In June, Postmedia announced a restructuring plan that included 10 per cent cut in salary expenses.
There has been a steady stream of departures from Postmedia over the summer months.
In late June, the company announced that it was going to cut its salary expenses by approximately 10 per cent through voluntary buyouts and layoffs by the end of August. “We are doing this so that those who find the pace of change and dramatic transformation difficult can choose to leave the organization,” wrote Paul Godfrey, executive chairman and CEO, and Andrew MacLeod, president and chief operating officer, in a memo that was sent to staff on June 26.
The cuts were part of a restructuring that saw six newspapers closed and four papers shutter their print publications.
Phyllise Gelfand, Postmedia’s spokesperson, told J-Source that there had been a “number of departures” through their voluntary buyout program, but they had no specific numbers of people who had taken them at this time.
Martin O’Hanlon, the president of CWA Canada, a union which represent a number of Postmedia newsrooms including the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette and the Regina Leader-Post, said in an email to J-Source that there was a “relatively small” number of departures through the voluntary buyout program. There were a total of four people whose buyouts were accepted at the Ottawa Citizen.
At Unifor Local 2000, which represents workers at the Vancouver Sun and The Province, 12 people were accepted for buyouts according to local president Brian Gibson. (All but one have already left the company and another employee resigned). “The percentage cut in staff at PNG (Pacific Newspaper Group, publishers of the Vancouver Sun and Province) is about 7.5 per cent,” he added. At the Windsor Star, there were five buyouts approved among Unifor Local 240 members, and two approved for management. Another member retired, according to local chairperson Julie Kotsis.
Some employees were not approved for buyouts, including four in Winnipeg. O’Hanlon said at the Ottawa Citizen, two buyouts were not approved because the staffing levels were too low. There have been no reported layoffs according to CWA Canada and Unifor representatives contacted by J-Source.
Among the staffers who left Postmedia over the summer, via buyouts, retirements and other job offers, are award-winning journalists and those who have over 30 years of experience in the industry.
We will continue to update this post as more information becomes available. To add a name to the list, please contact J-Source’s managing editor H.G. Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Me this week: ???? https://t.co/s76j80vZ8L
— Graham Thomson (@Graham_Journal) August 30, 2018
That’s all, folks. pic.twitter.com/R0nm33buSO
— James Wood (@JamesWoodPress) August 31, 2018
— Matthew Pearson (@mpearson78) August 30, 2018
Our newsroom lost some great people this week. @HealthIssues and I spent time in Innu territory during a suicide crisis in 2015. She was at once so compassionate and resolved to tell the story. Watching Charlie work was a crash course in interviewing.
— christopher curtis (@titocurtis) August 30, 2018
38 yrs of ink stains, 31+ at the Citizen. Friday is my last day on staff. My choice. What fun we had. Thanks for reading. More to come.
— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) August 30, 2018
In other news, today is my last day reporting for @edmontonjournal. After 32 years, I'm retiring to travel, maybe look for contract work and mostly find the three hobbies my wife requires to keep me out of her hair.
— Gordon Kent (@GKentYEG) August 31, 2018
Easing into retirement on my last day with The Vancouver Sun…. pic.twitter.com/TVS7qIZbUq
— Larry Pynn (@lpynn) August 24, 2018
Some personal news. I've taken a voluntary buyout from Postmedia and yesterday was my last day at the Edmonton Journal. I will miss all my wonderful colleagues but it is time for a change.
— Donna Christensen (@dlizchris) August 29, 2018
Some personal news. Last week was my final one with the National Post. After 20 years, I decided to take a buyout and move on to new professional challenges, specifics to be determined.
— Graeme Hamilton (@grayhamilton) August 7, 2018
Happy, sad day. Last shift @TheWindsorStar for metro/business editor @RoseannDanese (that’s her with her last assignment list), Woman of Steele @winstarkelly and me. This is truly a special place where some very amazing people bring you local news. What they do matters. pic.twitter.com/fNZzCe2ZOU
— Ellen van Wageningen (@EllenOnWindsor) August 31, 2018
So before any more NAFTA news breaks, some ~personal~ news: Today is my last day at the Financial Post. Next month I join Yahoo Finance, which is expanding its coverage of Canadian business. So grateful for my time at the Post, and the chance to work with such an incredible team.
— Alicja Siekierska (@alicjawithaj) August 31, 2018
After 45 years of chasing deadlines, 33 at @LFPress, only one week left of newspaper work. Not enough room to thank everyone especially those who let me write about their lives and my workmates. I’ll be around. It’s been a riot! #ldnont
— Morris Dalla Costa (@MorrisDCosta) August 24, 2018
After 40 years in journalism and about 30 at LFP, I am retiring today. It has been a honour to work with a crazy, courageous tribe of journalists over the years who kept the faith even as the business model for print crumbled.
— Hank Daniszewski (@Hankatlarge) August 24, 2018
After 30 eventful years in the newsroom — including 12 years as an arts reporter and 13 years as city columnist — today is my final day at the London Free Press. It's been grand. But like somebody said: "Newspapers. They'll break your heart."
— Ian Gillespie (@the_write_ian) August 31, 2018
While today is the last day I am listed on the books at @LFPress readers should know some excellent people are being brought in, @JuhaatLFPress and @HeatheratLFP and they will join a strong, dedicated crew
— Jonathan Sher (@SherOnHealth) August 31, 2018
— Nicole MacAdam (@nicole_mac1) August 9, 2018
Had to say farewell to an amazing friend and journalist today. We will miss you so much @SPBAAdam. Thank you so much for all the lessons and experience you passed along to me and all of us at @TheStarPhoenix. You truly are one of the greats. #yxe pic.twitter.com/O1ZhfH7DRQ
— Morgan Modjeski (@MorganM_SP) August 29, 2018