Axe falls at Rogers dig­i­tal con­tent and pub­lish­ing

Rogers cuts 75 full- time staff

The Expositor (Brantford) - - BUSINESS - EMILY JACK­SON

TORONTO Rogers Me­dia Inc. has slashed onethird 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.

Staff mem­bers were in­formed of the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion at a Thurs­day morn­ing meet­ing. There are ap­prox­i­mately 150 peo­ple left in the depart­ment, Rogers Me­dia spokes­woman An­drea Goldstein said in an email.

“The pub­lish­ing in­dus­try con­tin­ues to face chal­lenges, as print de­clines out­pace dig­i­tal growth. We have re­or­ga­nized our Dig­i­tal Con­tent & Pub­lish­ing struc­ture to re­flect the head­winds the in­dus­try is fac­ing and make the busi­ness sus­tain­able,” Goldstein 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.

The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion in­cludes the de­par­ture of Steve Maich, the se­nior vice- pres­i­dent of pub­lish­ing. Sarah Trim­ble, a di­rec­tor of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, will re­place him.

Goldstein said that Maich de­cided to leave Rogers later this sum­mer to go back to 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.

This is the latest in a se­ries of re­struc­tur­ing ini­tia­tives for Rogers Me­dia. In fall 2016, it dis­con­tin­ued the print edi­tion of four ti­tles — FLARE, Sport­snet, MoneySense, and Cana­dian Busi­ness — and re­duced the print fre­quency of Ma­clean’s, Chate­laine and To­day’s Par­ent. It sub­se­quently laid off 27 staff from its English- lan­guage pub­li­ca­tions and 60 peo­ple from ti­tles in Que­bec.

As print pub­li­ca­tions strug­gle, Rogers has leaned heav­ily on sports con­tent. In its first- quar­ter re­sults, it said sports is the “pri­mary driver of growth” for me­dia rev­enue, which in­creased 12 per cent to $ 532 mil­lion in the three months end­ing Mar. 31 thanks to higher dis­tri­bu­tion to the Toronto Blue Jays from Ma­jor League Base­ball.

The me­dia di­vi­sion posted quar­terly ad­justed earn­ings of $ 23 mil­lion — less than 2 per cent of the tele­com com­pany’s over­all ad­justed earn­ings of $ 1.338 bil­lion.

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