Friday, June 14, 2013

The Grid lays off four staff

Fresh off its award-winning turn at the National Magazine Awards, The Grid weekly magazine (owned by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited) has laid off several staff: Deputy editor Pat Lynch, staff writer David Topping, associate editor Matthew Halliday and assistant online editor Rob Duffy. 
Editor in chief and publisher Laas Turnbull said:
"National advertisers are not spending and no one has any visibility into Q3 or Q4, so this is a proactive measure to get cost out of the business and meet our bottom-line targets."

8 Comments:

Anonymous Matthew said...

Really disappointing. I recall an interview with a Ryerson Journalism prof who lauded The Grid's design but was puzzled by the "lack of actual journalism" in the paper. It seems too heavy on quippy diagrams and infographs. There are times when I read The Grid's cover stories and think to myself "Did I actually learn anything?"

1:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There was talk at our table at the National Mag Awards as to whether the Grid's creative success was impacting the bottom line. I guess this is the answer. It's sad, like the muscle magazine story: "thanks for all your hard work, staff -- now git!" Even (or, especially?) TorStar does biz this way.

1:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laas, what did they teach you in English class about using jargon and weasel words? Try "We cut staff to make more profit".

PS: You did take English didn't you?

1:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Where have all the good times gone?

I thought all the awards and goodwill surrounding The Grid would keep the bean counters off their back.

How demoralizing! Thanks Torstar!

1:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irony? David Topping spent endless hours blasting OpenFile because they paid freelancers late. But at least they tried to find a new model. Now Topping gets laid off from Torstar because the newspaper business is tanking. If OpenFile was still around, think they'd hire him?

2:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Grid's entire worldview is something of a puzzle: gourmet cheese, craft beer, high end real estate, hipster wardrobes, and first time parenting. That's narrow targeting.

5:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It boggles the mind that The Grid isn't attracting advertisers. It's a tough market, for sure, but The Grid is always a hot commodity from the moment it drops on Thursday; if you don't scoop one up by Friday morning, you may be met with empty boxes and unlikely to get your hands on one. It's a must-read for so many - a testament to its hard-working staff - so where are the ad dollars to back it up?

11:05 am  
Anonymous Michael said...

Topping pushed OpenFile to pay their freelancers AFTER they shut down and when it became clear that they weren't coming back. Before that, I believe that he did work for OpenFile (as Toronto Editor no less), and made it clear repeatedly over the course of that scandal that he thought very good things about the site and the model it tried to implement apart from the protracted duplicitousness around their not paying their freelancers for months and months after they shut down.

Topping's exposing of the breadth of the thing was pretty crucial to people eventually, finally getting paid, and was pretty much exactly what you would dream your editor would do for you if ever placed in a similar circumstance. There's no irony or hypocrisy here, just more heartbreak.

2:07 am  

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