Torstar Closes Several Newsrooms And Moves Employees To Remote Work

Torstar Corp. (TSX:TS.B) is permanently closing the newsrooms of several media publications it owns.

The newspaper publisher said that several newsrooms will now exist only in cyberspace, as it looks to save money on physical office space.

Torstar is permanently closing the newsrooms and offices of the Kitchener-Waterloo Record and the St. Catharines Standard by the end of April, as media follows industries such as technology that have embraced permanent remote work arrangements.

The company says all staff at the two outlets will work remotely on a permanent basis -- following the same model as The Peterborough Examiner, which closed its offices last summer after the COVID-19 pandemic forced staff to work from home.

Torstar said there will be no changes to headcount or print and digital products because of the office closures, which will let the company cut its leasing costs on office space.

Torstar's decision comes amid a similar shift in the U.S. and U.K., where The New York Daily News no longer has a physical newsroom, and the publisher of Britain's Daily Mirror is moving many employees to work from home arrangements.

Torstar, which publishes the flagship Toronto Star newspaper, has struggled financially for several years. The company, which has published newspapers since 1892, announced recently that it plans to launch an online casino betting brand later this year to improve its financial position.

Torstar was bought by investment firm NordStar Capital LP in August 2020.