were convinced the car was just a fad.


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    3. Actually you don't know what you're talking about. Experts said the newspaper would die not only with the arrival of the telegraph but also with radio and then with TV. Newspapers adapted and changed - just as they are now. Where have you been with all of the PM cuts? If a Canadian company purchased Sun Media instead of US hedge funds then there wouldn't be as much blood letting as there is now. Remember? PM has loan payments due to US hedge funds - in American dollars. You don't see a problem with that considering the low Canadian dollar? Let me guess. You're management and trying to justify the cuts and future of newspapers.

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    4. Simple math for those at head office... if you owe one dollar, add 35-40 cents to that, now you have to pay $1.35-$1.40, and keep in mind that is just for one dollar, imagine millions of dollars. Wow I thought 4% on a mortgage was bad. Even the credit card companies only charge 29-30% so someone is making money, not us.

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  48. Print is is dying, not because of anything other than corporate direction. They moved away from what the consumer wanted, and surprise the consumer walked away. Then the decision makers stood back to take stock and looked at each other wondering what happened to their loyal readers and advertisers? They found that takng the community out of a paper and running it from afar just doesn't work, but here's the kicker...they kept doing it thinking "they'll come back when no one else gives them the news" hmmm lets see, there is internet, radio and oh ya lots of new independent news gathering papers that DO fill the gap left, when newspapers died. Maybe something said for no forethought to a situation?

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    1. Oh ye of little vision http://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-buying-newspapers-2013-3

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    2. You can see how a man of insight, very little knowledge with the business understands there is still money to be made. With good people, good content that readers want...guess what they will still buy a newspaper. Shove dribble down their throats and call it news only ticks them off.

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    3. Now I agree with you. You always have to think about who your readers are and what they want. You can't can same copy and photos for a bunch of newspapers.

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  49. The newspaper industry bungled things as badly as the music industry did, re: the Internet. They assumed advertising would just migrate from print to their websites, which it has not and will not. They compounded the problem when they put up all their content online for free. By the time they went back to paywalls, a generation was of the view that information should be free.

    That said, it's doubtful any moves would have ultimately saved the industry. I've heard of 60 year old boomers canceling their paper subscriptions because they can get news flashes on their Twitter or FB feeds.

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  50. Layoffs over at 333 King today. 3 advertising coordinators, and I'm sure there will be more to come before the big move to the National Post building. I can't imagine the staff that's left has much of a chance of surviving the year.

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    1. Talk is that we'll see more changes once the Competition Bureau deadline approaches. I thought we had bad morale before, this is far worse. People now know something is going to happen, just when is the hammer going to drop has everyone on edge.

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  51. Won't need all the coordinators when there is so little advertising. The times they are a changing and with far less people.

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    1. There is so little advertising in our paper, and so few quality stories ( it is February) that they just make pics larger to fill in the space. Looks like crap, but what can ya do?

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  52. At some papers, PM is having to hire reporters because, after the cuts, staff who survived are quitting of their own free will, knowing what's on the horizon (hint: oblivion). Just when it couldn't get more ridiculous....

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  53. And so it continues. How long before there is no local content? http://www.lfpress.com/2016/02/26/new-format-restores-free-press-roots

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    1. The spin on this is really extraordinary. Laughably so. But after a decade-plus of Quebecor, I guess the now-PM managers are old pros at selling snakeoil to readers.

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  54. So the London Free Press is being "restored" to its roots. What a laugh.

    Note that this very article announcing "essential local news" couldn't even be bothered to run a photo of, uh, the London Free Press. Instead, LFP chose to run a picture of a bunch of Italian newspapers. Or maybe the London Free Press' roots are Italian?

    The picture was shot by an Italian photographer in Milan. https://us.fotolia.com/id/58439349

    They couldn't even be bothered to do a picture of its own product!

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    1. London Free Press looks....great? If I wanted NP news, I would have been one of the few that read it all the time. Come on guys, stop pushing "stuff" down our throats and calling it chocolate.

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    2. It's a scam. They are shoving chunks of the NP in all the dailies they own to inflate the Post's circulation and readership numbers.

      Despite the "national" in its name, nobody outside of Toronto has ever really read it.

      That said, it is the crown jewel for this company, so they are loathe to shut it down.

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  55. Andrew Potter gone as of today as editor of Ottawa Citizen / Sun.

