By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor
The Globe and Mail announced it will seek to eliminate 18 positions—nine of them editorial—while Postmedia Network has laid off the social media editor of the National Post, among others.
Sources at the Globe said the newspaper's photo department is being gutted. It has five staff photographers in Toronto and with three impending layoffs, the department will have only one photographer left in Toronto and one in B.C. Peter Power, a National Newspaper Award-winning photographer at the Globe and his collegaue Kevin Van Passen, said on Facebook they were among those who were laid off.
According to a memo sent by Globe publisher Phillip Crawley, the newspaper is seeking to eliminate nine editorial positions, including three copy editors, three photographers, one assistant photo editor, one editorial assistant and one head editorial clerk. The other positions will be eliminated from advertising and circulation.
The Globe has undertaken a number of cost-saving initiatives recently, including unpaid days off, buyouts and a reduction of more than 100 staff since September 2012. It has also left some vacancies unfilled.
“While these measures have helped, they are not sufficiently offsetting print revenue declines. As mentioned at the town hall today, we need to further reduce costs through employee layoffs,” Crawley said in the memo.
Employees have until Jan. 31 to offer their resignations, after which layoff notices will be distributed on Feb. 5. Laid off staff will begin to leave March 31.
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Meanwhile, Postmedia laid off several National Post employees today, including social media editor Jeremy Barker and sports editor Jim Bray.
I am now @nationalpost's former social media editor. Laid off this afternoon with a few others.— Jeremy Barker (@PoppedCulture) January 13, 2014
Phyllise Gelfand, vice-president of communications at Postmedia, also told J-Source the company will outsource a classified sales call centre in Calgary—which employs 48 people—to a U.S. company. Postmedia has made cost savings of approximately $87 million, or 12.5 per cent of operating costs since July 2012 when it started a three-year restructuring program to cut costs by at least 15 per cent.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) estimates that Canada’s media companies have cut over close to 2,000 jobs across their operations since 2012, based on the publicly announced cuts.
“These decisions could make it more challenging for these media companies to continue to provide the same quality of news and information their audiences have come to expect,” CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. “We understand the challenging business environment being faced by media across Canada as companies attempt to maintain a sustainable business. The CAJ continues to question whether other cost reductions could have been contemplated that wouldn’t strike at the heart of newsrooms.”
Here is some of the social media reaction to the news of the impending layoffs:
augh. @jsource: Getting word of 18 layoffs at The Globe and Mail today as well, of which 9 are from editorial. Confirming deets.— Anna Mehler Paperny (@amp6) January 13, 2014
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