It was certainly a year of ups and downs for the Canadian media industry. While some international outlets cemented their footprint in the country, and homegrown media outlets innovated and expanded, legacy media continued with the cuts and closures that have become a familiar story.
Here’s what you were reading on J-Source in 2017, counting down from 10. We only included stories that were published in 2017, and we excluded memos — but you can find all of them here.
In March, Postmedia announced via a memo that it was making substantial cuts to non-unionized employee benefits, including axing its employment assistance program and eliminating maternity and parental leave top-up payments. The reverberations of this and other cuts have been felt since. National Post staff started a unionization effort, and are now waiting to find out how the Ontario Labour Board will rule on a few disputed ballots.
After a few months of speculation about who would replace Jonathan Kay as editor of The Walrus, Johnson was named the new executive editor in September. She talked to J-Source about what she has planned for the magazine as it gears up to celebrate it’s 15th anniversary in 2018.
As Canada gets closer to legalized cannabis being a reality, news outlets find themselves in need of reporters to cover this emerging industry. Jessica Botelho-Urbanski spoke to Solomon Israel, the first full time cannabis reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, about why legacy media outlets are investing in marijuana reporters.
Rogers Media eliminated about 13 positions at Maclean’s in February. This came after Rogers’ stable of magazines underwent significant restructuring in 2016, that came with the requisite rounds of layoffs.
A brand new Globe and Mail print newspaper debuted in some parts of Canada on Dec. 1. Phillip Crawley explained to J-Source why it was time for a refresh, and how online analytics played a big role in designing the new print product.
In November, a bomb dropped — Postmedia and Torstar completed a massive deal that would see them swap a total of 41 papers, and close 37 of them. Torstar closed 13 of the immediately, while Postmedia decided that their new newspapers would close by mid-January, save one. In effect, the two companies carved out exclusive print advertising zones in Ontario.
If you watched the early evening newscast on CityNews in Toronto recently, you might have noticed someone missing — the anchor. Since 2015, CityNews has been experimenting with cutting out the middleman during their early evening newscasts. It’s a model that CityNews is looking to export as they expand to five new markets in the next year.
With newspaper closures come layoffs. As a result of the Torstar-Postmedia newspaper swap, 290 people lost their jobs, many of whom found out with the release of the official press releases. Here are some of them. Editor’s may also want to consider this a list of people to hire.
In January, there was some good news for Canadian media — the New York Times stepped up its presence in the country by announcing Catherine Porter had been named Toronto Bureau Chief.
In March, Postmedia announced it was laying off 54 people from the combined Vancouver Sun and Province newsroom. The union representing the workers later reached a deal to save 21 of those jobs.