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The Grid calls it quits after three years

Posted by Derek Flack / July 2, 2014

The Grid closesThe Grid is shutting down. Announced on the publication's Twitter account, the weekly will run its last issue this Thursday before ceasing operations altogether. The Torstar-owned property launched three years ago to much fanfare as a replacement for Eye Weekly, and subsequently won a slew of awards for its sleek design and top notch journalism. John Cruickshank, president of Star Media group confirmed the closure in a statement on the Star's website this morning.

"Regretfully, despite a strong and loyal following, we have been unable to generate sufficient revenue from marketers and other sources to fund The Grid's great journalism.

Like all media brands, The Grid has been tremendously impacted by the proliferation of new advertising vehicles that are available to marketers in today's world."

The Globe and Mail reports that severance packages were issued today, though it's not clear at this stage whether the TorStar Corp. will take in some of The Grid's writers or editorial staff.

Signs of trouble first surfaced with staff layoffs last year, but were increased with the announcement of a pared down redesign this spring. That said, the general reaction to today's news has been that of shock. It's unclear right now what the fate of the publication's digital content will be, though there appear to be no plans to continue in any capacity. One hopes that archived content will remain available even in the wake of the closure.

With contributions from Chris Bateman



Jacob / July 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm
RIP Eye Weekly/Grid. I read you for many years, although not as often as I would have liked to lately. It was hard to find in Scarborough, for obvious enough reasons.

Now I have no alternative weekly to read. :( (NOW is a bit too knee-jerk for me.)
jameson / July 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm
I guess those $100 meal coupons for Dating Diaries took their toll...

Now where will I read hilarious dating stories?

Sad day for all..
Amy / July 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm
I questioned this publication when they switched from Eye Weekly to The Grid. Magazine and Paper Publishing is all about ad revenue and content, the Eye weekly lent itself more to advertising, the Grid seemed to focus on design and promoting that they're winning design awards and ad revenue appeared to be secondary in their layouts. Publishers usually don'y pay for the printing costs its paid for by all the advertising. If not enough ads articles must get cut.

I still believe that content is king and queen of news publishing though. If you've got great articles people will be inclined to read them regardless of the design and that will help your ad revenues and impressions.
Tim / July 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Of course a photo of Rob Ford for the feature photo.
That's not what's on their homepage today
No loss / July 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm
Eye weekly was always garbage. After they changed over to the new brand, I read the first couple of issues and then never picked it back up again. Seems like I wasn't the only one.
Karl / July 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm
Eye magazine was actually the first news publication in Canada to put its entire contents online. No other daily or weekly in Canada did that. They were pretty innovative back in the day, thanks to people like the late KK Campbell and Donna Lypchuk.

All we're left with is Now, I guess. After Now prevented a union from forming in its own shop back in the 1990s I never picked it up again. Couldn't take them seriously.
Josh / July 2, 2014 at 01:01 pm
The grid was the best weekly - it's a shame. Though it does explain the latest crummy redesign - the larger format just worked better.
rettie / July 2, 2014 at 01:02 pm
This is sad news. Been a loyal fan since day one!
Will miss The grid dearly.
Jeff / July 2, 2014 at 01:08 pm
Macleans weekly news magazine has been putting all its content online for yeats before the grid came along.
Moneesh / July 2, 2014 at 01:16 pm
Hated their website. But NOW's isn't much better, it's slow as fuck.
Scott / July 2, 2014 at 01:16 pm
I have always appreciated Eye and the Grid and will definitely miss it. I will particularly miss Edward Keenan's thoughtful contributions, which always gave me extra inclination to find a Grid each week.
Mike / July 2, 2014 at 01:18 pm
I liked their style. Too bad they're folding.
lulu / July 2, 2014 at 01:25 pm
the Grid is/was my guilty pleasure. it's always a ritual to get the Grid and the Now (but read the Grid first!) on Thursdays. My fav cover stories/articles was the oral history of Degrassi and of the Mad Hatter Birthday Parties. Damn, this leaves a big hole in my Thursday mornings :(
BillyO / July 2, 2014 at 01:38 pm
Very sad news, The Grid was a really good weekly paper, loved all their cool little features and tidbits
iSkyscraper / July 2, 2014 at 01:43 pm
One wonders if the Grid staff will drift over to Torontoist, which functionally replaced it some time ago.
Say it aint' so! / July 2, 2014 at 01:46 pm
No!!!!!! I even cancelled my Toronto Life subscription for The Grid!!
steve / July 2, 2014 at 01:48 pm
It was never all that good
It won't be missed
Edward Fan replying to a comment from Scott / July 2, 2014 at 01:57 pm
Edward Keenan is a radio host on newstalk 1010 am which I listen to all the time. He has a show every Sunday from 10-11 BUT he's been on in the afternoon for most of the summer from 1-4pm.

