Rogers Media to cut workforce 4 per cent

Cuts of 400 affect jobs in TV, radio, publishing, back office

TORONTO (Reuters) — Rogers Communications said on Monday it would cut around 400 media jobs starting in February, the latest Canadian media outlet to fire staff in a tough market dealing with sliding advertising and the migration of audiences online.

Like other Canadian media companies, Rogers has lost viewers to international players like Netflix, which have eaten into the viewership of traditional linear TV with on-demand video delivered online.

The cuts — affecting jobs in conventional TV, radio, publishing and back-office operations — account for four per cent of Rogers' media arm's workforce, the company said in a statement.

While the media group provides around 15 per cent of revenue at Rogers, which also sells phone, television and Internet services, it contributes only a sliver of operating profit.

Rogers operates the City and Omni television networks as well as a network of TV stations and radio stations, publications and websites. It also owns the Toronto Blue Jays professional baseball team and holds long-term rights to broadcast National Hockey League games.

A Rogers spokeswoman said NHL coverage, which has "contributed positively to the bottom line", would not be affected.

The company, which is due to report quarterly earnings on Wednesday, did not disclose the financial impact of the move.

The Rogers news follow word last week that Postmedia Network Canada, the country's largest newspaper chain, had cut 90 journalist jobs, or eight per cent of its editorial workforce, as it merged tabloid and broadsheet newsrooms in four major cities in order to cut costs.

Earlier on Monday, the regional Guelph Mercury newspaper said that it would no longer publish a print edition after Friday, while the Nanaimo Daily News will on that same day cease operating altogether.

Both regional publications cited the loss of paid circulation and advertising revenue as primary reasons.

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