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Montreal Gazette editor-in-chief, deputy editor leaving the paper

Copies of the Montreal Gazette are shown on a newsstand in Montreal, Thursday, February 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes Copies of the Montreal Gazette are shown on a newsstand in Montreal, Thursday, February 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The editor-in-chief of The Montreal Gazette is leaving the company.

CTV News has confirmed Bert Archer's last day at the paper will be June 30, after serving as the head of Quebec's oldest English-language daily newspaper for just over one year.

Deputy editor Lenie Lucci is also set to leave the paper at the end of the month.

The departures were first reported by The Rover.

Postmedia's chief content officer, Duncan Clark, announced Archer was leaving in a memo to employees on June 6, which was obtained by CTV News.

Clark wrote that the company recently had some "tough discussions" with the newsroom about the paper's past and future.

"A focused strategy is critical to the survival, not just of our industry and our company but meaningfully for all of you, the Gazette itself," the memo stated. "The case for change has been made and getting comfortable with transformation is not negotiable."

Phyllise Gelfand, vice-president of communications for Postmedia, the company that owns the Gazette and several other Canadian dailies like the Ottawa Citizen and the Calgary Herald, also said in an email to CTV News on Tuesday that the Gazette is putting a "hiatus" on hiring freelance columinists for the summer. Regular columnists will continue to write for the paper.

Archer, a native Montrealer, started his role as editor-in-chief in May 2022, after taking over from Lucinda Chodan, who stepped down after a 40-year career in journalism, including nine as editor-in-chief.

His departure comes after Postmedia announced earlier this year it would have to lay off roughly 25 per cent of its newsroom staff as a cost-saving measure, but a source told CTV News that in the end only about five positions were cut instead of 11.

In the days after, the newspaper publisher created an advisory council, made up of local business and community leaders, to shore up support for the struggling institution.

In an interview last February, Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod said the company's decision to lay off staff was driven by the need to balance costs with advertising revenue that has been siphoned from digital giants like Facebook and Google.

The Montreal market is Postmedia's third-largest portfolio, he said at the time, stressing it is still "prized" paper for the company. Top Stories

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