Two Big Canadian Chains Reach Distribution Agreement

By: E&P Staff Quebecor Inc., the largest newspaper publisher in Canada, and Canwest Global Communications, the nation's biggest publisher of English-language papers, have reached a distribution agreement in three major markets.

The two media giants are dividing routes in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary, with one carrier delivering the competing companies. Canadian Press reported the joint distribution could be expanded soon to Quebec.

"These agreements will result in significant savings in circulation costs," said Yvan Gingras, COO of Quebecor subsidiary Sun Media.

Quebecor said the new distribution arrangements will affect less than 100 employees, most of them part-time.

Canwest, whose papers include the Toronto-based National Post and the Ottawa Citizen, is working with its creditors on a reorganization plan as it tries to dig itself out from under a massive debt. Quebecor, on the other hand, earlier this week reported its second-quarter profits were up 33.6% from the year-ago period. Its papers include the Toronto Sun, Le Journal de Montreal and the 24 Hours free commuter dailies.

Both companies have extensive holdings outside the newspaper industry.


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