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  56. Hiring in London and Sarnia for sales people and an ad manager in Sarnia. Oh and they cal lthem Media Strategists not sale people. WOW they had people in place for these spots but let them go years ago. Maybe another mistake?

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  57. It is indeed sad what PostMedia continues to do to so many once-great newspapers in this country. I'm not just talking about some of the big market papers, but also the likes of the London Free Press, Kingston Whig-Standard, etc.
    What's equally terrible is how they are continuing along the route of PKP's legacy by eroding the public's faith in newspapers all together. Advertisers are flocking to radio of all places, stations that barely scratch the surface on the news stories they bother to cover and who shy away from anything remotely controversial.
    If PM sells off or shutters a number of its products in its quest to shave $50M off the books by May, the landscape may be too pockmarked for anyone else to come into many of these markets to make a go of it. What does that leave the citizens in these communities in terms of who is willing to shine a light in the dark corners on their behalf?

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  58. So $50M before May...Not a math scholar but that it is only 2 months away. To get to $50M what will they close, lets face it who would buy something with so little value. They have let some people go, but not to the amount of money they need to get to.

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  59. Toronto Sun and Post have yet to merge newsrooms. Safe to assume when that happens, layoffs will be announced in TO just as in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. There will be a lot of editorial duplication to chop (2 sets of centralized entertainment departments, 2 sets of sports teams, 2 sets of life editors/writers, 2 sets of national web editors, etc). And you can be sure the layoffs have not ended out west at those papers where staff have been merged.

    Yet even still, that won't come close to the millions of dollars in cuts they need. Maybe outsourcing page layout overseas? Cutting down the number of publication days?

    Weird to see in some markets, where people have wisely left, they are hiring reporters and editors. Who would go work for one of these papers? That would be like boarding the Titanic AFTER it struck the iceberg.

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  60. In this economy, a job is a job, even if it is short-lived.
    Internet Killed the Newspaper Stars (Apologies to The Buggles).

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    1. Short-lived? How is it a life, just because you are breathing? Going to work at a job you love or enjoy only to look over your shoulder even minute of everyday is a job, certainly not a career. Pays the bills but the stress we as PM employees are already under...is the stress worth it?

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    2. You are far better off to attempt to get out of journalism altogether and transition to a new career rather than cling to the pieces of PM. The longer you are with PM, the more difficult it will become to transition after the inevitable end (even if you can prolong it a year or two).

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    3. Compared to the relaxing life of living under a bridge, say?

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  61. Ad director leaving Chatham Daily News. Friday March 11 is his last day. More to follow I'm sure. Not me, I'm staying until they give me a cheque.

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    1. Pennysaver guy who was one of PKP's yes men never worked at a newspaper until he was running one....predictable results.

      Delete
  62. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/goldentree-in-talks-to-sell-stake-in-postmedia-report/article29219247/

    Really, GoldenTree hired investment bank Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. to drum up buyers? They could have saved a tonne of dough and just got Warmington to 'broker another deal' Say it ain't so, Joe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone explain to all of us how selling a company that is on the brink of financial disaster is a good buy? I'm not an economist but how does putting money into a consistant looser make sense?

      Delete
  63. Sounds like Canso, out of Ontario, may be the only company vaguely interested in buying GoldenTree's majority stake; they already are PM's second-largest investor. But that's a big maybe.

    As one analyst said this morning, if GoldenTree can't convince some sucker (er, buyer) that revenue will improve, their only other option will be to aggressively cut costs. In other words, what's happened so far? Not aggressive enough.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Let the predictions begin: this piece suggests Godfrey and PM has less than a year left. From there, the papers will be sold off separately to local owners with deep pockets.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/postmedia-sale-future-journalism-1.3491961

    Of course, even without the debt, the fact is, revenue is in decline. So any buyer would have to be OK with basically scooping up a money loser that's never going to turn itself around.

    ReplyDelete
  65. We already have one potential buyer named ... who turned it down flat: "Catalyst, a Toronto-based private equity firm specializing in distressed and undervalued assets, does not see a 'viable, long-term business' at Postmedia under its current structure."

    http://www.bnn.ca/News/2016/3/16/Catalyst-Capital-approached-but-not-interested-in-Postmedia-stake-Source-.aspx

    When a hedge fund that specializes in distressed companies turns you down.....wow.

