TRANSCONTINENTAL IS North America’s sixth largest printer and Canada’s fourth largest print media group, with 2006 revenues of C$2.2 billion (U.S.$1.9 billion). Luc Desjardins joined Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. in 2000 as president and COO, then became president and CEO in 2004. Since then, he’s been a key player in the company’s growth, pursuing a balanced strategy of internal growth and selective acquisitions, focusing on targeted niches with high growth potential.
Desjardins, formerly a top exec with Mail-Well and Supremex (a Canadian printer acquired by Mail-Well in 1995), is one of the keynote speakers scheduled for the upcoming WOA conference in Toronto.
Below, Desjardins discusses Transcontinental’s future plans and overall industry trends with Mark Michelson, editor-in-chief of PRINTING IMPRESSIONS.
PI: How do you see print’s role changing within the communications mix due to the growth of electronic and cross-media forms of communication? As a major publisher/content creator and printer, how is Transcontinental responding to those market dynamics?
DESJARDINS: The major trend sweeping the communications industry is specialization and targeting. Transcontinental is ensuring that its entire product and service offering, both in our print and media activities, evolves in harmony with those shifts.
On the media side, we’ve been developing our multi-channel, brand-centered approach. That means, for example, not only putting our market-leading, French-language business newspaper Les Affaires on the Web with constant updates, but also launching Les Affaires TV, featuring new video interviews daily with prominent business people.
It means leveraging our very strong magazine brands and content in ways that best suit their content and readership. For example, we turned the Canadian TV Guide into a Web-only product with targeted special print editions around important TV events. We’ve extended the extremely popular Canadian Living magazine beyond the Web and into cook books and, in partnership with Yellow Pages, elderly-care directories. These are just a few examples of how we’re maximizing our strong content to reach consumers in more and more ways.