Toronto Star delivers blow to quality journalism

Cuts make "no economic sense", says CEP

TORONTO, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Toronto Star made a devastating decision today to contract out its page design and layout to Pagemasters, as well as other cuts across the newsroom - including its library - and in advertising. 

In all, 44 jobs could be lost.

"Obviously newspapers face some economic challenges, but cutting jobs threatens the quality journalism that is at the root of any profit margin," said Peter Murdoch, Vice-President Media for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, which represents almost 500 workers at the Star.

"It makes no economic sense to cut back on the quality journalism that has earned the Toronto Star a world-class reputation.  This is not the way for a newspaper to position itself for the future."

The move comes as the company expands operations in several money-losing ventures, such as recently launched business news websites in Mississauga and Hamilton.

"We can't understand why the company would give up control of its core product while pouring cash and resources into the money-losing projects," said Stuart Laidlaw, unit chair of the union at the Star, part of CEP Local 87M.

"Why cut ad staff when the thing we need most is more ads? Why choke research abilities in an era when value-added content is king?

"It's short-term thinking meant to placate analysts on Bay Street who understand balance sheets, but not our industry. Contracting out doesn't work.

"The union's contract with the Star gives it a window to come up with alternatives to contracting.

"CEP believes in this paper and the people who put it out. We'll be fighting for both."

SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Peter Murdoch (905) 516-5720; Stuart Laidlaw (647) 385-4054

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COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

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