Voir will launch English newspaper

The publisher of two French-language alternative weeklies in Montreal and Quebec City intends to launch an English-language paper Feb. 4.Pierre Paquet, whose holding company Communications Voir began publishing the Montreal edition of Voir six years ago and its Quebec City counterpart...

The publisher of two French-language alternative weeklies in Montreal and Quebec City intends to launch an English-language paper Feb. 4.

Pierre Paquet, whose holding company Communications Voir began publishing the Montreal edition of Voir six years ago and its Quebec City counterpart last year, says he is targetting English-speaking men and women in their ‘working thirties’ with his new paper, Hour.

Paquet says Hour will offer these readers editorial on issues that affect them, such as the environment, employment matters and politics, but will tread a non-partisan path.

Campus presence

He says Hour will also maintain a presence on university and college campuses, but notes it will not make the younger reader its main focus.

The new paper’s competition in the alternative market is the Montreal Mirror, which has a slightly younger demographic.

Paquet says Hour has hired Martin Siberok, the Mirror’s former film editor, to be its editor-in-chief.

He says Hour’s first issue will have 28 pages and a press run of 40,000 copies distributed all over the island of Montreal, but particularly at its western end and in English-speaking pockets such as Notre Dame de Grace and Cotes des Neiges.

Michael Hollett, publisher of Toronto alternative weekly Now and a former partner of Paquet in the Montreal edition of Voir, says the Montrealer’s success with his two French-language papers should stand him in good stead with Hour.

Hollett says Paquet is covering both sides of the sales street and that should give his new paper a formidable advantage.

Paquet plays down any boost Voir could give Hour, saying the paper will sell on its own merits.

Short term

In the short term, he says Hour will make its presence felt through distribution; in the long term, the paper will direct all its energies into editorial.

Paquet says some well-known names have already signed to advertise with Hour, although he declines to name them, saying the advertisers prefer confidentiality for the time being.

He says a full-page, one-time insertion in Hour costs $995 with a 30% yearly discount.

Hour was to run a ‘double zero’ issue of 200 copies on Jan. 21, and on Jan 28, a ‘single zero’ issue also of 200 copies.

Paquet says these two runs are to test Hour’s production.

Hour will share offices with Voir on St. Denis St.