Montreal

La Presse newspaper lays off 158 employees

Montreal news institution La Presse announced on Thursday 158 people would be leaving the newspaper, including 43 positions within its editorial department.

Newspaper recently announced it would only print Saturday editions

La Presse is laying off 158 employees after announcing the end of its Monday-to-Friday weekday print edition. (Tracey Lindeman/CBC)

Montreal news institution La Presse announced on Thursday 158 people would be leaving the newspaper, including 43 positions within its editorial department.

Of the 158, 102 of the positions are permanent, full-time jobs.

Guy Crevier, president and publisher of La Presse, launched the tablet edition in 2013. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

The newspaper said in a news release that the jobs include unionized, non-unionized and contract staff.

There will be 633 staff members left at La Presse after the laid-off staff leave.

"Despite these departures, La Presse will still have the biggest newsroom in Quebec, with 283 full-time and temporary employees, compared to the 239 we had in 2011. It will remain one of the rare North American newsrooms that saw revenue increases over the past five years," said publisher Guy Crevier in a news release on Thursday.

Last week, the newspaper announced that come January, there would be no more Monday-to-Friday daily print edition of the newspaper.

Only the Saturday edition of the newspaper would continue to be printed, said Crevier. 

La Presse, which is owned by Power Corp., is banking on the success of its tablet edition.

Charles Côté, spokesperson for the journalists' union at La Presse, told CBC the cuts came as a shock.

"It really calls into question the capacity for La Presse to put out every day the La Presse+ tablet edition, which has become its main platform. I think it might affect the quality of our journalism, and I think that's very dangerous," Côté said.

The newspaper launched its free tablet edition La Presse+ in 2013 at a cost $40 million.

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