Investment funds, newspapers ready to help publishing group with financial problems
Published Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:28PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:40PM EDT
The Quebec Federation of Labour's investment arm, the FTQ Fonds de Solidarité, said it would be willing to help a struggling newspaper publisher.
The director of Le Devoir, another Quebec-based newspaper, said he would also be willing to assist.
This comes the day after the Capitales Media Group, which publishes six newspapers including Le Soleil in Quebec City and Le Droit in Gatineau, announced its intent to enter bankruptcy protection.
The FTQ Fonds de Solidarité has already invested in Le Devoir, backing the daily broadsheet in 1993.
Meanwhile Brian Myles, director of Le Devoir, said there could be a viable business model for the CMG newspapers. Le Devoir is currently funded, in part, through a charitable foundation that solicits donations from philanthropists.
Speaking in Trois Rivieres on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he plans to take the issue of declining news revenues to the G7 leaders' summit in France later this week.
Myles does not think that will be sufficient.
"Quite frankly we've been waiting for more than four years now for this government to act on the international level. We were told that it's not possible to tax Netflix, and that the internet should be free and all of those silly things that Melanie Joly once said. So now they are acting, but they are acting at the end of the day right at the deadline before the election," said Myles.
Last year another leading newspaper in Quebec, La Presse, restructured as a non-profit organization.
The federal government has earmarked $600 million in tax credits and incentives for certain media organizations -- mostly newspapers -- that will be administered over the next five years by a panel with representatives from several journalism organizations.
On Monday the Quebec government pledged $5 million in the form of an emergency loan for CMG to keep the newspapers publishing in the short term.
CMG operates Le Quotidien in Saguenay, the Sherbrooke Tribune, La Voix in Granby and The Nouvelliste in Trois Rivieres.