Regional dailies across Quebec cease print editions
143 workers laid off as newly formed co-operative faces 'brutal drop' in ad revenue
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, six dailies in Quebec will no longer be producing a paper edition during the week.
Le Soleil, La Tribune, Le Quotidien, Le Nouvelliste, Le Droit and La Voix de l'Est, managed by the newly formed Coopérative nationale de l'information indépendante (CN2i), will only print on Saturdays.
News stories will continue to be posted to their online platforms.
A letter was sent to employees Tuesday morning explaining that the "brutal drop" in ad revenues was forcing CN2i to make "rapid and painful" decisions amid the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus.
A total of 143 workers are being laid off temporarily, primarily in the print rooms and delivery services.
The co-operative's board of directors met on Monday night to decide on a course of action to reorganize the media's activities, while continuing to provide essential information.
The letter, obtained by Radio-Canada, states that "the loss in revenues is threatening our survival."
CN2i's newspapers provide regional content for Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Chicoutimi, Trois-Rivières, Gatineau and Granby.
The newspapers were formerly owned by Groupe Capitale Médias, that filed for bankruptcy protection last August.
Workers within the corporation banded together to form a co-operative, that was authorized in Quebec Superior Court last December. Justice Daniel Dumais also authorized a 30 per cent cut in pensions for retirees.
CN2i was granted a $12-million fund by public and institutional sources in March to help jump start business.
With files from Radio-Canada