Advertising continued its freefall at Quebecor Inc.’s media division in its latest quarter, as the company provided more insight into its decision to cut hundreds of jobs and restructure its Sun Media newspaper chain.
The Montreal-based company said revenue at its media division – which includes dozens of daily newspapers and more than 100 weekly papers – decreased by 10 per cent to $229.2-million. The weakness was broad – advertising revenue dropped 14 per cent, digital revenue fell 9 per cent and circulation revenue was off 4 per cent.
Quebecor said in July it would cut about 360 jobs, or 8 per cent of Sun Media’s workforce, to deal with falling revenue. It also closed 8 weekly newspapers and stopped publishing the commuter weekly 24 Hours in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. The moves are expected to save the company about $55-million a year.
Its community papers in cities such as Sarnia and Peterborough were hardest hit, with advertising decreasing by 13 per cent. The division’s urban dailies – Sun papers – saw revenue drop 11 per cent.
The division’s operating profit decreased by 32 per cent to $24-million.
Quebecor Inc. reported a $45.1-million net loss in the quarter as it took a $130-million non-cash writedown.