Sales will continue remote operations in Toronto, no impact on Elle Québec, says publisher

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Elle Canada’s Toronto office is shutting down, confirms KO Média, and four jobs have been permanently eliminated. 

The magazine will continue to publish out its Montreal headquarters, the parent company’s director of marketing and distribution, Marie-Andrée Picotte, told J-Source in an email, while the sales team will continue to work from home in Toronto. 

“Our objective is to have a stronger editorial voice across Canada under one leadership, as well as make it easier for our advertisers to execute national programs,” said Picotte. “However, the Montreal team will continue to work with freelancers all across Canada to maintain the quality content Elle Canada’s readers are accustomed to.”

Former editorial staffers first shared the news on Twitter Monday.

There will be no impact on Elle Québec operations, said Picotte.

In early 2019, approximately 28 staff were laid off from TVA lifestyle publications, including Elle. At the time, the editorial functions of Canadian Living and Style at Home were to be relocated from Toronto to Montreal while Elle Canada would remain in its Toronto office.

Montreal-based publisher KO Média assumed ownership of Elle brands in May 2019.

Earlier this month, editor-in-chief Vanessa Craft announced they were departing Elle Canada to join TikTok as director of content partnerships.

Elle Québec’s editor-in-chief, Joanie Pietracupa, will now helm editorial operations for each publication and “be supported by an English-Canadian editor-in-chief assistant dedicated to (Elle Canada),” said Picotte.

The cuts come at a time when media writ large and lifestyle journalism in particular have taken heavy hits. The latest update of the COVID-19 Media Impact Map for Canada includes 2,553 temporary and permanent job cuts as of Oct. 22.

In July, a staff memo from Troy Reeb, Corus Entertainment’s executive vice president of broadcast networks, said that Globalnews.ca would no longer “[support] lifestyle, entertainment and social media teams,” continuing on to to say the move “marks a strategic shift away from the non-news genre toward our core mission of providing breaking news and fact-based journalism,” a comment Vice News’ Manisha Krishnan reported in August “struck a nerve among both former and current employees, some of whom felt the lifestyle team had borne the brunt of race reporting in the newsroom and tried to amplify the voices of people of colour.”

“We can’t [deny] that media industry is indeed affected by the loss in advertising revenue due to the pandemic,” said Picotte. “Although our business model was already in review prior to this crisis.”

Editor’s note: This post was updated on Oct. 27, 2020 at 8:20 p.m. ET with additional comment from KO Média.