Transcontinental cuts 15 jobs as ripple affects of Star Metro closures hits Atlantic Canada media

TC Transcontinental says 15 full-time positions will be slashed as part of an “optimization” of its printing services in Atlantic Canada — a decision prompted in part by a turbulent week in the Canada’s media landscape.

The changes will force at least two papers in Halifax to find a new place to print.

Continental announced on Thursday their plans to reorganize their plant in Halifax and shut down their Borden-Carleton, PEI plant by the end of January, 2020.

Katherine Chartrand, a senior spokesperson for Transcontinental, said the closure will affect 11 employees in PEI and four positions in Halifax.

Chatrand said that over the past few weeks, the company has assessed its operations and found its business in PEI to be “no longer viable.”

She said the Halifax plant will now focus on printing flyers for national retailers that are distributed across Eastern Canada.

As for the changes in Halifax, Chatrand said it came as a direct result of the news that TorStar would cease printing the company’s StarMetro papers in Halifax, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto as of Dec. 20.

“For Halifax, the Star Metro was one of the largest newspapers to be printed there. So, of course, we need to adjust our staffing,” she said.

The shuttering of the StarMetro papers will see 73 layoffs in the editorial, advertising and distribution departments of TorStar across Canada.

The effects of layoffs at the Toronto-based company are now rippling out to affect other local media outlets.

Transcontinental’s decision to re-orient their business has left at least two other print publications scrambling for solutions.

The Coast, a Halifax-based alternative-weekly, and the Dalhousie Gazette, a student publication at Nova Scotia’s largest university, have confirmed to Global News that their newspapers are published on Transcontinental and will be affected by the changes.

Christine Oreskovich, publisher of the Coast, said they were informed earlier Thursday by Transcontinental that the press used to print their paper would soon stop operating.

They’ve worked with Transcontinental for 26 years.

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