Blue Jays employees brace for layoffs
Rogers Communications, owner of the Toronto Blue Jays, announced plans Tuesday to lay off an unspecified number of employees in its media division, with about a third of those losses coming from the baseball team's sales staff.
A Blue Jays employee familiar with the cuts said the number of jobs to be eliminated was "probably in the 30s."
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the layoffs.
Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey declined to comment on the cuts.
Last week, interim chief executive officer Paul Beeston cautioned fans that ongoing market turmoil and the declining value of the Canadian dollar meant the Blue Jays might not be big players in the free-agent market.
The Blue Jays are attempting to re-sign free agent right-hander A.J. Burnett, but might not spend that targeted money if Burnett signs elsewhere.
"It's a possibility," Beeston said. "We can spend $100 million, but if it doesn't make sense, why do it?"
Rogers spokesman Suneel Khanna blamed Tuesday's cuts on a decline in advertising revenue, saying the layoffs will impact every company under the Rogers Media umbrella, including television and publishing and operations.
"What started off as the U.S. financial crisis has now morphed into something much stronger and, as a result, advertising budgets have all but frozen," Khanna said. "It's in response to that that we've implemented the cost-controlling measures that we have."