    ReplyDelete
  66. If they're not going to be sold, set them up as trusts or non-profits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a chance in the major urban markets.

      Toronto has, if you count Metro and 24 Hours, an astounding SIX daily papers. That's not sustainable.

      While TorStar does not have the money to buy the entire PM chain, they could probably snap up the merged Post/Sun during the fire sale and either gut the operation or shut it down, in order to get a stranglehold on the TO market.

      Considering they also have a stake in Metro, this would allow them to corner the free paper market, too, by shutting down 24 Hours.

      I think it's going to be every daily for themselves very, very shortly.

      Delete
    2. um, they are already non-profits, that's the problem.

      Delete
    3. then there will be far fewer dailies out there. There are only a couple that are worth anything, and most of that profit comes from pre-prints. Not withstanding the fact that so many sites are inter-twined, no presses, inserting done at a regional plant. Just a logistical nightmare unless you buy the whole lot. Can it still be done, sure but at great expense.

      Delete
    4. That will be the big question.

      All these operations have been centralized to such a degree that buying a single paper would present huge headaches for anyone not already in the newspaper biz.

      Could see Black Press in BC snapping up Postmedia's papers in BC and Alberta, including the major dailies. They already print PM's Vancouver products.

      Likewise, it makes sense TorStar would make a play for the Toronto and Ottawa PM newsrooms. Maybe some southern Ontario papers, too.

      But in the end, a lot of Postmedia's papers will simply fold. Doubtful the Sun, as a chain, will survive.





      Delete
    5. There are different tax rules for non-profits and trusts, so the answer that a for-profit is a non-profit maker is not quite a response. Granted things are now far more intertwined and "merged" making the untwining difficult, but to wash hands and say nothing can be done, or only want to do anything beside what has already been done, I think, is a bit of a cop-out. Sitting on the sidelines and complaining isn't going to change anything.
      So faced with this issue, whether a multi-paper town or a single-paper town, what are the possible solutions other than someone with deep pockets, which is unlikely?
      http://www.newyorker.com/news/steve-coll/nonprofit-newspapers

      Delete
    6. Don't know if complaining is the right word. If you say the sky is blue, are you complaining about its colour?

      A few papers will survive for a few more years, probably with a patchwork of funding models (private rich owner, charitable foundation, etc). The vast majority are going to be gone.

      Postmedia is a separate issue, above and beyond the industry, with its 700 mil debt and antsy hedge fund owners.

      Word to the wise: when Godfrey announces he is leaving, that means the plane is now entering its final descent. Into the ground.


      Delete
    7. I think they should self off the community papers to the employees, going by province they are basically turnkey operations and still profitable for the most part.

      Delete
    8. What employees? Not one person in our building, me included that has the business sense to run a newspaper. Forgot our Ad director (the apparent boss) doesn't know how to run to run it either but can sure take direction from above.

      Delete
  67. Any ideas what could happen to one-newspaper towns?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Postmedia is holding its quarterly financial report teleconference April 7, a week after the Sun Media sale/merger is final and 2 weeks after the Toronto Sun picks up stakes from 333 King to move into the Post building.

    Methinks April is going to be pretty pretty bad.

    Remember, the western blood-letting happened around the time of the last quarterly report.

    ReplyDelete
  69. What happens if they go bankrupt and just start closing papers, will there be money for severance? My understanding is that creditors come first, not staff in such a case.

    ReplyDelete
  70. No severance if they seek bankruptcy protection and your paper is closed.

    Union employees have their pensions/retirement funds protected by the union itself. Non-union employees...who knows.

    If your paper still turns a profit or is appealing at all to a competitor, you will probably find yourself under new ownership.

    But there's no way the PM survives. It is going to be broken up into a million pieces.



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  71. surely there are people out there that remember a word called loyalty. I hate the word now. I overheard someone say we should be loyal to out employer, they stopped being loyal, long long before PM took over the circus. Loyalty stopped when they started gutting newspapers, laying off staff, selling buildings. Wow sounds like a fun place to work doesn't. Wonder why people are leaving without a package??? won't be one coming and they don't want to wait till the end, which seems closer than ever.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Found this graphic video of oblivious cows cheerful about the move to the slaughterhouse... Oh wait, it's Toronto Sun employees moving to the Post building after 40 years on King St.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2016/03/25/the-suns-big-move

    Strange TO would do this. When the other Suns moved, it was radio-silence. TO wasn't touched by the massive layoffs in January. That's probably about to change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that's not entirely true: http://www.ottawasun.com/2015/11/26/ottawa-sun-office-on-the-move

      Delete
    2. Blinked and missed that one.

