Rogers cuts one-third of digital, publishing department
TORONTO Rogers Media Inc. has slashed one-third of its digital content and publishing department, laying off 75 full-time staff members from legacy titles including Maclean’s and Chatelaine in the face of widespread challenges in the print media industry.
The cuts come amid stagnating profit at Rogers Communications Inc.’s media division, which increasingly relies on sports content to make money as advertisers spend less on traditional print and television ads in favour of ads on digital platforms such as Google and Facebook.
Non-sports media, however, has been on the chopping block. In March, Rogers sold Apple Inc. its stake in Texture, a subscription magazine service, and in January it terminated a $100-million joint venture with Vice Canada that included a production studio and television channel.
On Thursday, staff members at Rogers’ online and print publications were informed of the latest reorganization at a morning meeting.
After the layoffs, there will be about 150 people left in the digital content and publishing department, Rogers Media spokeswoman Andrea Goldstein said in an email.
The reorganization aims to make the business sustainable given challenges in the publishing industry, she said. “These decisions are very difficult. We recognize the meaningful work by our colleagues and thank them for their contributions to the business and for sharing their distinctive voices with our audiences.”
All of Rogers’ brands will continue to operate and there will be no changes to the frequency of its print issues, she said, adding the changes “do not impact the quality of the content.”
Goldstein would not share specifics for each publication, but sources said there are only a handful of dedicated staffers left at titles like Canadian Business and Flare.
Lianne George, the editorin-chief of Chatelaine, announced her departure on Twitter. Earlier this month, she won a National Magazine Award recognizing an editor having an “outstanding impact.”
The reorganization includes the departure of Steve Maich, the senior vice-president of publishing. Goldstein said he decided to leave Rogers later this summer to “pursue his true passion — journalism.”
“Throughout his extraordinary 14-year tenure at Rogers Media, Steve Maich has left an indelible mark on all those who have had the pleasure of working with him, and all the loyal readers who have enjoyed his writing,” Rogers Media president Rick Brace said in a statement.
Sarah Trimble, a senior director of digital marketing, will replace Maich. She previously worked in marketing at Sears Canada.
As its print publications struggle financially, Rogers has leaned heavily on sports content, which has the added benefit of keeping consumers attached to their cable TV packages.