Torstar, WSJ partnership vies for new audiences

The partnership launched June 12, with future plans for a digital subscription offering through Torstar.

Torstar has partnered with the Wall Street Journal as part of a concerted effort to emphasize its business and finance coverage.

In an earlier interview with MiC, Torstar CEO John Boynton referred to the partnership as part of an effort to be recognized as an influential business publication.

“We’d like to supplement more content in an accelerated way in the business space,” he said. “The audience we drive today is actually highly indexed to C-suite, higher income, higher educated and very media savvy [readers]. We have a much more upscale audience than people think.”

It’s the latest move in what Jonathan Wright, global managing director, Dow Jones & The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) referred to as “an interesting decade of disruption.”

Jonathan Wright

The exclusive partnership launched June 12, and includes publishing select business, economy and technology coverage from WSJ and, following a trial period, a Star Business Journal digital subscription offering through Torstar.

“We’re at a tipping point.” he said. “As professional publishers, we have been spending the past 10 years, certainly at the WSJ, pushing back against the commoditization of our content by some of the platforms, some of the questionable algorithms.”

According to Wright, the WSJ‘s strategy to expand outside of the U.S. began in 2015 with publishers, airlines and telco companies. The organization now has approximately 30 partnerships world-wide.

“It’s a pretty disruptive time in the media space,” Wright told MiC, commenting on the increasing amount of pressure that news outlets have do in part to stagnant or declining advertising revenue.

While there are clear benefits to the WSJ expanding its reach to Canadian audiences, Wright says the partnership will also allow Torstar to focus some of its coverage on the areas of business and finance that its readers – and potential readers – want to consume.

It has not been an easy couple of years for the newspaper industry, with 32 community newspapers closed by Postmedia and Torstar in November 2017, with more cuts hitting Postmedia and Rogers this month.

For Wright, there’s no better time to invest in quality journalism.

“I think this is the time for customers, whether they be readers or advertisers, to really engage with professional news outlets – and its Torstar and others’ job to provide that platform and that content that readers need.”