Atlantic Canada Newspaper Chain Lays Off 109 People As Ad Revenue Evaporates

Atlantic Canada’s largest newspaper chain, Halifax-based SaltWire Network, has announced that it is laying off 109 people permanently.

The latest layoffs follow 240 firings in March amid the loss of advertising revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SaltWire Network said in a written statement. The company said the layoffs will be permanent were temporary, for up to 12 weeks.

Of the 109 people laid off in the new round of staff reductions, 61 worked in Nova Scotia, 25 in Newfoundland and Labrador, and 23 on Prince Edward Island. Employees from all areas of the company have been impacted.

SaltWire “has witnessed the devastating impact of COVID-19 on advertising sales with ad cancellations costing millions to date without expected improvement in the coming months,” the company said in its statement.

Numerous weekly publications across Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have been suspended by SaltWire, and only four daily newspapers — the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Cape Breton Post, Charlottetown Guardian and the St. John’s Telegram — will continue to be produced.

SaltWire Network is also combining the Guardian and Journal Pioneer newspapers into one publication and subscribers across P.E.I. will receive the Guardian going forward.