The process by which Transcontinental is selling off its remaining community newspapers in Quebec (and Cornwall, Ont.) took its biggest step on Wednesday with the announcement that Icimédias Inc., led by Renel Bouchard, with Marc-Noël Ouellette, will buy 21 community papers and its Inmemoriam.ca website and take over 140 employees plus another 28 from TC’s production operations.
Bouchard had been an owner of Le Canada Français, a newspaper that’s part of the transaction, and Ouellette was a TC manager for 15 years.
The newspapers involved in the transaction, whose price was not disclosed but also involves an agreement for TC to print the newspapers, are:
- Le Canada Français and Le Richelieu (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu)
- Coup d’œil (Napierville)
- L’Avenir et des Rivières (Farnham)
- Le Guide (Cowansville)
- Granby Express (Granby)
- La Nouvelle union and La Nouvelle union week-end (Victoriaville)
- L’Avenir de l’Érable (Plessisville)
- La Voix du Sud (Lac-Etchemin)
- Beauce Média (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce)
- L’Éclaireur Progrès and Hebdo Régional (Saint-Georges-de-Beauce)
- Le Reflet du Lac (Magog)
- Le Progrès de Coaticook (Coaticook)
- L’Hebdo Journal (Trois-Rivières)
- Le Courrier Sud (Nicolet)
- L’Hebdo du Saint-Maurice (Shawinigan)
- L’Écho La Tuque/Haut-St-Maurice (La Tuque)
- L’Écho de Maskinongé (Maskinongé)
- Courrier Frontenac (Thetford Mines)
Transcontinental has now sold more than half of the 93 publications it put up for sale in April, all to small local owners, through 10 transactions.
But as the months progress, the chances of remaining newspapers being sold diminishes. That includes titles in various Montreal neighbourhoods, Courrier Laval, and papers in the Outaouais and Abitibi regions.
The Canadian Press had a story recently about the Transcon sales and what local owners are hoping to do to revitalize the papers.
More coverage in Le Devoir and Le Canada français.