TorStar Corp. announced today it is shutting down the StarMetro newspaper in the five Canadian cities where the free daily print publication appears.
The closures, effective December 20, will result in 73 editorial, advertising, and distribution job losses in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Halifax. Some editorial production staff in Hamilton, Ontario, will also be affected.
In a memo dated November 19, TorStar president John Boynton wrote: "While StarMetro newspapers have been editorial successes and have developed loyal audiences over the years, print advertising volumes have decreased significantly in recent months to levels below those required to make them commercially viable."
Boynton noted that TorStar will be opening "new Star bureaus" in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Halifax to provide ongoing coverage from those cities for TorStar's digital and mobile markets. Affected StarMetro journalists will be eligible to apply for any positions available as a result.
The StarMetro chain is 90 percent owned by TorStar, with 10 percent held by Swedish media concern Metro International. TorStar recently posted a $41-million net operating loss for the quarter ending September 30, 2019.