Today was the annual general meeting of Quebecor shareholders, so Pierre-Karl Péladeau had to come out of his cave and answer questions about how he does business. Lesaffaires.com has video highlights of Péladeau’s press conference.
When asked about the Journal de Montréal lockout, Péladeau’s minions at Quebecor gave the usual response about how the unions don’t understand the seriousness of the financial situation the company is under thanks to the various economic crises it faces (which is forcing it to consider shutting down newspapers).
Of course, that’s not stopping Quebecor from wanting to buy the Canadiens.
Needless to say, locked-out Journal workers were protesting outside,
30 ways to lead your lockout
The Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec magazine Le Trente explores the Journal lockout in its April issue, with an article by Hugo Joncas that talks a bit about the months leading up to the Jan. 24 lockout. It’s mostly union accusations, since the Journal and Quebecor aren’t talking, but it’s clear that Quebecor was planning for a lockout for a long time. Among the things that happened, the Journal:
- Hired more managers, ensuring most of them were journalists
- Started up new columns by freelancers who could still write in the event of a lockout
- Created Agence QMI, a wire service the allows Quebecor-owned media outlets to share stories
- Setup a system so page layout could be outsourced to another company under Quebecor control (it’s believed this is on the floor above the Toronto Sun newsroom)
Another piece by Florent Daudens looks at Rue Frontenac, the centre piece of the union’s pressure tactics.
Carbo (the other one) soldiers on
Claudette Carnonneau, the head of CSN who is suing the Journal de Montréal over a misquote related to the Caisse de dépôt, isn’t dropping her case. She’s seeking $250,000 in compensation from the newspaper.
Big advertisers fleeing
The Institut de coopération pour l’éducation des adultes pulled a lucrative ad contract from the Journal because of the conflict (as it did last year for the Journal de Québec) and spent more money having their speecial section printed as part of La Presse.
Similarly, the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste has moved a contract to print Fête nationale schedules from the Journal to Transcontinental-owned Metro.
Neither of these are surprising (both had previously expressed support for locked-out workers), but it highlights some of the advertising pain the Journal is facing. The question is whether the money they save from salaries offsets the loss of ads.
Having to pay a $10,000 fine (for a story that appeared years before the lockout started) doesn’t help either.
In other news
- A study shows that – surprise, surprise – the size of the Journal has plummeted since December, leaving the paper less than three quarters of what it was, even counting the usual seasonal variations after the Christmas shopping season.
- Is Rue Frontenac sexist? No, argues J.F. Codère in the comments – their columnists are all male because the Journal’s columnists were all male, because there are few femals journalists with columnist-level experience.
- While the Journal’s journalists were locked out, Quebecor merged Canoe into Sun Media. That decision changes just about nothing of interest in terms of employees or readers, but does involve a bunch of title changes for senior executives.
- The Journal had an “EXCLUSIF” report that there won’t be a Bye-Bye on Radio-Canada next New Year’s Eve. Except apparently RadCan has made no such decision. (Sadly, news websites that copy the Journal didn’t update their stories to make it clear this information had been debunked).
- The special Journée des musées buses will not be departing from the Journal de Montréal building as they have in the past because of the conflict.
- The STIJM protested for ICI, not that it changed anything, sadly. But I’m sure the sentiment was appreciated.
- More petty whining at Rue Frontenac about errors in the Journal. Amazing nobody puts a byline on this stuff.
And at Le Réveil…
Not much, other than getting some moral support during the fête des travailleurs.