New beginning for a vital Canadian institution
Canada's News Agency is being strengthened by a new structure and new investment
TORONTO, ONTARIO (November 26, 2010) – Three of Canada's best known and most respected media companies have teamed up to reinvest in The Canadian Press, Canada's multimedia news agency.
Square Victoria Communications Group (parent company of Gesca Ltée) and Torstar Corporation (through its subsidiary Torstar Holdings Inc.), along with The Globe and Mail have jointly invested in a new for-profit entity, Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., that has been established to take over operations of the news agency. The partners, directly or through their affiliates, operate, respectively, La Presse, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. All three newspapers have been long-standing members of The Canadian Press (CP).
Under the new structure, CP will maintain and enhance its mission of providing trusted, round-the-clock, real-time news and information in English and French for all media platforms.
"This is a great evolution and modernizes the structure to catch up to the innovations we have done in areas such as web, mobile and video," said President Eric Morrison. "The new structure will create the financial strength we need to grow."
"Our core mission remains unchanged – informing Canadians and giving them news on any platform they want, when they want it," Mr. Morrison added.
Under the new structure, CP will maintain the editorial independence for which it is renowned. Decisions about what news and information it distributes will continue to be guided by the bedrock principles of newsworthiness, reliability, accuracy and objectivity.
"My colleagues and I in the investment group are proud to be assuming ownership of this vital Canadian institution," said Phillip Crawley, a driving force behind the transaction in his capacity as Publisher of The Globe and Mail. "We will be upholding a very fine tradition and will take the organization into a bright future with excellent business prospects."
Guy Crevier, President of Gesca and President and Publisher of La Presse, added: "The three media companies involved in the partnership have demonstrated that they share the greatest concern for excellence in journalism. Working together as an ownership team guarantees that CP will be able to continue its tradition of delivering quality content across Canada in the years ahead."
David Holland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar Corporation, said: "As one of the founding members of The Canadian Press, Torstar is delighted to join with Square Victoria and The Globe in charting a new future for CP. A viable national news agency is vital for Canadian journalism and we look forward to working with CP management to ensure its success."
Staying ahead of the technological and sociological changes that have swept the news media, CP transformed itself over the past decade into an important source of Canadian digital news content for online and mobile, while maintaining its original mission as a key content provider for traditional media (newspaper, radio and TV). The company also supplies a wide array of media monitoring and information products and services to corporate and government clients.
While the ownership structure will change, for existing products and services it is business as usual for CP. The company will continue to serve the entire range of Canada's media industry in both official languages. Members of the co-operative that did not take an ownership stake in the new entity will transition to commercial relationships, and services to existing commercial clients will remain intact.
CP announced a year ago that it was looking to reinvent itself as a for-profit corporation. This step was taken as part of a groundbreaking agreement with the federal government with respect to CP's pension plans.
CP's membership, consisting of daily newspapers across the country, and the CP Board of Directors approved the proposed transaction earlier this year, after an independent review concluded that it was fair from a financial standpoint.
CP was founded in 1917 and incorporated under federal statute in 1923 as a co-operative owned by daily newspapers. With more than 300 employees across Canada, CP has evolved from a basic newspaper exchange service to an important Canadian producer of real-time news coverage, including text, audio, pictures, video and animated graphics.
CP has won dozens of journalism honours over the years, including numerous National Newspaper Awards, Radio-Television News Directors Association awards, the Canadian Journalism Foundation award for excellence and the Michener award for public service journalism.
The organization was designated by the International Olympic Committee as Host National News Agency for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and also served in that role the two previous times the Olympics were held in Canada.
CP's new investors have each been associated with the organization for decades and share its commitment to high-quality journalism.
CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. owns The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, delivering news, business, investing, sports, arts and lifestyle content across all media platforms. In print for more than 166 years, The Globe and Mail provides Canadians with unique, trusted and consequential news, insight and information that fully engages them as citizens, economic players and individuals.
Square Victoria Communications Group is the parent company of Gesca Ltée, which publishes seven French-language newspapers – the national reference daily La Presse as well as Le Soleil, Le Nouvelliste, Le Droit, La Tribune, Le Quotidien and La Voix de l'Est – in addition to operating the award-winning news website Cyberpresse. The group is also active in television production and has an ownership interest in a number of leading digital firms, including the recruiting and job-hunting site Workopolis and the advertising network Olive Media. Square Victoria Communications Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada (TSX:POW).
Torstar Corporation is a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:TS.B). Its businesses include the Star Media Group led by the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, and digital properties including thestar.com, toronto.com, Workopolis, Olive Media and eyeReturn Marketing; Metroland Media Group, publishers of community and daily newspapers in Ontario; and Harlequin Enterprises, a leading global publisher of books for women. Torstar's news releases are available on the Internet at www.torstar.com.
For more information, please contact:
The Globe and Mail
Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
(416) 585-5320 or (416) 606-5880