The company that owns the Toronto Star, Nordstar, and its competitor Postmedia, which notably publishes The Gazette, in Quebec, confirmed on Tuesday that they had entered into non-binding discussions as part of a potential merger transaction.
The merged entity, whose name has not yet been chosen, would be jointly owned and controlled by Nordstar (50% of the voting rights and 44% of the capital) and by the current shareholders of Postmedia (50% of the voting rights and 56% of the capital).
“The viability of the newspaper industry in Canada is extremely threatened, especially in smaller towns and communities […]. By pooling our resources and working collaboratively, we can ensure that more Canadians have access to reliable journalism and quality reporting,” Toronto Star publisher Jordan Bitove said in a statement. spouse aired on Tuesday.
Also according to this press release, the Toronto Star would retain its editorial independence vis-à-vis the new entity resulting from the merger. The daily would be placed under the responsibility of a new company that would be created, the Toronto Star Inc., in which Nordstar would hold 65% of the shares. Jordan Bitove, owner of Nordstar, would remain publisher of the Toronto Star.
The latter would serve as president of the merged entity and Andrew MacLeod, the CEO of Postmedia, would be the CEO.
This news comes as Postmedia is going through troubled times, much like the media industry. The company notably laid off 11% of its newsroom staff last January.
“The rationale for the proposed merger is to create a new entity with reduced debt, national digital scale to compete with global tech giants and economies of scale in the business model,” said the President and CEO of Postmedia, Andrew Macleod.
Postmedia publishes the National Post, the Montreal Gazette, the Ottawa Citizen and the Vancouver Sun employs approximately 650 journalists.
The Torstar Corporation, owned by Nordstar and owner of the Toronto Star, also owns Metroland Media Group, which operates six daily newspapers in Ontario including The Hamilton Spectator, the Waterloo Region Record, the Niagara Dailies and the Peterborough Examiner and more than 60 local newspapers.