Torstar to buy political news outlet iPolitics

Torstar to buy political news outlet iPolitics

Torstar Corp., publisher of the Toronto Star, says it has agreed to buy Ottawa-based digital news outlet iPolitics Inc. to help expand its political coverage for print and digital audiences.

Following the expected closing of the transaction on or about Oct. 1, Torstar daily newspapers and websites across the country will soon publish articles from iPolitics, a non-partisan digital service that covers federal and provincial politics with a focus on policy development.

Torstar publishes several daily newspapers in Ontario, English-language StarMetro newspapers and more than 80 weekly community papers in the province.
Torstar publishes several daily newspapers in Ontario, English-language StarMetro newspapers and more than 80 weekly community papers in the province.  (THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO)

Torstar, in a statement Thursday, said the Toronto Star and iPolitics will retain separate news bureaus in Ottawa, headed respectively by a separate bureau chief and a separate editor.

“We are pleased to announce a transaction to acquire iPolitics, which has a proven record of providing extensive online coverage of federal and provincial politics and government policies across Canada,” said John Boynton, president and chief executive officer of Torstar and Toronto Star publisher.

Launched in 2010 by founder and editor James Baxter, iPolitics provides its subscribers with daily political news and industry briefs, a quarterly magazine, podcasts and specialized parliamentary monitoring services.

It’s considered an invaluable information source by many of Canada’s top business leaders, elected politicians, government officials, public policy influencers and decision-makers, Boynton said. Among the key policy areas covered by iPolitics are the economy, tax reform, trade negotiations, defence spending, the federal public service, veterans affairs, energy, agriculture, cannabis and more.

“iPolitics was born out of a time of unprecedented upheaval in both the news business and within our democratic institutions,” Baxter said. “From our modest beginnings to now, we have been fortunate to be a home for some of the best young, digital-native journalists who have cut their teeth on the biggest issues facing our world.

“By teaming with the Toronto Star and Torstar’s other outlets, the iPolitics team will be able to reach more Canadians and work within an organization that has principles of public service journalism at its core.”

Boynton called the purchase an important step in the company’s transformation in an increasingly digital and mobile news and information world.

“We are excited to offer expanded coverage of political news from expert policy reporters in Ottawa to our customers across Canada,” Boynton said. “This unique opportunity will allow us to provide critical in-depth policy coverage from iPolitics along with the highly recognized reporting and opinion columns from the Toronto Star’s Ottawa team.

“As with our recent agreement with the Wall Street Journal, we aren’t just adding content from iPolitics to our existing political and government coverage. Rather, we’re upping our game by investing in and broadening our political coverage in ways that will inform audiences across Canada that are deeply interested in political affairs. Our customers will benefit from coverage of breaking news as well as extra deep-dive coverage of parliamentary and legislative proceedings where policies and regulations are created, debated and voted upon.”

Torstar publishes several daily newspapers in Ontario, English-language StarMetro newspapers and more than 80 weekly community papers in the province.

As well, Torstar operates QP Briefing, a subscription-based digital and mobile news source covering political and legislative news at the Ontario provincial level. Its digital properties also include, while Torstar holds a majority interest in digital media company VerticalScope along with minority interests in a number of other companies.

“This acquisition will complement our award-winning political coverage by the Toronto Star’s Ottawa bureau, offering our customers across Torstar an exclusive online and print package unmatched by other news outlets,” Boynton said. “At the same time, Torstar is committed to serving existing iPolitics subscribers and to enhancing current product offerings on”

Financial terms of the purchase, which is being conducted through one of Torstar’s subsidiaries, were not immediately provided.

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