Torstar to cut 160 jobs

Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:15am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Torstar Corp said on Thursday it will cut about 160 jobs in its newspaper division as the book and newspaper publisher copes with a declining newspaper market.

The company, which publishes the Toronto Star, Canada's biggest daily newspaper, said its decision will result in a restructuring charge of about $21 million in the first quarter.

A spokesperson for Torstar said there are approximately 6,200 employees at its newspaper division and that the staff reductions cut across almost every area of the unit.

Torstar's decision comes during a difficult environment for newspapers as many readers turn to the Internet and away from print publications.

The company said the reductions will include a combination of voluntary and involuntary staff reductions, which come amid an uncertain economic environment and a possible recession in the United States that threatens to spill over into Canada.

Spokesperson Bob Hepburn said the job cuts were an effort to try to keep cost structure at a "level that is reasonable."

"In the newspaper industry across North America, the trends in recent years in terms of advertising have been challenging to all media outlets or organizations," said Hepburn.

Torstar said it expects the restructuring to create savings in the range of $12 million annually.

<p>pedestrian walks past a Toronto Star newspaper box in front of the Toronto Star building at One Yonge Street in Toronto January 18, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>