January 19, 2016 / 7:49 PM / 3 years ago

Canada's Postmedia to cut jobs, merge Ottawa, other newsrooms

TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Canadian newspapers owned by Postmedia Network Canada Corp have cut 90 journalists or about 8 percent of its editorial workforce, the publisher said on Tuesday, as it merged tabloid and broadsheet newsrooms in four major cities.

The publisher of the National Post, Toronto Sun and other major Canadian newspapers said last week that it was aiming to wring C$30 million ($20.60 million) more in annual cost savings.

Postmedia bought the Sun tabloid newspaper chain from Quebecor Inc in a deal that closed in April last year and gave it control of most of the major English-language dailies in Canada.

Postmedia said the cuts would be effective immediately for 35 jobs in Edmonton, 25 in Calgary and 12 in Ottawa.

As part of a related change in sports coverage, five jobs were eliminated from the National Post based in Toronto, as well as one in Windsor and one in Saskatoon.

The company also said furthers reductions of as many as 50 positions could be achieved via voluntary buyouts offered in Vancouver and Ottawa starting in coming days.

“This is certainly an initiative aimed at cost reduction,” said company spokeswoman Phyllise Gelfand. “The rapidly shifting revenue climate has required that we change the cost structure that was built for a different revenue model.”

Under the unified newsroom model, reporters who previously wrote for either the Ottawa Sun or the Ottawa Citizen, for example, will be expected to work with an editing desk to create copy for both styles, Gelfand said.

At the time of the Sun purchase, Postmedia said it planned to operate the major Sun dailies and their websites side by side with its existing publications in markets with multiple brands as it has in Vancouver for more than 30 years with the Province and the Vancouver Sun.

$1 = 1.4561 Canadian dollars Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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