Postmedia drops newspaper publishers as it makes more internal changes

TORONTO – Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.B) will no longer have publishers at its newspapers, as part of broad changes to centralize operations and reduce costs.

The media company, which owns several big city newspapers including the National Post, Vancouver Sun and the Ottawa Citizen, told staff that three publishers will leave the company as part of the changes.

Lou Clancy takes over editorial leadership as senior vice-president of content.

Three regional leaders — Gordon Fisher, Gerry Nott and Alan Allnutt — will focus on the transition and collaboration of the new editorial structure.

Nott will oversee the Eastern region which will include the Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Windsor Star and National Post, while Fisher, president of Pacific Newspaper Group, will focus on the Vancouver operations.

Allnutt will be responsible for the Prairie region which will include the newspapers in Edmonton, Calgary, Regina and Saskatoon.

“We stayed somewhat resistant to change for a long time because things were so good for so long. This industry felt unshakable — until it wasn’t,” Postmedia president and chief executive Paul Godfrey said in a letter to staff.

“In spite of that it may feel we’ve gone too far and too fast. The leadership of our company believes these changes are the right changes to strengthen the operations of our business.”

Postmedia says John Connolly, publisher of the Edmonton Journal; Guy Huntingford, publisher at the Calgary Herald; and Marty Klyne, publisher of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post will be leaving the organization.

Bill Neill, head of Postmedia’s national sales operations, is also leaving the company.

Marty Beneteau, however, continues as editor-in-chief at the Windsor Star. He had been publisher and editor-in-chief.

Postmedia has been cutting costs across its operations as part of a three-year program to transform its money-losing business.

Earlier this month, the company reported a $14.2-million loss in the second quarter due to a 10 per cent drop in revenue and losses related to currency exchange values.

At that time Godfrey said that the company would look at other ways to lower expenses.