Online & Digital Media News – Torstar staff ‘blindsided’ by dissolution application: Unifor

Unifor is calling for respect for Toronto Star staff, who the union says were blindsided by news of a court application to dissolve NordStar Capital Inc., which controls Torstar and the Toronto Star. Employees learned of the dispute between owners Paul Rivett and Jordan Bitove via a Globe and Mail article on Sept. 29, rather than the employer. An application filed by Rivett in Ontario Superior Court suggests the 50/50 partners are embroiled in a feud with Rivett claiming publisher Bitove allegedly “obstructed progress” of cutting “unnecessary overhead costs” and “failed or refused to provide a budget or plans” for the areas he’s responsible for overseeing. Rivett sought a court order requesting that PricewaterhouseCoopers facilitate a sale or transfer of Torstar assets. Rivett and Bitove purchased Torstar for $52 million in 2020. “The news of another sale or a transfer is unsettling, to say the least, and comes at a time when the Star is poised to move from its 1 Yonge St. location,” said Randy Kitt, Director of Unifor’s Media Sector, in a release. “The media sector – with barebones newsrooms and constant cost-cutting – needs more stability, not less. This dispute between the two owners adds additional uncertainty for workers and the public, and should have been communicated clearly from the start.” The union says it has not received any word of changes in day-to-day operations, including layoffs.

The Peak, the daily Canadian business newsletter, has announced it’s hit 100,000 readers, boasting a 53% open rate. Launched last year and backed by a $350,000 seed round with the support of The Logic and TechTO, The Peak also publishes a daily podcast, hosted by co-founder Brett Chang and Jay Rosenthal, which is distributed as part of the Curiouscast podcast network lineup. Corus Radio also started airing The Peak Daily Minute on its talk radio network across the country earlier this year.

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