March 30, 2017 Last Updated 8:57 am

Canadian newspaper chain Postmedia launches editorial brand campaign, ‘Built on Trust’

‘In a time where there is so much uncertainty about what is real and what is fake news, our commitment remains the same – delivering authentic and trusted news’

The Canadian newspaper chain Postmedia Network today unveiled a new editorial branding campaign – “Built on Trust” – featuring front page promotions on its 10 metro broadsheets. The campaign comes before the chain reports second quarter earnings for its fiscal 2017.

Last quarter the company reported an operating loss of over $46 million (though, due to a debt settlement, it recorded a net income of $17.8 million). Revenue fell 14.4 percent – and though most newspaper chains are seeing declines, Postmedia is really hurting.

Today’s front page messages may remind some readers of a similar use of the newspaper front pages from late 2015 when Postmedia pulled out all the stops to save the Conservatives. But Justin Trudeau and the Liberals won, with Postmedia and CEO Paul Godfrey being widely criticized for dictating the endorsements of the chain’s newspapers.

“Never before in a federal election, in my memory, have newspaper endorsements become so controversial,” said John Honderich, chair of the board of the Torstar, publisher of the Toronto Star.

“Topping the list unquestionably was Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey’s dramatic order to all 16 major Postmedia papers across Canada to support Stephen Harper… No one can dispute the tradition of an individual publisher or owner calling the election shots for their local paper. Godfrey did that regularly when he was publisher of the Toronto Sun. But to dictate the choice across an entire chain – and nation. That is an entirely different tale.”

Postmedia Network was formed in 2010 when Godfrey partnered with the US private-equity firm GoldenTree Asset Management to buy the papers from Canwest. The broadcast assets went to Shaw Communications. In 2014, Postmedia expanded its holdings when it acquired Sun Media.

In January, the publisher announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Doug Lamb, would be leaving at the end of February, the end of Q2 for the company. Postmedia will announce those earnings on Thursday, April 6.

Here is Postmedia’s announcement for its new branding campaign:


TORONTO, Ontario – March 30, 2017 — Postmedia Network Inc., one of Canada’s largest news media companies, today announced the launch of a new editorial brand campaign, “Built on Trust”, for 10 of its metro market broadsheets*.

“Many of our newspaper brands have been with readers for over a century, reporting on historical and local events, and this campaign aims to deepen our already strong relationship with readers,” said Gerry Nott, Senior Vice President, Content, Postmedia. “In a time where there is so much uncertainty about what is real and what is fake news, our commitment remains the same – delivering authentic and trusted news.”

Postmedia’s marketing team collaborated with the editorial teams in each market to customize the editorial message that appears on the front page of each newspaper* today. The editorial notes focus on each brand’s strong position and history in market and reinforces the relationship that readers have to their local brand who they have come to rely on for local news that affect the communities they serve as well as sports, politics and entrainment. Some examples include:

  • We live here. We laugh here. We mourn the losses and celebrate the victories alongside you.” Editor Mark Iype, Edmonton Journal
  • We have raged and laughed and cried with you through almost two and a half centuries of Montreal history. We don’t plan to stop now.” Editor Lucinda Chodan, Montreal Gazette
  • In an era when it seems like the truth is always under attack, we’ll continue to stand our ground.” Editor Stephen H. Ripley, Regina Leader-Post

Developed in-house, the six-week campaign will be supported with print and digital ads in all Postmedia metro markets. A similar brand awareness campaign for tabloid brands including The Province, Toronto Sun, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Ottawa Sun and Winnipeg Sun will start in mid-April.

* Campaign includes the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post, Windsor Star, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette and The London Free Press.

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