UPDATE: Blogs shut down at Toronto Life

Toronto Life magazine has pulled the plug on at least three of its blogs in the last week. On June 30, a Torontoist blog post, “Toronto Life doesn’t care about blog people,” noted that James Chatto’s Chatto’s Digest, Philip Preville’s (recently launched) City State and Douglas Bell’s Spectator would all close up shop.

While both Preville and Chatto have written farewell posts, Bell has not.

Another, Lawrason on Wine, also announced its demise. In his final post, David Lawrason said:

…the editors are presently re-evaluating the content of torontolife.com…

When magazine consultant and blogger D.B. Scott got wind of the shutdowns, he went on a hunt for reasons why. What did he come up with? Budget cuts.

UPDATE: Bill Shields, former editor at Masthead magazine, further investigated the blog closures and confirmed in his resulting article that Spectator, City State, Chatto’s Digest and Lawrason on Wine are all finished, along with the Toronto Movie Index, which will return for the Toronto International Film Festival. Shields wrote:

Publisher Sharon McAuley says lower-than-expected traffic figures and a
softening advertising market have prompted the Web team to take
advantage of the “malleable” nature of online publishing.

McAuley is later quoted:

“I can see that some of the timing might have been affected by the
broader environment out there but the fact is these were editorial
decisions alone. And it’s a redeployment of the dollars, not a cutting
of the dollars because we are going to be launching new initiatives.”