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La Presse’s ink-stained days may be numbered.

 

Montreal’s popular French-language broadsheet is considering phasing out its print edition, according to employees and union leaders who have attended information sessions.

 

Also under study is a marketing scheme in which e-tablets would be given away to online customers who sign up for a minimum subscription, a strategy similar to that of mobile service providers who hand out free cellphones to drum up business.

 

The tablet giveaway is one of several options the paper is exploring to better tap into the digital revolution. The push at La Presse is part of an industry-wide trend as newspapers seek ways to create new revenue streams and attract a younger audience more at ease with mobile devices and the Web than with stodgy old newsprint.

 

But La Presse management appears to be moving quickly and aggressively on the digital front.

 

La Presse publisher Guy Crevier has been holding a series of town halls to update staff on the project.

 

“They are contemplating the possibility of eliminating the printed newspaper and transferring all of that to a tablet platform,” said Frédéric Murphy, president of the Syndicat des travailleurs de La Presse.

 

“The message is that there is a strong possibility that there will no longer be a print edition of La Presse within three to seven years,” he said.

 

La Presse spokeswoman Caroline Jamet said in an e-mail message that the paper has over the past year set up a digital team but that it’s too early to say when the project will be completed.

 

La Presse is owned by Gesca Ltée, which in turn is part of the Desmarais family’s Power Corp. of Canada.

 

A La Presse employee who did not want to be named said the digital project is taking a cold, hard look at the continued viability of a print edition. Already, the Sunday print edition has been eliminated.

 

The search is on for a business model of charging for online or tablet-computer content, said the staffer.

 

La Presse signed a 15-year contract for the printing of the paper by Transcontinental Inc. in 2003.

 

“Whatever transpires, we have a printing contract in the tens of millions of dollars with Transcontinental that ends in 2018,” Ms. Jamet said in her e-mail.

 

“If they were able to eliminate the print edition – which includes substantial costs to distribute the paper – there would be some huge cost savings,” said Christopher Waddell, director of Carleton University’s School of Journalism.

 

At the same time, the search is on – by La Presse and most major industry players – to find a value proposition on tablets that consumers will pay for, he said.

 

Some North American newspaper publishers – notably the Seattle Post-Intelligencer – have already shut down their print editions.

 

And Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. recently launched what it says is the first daily news publication tailored exclusively to Apple Inc.’s iPad – The Daily.

 

(Courtesy of The Globe and Mail)

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LaPresse is so nicely presented in print and their website is ugly and slow :(

 

At least the NP manages to be even sexier in print and their website can't match the print, but it still manages to be sexy enough...

 

I can't be bothered to pay money for something on the internet, screw that :)

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Une tablette numérique contre un abonnement à La Presse dès 2013

 

Le quotidien montréalais La Presse pourrait abandonner sa version papier d'ici quelques années. Les abonnés recevraient même une tablette électronique iPad pour lire leur journal.

 

La question est sérieusement étudiée depuis des mois par les propriétaires de La Presse qui comptent se consacrer à une version numérique dès 2013.

 

Le groupe Gesca entend investir plusieurs millions de dollars pour faire aboutir ce projet.

 

Le passage au numérique se fera progressivement et la version imprimée du journal sera réduite de 200 000 à 75 000 exemplaires quotidiens.

 

Ce changement nécessite une réorganisation de la salle de rédaction et des services de distribution.

 

Selon la porte-parole de La Presse, Caroline Jamet, citée par Le Devoir, le quotidien est lié jusqu'en 2018 à l'imprimeur Transcontinental pour un contrat de plusieurs dizaines de millions de dollars.

 

Les responsables de La Presse pensent qu'en offrant des tablettes électroniques contre un abonnement de plusieurs mois, ils seront en mesure de fidéliser leurs lecteurs et intéresser de nouveaux abonnés.

 

La démarche a déjà été tentée par le groupe News Corporation de Rupert Murdoch qui a lancé un quotidien créé spécialement pour l'iPad, The Daily.

 

Le quotidien La Presse dispose déjà un site multimédia qui présente de l'écrit, mais aussi de la vidéo. Le journal sur tablette numérique ne fait pas peur au syndicat des journalistes, qui y voit un projet porteur.

 

http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/Montreal/2011/03/11/005-lapresse-numerique-ipad.shtml

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