Montreal La Presse is laying off 158 employees as it prepares to eliminate its weekday printed newspaper in January.

The French-language newspaper says it is cutting 102 permanent and 56 temporary positions.

They include 43 newsroom positions.

However, La Presse says it will still have the largest newsroom in Quebec with 283 employees compared with 239 in 2011, before it began hiring to create a digital offering called La Presse Plus.

The job cuts include unionized, non-unionized and management positions. La Presse says the departure of unionized positions will be determined in accordance with collective agreements, including seniority.

After the job cuts, the paper will have 633 permanent positions.

The print edition of the 131-year-old paper will only be available on Saturdays after Jan. 1.

Publisher Guy Crevier has said that more than 460,000 people read the digital paper weekly. The number of paid print subscribers decreased to 81,000 from 161,000 when the tablet was launched. Most of the remaining readers are expected to go digital.

Three quarters of La Presse's advertising revenues are expected to flow from the tablet in December, plus 10 per cent from its other mobile and web platforms.

Torstar and the parent company of La Presse hold investments in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail.