The tide is turning for the Publisac

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The wind is turning for the Publisac

A group of Laurentian newspapers has decided to distribute its local news in local shops rather than in the Publisac.

Mélanie Monette and Chantal Roussel next to a display that contains L'info du Nord

Since few days, the paper version of L'info du Nord of Sainte-Agathe is only available in public places, especially in shops.

We have sixty official displays with large quantities and more than 200 locations with a few copies, explains publisher Chantal Roussel, general manager of the In Médias group.

Arriving at the pharmacy in Val-David, she is delighted to see that the display is clearly visible at the entrance to the store.

Flip through the latest edition of her weekly, she explains that the distributor comes by twice a week to make sure there are copies available.

The manager, Mélanie Monette, did not hesitate for a moment to become an official distribution point.

Her business is trying to reduce its ecological footprint with, among other things, the purchase of x27;an electric car for deliveries. For us, it was important to encourage someone to go green, she says. In addition, it brings traffic to our pharmacy.

Sylvain Lacasse, Nancy Beaulne and Chantal Roussel.

This pilot project was based on public surveys.

First observation: only 40% of readers turn to the paper version, compared to 60% for the digital version.

Second observation: at least 20% of Publisac recipients do not read the local newspaper.

“With all the debate about the Publisac, we said to ourselves: we have to be ahead of the parade. »

— Sylvain Lacasse, president of the In Médias group

The president of the publisher In Médias, Sylvain Lacasse, concluded that it is possible to reduce the number copies printed, without losing readers.

If everything goes as planned, he even plans to apply this distribution method to the seven other newspapers he owns in the Laurentians.

His calculation is simple. It prints 100,000 copies for its eight markets every week. It could therefore cut the printing of 20,000 copies weekly, or more than a million over 52 weeks. This is also the added value at the environmental level, he says enthusiastically.

A great financial operation too, because in the regional media, we no longer have the means to print for nothing, he concludes.

Sylvain Lacasse with a copy of the newspaper L'info du Nord.

This decision is motivated, finally, by the weakening of the Publisac model. In Médias feared that TC Transcontinental would end distribution without warning.

Sylvain Lacasse is not the only publisher to make this calculation. Many regional newspapers should follow in the next year. This is the feeling of Frédéric Couture, president of Médialo, who sees a heavy trend.

His group has a dozen publications in Lanaudière, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Bas-Saint -Laurent.

He abandoned the use of Publisac in his Bas-Saint-Laurent market a few days ago and he strongly plans to do the same for all of his newspapers, whose circulation amounts to more than 300,000 copies per week.

He too brings up the environmental factor, but he also thinks the tide is turning politically: it's against the law which are currently voted on, he analyzes.

He takes as an example the city of Mirabel which scared away the Publisac and the measures taken in Montreal where, from next May, interested citizens will have to register in a register to receive the famous bag of flyers at home. .

Times are changing continues Sylvain Lacasse, nobody wants to use plastic, it's a planetary movement.

Frédéric Broué, the mayor of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, leafs through an edition of L'Info du Nord.

Both Sylvain Lacasse and Frédéric Couture have the support of local elected officials.

The municipal council of Sainte-Agathe-des- Monts unanimously supports this transition, says Mayor Frédéric Broué.

He feels that the project of the group In Médias goes in the same direction as the orientations of his city, namely an eco-responsible approach.

The newspaper L'info du Nord has several local editions in the Laurentians

He also sees a recipe for ensuring the sustainability of regional media that , he says, are a privileged channel for public institutions and an essential transmission belt for communities.

The General Manager of the Greater Sainte-Agathe Chamber of Commerce notes, her, that its members turn away from the Publisac. According to Nancy Beaulne, most merchants now use online flyers.

Distributor TC Transcontinental declined to comment. On its website, it indicates that the Publisac reaches more than five million readers per week.