Cutting 560 jobs in 2013 and selling 74 Quebec weekly newspapers in 2013 will realize in $67 million in savings this year, Quebecor said in its latest earnings report. 

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

Quebecor is expected to yield $67 million in savings in 2014 from the restructuring at Sun Media and the sale of its Quebec weekly newspapers last year.

The company cut a total of 560 jobs—200 jobs in December, of which one-quarter were editorial positions, and another 360 in July—and sold 74 Quebec weekly newspapers in 2013 for $75 million.

“The refocusing of our news media operations continued in 2013,” said Julie Tremblay, president and CEO of Sun Media, in a statement. “The series of restructuring initiatives announced by Sun Media Corporation in 2013 are expected to yield an estimated $67.0 million in total annual savings, of which a significant portion remains to be realized in 2014. These savings will be used to finance expansion of value‑added content offerings on print and digital platforms.”

Quebecor, which is a telecom and media company based in Montreal, said its news media operations operating income fell seven per cent to $97.7 million over the year 2013 but rose by 19.3 per cent in the fourth quarter from cost-containing measures. 

Last week, Quebecor controlling shareholder Pierre Karl Péladeau announced he is running for the separatist Parti Québécois in next month’s provincial election. Péladeau stepped down as CEO last year and resigned from all his remaining positions at Quebecor and its subsidiaries when he announced his candidacy but said he won’t be selling his shares if elected. 

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.