National Post stops the presses on Monday print edition

The Monday paper will still appear in digital form, but SVP Gerry Nott says the strategic decision is a "logical next step" in the transition to a more digital news landscape.
printing press

“We’re just like everybody else, working through the transformation from a print to a digital business.”

Gerry Nott, SVP of the National Post and SVP of content at Postmedia was frank in his discussion with Media in Canada about the media company’s decision to discontinue the Monday print edition of the paper beginning next month. “This is a logical next step in that transition,” he said.

For the past eight years, National Post has moved to a Tuesday-to-Saturday print schedule in the summer. Now, that schedule will be extended indefinitely. The final Monday edition of the Post will be distributed June 26.

Nott said there were no planned layoffs or staff changes as a result of the transition, but he did say the elimination “puts our National Post brands on stronger financial footing.”

The Monday edition will continue on in an e-paper version, which will provide a digital replica of the print edition with the same ad units previously available in the print edition. All print subscribers will gain access to the Monday e-paper via desktop and mobile.

Nott added that in the previous years when the Post has converted to its five-day summer schedule, an e-edition was not made available. This year, the Monday e-paper will publish throughout the summer (beginning July 3) and will continue indefinitely.

The conversion of the Monday edition to digital is an important step for Postmedia amidst changing times, said Nott. Ad revenue and circulation for print continues to decline at the company, with its Q2 results in April showing a 13.5% drop in revenue ($108.8 million for the three-month period ended Feb. 28). The decline was primarily due to a 22.6% ($25.2 million) drop in print ad revenue. Circulation for the quarter also dropped 8.7%. Digital revenue, however, was up for the period, rising 10.3% year-over-year to just over $28 million.

The digital model has been successful for Quebec media company La Presse, which eliminated all but its Saturday print edition in 2015 and recently moving to eliminate that edition as well. While the move to stop printing the last of its physical editions will result in the elimination of 49 permanent and temporary positions, a company release noted that the number of its newsroom staff is still higher than it was at the time of its digital edition launch in 2011.

A recent report from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommended that the Government of Canada introduce a tax credit to compensate print media companies for a portion of their capital and labour investments in digital media over a temporary five-year period. The government will deliver its position on this report (along with the many other recommendations it heard throughout its Cancon consultations) in September when Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly releases her cultural policy framework.

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