The publisher and editor in chief of Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper have resigned in a shake-up at the Toronto Star, and the daily reported Tuesday that a veteran executive at the company would take over.
Publisher Michael Goldbloom and editor in chief Giles Gherson, who had run the paper since 2004, told the staff Monday they were stepping down. Other news media reported that Gherson told reporters and editors that it was not his decision to leave.
Jagoda Pike, who joined the Star’s parent company in 1986 and has held a variety of senior positions within the organization, was appointed publisher of the Star and president of the newly formed Star Media Group.
“Creating the Star Media Group with Jagoda as its leader will improve alignment among our various properties, simplify our newspaper business and reduce corporate costs,” Robert Prichard, president and chief executive of parent company Torstar Corp., said in a statement.
The Star Media Group includes the Star, Torstar’s interests in the Metro commuter newspaper, Sing Tao Daily, Eye Weekly, Toronto Real Estate News, TMG-TV, Torstar Syndicate Services and Corporate Information Technology.
Fred Kuntz, who has risen through the ranks within the Torstar group since starting as a copy editor while studying at Ryerson University’s journalism school, was named editor in chief.
Goldbloom, a former publisher of the Montreal Gazette, faced a decline of newsstand sales at the paper, loss of classified advertising to the Internet, the increasing demands of advertisers and the emergence of alternative sources for news.
In its latest quarter, Torstar reported earnings fell 28 percent to 25.6 million Canadian dollars ($22.5 million) on revenue of C$390.3 million ($343.1 million) amid slack advertising at the Star and a tumble at the romance fiction subsidiary Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. that was largely blamed on the robust Canadian dollar.
Torstar had a total work force of 6,825 full-time employees at the end of last year.
The Star sells 443,000 copies on weekdays and 643,000 on Saturdays, according to its corporate headquarters.
It’s largest competitor is The Globe and Mail, but it is also pressed for circulation by the National Post and Toronto Sun.