a media industry resource


This profile deals with Canada's Transcontinental publishing and printing group.

It covers -

  • Introduction
  • The group
  • Holdings
  • Studies
  • Chronology


Quebec-based Transcontinental - formerly GTC Transcontinental - claims to be one of the ten largest commercial printers in North America. It is Canada's leading printer of direct marketing products and second to Quebecor in printing of magazines, catalogues and directories.

It is also Canada's leading publisher of consumer magazines and its second-largest publisher of local and regional newspapers, following acquisitions from Telemedia, CanWest and individual proprietors. Activities include door-to-door distribution of advertising material, web solutions and electronic news services.

As of 2006 Transcontinental had over 14,000 employees in Canada, the US and Mexico. It reported revenues of C$1.9 billion and a profit of C$143 million in 2003.

Its corporate site is here.

The group

Transcontinental, hitherto recognised as a major commercial printer (and publisher on licence of journals such as Elle), gained attention in July 2002 when it acquired 44 titles - including ten daily newspapers - from CanWest Global Communications for C$255 million.

It operates networks of papers in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan and like rival Osprey Media Group has been gobbling up community papers, reflecting the aggressive cluster building of CNHI and other US chains. The acquisition roundabout in Canada means that some titles have successively passed through the hands of Thomson, Hollinger and CanWest.

In 2004 it acquired Optipress, encompassing some 25 weekly and bi-weekly papers, nine printing plants and a network of digital reproduction centres in Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

In 2006 Transcontinental acquired Chenelière Éducation, the largest French-language educational resources publisher in Canada. Chenelière Éducation was founded by Michel de la Chenelière in 1984 and subsequently acquired publishers such as as McGraw-Hill Éditeur (the French-language division of McGraw-Hill Ryerson), Gaëtan Morin Éditeur, Publications Graficor and Groupe Beauchemin.


Newfoundland and Labrador newspapers include -

  • Carbonear (NL) The Compass
  • Clarenville (NL) The Packet
  • Corner Brook (NL) The Humber Log
  • Happy Valley (NL) The Labradorian
  • Harbour Breton (NL) The Coaster
  • Grand Falls-Windsor (NL) The Advertiser
  • Gander (NL) The Beacon
  • Labrador City (NL) The Aurora
  • Lewisporte (NL) The Pilot
  • Marystown (NL) The Southern Gazette
  • St. John’s (NL) The Express
  • Placentia (NL) The Charter
  • Port-Aux-Basques (NL) The Gulf News
  • Stephenville (NL) The Georgian
  • Springdale (NL) The Nor’wester
  • St. Anthony (NL) Northern Pen

Nova Scotia newspapers -

  • Annapolis Royal (NS) The Spectator
  • Berwick (NS) Register
  • Digby (NS) Courier
  • Kentville, (NS) The Advertiser
  • Liverpool (NS) The Advance
  • Middleton (NS) The Monitor-Examiner
  • Shelburne/Barrington (NS) The Coast Guard
  • Windsor, (NS) The Hants Journal
  • Yarmouth (NS) Vanguard

Transcontinental has a joint venture with Metro International and Desmarais' Power to publish the Montreal Metro free daily.


There are no major English-language studies of Transcontinental. Background about its newspaper operations and the publishing environment appears on the CanWest, Hollinger, Thomson and Quebecor profiles.


This chronology is indicative only. Context is provided by the broader communications and media timeline.

1976 Rémi Marcoux, Claude Dubois and André Kingsley buy printing company

1978 found distribution company Publi-Maison

1979 buys Les Affaires French-language business newspaper in Quebec

1992 buys the four Southam printing operations

1993 buys British American Bank Note (BABN) lottery operations in US, Canada and Australia from BCE

1994 sells BABN to François-Charles Oberthur (FCO)

1995 buys 20 Quebec-area weeklies from Telemedia

2000 buys Telemedia Publishing (11 magazines) for US$102m

2002 buys Éditions Versicolores and Spécialités Terre à Terre horticulture publisher

2002 buys 2002 12 newspapers, 32 related publications and printing operations from CanWest for C$255m

2002 buys remaining 33% stake in Impresora Transcontinental de México, its Mexican subsidiary

2003 sells The Northern Light weekly newspaper

2003 buys printing and distribution operations, Amherst Daily News, Citizen and Sackville Tribune-Post weeklies and related publications from Nova Scotia's Cumberland Publishing and New Brunswick's Sackville Tribune-Post

2003 deletes 'GTC' from title

2004 buys Optipress newspapers and printing operations for C$56m

2005 acquires US direct marketer JDM, Inc.

2006 acquires majority interest in Montreal-based Enixa Media (in-store digital advertising displays)

2006 acquires Chenelière Éducation

2006 acquires Zoupla Communications