Analysis by LettersToTheBeast
In the face of declining print advertising revenue, the Toronto Star’s parent company announced Tuesday it plans to lay off more than 50 people, most of them from the Star newsroom and tablet edition.
Translation: “Our blue chip advertisers (Proctor and Gamble, the automakers, the pharmaceutical manufacturers, the public relations agencies, Monsanto, Wal-Mart, etc) have seriously begun questioning whether spending advertising money on any corporate medium is effective given the results of Brexit and, most recently, the phenomenal rise of Donald Trump. If Big Media can’t even tell the people whom to vote for any longer, how can we possibly convince readers and viewers to buy the products and services available for sale in our space and time?”
David Holland, Torstar’s acting president and publisher, said in a staff memo that 22 employees would be let go, including 19 full-time journalists and editors in the Star newsroom. An additional 26 temporary staff, most who work on the Toronto Star Touch tablet app, will also depart the newsroom over the next two months.
Translation: That thing that loads up with unwanted video crap, Google Analytics, Facebook data capturing, Shockwave, adware and worse, pop-ups and surprise hidden mouse-overs taking two or three minutes until you can actually read the story (“story being the operative word here) just isn’t catching on. And we have to have those ads because our pay-wall was a monumental failure. People wouldn’t pay to be lied to. Now the damn sheep won’t even watch our stinking ads so we can lie to them!”
Star spokesman Bob Hepburn said an additional four positions are being eliminated at Torstar’s Metro newspaper chain.
Yup. Surely as night follows day, the folks in the free department are going to be the first to go. I guess Metro’s worldwide New World Order agenda just isn’t catching on here in Canada.
The announcement comes amid slower-than-expected tablet growth for the Star and sagging ad revenue in print media across the country.
Yeah, Bob. We’re into, what, the fifth DECADE of “slower than expected growth?” I think it probably started around the same time your industry told us about Lee Harvey Oswald’s magic bullet. It picked up after tales about babies and incubators in Kuwait. And went into overdrive when the internet became commercially available to the public and, suddenly, we had the means to independently verify all of your claims.
“In the face of this change, we are committed to continuing to adapt our operations, while at the same time making the necessary investments to position ourselves as a multi-platform and increasingly digitally-focused organization,” Holland wrote.
“Along with these staff reductions, the Star newsroom is also evolving its structure to place greater emphasis on key content areas such as breaking news, investigations and special projects.”
Translation: “We are committed to continuing to adapt our operations. But if you think we’re going to, ahem, adapt, to the point where we start asking how that homosexual U.S. government security contractor down in Mickey Mouse Land managed to shoot up that nightclub, killing 49 of his fellow kind, all while making phone calls, doing Facebook, reloading, etc, you’re crazy. And there’s no way we’re going to start talking about the Clinton Body Count or drug running between Central America and Arkansas in the 1980s and 1990s. And if you think for one second we’re gong to start demanding answers on behalf of more than fifty per cent of our American friends about the inconsistencies about the popular narrative of September 11, 2001, you’re out of your goddamn skull. And no way, never, ever in a million years will we ever let bad things be said about our masters over in Tel Aviv. You vill read our crap und like eet, sig heil, sig heil!”
Editor Michael Cooke stressed the difficulty of the decision, “hardest of course on those whose jobs are being eliminated, and it is those people who are first in our thoughts.
“On every level — professional and human — the loss of these people hurts,” Cooke said in a staff email.
The head of the union representing newsroom employees at the Star called the job cuts a “heavy blow.”
Translation: The gig is up. Everybody knows the gig is up. And it’s only a matter of time before The Toronto Star goes the way of the Toronto Telegram, the Buffalo Courier Express and the Rocky Mountain News. But we hold out faint hope that Justin Trudeau will be our sugar daddy and look after us. Just like’s he’s looking after the CBC folk. We worked hard to get him elected. He owes us.”
“This is a very difficult day for many exceptional people at the Toronto Star who deliver extraordinary journalism daily, in print, through the tablet, and on the web,” Paul Morse, president of Unifor Local 87-M, said in an email.
