Quebecor is the story of a young Francophone businessman from Québec who, in the midst of the Quiet Revolution, dreamed of building a communications empire on which the sun would never set.

It all began with the acquisition of a neighbourhood newspaper…

At age 25, Pierre Péladeau had no thought of going into publishing. But through a fortuitous combination of circumstances, Raymonde Chopin, his girlfriend and later his wife, told him that Le Journal de Rosemont, a small struggling neighbourhood weekly, was for sale. With nary a penny to his name, Pierre Péladeau decided to borrow $1,500 from his mother Elmire to buy his first newspaper. To revive the publication, he launched the “Miss Rosemont” beauty contest, which was an immediate success. The year was 1950.

Mister Pierre Péladeau holding the Journal de Rosemont

Le Journal de Montréal: Birth of an icon

Looking to start a daily, Pierre Péladeau took advantage of a strike at the newspaper La Presse to launch Le Journal de Montréal in the space of a weekend. The first issue hit the stands on June 15, 1964. It was the first new daily to appear on Québec newsstands in over 30 years. Within a few days, circulation was averaging 80,000 copies. But then the labour dispute at La Presse ended and the Journal’s circulation plummeted to 10,000 copies a day. The paper started losing money.

Pierre Péladeau's associates suggested he pocket the $100,000 in profit and close shop. With characteristic stubbornness, he decided to fight for his paper's future instead. Seven years later, Le Journal de Montréal would break even.

Journal de Montréal

Quebecor and print media

Timeline in pictures
Nicknamed the “king of the popular press,” Pierre Péladeau built up a national communications empire over the years.

The world’s largest printing company

In 1954, even before Le Journal de Montréal was created, when he owned Le Journal de Rosemont and four other neighbourhood weeklies, Pierre Péladeau decided to print his papers himself in order to be more independent … and stay one step ahead of a competitor. That move also led to the creation of more publications and his own distribution network.

In 1971, Pierre Péladeau made his first foray outside Québec by acquiring the Ontario printing plant Graphic Web. In the 1980s and 90s, Quebecor Printing grew exponentially, snapping up printing plants around the world to establish first a national presence in Canada and then moving into the U.S., Europe, South America and India.

Meanwhile, aiming to make its operations completely independent, Quebecor bought out the Donohue paper company in Québec in 1987.

After acquiring the major American printing company World Color Press in 1999, Quebecor Printing adopted a new name to reflect its global stature: Quebecor World Inc.

At the dawn of the new millennium, Quebecor thus became the world’s largest commercial printer with more than 200 printing plants and shops in over 15 countries on three continents. People started talking about the Quebecor empire.

Imprimerie Mirabel

The Quebecor Printing sage

Timeline in pictures
From a neighbourhood printshop in 1954 to the acquisition of the Donohue paper company to the creation of Quebecor World in 1999.

Quebecor’s 2nd generation: Into the digital age

Following his father's death, Pierre Karl took the helm of the company in 1999. At the dawn of the new millennium, when the Corporation’s activities were being disrupted by the advent of digital, he successfully transitioned Quebecor’s traditional businesses to the new economy.

Videotron: The way of the future

To create a comprehensive, truly integrated media and communications business, we had to have our own network to support the best possible distribution of our content.

Pierre Karl Péladeau

In October 2000, in a milestone event for the business, Quebecor acquired Groupe Vidéotron, a leading Canadian cable company, after grueling negotiations. The deal also included the TVA television network and magazine publisher Publications TVA. To carry out the acquisition, Quebecor created a new subsidiary, Quebecor Media, and formed a partnership with a major financial backer, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

The transaction would have a decisive impact on the company, allowing it to build one of the most robust models of telecommunications and media convergence in Canada.

Pierre Karl Péladeau photo

Quebecor moves to the screen

Timeline in pictures
In 2000, with Le Journal de Montréal and Le Journal de Québec #1 in their markets, Quebecor makes the shift to digital to maximize distribution of its content.

The infinite power… of mobile

Another critical phase came in 2010, when Videotron built out its own mobile telephone network in record time. With a major investment of over $2 billion, it became the first next-generation carrier to enter the mobility market against the big three former telephone monopolies. It was a well timed and forward-looking decision: today, Videotron Mobile is the cornerstone of the Corporation's business.

Pierre Karl Péladeau and Robert Dépatie

Sports and entertainment: A new growth driver

True to the desire to conquer new lands that is part of its DNA, Quebecor began targeting a new growth area for the business in the 2010s: sports and entertainment. The strategy reflects two major goals for the Corporation: diversifying its revenue streams and constantly offering its audiences more original and exclusive content.

On March 1, 2011, Quebecor was chosen by Québec City to be the exclusive manager of its future arena for 25 years. The Videotron Centre opened its doors on September 12, 2015.

In the meantime, Quebecor made a number of acquisitions to become a leading player in the industry. It launched the specialty channel TVA Sports, now the National Hockey League’s official French-language broadcaster in Canada. It also acquired Gestev, which specializes in producing and managing sporting and cultural events, and bought two Québec Major Junior Hockey League franchises.

Videotron Centre photo

The Videotron Centre takes centre stage

Timeline in pictures
Quebecor becomes a frontline player in sports, showbiz and entertainment in Québec.

Quebecor is a big family that has never been afraid to innovate and adapt to its market. Like its founder, it will continue seeking new opportunities for growth.

Management committee photo

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