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Postmedia sells Toronto HQ, home of National Post

Postmedia says it has sold its property in Toronto that's home to the National Post and its corporate head office for $24-million to The Rose & Thistle Group Ltd.

Postmedia says the net proceeds of the sale will go toward debt repayment.

The deal includes a lease-back of the property to Postmedia for 18 to 24 months while it relocates to a new building.

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Last month, the publisher said it was axing several of its Sunday papers and announced plans to cut an unspecified number of jobs in an effort to combat declining ad revenue.

The cuts are part of a wider belt-tightening at the company, which has included closing its in-house wire service, Postmedia News — which also reduced jobs — and subscribing to The Canadian Press to supplement content.

In its most recent quarter, Postmedia reined in its losses, but was hit by a drop in business from national advertisers.

The Toronto-based company, formerly part of the Canwest media empire broken up in 2010, said its net loss was $11.1-million in the three months ended Feb. 29.

That compared with a loss of $12.5-million a year earlier when it booked a $1.8-million loss from discontinued operations sold to Glacier Media.

Overall, revenues fell 7.6 per cent to $198.6-million, with the majority of the drop on weaker print advertising, which was down 10.6 per cent, or $14.5-million.

Postmedia owns the Vancouver Province, the Vancouver Sun, the Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald, the Regina Leader-Post, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and the Windsor Star, as well as the Canada.com online news and information portal.

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As part of the changes, the company will expand its Hamilton operations to handle the editorial production of newspaper pages.

Postmedia will also roll out its metered paywall to websites in additional markets with the intention of expanding it across all of its network.

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