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Postmedia’s merger talks with Toronto Star owner a ‘Hail Mary pass’: expert

Postmedia Network Canada Corp. in talks to merge with Nordstar Capital LP

One expert says talks between Canada’s two largest newspaper chains about a potential merger are akin to a “Hail Mary pass” amid declining readership and advertising revenue.

Postmedia Network Canada Corp. said Tuesday that it’s in talks to merge with Nordstar Capital LP, the owner of Metroland Media Group and the Toronto Star.

The two publishers say the proposed deal, which is yet to be finalized, is a bid to create greater scale so they can respond to the “existential threat” facing the media industry.

Dwayne Winseck, a professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, says Canada’s media landscape has been decimated by a combination of bad decision-making, the rise of big tech and economic downturns.

He says a potential merger would legitimize consolidation and divert attention from the role these companies have played in creating the conditions that have left their products in a poor financial state.

Postmedia, which owns publications including the National Post, Vancouver Sun and Calgary Herald, says the proposal would see the Toronto Star maintain editorial independence through the incorporation of a new company that would manage its editorial operations.

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