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Torstar to be taken private - Is the Toronto Star toast?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 17th, 2020 4:13 pm
Temp. Banned
Apr 5, 2013
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markham
mbg wrote: I used to defend the Star by saying that it had some value by holding a contrary opinion to other Toronto newspapers. However, the opinion is increasingly unhinged, off-kilter, and generally clickbait-y, though there are a handful of decent columnists (David Olive, Chantal Hebert).

However, if you actually get ahold of the print copy and look at it, you find a lot of this:

  • Opinion, as stated above
  • Syndication from US newspapers (you'll often read an article that talks about "us" and when it doesn't make sense you see the byline and realize it's talking about the US or Americans)
  • Syndication from press associations
  • Personal stories of people you've never heard of (often sob stories) that have no relevance to the bigger picture
  • On Saturdays, a lot of content that is essentially there to provide pages for relevant advertising - Wheels, Real Estate, etc.

It still has some value as a provider of Toronto and Ontario news, which is in significant decline elsewhere, but it's quite shallow. I think they decided some time ago to carve out a segment of the market and pander to that segment, just like many other news outlets have done.
to me this is a little puzzling..

the Bitoves are not stupid business people...they are Cons through and through...unless they saw value in dismantling Torstar and piecing it out to make a shitload, I dont think they bought the paper just to change the political opinion of it...I expect the former rather than the latter
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Apr 4, 2001
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cardguy wrote: to me this is a little puzzling..

the Bitoves are not stupid business people...they are Cons through and through...unless they saw value in dismantling Torstar and piecing it out to make a shitload, I dont think they bought the paper just to change the political opinion of it...I expect the former rather than the latter
Well, it kind of stood out to me that they paid less for Torstar than the company had cash/equivalents on hand, and Torstar didn't have any debt to my knowledge.

That's not all there is to an investment, but... I don't know what they see in it if not as scrap for parts. There seems to be a limited market for Canadian news and I don't know how you "scale up" any of the Canadian newspapers. You've seen it in this thread - some people think YouTube or TV news is enough (and it's free). It's not, but those people aren't going to be convinced to pay for news if they don't see how poor and inadequate those sources are for truly understanding an issue.

A lot of people get their news from Facebook now, and we know that the reason all Canadian newspapers are suffering is because of the flight of advertising dollars to Googe, Facebook, etc. which is only going to intensify after COVID-19.

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, etc. have improved their standing because of scale. They have the scale to justify investing in digital and as a result most of these have great apps, at least. It reasonable to think that Canadians or Europeans may want to subscribe to some of those papers digitally. I'm not sure many Americans or Europeans are prospective Toronto Star subscribers, unless they are ex-pats.

The best value you get from a Toronto Star subscription right now is that you get a free WSJ digital subscription to go with it. Here's a thought - maybe the Toronto Star becomes "Wall Street Journal Canada", or some other US publication creates a regional edition or Canada expansion pack out of one of our national newspaper chains.
Temp. Banned
Apr 5, 2013
4848 posts
1930 upvotes
markham
mbg wrote: Well, it kind of stood out to me that they paid less for Torstar than the company had cash/equivalents on hand, and Torstar didn't have any debt to my knowledge.

That's not all there is to an investment, but... I don't know what they see in it if not as scrap for parts. There seems to be a limited market for Canadian news and I don't know how you "scale up" any of the Canadian newspapers. You've seen it in this thread - some people think YouTube or TV news is enough (and it's free). It's not, but those people aren't going to be convinced to pay for news if they don't see how poor and inadequate those sources are for truly understanding an issue.

A lot of people get their news from Facebook now, and we know that the reason all Canadian newspapers are suffering is because of the flight of advertising dollars to Googe, Facebook, etc. which is only going to intensify after COVID-19.

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, etc. have improved their standing because of scale. They have the scale to justify investing in digital and as a result most of these have great apps, at least. It reasonable to think that Canadians or Europeans may want to subscribe to some of those papers digitally. I'm not sure many Americans or Europeans are prospective Toronto Star subscribers, unless they are ex-pats.

The best value you get from a Toronto Star subscription right now is that you get a free WSJ digital subscription to go with it. Here's a thought - maybe the Toronto Star becomes "Wall Street Journal Canada", or some other US publication creates a regional edition or Canada expansion pack out of one of our national newspaper chains.
aha!

