Toronto Star

Toronto Star

March 25, 2009 12:24 ET

Toronto Star's Total Audience Increases

2008 NADbank results show Canada's most-read newspaper maintains unrivalled lead over Toronto competitors

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2009) - The Toronto Star increased its total newspaper and online readership in 2008 in the Greater Toronto Area and maintained its strong lead over all Toronto newspapers in the number of readers on a daily and weekly basis, according to the latest newspaper readership study released today by the Newspaper Audience Databank (NADbank).

At the same time, a new report released Tuesday by the Canadian Circulation Audit Bureau (CCAB) indicates the circulation of the Toronto Star in the GTA remained stable in 2008 despite intense competition from other media sources and the uncertainty caused by the current economic situation.

The NADbank results also confirm that the Star remained the most-widely read newspaper in Canada with 2.4 million readers on a weekly basis and that its website, thestar.com, continued to grow rapidly, solidifying its position as the number one newspaper website destination in the Toronto area.

"We are very pleased with these results," said John Cruickshank, Publisher of the Toronto Star. "Given the readership declines experienced in 2008 by other major metropolitan daily newspapers across North America, these findings indicate that our investments and our efforts aimed at producing a quality paper and website that meet the needs of our readers and our advertisers have received a positive response by readers."

"Specifically, we are pleased to see the Star has maintained its solid position as the most-read daily in the Greater Toronto Area market."

Cruickshank also noted that Canadian newspapers remain strong overall and still have huge audiences when paid, free and community papers and their websites are taken into account. In times of uncertainty, such as now with the economic crisis, Canadians are relying heavily on newspapers to provide information they can trust, he said.

In the NADbank survey released today, the Star maintained a huge lead over its nearest competitor in the Toronto area. The Star reached an average of 937,800 readers a day, compared to 475,400 readers for the Toronto Sun. The Star's numbers were down just 1.6 per cent from a year ago. And the Star substantially increased its lead in the Toronto area over other broadsheet newspapers, specifically the Globe and Mail and the National Post, which experienced declines of 6.5 per cent and 13.1 per cent respectively.

According to the survey, the cumulative Monday-Friday readership of the Star was relatively stable, down just 0.2 per cent.

The Saturday Star had by far the largest readership in the GTA with 1,139,800 million readers. While this figure represented a drop of 6.9 per cent from a year earlier, it was significantly smaller than the overall 9.2 per cent decrease recorded in the market area. Indeed, both Globe and Mail and the National Post suffered dramatically sharper declines on Saturday, falling 10.6 per cent and 14.3 per cent respectively in the Toronto area.

The NADbank results also show the Star is rapidly gaining online readers, with more than 664,200 weekly visitors in 2008, a jump of 21.8 per cent over the previous year.

Together, the Star and thestar.com reached 2,144,300 readers a week in the Toronto area, a total increase of nearly 1 per cent over the figures recorded in 2007.

According to the CCAB audit, circulation in the Greater Toronto Area remained relatively stable in 2008 compared to figures compiled in 2007 by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). The overall weekday circulation was down 3.6 per cent and the overall Saturday circulation was off 2.6 per cent. Significantly, though, circulation in the core Toronto area market was essentially flat in 2008. Sunday circulation was off 17.5 per cent in the GTA, which was a direct result of the reduction of free copies.

The release of these two major surveys just one day apart provides a vital snapshot of newspaper readership for advertisers, who will get data necessary to make informed advertising purchasing decisions. For the first time the NADbank readership survey and the CCAB circulation audit measures the same geographical area and in the same timeframe, allowing for easier comparisons for advertisers.

About the Toronto Star and thestar.com

The Toronto Star, founded in 1892, is read in print and online (thestar.com) by 2.8 million readers. The Toronto Star is a division of Star Media Group, which includes Toronto.com, Torstar Syndication Services, Shop TV, Eye Weekly, Sway Magazine, Real Estate News and The Canadian Immigrant. Star Media Group also includes the jointly owned Metro free daily newspapers in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Halifax, and the Chinese language newspaper Sing Tao. Star Media Group is a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, which is a subsidiary of Torstar Corporation.

Contact Information

  • Toronto Star
    Bob Hepburn
    Director, Community Relations and Communications
    (416) 869-4890
    bhepburn@thestar.ca