Cruickshank will leave the Toronto Star on May 4, 2016.

The following memo was sent to Toronto Star staff from publisher John Cruickshank.

In the contemporary Canadian news business, the upward climb gets steeper every year.

Today, I am announcing that I’m ready to leave scaling new journalistic heights to someone with less arthritic limbs and more recently-acquired tools and skills. 

I will be stepping down from the role of Publisher of the Toronto Star and President of the Star Media Group effective May 4, 2016, coincident with Torstar’s annual meeting. I will continue to serve as co-chairman of Canadian Press Enterprises and as one of Torstar’s directors on the CPE board.

It has been a privilege to serve with such a remarkable team of journalists and all those who support them, including Torstar’s senior management and our progressive, engaged and enthusiastic board of directors.  This has been the most stimulating, demanding and enjoyable period of my professional life.  I have learned more here and been challenged more than at any other time in a long and varied career.

Though I wasn’t raised in the Star’s justly famous newsroom, this has become my journalistic home.  I care deeply for the Star mission and believe in its importance to Canadian democratic life.

There are few parallels anywhere in the world to the team of reporters and editors, columnists and visual journalists assembled at the Star.  And fewer parallels still to the impact of our reporting on public life in our city, province and country.

But this was only possible because of the wholehearted support of our board led by John Honderich and our senior managers led by David Holland.  It was also vitally assisted by the cooperation, collaboration and frequent sacrifices of the departments that provide the infrastructure for our journalism.

I am proud to say that during my years at SMG and Torstar we have led our industry in finding creative solutions to business challenges.  And we never let those demands distract us from the journalistic battle against reactionary politics and unjust economics.

Others may have compromised standards of coverage and ethics out of expediency. We have continued to invest in our core mission of investigative, political and social reporting and refused to blur the lines between our work and the messages of marketers.

With our latest innovations in digital on tablet and browser, we have sought out a new generation of readers for the Star and enthusiasts for its mission of social justice.

We are doing all the right things today to balance the interests of the present with those of an uncertain future.  That’s the Toronto Star way.

I am proud to have had the unique opportunity to become part of its history. And I am grateful to you all for the roles you played in making this such a memorable period at the Star and Star Media Group.

John Cruickshank

Publisher, Toronto Star 

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