ICYMI: The Star paywall goes back up

Plus, CBC says goodbye to 'fake news' with the cancellation of This is That.
Toronto Star

The Star paywall is live

Digital readers who wish to access the Toronto Star’s content online will be able to read five articles per month for free, but after that they will have to pay. The paywall officially went up on Sept. 27, with full pricing details released the same day. Dubbed Star Digital Access, the site can be accessed for $14.99 per month with a one-year commitment or $19.95 per month without a commitment (nearly $10 more per month than the cost of subscriptions the last time it put a paywall in place). New subscribers will gain full access for 99 cents for the first month. The paywall was first announced following Torstar’s Q1 results, which showed a net loss of $14.5 million.

However, this isn’t the first paywall for the publication. The newspaper launched a paywall in 2013 and discontinued it two years later. Publisher John Cruickshank told MiC at the time that the paywall was designed as part of an effort to learn more about people reading the site and using the trends it observed to further develop its product. “The big learning was that this was not going to be the way to transition from print into the future,” he said. The new paywall, according to a statement by CEO John Boynton, is “a major step that we hope our customers will view as an investment in quality journalism… High-quality journalism comes at a price.”

CBC says ‘that’s that’ to This is That

CBC’s satirical radio news show This is That will deliver its last broadcast in 2019. The half-hour show, which airs Saturday afternoons, announced that its current and ninth season will be its last. Hosted by Peter Oldring and Pat Kelly, the series has featured numerous fake stories including one about a youth soccer league that eliminated the use of balls to make play more fair, and one on a fictional war between the Alberta and Saskatchewan sides of Lloydminster (at times, listeners have thought the intentionally fake stories were real and the stories have been picked up by other  news  outlets over the years). This is That has also created social and video content for the CBC Comedy platform. There are 19 episodes remaining in this current season.

Public consultations underway for Broadcasting, Telecom Acts review

The panel tasked with modernizing the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts has opened a public consultation to gather feedback that will inform its review process. The written comments submitted by stakeholders and interested parties will form the basis of the consultation and become publicly available on Nov. 30. The final report must be presented to the government by Jan. 31, 2020. Topics will include reducing barriers for Canadians to advanced telco networks; supporting creation, production and discoverability of Canadian content; improving the rights of the digital consumer and renewing the institutional framework of the country’s communications sector.

Read more on Playback.