Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. Acquires Nova Scotia Call Centre Business

Dec 29, 2003

TORONTO, December 22, 2003 – Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. (TSNL) announced today that it has purchased the assets of HEBB TeleSales and Marketing, a call centre operation in Truro, N.S.  Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. will rename the business Atlantic Call Centres (ACC), a division of TSNL, and will consolidate its outbound circulation calls, such as subscription acquisition, payment/credit and outbound customer service, with ACC.

HEBB has successfully managed a portion of the Toronto Star’s contact centre operations since October 2001.  “This initiative will enable us to better manage this portion of our business,” says Sandy MacLeod, Vice-President, Circulation, the Toronto Star.  “HEBB has well trained, experienced representatives, low staff turnover and highly competitive rates.  Their performance so far has been stellar and we trust it will get even better.”

Nova Scotia Business Inc. has agreed to a payroll rebate for ACC to support the Truro operation. The company is eligible for a maximum of $1.06 million over four years, provided ACC creates and maintains 225 new jobs during that period.

“This announcement is a recognition of the strength and capability of the Truro workforce, and confirms that Nova Scotia can compete favourably with other jurisdictions in North America,” said Ernie Fage, Minister of Economic Development for the Province of Nova Scotia. “This development is another indication that the province continues to grow based on its strengths.”

“This is an exciting time for HEBB Marketing” says owner Carol Hebb. “Our experience with the Toronto Star over the last few years has always been positive, and the opportunity to be involved in this new call centre is a good fit for us.”

“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to attract this new investment for Truro,” said Stephen Lund, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. “The quality of our workforce is second to none and we continue to use that to our advantage.” 

To accommodate the increased business, the ACC has begun a process to recruit, hire and train a number of additional customer service representatives from the Truro area, creating stable, skilled job opportunities for local residents.  The ACC will retain its original client base, in addition to the Toronto Star business.

About HEBB TeleSales and Marketing
Started as a home-based business, HEBB TeleSales & Marketing has been involved in the outbound call business for the last four years and currently has a staff of approximately 80 people in two centres in Truro, Nova Scotia. Their core business has been focused on newspaper clients in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario.

About The Toronto Star
Founded in 1892, the Toronto Star is Canada's largest daily newspaper, reaching more than 2.1 million readers weekly.  The Toronto Star is a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation.  For more information, see

About NSBI
Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s business development agency, an organization that works with companies to provide business solutions. The private sector-led agency works to attract new businesses to the province and help those already in Nova Scotia expand through services such as export development and financing.