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TO Media Getting Back in the Game?

With the Star, toronto.com, and the CBC all recently announcing a renewed focus toward the web, it's hard not to conclude these guys are a little scared that all the blogs and grassroots media out there might seriously erode their audience.

The Star has it right, sort of. Although they're one of the only paid dailies that's managed to hold onto their readership (the Sun's has totally imploded), they've at least realized it's about time they revamp thestar.ca and the Star owned toronto.com.

Seeing online advertising continue to increase, these publishers are taking a renewed focused on usability (or so we hear - toronto.com is expected to relaunch in the Fall with a new look and feel) and perhaps not surprisingly, now clamoring to get on board the podcast train.

Earlier this week, the CBC unveiled their inaugural podcast. Tod Maffin, CBC's resident tech guru, is also busy working away on the pilot podcast of something called the Feed. Check out the proof of concept.

Ultimately though, the proof will be in the, um, pudding. The traditional media has always had a print-first focus, leaving online as a major afterthought. I suspect whatever redesign these guys throw our way, two things are pretty much guaranteed.

One (in the case of the Star) is that we'll still need to pay to read most of the articles, thus protecting the newspaper's expired business model. And two, (now picking on the often and deservedly derided toronto.com) we'll continue to see the blurred lines between advertising and actual editorial.


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