(Adds titles for sale, company statement, media analyst
comment, background, byline)
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Sept 30 Rogers Communications Inc
will stop printing four of its biggest magazines next
year and sell all its French-language and trade publications as
more readers and advertisers move online, the Canadian company's
media arm said on Friday.
Rogers, one of the country's biggest magazine publishers,
said Canadian Business, Sportsnet, MoneySense and Flare will
have digital-only versions starting next year. It will also
print Maclean's, Châtelaine and Today's Parent less frequently.
Rogers' French-language titles are Châtelaine, L'actualité
and Loulou. Its trade publications include Canadian Insurance
Top Broker, Advisor's Edge and Benefits Canada.
Rogers, which also owns television and radio stations, has
committed C$35 million ($26.7 million) to create and promote
digital content, it said in a statement.
"We are going where our audiences are," Rogers Media
President Rick Brace said in the statement.
The company declined to comment on savings, job losses and
costs for the transition.
The overhaul is the latest retreat by a Canadian publisher
from print as advertisers increasingly favor going online, often
on Facebook and Google which have much larger
audiences than any media company's own website.
Canada's biggest newspaper publisher, Postmedia Network
Canada Corp, struck a deal in July that gave creditors
nearly all of its equity and almost halved its heavy debt load.
In January, Postmedia cut about 8 percent of its editorial
workforce as it merged tabloid and broadsheet newsrooms in four
In early September, the Globe and Mail newspaper offered
voluntary buyouts to all of its roughly 650 employees as it
sought to cut around 40 jobs.
"This transition is happening at lightning speed," Ian Gill,
whose recent book 'No News Is Bad News' documents the shifting
Canadian media landscape, said in a telephone interview.
The federal government is consulting Canadians on how best
to support the country's creative, media and production sectors
in a digital world. A parliamentary committee is reviewing
challenges facing the news media.
($1 = 1.3111 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Richard Chang)