Eighty staff laid off in sales and shuttered community outlets

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The following memo was sent to staff on April 28 from Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod.

Dear team, 

Weeks have passed in this crisis and our collective hope turns to progress being made in the battle against this pandemic. We look forward to an eventual loosening of restrictions and a slow return to normal. We place our trust in our institutions to navigate this process. 

Our business, like so many, has been hard hit by the freeze imposed across the Canadian economy and around the world. The impact to advertising revenues, both print and digital has been very significant. I believe that Postmedia has taken every possible short-term step to stabilize our business against these unprecedented tidal forces. And we are fully utilizing every government subsidy program announced. While we are very grateful for these programs, no subsidy can offset the huge declines in revenues our industry is experiencing. 

But as we look across the next several months, it has become clear that more must be done. 

I’ve talked in previous notes about other steps we might need to take to mitigate the impact this crisis has had on our business including short-term salary reductions, temporary layoffs and permanent layoffs. Below is an update on each. 

Salary Reductions

Effective May 4, all employees across Postmedia with salaries at or above $60,000 (excluding commissioned advertising sales representatives) will receive a temporary salary reduction, based on position. This measure will be re-evaluated after three months. 

PositionReduction
President & CEO30%
Executive Vice Presidents20%
Senior Vice Presidents17.5%
Vice Presidents12%
Directors10%
Managers/Supervisors8%
Others5%

Reduction level will be capped so as to not drop base salary below $60,000. 

Temporary Layoffs

With significant declines in advertising revenues, we have made the difficult decision to implement temporary layoffs in our sales and sales operations teams. This will affect approximately 50 people. 

Temporary layoffs mean that these employees will have access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and will continue to receive company benefits for the duration of the temporary layoff. Temporary layoffs will be in place for three months, at which point we will re-evaluate based on revenue trends. 

Permanent Reductions

We will be closing 15 community newspapers in Manitoba and the Windsor-Essex area of Ontario. The affected publications are not financially sustainable and these closures will be permanent. And we have made the decision to shut down Town Media Events. These measures will impact approximately 30 employees. 

Team, these decisions are the most difficult and are only taken after all other options have been explored. And the measures we are taking today are all focused on putting our company in the best possible position to emerge from the current crisis and move ahead on our strategy. 

I know you will have many questions. Further detailed updates from various leaders will be forthcoming. 

We are tremendously grateful for the ongoing dedication across our organization in the midst of such challenging times.  

Andrew