Tag Archives: Claude J. Charron

TVA Publications kills six magazines, including Le Lundi

“TVA Publications is pressing ahead with its strategic plan aimed at strengthening its leading position and better meeting the needs of its readers and advertisers.”

That’s press-release speak for “we’re cutting dead weight to save costs.”

Quebecor’s TVA Publications announced on Wednesday that it is ending six magazines, about 10 per cent of its titles:

  • 150 plans (home building and renovation, 3 times a year at 15,750 copies)
  • Animal (pets, 8 times a year at 10,844 copies)
  • Décormag (home decor, since 1972, 10 times a year at 73,046 copies)
  • Le Lundi (women/celebrity/lifestyle, since 1977, 49 times a year at 18,014 copies)
  • MOI&cie (women, since 2006, 12 times a year at 70,062 copies)
  • Signé M (Louis-François Marcotte’s recipes, 9 times a year at 28,977 copies)

Décormag was one of the 14 magazines TVA acquired from Transcontinental in April. That acquisition and others led to a lot of magazines of similar styles at TVA, and this will help rationalize that a bit.

Lundi is the most interesting shutdown here for me, not just because it’s the only weekly, but because of its history. Lundi was founded by Claude J. Charron after he split off from Pierre Péladeau in 1977. Charron sold the magazine to a company that then sold it to Quebecor, and started a similar magazine called 7 jours. Quebecor bought 7 jours in 2000, and so after a non-compete clause ended Charron started La Semaine. Eventually Charron sold La Semaine to … who else, Quebecor. (Radio-Canada has a story on Charron’s history here.)

Quebecor is keeping 7 jours and La Semaine, but is pulling the plug on the original.

Groupe TVA also issued a press release praising the MOI&cie TV channel, in an effort to cut inevitable speculation about the future of that part of the brand after its magazine’s end.

TVA’s statement doesn’t make any mention of how many jobs will be lost as a result of this decision.

The return of Montréal-Matin

Nathalie Collard, who has been pretty solid in the media beat at La Presse, comes out this morning with the news that Claude J. Charron of La Semaine is going to launch a new media venture in Montreal, and he’s purchased the name Montréal-Matin, which has gone unused since the daily newspaper shut down in 1978 – brought down by a strike.

According to Collard, the new Montréal-Matin would be mainly an online venture, but with a weekly printed component, kind of like Rue Frontenac is trying to do, she notes.

Collard also outs Charron as the man behind a mysterious ad that appeared in La Presse and Le Devoir in March seeking employees for a “nouveau quotidien québécois”.

Charron certainly has a history launching publications in Quebec. He started Lundi and 7 jours, both since sold to Quebecor, and started La Semaine to compete with them once a non-compete clause expired (forever putting Charron on Quebecor’s naughty list).

But I can’t help wonder, as Collard herself did in March, how crazy this guy must be to launch a new francophone newspaper in Montreal, where there are already five daily newspapers, a website (and soon paper weekly) run by dozens of locked-out journalists, an alt-weekly in Voir and all sorts of other news outlets on the Web.

It’s particularly crazy considering Rue Frontenac, which quite obviously operates at a huge loss when labour costs are factored in. It would make a lot more sense to wait until that conflict ends before launching another competing news media venture.

Or, you know, not. There are plenty of markets more in need of better journalism. How about a free daily in Quebec City? Another English paper or website in Montreal? Or an English publication anywhere else in Quebec? A French daily in Trois-Rivières to compete with Le Nouvelliste and replace the Journal de Trois-Rivières?

As much as I love journalism and want to see more of it, the Montreal French-language market is the least in need of more journalists.