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DCN at 95: All the building news every building day

Vince Versace
DCN at 95: All the building news every building day
DAILY COMMERCIAL NEWS ARCHIVES — A collection of headlines from select issues of the Daily Commercial News throughout its 95 years.

The proof is in the work.

Your Daily Commercial News by ConstructConnect celebrates its 95th anniversary today and the beauty of this moment is this — it is 95 years young and continuing its trailblazing ways.

On Nov. 8, 1927, the paper announced its new name, switching from the Daily Journal of Commerce and Construction News to the Daily Commercial News and Building Record. The “Building Record” part was eventually dropped over the last two decades but in the end, the publication’s widely-recognized shortened name, from generation to generation, builder to builder has been the same, we are the DCN.

From a time of typewriters, carbon copies, paste-up boards and typesetters to websites, newsletters, social media and podcasts, the DCN has been the construction industry’s meeting place to get the news, tenders, project information and data it needs to succeed.

As the tag line in the masthead of that front page said in 1927, “All the building news every building day.”

The current DCN team takes our history seriously, we recognize the shoulders we both stand on and build from. Some of us have had the pleasure to work with some of our past great contributors like Korky Koroluk and Patricia Williams and learn from them.

I consider myself lucky that they both continued to contribute to the DCN in their retirement years as freelancers, their pride for the publication clearly evident. Their steady presence provided the essential institutional knowledge we needed, not just to understand given construction news items, but to also remind us of the critical role the DCN had played in the past and needed to have in the future.

The DCN was not immune to the pressures commercial based publications faced such as new, glitzy online tools, suggested new ways of creating news and declining media sales. With each change, our tactical planning and forward-thinking vision of continuing to be the best at what we do kept us focused and driven.

 

A collection of house and industry advertisements from select issues of the Daily Commercial News throughout its history.
DAILY COMMERCIAL NEWS ARCHIVES — A collection of house and industry advertisements from select issues of the Daily Commercial News throughout its history.

 

From being the first Ontario construction news publication to provide a daily, interactive, digital version of its publication for almost two decades now, while we were still in print, to creating the definitive, award-winning Canadian construction industry news podcast The Construction Record, we never fell behind because we were always looking ahead. We never eroded the foundation we inherited but built upon it.

The COVID-19 pandemic tested our publication in ways it had never been tested before. Sudden remote work environments. Delivery processes interrupted. Changing work restrictions for the industry and our team. However, you, the construction industry, needed us and we were there.

Eventually, we said goodbye to the print version of the DCN during the pandemic, almost two years ahead of schedule. We were ready to do so and with everything in flux thanks to the pandemic we took that massive leap forward to being fully digital across all our publications.

The people, power and politics of construction continue to be our focal points for the news we create while covering the industry from coast to coast to coast. During my tenure I have experienced key decision-makers and interested parties, from Parliament Hill to Queen’s Park and even the United States Capitol, engage with the DCN because they felt they needed to.

During our 95th anniversary coverage we spoke to some of our past staff and a common thread appeared around why they believe the DCN has been so successful. Their belief was the same one Korky shared with me multiple times — the DCN runs stories on their news merit not because of how much someone may spend with us. We’ve always been about the news and that will not change.

As the DCN leadership noted on that Nov. 8, 1927, front page:

“It will be the aim of the Daily Commercial News and Building Record to continue to give the reliable advance construction news service which has won so many friends.”

We’ve proudly done that since that day and we will continue to do so. You, the construction industry, expect that from us. We will not let you down.

The proof is in the work.

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