Canadian Magazine Industry News
18 February 2009,     TORONTO
Transcontinental lays off at least 28 in publishing, closes Canadian Home & Country
Transcontinental Media cut 28 magazine jobs in Toronto today across all departments. The company also announced the immediate closure of Canadian Home & Country magazine.

As an additional cost-saving measure, remaining staff will also be forced into taking a one-week unpaid vacation this year. A hiring freeze has also been implemented and according to a press release, "the Corporation's senior managers have decided to take two weeks of unpaid leave but to work throughout that period." No word yet on the Montreal and Vancouver offices.

The layoffs are part of a massive company-wide staff reduction by Transcontinental Inc., also a printer and newspaper publisher.  In total about 1500 employees in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico will lose their jobs over the next fiscal year. About 500 of those laid off worked in the company's U.S. direct-mail business, according to a company spokesperson Nessa Prendergast. She also said that 40% of the cuts will be in Canada and half of those will be in Quebec. The company said the move will cut costs by about $75 million on an annualized basis, including $50 million in 2009.

John Clinton, senior vice president and general manager of consumer publications for Transcontinental in English Canada, will not be doing interviews, his assistant said.

Transcontinental acquired Canadian Home & Country, along with Canadian Gardening, Canadian Home Workshop and Outdoor Canada, when it purchased Avid Media in 2004. In 2008, the magazine's run-of-press ad pages were down 27.9%(102 pages), subscriptions were down 6% and single copy sales declined by 15%. Frequency was also reduced in the fall, from nine issues per year to six.

The February/March 2009 issue of the magazine debuted a redesign, which followed an edit department restructuring that saw editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin, art director Jose Woertman and executive editor Suzanne Moutis take on those same roles at Canadian Gardening magazine.

Layoff tally:
  • Four in editorial at Canadian Living
  • One in art department at Canadian Living
  • Two mail  room staff
  • One IT staff
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