Ronan O'Beirne

Falling revenues and falling axes: layoffs at Rogers Media

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For the bean counters in Canadian media, it just keeps getting worse.

Rogers Media—a division which includes the corporation’s radio stations, TV channels, magazines and baseball team—announced yesterday that it has laid off 94 employees, or about two percent of its workforce. The announcement comes just six months after Rogers laid off 62 workers.

Consumers are noticeably disappointed. The comments on the Halifax Chronicle-Herald’s story about the layoffs (admittedly an imperfect barometer) have been unanimously disappointed with the loss of Jordi Morgan and his show, Maritime Morning; comments on the Ottawa Citizen’s story about programming changes at 1310 News have been even less kind to the telecom. The Toronto Sports Media website called Tuesday “a sad day” because of the loss of The Fan 590’s Barb DiGiulio.

We hope that Toronto Star publisher, John Cruickshank, won’t need to make similar tough calls. On an earnings call this morning, he said the paper might need to respond to still-shrinking ad revenues by “resizing our cost base,” which probably sounds like “Ride of the Valkyries” to some ears. (TorStar let 10 managers go in September by breaking up its digital division.) There were no cuts announced this morning.

As the Globe’s Steve Ladurantaye noted, the paper’s advertising revenue declined 16.6 percent in a quarter that saw the paper dominate one of the biggest stories of the year.

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