Canadian Press reinvented as for-profit agency

* Newspaper publishers take ownership of agency

* Torstar, Power Corp, Globe and Mail new owners

TORONTO, Nov 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Three of Canada’s biggest
newspaper publishers have taken control of the Canadian Press
news agency, with a plan to turn the decades-old co-operative
into a for-profit venture.

The owners of the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and
Montreal’s La Presse said in a statement they have jointly
invested in the new entity, Canadian Press Enterprise Inc. The
financial and ownership details of the transaction were not
immediately available.

The statement said the new structure would not change the
day-to-day running of the operation, which employees 300
people, but would strengthen its financial position.

The Toronto Star is owned by Torstar Corp (TSb.TO: ) and La
Presse is part of Power Corp of Canada (POW.TO: ). The Globe and
Mail is set to return to the control of Woodbridge, the holding
company of Toronto’s billionaire Thomson family.

Woodbridge is also the controlling shareholder of Thomson
Reuters Corp (TRI.TO: ). The Canadian Press competes with Thomson
Reuters to provide real-time news, pictures and other
information to the country’s media industry.

The statement said members of the co-operative that did not
take an ownership stake will switch to commercial
relationships.

In July, a source said the move was imminent as the
93-year-old agency heaved under financial pressures related to
a hole in its pension fund. [ID:nN05213135]

CP’s membership and board approved the move earlier this
year, the three publishers said.

In recent years, the the Canadian Press took a financial
hit from the loss of subscribers Quebecor (QBRa.TO: ), which has
launched a competing service, and Canwest Global Communications
(CWGVF.PK: ), which slipped into bankruptcy protection and was
then broken up and sold off.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and
Rob Wilson)

Canadian Press reinvented as for-profit agency