Invests in local newsrooms, introduces StarMetro
TORONTO, April 2, 2018 /CNW/ - Torstar Corporation announced today it is launching a major national expansion with a reinvention of its Metro urban commuter newspapers and more robust digital offerings in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax and nationally.
The move represents a major investment in journalism, with Torstar hiring 20 new reporters to join existing Metro newsrooms in western Canada.
Effective Tuesday, April 10, the Metro free daily newspapers will be rebranded as StarMetro Vancouver, StarMetro Calgary, StarMetro Edmonton, StarMetro Toronto and StarMetro Halifax.
At the same time Torstar is significantly expanding its digital offerings in the five cities, backed by the award-winning journalism of the Toronto Star and thestar.com. Readers in each city will be directed to a city-specific version of thestar.com that will feature news of their city and region along with the investigations, columns, national and international news for which thestar.com is known. Consumers outside the target markets will see a national edition of thestar.com.
John Boynton, President and CEO of Torstar, said "This initiative represents a major investment in journalism for Torstar in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Halifax where we already have a strong presence with our Metro newspapers and digital products. We will focus on news our readers value highly, especially local news and investigative pieces that will set us apart from our competitors in these communities."
Cathrin Bradbury, Metro's editor-in-chief, said "investigations will play a large role" in the expanded coverage in the cities served by StarMetro publications. "It's also about giving our customers something they can sink their teeth into after their morning commute – meaningful local news, exclusives, investigations and in-depth coverage they can follow throughout the day."
Amplified by the authoritative journalism of thestar.com and the Toronto Star and extending a progressive voice to these communities, Torstar will now be able to give readers a seamless print-to-digital experience in a new format that provides news and much more all through the day.
Boynton said research shows that contrary to conventional wisdom there is a large appetite in western Canada and the Maritimes for a progressive voice in the news media, which matches the Star's history of championing progressive social issues and in-depth investigations.
"That same research also found that readers across Canada value Torstar's websites and newspapers for many things, but fundamentally they are important for them because we make things happen – we investigate, we report and we effect change," he said.
"This is one of the first executions in our transformation strategy, with many more planned over the next three years," he added.
Torstar is also launching an extensive marketing and promotional campaign aimed at readers and advertisers across the country to raise awareness of the national expansion.
About Torstar Corporation
Torstar Corporation is a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Its businesses include the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, six regional daily newspapers in Ontario including The Hamilton Spectator; English-language Metro newspapers in several Canadian cities; more than 80 weekly community newspapers in Ontario; flyer distribution services; and digital properties including thestar.com, wheels.ca, save.ca, toronto.com and a number of regional online sites and eyeReturn Marketing. Torstar also holds a majority interest in VerticalScope, a North American vertically-focused digital media company.
SOURCE Torstar Corporation
For further information: Bob Hepburn, Director, Communications, Torstar Corporation, 416-869-4947, [email protected]