I didnt think of that...and if I know this family as well as I think I do...they already have a pending deal from the other side of the fence...rarely do they take financial risks,,they usually operate on the guarantee type of a deal...their biggest "risk" deal that I know about was Tom (second oldest) bought the rights to Red Bull for Canada Australia and a few other areas back in 1999 or so and I think thats paid off in spades...most of the rest of the ventures are a little shadier but I wont get into that here.
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cardguy wrote: aha!

I didnt think of that...and if I know this family as well as I think I do...they already have a pending deal from the other side of the fence...rarely do they take financial risks,,they usually operate on the guarantee type of a deal...their biggest "risk" deal that I know about was Tom (second oldest) bought the rights to Red Bull for Canada Australia and a few other areas back in 1999 or so and I think thats paid off in spades...most of the rest of the ventures are a little shadier but I wont get into that here.
If you are not willing to back up an accusation like this, why make it in the first place?
Temp. Banned
Apr 5, 2013
4848 posts
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markham
CheapScotch wrote: If you are not willing to back up an accusation like this, why make it in the first place?
oh I can back up many accusations...but I rather not go down a road like that...dont need any lawsuits nor the headache...I you think I( am not being truthful...feel free to do business with them
Temp. Banned
Apr 5, 2013
4848 posts
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markham
CheapScotch wrote: If you are not willing to back up an accusation like this, why make it in the first place?
if you google deep enough , I am sure you will see some dirt...but the big dirt doesnt get published...I did work for the organization at one time and was privey to some crap (even personal stuff)

insider info trading..corp spys, lots of buying of influence shall we say...."Guild Inn" is just a small tip of the iceburg (unrelated but sleazy)
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cardguy wrote: oh I can back up many accusations...but I rather not go down a road like that...dont need any lawsuits nor the headache...I you think I am not being truthful...feel free to do business with them
I can't objectively evaluate whether you are telling the truth or not because you are not willing to back it up with anything. Again, why are you even bringing it up in the first place?
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Jun 24, 2015
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Woodbridge, ON
in all honesty who really cares any more if the Toronto Star aka Torstar becomes private instead of publicly traded company. Most people stopped reading newspapers and watching live newscasts on TV in favour of getting non-verified news from sources like Facebook, Twitter, Instagraham, etc...
Hi
Temp. Banned
Apr 5, 2013
4848 posts
1930 upvotes
markham
CheapScotch wrote: I can't objectively evaluate whether you are telling the truth or not because you are not willing to back it up with anything. Again, why are you even bringing it up in the first place?
same reason you posted that they bought Torstar...

google them and lawsuits

John Bitove was Brian Mulroney's chief fundraiser

...with that he got certain privileges including rewriting a lease for food and beverage services at YYZ in 1989...at that point Term 3 was just opening...he redid his lease with at that time was the Federal gov't (now the GTAA)....the lease stated that if passenger volume dropped below a certain level, no rent would be paid..they knew the levels of passengers and set a very high number knowing it wouldn't be reached...at the time of the lease signing, the Chin had already appointed Kim Campbell as PM...she stated in court that she had issue with the lease as it was a bad deal for the feds at the time...she was ordered to sign it by the chin..stated all of this in court
..this was all brought out in court and even the judge stated...while none of what happened was ethical, it was still an enforceable lease that screwed the taxpayer, feds and the travelling public out of about 22 million a year over a few years and Bitoves paid NO RENT at YYZ yet set prices and charged huge markups on a captive audience and kept all profits.

This is a small tidbit that is public record..like I said google Guild Inn and their name ..
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Apr 4, 2001
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GoodFellaz wrote: in all honesty who really cares any more if the Toronto Star aka Torstar becomes private instead of publicly traded company. Most people stopped reading newspapers and watching live newscasts on TV in favour of getting non-verified news from sources like Facebook, Twitter, Instagraham, etc...
Are you saying that fake news is our fault because most people don't value factual news enough to pay for it?

If yes, I agree with you.
Deal Addict
Jun 24, 2015
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mbg wrote: Are you saying that fake news is our fault because most people don't value factual news enough to pay for it?

If yes, I agree with you.
yes sir that is exactly what i am saying, and yes people have this belief that facebook is a genuwine news site when infact it isn't its a social sharing platform, yes sharing, people dont post original content any more everyone just shares stuff on there lately
Hi

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