The Torontoist blog has been purchased by St. Joseph Media, the publishers of Toronto Life. The sale and purchase was announced late Monday evening in a joint press release from the two companies, also reported by a story on the Globe and Mail website. It's not known what this means to the content partnership of the online-only Torontoist with the Globe which has been in place late May 2009. As the Globe reported:
Torontoist, which has operated since 2004, is similar in content and tone to an alternative newsweekly, with a heavy component of local arts coverage and commentary on urban affairs. In recent years, the site has moved towards more ambitious journalism, with well-researched features and breaking news coverage.
Last year, the site become the first online-only media organization to take home a National Magazine Award, for its coverage of the May, 2009 Tamil protest that shut down the Gardiner Expressway.
The site was originally set up by New York's Gothamist as part of a chain of city-oriented blogs. In dire financial straits and arguing with its parent site over editorial direction, Torontoist announced in December, 2008 it would close. The decision was quickly reversed and, the following year, a small company was set up explicitly to buy the blog.
The joint release quoted St. Joseph Media president Douglas Knight:
"We are delighted to welcome Ken Hunt and Torontoist.com to St. Joseph Media. Torontoist has demonstrated that high standards and an intense local focus on all that makes Toronto fascinating and frustrating and a great place to live builds a strong and loyal following."
Publisher Hunt said:
"St. Joseph Media is the perfect home for Torontoist. It is a company where we will be able to retain the independent streak that makes Torontoist great, while having the support we need to grow and flourish. I couldn't be more excited for what the future holds."St. Joseph Media is Canada's largest privately owned consumer magazine publisher, with such titles as Toronto Life, Torontolife.com, Ottawa magazine, Fashion magazine and Fashionmagazine.com, Wedding Bells and Weddingbells.ca, Mariage Québec and mariagequebec.com, Where Canada magazines and where.ca, Canadian Family and Canadianfamily.com, 20minutesupperclub.ca, Quill & Quire and quillandquire.com.
[Update: In a note published today on Torontoist, Hunt said:
The first thing that I told all of our contributors last night, and that I am telling our readers now, is that St. Joseph Media loves Torontoist. Like my partners and myself at Ink Truck, they are not investing in something so that they can change it, they are investing in it so that it can continue to grow stronger and become more ambitious. The publication we all know and love is not changing in any fundamental way. We remain a Gothamist franchise. We remain independent from the other titles within St. Joseph Media, our editorial team remains unchanged, and I remain in my leadership role, helping to guide us forward. Hamutal Dotan, our editor-in-chief, is as excited about this opportunity as I am, and her passion and dedication will continue to shape how we grow as well.]