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The Toronto Star Exodus?

agentRC4

TRIBE Member
Cathel Kelly is going to the Globe and Mail (confirmed)
Damien Cox is going to Sports Net full time (yet to be confirmed but public knowledge)
Robin Doolittle is going to the Globe and Mail (confirmed)

Whats up with the movement? I'd be pissed if I was the Toronto Star, they put a lot of time and money behind these personalities.

Will this be the slow decline of the paper?
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
Cathel Kelly is going to the Globe and Mail (confirmed)
Damien Cox is going to Sports Net full time (yet to be confirmed but public knowledge)
Robin Doolittle is going to the Globe and Mail (confirmed)

Whats up with the movement? I'd be pissed if I was the Toronto Star, they put a lot of time and money behind these personalities.

Will this be the slow decline of the paper?
the slow decline happened about a decade ago, I'm surprised they're around. That paper is almost as bad as the Sun
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
the Star just fired 11 page editors this week too. they're moving toward a fully digital model I expect.

Toronto Star memo on laying off 11 page editors | J-source.ca

"Today, we are announcing three moves that will transform the focus and staffing of our newsroom in order to meet the challenges of producing the Star’s great journalism in the digital present and digital future.

These decisions will bring profound change and so we are writing at some length to explain as fully as we can what they mean.

1. We are posting jobs for five digital producers, who will be responsible for curating the content, experience and journalistic integrity of thestar.com.

We are also posting for three digital journalists, who will bring new story- telling tools to the fast paced work of writing for our digital platforms.

While we hope to make other digital hires in the future, these are the final postings in a current series of new hires we have been discussing with the union. They will be in new classifications that will be established within our collective agreement and paid at rates consistent with market-based salaries.

“Market-based salaries” – simply put, this means that new digital jobs cannot be rated on print business legacy rates of pay. Digital revenues – as important as we think they will be for our future – are still out-paced by print revenues 9-to-1. We are proposing to pay these journalists at about the same salary levels found at the most progressive and successful digital newsrooms in Toronto – for example, Huffington Post, Facebook, Rogers, Canadian Press, Bell Media etc.

All these new positions will be open to existing staff and we encourage anyone who is interested to apply.

2. We have approached the Guild to indicate the company’s interest in exploring additional voluntary departure and graduated retirement opportunities for newsroom staff. We hope to be in a position to announce details of the program in the next month or so. Our intent is to structure the program to help those who are in a position to leave the newsroom on their own terms make the transition as smoothly as possible, financially and personally.

3. Finally, the most difficult piece of news:

We have spoken with our 11 full time page editors to give them notice of layoff. These moves affect editors in several departments and on the multimedia desk. Some of their work will be absorbed through internal reorganization. The work of two editors who handle digital and print copy editing at night will be performed by PMNA. What finally happens to our page editor colleagues will partly depend on the general take-up on the VSP.

What are the goals of these changes?

The challenges facing our business model mean we need to reduce the cost of our newsroom.

We want to do this in a way that reduces or eliminates roles associated with expensive production of the newspaper especially, and emphasizes and preserves our ability to generate excellent stories and content.

We need to do this while improving our ability to publish to digital platforms in order to ensure that a smaller newsroom continues to bring the Star’s great journalism to a growing audience.

Why are we announcing these moves at the same time?

We want to ensure that anyone who is already contemplating or might contemplate retirement or departure this year has access to the best possible package and advice the company can provide.

We are very aware of the impact of job loss. We want to ensure that anyone named for involuntary departure because their role has been eliminated has access to the widest range of options, including possibly staying on in a new role.

Specifically, we want to avoid instances where people leave as a result of layoff only to have vacancies for which they might qualify open up later in the year as a result of voluntary departures, or miss opportunities to apply for digital roles for which they might qualify.

These changes to structure and staffing will be difficult and in some cases painful to navigate as a newsroom, but the Star will emerge stronger and better prepared to deal with our present and handle our future.

While we are most respectful of the union-management negotiating process, we are both available to answer your questions.

Michael and Jane"
 
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Spinsah

TRIBE Member
The Toronto Star still has the highest daily circulation of any paper in Canada and one of the best investigative arms. Doolittle leaving is a pretty huge blow to that team as her star is clearly on the rise. Kevin Donavan is still one of the best in the game and I'd be surprised to hear he's going anywhere.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
man, she sold out quick!
how is this "selling out"? reporters move back and forth between media organizations all the time. if anything the quality of her reporting should improve now that she has the globe's editors behind her.
 

kerouacdude

TRIBE Member
how is this "selling out"? reporters move back and forth between media organizations all the time.
not selling out, but unless she got a massive raise, it is a little ... it's kind of douchey. At best, it's more like what you'd see in the ad/media world than traditionally in journalism.

