Torstar hires publisher, chief editor of Swedish daily to lead editorial strategy

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TORONTO — Torstar Corp. says it has hired an experienced manager, editor and publisher from Sweden to be its senior vice-president of editorial, effective Jan. 2.

Fredric Karen has been at Stockholm-based Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish Daily) since 2002, where he has been chief editor and publisher since 2013.

The Toronto-based company says Karen will lead the “digital transformation” of its news operation, by developing its editorial strategy in keeping with ongoing efforts to combine data analytics and marketing to target ads and editorial content of most interest to its readers and advertisers.

As part of the transition, the company’s flagship Toronto Star erected a partial paywall that limits free access to its online and digital content to five articles per 30 days. It also began offering full access to paid subscribers, starting Sept. 27.

Torstar says Karen will work with senior editorial and department leaders at all its daily and community publications in Ontario and the StarMetro commuter publications in Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

He’s expected to live in Toronto after moving from his current home.

“He brings to Torstar a deep commitment to quality journalism, a determination to address difficult times in the media industry and a proven record of digital innovation that will help our company as we move transition [sic] to a more digital future,” said John Boynton, Torstar’s president and chief executive officer.

Like most traditional newspapers, magazines and broadcast media, Torstar has been undergoing a years-long decline in advertising revenue due to competition from digital media and changing consumer habits.

In addition to the Toronto Star, Torstar owns numerous online and community publications, six other Ontario daily newspapers in Hamilton, Waterloo Region, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland and Peterborough as well as StarMetro free commuter publications Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TS.B).

The Canadian Press

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