Canwest imposes further cost-saving measures

In an memo emailed to all staff, Canwest executives Dennis Skulsky and Doug Lamb announced a series of cost-cutting measures the company is instituting in order to further combat economic pressures.

The memo, posted in full on The Hook, states:

“The recent voluntary buyout program and cost saving initiatives we have implemented are proving to not be enough to offset advertising revenue shortfalls. We are faced with significant advertising declines across the board but in particular in our employment, real estate and auto advertising categories. As a result, across our organization, teams are taking a hard look at how to affect the one lever we have absolute control over, our costs.”

Cuts include a freeze on hiring, salaries and food and catering at meetings. In addition, marketing and promotional activities will be reevaluated, work with consultants will cease and attendance at seminars and conferences will be curtailed, according to the memo.

Other areas that are being looked at are mobile phone use, subscriptions and energy usage. The employee hockey tournament, the Sun Run and slo-pitch tournament have all been cancelled as well.

A voluntary vacation leave program was announced in the memo, in which employees can request unpaid vacation days between now and Aug. 31, 2009.

The company is asking staff to come up with other ways to cut costs. Skulsky and Lamb wrote:

“Please feel free to share any additional ideas or thoughts you may have in this regard by e-mail at Just think, if every employee could save $1000, the collective savings would amount to 10,000,000!”