Canadian Magazine Industry News
2 December 2008,     TORONTO
Memo to staff from Brian Segal, president and CEO of Rogers Publishing

Despite today's layoffs, Rogers Publishing "will be posting a number of positions that we are seeking to fill in the near future," according to a memo to staff from Brian Segal, president and CEO of Rogers Publishing. "Unfortunately, the skill-sets required for these positions do not match the skill-sets of the individuals who have left our company today." Staff will be briefed on the layoffs at meetings tomorrow and Thursday, the memo also said. Full text after the break.

As Tony outlined in his memo today, conditions in the media industry—in Canada and globally—have been challenging due to the U.S. financial crisis, which has produced sharp decreases in advertising spending.  We are expecting this to continue through most of 2009.

It’s important that all of the companies under the Rogers Media umbrella react quickly to this new reality in order to maintain our financial position, and to maintain our leading position in the industry by leveraging our areas of strength.  For us at Rogers Publishing, we must do this while also continuing to give our readers and digital audiences the high-quality editorial product they have come to expect from our category-leading brands.

I am not the first in our industry to say that this is a huge challenge, unlike any we’ve seen before.  And after much careful study and consultation with many of you who run our businesses, we have made the extremely difficult decision to eliminate a number of positions today in Publishing.  Those affected by this decision were made aware this morning.  I would like to echo Tony’s sentiments: the elimination of these positions is not in any way related to the performance of the individuals impacted.

While it is extremely difficult for us to say goodbye to some of our colleagues, the changes we are making will not only result in greater operating efficiencies, they will also provide us the opportunity to reallocate our resources against areas of our business where the market is telling us we need more people.  These changes will also allow us to maximize opportunities when the advertising market bounces back.

On a more positive note, we will be posting a number of positions that we are seeking to fill in the near future.  Unfortunately, the skill-sets required for these positions do not match the skill-sets of the individuals who have left our company today.  We also plan to launch new Web properties in growing markets in ’09 and will share more details about this at an appropriate time.

The changes we are making today reflect our goal to save significant costs, to employ our editorial resources more efficiently, and to beef-up our sales resources against areas where the market is telling us we need to be.  Our Consumer Marketing group will also increase its focus on revenue-generating areas.

I’d like to thank you all for your continued hard work.  Again, while dealing with the departure of our former team members is always a difficult transition, I also sincerely believe that the changes we are making leave us well-poised to weather the storm.  Our editorial teams are the most talented in the country.  Our relationships with our advertising and retail partners are the envy of the industry.  Our ability to innovate and respond to the market is second to none.

And in this age of too much information and world-changing economic and political events, Canadians will rely on the quality editorial content that our brands are known for producing—perhaps more than ever before.

We will be hosting three meetings tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec. 3) in the Velma Rogers Graham Theatre in Toronto to outline some of the details related to today’s changes and to answer your questions.  We will also host two meetings in Montreal on Thursday, Dec. 4.  Please attend according to the schedule below.

Toronto Meeting Schedule:
9-9:30 a.m.:    All Business and Professional Publishing employees
9:45-10:15:     Consumer Publishing: Strategic Creative, Maclean’s, Marketing Solutions, Web Group, Today’s Parent, Production, Hello!, Glow, Corporate Sales

10:30-11:00:    Consumer Publishing: Canadian Business, Chatelaine, Flare, Lou Lou, MoneySense, PROFIT, Consumer Marketing and Consumer Admin, Production, Cosmetics

Montreal Meeting Schedule
9-9:30 a.m.:    Consumer Publishing Staff (Les Salles de Formation)
9:30-10:00:     Business and Professional Publishing Staff (Les Salles de Formation)

Brian Segal
President and CEO, Rogers Publishing Limited


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Jaded says:
Wow, Torstar really seems to be on a mission to bankrupt one magazine after another....
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Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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