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FP Canadian Newspapers Buys Winnipeg Publishing and Distribution Assets from Transcontinental

Press release from the issuing company

WINNIPEG, Manitoba--July 13, 2004-- FP Canadian Newspapers announced today it has acquired five weekly newspapers in the Winnipeg area from Transcontinental Media, as well as Transcontinental's door-to-door advertising delivery businesses in Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba and Thunder Bay, Ontario. The five newspapers acquired are The Lance, The Metro, The Herald, The Times and The Headliner. They have a combined weekly circulation of 169,000 copies. The advertising distribution operations reach approximately 290,000 households. The acquired operations employ about 40 people and engage numerous local contractors and hundreds of independent delivery carriers. Their revenues total approximately $8 million annually. FP Canadian Newspapers also owns the Winnipeg Free Press and Brandon Sun daily newspapers. The company will create a wholly-owned subsidiary, Canstar Community News Limited, with separate management to operate the newly-acquired weeklies and delivery operations. "This is an excellent addition for us which complements very well our other holdings and their related businesses," said Ronald Stern, Chairman of FP Canadian Newspapers. "We will now be able to supplement what our loyal Winnipeg readers and advertisers get from the Free Press every day with more targeted local news, features and promotional material, enhancing our ability to serve their information and advertising needs." Canstar management will report to Rudy Redekop, president of FP Canadian Newspapers, who cited the history and local neighbourhood ties of the weeklies as a strength that FP "will seek to preserve and enhance." "These Winnipeg community newspapers are well-established titles, one of which was first published in 1917," said Redekop. "We look forward to seeing them grow and serve their communities by providing excellent neighbourhood news and features." For his part, Andre Prefontaine, president of Transcontinental Media, the publishing arm of Transcontinental Inc., said: "These newspapers and distribution services are sound operations, but are no longer strategic for us and had limited growth potential within our portfolio. Considering that FP Canadian Newspapers is a local company with a strong corporate culture and that the assets it acquired today should add value to its quite complementary holdings, this is good news for the employees and customers of both companies."