(Quebec) “I’m a very lucky man. In the lottery of the challenges, I took out the right number, “said the manager of Videotron Benoît Robert Sun Centre last September. Today, he leaves his post and returned to live in the United States with his family.
He who was president of Sports and Entertainment Group of Quebecor was in Quebec for two years to ensure the programming and running of the Videotron Centre.
“Robert Benedict will now serve as a special advisor to the President and CEO of Quebecor for sports and entertainment. Benedict will return to the United States to join his family and now work in business development Quebecor from Los Angeles, where he decided to settle, “confirmed Martin Tremblay, Public Affairs Vice President at Quebecor, in a statement provided to the media Thursday.
While it will remain in contact with the company, the head honcho of Videotron Centre officially ceded his post to Pierre Dion, the Quebecor’s president and director, who will then carry a double hat.
“The fact that Pierre Dion makes the choice to take on this role demonstrates the importance it attaches to the success of Videotron Centre, the return of NHL [National Hockey League] in Quebec City and the all the sports and entertainment business plan of the company, “says Mr. Tremblay.
Quebecor ensures Benoît Robert will remain active in Los Angeles, especially in the case of a possible return of an NHL team in Quebec. The one who was constantly in his luggage would have a family choice.
“Benedict will continue to work for the success of our strategy” sports and entertainment “, including the programming of Videotron Centre and the acquisition of a NHL franchise. We can continue to count on the experience of Benedict as well as his knowledge of the American market for sports and entertainment, where he developed an important network of contacts, “added Mr. Tremblay.
Martin Tremblay refused to answer questions from the Sun on the subject, sticking to its official statement. Neither Benedict nor Robert Pierre Dion was available Thursday for an interview.
Benoit Robert is a former hockey player from Quebec, exiled for 35 years in the United States. Among others, he worked with the Los Angeles Kings and the entertainment giant AEG. He had obtained the presidency of the Sports Group and Quebecor entertainment in August 2014, succeeding Aldo Giampaolo.
The first public release of Mr. Robert was in September 2014, where, next to the mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, and the CEO of Quebecor, Pierre Dion, he asked the people to trust him to fill the amphitheater.
Robert had then welcomed the popularity of the opening festivities of Videotron Centre and ticket sales at the end of 2015.
In June, residents of Quebec, however, learned that Quebecor had an operating deficit of $ 1.4 million in 2015 and Quebec City had to wipe half, or $ 729,000.
In response, Pierre Dion had however argued that Quebecor did not change its business model with respect to Videotron Centre and had to expect a deficit for next year also. “It will take a few years before it profitable,” he said about the new arena in Quebec City.
Sharp drop in net profit
Quebecor also learned in June that the candidacy of Quebec City was not chosen by the NHL in its expansion process. Only the city of Las Vegas will be entitled to a new professional hockey team.
In a conference call on second quarter results Thursday Quebecor, Pierre Dion argued that despite his disappointment, Quebecor “remained a strong partner of the NHL.”
During the second quarter of the year, the company earned a net profit of $ 9.8 million, or 8 ¢ per share, compared to $ 72.1 million, or 59 ¢ per share, there is a year.
Excluding non-recurring items, Quebecor reported an adjusted profit of $ 69.9 million, or 57 ¢ per share, up 5.1%.
Revenues were up 3% to $ 992.5 million.
Moreover, the President and CEO of Quebecor Media Group, Julie Tremblay, lamented the decline in advertising revenue and profitability of TVA Sports specialty resulting from the exclusion of the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL playoffs .
Moreover, the studios of leasing activities and equipment Mels Studios and Post Production has been affected by the lack of a Hollywood blockbuster in the second quarter 2016.
The Canadian Press
It is with great concern that Councillor Anne Guerette opposition welcomed the news of the departure of Robert Benedict.
“Mr. Robert was to be one of the best people to bring an NHL team [National Hockey League] in Quebec and there, for whatever reason, he left the ship. But we, the ship can not leave! It is our responsibility, we committed and we are obliged to support this business, “says the one leadership candidate as the party Québec Democracy.
Ms. Guérette does not digest what it considers a “turnaround” and “a sign of instability” in Quebecor.
“Since the beginning of this adventure, we are told that it will be profitable, it’ll be great at shows, we will bring an NHL team in Quebec and that it will stimulate real estate development around building, “recalls Ms. Guérette.
Councillor now considered citizens of Quebec have to live with “the negative consequences of highly risky gamble taken by the mayor, precipitously.”
“The fact is that the Videotron Centre is in deficit, we must sign checks to pay off the deficit, there is no NHL team and there is no building Construction around for reporting taxes to the City. What we promise compared to what happens in reality, it’s two things, “if she protested.
The counselor is also concerned for the coming months, while few shows and events are on view at Videotron Centre. “There are 10 reserved nights by the end of 2016, of which only 5 to Celine Dion. It is quite far from the busy 100 nights a year, we were talking about before. ”