He's on the air right now,
EscortsPayTheBills / July 2, 2014 at 02:20 pm
Knew they would go under when they STUPIDLY decided not to run any Escort/Massage/Me Luv U Long Time ads in the back pages like what NOW and the former EYE weekly ran. Those are what pay the bills, especially for freebies and honestly amazed they managed to last 3 years without that revenue coming in---and only reason because they were sponsored by Mama TorStar.

Content-wise, The Grid was better but that changed depending on which crop of new UNPAID interns they had working for them every 4 months or so.

sarcasm alert / July 2, 2014 at 02:58 pm
This is horrible! Where will Rob Ford be able to read intelligent journalism like "The Ultimate Spring Beer Guide" and "67 excuses to drink right now"?? A very sad day indeed.
EC / July 2, 2014 at 02:59 pm
Can BlogTO PLEASE satisfy our Dating Diaries void by coming up with a similar feature?! PLEASE.
Mac / July 2, 2014 at 03:45 pm
Yes, a publication needs to PLEASE step in to fill the Dating Diaries void! It's the first thing I always read on a Thursday.. and comments from other readers online are pure gold. (Where will Stymied Squirrel, Humber Bay and Lesbieville go now?)
mar / July 2, 2014 at 03:57 pm
Such a bummer, I really liked this weekly.
ThatGirl replying to a comment from EC / July 2, 2014 at 04:00 pm
I agree, blogTO should absolutely adopt Dating Diaries!!

Plus It would be a shame if we didn't get the annual 'where are they now' update.
karl replying to a comment from Jeff / July 2, 2014 at 04:23 pm

