Posted in Canadiens, My articles, TV

14 quirks about the Canadiens’ schedule and NHL on TV and online

The Canadiens begin their 2015-16 regular season on Wednesday night. And I’m told that among the most requested things of the sports department is a schedule of what games will be on what TV channel during the season.

So in Wednesday’s paper, I’ve replicated a chart I did a year ago that lists all 82 regular-season games, and an accompanying story explaining to Quebecers how to watch the Canadiens on TV or online.

There’s also a separate story, online only, explaining to people who live outside the Canadiens’ broadcast region how they can see all 82 games.

I’ll let you read those stories to get all the details (if you have any more questions, let me know). The gist of it is that there haven’t been many major changes for this year — still 40 national Canadiens games in English and 22 in French, and you still need five channels in English and two in French to watch all of them.

In researching these stories, and through a series of emails with Rogers PR, I’ve learned a few bits of trivia about NHL TV rights and the Canadiens’ schedule in particular.

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Posted in TV

CBC rearranges the deck chairs on local TV newscasts

Debra Arbec opens the 6pm newscast

Debra Arbec opens the 6pm newscast

The CBC rolled out revamped — and by revamped I mean cut — newscasts across the country on Monday. Some markets were reduced to 60 minutes while others, including Montreal, get only 30 minutes during the supper hour to offer local news.

The new newscast has a somewhat different feel to it — including some different music — but most of the changes don’t seem to have much of a real purpose to them. For one, there’s more standing anchor wandering the set, and there’s a lot more use of monitors in the studio, and having the anchor look at them:

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Posted in Radio

CHOM/Énergie program director André Lallier dies of cancer

Andre Lallier

André Lallier, a fixture at Montreal radio for 30 years, died Sunday of cancer, Bell Media announced. He was 52.

Lallier was program director for CHOM for a little under five years, and has been with CKMF 94.3 since he was 20 years old.

In Bell’s press release, Martin Spalding, the general manager of local radio in Quebec, made it clear he lost a friend:

Our entire team today lost an irreplaceable professional and a valued friend. Thanks to his love for radio and music and his total dedication to the success of the stations where he worked over the years, André has left an indelible mark on our entire industry. On behalf of everyone at Bell Media, I wish to salute the memory of André and offer my sincere condolences to his spouse Annie, son Alex, and his family and many friends.

Visitation is at the Sainte-Thérèse Complex of Les Résidences Funéraires Goyer (105 Desjardins Blvd. E. in Ste-Thérèse) on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 1-4pm, followed by “a celebration in his honour” from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

News of Lallier’s death has resulted in a flood of messages to his Facebook page from colleagues and friends:

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Posted in TV

CTV Montreal GM Louis Douville swept out in next wave of Bell Media purge

Louis Douville

A dramatic top-down purge at Bell Media, that swept out top executives Phil King (programming), Chris Gordon (radio and local TV), Adam Ashton and Charles Benoit (top man in Quebec) in August, then people like Discovery Channel head Paul Lewis and Quebec content chief Mario Clément in September, has now filtered down another level, and more managers are getting the boot.

They include the heads of specialty channels Canal Vie (Lyne Denault), Z (Jacques Mathieu) and CTV News Channel (Lisa Beaton), regional managers in Atlantic Canada (Mike Elgie), Abitibi (Marlène Trottier), Victoria (Kevin Bell), Peterborough (Steve Fawcett), Edmonton (Lloyd Lewis) and Windsor (Eric Proksch), and Louis Douville, the general manager of CTV Montreal. (Jean Martin, the manager for the Mauricie region, is also leaving, but that departure is being announced separately as a retirement.)

A Bell Media spokesperson said Martin Spalding, vice-president of radio operations and local sales in Quebec, would take over Douville’s duties. But an internal memo also listed Jed Kahane, CTV Montreal’s news director, as taking Douville’s reports “in the interim”. Those three words prompted a lot of speculation about who might be on the chopping block when the next round of cuts happen.

That is expected to be in about six weeks, which doesn’t exactly leave Bell Media employees in a relaxed state.

