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Quebec Media Mogul Peladeau Dies

December 26, 1997

MONTREAL (AP) _ Pierre Peladeau, who converted a single weekly newspaper into one of Canada’s largest media and publishing empires, died Wednesday of heart failure. He was 72.

Peladeau, who had been in a coma since a Dec. 2 heart attack, built Quebecor Inc. into a company that posted more than $4 billion U.S. in revenues in 1996.

Founded in 1950, Quebecor now employs 34,000 people worldwide, with business interests in Canada, the United States and Europe.

In his home province of Quebec, Peladeau was most closely identified with Le Journal de Montreal, a racy tabloid founded in 1964 which is now Quebec’s biggest-selling daily.

Quebecor also owns the tabloid Winnipeg Sun, a Quebec television network and Quebecor Printing, North America’s second-largest commercial printer.

Not all his newspaper ventures were successful. The Philadelphia Journal and the English-language Montreal News both folded, the latter after less than two years in business.

Peladeau stood out among business executives with his candor in discussing personal matters such as his extra-marital affairs, bouts with alcohol and struggle with manic-depression. He gave up liquor in 1974.

Unlike many of Quebec’s top business executives, he also expressed support for the drive to make the mostly French-speaking province an independent country.

On Monday, Quebecor announced a restructuring of its board. Peladeau was replaced as chairman by longtime associate Charles-Albert Poissant.

Peladeau’s son Pierre Karl, 37, was named vice-chairman, poised to step in when Poissant retires. Jean Neveu, another Quebecor veteran, took over the top operating job as president and chief executive.

Peladeau was married three times and has several children.

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