Jon Filson, the head of Star Touch, the Toronto Star’s iPad app, is no longer a Star employee, reports the Financial Post.
“I can confirm he has left the Toronto Star,” said spokesperson Bob Hepburn in an e-mail to the Financial Post. No reason was given for his departure.
During his 16 years at the Star, Filson held different positions in the newsroom, including Sports Editor, Features Editor, and Deputy City Editor.
Under Filson’s leadership, Torstar Corp.’s Star Touch iPad app didn’t meet initial expectations. The company spent $14 million on the product last year. The latest numbers disclosed by Torstar reveal that the product has seen about 200,000 downloads, but readers are taking up the app at a slower than expected rate. Torstar says it plans to invest another $10 million this year and hopes to break even next year, as it targets 100,000 unique readers using Star Touch three or four times per week.
Fact is, the year started badly for the Star Touch staff: When Torstar closed the print centre, thirteen employees lost their jobs – ten from the tablet team and three from the digital team. Star Touch launched in September, 2015.