Skip to main content

Globe Investor Toronto Star to cut jobs citing declines in ad revenue

A pedestrian walks past a Toronto Star newspaper box in front of the Toronto Star building at One Yonge Street in Toronto January 18, 2008.

MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

Canada's largest newspaper is cutting dozens of jobs from its newsroom, outsourcing editing duties that are increasingly seen as too costly for cash-strapped dailies trying to cope with falling advertising revenue.

The Toronto Star is slashing 55 jobs, about 9 per cent of its workforce, with about half coming out of the editorial department. The paper plans to outsource copy editing and page design to Pagemasters North America, which offers those services at a steep discount to what the papers typically pay inhouse.

The move comes as print advertising continues to decline at newspapers across North America. Papers have seen gains in digital advertising as they move more of their content online, but print advertisements are far more lucrative for publishers. Canadian chains such as Postmedia Network Inc. and Sun Media have also taken copy editors out of newsrooms, opting to do the work out of centralized facilities to save money and reduce overlap.

Story continues below advertisement

The Star's cuts are part of a broader trend that has seen newspapers outsource jobs that aren't directly related to the reporting of stories – newspaper companies have outsourced everything from printing to delivery as they try to bring down costs. The Globe and Mail also outsources some work to Pagemasters.

"It's challenging times in the newspaper business," said Star spokesman Bob Hepburn. "And in these challenging times we need to protect the reporting side of the business, which we have managed to do here."

Pagemasters North America is owned by The Canadian Press, which is owned by Star parent Torstar Corp., The Globe and Mail and La Presse owner Gesca Ltée. The Star tried to outsource much of its page design work three years ago, but the plan was called off after the union stepped in and found other ways for the company to save on costs.

The top union rate for an editor at Pagemasters is $48,000, while the same job at the Star comes with an annual salary closer to $85,000.

Star editor Michael Cooke said in a memo to staff that "the real-life business challenges" facing the paper have made the changes necessary.

"It is never easy to take decisions that reduce or eliminate staff," he wrote. "But the real-life business challenges we face (you know what they are, you read the same stories I do) are brutal and require action. Doing nothing – or doing 'trims' – is not an option. It's a death sentence."

The company said it consulted with its union, and asked employees for volunteers before announcing more details in the coming weeks. Torstar also announced a dozen job cuts at its Metro chain of commuter papers.

Story continues below advertisement

The company is set to announce fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday. It earned $14.1-million in the third quarter, down from $25-million a year earlier.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter