Rogers Media Cuts 60 Staffers, Shutters LouLou Magazine
After selling off B2B magazines, the Canadian publisher swings the axe at its Francophone titles.
Rogers Media's intent to exit both the B2B and French-language magazine businesses, revealed in September, left anxious staffers waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Two weeks ago, the Toronto-based publisher's sale of its B2B titles to Chicago-based EnsembleIQ seemingly left the staffs of those magazines, including Canadian Grocer and The Medical Post, unscathed.
Employees at Rogers' French-language titles aren't so lucky.
At least sixty staffers have been laid off at Châtelaine, L'actualité, and LouLou — three of the five most widely read French-language magazines in North America, according to data from the Alliance for Audited Media — several Canadian outlets reported yesterday.
The sweeping cuts come alongisde announcements that Rogers will in fact retain ownership of women's lifestyle magazine Châtelaine and its English-language sister title, but will slash the frequency of both from 12 to six issues per year.
While the news and general interest-focused L'actualité remains on the block, both the English and French editions of LouLou will cease publication after their respective December issues.
Moreover, English-language magazines Flare, Sportsnet, MoneySense, and Canadian Business will all go digital-only in 2017, leaving Hello! Canada, the two editions of Chatelaine, scaled-back versions of Maclean's and Today's Parent, and yet-unsold B2B titles Advantages and Advisor's Edge as Rogers' only remaining magazines in print.
Like its counterparts south of the border, Rogers Media, which was to this point the largest magazine publisher in Canada in terms of both revenue and total readership, has been faced with mounting pressure to offset losses on the print side of the business by further investing in its digital properties.
“It’s been clear for some time now that Canadians are moving from print to digital, and our job is to keep pace with the changes our audiences are demanding," said Steve Maich, SVP of digital content and publishing, in a September statement. "We are so much more than a collection of magazine brands, and we’ve seen rapid growth on our digital platforms over the past few years. Now is the time for us to accelerate that shift.”
This is a developing story.