|Traded as||TSX: TS.B|
|Headquarters||One Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Key people||David Holland, President|
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, Syndicate content, as well as women’s fiction.
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 activities of Torstar are the publication of newspapers and women’s fiction. Torstar operates in two main holding under Media and Book Publishing.
The Media division is the largest 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. The second group is Book Publishing which is also known as Harlequin.
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 Grid city magazine: a 90-per-cent interest in the Metro daily commuter papers in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Winnipeg, Halifax, Saskatoon and Regina; 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 Torstar Digital, which includes the Torstar Digital corporate group, eyeReturn Marketing, Wagjag and Torstar's interest in Olive Media and Workopolis.
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 Torstar Media Group Television.
Transit Television Network LLC
Transit Television Network, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, was the largest out-of-home digital network providing information, entertainment and advertising to transit riders across North America. It was closed in 2009
Torstar operates Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, a major publisher of women’s fiction romance novels. It offers a variety of women’s fiction genres in many different formats including mass-market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, in multiple channels such as retail outlets, direct-to consumer, and e-commerce in over 114 international markets.
- 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.
Current members of the board of directors of Torstar are:
- John Honderich (Chairman)
- Don Babick
- 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.