Torstar Corp., owner of the Toronto Star, reported a 44 per cent drop in profits in the last quarter compared to the same period last year, due to declining revenue from print advertising and surprisingly lower earnings at its book publishing division Harlequin.

Torstar Corp., owner of the Toronto Star, reported a 44 per cent drop in profits  in the last quarter compared to the same period last year, due to declining revenue from print advertising and surprisingly lower earnings at its book publishing division Harlequin, the Globe and Mail reports.

"It was a difficult quarter as declines in results were experienced in both the Book Publishing and Media divisions” said David Holland, President and CEO of Torstar Corporation in a statement. “We had anticipated lower earnings at Harlequin in the quarter but not to this extent.”

This continues last quarter’s trend, where Torstar saw a 76 per cent fall in profits.

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The media operations “continue to be affected by a declining print advertising market,” Holland said, with the pressure on that source of revenue likely to continue. It also emerged that Torstar had slashed 238 positions — about 3.7 per cent of the company’s workforce — through outsourcing and buyouts in a bid to save nearly $18 million annually.

Holland also reiterated a commitment to implement a paywall for the Toronto Star. According to media reporter Steve Ladurantaye , the paywall will go up before September 22. 

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