      Delete
  73. Toronto Sun staff shouldn't bother unpacking.

    By end of 2017 at latest, they will be under new ownership after PM defaults on its debt payment next year and is forced to restructure (something so inevitable nobody at PM even denies it).

    And since the TO Sun no longer has a building of its own...who knows where it will end up. If it ends up anywhere at all.

    That is assuming, of course, GoldenTree doesn't find a buyer for its majority stake. If it does, and depending on who it is, the TO Sun may be out the doors much, much sooner.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Would seem the advertisers have or are catching on to the mess. Had a local mgr ask what the plan is to deliver his flyer, should our daily paper be closed. Not a good sign that people outside the company are now watching and holding their breath as well. Not like we have a lot of flyers in the daily but the question is out there.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Unfortunately PM decided to eliminate Sunmedia corporate and local Senior Management after the purchase. The PM corporate VP's (who make terrible decisions) never understood how to monetize the money making urban Sun products. They treat them like broadsheet products as opposed to what they are designed to be, primarily a commuter,single copy product. Broadsheet is the only thing these senior folks know and it shows in their inability to satisfy readers,advertisers and employees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that really true? Yes, Sun Media corporate managers were greased with the sale but, frankly, they were just PKP's henchmen.

      Unless this has changed, Sun newspaper managers are either all still around in senior roles or have been promoted to VP positions (James Wallace and Mike Power in TO, for example).

      Again, I may be out of the loop. But I don't think you can blame the Sun's woes on the fact Quebecor's yes-men, who would have thrown their own mothers under the bus, are gone.

      The real issue is PM's debt and imminent collapse, which will now impact the Sun.

      As for how the Sun got here, it comes full circle: Paul Godfrey, who sold the chain to Quebecor in the 1990s.





      Delete
  76. We were sitting one night this week, having a beverage and couple of us thought...what if they just start to cancel delivery days instead of outright closing papers. We all agreed that there is so little ad space in our early week papers, maybe that would be an option. Seems odd to us that we are thinking of ways to keep things going instead of just pulling the plug all together. Maybe in April, this might be on the table, might be a few staff reductions but not the entire staff.

    ReplyDelete
  77. On Gaulin's site I see 11 reporter and editor jobs in Alberta. Many Postmedia jobs. lol everyone "bailing" before the ship sinks? And seriously who do they think will fill those jobs? Give up their lives wherever they are to jump on the Titanic?

    ReplyDelete
  78. Black Thursday is soon here. Hold on folks, this is gonna be BAD.

    ReplyDelete
  79. The predictability - and accompanying bloodletting - of Postmedia's quarterly reports remind me of Christmastime in Quebecorland.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Lets hope we don't see too man videos of people leaving their building for the last time...if a "for sale" sign on the front door.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Postmedia Bond Plunge Signals End of Godfrey's U.S. Debt 'Noose'
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-06/postmedia-bond-plunge-signals-end-of-godfrey-s-u-s-debt-noose

    ReplyDelete
  82. Wall Street betting big on a restructuring ... and soon.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-06/postmedia-bond-plunge-signals-end-of-godfrey-s-u-s-debt-noose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So... are we doomed or what? Hard to tell from the gobbledegook sent out by the corporate hacks.

      Delete
  83. Hmm equity in a company that isn't making much of a profit, if any? Oh please let me in on that. No interest payments? Can;t imagine the bond holder would think this is a good thing, or is it? Can someone explain the logic?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Bottom line is restructuring is coming. Selling off non-core assets and cost-cutting will only keep the wolf from the door until 2017 when $300 mil in debt matures.

    Question is, when the company goes under and the fire sale happens, where does everyone end up? Because it likely won't be all under one owner, but under several.

    TorStar, certainly, would be circling southern Ontario papers like the Free Press and the Whig-Standard. They'd probably like to finally get their claws into the TO Sun, too.

    But beyond that, who wants the mess that decades of corporate mismanagement (Quebecor, CanWest and PM are all to blame here) has created, when revenue is tracking down, down, down?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The new owner will be faced with an entanglement of years of centralization. Some made/makes sense some was/is pure foolishness. As the debt seems to be changing, wonder if there will be packages offered again? If so, I and three others will be standing in line.

