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Transcontinental Acquires Avid Media, Adds to Consumer Magazine Portfolio

Press release from the issuing company

MONTREAL--June 23, 2004-- Transcontinental Media, the publishing arm of Transcontinental Inc., today announced the acquisition of Avid Media Inc. which publishes Canadian Gardening, Canadian Home and Country, Canadian Workshop and Outdoor Canada, four titles that are leaders in their respective markets with a combined 6.3 million readers. With this acquisition, Transcontinental Media reinforces its position as the number one publisher of consumer magazines in Canada in terms of the number of titles published, total number of readers and number of advertising pages sold. Avid Media, which more than doubled its sales from 1999 to 2003, had been ranked among the top 30 fastest growing magazine companies in all of North America by Folio magazine. Adding to the value of this acquisition, Avid Media had extended its brand franchises into TV shows (HGTV's Canadian Gardening Television) and specials (Canadian Home Workshop), consumer shows (Canadian Home Workshop Show, Canadian Home & Country Show), book publishing, merchandising and self-sustaining websites, therefore reinforcing and enriching Transcontinental's expertise in Internet publishing and brand development. "Today is an important day for Transcontinental, for our readers, advertisers and employees," said Andre Prefontaine, president of Transcontinental Media. "This acquisition builds upon our vision of building a large publishing group operating in both official languages and serving a truly national audience. From the start, this vision has been supported by a strategy of development in high-growth niches in which we want to become the leader. The addition of Avid Media's prestigious titles to our existing portfolio of consumer magazines is a good illustration of this. Furthermore, I am delighted to announce that Jacqueline Howe, president of Avid Media since 1998, will be bringing her talents to Transcontinental." As a Vice President and Group Publisher, Jacqueline Howe will play a key role in Transcontinental Media's women's magazine portfolio. "This is very good news for Avid Media as a whole and for the brands we have built over the past 20 years," she said. "In the current media environment, it is beneficial to join up with a larger and equally dynamic company to further expand and develop our magazine brands and other media products. Transcontinental represents, for us, the perfect partner to realize that goal." For her part, Francine Tremblay, Senior Vice President, Consumer Publications, Transcontinental Media, added: "This announcement places Transcontinental Media over the 20-million mark in monthly magazine readership. The new magazine titles complement Transcontinental's gardening, shelter and decoration, and outdoor and sports consumer magazine portfolios, and this move means readers can now get more information on the needs and interests they are avid about through Transcontinental's vast array of publications. These additional titles also raise our share of Canada's consumer magazine advertising pages, putting us solidly ahead of our competitors. Our national advertisers know they can reach, through a single company, Transcontinental Media, their target interest demographic anywhere in Canada."