Vancouver Sun and Province combine newsrooms as part of Postmedia downsizing

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by Charlie Smith, Editor, The Georgia Straight          January 19th, 2016

Image result for granville square sun and province

Two of Vancouver’s metropolitan daily newspapers will be combining newsrooms, according to a tweet by Vancouver Sun reporter Lori Culbert.

The Vancouver Sun and Province are both owned by Postmedia Network Canada, which has reported heavy financial losses in recent years.

The two newspapers have been sharing content for a while, but this is the first time that there’s word of an actual shared newsroom.

“No layoffs here so far,” Culbert noted in her tweet.

In a subsequent tweet, Culbert added that what her paper and the Province “will look like in the future is unclear but aim is to keep them separate newspapers”.

This point was echoed by her colleague, Denise Ryan.

It came as Postmedia announced that it has dismissed 90 staff members across the country. Newsrooms have also been merged in Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Vancouver Sun reporter Jeff Lee mentioned on Twitter that his employer is offering buyouts again but emphasized that there have been no job losses at the Vancouver newspapers in this latest round of cuts.

Both newspapers are in the Granville Square office tower. If the newsrooms combine, it may offer Postmedia an opportunity to sublease space in the building.

Last week, Postmedia reported a $4.2-million loss for the three months ending November 30, 2015. That was down from a $10.3-million loss in the same quarter a year ago.

For the last fiscal year ending August 31, Postmedia recorded a $54.1-million loss, which was slightly worse than the $49.8-million loss in the previous year.

News of the consolidated newsrooms comes on the same day as the Media Union of B.C. has scheduled a meeting with its Pacific Newspaper Group members. It will take place at SFU Harbour Centre this afternoon

“The purpose of the meeting is to update members on the progress of bargaining and to discuss issues that have been raised at the table,” the union stated on its website.

The Globe and Mail’s media reporter, James Bradshaw, noted over Twitter that Rob McLaughlin is overseeing the Vancouver newsroom.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I have a VERY hard time believing that the Vancouver operation is losing money.

    Gotta love corporate Canada, where profitable operations in BC get their budgets slashed and people lose their jobs to cover losses from other operations 2000 miles east of us.

  2. Its hard to believe they have hung on as long as they have. I delivered the Van Sun in the 60s in Vancouvers West End. A two block route might have 300 subscribers. Ill bet they dont deliver that many papers in 10 times that area any longer.

  3. How much longer will the “combined” newsrooms share pricey digs at Granville Square?

    And in the next round of contract negotiations, maybe they can get the union to sign off on employees scouring downtown waste baskets for empty bottles and cans to help PostMedia delay the inevitable escape to creditor protection.

  4. To really understand corporate broadcasting, first, study Walmart or McDonald’s.

    Why is it that Wal-Mart always hires a store greeter or minder, plus a store detective or two, when there is virtually no customer service agents to be found, anywhere else in the store and on some nights, no customers in the store ?

    That;s because Walmart doesn’t give fuck about you, the customer? They just want to extract money from you !

    The reason is that it’s cheaper to reduce shrinkage or shoplifting than to offer more service.

    Similarly, in broadcasting, nobody cares about you, the on air talent? Beancounters just want to suck you, the talent, dry.

    I saw the new model of broadcast journalism in Canada earlier this year when Bell owned CRFA Ottawa made CTV tv announcers read the news on radio.

    For over 60 years, CFRA Ottawa was the legendary place to go for local news. However,, to let tv announcers read the news is a slap in the face for us in the radio news business, much like Global BC similcasting the news on CKNW.

    It is a tacit admission by Shaw that radio is, well, irrelevant and TELEVISION is the only property worth investing in. Bullshit, I say !

    I would like to see some of the bigshots at Shaw Calgary defend that last comment !

    Finally, I know where news in this country is eventually headed. All newspapers will die off and all broadcast journalists will have to juggle tv, radio, and web journalism, a combination of video, audio, and bootstrap coding !

    Meanwhile, cities with less than 200,000 population, kiss goodbye your local tv station.

    Be prepared for TORONTO weekend news, and cities the size of Vancouver will be demoted to a small market status.

    Local tv anchors will be all but eliminated. Instead, a market the size of Vancouver will have five copywriters/slash/videotape editors/slash/web-editors/sending their reports to the anchor in Toronto, while all live news will be reported on from TO ! LOL

    Meanwhile, only five copywriters on staff. but at least SEVEN or more salespeople slogging ads. LOL

    Just like the ratio between security staff and customer service at Wally MART !

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