Postmedia layoffs reveal uncertain future

90 staff lose jobs as part of 'cost-cutting program'

Postmedia announced significant operational changes, cutting 90 jobs across the country and merging the newsrooms in cities with two Postmedia-owned papers.

The moves are part of cost saving strategies that have been implemented by the company’s CEO Paul Godfrey.

“We have announced a cost-cutting program aimed at finding at least $80 million in savings before the end of fiscal 2017,” Godfrey said in a memo.

The two Postmedia-owned newspapers in Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton are to be merged into one newsroom, though Godfrey says they will still operate under separate brands.

The cuts aim to address Postmedia’s growing operational deficit. The company posted greater fourth quarter losses in 2015 than in 2014.

Former National Post writer Bruce Arthur, says Postmedia’s recent acquisition of Sun Media is the reason behind the operational changes and that the recent layoffs by Postmedia and other media outlets continues to create an uncertain future for the journalism industry.

“I’m worried about the industry because no one has been able to figure it out,” Arthur said. “There are less and less ways for young people to develop because there are fewer jobs.”

Arthur’s advice to journalism students: “Have a backup plan.”

Prime Minister Trudeau expressed his concern about the changes at Postmedia and gave his support to the journalists involved.