Rogers Media slashed one third of its digital content and publishing department, laying off 75 full-time staff members from legacy titles including Maclean’s and Chatelaine in the face of widespread challenges in the print industry.
Staff members were informed of the reorganization at a Thursday morning meeting. There are approximately 150 people left in the department, Rogers Media spokeswoman Andrea Goldstein said in an email.
“The publishing industry continues to face challenges, as print declines outpace digital growth. We have reorganized our Digital Content & Publishing structure to reflect the headwinds the industry is facing and make the business sustainable,” Goldstein said.
“These decisions are very difficult. We recognize the meaningful work by our colleagues and thank them for their contributions to the business and for sharing their distinctive voices with our audiences.”
All of Rogers’ brands will continue to operate and there will be no changes to the frequency of its print issues.
The reorganization includes the departure of Steve Maich, the senior vice president of publishing. Sarah Trimble, a director of digital marketing, will be promoted to vice president to replace him.
Goldstein said that Maich decided to leave Rogers later this summer to pursue journalism.
“Throughout his extraordinary 14-year tenure at Rogers Media, Steve Maich has left an indelible mark on all those who have had the pleasure of working with him, and all the loyal readers who have enjoyed his writing,” Rogers Media President Rick Brace said in a statement.
This is the latest in a series of restructuring initiatives for Rogers Media. In fall 2016, it canned the print edition of four titles – FLARE, Sportsnet, MoneySense, and Canadian Business – and reduced the print frequency of Maclean’s, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent. It subsequently laid off 27 staff from its English-language publications and 60 people from titles in Quebec.
As print publications struggle, Rogers has leaned heavily on sports content. In its first-quarter results, it said sports is the “primary driver of growth” for media revenue, which increased 12 per cent to $532 million in the three months ending Mar. 31 thanks to higher distribution to the Toronto Blue Jays from Major League Baseball.
The media division posted quarterly adjusted earnings of $23 million – less than 2 per cent of its overall adjusted earnings of $1.338 billion.