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Metroland ends print editions of group papers, flyers Categorical Occasions

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Giant swaths of Ontario will lose their native newspapers as one of many nation’s largest media conglomerates ends print editions for its group information titles.

Metroland Media Group introduced the transfer to a digital-only mannequin and an finish to its flyer enterprise Friday because it revealed it would search safety and try a restructuring beneath the Chapter and Insolvency Act.

The cuts and restructuring will imply the lack of 605 jobs or about 60 per cent of Metroland’s complete workforce.

Employees at Metroland’s six every day newspapers — the Hamilton Spectator, Peterborough Examiner, St. Catharines Commonplace, Niagara Falls Overview, Welland Tribune, and the Waterloo Area File — is not going to be affected, nor will these on the Toronto Star, one among Metroland mum or dad firm’s NordStar Capital Inc.’s papers.

Metroland attributed the adjustments to “unsustainable monetary losses stemming from the altering preferences of customers and advertisers.”

“The media trade continues to face existential challenges, largely as a result of digital tech giants have used their dominant positions to take the overwhelming majority of the promoting income in Canada,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement.

“The decline of the print and flyer distribution enterprise was considerably accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by the discount of flyer utilization each by readers and advertisers as a advertising automobile.”

Metroland’s cuts comply with years of consolidation throughout Canada’s media trade, which has develop into synonymous with layoffs and shuttered publications.

Many have blamed the rise of tech firms, which have swallowed up promoting {dollars}, and the surge in on-line classifieds for the demise in a number of publications.

The federal authorities has mentioned Google and Meta, which owns Fb, Instagram and WhatsApp, had a mixed 80 per cent share of the $14 billion on-line advert revenues seen within the nation in 2022.

It has additionally mentioned some 474 Canadian information companies closed between 2008 and 2023.

Paul Deegan, president and chief govt of trade group Information Media Canada, mentioned “there are not any simple solutions” to the sector’s issues.

He used Metroland’s cuts as a possibility to name on Parliament and the enterprise group to do extra to again native journalism.

The federal authorities, he mentioned, may make the Canadian Journalism Labour Tax Credit score more practical by growing it from 25 per cent to 35 per cent and growing the wage cap.

“Governments and companies can assist journalism by directing 25 per cent of their promoting spend to personal sector home information publishers, moderately than shopping for adverts from overseas internet giants,” he added in an e-mail.

NordStar proprietor Jordan Bitove made an identical plea for 20 per cent of promoting budgets to be directed to homegrown media at a Canadian Membership luncheon in March.

Bitove and then-business accomplice Paul Rivett bought Torstar Corp. from the 5 households that constructed and grew the media conglomerate for roughly 70 years in 2020 for about $60 million.

The companions finally cut up the enterprise with Rivett saying their relationship had suffered “irreparable” injury they usually may not work collectively.

With Metroland and several other different newspapers and subsidiaries in Bitove’s fingers, NordStar and rival media firm Postmedia started pursuing a possible merger.

However by July, each events had been unable to achieve an settlement and merger talks had been off.

Amid their discussions, Ottawa handed the On-line Information Act, which is able to power digital giants to pay media retailers for content material they share or repurpose on their platforms.

Meta and Google responded to the laws by asserting they may block content material from Canadian information publishers from their providers earlier than the legislation comes into power.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Sept. 15, 2023.

Torstar holds an funding in The Canadian Press as a part of a joint settlement with subsidiaries of The Globe and Mail and Montreal’s La Presse.

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