Actually, Paul, I don’t think anybody who delivers “extraordinary journalism” was affected. Because no such people work at the Toronto Star or any other corporate media. They haven’t in quite some time. Sharyl Attkisson, the reporter who broke the story about the U.S. government shipping (actually, walking) drugs down to Mexico and opening a corridor for drugs to be returned north in return, was harassed out of her job at CBS News. There was a time when the prospect of a Sixty Minutes news crew (led by Mike Wallace) showing up at the door, office or car of a political or corporate no-goodnik would scare such malefactors shitless. Now you guys would set up an appointment with the p.r. agency and have a nice sit-down interview over a couple of cups of coffee and maybe some beers, a blunt and a little blow afterwards.
Torstar endured a 17 per cent drop in ad revenue in the second quarter of 2016. That came alongside a $23.9-million loss in revenue for its second quarter.
Maybe Justin and Kathleen can pick up the slack. Otherwise, there’s plenty more cash to be dumped where that came from, boys.
Earlier this year, Torstar outsourced printing of the Toronto Star to Transcontinental and eliminated positions in circulation, IT and other departments.
I guess that billion-dollar printing plant they built up in Vaughan Township two decades turned out to be a boondoggle. Talk about bad timing.
The Star’s digital revenues, however, are on the rise, with a newly launched mobile site doubling its audience.
Translation: “Yes! We have 12, count’em twelve paying customers now! More video crap, more Google adsense, more endless loops! Bigger and better!”
“While the old warhorse of print continues to provide the largest portion of our revenue — this is true of every newspaper I know — digital is clearly our future, and our newsroom will continue to reshape and reorganize around that future,” Cooke wrote.
Translation: You know how we’ve spent the last 15 years laughing at the likes of Drudge, Infowars, WhatReallyHappened, Breitbart and all those conspiracy kook websites that seem to have been proven right about everything since the U.S State Department cancelled Edward Snowden’s passport in Moscow? Well, folks…if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”
The announcement Tuesday, which will leave the Star with about 200 contract and full-time employees in the newsroom, is just the latest sign that Canada’s print media industry is in distress.
You good people remaining at The Red Star might want to take a quick look at universe around you. Take a drive out to the post offices, the dairy home delivery depots, the train stations and the blacksmith shops. Remember those London Life Freedom 55 commercials? That’s you.
Postmedia, Canada’s largest newspaper chain, slashed about 90 jobs in January and merged newsrooms in four cities as a cost-saving measure.
Even the neo-con israel-first media is feeling the pain. Amazing. Not even Conrad Black’s money (before he went to prison for fraud, of course), was enough to save the National Post.
The situation has become dire enough that some media industry executives have called for interventions from federal government, possibly through subsidies — an idea that would have been anathema until recently.
Yeah, Star. You go ahead and hold your hand out to the federal government. And make sure everybody knows it. Because then everybody will know that what you are “reporting” pure, U.S.D.A. choice bovine excrement (apologies to WhatReallyHappened.com‘s Michael Rivero).
Corporate Media, when you are done with the global warming hoax, the fraudelent War of Terror, Justin Beaver, fawning, page-six-style, nonsense coverage of Justin Trudeau and The Clintons, Pokemon Go, celebrity worship and fake polls, get back to us. Get back to us when you are ready to tell us why John McCain was in Syria and what he was doing hanging out with Abu Bakhr Al Baghdadi (aka Simon Eliot). Get back to us when you’re ready to explain all the “inconsistencies” regarding the “mass shooting” in the U.S. and worldwide. Get back to us when you are done ridiculing and margimalizing everybody who asks questions as “conspiracy theorists.” When you are ready to ask questions about who that man was that Seal Team Six dispatched in Pakistan, what happened to The Pentagon’s missing $6-trillion recently, or the other $3-trillion that Donald Rumsfeld admitted “misplacing” on September 10th, 2001, we’d love to hear from you.
But until then, it sureashell looks like your lies, propaganda and distractions have reached enough people that we don’t want to hear from you. There is only one business model that can ensure your return to profitability. And you’re not going to like it: The Truth. And an apology. Many, many, many apologies.
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