Stage Door News

Toronto: Toronto Star cuts arts reporting to almost nothing

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Toronto Star has quietly shuttered the remnants of its once mightily entertainment section, leaving all but a handful of writers under a single editor.

Most writers of staff will be taking buyouts, leaving, or be reassigned to other areas.

  • Morgan Campbell, Toronto Star Sports Reporter — Departed Dec., 2019
  • Amy Pataki, Toronto Star Food Critic — Departed Dec., 2019.
  • Peter Howell, Toronto Star Movie Critic — Leaving Feb. 2020.
  • Tony Wong, Toronto Star TV Critic — Leaving Feb. 2020.
  • Paul Hunter, Toronto Star Sports Reporter — Leaving summer 2020.
  • Mary Ormsby, Toronto Star Sports Reporter — Leaving summer 2020.
  • Ben Rayner, Toronto Star Music Critic — Reassigned.
  • Debra Yeo, Toronto Star Entertainment Editor — Reassigned.
  • Garnett Fraser, Toronto Star Entertainment Editor — Reassigned.

Remaining writers include:

  • John Terauds, Toronto Star Classical Music Critic (funded externally from the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.)
  • Carly Maga, Toronto Star Theatre Critic
  • Karen Fricker, Toronto Star Theatre Critic

As the flagship property of Torstar, The Toronto Star has struggled with declining readership as well as a 37% decline in advertising revenue from 2018. The Toronto Star’s cut to arts coverage follows similar moves from The Globe and Mail, who eliminated their dedicated weekday arts section in 2017 and consolidated it with “Life and Arts” and “News” sections. The National Postalso eliminated the majority of its original arts coverage years ago, focusing increasingly limited resources on lifestyle and celebrity culture.

Torstar recently announced it would close StarMetro national free newspapers, cutting more than 100 jobs.

While it is not clear if the Star will keep the Entertainment section, for now they will be focusing on licensed content from the other sources, including the Canadian Press.

[Disclosure: Michael Vincent was a freelance music critic with the Toronto Star between 2014-2017]

By Michael Vincent for