Quebecor, which owns The London Free Press, is eliminating 500 jobs, it was announced today.
I heard from a Free Press reporter yesterday who feared layoffs were coming.
It was confirmed today and it’s sad news for people who will lose employment and for journalism as fewer people are left to do critical work.
This is the news release posted on the Southern Ontario News Media Guild:
Unionized employees at Sun Media newspapers in Ontario are today reeling over the news that the media corporation is cutting 500 jobs across the country, affecting both union and non-union employees.
“This is a terrible day for quality journalism and good paying media jobs in Canada,” said Paul Morse, president of CEP Local 87-M, Southern Ontario News Media Guild.
“Once you kill what makes a newspaper valuable to its community by getting rid of too many of the people who help produce the quality product, you lose your audience, possibly forever.”
SONG represents over 600 members at 13 Sun Media newspapers across Ontario, including The Toronto Sun, Belleville Intelligencer, Chatham Daily News, Brantford Expositor, London Free Press, Niagara Falls Review, Ottawa Sun, Owen Sound Sun Times, Pembroke Observer, St. Catharines Standard, Sarnia Observer, Simcoe Reformer and Stratford Beacon-Herald.
“We recognize that newspapers face some economic challenges, but wholesale gutting of news organizations is not the way to position themselves for the future,” Morse said.
“Dramatic downsizing is not the tool to use if newspapers want to transition into the local or national multimedia powerhouses they need to become.”
CEP Local 87-M represents over 3,000 media workers at 35 workplaces across Ontario, including The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Metroland, Ottawa Citizen, NOW Magazine and Macleans.