Monday, 10 August 2009

PKP interview

Today's Brockville Recorder and Times has a lengthy interview with visiting PKP - in English.

Written by reporter Michael Jiggins, the piece notes Sun Media pays the Canadian Press $7 million a year, which PKP says would be better spent elsewhere.

PKP disagrees with Rupert Murdoch when it comes to charging for newspaper content on the Internet "when it has been (free) for so many years?"

He also says “we certainly believe in (print) newspapers,” noting construction of $250 million printing plants in Toronto and Montreal. and Osprey Media's purchase in 2007.

But he says it's no time for print nostalgia, thus the charge into electronic media.

It is refreshing to hear PKP say he believes in print media, but his actions in the past decade, first with the Sun tabloids and then the Osprey newspapers, contradict that sentiment.

And those $250 million printing plants are no doubt focused more on contracts for flyers and directories than newspapers.

In the years we have been blogging, this is the first lengthy interview with PKP in English we have seen online.

Love him or hate him, he's on the right path in sitting down with reporters and expanding on his game plan.


  1. Too bad he isn't so forthcoming with his employees until the axe falls....

  2. Was that interview 650 words or less?

  3. In 2000, PKP sat down with reporters in Toronto and stated:

    1) Quebecor (as a printer) was recession-proof because businesses will always have the need to print catalogues, ad flyers, etc.

    2) Quebecor (as a newspaper publisher) was Internet-proof because people will always want to read the news.

    In 2002, PKP stated the "general interest, free-for-all portal is not an economic model that will survive,” when talking about canoe/netgraphe.

    Yes, "he's on the right path" for sure.

  4. Of course he's going to say he believes in newspapers. He needs new investors and he needs the support of the creditors who hold his multi-billion dollar debt.

    Note his quote about newspapers: “And unfortunately the ones that are shrinking are not going to be able to finance the cost of having a newsroom.”

    And this quote: “You’re always going to have local content and local coverage ....”

    Based on these and other quotes, and the jargon used in Quebecor press releases, it is apparent that PKP/Quebecor love to parrot whatever the current buzzwords and catchphrases of the (business) day. Maybe if he repeats these words enough, they will come true.

    A C-level executive's statements are *never* meant for public consumption, even though they may be spoken in public. These statements are always signals to investors (current and future).

    BTW, the printing plants were $250M not $350M. PKP bought the economy version and not the deluxe.

  5. “You can’t be this any more – you need to go around the clock,” he explained.

    Ok, sure but when we've had people from the Toronto Sun come on here and say they only have one person to manage the entire website, just how the hell do you expect to have news around the clock?

    At our office, we lost the top three people who were the most Internet and computer savvy, cut just because they had bigger salaries. If anything goes wrong with our computers or servers, we're screwed and we're forced to wait for someone from Barrie to arrive to save the day.

    Why not use that $7 million and hire back a lot of the reporters you ditched the past year and invest in the newsroom?

    Oh wait, that $7 million might be used to help persuade Sidney Crosby to sign with PKP's Quebec Nordiques one day! Silly me.

  6. Kind of funny I read this at home.
    PKP's hack & slash "game plan" sure is working fine since the newspaper I work at is no longer allowed to have an actual office. Meanwhile, stories and photos I have to send in are sent over Internet that I pay for since I am now at home.
    Thanks for your commitment to the print media, PKP. Now continue to cut, cut, cut.

  7. Wait a minute, why the hell would you have to pay for Internet service if there's no home office? That's friggin' ridiculous. Why would you allow that?

    Don't let them push you around. You have rights even if you are working from home.

  8. Oh for god's sake - PKP isn't a newspaperman. He's a flyer-wrap, ad-rag baron. Most of the papers in the chain have been gutted until they're nothing but carcasses - and readers have lost interest.
    If the newspaper industry is going to survive, it will have to re-invent itself. And that doesn't mean being a print version of attention-deficit, graphic-laden sensational web news, or american-style celebrity piffle. I really think there's still a need for a source of real, honest news, where integrity is never in doubt and ad revenue is not the primary consideration. Sure, it may take time to establish, but this pursuit of short term gains is killing the industry.

  9. Anonymous working from home: You should start sending discs by courier with your photos and stories. And charge them to the paper's account, of course. Just tell them that with what they pay you (we can guess it's not much), you can't afford internet at home anymore. It'd be amusing...

  10. For those who have to pay out of pocket to do your job: Keep the receipts and insist that your employer fill out a T-2200 tax form for you. This allows you to claim personal expenses to do your job, such as a portion of your internet fees, insurance and phone bill if you work from home, that are not covered by the employer on your income taxes. Distressing, but your best avenue to at least get credit for it on your income tax form.
    Rob Lamberti
    Chair, Toronto Sun Unit
    CEP Local 87-M

  11. Local content supporter, is hey? Some why is that, when the Osprey/Quebecor-gutted Midland Free Press, my hometown paper, recently turned from a twice-weekly paper to a once-a-week one, it laid off its lone full-time reporter?