Postmedia signs three-year deal with The Canadian Press
Postmedia Network Inc. will shutter its breaking-news wire service and sign back up with The Canadian Press in a bid to save money and shift the news organization’s focus toward opinion writing and local news.
The newspaper chain – which is struggling with $516-million in debt and lost $11-million in the most recent quarter – said it will cut 25 out of 58 jobs in its Postmedia News division. The Ottawa-based division was founded in 2007 and provide breaking news stories to the chain’s 10 daily papers, which include the National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Calgary Herald.
Postmedia has made a strategic decision to refocus the Postmedia News operation. This will result in the restructuring of Postmedia News and exit us from the wire service business. This also means we will say goodbye to some of our colleagues at Postmedia News – this is the most difficult part of such a decision and our gratitude and best wishes are with them.
In 2007 the previous company severed ties with Canadian Press (CP) in order to bring wire service requirements in-house and to build a proprietary international wire service business. It was the right decision at that time.
Since then, much has changed for our company and our industry. The way commodity news, such as international, breaking news and general interest health and lifestyle issues, is consumed is changing and no longer requires us to cover all of it directly.
After careful consideration the decision has been made to enter into an agreement with CP to provide our newspapers with international and breaking news content from CP and AP (Associated Press).
Many of the things we had originally hoped to achieve in leaving CP we have achieved, and will retain, in the new agreement – better sharing and exchange of our content across our properties and control over our original content for example.
Owning an in-house, full-service newswire business and managing the production and distribution of commodity news no longer supports our strategy. We will continue to operate an Ottawa Bureau with national beat writers providing content to our publications. Our Ottawa Bureau will no longer be focused on the commodity pieces (committee meetings, day to day happenings) but allow for more fulsome reporting and commentary on national politics.
We will also continue to share stories across our network through Postmedia News – it will no longer serve to manage and distribute commodity news to our newspapers or serve third party clients.
This puts our content development focus squarely on our core competencies: distinct voices including Blatchford, Cole, Coyne, Den Tandt, Fisher, Maher, and local issues covered by our award-winning teams of local journalists along with distinctive reporting, commentary and analysis on national and international matters.
From a content perspective, the only thing that changes is the source of commodity news stories that run in our newspapers – it will change from Postmedia News to CP or AP. We will continue to exchange Postmedia original content across our network as before.
This is an important move to focus our efforts and resources on what we do best and move away from areas where we cannot compete. Managing and producing commodity news is not a strategic benefit for our business. We remain strongly committed to delivering what our audiences and advertisers expect from us – exceptional content and programs.