MONTRÉAL, May 8, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The President of La Presse, Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, announces La Presse's intention to adopt a not for profit structure that will benefit from a financial contribution of $50 million from Power Corporation.
This change in structure requires the repeal of a provision of a Private Act adopted in 1967 regarding the ownership of La Presse. The new structure will be established shortly after the legislative provision is repealed, depending on the outcome of the legislative process.
Thereafter, Power Corporation will no longer own La Presse and will no longer have any ties with the not for profit structure. A social trust will be established and the trust deed will be made public at that time.
Once the new structure is established, all profit from operations, any government assistance and money collected from donors will serve the operations of La Presse, with the ultimate goal of producing high-quality news reporting for the public at large.
The new structure is designed to be a modern approach adapted to the realities of today's written media. The contribution of $50 million from Power Corporation will help La Presse focus on its strategic plan in an orderly manner and to bring together the necessary conditions to expand its support base, from the federal government, to major donors, foundations, advertisers and the general public. La Presse will be able to pursue its mission: producing high-quality, thorough and reliable news and promoting diversity of opinion with respect for ideas and individuals.
Today, American giants Facebook and Google monopolize nearly 80% of digital advertising revenue in Canada. La Presse urges the federal government to act on its intention, expressed in the last budget, to financially support the written press through philanthropic models, as well as through direct assistance to help it pursue its mission, a key component of a healthy democracy.
As part of this change in structure, Power Corporation is also ready to establish, in collaboration with the unions, a mechanism to retain past retirement plan obligations under its responsibility on a going concern basis. This will notably reduce La Presse's future financial burden while benefiting retirees as well as active and inactive employees who have accumulated pensions up to the date when the new structure is established.
Mr. Levasseur expressed the following sentiments: "I would like to thank Power Corporation and more specifically André Desmarais and his family for the untiring support they have shown towards La Presse and its employees over the past 50 years. I cannot help but acknowledge what the late Paul Desmarais senior has built. Today André Desmarais continues to show his family's high regard for our institution by associating himself, for a last time as owner, with the carefully considered choice of La Presse's management to adopt a non-profit structure, and by granting a major contribution of $50 million from Power Corporation."
The new structure and La Presse's vision for the future were presented today to all employees during a meeting at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal.
About La Presse
La Presse employs 585 people and has one of the largest newsrooms in Canada. Its activities are grouped under La Presse +, LaPresse.ca and La Presse Mobile. Each day, 260,000 tablets consultLa Presse + for an average length of 40 minutes per day. The website LaPresse.ca receives 3.4 million visitors per month. Each month, La Presse's various platforms reach 63% of Francophone adults in Quebec. Founded 130 years ago, La Presse offers complete, objective and thorough news reporting in multiple areas such as politics, the economy, consumer affairs, culture, sports and entertainment, to name but a few.
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SOURCE La Presse
For further information: Paul Gilbert, Senior Advisor, Communications, (514) 285-7000, Ext. 4679, (514) 969-3633 (Cell.), PGilbert@lapresse.ca