John Boynton named CEO of Torstar

The former Aimia and Rogers Communications chief marketer will take the reins from David Holland in March.

John Boynton, former Aimia and Rogers Communications chief marketer, has been named the incoming president and CEO of Torstar, as well as publisher of the Toronto Star.

He will assume the role following the retirement of David Holland on March 31.

Boynton boasts more than 25 years in the marketing and advertising industry. Prior to Aimia and Rogers, he held senior executive positions with Sprint Canada, AT&T Canada, Scott’s Hospitality and Pepsico. He also sits as vice-chair on the Toronto Region Board of Trade, as well as a board member of the Canadian Marketing Association.

While Torstar boasted Boynton’s bona-fides in advanced data analytics, digital marketing and monetization as an asset to boosting Torstar’s digital business, he will take the reins at the paper at a trying time for the newspaper industry.

Torstar recently released its Q4 2016 results, ending the year with a net income of $0.7 million. While that compares favourably to a net loss of $233.4 million at the same period in 2015, overall revenue at the company was down 12% to $188.4 million, with print revenue down 13% and subscriber revenue down 7.1%.

Boynton will also inherit the issue of Star Touch, the Toronto Star‘s tablet app, which the company still expects to break even in 2017. Last year, 26 temporary employees, mostly attached to the Star Touch, were laid off as part of the company’s commitment to get the digital app into the black. Torstar now expects to spend between $2 and $4 million on the app, down from last year’s investment of $11 million.

The app, which was built in partnership with the makers of the LaPresse+ app, has not seen the same success as LaPresse‘s digital edition, Holland acknowledged on a call to investors earlier this week. “At least I can say we tried,” he said. “I don’t regret trying something that could have had a very positive impact in terms of the outlook for the newspaper.”