Sun Media cutting 10% work force

Quebecor Inc’s Canadian newspaper unit, Sun Media, announced 600 job cuts,  10 percent of its work force. Sun Media — which predicts the cuts will amount to $14 million in restructuring costs, owns 43 paid-circulation and free urban dailies and more than 200 community newspapers, shopping guides and other specialty publications.

Said a company press release: “This move is in response to major changes affecting the print media industry worldwide, driven by the growing availability of free access to media, changing readership habits as audiences move to the Internet, the advent of real-time information and digital transferability. The economic slowdown, rising costs and falling advertising revenues were also factors in the decision, which will help secure Sun Media’s future.”

“Canadian media is being hammered by job losses at precisely the time when Canadians require more local and national news,” said Peter Murdoch of the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. “With an economy in crisis, we need solid, diverse reportage and points of view,” said the union release responding to the new cuts. “As media corporations slash their workforce that information flow is being seriously eroded.”

Added the union release: “… the public should take note that what started out as greed-fuelled, unbridled capitalism in the U.S. has turned into a global catastrophe and is now affecting the quality and quantity of the news available to Canadians.”

If only this mess were simple enough to blame entirely on the U.S. …