O’Hanlon wins national vote to head CWA Canada

Source: cwa-scacanada.ca

Martin O’Hanlon will be the next Director of CWA Canada after emerging the clear winner in national elections.

O’Hanlon, a member of the Canadian Media Guild, captured 440 votes. His challenger, Ron Carroll, a copy editor at The Gazette and vice-president of the Montreal Newspaper Guild, garnered 167.

“I’d like to thank the members for putting their trust in me to lead the union,” said O’Hanlon, 44, who has been Deputy Director for seven years. “I promise to do my best to build CWA|SCA Canada into the most dynamic and progressive union in Canada. And I will always put the interests of the members above all else.

“A huge thank you to all who helped with my campaign. There are too many names to list here, but I’ll be in touch with everyone to thank them personally.”

Outgoing Director Arnold Amber congratulated O’Hanlon on his successful campaign. “It’s certainly good that we finally have a declared winner. Now we can move ahead.”

The voting period was twice extended due to the postal dispute. Results were originally expected to be announced on June 27, in time for the winner to be sworn in on July 12 at the 73rd convention of the Communications Workers of America held in Las Vegas.

Amber, who remains as Director until O’Hanlon can assume office, will conduct the swearing-in sometime in the next few weeks. O’Hanlon will be arranging for a leave of absence from his position as parliamentary editor for The Canadian Press in Ottawa.

Amber has been Director of the union since its inception as TNG Canada/CWA in 1995. He noted that O’Hanlon “was there from the beginning” as one of the delegates to the founding meeting.

This was the first time that members of CWA Canada directly voted for Director of the union. Prior to 2008, the Director and Deputy were elected by delegates to the National Representative Council meeting. (Lois Kirkup, president of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild, was acclaimed Deputy Director at this year’s meeting in April.)

Some Locals arranged for in-plant voting while others opted to have members vote by mail-in ballot.

The National Elections Committee, comprising Scott Edmonds, Gord Holder and Nigel Sones, who gathered in Ottawa on Saturday for the official tally, reported there were 65 ballots not counted because they did not conform to the rules. They included 30 unsigned return envelopes, four spoiled ballots and one that was challenged. A procedural error in one Local’s in-plant voting led to another 30 ballots not being counted.


Martin O’Hanlon Elected Canadian Director

The National Elections Committee of CWA/SCA Canada announces the  results of the election for the position of Canadian Director.

Martin O’Hanlon: 440 votes
Ron Carroll: 167 votes

Uncounted ballots
Unsigned return envelopes: 30
Spoiled ballots: 4
Challenged ballot: 1
Procedural error by a Local Elections Committee: 30 ballots not counted

Martin O’Hanlon is declared elected as Canadian Director.

Scott Edmonds, Gord Holder, Nigel Sones
National Elections Committee members


‘We need to be in the streets as well as at the ballot box’

Source: cwa-scacanada.ca

Today’s tough economy and political attacks demand a “broader, deeper” movement, organizing not just new union members but building alliances that will make it clear where America’s true majority stands, CWA President Larry Cohen said Monday in his convention address. “We need to be in the streets as well as at the ballot box,” Cohen told the 1,600-plus delegates, retirees, family and friends at the 73rd CWA convention. “We need the energy and intensity of Madison, Wisconsin, or Cairo, Egypt. We need to unite with non-labour groups who share our vision of restoring the American Dream for working families.” As history proves, collective bargaining rights are essential to that dream, Cohen said. In both the United States and Canada, as bargaining coverage grew from the 1930s to the 1960s, “we negotiated real improvements in living standards — better health care, better pensions, higher wages and expanding organizing rights, and we expected that our children and grandchildren would have a better life,” he said. But as bargaining rights declined, everything changed. Despite still-growing worker productivity, workers’ wages have stagnated while “CEOs keep getting richer because they are writing the rules,” Cohen said. “Bargaining rights are critical to any functioning democracy,” he said. “And they are critical for a functioning economy.” Drawing rousing cheers from delegates, Cohen unveiled a short new video showing CWA in action with its partners in recent battles. “This is movement building. This is what democracy looks like,” Cohen said.

