Canwest to buy NowPublic?

by Rob Lewis | Startups

Big news earlier this week when Canwest Global Communications Corp announced initiatives to reduce their annualized operating costs by approximately $61 Million. The move translated into 560 layoffs - about five per cent of the company's workforce through voluntary buyouts, attrition and reductions. Canwest management pointed to the current economic environment as well as the structural challenges in the conventional television model as the reasons why.

Interestingly, CEO Leonard Asper stresses in the announcement that Canwest is still eager to transform into a multi-platform media company and build its audience using digital media.

"Having completed an assessment of our Canadian operations and, after careful consideration, we are implementing a number of initiatives that will provide savings that will allow us to better compete in the current economic environment, without compromising our core products and services,” said Leonard Asper, President and CEO, Canwest. “It will not impact our strategy to invest in growth media like digital online, mobile and specialty channels.”

I'm not sure why Asper felt the need to assure shareholders and employees that the operating cost reduction wouldn't impact their digital media strategy... until yesterday.

Word on Vancouver streets is that NowPublic is about to be acquired by Canwest. While a NowPublic acquisition may not seem like a significant transaction, keep in mind that Canwest's current market capitalization is a paltry $80 Million - down from $700 Million only one year ago. NowPublic raised $10 Million in venture capital in July of 2007.

This rumour may have legs. NowPublic Co-founder Len Brody has advised Canwest in the past.

Canwest Global Communications
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Canwest is Canada's leading international media company. Representing a portfolio of world-class brands, the Company creates and distributes some of the most compelling and dynamic content across multiple media platforms. In Canada, the company's diversified holdings include conventional television networks Global Television and E!, which reach almost 100% of English-speaking Canadians. The... more

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

NowPublic is a participatory news network which mobilizes an army of reporters to cover the events that define our world. In twelve short months, the company has become one of the fastest growing news organizations with thousands of reporters in over 140 countries. During Hurricane Katrina, NowPublic had more reporters in the affected area than most news organizations have on their entire... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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