Cost-cutting plan at Le Devoir may mean job cuts after record net loss

Management at Montreal Le Devoir say they are looking at a cost-cutting plan that could result in job losses at the independently owned daily newspaper.

Information obtained by The Canadian Press indicates that the newspaper is hoping for voluntary departures, but that part-time employees could eventually be affected.

Neither management nor union officials would comment on how many of the paper's 120 employees could be affected.

Operating expenses are expected to be trimmed before job cuts are considered.

The newspaper reported a net loss of $1.3 million in 2013, a record.

The efforts come as the paper, which marked its 100th anniversary in 2010, is preparing to launch mobile applications for tablets and phones.

Publisher Bernard Descoteaux said on the newspaper's website that Le Devoir is feeling the effects of technological change and lower advertising revenues.

The app launch will proceed in the coming weeks, said Genevieve O'Meara, a spokeswoman for Le Devoir.

She said the paper hopes to return to profitability in 2015.

The union was surprised to learn there might be a voluntary departure program although it is aware of the paper's financial situation.

"No, this is not good news and no, I was not expecting it,'' said union president Francois Desjardins, a business reporter.

"But what I can say is we are probably (the last media enterprise) to face the possibility of a voluntary departure program,'' he said.

"The context is structural, it is global.''


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