Postmedia to close more local newspapers, cut staff by 10 per cent

Publications will continue to have digital presence, and continue to print free weekly publications

Postmedia Network Inc. will close six small town newspapers and cease print publication of four more, as well cut about 10 per cent of its workforce across the newspaper chain.

The company said Tuesday is will shut down the Camrose Canadian and Strathmore Standard in Alberta and the Kapuskasing Northern Times, Ingersoll Times, Norwich Gazette and Petrolia Topic in Ontario.

It will also stop printing the Graphic in Manitoba and the Northern News and Pembroke Observer in Ontario.

Those publications will continue to have a digital presence. The publisher will continue to print free weekly publications — the Herald Leader in Portage La Prairie, Kirkland Lake Northern News This Week and the weekly Pembroke News — in those three communities.

The company also announced a staff reduction targeting 10 per cent of salaries across the newspaper chain by the end of the fiscal year in August.

Last November, Torstar Corp. and Postmedia announced they had exchanged a total of 41 publications, mostly in Ontario, and would stop publishing most of them, resulting in 291 job losses.

Unifor president Paul Morse says Canadian newspapers are in rough shape because of declining print advertising while foreign-owned tech companies Google and Facebook are benefiting from Canadian digital advertising.

“We have asked the federal government to help newspapers transition to new and economically sustainable ways to deliver local news but have been met with essentially empty platitudes,” he said.

“Now, another historic Canadian newspaper will die, and proud Pembroke will face the threat of becoming a local news desert.”

The Canadian Press

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