      Delete
    2. Exactly. You can't buy a paper (or even the Sun chain) anymore unless you also want to invest in all the things (like a building and a press) that have been integrated. Nobody will want that.

      So it has to be either an existing publisher like TorStar that has those resources. Or it is a buyer who purchases it for the brand-name and digital footprint and skips the print component altogether.











      Delete
  85. Quick notes from today's results and press:

    - PM has cut $55 mil of the $80 mil they announced they would be slashing by end of 2017 ($23 mil came from the layoffs and mergers in January). BUT that is not the ceiling, as the CFO says they are now always looking to cut. Yikes.

    - GoldenTree has bailed on the company. The GoldenTree partner who was on the Postmedia board has stepped down so the hedge fund can prioritize getting the hell off Titanic. Say, can you pass me that violin?

    - Content is king and the king is dead. Not a word about it or journalism in general. Instead, Godfrey is talking up the deal they struck with Mojo. Makes sense, since slashing more content generators is around the corner.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Did we dodge the train? Or did it stop to take on passengers? The stress we are all feeling right now is terrible. Spent the weekend polishing my resume. I feel I'm gonna need to sooner than later. At least I planned years ago for such an occurrence, lots have not, what are they thinking...the company will be loyal to them? What foolish thinking. Seen far too many people thrown in front of the bus

    ReplyDelete
  87. Depends what paper you are at.

    If you are a profitable broadsheet in southern Ontario that TorStar might want... you will probably be fine, even after PM collapses.

    If your paper doesn't make money...well...

    The merging of the urban Suns/PM broadsheets make it impossible to know how those markets will shake out. As has been pointed out, they can't really unload the Suns anymore, they are too integrated. So fewer publishing days, deeper cuts, possibly merging the two products completely...are all options.

    For now their "special committee" is apparently coming up with a plan... lol



    ReplyDelete
  88. Ever feel you are trapped in the back of a speeding truck driven by drunken lemurs? That's how this holding pattern feels to me...

    ReplyDelete
  89. Nope don't feel that way at all. Just read a story that PM is the largest read newspaper chain in the country. So maybe we've turned a corner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've turned a corner onto a dead end street. Read yesterday's Vividata readership numbers.

      PM is the largest read newspaper *chain* only because it's the largest *chain* and is the only choice in cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, London, etc.

      In places where there is a choice, PM is the lowest read. Period. See the Vividata numbers.

      Delete
  90. Your premise is weak. Because PM is the largest read newspaper chain in the country we've turned around? Of course it's the largest read newspaper chain! It IS the largest newspaper chain in the country. That doesn't mean it's the most profitable. Being well read and having enough revenue to pay the bills and not slash and burn are two completely different things. Oh and there are tooth fairies, a Santa Claus and the Easter bunnies too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saw Santa walking up the steps to our building. He tried to call, no one answered oh and our office is not open full "business hours" so he walked down the street to the indie paper in town. Of course kidding, Santa puts ads in the indie paper in town. How bad can it get? It gets so sad that you could almost cry.

      Delete
  91. I read the stats, and somehow they just don't seem right. The math doesn't seem right. How can you have such low circulation and have such high readership? Gonna have to ask my former math teacher to figure it out, he loves puzzles.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Exactly, what does having the most papers have to do with anything? $700 mil in debt and revenue on the decline... with a special committee currently considering what assets to sell off to keep the lights on.

    Yeah, you've turned a corner alright....and around that next corner? Bankruptcy.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Sun Media employees in Simcoe County, specifically at the Barrie Examiner, Bradford Times, Innisfil Examiner, and the Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin, are seeking to form a union.

    http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/postmedia-employees-want-a-union-577261421.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give'em hell. Time to get what you deserve. Two companies running over the hard working people that do all the grunt work. Having a job is simply not enough anymore.

      Delete
  94. If you're not in a union, you haven't had a raise in how many years?
    Time to stop being shoved under the carpet like a dust bunny. If they can pay Paul Godfrey, they can sure pay the employees that make the money everyday

    ReplyDelete
  95. Politico/columnist Warren Kinsella tweeted this today: "Informed speculation: (a) #Postmedia in CCAA by Summer/Fall (b) Godfrey doesn't run anything anymore - the board does."

