Wednesday, 11 March 2009

PKP: CP is out

The Canadian Press has been advised Sun Media will be pulling out of the national news wire service by June of 2010.

In its place, "an in-house news agency, Quebecor Media Agency (QMI) — to provide and share content among all our media outlets across the land," says a PKP memo to Sun Media colleagues posted verbatim at

A Quebecor spokesperson said the company hopes to save "several million" a year by pulling out of CP.

The impact on CP would be "significant," CP director Phillip Crawley told Reuters. Richard Blackwell's Globe and Mail story is here and John Greenwood's Financial Post story is here.

"We will succeed in this initiative because Sun Media has a long history of co-operation amongst member newspapers, further heightened over the past three years as centralization and optimization of resources have become the watchwords of our business," says the PKP memo.

The memo also says: "For those who are wondering, it is true that we have officially notified Canadian Press of our intention to depart the co-operative.

"Instead, we will continue to invest to build our own network, far superior to what the other groups have because it will be driven by our own employees. This is the best way for us to differentiate ourselves from the competition."

The memo, addressed to "colleagues," concludes: "I count on each and every one of you to make this happen, to ensure that we remain the leader in our industry.

Pierre Karl PĂ©ladeau,
President and CEO
Sun Media Corporation"

The entire memo, a fascinating insight into Sun Media's future news production, confirms what TSF insiders have been saying for several months - CP is history at the Sun.

The memo comes to light the day 30 more employees at the Edmonton and Calgary Suns were laid off.

One question. How does Quebec Media Agency become QMI abbreviated? Should it not be QMA?


  1. I'd like to think the Quebecor Media Agency abbreviation as QMI is a typo that, you know, a Sun journalist might have caught had that person not just lost their job.

  2. I really don't know how Sun Media expects to create a national wire service out of what has been left behind. Having come from the Edmonton newsroom, I can tell you that it was common for the editors to say "CP will have it" because there were simply not enough bodies to cover the stories by the Sun alone. For a period of about seven months last year, CP WAS the Edmonton Sun's Legislature Bureau after the reporter was moved to a desker job. There have been restrictions on travel for reporters, which makes one wonder how they will properly cover stories that don't actually happen in Edmonton. As an example, Terry Jones, who has been one of the Sun chain's biggest columnists over most of the last 30 years and has been to every Olympics since he started for the Sun, had to fight to be allowed to travel to cover the Continental Cup of Curling last December in Camrose - a city 100 km outside of Edmonton! And even then they wouldn't spring for a hotel. I don't know if this is any longer the case, but for a while Edmonton photogs were told by management they would not be shooting Oilers games anymore because CP would be shooting them. I suppose Quebecor can say they have weeklies to cover events that happen outside the major metro areas, but that does not seem to be the case anymore if they are shuttering community newspapers in Alberta. I guess those communities will be left out of the new wire service as well.
    When Canwest left CP to start their own wire agency, they spent a year putting the resources in place to be able to handle the load. Quebecor has done the opposite, resorting to slashing and burning and gutting all the resources that they have and then starting a wire service. Canadian readers will be the losers here.

  3. We stil get memos saying any stories from Montreal must use "QMI"... so what the heck does I mean?