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Canadian newspapers beating each other to death with dead trees.

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I see this more often these days. man they can be so bitchy toward each other.

Here is the Star going after the National Post:

Postmedia paid $1 million in bonuses as it slashed jobs

Postmedia paid $925,000 in bonuses to top executives for their work on the acquisition of Sun newspapers.

Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey received a apecial $400,000 payout - for a total compensation package of $1.76 million in fiscal 2015 - according to company documents filed Wednesday. At the time, the debt-saddled company was slashing costs and jobs across the country.

Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey received a apecial $400,000 payout - for a total compensation package of $1.76 million in fiscal 2015 - according to company documents filed Wednesday. At the time, the debt-saddled company was slashing costs and jobs across the country.

Postmedia Network paid nearly a million dollars in bonuses to executives for their hand in the deal to buy the Sun newspapers, even as the debt-saddled company was slashing costs and jobs across the country.
Canada’s largest newspaper chain paid out a total of $925,000 in discretionary bonuses to its top six executives in the 2015 fiscal year ended in August, according to company documents filed Wednesday.
CEO Paul Godfrey, whose base salary was unchanged at $950,000, received $400,000 in the special payout. He was also the only executive to receive a bonus under the short-term incentive plan.
The short-term bonus amounted to $118,750, even though the company fell short of its operating profit target used to calculate that bonus structure.
Godfrey’s total compensation was $1.76 million, up from $1.42 million the previous year.
Ousted chief operating officer Wayne Parrish received a $150,000 bonus related to the Sun acquisition, plus a $1-million severance package after his termination in July. That was twice his $475,000 base salary.
Postmedia spokeswoman Phyllise Gelfand said the payments were part of a special transaction bonus related to the highly leveraged $316-million takeover of Sun Media’s English-language dailies and digital properties.
“It was approved by the board of directors in recognition of the extensive additional work undertaken by the executive officers, among others, in connection with the Sun acquisition and the integration of the properties acquired,” she wrote in an emailed statement.

Postmedia’s decision to maintain bonuses in the wake of its mass cost-cutting campaign is unusual because the optics are terrible, said Richard Leblanc, a professor and corporate governance expert at York University.
“It’s frowned upon because you don’t want to be seen to be cutting costs and cutting jobs and at the same time taking a bonus to do that,” he said.
“There is a way to creatively defer the bonus.”

Boards are increasingly stepping in to tell executives they need to share the pain. They don’t want to be seen as inappropriately incentivizing management to ruthlessly cut costs in order to meet budgets, Leblanc said.
Corporate windfalls came to the forefront in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 recession as shareholders and regulators demanded more transparency about payouts and their connection to performance for shareholders.
Postmedia said there was no correlation between executive pay and Postmedia’s share price, which fell 97 per cent from June 2011 to August 2015.

During that time, the publisher of the National Post, The Vancouver Province and the Calgary Herald has been on a massive cost-cutting mission that has saved it $136 million annually.

It has reduced costs by one-fifth over the past three years to combat declining print advertising revenues, partly through cutting its workforce through several rounds of staff buyouts and layoffs.

It has said it plans to continue those cost-cutting moves to eliminate another $50 million in operating costs by the end of fiscal 2017.
Postmedia’s annual net loss for the financial year ended Aug. 31 more than doubled to $263.4 million, compared with a $107.5-million loss in fiscal 2014.
It has credited the acquisition of the English-language Sun newspapers in April with helping to shore up revenue. But the company is also saddled with around $650 million in debt.

The company’s compensation and pension committee, which makes recommendations about salaries and bonuses, acknowledged that the company’s compensation program had to adapt to the changing market environment.

“While the company works to significantly transform the business, the compensation programs’ key considerations will be to reward employees only when meaningful results that support the company’s strategic goals and shareholder interests are achieved,” the documents said.
Postmedia is 35 per cent owned by GoldenTree Asset Management, a hedge fund that buys distressed assets and slashes costs to turn the business around. GoldenTree stepped in to help Postmedia buy CanWest, paying $1.1 billion for the company, which had been in bankruptcy protection.

