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Layoffs affect 22 regular employees, including 19 in the Toronto Star newsroom. A further 26 temporary staff will depart in “the next couple of months.”

The following memo was sent to Star Media Group staff on Aug. 9, 2016, from David Holland, Acting Publisher, Toronto Star, and Acting President, Star Media Group

To All Star Media Group Staff

Star Media Group is facing an unprecedented pace of change as the news industry evolves and pressures on print advertising revenue continue.   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.

In this context, we have continued to undertake a range of cost-reduction initiatives in 2016, including outsourcing of printing as well as staff reductions in Circulation, IT and other areas.  We are today announcing further staff reductions affecting 22 regular employees, including 19 in the Toronto Star newsroom.  In addition, 26 temporary staff will depart over the next couple of months, mostly in the Star’s tablet operations.

These changes are another important step in the Star’s strategic evolution along a path towards the multi-platform news media organization of the future.   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.

As we move forward with these changes, I want to re-affirm our continued commitment to Star Touch as an integral part of the Star’s multi-platform future.  While our current audience size is not yet what we had initially anticipated, we are pleased that Star Touch has developed a highly engaged and loyal audience of committed readers.  Continuing to grow from this core audience base is a key priority.   As we move past the initial launch year for Star Touch, we are embarking on the next phase of refinements to the offering and the related internal resources that publish Star Touch each day.  These product refinements will further enhance the reading experience and ensure that we continue to build on Star Touch as an innovative and engaging advertising vehicle for our valued clients.

We take this opportunity to thank those affected by these staffing changes for their contributions.  While change is never easy, it is essential that we continue to adapt, including evolving the organization and investing in those areas critical to our future.

David Holland

Acting Publisher, Toronto Star

Acting President, Star Media Group

H.G. Watson was J-Source's managing editor from 2015 to 2018. She is a journalist based in Toronto. You can learn more about her at hgwatson.com.