The magazine industry is highly competitive and ad revenue has been falling.
Transcontinental says it will concentrate instead on the local advertising market, through its 180-odd newspapers in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces. Transcontinental bought Sun Media’s 74 Quebec weeklies earlier this year.
It also plans to build in the area of developing digital and interactive marketing products for retailers.
Synergies for TVA
For TVA group, the magazines present some potential synergies.
The deal adds Coup de pouce, Elle Québec, Décormag, Le Bel Âge Magazine, Magazine Véro, recettes.qc.ca; Canadian Living, Style at Home, Elle Canada, Good Times and The Hockey News to its current stable of consumer magazines and websites.
TVA, Quebec’s largest French-language TV broadcaster, recently signed a deal with Rogers Communications Inc. for NHL French-language broadcasting rights, so Hockey News has potential to share its content across related platforms.
The home decor, fashion and recipe content from the magazines also has the potential to move into the TV world, especially with properties such as Canadian Living’s Best Recipes Ever.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose called TVA’s acquisition a “step in the wrong direction” saying adding more media assets may detract from any potential national wireless strategy.
Also today, TVA bought the assets of Quebec-based sound-stage company Vision Globale for $118 million.
Transcontinental to keep printing magazines
Pierre Dion, president and CEO of Quebecor Inc. says TVA has a strategy to diversify its sources of revenue beyond TV.
For the next seven years, Transcontinental, which bought Quebecor’s printing plant back in the summer, will continue to print the magazines.
Transcontinental is keeping Vancouver Magazine and Western Living, as well as its business magazines.
It says 310 jobs will be affected by the deal, but did not say if there would be layoffs.
The deal is a continuation of the shakedown in the print and publishing business in Canada as ad revenues fall and move to the internet.