Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Postmedia Posts $11.8 Million Q1 Loss, amid Restructuring, Lower Revenue

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Postmedia Posts $11.8 Million Q1 Loss, amid Restructuring, Lower Revenue

Article excerpt

Postmedia posts first-quarter loss of $11.8M

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TORONTO - The owner of the National Post says Canadians who enjoy reading the newspaper, and getting it delivered to their homes, should expect to start paying more.

Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.B) chief executive Paul Godfrey told shareholders Thursday that print isn't dead, but it's costing media companies more to produce because advertising revenues are dropping.

Postmedia plans to shift its strategy to focus more on exclusive content and "unashamedly charge for products of value," he said at the company's annual meeting.

He also outlined plans to redesign most of Postmedia's 10 big-city newspapers.

"We know that our print loyalists will pay for this premium product," Godfrey said in prepared remarks.

"And they will have to pay more to benefit from home delivery because it costs more, and advertisers aren't carrying as much of the load as they used to."

Godfrey's outlook for his dailies, and the industry as a whole, came as Postmedia reported a first-quarter loss of $11.8-million, weakened by lower advertising revenues and soaring costs to rework its operations.

A year earlier, Postmedia had a profit of $6.7 million when the costs of reworking its operations were significantly lower.

Like most of the newspaper industry, Postmedia has been grappling with a years-long trend of readers advertisers turning away from print publications to digital media, including websites.

To counter the decline, Postmedia began a three-year plan to dramatically change its business model by setting up digital pay walls for its websites, ending the publication of many Sunday newspapers and selling its headquarters in Toronto.

In November, the company outsourced the production of the Calgary Herald to TC Transcontinental Printing and said it would also outsource contracts for the production of both the Vancouver Sun and the Province. …

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