Posted in Media

The death of Cyberpresse

BEFORE: Cyberpresse.ca

AFTER: LaPresse.ca

When I heard last night about how Cyberpresse.ca was being transformed into LaPresse.ca today, I started planning a post in my head, about how the last great example of the “portal” concept from a decade ago had finally fallen, following in the footsteps of Canada.com and Canoe.ca, who for years forced its papers and other brands to be mere sections of the portal instead of having their own websites with their own domain names.

But … that doesn’t seem to be what has happened here. At least not yet. Instead, they’ve changed the name and the branding (one that has existed for more than 10 years), but not the concept, and for now anyway all the Gesca newspapers still share the same online brand.

Here’s what Le Soleil’s website looks like right now:

Le Soleil website: Just another section of La Presse?

If I was a Le Soleil reader, I might feel insulted at the idea that my paper was nothing but a subsidiary of another. Imagine if the Montreal Gazette website was nationalpost.com/montreal, or if the Journal de Québec’s was journaldemontreal.com/quebec.

The same thing happens for other Gesca papers like Le Droit and La Tribune.

If Quebecers weren’t already convinced about the Montrealization of their media, this kind of shoves it in their faces, doesn’t it? (Le Soleil’s front page today lists its website as lesoleil.cyberpresse.ca, which makes me wonder: Were they even told of this change?)

(UPDATE: Briefs on the websites of Le Nouvelliste and La Tribune are notable in that their texts are identical. I guess the regional papers really are afterthoughts in the La Presse empire.)

I’m hoping that upgrades to the other papers’ websites will quickly follow, so we’ll see lapresse.ca for Montreal news, latribune.ca for news from Sherbrooke and lesoleil.ca for news from Quebec City.

That irritant aside, the Montreal paper is going all out in promoting the new look, which also includes redesigns of the paper and the website. There’s the TV ad above, and a two-page spread in today’s La Presse (PDF) explaining the changes. It’s clear from the amount of space devoted to web and mobile how much La Presse is betting on new forms of media.

As you can see, the feel of the paper hasn’t changed much apart from the logo (I’m sure some people will miss the oddly squarish-oval La Presse mark of old). The bigger change in print is the redesigned section fronts, which are given a more unified look, differentiated by name and colour. Headlines, columnist logos and other aspects of the layout are essentially unchanged.

Online, there are more changes, with the sections adopting the same names and colours as the paper. Notably, some sections that had been given their own names making them quasi-separate from the rest (Technaute, Mon Toit, Mon Cinéma) have been brought back into the fold and made sections of the main site.

But again, the biggest change is the name, and the most work seems to have gone into rebranding everything from their mobile applications to their Twitter accounts.

Goodbye Cyberpresse. We’ll miss you, I guess.

Other coverage:

14 thoughts on “The death of Cyberpresse

  1. Caroline Rodgers

    Have you notice that the new typo is exactly identical as the National Bank publicity typo? We can see it well in your first screen capture. I am not a specialist in marketing, but…

    Reply
  2. Shawn

    I always found it strange that a company would change it’s name for their web presence. Maybe I am making excuses but the only plausible reason to create a different brand was due to the relative immaturity of the internet in 2007. But no that was only four years ago. More likely just a bad decision that has been corrected.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Maybe I am making excuses but the only plausible reason to create a different brand was due to the relative immaturity of the internet in 2007.

      Cyberpresse dates back to at least 1999.

      Reply
    1. Robert H

      So, how long have you been living in Montreal, Johnny? A week? Sorry, I couldn’t resist, but seriously, I hope your question reflects nothing but a fading remnant of the old two-solitudes divide.

      Reply
  3. Andréanne Bouchard

    THANK YOU!!

    I’m appaled by the change since it happened and I’ve had not a shred of understanding from the staff at Cyberpresse/LaPresse. To my complaints, they’ve answered that they NOW offer separate adresses for regional papers like lesoleil.com and lenouvelliste.ca, which is a TOTAL LIE because those adresses have been active for years, in fact for as long as Cyberpresse existed they kept each paper adresses to redirect to Cyberpresse. They also told me, more or less, to stop complaining, that the content is the same and that you still see the local papers name under La Presse.

    The media releases ar ALSO incredibly insulting by saying, and I translate as best as I can here, that : This change aims to offer a unified trademark wether you choose to get your information from our website, our printed newspaper, our apps or our social media accounts. (“Ce changement vise principalement à proposer une marque unifiée que vous choisissiez de vous informer à travers notre site web, notre journal papier, nos applications ou par le biais de nos comptes sur les médias sociaux.”)

    Note the fact that newspaper is singular. Like every other paper that is under the Gesca umbrella suddenly disappeared!!! It is incredibly ridiculous to have to log to lapresse.ca to read Le Soleil’s online edition or even to SUBSCRIBE to it online!!!!!

    This only makes me wonder what’s next? Is this a way to slowly get us used to have the name La Presse on our news so that they can, in the future, make the same kind of change for the printed newspapers???

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Is this a way to slowly get us used to have the name La Presse on our news so that they can, in the future, make the same kind of change for the printed newspapers???

      I can see it now: “La Presse de Québec”, “La Presse de Sherbrooke” etc. ;)

      Reply
  4. Andréanne Bouchard

    And I would add that Quebecor, which is known for it’s tendency to centralize everything, kept different URLs for the new look of their newspapers websites, for the Journal de Québec and the Journal de Montréal.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Quebecor, which is known for it’s tendency to centralize everything, kept different URLs for the new look of their newspapers websites, for the Journal de Québec and the Journal de Montréal.

      In fact, these papers used to be under the canoe.ca “portal”, and the Journal de Montréal didn’t really even have its own website until the lockout.

      Reply
      1. Andréanne Bouchard

        I get that but they recently launched new websites and even though it’s the same template and everything, as well as for other newspapers of Sun Medie across Canada, they still have a distinct web address for each newspaper and you don’t see JOURNAL DE MONTRÉAL above the Journal de Québec name. And Canoe was some kind of a separate entity, the same way Cyberpresse was for Gesca. Now, “LaPresse.ca”, it’s just messy, confusing and condescending for readers of the others newspapers.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>