Torstar appoints magazine executive Marina Glogovac as president and CEO of Toronto Star

Torstar Corp. has tapped former magazine publisher and technology company executive Marina Glogovac to take on the role of president and CEO of the Toronto Star.

She will start on June 1, succeeding interim CEO Lorenzo DeMarchi, who will return to his previous role as chief investment officer for Torstar Corp., the parent company of the Toronto Star.

Torstar will also appoint Neil Oliver, currently chief operations officer of the corporation, as president and CEO of Metroland Media Group, where he will oversee the division’s 70-plus weekly and six daily newspapers. He will also start his new role on June 1.

Torstar COO Neil Oliver begins his new role as President and CEO of Metroland Media Group on June 1. He has been with the company for more than 35 years.

Glogovac is currently CEO of CanadaHelps, a service that builds payment processing technology to help charities fundraise online. Before joining CanadaHelps in 2013, she worked as an executive at several e-commerce and technology companies, including as chief marketing officer at Kobo Inc., an online book retailer, and as CEO and chief revenue officer at Lavalife Corp., one of the early online dating services.

Her career in Canada began in media, first at NOW Magazine, where she worked as vice-president of sales and marketing in the 1990s, and then as senior vice president and group publisher for St. Joseph’s Media, which publishes Toronto Life magazine, from 2001 to 2004.

She said she developed an interest in journalism while working as a writer and translator in the former Yugoslavia, where she grew up and studied in Belgrade, Serbia in the 1980s.

“When this opportunity (to join Torstar Corp.) came up recently, it was really irresistible to me,” Glogovac said, “to be able to support journalists and editors and help the newspaper grow.”

Paul Rivett, chairman and co-owner of Torstar Corp., said that Glogovac’s experience in the world of media and marketing made her an appealing candidate for a job increasingly focused on driving the business’ digital subscriptions.

“She has a heart for journalism but also the tech and marketing capability of someone who’s led several tech-based companies,” said Rivett.

The two appointments represent a shift in executive responsibility, with one CEO solely overseeing the Toronto Star while the other focuses on Metroland Media.

Before the Star’s new owners took the company private in 2020, the top job was wrapped into one compact position: CEO of Torstar. Rivett said the new change is meant to help the executives focus on their divisions’ distinct business models.

“When we were a public company, I think there was pressure to make synergistic moves that were all about cost savings, and that led us to mix business models that were colliding with each other. We want to go back to a decentralized model that lets the two executives free their entrepreneurial spirit and go at their business models wholeheartedly, without distraction or interruption,” he said.

Rivett said he expects Glogovac will focus on building the Toronto Star’s audience and growing digital subscriptions — which recently surpassed 110,000 — while Oliver will focus on the commercial and advertising side of the regional daily and community weekly business.

Oliver “will be responsible for our community publications, our regional dailies, our press operations and will be (there to) support the print operations of the Toronto Star,” Torstar wrote in a news release.

Glogovac serves on the board of directors at VerticalScope Inc., owned by Torstar, and has previously sat on the boards of The Walrus Magazine Foundation, Magazines Canada, Interactive Advertising Bureau Canada and more.

“Having grown up in a communist regime, where official narratives were carefully crafted and opposing narratives were only allowed up to a point, I was always really fascinated with the role of the free press,” she said.

Newspapers are operating in a “disruptive, volatile and complex environment,” she acknowledged. “When you look at who succeeds” — she referenced the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post and The Athletic — “they executed exceptionally well and persevered to find the right balance and formula.”

Oliver, who has spent 35 years at Metroland, started as a sales representative at the Burlington Post. He has also sat on several boards and advisory committees, including New Media Canada, Delivery Ink and Sheridan College.

In a statement, Oliver said he feels “extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a group of talented individuals who are committed to our readers, our advertisers, the communities we serve and most importantly improving peoples’ lives.”


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