Torstar makes money for fourth quarter in a row

I’ve always thought that the Toronto Star was the bellwether of Canadian newspapers, given its position as the number one newspaper in the largest and most competitive newspaper market in the country, Toronto. Four quarters is good, even though the ad revenue isn’t what it used to be, and likely never will be again with Craigslist et al eating into classified ads. A good chunk of Torstar’s profitability of a long overlooked newspaper market, its community weeklies, most of which operate as local monopolies.

Globe and Mail, July 29 2010


Good day for Torstar, bad day for Newsweek

Torstar reported a profit of $7.4 million for the first quarter, moving the newspaper group back to profitability (its 2009 1Q was a loss of $21.4 million.) Most of the profit came from cuts, of which more are apparently under way, bad news no doubt for the newsroom (how about laying off overpaid, underproducing executives, where you could save some real money.) Anyhoo, its bid for the CanWest papers proceeds, even though Torstar owns 20 per cent of CTVglobemedia; wonder what the Competition Bureau would say about its also owning CanWest papers? Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports Newsweek magazine is on the block, as all newsmagazines suffer the reality of reporting seven day old news in the Internet age.

Report on Business, May 6 2010

Bay Street gives sign of support for newspapers

Torstar saw its shares rise almost 20 per cent in one day yesterday when a bank analyst upgraded it as a potential investment. TD Newcrest rated it “action list buy”,  the  highest ranking TD assigns to a stock. Interestingly, TD rates the community weekly newspapers Torstar owns, not its flagship daily, as the main driver of corporate revenue. Investors have just bought a huge amount of stock; wonder how the other chains will fare (outside bankrupt Canwest) as their quarterlies come out, particularly Quebecor, whose Sun chain has been struggling with advertisers for some time.

Financial Post, March 3 2010

Toronto Star/CanWest merger? Well, no.

Interesting oped piece in the Globe  putting forward a merger between CanWest and the Toronto Star. It’s worth a look, but I’m still of the opinion that the best thing to do with the CanWest dailies is break them up and let them be community focused (though I like the notion of CanWest rejoining CP). A counter argument comes from a Star blogger.

Globe and Mail, Feb. 19 2020

TheStarblogs, Feb. 19 2010