Canada's Globe and Mail says to cut 80 jobs

Fri Jan 9, 2009 4:45pm EST
 
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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Globe and Mail plans to use voluntary severance and layoffs to cut about 80 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force, as the national daily newspaper copes with a slowdown in the advertising market, its publisher and chief executive said on Friday.

"We're waiting to see what the response is to the voluntary severance program," Phillip Crawley said in an interview, adding that this should take about three weeks. "We have to wait and see who steps up and takes the offer, because that will then determine what we will do in terms of layoffs."

In an internal memo sent to the Globe's staff earlier on Friday, Crawley said that although progress has been made on cutting costs, it has not been sufficient to offset the drop in advertising.

"The sharp downturn in print advertising revenue in the last six months leaves me with no alternative but to reduce staff costs," he said in the memo, which was obtained by Reuters. "I regret to say that voluntary severance alone is unlikely to produce a large enough response to avoid layoffs."

The Globe is owned by CTVglobemedia, a privately held media group that also owns the national CTV television network. CTVglobemedia is in turn owned by BCE Inc, Torstar Corp, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, and Woodbridge Co., which is the investment vehicle of Canada's billionaire Thomson family.

In late November, CTV announced it would cut 105 jobs, joining the growing ranks of media companies that are shedding staff as the advertising market falters.

Those job cuts came about two weeks after rival Canwest Global Communications Corp announced it would eliminate 560 jobs to slash costs and cope with the economic slowdown.

As the economy hits the skids, many companies are expected to cut their advertising budgets, which doesn't bode well for media groups such as Canwest and CTVglobemedia.

(Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Peter Galloway)