Canada's Postmedia to drop some Sunday papers

TORONTO Mon May 28, 2012 4:55pm EDT

TORONTO (Reuters) - The publisher of Canada's largest chain of daily newspapers will cut costs by dropping some Sunday editions, charging online fees for several titles and centralizing more editorial production, it said on Monday.

Postmedia Network Canada Corp, which publishes the National Post and a string of metropolitan titles across Canada, is struggling to rein in costs after reporting a quarterly loss in April. It also plans to sell its headquarters in Toronto.

To trim expenses, it plans to stop printing a Sunday edition of the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen and the Calgary Herald. For the fourth straight year it will not publish a Monday edition of the National Post through the summer, spokeswoman Phylisse Gelfand said.

Postmedia will move copy-editing out of its metropolitan newsrooms to a centralized facility in Hamilton, Ontario, where it already lays out newspaper pages.

It will allow individual newspapers to make decisions on whether to offer buyouts to reduce staff, Gelfand said. The Montreal Gazette is planning to get rid of 20 journalists, according to a memo obtained by the Globe and Mail.

Postmedia, created in July 2010 to buy the newspaper assets of bankrupt media company Canwest, is trying to reshape its titles for the digital age to increase revenue from its websites, smartphone and tablet apps, and other services.

After a trial of a metered subscription service for online content at the Montreal Gazette, Postmedia plans to roll out the initiative to the Ottawa Citizen and Vancouver Sun, Gelfand said.

The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's biggest newspapers, plans to begin charging readers for access to articles on its website.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto)

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