Postmedia Network, the owner of the National Post and numerous broadsheet dailies across the country, has recorded a $28.4-million loss for the fourth quarter, news reports suggest.
The company's earnings came two months after it announced subscriber paywalls at the Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Province and Vancouver Sun. The National Post has instituted a paywall for international visitors. The company saw digital sales rise slightly during the quarter, while print revenues continued to decline.
Postmedia has instituted a number of cutbacks this year in an effort to bring the struggling company to profitability. Aside from a number of editorial layoffs, the company eliminated Sunday editions at the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and Ottawa Citizen.
The Canadian Press reports:
TORONTO — Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.A) (TSX:PNC.B) had a $28.4-million loss in the fourth quarter of its 2012 financial year as the newspaper and Internet publisher's revenue fell nearly six per cent from a year earlier.
The Toronto-based company, which owns the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette and other dailies across the country, said a number of factors contributed to the increased loss.
Revenue dropped to $190.1 million from $202.1 million, as a slight increase in digital sales failed to offset declines from print publications.
Postmedia also incurred a $9.2-million loss related to debt refinancing and saw its restructuring expenses increase to $13 million, about $10 million more than in the comparable period a year earlier.
Despite the red ink spilled during the three months ended Aug. 31, Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey said the company is pleased with the progress it made with restructuring efforts during the quarter.
Total operating expenses excluding depreciation, amortization and restructuring in the quarter decreased $6.7 million, or four per cent, from a year earlier.
"Although the revenue environment remains challenging we are confident we are taking the necessary steps to reposition the company to compete effectively in an increasingly digital world,'' Godfrey said in a statement.
Canada's largest publisher by circulation of paid English-language daily papers has made sweeping changes as it tries to cut print-related production costs.
In May, Postmedia decided to cancel an in-house wire service, Postmedia News, and permanently axed Sunday papers in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.
As part of the changes, Postmedia expanded its Hamilton operations to handle the editorial production of newspaper pages.
The company also established pay meters for the National Post website, and at a slate of other Canadian newspapers it owns. The meters limit the number of stories that can be read before users are asked to buy a subscription.
At the Post, fees will only apply to international readers.
Canada's 7 Media Giants
Postmedia - $1.1 Billion
Postmedia was born in 2010, when the bankrupt Canwest media chain was broken up. A consortium led by then-National Post CEO Paul Godfrey bought Canwest's newspaper assets, including the National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Calgary Herald, as well as both English-language dailies in Vancouver.<br> <br> Pictured: Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey<br> <br> <em>*Number denotes latest available revenue figure, for parent company</em>
Torstar - $1.48 Billion
Torstar's flagship property is the Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper. It also owns the Metroland chain of weeklies and the internationally popular Harlequin, publisher of pulp romances.<br> <br> Pictured: The Toronto Star building in downtown Toronto.<br> <br> <em>*Number denotes latest available revenue figure, for parent company</em>
Shaw - $4.74 Billion
Western Canadian cable TV giant Shaw entered the media big leagues with the 2010 purchase of Canwest's broadcasting assets, including the Global TV network. The company was founded by Jim Shaw and is still controlled by his family.<br> <br> Pictured: CEO Brad Shaw<br> <br> <em>*Number denotes latest available revenue figure, for parent company</em><br> <br> <em>CORRECTION: An earlier version of this slide stated that Shaw had purchased Canwest's newspaper assets. It only purchased the broadcasting assets. The company had backed out of an earlier attempt to buy three CTV stations.</em>
Quebecor - $9.8 Billion
Founded by Pierre Peladeau and run by his son, Pierre-Karl Peladeau, Quebecor owns the Sun Media and Osprey newspaper chains, as well as cable provider Videotron, Quebec TV network TVA, and a number of publishing houses.<br> <br> Pictured: Pierre-Karl Peladeau<br> <br> <em>*Number denotes latest available revenue figure, for parent company</em>
Rogers - $12.1 Billion
Founded by Ted Rogers, Rogers Communications is a major player in cable TV and wireless services. The company controls Rogers Media, which operates 70 publications, 54 radio stations and a number of TV properties including CityTV and the Shopping Channel.<br> <br> Pictured: CEO Nadir Mohamed<br> <br> <em>*Number denotes latest available revenue figure, for parent company</em>
Woodbridge (Thomson Reuters) - $13.8B
Woodbridge is the holding company owned by the billionaire Thomson family. It controls 55 per cent of Thomson Reuters, one of the world's largest news services organizations. Woodbridge's revenue is not reported, but Thomson Reuters reported revenue of $13.8 billion in 2011.<br> <br> Pictured: The late Kenneth Thomson, company chairman, in Toronto in 2003.<br> <br> <em>*Number denotes latest available revenue figure, for parent company</em>
Bell Canada (BCE) - $18.1 Billion
BCE is one of Canada's largest corporations, and owns telephone, Internet and TV infrastructure. Its subsidary Bell Media purchased the CHUM group of radio stations in 2006, and Astral Media in 2012. The company also controls CTV, making it a dominant media player in Canada.<br> <br> <em>*Number denotes latest available revenue figure, for parent company</em>