You might remember last September, just before the start of the Canadiens' season, the locked-out journalists and other workers of the Journal de Montréal published a special print edition. It was just a one-time thing, but it got read and now they want to try for something more permanent.
Last week, Rue Frontenac announced that a print edition would be made on a weekly basis (Thursdays) and distributed throughout the Montreal area (from St. Jerome to St. Jean sur Richelieu) starting in late October.
Like most newspapers these days, this one promises to have more features and analysis, keeping the day-to-day breaking news for the website.
The announcement was enough to prompt stories in other media:
From those stories we get some more details:
- The paper will be called Rue Frontenac
- Distribution will be a minimum of 50,000
- The paper will be big - at least 48 pages to start
- The union expects that non-labour costs will be paid by advertising and other revenue
- Distribution will be through newsstands and in person by locked out workers (the other newspaper primarily distributed by handing it to people is 24 Heures, which is sure to make for some interesting mornings in front of metro stations)
- BV!Media, which owns Branchez-Vous and provides online advertising for Rue Frontenac, will help supply advertising for the print product
The Gazette's story also provides some stats on RueFrontenac.com: 300,000 unique visitors and 2.2 million page views monthly.
A paper edition was successful in Quebec City during the Journal de Québec lockout, mainly because there are no free daily newspapers in that city. In Montreal, there are two free dailies, three francophone subscription dailies, the weekly Voir, plus all the anglo publications, community newspapers and weekly news magazines.
It remains to be seen how many people will opt for the union paper over the many other options out there.