Douville, who grew up in Montreal, has been general manager of CTV Montreal since January 2012, taking over from Don Bastien. Before that he was general manager of CTV Ottawa for almost 11 years, and before that worked in sales at CTV stations in Edmonton and Saskatchewan. In all, he worked for CTV for 30 years.

He had recently taken over additional responsibilities, running the Bell Local (now Bell TV1) community channels in Montreal as well as Bell’s radio stations in the city.

On a personal level, I’ll add that Douville was a very good source, never ducking my phone calls, always helpful, always willing to explain the tough decisions and being honest about how things work, while other managers would try to avoid talking about bad news or find some way to obfuscate the issue. For that I’ll miss him.

Bell says these changes are necessary to remain competitive (even though it’s the largest media company in Canada) and operate efficiently. This despite the fact that Bell Media’s profits (before interest and taxes) increased to $734 million last year and $215 million in the last quarter.

UPDATE: Douville wrote a message to his friends on Facebook and forwarded it to me:

It reads like the script for the final episode of the television program The Amazing Race…
4 Provinces…7 Cities…7,266 Kilometres…33 years…Hundreds of amazing colleagues…Thousands of brilliant business partners… An incredibly supportive family…And one Amazing career !

This week my great adventure with Bell Media came to an end, and what a ride it has been !!!

I have been so fortunate to work in the field of my choice for so many years, growing through the ranks until I attained the goals I had set for myself.

I learned so much along the way, mostly about the importance of treating people like human beings, recognizing the contribution my colleagues made every day, and creating a work environment where people thrive and are happy to come to work.

Now it is time to look to the future and see what new and exciting adventures await me.
No matter what they are, I will always stay true to my values and I will always enjoy every minute of every day.

Thank you to all of you who have crossed my path over the years, you have truly enriched my life and made me a better man.

I look forward to seeing you soon !

Posted in TV

Tamy takes on America

Tamy Emma Pepin in #TamyUSA

Tamy Emma Pepin in #TamyUSA

A year and a half after taking a social-media-fuelled trip through the U.K., Tamy Emma Pepin is back with another similar travel show for Évasion: #TamyUSA, which starts this week with a show from Seattle.

#TamyUSA follows Pepin through a road trip along the U.S. west coast, exploring the sights of its cities by meeting with people in them who are active on Instagram.

Unlike Tamy @ Royaume-Uni, in which Pepin would go to bed not knowing what she was doing the next day, this time her activities are much more planned. It’s much less chaotic and stressful this way, Pepin tells me.

There are also changes behind the scenes. It’s a different production company, for one. Toxa has been replaced by the tiny Parce Que Films, which has more experience in music videos than television series.

And the series is being put together in a hurry. Pepin returned from the U.S. trip only last month, and with only 40 days between the end of filming and the airing of the first episode, she has spent long nights in the editing room since then.

But the feel of the show is the same as before. From the low-contrast colouring to the creative music selection (thanks to Third Side Music), and particularly the stunning visuals from director of photography Émilie Ricard-Harvey, it’s very familiar to those who followed the U.K. adventure.

And, of course, Tamy is Tamy, a very charismatic host who can be bubbly without being fake, fun-loving without being irresponsible. It’s fun to explore the world with her because her genuine enthusiasm for discovery shines through the camera.

Plus, since Tamy is travelling through another English-speaking country, the show is effectively bilingual, with most interviews happening in English and subtitled in French.

The series isn’t available online, and no one finds that more frustrating than Pepin, who said she’s trying to change that. But Évasion, owned by independent Groupe Serdy, needs shows like this to drive subscriptions to the channel, particularly with rule changes that are pushing people toward pick-and-pay cable packages.

According to the latest data from the CRTC, Évasion gets 78% of its revenue from subscriptions, and a profit margin below 10% with its subscriber base stable at about 2 million subscribers.

Nevertheless, #TamyUSA has a very active website, and after each show premieres on Monday night there’s a free webcast chatting with local Instagrammers in her living room. That’s much less visually interesting than the show, though.

#TamyUSA airs Mondays at 8pm, and rebroadcasts Tuesday 10am, Wednesday 1pm, Friday 3am, Saturday 9am and 8pm and Sunday 4pm on Évasion.

