Sun Media cutting 360 jobs, closing 8 publications, 3 free dailies

Quebecor’s Sun Media Corporation is cutting 360 jobs and closing eight publications across Canada. It is also closing three of its free urban dailies, the 24 Hours newspapers in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton.

The eight newspaper that have been cancelled or will be cancelled are:
The Lindsay Daily Post (Ontario)
The Midland Free Press (Ontario)
The Lac du Bonnet Leader (Manitoba)
The Beausejour Review (Manitoba)
L’Action Régionale in Montérégie (Québec)
Le Magazine Saint-Lambert(Québec)
Le Progrès de Bellechasse (Québec)
The Meadow Lake Progress (Saskatchewan)

The newspaper publisher said the plan is expected to yield annual savings of approximately $55 million.

Sun Media says it made the decision to close the three 24 Hours newspapers because it wants to focus on a single urban newspaper in each market, except Montreal and Toronto, where it says large transit systems warrant publishing the free dailies.

The company will continue to publish 24 Hours in Vancouver, where Sun Media doesn’t have a daily newspaper.

“The management decisions we are making are difficult and highly regrettable, particularly the job cuts,” said Sun Media’s chief operating officer Julie Tremblay.

“However, the downsizing is necessary to maintain a strong positioning for our news media outlets on all platforms, and more broadly to secure our corporation’s future success in an industry that is being revolutionized by the advent of digital.”

Declining advertising revenues have hit the newspaper industry hard.

Quebecor warned earlier this year that it would not rule out further cost-cutting efforts to address the drop facing its newspaper business.

Last year, it announced plans to cut some 500 jobs at its Sun Media newspaper division, a move that included the closure of two production facilities in Ottawa and Kingston.

Sun Media has 36 paid-circulation daily newspapers and three free dailies as well as almost 200 community newspapers, shopping guides and other specialty publications.

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