by Bernard Bujold (LeStudio1.com) –
LA PRESSE of Montreal fired employees of its newsroom and some see it as a sign that La Presse + would not be profitable.
The Journal of Montreal announced the layoffs:
“Three months after launching its application for tablet La Presse + at a cost of 40 million$, the daily La Presse comes to layoff discreetly seven employees of its newsroom. The information obtained by our Bureau of Investigation, was confirmed yesterday afternoon by a spokesman for the Montreal newspaper, which is part of Empire Power Corporation. “We would like to clarify that it is (…) seven layoffs of employees (Designers and journalists) surplus of the newsroom. We have no comment about it, “wrote us by email Anne-Marie Desautels, Senior Advisor, Communications.
Contacted, Professor of Communications at the University of Ottawa Marc-François Bernier was not surprised by the announcement. This is the sign of possible financial difficulties, he said. The free La Presse+ puts pressure on vendors of advertising and it is far from clear that La Presse+ fulfills its objective of this side currently, he said. “It’s hard to believe that La Presse + is profitable at the moment when looking at the state of the market. For what I understand, they want to sell the pub more expensive on a tablet than on paper. This is unheard of, ” he said. According to the media expert, La Presse stands apart by choosing give its content free on the Internet, whereas most other newspapers in Europe and North America have opted for a formula hybrid, where some items are paid. “There are not many people who understands the business model of La Presse +” he said. The professor admits to be one of the skeptics on this business plan. “It will be terrible for jobs if La Presse + does not work” he expressed. “
Note that the editor Guy Crevier has never hidden its intention to phasing out its paper edition for the version Internet. The question: is he winning his challenge?
To be continued…
Photo 1: La Presse Building;
Photo 2: Guy Crevier;
Photo 3: The Newsroom La Presse;
See interview with Guy Crevier at the launch La Presse + (April 2013) ;