Saturday, November 23, 2013

Letter From John Cruickshank, Publisher, Toronto Star,

Date: November 14, 2013

From: John Cruickshank, Publisher, Toronto Star,
and President, Star Media Group
To Advertisers and Agencies
I am writing to announce the creation of a new, dynamic organization focused on providing compelling, creative and effective media solutions to today’s marketers. This new organization will provide our customers with access to leading-edge business solutions across a diverse set of platforms and products, including two of Canada’s leading media brands, the Toronto Star and Metro.
At an operational level, this new sales function will be organizationally situated under the Metro umbrella. Henceforth, Metro’s advertising sales function will act as the point of contact for the Star and Metro brands, as well as for other Star Media Group publications and businesses.
By taking this step, we are providing marketers with combined access to the audiences of two of Canada’s leading news media brands through a single point of contact. Metro is well positioned to offer this because it has both a regional audience in common with the Star as well as audiences across the country. It is also growing audiences and revenue on both print and digital platforms.
Our commitment to our valued advertisers and agency customers is to effect this change as seamlessly as possible. We anticipate completing the transition process during the first quarter of 2014. Once completed, marketers will have access to a dynamic, customer-focused sales force for many Star Media Group brands, built on the foundation of Metro’s existing nimble and responsive sales culture.
A number of steps are required to be completed prior to effecting this change, including some internal processes relating to our union agreement at the Star. As we work through these steps, I have asked senior sales leaders at the Star and Metro to ensure that you are kept updated on progress and expected timeframes.
The changes announced today represent a significant change in how we bring Star Media Group’s brands to market. They are driven by our unwavering commitment to improve customer service and results and to establish a long-term sustainable news business model for the Toronto Star. We recognize that marketers are increasingly seeking creative, multi-platform and multi-product solutions in a highly competitive market that offers a wide range of diverse opportunities. The steps we are announcing today will better position the Star and Metro, together with other Star Media Group brands and publications, as leading providers in Canada of effective, compelling and distinctive marketing solutions.
In addition, the changes announced today will also help to reduce the Star’s cost base associated with our print platform at the same time as we increase investment in our digital future.
If you have any immediate questions, please contact Sandy Muir, Vice President of Advertising for the Toronto Star, or Bill McDonald, President of Metro English Canada. Thank you for your continued commitment to the Toronto Star, Metro and Star Media Group.
John Cruickshank
Publisher, Toronto Star
President, Star Media Group

Brands and bands: New report shows they make good music.

Radio Stations trying to put on an event for the holiday's or next summer’s concert series may have some new ammunition courtesy of Nielsen. Its new Music 360 report finds the public responds favorably to brands that wrap themselves around music-based events. A majority (51%) of consumers favor a brand that sponsors a concert or artist tour. That level of affection for brands that pony up their support is even higher among people who attend the event. Nielsen found that three-quarters (76%) of concertgoers think a little better about a brand that helped present the show. The survey also shows brand affinity is even more pronounced among new media consumers of music. Three-quarters (74%) of Americans who consume streamed music say they favor brands that engage them through music sponsorships, giveaways and contests. That compares to 58% of non-streamers. “Given these large numbers, big brands can learn from events as ways to give their branded efforts exposure and connect to a wider group of fans,” the Nielsen report says. Clorox Company senior group manager Drew McGowan said during a Radio Show panel that he views music as one of the few things that people get passionate about. “Whether it’s on the radio or at a live event, music has that special ability to take you someplace,” he said. “And if we can leverage that in a way that makes sense for our brand, we can win.” Clear Channel Connections president Greg Glenday said it’s surprising how many calls the company gets from big brands that ink deals with musicians and aren’t quite sure how to leverage that relationship. “I think this is an emerging marketplace,” he said. “I think radio can play a deeper role in associating brands with those artists and figuring out how to do it.” Glenday said it can be something as simple as having an artist record live reads for a client rather than cutting a traditional :30-second spot.