Postmedia announces employee cuts, shutters 5 Windsor-Essex weeklies permanently

Postmedia has announced vast salary cuts to all employees, and a permanent shuttering of five weekly papers in the Windsor-Essex area.  

President & CEO says business 'hard hit' by pandemic, in letter to staff

Lakeshore News is one of the five local weekly newspapers that will be shutting down as of May 4. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Postmedia has announced vast salary cuts to all employees, and a permanent shuttering of five weekly papers in the Windsor-Essex area.

CBC News has learned those publications include the Kingsville Reporter, Lakeshore News, LaSalle Post, Tecumseh Shoreline Week, and the Tilbury Times.

"The affected publications are not financially sustainable and these closures will be permanent," wrote president and CEO of Postmedia, Andrew MacLeod, in a letter to staff. 

The closure is effective May 4. 

MacLeod said the company, which also owns the Windsor Star, has been "hard hit" by the economic hold in Canada. 

"The impact to advertising revenues, both print and digital has been very significant," he wrote. 

"I believe that Postmedia has taken every possible short-term step to stabilize our business against these unprecedented tidal forces. And we are fully utilizing every government subsidy program announced. While we are very grateful for these programs, no subsidy can offset the huge declines in revenues our industry is experiencing."

Weekly Tecumseh Shoreline newspaper will permanently close as of May 4. (Sonya Varma/CBC)

MacLeod said more would have to be done, including temporary salary cuts and temporary layoffs.

The company will shutter 15 community newspapers in Ontario and Manitoba in total. Thirty people will be laid off. 

Another 50 people will be temporarily laid off  for at least three months in sales and sales operations teams due to the decline in advertising revenues. MacLeod said those positions would be reevaluated after three months, depending on revenue trends. 

"Temporary layoffs mean that these employees will have access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and will continue to receive company benefits for the duration of the temporary layoff," he wrote. 

Also on May 4, all Postmedia employees with salaries at or about $60,000 will receive a temporary salary reduction — excluding commissioned advertising sales representatives. 

Positions and the respective reductions include: 

  • President and CEO, 30 per cent
  • Executive vice presidents, 20 per cent
  • Senior vice presidents, 17.5 per cent
  • Vice presidents, 12 per cent
  • Directors, 10 per cent
  • Managers and supervisors, eight per cent
  • Others, five per cent. 

After three months' time, the reductions will be reevaluated.