Postmedia paid $1 million in bonuses as it slashed jobs | Toronto Star
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Terence Corcoran: The Toronto Star should step off its high horse


Terence Corcoran |

John Honderich, left, contends that the effect of Paul Godfrey’s instruction to endorse the Harper Conservatives before the election was “to dictate the choice across an entire chain — and nation.” In doing so, says Honderich, Postmedia was somehow breaching a hallowed media principle.
Archival imagesJohn Honderich, left, contends that the effect of Paul Godfrey’s instruction to endorse the Harper Conservatives before the election was “to dictate the choice across an entire chain — and nation.” In doing so, says Honderich, Postmedia was somehow breaching a hallowed media principle.


One of the less endearing qualities of newspaper and media owners is their occasional bouts of moral self-righteousness regarding their own operations. In modern Canadian media history, few owners have demonstrated that quality more than the high-horse riders at the Toronto Star.

Through most of its years as Canada’s largest newspaper, the Star has fashioned a legacy of unrelenting enthusiasm for big government and a special preference for governments that rule from the left — preferences that are embedded in a series of so-called “principles” that, under the legendary Joe Atkinson, turned the Star toward raving nationalism and a deep abide for liberalism, mushy socialism and a flirtation with Stalinist Russia.

The paper’s proprietors are somewhat more sensible today, although John Honderich, the official representative of the Star’s current owners, Torstar Corp., still mounts his steed for an occasional condescending ride around the media circus tent via a personal column in the paper that he and his family have more or less controlled since his late father, Beland Honderich, became editor-in-chief 60 years ago.

By this standard, election positions at Torstar become essentially local marketing and business decisions
The latest run around the ring from Honderich, who is now chairman of Torstar, bears the online headline: “Postmedia let down readers by dictating election endorsements.” In the column, published last week in the Star, Honderich comments on the decision by Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey to order all 16 of the company’s newspapers, including the National Post, to endorse the Conservatives prior to last month’s election.


Honderich contends that the effect of Godfrey’s instruction was “to dictate the choice across an entire chain — and nation.” In doing so, says Honderich, Postmedia was somehow breaching a hallowed media principle. The principle, it turns out, is one that favours the rights of the Toronto Star’s owners to dictate election editorials at the Toronto Star, but would not permit the owners of a chain of newspapers to set the editorial policy for all their papers.

Here’s the slippery rationale for Honderich’s claims: “No one can dispute,” he writes, “the tradition of an individual publisher or owner calling the election shots for their local paper.” But a chain, well, that’s different. What is the difference between the corporate chain owner of many papers and Torstar, the corporate chain owner of the Star and many other papers?

The reason is “self-evident,” claims Honderich. “What was important or relevant to readers in Vancouver might not be so in Montreal, Ottawa or Windsor.” Newspapers, he says, must cater to their “local” readers. Postmedia broke that rule with its election editorial policy. But there is no such rule and nothing is self-evident except the self-serving self-aggrandizement running through Honderich’s column.

Honderich presents the corporate policy at Torstar, a public company, as if it were some great pillar of press freedom and journalistic principle, buttressing his argument with a twisted idea that is all too fashionable on the big-government left. “Owning a newspaper, in my view, is a privilege not a right.”

With that one-liner Honderich wipes out a couple of centuries worth of hard-fought battles for freedom of the press. Freedom of the press in our society is ultimately a right, not a privilege, a right that belongs to the owners, not to some regulator, or press council, or government enforcers or to individual journalists working for a newspaper.

It is also a bit much for Honderich to portray Torstar — a public company with $900 million in revenue that’s protected against takeover via dual class shares and voting trusts, as the “individual” owner of the Toronto Star.

If Honderich wants to give up Torstar’s rights as the owner of its newspapers, that’s Torstar’s business — although it’s pretty clear Honderich has no plans to give up an inch of his company’s control over the Toronto Star or the other papers in the Torstar chain.

Honderich’s column attacking Postmedia is nothing more than the elevation of Torstar’s corporate strategy and business model — self-described as a “progressive media company” — to an imaginary higher and nobler purpose, as if only Torstar held moral ground simply because it could claim to be catering to “local” readers in Toronto.

