Quebecor's Sun Media cuts 500 jobs as ad revenue dries up

Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:22pm EST
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By Ankur Banerjee

(Reuters) - Canadian media and telecommunications conglomerate Quebecor Inc (QBRa.TO: Quote) (QBRb.TO: Quote) cut 500 jobs in its Sun Media unit as the business struggles with declining advertising revenue and weak circulation.

Quebecor, like other global publishers, has been affected by advertisers' waning interest in print as more readers shift online. Revenue growth in its media business declined by about 4 percent in the last nine months.

Sun Media, whose dailies include The Ottawa Sun, The Toronto Sun, The Calgary Sun and Le Journal de Montreal, said on Tuesday it closed two publishing facilities in Ottawa and Kingston. It expects the restructuring to help save more than C$45 million ($44.9 million) annually.

Cash component of the restructuring charge is about C$30 million, Quebecor Chief Executive Pierre Karl Peladeau said on a conference call.

Quebecor Media employed more than 16,000 people, according to information on its website.

"We will restructure our corporate and share services to reduce operating costs and will dispose or shut down all non-core activities," Peladeau said.

The company also said it will follow the industry trend of charging readers for access to articles on its website.

"We have been very active with the launch (of) our paywall ... this brings new capacity to generate revenues through new distribution channels," Peladeau said.   Continued...