Postmedia tries to rouse Vancouver Sun

The publisher has completed the eighth and final redesign of its legacy media brands, aimed at pulling in more viewers and advertisers.
Vancouver Sun

With the launch of a rebranded Vancouver Sun, Postmedia has ended its nearly two-year-long roll-out of redesigned publications. With Kia Canada as its launch sponsor (full page ad), the “reimagined” Sun launched in market today, showing off a new logo that highlights the city’s coastal location and verdant scenery.

But all that positive imagery may do little to stem the tide of declines across the Postmedia brand of publications. The company has been redesigning and repackaging its National Post content, while at the same time seeing back-to-back poor quarterly results. Advertising and subscription revenue continue to fall, with Q4 results showing the company posting revenue of $147.4 million, a decrease of $22.2 million compared with the same three-month period the year before.

Most revenue declines are attributed to a decline in print advertising revenue of $16.4 million (17.6%) but the company also experienced a drop in print circulation revenue of $3.2 million (6.7%) and a dip in digital revenue of $ 1.4 million (5.7%) for Q4 of 2015.

Eight of Postmedia’s legacy publications across Canadian markets now have a cleaner, more digital-friendly look and have been reintroduced to the market with a national “At Your Fingertips” campaign that is spiced up with local flavours. In the Sun‘s case “local” includes familiar faces like environmental activist David Suzuki and celebrity chef Vikram Vij.

As with other publications, the new Sun also includes a standard six-to-10 page National Post supplement. In the Sun‘s edition, NP columnists include John Ivison, Christie Blatchford, Robert Fulford and Michael Den Tandt.

The rebranding includes an attempt to make content (and advertising) easily navigable across print, web, mobile and tablet platforms. It also includes a new mobile app designed for both iOS and Android devices, as well as for the Apple Watch.

The new design also includes a section called  VS Now, which is a live city information tool to inform readers about current and upcoming events in the city, as well as information about trending places at which to dine. 

The publisher is following a different model for each of its platforms, with a focus on local news for its print audience and maintaining a video-heavy, breaking-news personality for its website. Multimedia storytelling is the focus of its app and tablet platform content delivery.

Will all these changes impact revenue in a positive way? Based on the company’s continued investment in Postmedia Content Solutions, its sponsored content arm and a number of relationships it is developing to further grow that side of its business, the publisher seems prepared for new directions.

Earlier this month it hired Thomas Jankowski as its new EVP and chief digital officer at Postmedia in the newly created role aimed at growing the company’s B2B business.