But that’s not a principle. By this standard, election positions at Torstar become essentially local marketing and business decisions. There’s nothing wrong with that approach. It may or may not be good business, but it is strictly a business decision, even if the policy is adopted because the owners think it’s the right thing for a progressive newspaper to do.

One might not like Postmedia’s editorial position and one can disagree with how the policy was imposed on its papers. But please, sir, spare Torstar’s “local” readers the pandering claim that only they enjoy a free press while the rest of Canada — “the nation,” as Honderich put it — are at the mercy of newspapers that are contravening some higher moral code that doesn’t exist.

National Post
Terence Corcoran: The Toronto Star should step off its high horse | National Post
 

Mondieu

TRIBE Member
Hey - whatever sells papers, right? There’s no journalism in any of them anymore. They’re ALL riddled with obvious spelling and grammatical errors, focused on op-ed and reader opinions. There’s no “news” in ANY of them. Just olds.

These scrapers stay afloat by pandering to the lowest common denominator. Most people don’t actually read beyond a paragraph or two anymore. They’re lazy and spoon-fed. They click a link, ingest a meme or two, and then hit the comments section to let us know how they feel about topics they’re blatantly ignorant of.

It’s a sickness. For the most part, the 4th estate is dead. Objectivity has gone the way of the DoDo bird. ...and newspapers have become a frivolous way to avoid starting one’s day in the real world, with half-assed water-cooler pap and a shitty attitude.

The nationals have been unreadable pap, for years. Attempting a cover to cover read of ANY of them is excruciating.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Hey - whatever sells papers, right? There’s no journalism in any of them anymore. They’re ALL riddled with obvious spelling and grammatical errors, focused on op-ed and reader opinions. There’s no “news” in ANY of them. Just olds.

These scrapers stay afloat by pandering to the lowest common denominator. Most people don’t actually read beyond a paragraph or two anymore. They’re lazy and spoon-fed. They click a link, ingest a meme or two, and then hit the comments section to let us know how they feel about topics they’re blatantly ignorant of.

It’s a sickness. For the most part, the 4th estate is dead. Objectivity has gone the way of the DoDo bird. ...and newspapers have become a frivolous way to avoid starting one’s day in the real world, with half-assed water-cooler pap and a shitty attitude.

The nationals have been unreadable pap, for years. Attempting a cover to cover read of ANY of them is excruciating.
We've gone from selling with covers of ravers on Tribe to anything Trump.
 

Mondieu

TRIBE Member
We've gone from selling with covers of ravers on Tribe to anything Trump.
I guess. I never cared for the covers of Tribe, back in the day. There was always something a bit creepy about pubescent chicks, in skimpy clothing, sucking lollipops. ...but that aside, people grow up and realize that there’s more to life than some fake-ass PLUR bullshit. Now, the same folks claim to be libertarian but will vote for whoever offers the biggest benefit to their wallet.

...and Tribe has never had ANYTHING to do with journalism. Journal? Yes!!!

The sad part, for me - is that the folks who care about or contribute to the elements of Tribe that pertain to music are few and far between.

Music is STILL the answer. ;)
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
I guess. I never cared for the covers of Tribe, back in the day. There was always something a bit creepy about pubescent chicks, in skimpy clothing, sucking lollipops. ...but that aside, people grow up and realize that there’s more to life than some fake-ass PLUR bullshit. Now, the same folks claim to be libertarian but will vote for whoever offers the biggest benefit to their wallet.

...and Tribe has never had ANYTHING to do with journalism. Journal? Yes!!!

The sad part, for me - is that the folks who care about or contribute to the elements of Tribe that pertain to music are few and far between.

Music is STILL the answer.
heresy. those covers gave some great memories over the years. not to mention the event pics. @alexd :)
 

Mondieu

TRIBE Member
heresy. those covers gave some great memories over the years. not to mention the event pics. @alexd :)
I always enjoyed the print magazine. I just never cared for the cover-bait. I was old then and I’m older now. I have no fond memories of tiny chicks in tart-wear, sucking lollies.
 
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