Cogeco Media cuts jobs, La Presse cuts salaries as advertising dries up amid COVID-19 pandemic
MONTREAL -- The economic turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shake Quebec media, with layoffs at Cogeco Media and wage cuts at La Presse.
Cogeco Media announced 130 layoffs Thursday, about 25 per cent of its workforce. The company operates a network of 23 radio stations in Quebec and Ontario, and attributes the job cuts to a drop in advertising revenues.
La Presse is temporarily reducing salaries by 10 per cent for union members, managers and senior executives, but positions will not be abolished. In a news release Thursday, La Presse said it will also temporarily lower the employer's contribution to pension funds, which means employees are being asked to take an average 14 per cent income cut.
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The news comes in addition to the reorganization announced this week by the National Cooperative of Independent Information (CN2i), which had taken over the six regional dailies owned by the Capitales Media group. Also citing an erosion of advertising revenues, the group had decided to suspend the publication of print editions of all its newspapers on weekdays, resulting in 143 temporary layoffs.
On Wednesday, the Trudeau government announced funding for media organizations as it seeks to support Canada's struggling media industry during the pandemic.
The funding comes in the name of a $30-million COVID-19 awareness advertising campaign as the government also moves closer to implementing long-promised tax credits for newspapers.
- With files from CTV News