Quebecor’s Sun Media Closes 11 Newspapers to Cut Costs

Sun Media Corp., a unit of Canadian publisher and broadcaster Quebecor Inc. (QBR/B), is closing 11 newspapers and cutting 360 jobs in a move the company expects will save C$55 million ($53 million) a year.

The moves are needed to stay competitive as print revenue continues to fall and more of the industry moves to digital, Julie Tremblay, Sun Media’s chief operating officer, said in a statement today.

“Digital is more than a strong trend,” said Tremblay. “Young people are getting their information almost exclusively from digital sources.”

Sun Media is closing its free urban daily 24 Hours newspapers in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. 24 Hours competes for readers with Torstar Corp. (TS/B)’s Metro, which has papers in those three cities, according to Metro’s website.

The cuts come eight months after Sun Media eliminated 500 jobs and closed two production facilities in Ontario. Quebecor fell 1 percent to $47.27 at 12:55 p.m. in Toronto.

Sun Media pulled the urban dailies so it could focus on one paper in each urban market except for Montreal and Toronto, where large commuter populations justify two papers, said Sun Media.

In addition to the three 24 Hours papers, eight smaller papers in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan will close or have already shuttered publication, the company said.

Sun Media says it’s the largest newspaper publisher in Canada, based on paid and free circulation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in Toronto at gdevynck@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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