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Journalists at the Vancouver Sun and Province were told to work from home permanently in an internal memo from Postmedia.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Postmedia is shuttering its Vancouver newsrooms and asking its journalists to work from home permanently.

It’s the latest move by the media company – which owns more than 130 brands, including the National Post, Vancouver Sun, The Province and Montreal Gazette – to shrink costs.

In an internal memo obtained by The Globe and Mail and sent by Harold Munro, editor-in-chief for The Vancouver Sun and Province on Thursday morning, journalists at the papers were informed that their newsroom and office space will go on the market as early as next week.

“It’s been three years since we vacated the newsrooms to work primarily from home. Initial concerns about the sudden shift quickly gave way to a pleasant realization that all of you have the tools and talent to thrive away from the office,” the memo reads.

“This is to inform you that Postmedia plans to sublease the newsroom and office space.”

Neither the company nor Mr. Munro returned a request for comment.

Mr. Munro said in the memo that this permanent move will not come as a surprise, as the staff have been out of the office for so long.

“You have all found new ways to communicate creatively and effectively with a level of commitment and professionalism that produces the highest quality journalism in the province.”

Journalists were asked to come in before April 21 to remove personal belongings. There is no firm timeline for when they must fully vacate the floor, says the memo.

Unifor Local 2000, the union representing staff at the two newsrooms, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Postmedia’s offices in other parts of Western Canada have also been sold or subleased.

In January, the company announced a series of cost-saving measures, which included selling a building in Saskatoon and subleasing offices in Regina. All employees in Saskatchewan are to permanently work remotely. The publisher had also sold the Calgary Herald building for $17.25-million to U-Haul Co. (Canada) Ltd.

Additionally, Postmedia announced it would move a dozen Alberta community newspapers to a digital-only format starting at the end of February, and lay off 11 per cent of its 650 editorial employees that would affect all titles across the chain, except for those acquired from Brunswick News last year.

Postmedia president and chief executive officer Andrew MacLeod said in an employee address in January that the company has been hit with a “perfect storm” of falling revenue and rising costs owing to inflation.

“We need to have our costs be more in balance with the revenue environment that we find ourselves in,” he said.

Martin O’Hanlon, president of CWA Canada, a union representing some Postmedia workers, said in a statement in March that news of recent cuts, including sale of the Windsor Star’s office and printing plant and the layoff of 120 advertising sales personnel, has left staff “totally demoralized and disillusioned.”

According to the statement posted to the union’s website, Mr. O’Hanlon said the cuts only make the fight against disinformation and misinformation harder, are bad for democracy and mean that “Postmedia is now treading water to survive.”

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