Ottawa Sun staff laid off as Ottawa Citizen, Sun newsrooms merge

The Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun newsrooms will merge, though Postmedia will continue to operate each brand separately, the newspaper chain announced Tuesday amid about 90 job cuts in major Canadian cities.

Buyouts to be offered to Ottawa Citizen staff

Postmedia announced Tuesday that the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun newsrooms will merge. The newspaper chain also laid off 90 employees in several cities, including 12 Ottawa Sun employees. (Michel Aspirot/CBC)

The Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun newsrooms will merge, though Postmedia will continue to print two separate newspapers, the chain announced Tuesday amid about 90 layoffs in several major Canadian cities.

In Ottawa, 12 Sun staff members were laid off. Another round of buyouts will be offered to Citizen staff.

Employees of the Sun moved into the Citizen building on Baxter Road months ago after Postmedia acquired the Sun chain, but until now had been working in separate offices.

Both papers will now be produced by one set of staff.

"Journalism needs lots of voices. It needs lots of opinions and we keep losing those," said Debbie Cole, a representative of the Communications Workers of America union, which represents Citizen editorial staff. 

"I don't think it's good. I don't think the strategy of continuing to get rid of things that provide content is going to help in the long run but we'll see what happens. It's going to be strange in the next week or so as the two newsrooms try to work together."

Cole said the Citizen newsroom is already "pretty lean" after previous cuts and buyouts in recent years.

Sun newsroom 'slashed'

Sun staff are represented by a different union, Unifor Local 87-M.

Sun staff who announced their layoffs publicly Tuesday include Corey Larocque, Chris Hofley, Mike Sutherland-Shaw, Tony Spears, Dani-Elle Dube, Don Wilcox, Keaton Robbins and Matt Day.

Hofley, who has been with the Sun for nearly four years, said he expected a change after Postmedia acquired the chain last year but had hoped his job was not in jeopardy.

Sun columnist Susan Sherring was not laid off but said it was "very hard" to watch her colleagues go.

"The Ottawa Sun newsroom has really been slashed," she said.