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

MSM makes huge bucks, end is not in sight

So, Time Warner, CBS and News Corp all reported profits, monster share price increases over the last year, and in some cases increased dividends. So, what’s this about Mainstream Media facing imminent death? They seem to be doing just fine, partly because they’re now fairly diverse companies, with Time Warner and News Corp making money off movies (sometimes called content). So it would seem a large part of the bad media news in 2009 was related to the worst recession since the Great Depression, not systemic technological change.

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 3 2010