Postmedia outsourcing Gazette printing to Transcontinental

The end of an era - The Gazette's printing complex in Montreal is up for sale and Postmedia is outsourcing Gazette printing to Transcontinental. Mario Beauregard/The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Postmedia Network Canada Corp. says it will outsource printing operations for the Montreal Gazette, affecting about 100 employees.

The media company, which owns the National Post and a slate of other Canadian newspapers, says a division of Transcontinental Inc. (TSE:TCL.A) will take over printing the newspaper starting in August.

About 54 full-time staff and 61 substitutes or casual staff will be laid off in Montreal, said company spokeswoman Phyllise Gelfand.

It’s the latest in a string of closures of Postmedia’s printing plant operations across the country, having already made similar moves in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Postmedia has been struggling to turn around its money-losing operations, which have been under pressure from a decline in print advertising revenue, by scaling back expenses.

The three-year plan to dramatically change its business model has included various printing plant closures, staff layoffs and setting up digital paywalls for its websites.

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The company also ended the publication of many Sunday newspapers and sold its headquarters in Toronto.

Earlier this year, Postmedia also outsourced its classified advertising call centre in Calgary.

Postmedia still has printing operations in Ottawa, Windsor, Ont., Saskatoon and Regina, Gelfand said.

Transcontinental is Canada’s largest printer and owner of various community newspapers in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces and also publishes more than 30 magazines including Canadian Living and Elle Canada, as well as books and flyers.

The company also prints Montreal’s La Presse and the San Francisco Chronicle under contract.

Last month, Postmedia reported its second-quarter losses deepened to $25.3 million from $15.8 million a year earlier, while revenues dropped 9.1 per cent.

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