The publisher just sent this out to all Gazette employees:
As you know, Canwest has been experiencing some financial difficulties lately with its large debt load and evaporated advertising market. In order to raise capital, the newspaper chain has decided to sell the Montreal Gazette to competitor Quebecor Inc., which owns the Sun Media chain of newspapers and the Journal de Montréal. Financial terms are not being divulged, but the price was substantial for a newspaper in this market.
Quebecor says its plans for us will involve a partial merger with their flagship paper. Some content from Agence QMI and Sun Media will run in our paper to replace content from Canwest News Service we’ll be losing. We expect this transition to happen smoothly and you should not notice any major difference in the way you do your job.
The only immediate change you’ll see is that our name will become The Montreal Sun and we will begin a new SUNshine Girl feature, profiling a pretty local girl in our pages every day.
For now, the Journal and the Sun will remain separate, independent newspapers with their own editorial boards. But over time, we expect that efficiencies will be found that allow us to share resources on such things as local crime reporting, columnists and editorials. We’ll also be switching from a broadsheet to a tabloid format some time in the fall.
More details will follow at our 10 o’clock meeting. I hope to see you there.
Waiting for a response from the union. Your thoughts?