Online + Digital NewsOnline & Digital Media News - Saltwire Network seeks creditor protection

Online & Digital Media News – Saltwire Network seeks creditor protection

SaltWire Network filed for creditor protection on March 11. A private equity fund has alleged the company owes it roughly $33 million after years of mismanagement out of its $94 million total debt load. (CNW Group/Unifor)

SaltWire Network, Atlantic Canada’s largest media publisher – including operating major daily newspapers The Chronicle Herald in Halifax, Cape Breton Post, The Guardian in Charlottetown, and The Telegram in St. John’s, NL, in addition to SaltWire.comis being driven to insolvency by its main creditor, Fiera Private Debt Fund. Court documents show Saltwire has filed for creditor protection with a debt load of more than $94 million, almost $33 million of that owed to Fiera, in addition to $7 million due the Canada Revenue Agency in unpaid HST remittance and $2.6 million to its employee pension fund. Saltwire employs about 490 staff and 840 contractors, including about 100 reporters. 

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released its Fall 2023 Sneak Peek Report which offers a glimpse into the shifting dynamics of Canadian media consumption. Some of its insights include that 40% of Canadians have engaged with online ads, the majority proceeding to make a purchase after viewing them. Notably, racialized Canadians and immigrants exhibit even higher rates of purchase conversion. The report also notes a gradual decline in SVOD subscriptions over the past year, attributed to escalating costs, crackdowns on account sharing, and content saturation leading to “Netflix fatigue.” As SVOD platforms explore ad integration to offset costs, Crave subscribers report the highest exposure to ads, followed by Netflix and Disney+ subscribers. Despite the prevalence of SVOD services, MTM says two-thirds of Canadians continue to subscribe to traditional TV services with news and sports content cited as the top two reasons.

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