Postmedia a potential takeover target: RBC

Source: bnn.ca

While Postmedia’s daily newspaper business continues to face strong headwinds from free dailies and growing online migration, its assets and mix of shareholders make it a potential takeover target, according to a report by RBC Capital Markets.

“Although the timing and/or likelihood of a potential transaction are highly uncertain, we believe investors could realize a takeout premium,” analyst Drew McReynolds said in a note to clients. “Potential strategic buyers could include Torstar, Woodbridge, Gesca and Transcontinental given the opportunities for cost synergies (i.e., corporate, procurement, distribution, content sharing, production etc.), particularly in adjacent and/or overlapping geographies.”

Postmedia is the former newspaper division of Canwest, and includes titles such as the National Post and theMontreal Gazette. Postmedia’s secured creditors took control of the company after Canwest filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

Torstar has previously shown interest in Postmedia—submitting a bid in April 2010 when Canwest LP put itself up for sale. The bid was backed by Fairfax Financial Holdings, which holds an investment in Torstar.

“Although we do not believe a major acquisition is a current priority for Torstar, we view Torstar as a logical buyer for Postmedia Network should priorities change and/or the right opportunity arise,” McReynolds said. “We note that with the completed sale of CTVglobemedia, Torstar is in a much stronger financial position than the company was in April 2010.”

One major stumbling block to a bid by Torstar is the valuation gap between the two companies. RBC says Torstar is currently trading at EV/EBITDA multiple of 4.1 versus Postmedia’s 6.6 valuation.

RBC initiated its coverage on Postmedia on Wednesday with an “underperform” rating and a $14 price target.

Postmedia feels impact of ‘slow and sporadic’ economic recovery, posts Q3 loss

Source: winnipegfreepress.com

TORONTO – Postmedia Network Canada Corp. lost $3.9 million in its third quarter as the newspaper and digital publisher pulled in less print advertising revenues and had higher expenses.

The owner of the National Post newspaper and other major media properties said the loss amounted to 10 cents per share on $259 million in revenue, mainly from advertising, for the three months ended May 31.

The company said Tuesday that consumer confidence was shaky during the quarter and advertisers responded by holding back.

“I think that we’ve had a couple of quite good months and then you have one bad month. We don’t seem to have any real trend taking place,” Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey said on a conference call, describing the situation as “choppy.”

Godfrey said national advertising was up, but retail classified ads were down, as retailers dealt with consumers worried a recession could return, and the HST in British Columbia deterred shoppers from making big-ticket purchases.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there which I think is creating people to sit on their hands for a while,” he said.

He said Postmedia (TSX:PNC.A), is seeing some signs of improvement in the early weeks of the fourth quarter, but revenue visibility “remains poor.”

Godfrey’s comments echo those made by rival Torstar Corp. (TSX:TS.B). The publisher of the Toronto Star also reported lower print advertising revenues during its first quarter in May, saying it is hard to predict the print advertising environment and the pace of economic recovery.

Year-earlier figures for Postmedia aren’t directly comparable because the newspapers were still part of Canwest, which was undergoing a court-supervised restructuring that saw its television assets go to Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) and its newspaper division going to creditors that helped form Postmedia.

In the third quarter of its 2010 financial year, the Canwest papers recorded a profit of $40.6 million with $270 million of revenue. In the first nine months of its 2010 financial year, the company reported a $94.9-million profit and $811 million in revenues.

For the first nine months of its 2011 financial year, which ended May 31, Postmedia lost $10.6 million or 26 cents per share on $788 million in revenue.

Postmedia, which began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange last month, recorded an $11-million loss on debt prepayment, versus zero in the same quarter last year.

Godfrey said the company’s team is focused on new approaches for delivering content, and providing solutions for advertisers and marketers, repaying debt and accelerating revenue generating opportunities.

The company owns 11 English-language daily newspapers including the National Post, Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen as well as the Canada.com website, online versions of its daily papers and deal-a-day website SwarmJam.com.