Andrew Mitrovica (iPolitics):
There’s big trouble in Postmedialand. Recently, the sad state of Canada’s largest media chain was the subject of some old-style gumshoe reporting by the National Observer’s Bruce Livesey.
In his exposé of a beleaguered news outfit circling the drain, Livesey shows how Postmedia is being slowly hollowed out — ethically, journalistically and financially.
Livesey’s a rarity in Canadian media these days. While the usual carnival barker columnists have been offering the usual apron-over-the-head hysterics about Justin Trudeau’s nannies and his Vogue shoot, Livesey has trained his sights on what journalists talk about amongst themselves lately — the cancer of greed, entitlement and blithe stupidity gnawing away at the nation’s largest news chain, driven by its wealthy CEO, Paul Godfrey.
Earlier this month, The Globe and Mail’s media reporter, James Bradshaw, turned the knife on his newspaper’s chief rivals by noting that Standard & Poor’s had downgraded Postmedia Inc.’s credit rating “to the same grade ailing Greece.” Bradshaw pointed out that the downgrade was triggered by the credit agency’s warnings that “the newspaper company could struggle to refinance its high-interest debt” and that its capital structure was “unsustainable” in the long-term.
Postmedia Inc. isn’t facing a “sea of red” — it’s more like an ocean. The irresistible irony here is that this media chain is home to the nation’s leading free-enterprise editorial cheerleaders — people who have spent their careers lecturing the lefties on the importance of keeping the books balanced. Do as we say, not as we do.
Taken together, it’s been a deeply discouraging December for Postmedia. Chances are good that, in the new year, it’ll get a lot worse.