The Globe and Mail is asking the government for more financial assistance as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on the faltering newspaper industry.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Globe and Mail publisher Philip Crawley told MPs at a House of Commons finance committee hearing that Canada’s largest newspapers are suffering in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Globe is forecasting a drop of 32% year on year in print advertising. That’s many millions of dollars of high-margin revenue, and we won’t be the biggest victims in Canada,” Crawley said.
“We’ve been cutting costs over the last few months to minimize layoffs and I have suggested schemes to the Department of Canadian Heritage like a rebate on our printing costs.”
Crawley said that the Globe did not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
The Globe and Mail is held solely by the Thompson family. According to Forbes, the Thompson family is worth approximately $34.6 billion and are among the wealthiest families in the world.
Despite saying there has been a decrease in revenue, Crawley did not say if the newspaper is profitable.
In 2019, the Trudeau government announced a $595 million subsidy program for media organizations like the Globe and Mail. That same year, the Globe also received untendered contracts worth $2 million from the federal government.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has hurt the newspaper industry, most mainstream media outlets were already in decline.
According to Statistics Canada, from 2016 to 2018 print advertising sales in Canada decreased by 18.2%.
Last year Postmedia Network lost $6.3 million, and the Toronto Star lost $51.9 million and laid off dozens of employees despite receiving $115,00 weekly in government subsidies.
Crawley said that despite major financial aid from the government, it appears that the long-term prospects are grim for Canada’s largest media outlets.
“This is welcome and substantial assistance from the government, but let’s be clear: the long-term outlook for the Globe and many others has darkened because of the pandemic,” he said.
“Print advertising revenue, once the backbone of newspapers, will go into accelerated decline.”