Rogers lays off one-third of its digital and publishing employees
Rogers Media is reducing its digital and publishing staff by onethird, citing pressures on the print industry and the loss of advertising revenues as cause for another round of deep cuts. The division of Rogers Communications Inc. that publishes titles such as Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent and Hello! Canada, told its staff on Thursday that 75 full-time employees have been laid off.
“The publishing industry continues to face challenges, as print declines outpace digital growth,” Andrea Goldstein, senior director of communications for Rogers Media, said in a statement.
“We have reorganized our digital content and publishing structure to reflect the headwinds the industry is facing and make the business sustainable.”
Ms. Goldstein said that while readership for its magazines has been stable in recent years, that has not been enough to offset steep losses to print-advertising revenue.
As the industry adapts to the shift from print to online publishing in Canada, it has struggled to generate enough digital advertising revenue to sustain many publications. Citing data from News Media Canada, Rogers said Facebook and Google together claimed nearly three-quarters of the $5.5-billion digital advertising market in Canada in 2016.
Still, Rogers said no titles will be discontinued in its latest cuts. “Today’s changes do not impact the quality of the content or the frequency of our print issues,” Ms. Goldstein said.
Senior staff members are among those leaving Rogers, including Steve Maich, the senior vice-president of publishing.
“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,” Rick Brace, president of Rogers Media, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Lianne George, the editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, also resigned amid the cuts. “Today is a sad day. A lot of excellent people lost their jobs, some of the best in the business,” Ms. George said on Twitter.
The layoffs are the latest in an effort to overhaul Rogers’s magazine strategy, in which the company has repeatedly scaled back its publishing division in recent years amid the steady loss of ad revenue.
In 2016, Rogers announced that it would end the print editions of Canadian Business, Flare, MoneySense and Sportsnet magazines, while reducing the print schedules of Maclean’s, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent. ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS (RCI.B) CLOSE: $61.94, UP 29¢