Quebecor Media has hip-checked Transcontinental Media out of the way to take over exclusive distribution rights for its free daily paper 24 Heures on the Montreal subway system. La Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) said Thursday it has granted a five year exclusive contract to Quebecor's Sun Media Corp. following the considerations of tendered proposals; the new arrangement begins January 3.
Previous to this, since 2001, Transcontinental Media's Métro newspaper had exclusive distribution rights on the Metro.
The STM will receive a page of content in each edition of the 5-day-a-week 24 Heures.
A press release from Quebecor said that 24 Hours/Heures employs over 30 journalists, desk manager and photographers and is the most widely distributed free daily in the Greater Montreal area.
"As a company firmly established in Montreal, Quebecor Media understands the necessity to help meet the city's public transit challenges. That is why we are very happy to be joining forces with the STM and to leverage our media and technology networks to help create a mass movement towards public transportation," said Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor Media.
"Our new distribution partnership with the STM will allow us to reach all metro users, throughout the day. This will undoubtedly contribute to accelerating the exceptional growth 24 Heures has experienced since being launched in 2001," said Christianne Benjamin, 24 Heures Editor and 24 Heures-24 Hours Vice-President at Sun Media Corporation.According to the most recent NADbank data, Métro had five-day accumulated circulation of 688,800 in Greater Montreal; 24 Heures had 561,900. This compares with Journal de Montreal (owned by Quebecor) with 1.124 million, La Presse with 650,100 and The Gazette (English language) 442,600.