Managing editor of the Edmonton Journal, Stephanie Coombs, announced on January 19 that she and editor-in-chief Margo Goodhand were leaving the newsroom. Donna Harker, managing editor of the Edmonton Sun as also given notice today. Word on the street is that there will be 90 more more layoffs by Postmedia Network as a result of their purchase of the Sun Media chain of newspapers and the merger of newrooms across the country.
In Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, where Postmedia owns two newspapers, editorial staff will be joined together to work under one senior editor.
Stories covered will be adapted by platform at a rewrite desk dedicated to ensuring that the right voice and content makes it to the right brand and platform,” Postmedia president and chief executive officer Paul Godfrey said in a memo to staff.
According to the: The cuts affect about 8 per cent of Postmedia’s total editorial staff across the country, and the company also plans to offer buyouts to staff in Ottawa and Vancouver soon. Jose Rodrigues, the current editor-in-chief of the Calgary Sun, will now oversee both Calgary papers, while current Calgary Herald editor Lorne Motley shifts to Edmonton to steer that city’s two titles. Former Edmonton Journal editor-in-chief Lucinda Chodan, who is currently a regional vice-president for Postmedia and editor-in-chief of the Montreal Gazette, is in the Journal’s newsroom and helping with the transition, according to two sources.
The company held meetings in newsrooms across Canada on Tuesday to explain the changes to staff. Last week, the company reported quarterly earnings that included further losses and a 13-per-cent decline in revenue, excluding its purchase of the Sun papers from Quebecor Inc. in a $316-million deal last year. And it increased its $50-million savings target to $80-million, as well as pushing up the deadline to reduce its costs to mid-2017, signalling that there could be more deep cuts coming.
The move comes after speculation about a request Mr. Godfrey made to speak to Ottawa’s mayor, Jim Watson. News of Mr. Godfrey’s request first leaked on Monday when a member of the mayor’s staff accidentally e-mailed details of arrangements to a BuzzFeed reporter with a similar name. Sources in the mayors’ offices in Vancouver and Calgary confirmed Mr. Godfrey was also in touch with the mayors of those cities, Gregor Robertson and Naheed Nenshi, respectively.
On Monday, John Brennan, senior adviser to Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, said that [unlike the mayors of all the other cities impacted by the Postmedia job cuts] , “The mayor’s office [in Edmonton] hasn’t received any urgent requests from Postmedia.”
See the letter Paul Godfrey sent to Postmedia staff today: http://bit.ly/1JX2byg
Global TV Edmonton’s interview with Karen Unland (formerly with Edmonton Journal) on impact of Postmedia job cuts: