The wave of mobilizations in support of the English-language daily Montreal Gazette appears to have borne fruit: owner Postmedia Network announced on Thursday that it would set up a local advisory group to find solutions to the newspaper’s downfall.
Posted at 9:41 p.m
The advisory group will be made up of politicians, businesspeople and community leaders “who believe in the vital role of local journalism,” the Postmedia Network said in an English-language statement released from Toronto on Thursday.
The company, which owns the Montreal Gazette and several other daily newspapers in Canada, announced in late January that it was laying off about 11% of its editorial staff. In Montreal, about ten jobs or a quarter of the editorial staff will be eliminated.
Famed lawyer and businessman Mitch Garber went public on Wednesday and said he was willing to make a personal commitment to media survival.
A petition launched a week ago in support of the newspaper, founded in 1778, also collected more than 3,000 signatures on Thursday.
The role of this new group is to advise, support and develop strategies to increase the Montreal Gazette’s revenues, Postmedia clarifies. Its members have no influence on the content of the journal or the editorial orientation.
“We admire the way Montrealers have gathered around the Gazette and look forward to measuring the impact the new group will have on their future,” said Andrew MacLeod, president and CEO of the Toronto-based company, in a Explanation.