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Deserving a Fresh Start —Cagle

May 2008
THE BIGGEST news story of 2008 has also produced one of the most deplorable subplots of the year.

As you are all well aware by now, Quebecor World finds itself fighting to stay in business, having filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, as well as reorganizational protection in Canada. While the prognosis appears good that the company will survive, there has been some negative fallout.

Several clients have left or are considering leaving the Montreal-based printer, putting printing in the hands of Quebecor World’s competitors. Business is business, you might say, and print buyers have to act in their company’s own best interests. I can’t argue with that. Though I can’t help but presume, however, these same print buyers would appreciate Quebecor World showing them loyalty were the shoe on the other foot.

My issue, however, is with Quebecor World’s parent company, Quebecor Inc. Publications TVA, Quebec province’s largest consumer magazine publisher, is a division of Quebecor Media which, along with Quebecor World, is an operating subsidiary of Quebecor Inc. TVA uses Quebecor World to print its stable of magazines.

It was recently reported that TVA was pondering sending the printing of several of its magazine titles to competitors of Quebecor World. The reasons cited were “practical and logistic.”

In short, I find this utterly appalling and horrendously disloyal. Talk about jamming the hand that raised you into the rollers of a Sunday.

People, please help me here. Feel free to e-mail me your perspective. Am I way off base? Is there more than meets the eye?

Quebecor Inc. was largely made possible due to the sweat and tears of the printing business. And while I theoretically have no problem with the parent wanting to turn the subsidiary loose when all’s said and done, pulling jobs from Quebecor World at this point flies in the face of all the printer is trying to do in order to remain solvent and viable.

One buyer familiar with the ongoing saga, upon reading the report, put it in plain, simple terms when he said, “That is cruel! They are doing everything they can to kill (Quebecor World). How do you counter that with your current customers and prospects?”

Quebecor World has done a yeoman’s job of adding new jobs and extending existing pacts in the midst of the bankruptcy period. A few have been lost, or may go elsewhere, so what does it say to other print buyers when a stepbrother says it’s considering going elsewhere for practical reasons? If your parent company doesn’t have faith in you, why would another print buyer? The answer: The buyers are smarter than that and know where the true blame lies.

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