Atlantic Canada’s largest newspaper chain, Halifax-based SaltWire Network, has announced it will be laying off 109 people permanently.
Those employees were among the 240 people laid off in March, amid the loss of advertising revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a company spokesperson said in an email to CBC News. At the time the company said the layoffs were temporary, for up to 12 weeks.
Of the 109 people laid off Tuesday, 61 worked in Nova Scotia, 25 in Newfoundland and Labrador, and 23 on P.E.I., according to the email. Employees from all areas of the company have been affected.
Officials with the company said it is continuing to provide health benefits for all those impacted as well as salary continuation for those with longer service.
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 email said.
“The staff notified today have contributed to SaltWire’s mission to provoke thought and action for the betterment of our communities in innumerable ways and they will be greatly missed.”
Despite the company’s announcement, the email said a number of people remain on a temporary layoff as it continues to plan the reintroduction of publications and services in response to market demand.
In March, the company announced it would be enacting a reduced work week for the remaining staff “earning over a certain amount.”
Weekly publications across Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador were suspended, and only four daily papers — the Chronicle Herald, Cape Breton Post, Charlottetown Guardian and the St. John’s Telegram — continued being produced.
At that time, SaltWire also said it would combine the Guardian and Journal Pioneer newspapers into one publication and that all subscribers across P.E.I. would receive the Guardian.
SaltWire Network operates 35 weeklies and dailies in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I. and New Brunswick.
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