I mean, it's not like she cowboy'ed all this. She got a phone call about a video and then went to her editor/Donovan/Cribb etc. Then the story took on a life of its own. The movement you speak of tends to happen further down the road, you can't really say she was particularly well known until about 14 months ago. Her 1st on-air were pretty dreadful, but it's clear the Star was pushing her out there over the milder/slightly less hot Donovan.

as far as your point about digital, you are correct, and there's already a battle between them and the union

Toronto Star hiring 8 digital journalists at
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
You should read her book - she put in a lot more work on the Ford story than people give her credit for. She's moving up because she earned it, not just "star quality"a
 
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kerouacdude

TRIBE Member
Don't have to. I work in the industry, I know her byline. No one's saying she's not ambitious. That much is clear and with what the industry is facing, kudos to her.

Like I said, I would hope it was a massive raise and not a modest one because until even about 9 months ago, the Star promoted her more than the other way around. I remember her doing a piece on buying a condo with her b/f that had shades of Eckler/McLaren, and they sent her to the Summer Olympics over a couple people probably more qualified to go (in fact that's not 'probably,' it was).
 

SneakyPete

TRIBE Member
I mean, it's not like she cowboy'ed all this. She got a phone call about a video and then went to her editor/Donovan/Cribb etc. Then the story took on a life of its own.
That's how I see it too. Although she did some good work after the story broke she got lucky some crack dealers chose to call her (probably randomly) over other people. She's now trying to milk as much out of it as possible.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
how is this "selling out"? reporters move back and forth between media organizations all the time. if anything the quality of her reporting should improve now that she has the globe's editors behind her.
Interestingly, if you track the use of the term "sell out" - had a LOT more currency in the 60s and 70s.

I'm happy actually it's in abeyance, I think its often the catcall of the jealous and a product of mistaken targeting.

Maybe later generations are more comfortable with capitalism and doing well in life and we're competing more on that level, rather than competing with who is the most philosophically "pure" in the hippie movement, where "selling out" had the most relevance.

Music is another perfect example - most often when you hear this it's less a comment on the band than a statement of competition amongst individuals. To even label an artist a sellout at all means one is A) possessing superior taste as to what is art and what is "commercial" and B) someone who was there "before" the sellout, and sometimes A and B both!

Let's go with the trend and just stop using a term that hippies used to out-cool each other. Good for Doolittle to get on a national platform.
 

The Truth

TRIBE Member
Unless this is some new direction the Globe is going, I don't know why she would go to the Globe unless it was just for the money...

The only thing I could think of would be some investigation of federal politicians expenses or something like that

that being said, I still fancy her ;)
 
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kuba

TRIBE Member
The Toronto Star still has the highest daily circulation of any paper in Canada and one of the best investigative arms. Doolittle leaving is a pretty huge blow to that team as her star is clearly on the rise. Kevin Donavan is still one of the best in the game and I'd be surprised to hear he's going anywhere.

How much of TO Star's circulation numbers are based on heavy discounting? They call me all the time and offer it for nothing. The circulation numbers mean nothing if the revenue doesn't match. Revenue has been falling or flat, gross profit falling, readership could spike 2x the amount but it doesn't turn into sales.

How much of their circulation numbers are because people are too stupid to read other papers? Like the Globe? When I read the star for a lot of my life I didn't like the globe's spin - until I grew up past grade 11 and realized the Globe is much better.

The Star is like a bad hollywood movie which everyone likes because it appeals to the lowest common denominator.

Yes - their investigation of the Rob Ford thing was pretty damn good and I'm glad they stood by the story. They should have bought the video but whatever. The truth is though that this paper has a place in Toronto journalism but I don't think they are as good a paper as the numbers show.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
The sheer volume of free copies of the Star available everywhere in the city puts the lie to their revenue model.
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Cathel Kelly is going to the Globe and Mail (confirmed)
Damien Cox is going to Sports Net full time (yet to be confirmed but public knowledge)
Robin Doolittle is going to the Globe and Mail (confirmed)

Whats up with the movement? I'd be pissed if I was the Toronto Star, they put a lot of time and money behind these personalities.

Will this be the slow decline of the paper?
I am sure the star board will be really pissed off about Robin Doolittle. Making her a microcelebrity and now getting dumped as she moves onto greener pastures.
 

Spinsah

TRIBE Member
There is still sectors/employers where that is not the case, namely the public sector and major financial institutions. Defined benefit pensions have a lot to do with it.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
the media industry (all of it - print, television, radio, etc) is extremely disloyal to its own employees so why should the employees be any different?

The pressure the internet puts on all media at this point is reason enough for this situation. Former giants are brought low when their circulation and advertising numbers bottom out, they have to adopt a fast and loose strategy. I would never feel like I have any kind of job security if I worked for a newspaper or radio/television station. Always have your ear to the ground for new opportunities.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
There is still sectors/employers where that is not the case, namely the public sector and major financial institutions. Defined benefit pensions have a lot to do with it.
Public sector is always a special case. In my experience, major financial institutions have even more people jumping ship more often than other industries.
 
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