Torstar CEO Criticizes Tyee Story on ‘Big Media’

By Robert Prichard
The Tyee

Robert Prichard, CEO of Torstar, which publishes the Toronto Star and owns stakes in other major media including CTVglobemedia, Black Press and Metro newspapers, e-mailed Tyee writer Marc Edge about Monday's Tyee cover story, "Big Media's Big Showdown." Prichard's e-mail exchange with Edge follows.

Robert Prichard to Marc Edge:

I read your entry on Tyee on Big Media today, which included the following section:

"In particular, don't expect to read much commentary critical of convergence in the nation's press, almost all of which has now bellied up to the television trough. Torstar's foray into convergence recently saw the last media critic at a major Canadian daily simply disappear. For the past few years, Antonia Zerbisias was the only journalist in the mainstream press willing and able to hold Big Media's feet to the fire, and her raucous online blog allowed readers to vent their rage as well. 'Media concentration has landed plop plop plop like a steaming pile of bad news on my very own front stoop,' Zerbisias quipped in her Star column when the CTV deal went down. 'Which makes me worry that things might get very slippery for a media critic, if you get my drift.' She now writes lifestyle features. Oh, to have her in that hearing room."

I believe any reasonable reader of this section would conclude you are alleging that Ms. Zerbisias's leaving her column as a media critic at the Toronto Star was caused by Torstar's decision to invest in CTV and the corporate interest thereby implicated. This is dead wrong...

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