Yesterday La Presse announced a major shift as they planned to stop the printing of their Monday – Friday edition of newspapers and opt for a digital version instead. They also announced that the Olive Media staff “will now be absorbed into the La Presse team as of January.” A press release was issued later in the day by the Toronto Star which sheds some future light on the situation and looks like as a result, Olive Media will be shutting down completely on January 1, 2016.
The Toronto Star and La Presse announced today they will assume responsibility for all digital advertising sales of thestar.com and lapresse.ca respectively, effective January 1, 2016.
The move will allow both the Toronto Star and La Presse to consolidate and reposition their digital advertising businesses, allowing them to better serve advertisers by providing enhanced opportunities to cross-sell and bundle their media properties.
As a result, Square Victoria Digital Properties (La Presse) and Star Media Group (Toronto Star) will cease operations of Olive Media, their joint venture. The decision means Olive Media, which has operated as a partnership since January, 2007, will cease to operate as a stand-alone organization starting January 1, 2016.
I still recall being in the office and hearing Simon Jennings being pitched the job to help create and run Olive Media. He quickly grew it to be more than just a place to work for, he and his management team create a culture, and foster the growth of leaders. For many it was their first time working in the Canadian Digital industry, and brands across North America loved doing business with the Olive Media team. Their parties are still talked about, and what many brands should aspire to create. At its peak Olive Media dominated the market as one of the top advertising networks around, but as competition started to heat up and brands wanted more advertising solutions Olive’s market share started to decrease. Simon eventually left the company he helped to create, new leaders emerged to run the company. Unfortunately even with one of the most respected sales professionals that we’ve talked about here on Profectio it was not enough as competition was so strong, and the industry started to lose faith in the company. It is sad news to hear that Olive Media will no longer exist, but the writing was on the wall for a few years.