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The DCN's digital future is now

Vince Versace
The DCN's digital future is now

The Daily Commercial News (DCN) is not going anywhere. I repeat. The DCN is not going anywhere.

I hope you all read the above closely because I cannot be any more precise than that — the DCN is here to stay.

Your DCN, the official record of everything construction in Ontario and Canada, is taking its biggest evolutionary step in decades as it fully realizes its digital future. Today’s issue is the final one to be in print after a storied print run that started on Nov. 8, 1927.

For our detractors, haters, competitors and those we once considered industry friends, you’ll just have to put that champagne in storage…for a long while. We are not going anywhere.

As we began to notify our subscribers and vendors of our impending next digital step, some people could not help themselves but to begin to spin their own yarn on our existence in order to feed their own narrative and needs.

So, here I say again, the DCN is not going anywhere. We are simply not creating a print version of our publication anymore. After innovating pretty much every service, tool and publication in our stable over the last half decade, the time is right for the DCN to take its next step.

The current COVID-19 pandemic helped both reinforce that our digital future is now and what we have known for decades, the DCN is the meeting place for construction discussion and industry intelligence gathering and sharing.

Consumption of our editorial content generated by our award-winning national news team (from their respective homes) has gone through the roof during the pandemic. Engagement with our readers has hit record levels. Our newsletters, podcast, economic analysis and social media platforms all became a place for the industry to visit, engage in and learn from, hour to hour, let alone day to day.

Our project data, in particular our Delayed Projects Report, flew off the shelf once we released it. Usage of all our industry-related intelligence and information products increased by 25 per cent and all that news, analysis and intel was provided online, via our various digital tools. All this made it crystal clear that the time is now to say farewell to print, to unshackle ourselves from a delivery mode the majority of our subscribers, customers, advertisers, clients and followers are not using when interacting with us.

For those of you familiar with our many products, you’ve actually seen the different elements of our digital evolution unfold. Part of this evolution was spurred on by understanding the market forces at play that impacted our two storied publications, the DCN and the Journal of Commerce (JOC), our western Canadian construction industry newspaper.

Between the two publications you have an over 200-year track record of reporting and providing project data in the Canadian construction industry. There’s a responsibility that comes with that and it’s one we take seriously.

Our newspapers were not immune to the pressures the publishing industry on the whole has faced and we knew we had to prepare. Like any great construction project, the design and collaboration phases for the futures of the DCN and JOC were transparent and thorough.

As we did our due diligence we saw the Seattle Post-Intelligencer cease printing in 2009 after 146 years and Montreal’s La Presse stopped its print run in 2018 after 133 years. In the B2B (business to business) publishing landscape you saw the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List, first printed in 1734, issue its last print edition in 2013.

Lloyd’s List is to the global shipping industry, with its news and analysis, what the DCN and JOC are to Canadian construction — the staple publication you gauge the industry’s pulse by.

Turning off print before we had a solid digital foundation for everything we offer was not in the cards. Remember, we are keenly aware of the responsibility we carry as the publication of record for news, project data and Certificates of Substantial Performance — this industry depends on us, always has, always will.

We moved the JOC to a purely digital online publication on Feb. 25, 2019 after 108 years of it being in print. The lessons learned in taking that evolutionary step gave us the confidence to make the same decision for the DCN. Imagine now the DCN, which already has a digital edition produced every day to accompany its print version, being completely untethered from print production. The opportunities are endless and now you, our loyal readers and users, will benefit even more.

Rest assured you will hear from those who wish to tear us down. They will use terms like “foreign owned monopoly” or “archaic” as they talk about us. They bluster because deep down, they know the truth. The DCN is woven into the fabric of Ontario and Canadian construction and it has been a staunch ally and supporter of this industry no matter who has owned it.

Also, look at our publications, websites, newsletters, podcast, social media footprint, economic forecasting and software and tell us how that makes us antiquated.

If you have made it this far into this editorial, you are either a proud supporter of our fine publication or have sufficiently loathed everything written — whichever it is, I say mission accomplished on my part.

As we take this evolutionary step, realize we can now make all of our content available to you in a more customizable way in order to better meet your needs.

More leads, more breaking news, when you want it, when you need it — that is what the DCN will be for you, as it always has, for 93 years and counting.

Recent Comments (1 comments)

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Ron Mang Image Ron Mang

I subscribe to your on-line articles and I will continue to read your publication…
Congratulations on this what I’m sure was a gut-wrenching decision….the only thing…how do you keep your audience engaged and/or come back to finish the reads when life happens-you can put a paper down and come back to it as it’s there, in front of you. How do you keep your audience invested in your “show”.

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