|Traded as||TSX: TS.B|
|Headquarters||One Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|David Holland, President|
Number of employees
Torstar Corporation (TSX: TS.B) is an independently owned Canadian broadly based media company that is named after its principal holding, the Toronto Star daily newspaper. Its headquarters are at One Yonge Street in Toronto.
Its core businesses includes publishing daily and community newspapers, speciality publications, digital properties and Syndicate content.
Torstar was founded after the Ontario government passed a law barring the provisions of late-Toronto Star owner Joseph Atkinson's will from being enacted. Atkinson had bequeathed the newspaper to a charitable organization he had founded. The Conservative provincial government of George Drew (a critic of the Liberal-oriented Star) passed a law banning charitable organizations from operating profitable entities such as newspapers. Rather than sell the newspaper, the trustees of the Atkinson Foundation bought out the Star privately and founded Torstar as a private corporation.
The principal activity of Torstar is the publication of newspapers. Torstar operates in one main holding under Media.
The Media division is the only component and consists of newspaper, commercial printing and Internet products and services. The company operates 2 main newspaper divisions, Metroland Media Group and the Star Media Group.
Star Media Group
Star Media Group is a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Torstar Corporation. It was created on September 11, 2006 as part of restructuring of the companies assets.
Star Media Group includes the flagship Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, and thestar.com; the Metro daily commuter papers in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Halifax (formerly, also Kitchener-Waterloo); a joint interest in Sing Tao daily Chinese-language newspaper; toronto.com; and several other specialty publications, magazines and distribution services. Star Media Group also includes eyeReturn Marketing, and Torstar's interests in Olive Media and Workopolis.
In 2001 the flagship Toronto Star began a series of layoffs that decimated the unionized workers at the company once run by a former union president, Beland Honderich. This went in the entirely opposite direction of that espoused editorially by the newspaper.
Metroland Media Group
Metroland Media Group is Torstar's largest division. Metroland consists of daily and community newspapers, printing services, flyer distributing and digital operations. Metroland publishes over 100 community newspapers, three daily newspapers (The Hamilton Spectator, the Waterloo Region Record and the Guelph Mercury), numerous other specialty and monthly publications, magazines, telephone directories, consumer shows and distribution operations, a number of websites and applications, and WagJag.com, a leader in the Canadian group-buying space.
- Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. (part owner)
- Torstar owns approximately 25% of Blue Ant Media Inc.,
- Torstar also owns 20% of Black Press.
Torstar launched a weekly celebrity-based magazine called Scoop in 2005, which folded one year later.
Though newspapers have been accused of missing the internet "revolution", in the early 1990s, Torstar became a pioneering investor in the early internet via its purchase of shares in JCI Technologies which created Jobmatch, Automatch and Realtymatch (an MLS search service). In 1995 JCI was selected to be one of the first content providers selected for Microsoft's MSN network prior to MSN's launch in the mid-1990s. By early 1996, JCI potentially had a dominant position in Canada's on-line classified ads with Southam also taking a stake in the company. Shortly after Conrad Black's Hollinger took over of Southam, financing for JCI was pulled and the investment failed just prior to the internet boom of the late 1990s.
Between late 2005 and early 2011, Torstar also held a 20% stake in CTVglobemedia, a Canadian media company which broke up when BCE Inc., the parent company of Bell Canada, purchased the company's media assets. This caused some controversy due to the fact that CTVgm owned The Globe and Mail, a competing newspaper to Torstar's own Toronto Star. There were no editorial hurdles between the two newspapers however. Torstar announced in September 2010 it had entered into agreements to sell its shares. The sale was completed in 2011.
From 1981 to 2014, Torstar owned Harlequin Enterprises, a publisher of women's fiction.
Current members of the board of directors of Torstar are:
- John Honderich (Chairman)
- Elaine B. Berger
- Joan T. Dea
- Campbell Harvey
- David P. Holland
- Linda Hughes
- Daniel J. Jauernig
- Alnasir Samji
- Dorothy Strachan
- Martin E. Thall
- Paul R. Weiss
- Phyllis Yaffe.
- Quebecor Media
- The Woodbridge Company and CTVglobemedia
- Postmedia Network
- Grant v. Torstar Corp.
- "Company Profile for Torstar Corp (CA;TS.B)". Retrieved 2008-10-09.
- "Contact Us." Torstar. Retrieved on 7 June 2012. "Corporate Office One Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada M5E 1P9"
- Atkinson Principles - TORSTAR CORPORATION. Torstar.com (2011-12-16). Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
- Kiladze, Tim (13 September 2010). "Torstar walks away from BCE-CTV smiling". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 September 2012.