Postmedia layoffs hit Ottawa as Citizen, Sun newsrooms merge

Lucy Scholey
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The Communications Workers of America union said on its Twitter feed that Postmedia was merging the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun newsrooms.

Ottawa Citizen's office on Baxter Road

The Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun are merging newsrooms, as part of nationwide cuts and changes to Postmedia newspapers.

Media union CWA Canada announced the news on Tuesday afternoon, as employees from both newspapers met for a town hall on the changes.

Ottawa Sun reporters Chris Hofley, Matt Day, Corey Larocque and editor Mike Sutherland-Shaw all announced on Twitter that they were among those laid off.

Meanwhile, there have been reports of 90 jobs cut at Postmedia nationwide. Newspapers in Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton will also merge.

There will be buyout packages offered in Vancouver and Ottawa.

In a memo from Paul Godfrey that was posted to the media website J-Source, the Postmedia CEO said the company would continue offering separate brands in each market. The company is looking to save $80 million by the end of the 2017 fiscal year.

“That significant of an initiative requires looking at everything in a new way and considering approaches we have never taken – truly nothing is off the table,” he said.

On Monday, news broke that Mr. Godfrey wanted an urgent phone meeting with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. Buzzfeed reported on the news, after an email was accidentally leaked to a UK-based reporter with a similar name, Jim Waterson.

Brook Simpson, a spokesperson for the Ottawa mayor, confirmed Mr. Watson was among several mayors who was briefed on Postmedia’s changes.

Ottawa Citizen editor-in-chief Andrew Potter recently announced he would be leaving the newspaper for a job in academia.

The Edmonton Journal’s editor-in-chief Margo Goodhand and managing editor Stephanie Coombs were also laid off.

This article originally appeared on on Jan. 19

Organizations: National Post, Edmonton Journal, Toronto Sun

Geographic location: Ottawa

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