Further reading



Posted in Montreal, TV

MAtv begins English programming with five shows

Two years after Videotron first proposed creating an English-language community channel for its Montreal-area subscribers, the first English programs on MAtv began airing today, making the service bilingual (about 20% English, which represents about the proportion of the area that speaks English at home).

Over the next two weeks, MAtv launches five new shows in English. Another eight are set to air later in the year, and of the 13 total series, Videotron says 10 were submitted by the public.

The five English shows MAtv starts now are three community-submitted shows and two local shows that MAtv put together.

Community access programs

Street Speaks host Paul Shore

Street Speaks host Paul Shore

The Street Speaks: Submitted and hosted by Paul Shore, this “speaker’s corner” type series features interviews with “everyday” people on the street, which are then cut up and edited into shows on specific themes. Shore notes in his introduction that most people have never been asked their opinions on issues, and this is his attempt to bring their opinions to light.

Living 2 Gether host Vahid Vidah, left, with first filmmaker Andrew Andreoli

Living 2 Gether host Vahid Vidah, left, with first filmmaker Andrew Andreoli

Living 2 Gether: Submitted by Vahid Vidah, each episode of this half-hour series hands the camera over to an amateur filmmaker and has them explore some aspect of the social fabric of the city.

StartLine: Submitted by Gregory Fortin-Vidah, this series doesn’t have a host, but is a documentary-style series about local businesses in the food, arts, multimedia and entrepreneurial sectors.

MAtv local programs

Montreal Billboard is basically Montréalité in English, right down to the weird leave-the-first-guest-sitting-alone-while-you-talk-to-the-next-guest thing.

Montreal Billboard is basically Montréalité in English, right down to the weird leave-the-first-guest-sitting-alone-while-you-talk-to-the-next-guest thing.

Montreal Billboard: Hosted by Richard Dagenais, who was let go from Global Montreal earlier this year, this series features interviews with people who are involved with local community organizations. It’s similar in style (and uses the same set) as Montréalité, hosted by Katerine-Lune Rollet, and is basically an English version of that program. Regular contributors include Amie Watson.

Anyone who watched Dagenais hosting Focus Montreal on Global will find this pretty familiar. In fact, both Montreal Billboard and Focus Montreal this week started their shows with interviews with people from the N.D.G. Food Depot.

CityLife host Tina Tenneriello

CityLife host Tina Tenneriello

CityLife: Hosted by Tina Tenneriello, formerly of CJAD, this show is a weekly current affairs talk show about Montreal, and is basically an English version of Mise à Jour. Contributors include Martin Patriquin on politics, Toula Drimonis on women’s issues, and Egbert Gaye on social and minority issues.

I haven’t listed times for these shows because each one is in about a dozen spots on the schedule. You can look for them here.

I’ll have more on these series and the state of community television in an upcoming feature. In the meantime, enjoy the shows. And if you have an idea for your own, MAtv is eager to hear it.

Posted in Media, Video

The Oasis trademark dispute gets short documentary treatment

You might recall back in 2012 there was a big scandal because of a dispute between Lassonde, the Quebec-based maker of Oasis fruit juice, and Olivia’s Oasis, a small company that makes skin care products.

It wasn’t the cease-and-desist letter that made headlines, or even the court case itself, which resulted in a judge not only dismissing Lassonde’s lawsuit but ordering it to pay costs. Instead, it was a court of appeal judgment that reversed the lower court’s ruling on costs that sparked social media attention when it was written about in La Presse.

Olivia’s Oasis was a small operation, and lawyer’s fees fighting the case would have put it out of business were it not for social media attention (including a Guy A. Lepage tweet) that prompted so much bad publicity for Lassonde that it quickly reached a settlement — on Easter weekend — with Deborah Kudzman, surrendering to a woman they had just beat in court.

Now, Ottawa producers Heidi Lasi and Pat McGowan have published a 14-minute documentary on the subject, which is posted on YouTube, called The Oasis Affair. It’s financed by Bell Media’s BravoFactual production fund.

The documentary is professionally produced and interesting, but it suffers from Lassonde’s refusal to participate, beyond sending an impersonal letter. I get that the company would rather forget about this story, but it would have been great to hear from people in the company at the time about how they reacted to the media onslaught and what they learned through the process. It might even have made the appear more human.