    ReplyDelete
  96. What is CCAA? If he's not running anything anymore...someone or the board then is not doing a very good job.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ... receivership, basically, with the company restructuring and selling off assets. The hedge funds would be writing down hundreds of millions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have assets? Must be hiding them under the rug, I don't see any assets. Oh ya all the presses, nope all gone, ok the actual buildings, nope most have already been sold, ok last one titles, these they have but not worth $300 mil. Hmm the hedgefund guys have to be just thrilled with this backing. Good call people, I have a wonderful lake and bridge that I need some backing, you in?

      Delete
    2. 300 million? Ha! PM is 700 mil in debt. Which would be fine, if they could make their interest payments which, cause of falling revenue and a low dollar, they cannot.

      The fire sale has begun, albeit unofficially.....

      Delete
    3. I'll kick in $20 if we can get maybe 100 people, we can own a newspaper.

      Delete
  98. It's been said here before, but ... whenever Godfrey grabs for the golden parachute, you know it's really the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The suspense is killing me. Would PM just die already and get the uncertainty over with. lol

      Delete
  99. Godfrey will collect his millions, while hundreds get dick. Oil always floats to the top.

    ReplyDelete
  100. So now Godfrey is on Parliament Hill with a tin cup, looking for a government bailout. Ha!

    Among the highlights, about the Sun Media purchase, "Last year, the company spent $316-million to acquire the Sun Media chain and related digital sites from Quebecor Inc., and claims the merger boosted its online audience to 12.8 million unique monthly visitors. Mr. Godfrey was gambling that this increased scale would “extend the runway” for Postmedia’s publications, as he put it on Thursday. But “the erosion of the print ad revenue has been so dramatic that even that runway has been short.”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/postmedias-godfrey-urges-tax-incentives-to-keep-ad-dollars-in-canada/article29989506/

    ReplyDelete
  101. I'm sure the Liberals will jump right on board, seeing as how the Stun Media outlets were ordered to endorse the local PCs in front-page editorials. Bet that played well in the ridings. I bet Ottawa will bend over backwards to bail them out.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Exactly! You can't argue saving the company is somehow for the public good when it has acted like a wing of the Tory party. Remember, in addition to the federal election, during last year's Alberta election, Godfrey ordered all his papers there to endorse the PCs (who were then slaughtered).

    The auto industry comparison is also wrong on multiple fronts. First, people still drive cars; they do not read papers. It would be like GM saying, well we know people all have teleporters now, but please, give us tax dollars to build more cars.

    As well, Post Media and others have already cut so much of their work staff that really, you aren't saving many jobs by bailing them out.

    This Hail Mary pass is going to fail, just like the last one (buying Sun Media) did.




    ReplyDelete
  103. So the Toronto Sun and sister papers, which railed for years against giving the CBC tax dollars, is now looking for government help?

    ReplyDelete
  104. It takes a lot of gall to go to Ottawa to ask for taxpayer money to pay off U.S. hedge funds.

    ReplyDelete
  105. What will they be saving? Jobs in India, call centre in the Caribbean? Lets see maybe they have come to the reality that they went too far and over reached the limit? Godfrey must be concerned he won't get paid. Can't imagine the blow back from taxpayers if they give a dime to PM. I say this as I am, and many others are actively looking for a new career before this one is taken from us. Shine up the CV's now people can't be long before you will need it. What a shame!

    ReplyDelete
  106. When not begging the Liberals for tax dollars, Godfrey is hosting Kevin O'Leary at "Postmedia Place" per this Toronto Sun fluff-job:

    "Billed as an evening with Kevin O’Leary, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey is holding a special gathering of invited guests in our 11th floor Collaboration Lounge at 5 p.m. next Thursday so they can meet the man known as Mr. Wonderful."

    Because TO Sun columnists apparently have nothing better to write about. Yes, Liberals, please, give us money so we can produce more garbage articles like this.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2016/05/13/oleary-to-pay-visit-to-postmedia

    This company cannot die quickly enough.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would O'Leary give the money to PM if he were Prime Minister? Even a shark knows there is nothing left. Does Godfrey think that whooing him will help him with a bailout? HA I think one of the things O'Leary looks at is a business plan, anyone feel like there is a plan to this mess?

      Delete
  107. When the process begins, it'll be a fast end. I look around this office and see three people, and one of those is a past employee visiting, what are the chances?

