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Cutting his way to being “digital first”

Funny how the media doesn’t report on how it’s decimating itself.

Both CBC and CTV reported today on how 42 Ottawa Citizen staffers are taking the buyout offered by new Postmedia owner Paul Godfrey last month. The Citizen itself was strangely silent about it. Ever wonder why big general buyouts are the staff-cut method of choice? So there’s no noise. No “L” word, as in layoffs. But the positions are still lost; the expertise gone and there’s no added value to anyone.

Trouble is, this is only the tip of the iceberg at Postmedia. The numbers of positions being lost across the whole former Southam/Canwest (Montreal Gazette, Regina Leader-Post, Vancouver Sun and Province, Victoria Times Colonist and others) chain are at least triple that number of 42 and there are plans to centralize the business and advertising operations in a single city. If you read one of these papers, your local newspaper will be local in name only. Godfrey talks about being “hyper local” in news content but beware. Unless there’s evidence of hiring people to do local news…those are just cute words. The strategy appears to be to cut an already lean newspaper empire to its very core, go public next summer and sell it all for profit.

Forget the demographic deficit. We have an information deficit.

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