Monday, February 12, 2007

Toro Goes Belly Up

That's a little joke there -- Toro is tuna belly in Japanese. The fact that Toro is dead, however, is not as funny. The press release was sent out today (Feb. 12) announcing that Toro is no more. The gist of the press release was that the best a high quality Canadian men's magazine can hope for is breaking even. After four years, the investment no longer appeared to be a smart one for publisher Chris Bratty.

Toro was distinguished for its lack of staff turnover. Editor Derek Finkle lasted four years in an industry that few would now describe as stable. Toro wasn't perfect, but it was a good place for good writing. I suppose I should insert something profound about the Canadian magazine industry here, but everyone with a pair of eyes and ears knows that prestige publications that pay writers a living wage are going the way of the dinosaur. This is not the observation of a pessimist, but a realist. It's not the canary in the coal mine (nor the tuna) but Toro dying should tell us something about the state of the glossy world. Something not so good.