    ReplyDelete
  108. http://london.ctvnews.ca/london-free-press-print-plant-to-close-resulting-in-135-job-losses-1.2925360

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The printing of this paper "will now be outsourced to Metroland Media's printing facility in Hamilton."

      Delete
  109. A sliver of what's to come... Will be interested to know what the committee looking at cuts and sales of assets comes up with.

    ReplyDelete
  110. For those "in the know" you realize this should have happened a long time ago. Sad state of affairs this company, and the one prior. What a shame. All this is fairly easy with such floundering circulation numbers. Now we'll wait to see what else is shuttered as the move goes on.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Yeah, it was always incredulous how the London Free Press avoided so many of the cuts other bigger papers suffered during the Quebecor years.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Guess the smart ones might be Torstar. Wait till it's worth very little, print what you can to make money from the competitor, then swoop in and buy it for less than a cup of coffee. Close down what doesn;t make money and ride it out till newspapers become obsolete, like radios and televisions. Now that is a business strategy.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Mike Power, the Toronto Sun's publisher who got a VP title when Postmedia took over, is gone now. Usually when executives start pulling the ripcords, it means bad times are just around the corner....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. golden parachutes will be opening all over the place, far more than we're gonna get when this is all over.

      Delete
  114. Update from the Globe and Mail. Says a dust-up between Postmedia's two biggest investors, the hedge fund Goldentree and the Cdn outfit Canso, is likely in terms of how the restructuring happens. And who it benefits.

    Another interesting tidbit: TorStar, Glacier Media, other traditional media companies and other private investment firms have ALL rejected the idea of buying into PM.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/streetwise/postmedia-debt-dust-up-likely-to-see-canso-victorious/article30312635/

    ReplyDelete
  115. Why buy into it when you can wait and get it at a far reduced price. They're smart, wait for the fire sale. when you see people started to be let go, you know a sale is not far off. New owners do not want the added cost of severance on their books.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Another reason the hedge fund probably can't wait to unload Postmedia....

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ex-journalist-arthur-kent-wins-defamation-lawsuit-against-postmedia/article30350296/

    $200K is peanuts, all things considered, but still....

    ReplyDelete
  117. Found this blog Why the World's Richest Men are Investing in Newspapers. Clearly they have vision. http://blog.realmatch.com/news-publishers/worlds-richest-men-invest-newspapers/

    ReplyDelete
  118. Print isn't dead and I hope journalists will become entrepreneurs and start their own newspapers. Think about it, the Toronto Sun started out with a dream and a vision. You could very well be the next Doug Creighton or Peter Worthington. Dare to dream - and act on those dreams.

    This story says, "After years of decline, newspapers are showing signs of stabilizing, so Buffett and Bezos might just be onto something."

    Read more: Why Billionaires Love to Invest in Newspapers | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/010716/why-billionaires-love-invest-newspapers.asp#ixzz4BPKZa7MS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Billionaires Love to Invest in Newspapers because they get to further their own cause - usually political. The WSJ hasn't been the same since Murdoch took over. They foist their political beliefs upon the editors and it shows in the final product. Look at what Godfrey did with Post Media and the pro Conservative editorials during the last federal election. If you think that readers are smart enough to see through this, then you haven't met a Sun 'Hey, where's my free Sun toque' reader.

      Delete
  119. Dare to dream, maybe. But the facts are the facts. There are 60 per cent fewer newspaper jobs now than there were in the early 1990s in the US; presumably, the same stats would hold true in Canada.

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/jun/06/almost-60-of-us-newspaper-jobs-vanish-in-26-years?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

    And frankly, the trend is not reversing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes less people to run smaller papers with fewer editions ... doesn't mean they will go away

      Delete
    2. Absolutely jobs have been lost. No one is arguing that point. But if you read the entire two stories above you will see that the billionaires, such as Buffet and Amazon founder, are investing in newspapers on their potential growth. The story asks what do they see that others don't. For the past 100 years the "experts" have been saying newspapers are dead; with advent of telegraph, then radio, then TV - and now Internet. Newspapers can - and do - adapt and change. You can continue to believe the so-called "experts" saying print is dead. I choose to agree with the billionaires.

