Torstar banks on app as replacement for dwindling print circulation

by Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 2, 2016 5:41 am MDT Last Updated Nov 2, 2016 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Torstar banks on app as replacement for dwindling print circulation TORONTO – The company that owns the Toronto Star newspaper will continue to funnel millions of dollars into its tablet app despite failing to muster the audience it hoped for since its launch more than a year ago.“We remain committed to the initiative,” Torstar Corp.’s acting president and publisher David Holland told a conference call with analysts after the company released its third-quarter earnings results Wednesday.The audience for its Star Touch app is growing modestly, he said, but offered no update on the numbers released last quarter when it said between 55,000 and 60,000 readers access it weekly.He added that the current audience levels aren’t going to yield the revenue they had projected.Still, the company has invested millions of dollars in the initiative, including $10.1 million in the first nine months of this year.It plans to spend $1.5 million more on Star Touch in the fourth quarter — down from $9.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 — and between $2 million and $4 million for all of 2017.The Toronto Star, one of the most widely circulated papers in Canada, is preparing for its print circulation to drop further and the tablet app will be an important alternative for people to continue to access the paper’s news, Holland said.“This gives our readers a place to go,” he said. “So laying that foundation now makes a lot of sense to us.”Holland’s comments came the day Torstar reported its first quarterly profit since the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2014.Torstar (TSX:TS.B) reported a $1.4-million profit attributable to shareholders for the third quarter, helped by cost reductions and $53.6 million from the sale of its Vaughan printing plant.But it said its Metroland and Star groups continue to face a challenging market for print advertising in the early stages of the fourth quarter.The profit amounted to two cents per share compared with a loss attributable to shareholders of $164.3 million or $2.05 per share a year ago.Torstar’s total operating revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 was $162.1 million, down from $185.4 million a year earlier.After adjustments, Torstar had a loss of eight cents per share in this year’s third quarter and 13 cents per share in last year’s third quarter.Over the first nine months of 2016, Torstar cut 570 positions — including at the printing plant — and expects $34.0 million of annualized savings by the end of 2017 including $9.9 million in the fourth quarter of this year.Holland said the company feels it’s made some progress this quarter as it transitions to a more digitally-oriented earnings base.Torstar publishes several newspapers, including the Toronto Star, through its Star Media Group and Metroland Media Group. It also operates dozens of digital businesses, including a 56 per cent interest in VerticalScope.___Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter read more

Madame Tussauds swaps wax for silicon as it unveils first intelligent robot

A life-like robot of Chinese superstar Jing Boran of Monster Hunt and his CGI companion Wuba have been created by Cornish robotics firm Engineered Arts, the same team which animated King Kong’s face in the film Kong: Skull Island. Since Madame Tussaud first toured her collection of waxworks in the late 18th century, the famous faces on show have remained steadfastly static. It is Madame Tussaud’s first intelligent figure which not only moves but senses people and changes its behaviour based on its surroundings. It is also… But a new generation of animatronic models which identify and interact with visitors are on the horizon after the Shanghai branch took delivery of its first robotic celebrity. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

April Jones Police looking at 20 sites as search continues

first_imgPOLICE IN WALES searching for missing five-year-old April Jones have said they are focusing on more than 20 sites in the Machynlleth area.In his evening briefing, Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan said specific activity is happening across these scenes. He also told reporters that over 400 messages had been received from the public since his lunchtime appeal.Overall, 1,600 messages have been received by investigators trying to trace the whereabouts of the young girl who was last seen getting into a vehicle at 7.30pm on Monday.Detectives are trying to establish the movements of suspect Mark Bridger and his vehicle – a blue Landrover Discovery – between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.The massive search team includes 100 mountain rescue personnel, 100 trained and accredited police officers, 20 dog handlers, two RNLI vessels, the police marine unit and a team of kayakers.“Intelligence is developing fast and this helps to drive the search priorities which are constantly under review,” explained Superintendent Ian John.“The geography is very challenging and everyone is working in a hostile environment, by that I mean the terrain if difficult, waterlogged, working near to flooded rivers with the potential for mine shafts and unstable ground.“The number of officers we have deployed will increase, particularly the use of specialist officers from around the UK. This is a growing operation and in no way are we scaling back this search. We remain completely focussed on finding April.”Bridger was arrested yesterday afternoon and in a highly unusual move, his picture and name were subsequently released. Police also revealed he was wearing waterproof trousers and camouflage clothing when detained.Bevan said the 46-year-old has been interviewed twice and police are looking to build a profile.Meanwhile, Sky News has reported that April’s godmother Mair Raftree revealed that the missing child suffers from Cerebral Palsy and so will need her medication.The registration plate on Mark Bridger’s blue Land Rover Discovery is L503MEP. It was recovered from a repair garage yesterday afternoon.If you are reading this in Wales, the number to call with any information is 0300 2000 333. Det Supt Bevan said: “Do not assume someone else has already contacted us with information. Even if you feel yours is trivial, please contact us.”last_img read more