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Is The Cost Of Print Killing The Newspaper Business?

Well some will argue that the growing costs of print is what is killing the newspaper business, but I think it is more a matter of a legacy business model.  Newspapers across the country have been doing their best to cut cost and cut down on redundant offerings, but sometimes it just isn’t enough.  Unfortunately that is the case for Sun Media as they announced earlier this week cost reductions which will result in the loss of 600 full-time jobs or 10% of the company’s workforce in Western Canada, Ontario and Quebec. 

A lot of this just comes down to sheer economics, Sun Media expects this restructuring to result in approximately $14 million, now that’s a lot of Kraft dinner.  Now just imagine what can be done with that if the money was shifted towards digital. Publications across the country have been trying to look at new ways to re-coup lost revenues due to a slow down in advertising and the current economic conditions.  Many have started to experiment with various social media tools and some have been trying out services such as Twitter in hopes of gaining new readers.

Will it be enough to save the newspaper industry?


Dave, what’s truly ironic is that once upon a time, before SunMedia was bought by Quebecor, they created this little thing called Canoe.ca. The idea was that they were going to build a website and on that website they would have content from their papers, original content and the ability to interact with readers. Sounds pretty standard, doesn’t it? Thing is, nobody else was doing this in the mid/late-90s. Not to any great extent at any rate. However, when Quebecor came in they effectively neutered Canoe. What started out as a groundbreaking initiative faded to also-ran and then to ‘trying to keep up’.

So to hear the claims that the cuts were made so that they could better compete in an online space, after they had been sitting on what could have been the industry leader, does rather smack of karmic return, doesn’t it?

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