La Presse Seeking Not-for-Profit Structure, Pending Quebec Legislation Changes

The Canadian Press, May 8, 2018 | Go to article overview

La Presse Seeking Not-for-Profit Structure, Pending Quebec Legislation Changes


La Presse to adopt not-for-profit structure

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Montreal-based La Presse news group plans to adopt a not-for-profit structure, if Quebec allows it to do so, the company announced Tuesday.

The structural change requires the Quebec government to repeal a provision of an act adopted in 1967 regarding La Presse's ownership, the French-language publication said.

Power Corporation of Canada, whose subsidiary Square Victoria Communications Group currently owns the 130-year-old publication, will grant $50 million to the venture.

Under the new structure, Power Corp. would no longer own the media company or have any ties with the not-for-profit structure.

Traditional media in the country are grappling with the loss of advertising revenue, resulting in mass layoffs, publication closures and a shift to fewer print editions and more online publications.

Nearly a year ago, La Presse announced it would end its print edition in 2017 and publish only on its website and tablet edition.

The organization urged the federal government to financially support the written press through philanthropic models and direct assistance when it made its announcement.

The Canadian government indicated it would do so in its last budget, tabled in February.

The Liberal government proposed $50 million over five years to support independent, non-governmental organizations that will spur on local journalism in under-served communities.

The budget also said the government will spend the next year exploring models that would allow private giving or philanthropic support for non-profit journalism and local news.

La Presse president Pierre-Elliott Levasseur said the decision to become a not-for-profit entity had to be made.

"I don't think there's a person in Quebec or in the rest of Canada who's going to give money to La Presse in the form of a donation knowing that Power Corp. …

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