The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Atlantic Canadian media landscape continued on Tuesday, as one of the largest newspaper chains in the region announced they’ll be laying off approximately 40 per cent of their staff for at least the next 12 weeks.

Mark Lever, President and CEO of SaltWire Network, says that the decision comes in response to “rapidly changing economic conditions related to COVID-19.”

Chief among those changes is the cancellation of nearly every event or conference in the region and the suspension of most advertising.

“The economic ripple effect of COVID-19 hit us faster and far more aggressively than we could have ever planned for or anticipated,” said Lever.

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“Nearly half our total company revenue has evaporated in less than a week.”

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The layoffs come a little more than a week after Halifax’s alternative weekly, The Coast, halted printing and laid off 20 staff members.

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The decision will help “protect the long-term viability of the business,” Lever said.

The layoffs — which sources tell Global News includes all of the Chronicle Herald’s sports desk — went into effect on Tuesday and will last until at least June 15,