      Delete
    3. I work for a small community weekly paper. That said, I feel for my former co-workers. They are left with nothing, no pay raise, no direction, no light at the end of the tunnel. Everyday looking at their ultimate demise. Our weekly? well the owners are ALL local. Nothing outside of our area appears in the paper. Advertisers have been and continue to be very supportive. All this with few staff, long hours AND lots of fun. The owners aren't made of money and budgets are tight, but it shows what can be accomplished with direction and leadership. Folks please take heed, the owners of these small papers ARE aware of what you are saying when you bash them. They understand what you are facing, but our direction doesn't allow for us to bash the competitior, in fact it's one of the mandates of the owners. So be proud of where you work, sell the product on its merit, not bashing the little guy...oh and they are producing jobs AND having fun and from what I see they are pretty darn successful. Team work does work and they see the future as bright. I wish my former co-workers well.

      Delete
  120. Even Warren Buffet is wrestling with the print business.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/rieder/2016/05/25/rieder-newspapers-havent-cracked-code-buffett-says/84902818/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well this story about Warren Buffet is discouraging. Read it. Thanks for passing along.

      Delete
  121. I remember a couple years ago, people were crowing about the 'print-first strategy' the new owners of the Orange County Register had implemented. They had even hired 50 editorial staff. 50! Surely, they believed, this would prove print wasn't dead.

    Two years later, the paper fired all those 50 hires, and continued layoffs after that. The print-first strategy? An utter failure.

    The future of newspapers? Benign billionaires, who are willing to take the financial hit in exchange for a trophy and the influence that comes with it.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Came across a story yesterday published in 2013 (can't seem to find it now) that said billionaires like Bezos can wait 3, 5, 10 years for newspapers to be profitable again. Some say newspapers will stop it's downward spiral and be profitable again. Maybe Buffet says he hasn't cracked the code yet but do you really think if he did he would tell the rest of us? Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Perhaps Bezos is turning around the Washington Post. 5 things publishers can learn from how Jeff Bezos is running The Washington Post is a good read at http://www.niemanlab.org/2016/06/5-things-publishers-can-learn-from-how-jeff-bezos-is-running-the-washington-post/?utm_source=Daily+Lab+email+list&utm_campaign=e2009129c0-dailylabemail3&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d68264fd5e-e2009129c0-396016349

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  124. Amazingly the NHL seems smart enough to not allow PKP into it's midst. Quebecor World, Sun Media, province of Quebec all felt his wrath. Good call NHL!

    ReplyDelete
  125. Found the solution...give the note holders stock in exchange for debt. Oh I am so glad I am not owed money by PM. Keep moving the debt around, from pocket to pocket, maybe someone will lose track. If you're holding on for a cheque when this last effort fails, good luck there won't be one.

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  126. Heard that if you're waiting for a buyout...keep waiting, they are not being offered. In talking we assume the company is waiting for as many to leave on their own so to avoid payouts. An unclear future puts a lot of people in the "look elsewhere" mode for employment. On the good side, still being paid, some are putting forth a diminished effort, then who can blame them, more work added to everyone, no pay increase, hell not even a pat on the back for a good effort. Come on people give us some idea what to expect.

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  127. https://www.timminstoday.com/local-news/for-sale-sign-goes-up-on-timmins-daily-press-building-336759

    Did not seem to make the news anywhere else.

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  128. Well folks, looks like we've dodged a bullet. Horray for Paul Godfrey and his group. Not sleeping too well, but much better given the circumstance. Still looking for another job...just in case

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    1. What did Godfrey do? Get government (our) money?

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  129. Re-organized the debt to make the payments less of a burden. Guess the creditors woul dhave little choice but to accept the deal, only thing left now will be credit protection if ths doesn't work.

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  130. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and not the train we all feared.

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  131. Oh I fear the train is still on the track, just slowed down a bit

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  132. An excellent piece about more independent start ups vs big chain conglomerate owned papers. Perhaps the future is the past? http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/12/scaling-down-the-hype-in-local-news/

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  133. As rumoured, TorStar just announced it will be laying off 45 newsroom employees, 26 of whom were "temporary employees" of the Toronto Star's money-losing tablet edition. The other 19 people are full-time journalists and editors.

    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/08/09/torstar-announces-layoffs.html

    A friend at The Globe+Mail said that they, too, expect buyouts/layoffs soon. Postmedia last month hinted that more layoffs are coming as well. So it still hasn't hit bottom.

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