Grid used to be called Eye magazine. Eye was putting its content online back in 1991.
nb / July 2, 2014 at 06:21 pm
The grid was the only print media I would actually look forward to reading.. this is big loss for the city's culture.
memm / July 2, 2014 at 06:56 pm
Something's up when a paper just shuts down and folds in the span of a day. What happened behind the scenes?
Ray replying to a comment from memm / July 2, 2014 at 07:09 pm
Behind the scenes My guess would be that TorStar isn't doing so well, so they're looking at cutting off some of its non profitable businesses. Usually the case in large corporations, they have to access what's working, what's not, what still has potential and what is a money pit.
Amy replying to a comment from memm / July 2, 2014 at 07:11 pm
Wow were arguing over who had all their content online first? Doesn't really matter, slow and steady wins the race in this case....
Eya replying to a comment from steve / July 2, 2014 at 07:32 pm
I will miss it. Even the comments tended to be written by thoughtful people who could spell. If YOU won't miss it, that's fine, but it is untrue, unfair, unkind and unnecessary to say it won't be missed. You speak only for yourself.
not brave enuff to date under the spotlight / July 2, 2014 at 09:41 pm
Count me in as another voice who wants to see Dating Diaries continued!
Enya / July 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm
Eya, that is your opinion. Rember: you only speak for yourself.
Trish replying to a comment from not brave enuff to date under the spotlight / July 2, 2014 at 11:47 pm
Screws dating diaries, you might as well go back and watch the the TV show love connection from the 80's-90's.
someone. / July 3, 2014 at 12:09 am
I didn't even know until now that the grid used to be eye weekly cause I was wondering what happened to eye weekly and why I was mysteriously following the grid on twitter but eye weekly and NOW and Exclaim were my favourite free magazines/newspapers since high school or almost half my life. I guess I'll miss Eye Weekly more than the Grid since I grew up reading it but hopefully Exclaim is still around cause it's pretty good too but I guess RIP the grid even though it wasn't as good as Eye Weekly in my opinion or as alternative as Eye Weekly but hopefully these other alternative newspapers will still be around cause I don't want to pay and especially not every week or every time I take the streetcar.
Carl replying to a comment from karl / July 3, 2014 at 12:29 am
Shut up Karl! No one cares what you have to say. Go write some more of your crappy Yelp reviews.
Simon / July 3, 2014 at 02:19 am
The only redeemable feature of The Grid was Edward Keenan's analysis of the city. Everything else- from filling numerous pages a week with nothing but soundbites on the street from hipsters about their long weekend plans, to its out-of-touch features on flipping houses that a decade ago regular folk making an honest living not propped up by family money would have settled down in and raised families, to its dating diaries features whose anecdotes we could have just as readily heard from friends and acquaintances we actually cared about rather than the outrageousness and social commentary of Savage Love, to its insistence that nothing in this city happens west of Ossington or north of Bloor, to its tepid commentary on Rob Ford (outside of Keenan's column), to restaurant reviews of places devoted exclusively to flighty and overpriced foodie trends-- was utter fluff. It was a shame losing Eye Weekly to a publication so utterly tame and so utterly... white. It was a mouthpiece for gentrification that didn't even have the spine to admit it. At least Toronto Life devoted space to actual writing and expressed an honest commitment to its key demographic of self-absorbed yuppies following the typical lifestyle of four years of partying at Queens or Western paid by their parents --> living with parents in the suburbs for a year of two after graduation --> condo in Liberty Village with purse dog and marketing/PR job --> mansion in the suburbs or an approved urbane spot like Bloor West or Forest Hill with a hybrid car, a partner with the exact same background, and 2.5 kids named Jackson, Dakota and Brittnee. The Grid? They paid lazy lip service to diversity while asking devoted full-page spreads asking Joe Blow in Trinity Bellwoods how he plans to spend his trust fund this weekend. Ah, I see, you're going to a raw vegan pulled pork restaurant in Queen West with your friend with half her head shaved and your other friend who tattooed the word "strength" on his asshole to be ironic or something. Tomorrow you're going to an edgy dive bar that sells cans of craft beer for $9 and features the newest work of a local graffiti artist who draws swastikas on his balls and posts it on Instagram. Tell me more. It's very interesting. I'll make sure to follow up with you at the Starbucks you go to 4 times a day.
mem / July 3, 2014 at 06:00 am
Wow someone hates fun.
Ian replying to a comment from EC / July 3, 2014 at 09:28 am
Yikes If BlogTO did want to do a dating dairies I think we all know that commenting should be turned off.
Frankie fone / July 3, 2014 at 06:02 pm
Alors Zut!. Enough about those swaspstickers,the french do battle tomorrow morning - it will be the fleur de lis being tatooed on the charming hipsters derrieres west of Ossington and in every Poutine Palace from North of Bloor to Billy Bishop . And now no Grid to report this vibrant showdown???.The paper's design layout and eye catching articles were excellent. A VERY sad day for print newspapers in this wasteland of print journalism city they call Toronto.
TTC Pearl replying to a comment from jameson / July 3, 2014 at 07:03 pm
With you there. Those DD's were hilarious hilarious.A TTCsupervisor told me today he looked forward to reading those every week, so entertaining.The Grid was just developing itself, shame about the reduction in size format - that screwed the look up. And all we got left is NOW??? Oh Puleese, takes itself way too seriously.
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