National Post reduces print presence

Mon Nov 3, 2008 3:02pm EST
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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO (Reuters) - The National Post, the flagship daily newspaper of Canwest Global Communications, is significantly cutting back its presence in two Western Canadian provinces, a spokesman said on Monday.

The money-losing Post is suspending home delivery in the province of Manitoba -- Canwest's home market -- and will only provide Saturday newspapers for retail purchase in Manitoba and neighboring Saskatchewan.

The paper's operations elsewhere in Canada are not affected.

"The cold, hard reality right now is that the cost of the newspaper is not great enough to cover the printing and distribution cost in these smaller markets," Canwest spokesman John Douglas said, adding: "The two markets put together are not very large in terms of what the circulation was."

The Post will sell discounted digital subscriptions instead and has also struck a content-sharing deal with the Winnipeg Free Press. Under that agreement, the Free Press has started to print some Post columns and business news.

The moves come as Canwest, Canada's biggest media company, tries to cope with significant headwinds because of the global economic slowdown.

Last year, Canwest expanded its television holdings by partnering with an affiliate of U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs to buy specialty TV group Alliance Atlantis Communications for C$2.3 billion.

Canwest owns Canada's Global network of TV stations and has Australian TV operations through Network Ten.   Continued...

<p>CanWest Global Communications has handed out pink slips to 120 employees at its flagship National Post newspaper shown here in Toronto, September 17, 2001. REUTERS/Mike Cassese</p>