Another wasted opportunity, unfortunately.

Posted in Media

La Presse to become a weekly newspaper on Jan. 1

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure they had the guts to do it.

Today, La Presse publisher Guy Crevier announced that as of Jan. 1, 2016, La Presse will be published in print form only once a week on Saturdays, down from six days a week. The rest of the week, it will be tablet app La Presse+ that carries the daily news.

People with print subscriptions will see them converted to Saturday-only subscriptions, be extended if they’re prepaid, or reimbursed depending on the payment plan and preference of the subscriber.

The news comes the day after the launch of Star Touch, a tablet app based on La Presse+ by the Toronto Star.

The news isn’t all that surprising. Crevier has said since the launch of La Presse+ that the tablet is now the main platform and that the print edition will eventually be discontinued. His explanation today includes a lot of numbers showing the decline of the print newspaper industry.

And La Presse+ has been successful, reaching 460,000 readers weekly. I’ve heard a lot of skepticism about those numbers, but La Presse had them independently verified, and NADbank, which surveys the population about their reading habits, confirms La Presse’s high digital readership, which makes it more read than Le Journal de Montréal when print and digital readership is combined.

But there’s a psychological shift here, perhaps more significant than the economic one. Is La Presse a daily newspaper? Does it still belong in the same category as papers like the Journal de Montréal, the Montreal Gazette and Le Devoir?

There are also worries that, even with print’s inevitable decline, putting all your eggs in the basket of a tablet app — a platform that didn’t exist more than a decade ago — is risky. Tablets became really popular when they launched, and reached 10% of the population faster than the telephone, television, smartphone or other media-related technologies. But growth has slowed in recent years, and people who watch the industry aren’t nearly as bullish on it as they once were.

And, of course, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs. The exact number isn’t known yet. Crevier is expected to meet with employees on Sept. 24 to lay down the fallout for them.

UPDATE (Sept. 24): La Presse is cutting 158 jobs (102 permanent, 56 temporary), including 43 in the newsroom. The result will be a staff size — 633 — about equal to what it was before La Presse+ launched.

Cutting down print editions means a lot of work no longer becomes necessary. From print edition designers and editors to press operators at Transcontinental to the people who actually deliver the paper door to door, it’s a lot less in expenses for La Presse and a lot less money in the hands of people whose careers depend on this newspaper.

Crevier told the Globe and Mail the paper will save $30 million a year by dropping to one day a week in print.

We’ll see how La Presse’s print subscribers feel about this decision. Many of them don’t have iPads, and will no doubt be disappointed they can’t get their daily news (or, more importantly, comics and puzzles) in the format of their choice.

Meanwhile, La Presse and the Star announced they are shutting down Olive Media, an advertising company they jointly owned. Some of its employees will be laid off, others will be absorbed into the respective papers’ ad teams.

UPDATE: The unions representing La Presse employees sent out a press release complaining that La Presse isn’t being more transparent about it financial situation. They also note that their contracts also expire on Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, Quebecor sent out its own press release that basically trolls La Presse, saying the Journal de Montréal won’t abandon its print readership.

Further reading

Posted in Media

Different strategies as Edmonton Journal, Toronto Star launch new products

This morning, two major Canadian newspapers made big announcements about new ways of consuming their news. One, the Toronto Star, has put a lot of its eggs in the basket of a new tablet app based on La Presse+. The other, the Edmonton Journal, has redesigned its print edition, website and smartphone app based on Postmedia’s 2.0 template, but hasn’t launched a new tablet edition, unlike its Postmedia sister papers.

It’s two very different strategies toward finding new ways to connect with audiences and increase advertising revenues.

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Posted in Media

Journal de Montréal plagiarizes PressProgress, blames “simple omission”

Stories about newbie candidates (usually in no-hope ridings) being shamed for their views expressed on social media seem to be a dime a dozen these days. Opposition researchers and party activists are scouring every Twitter and Facebook account associated with a candidate to find something they wrote years ago that is either downright awful or can be spun in a way to make them intolerant, mean, disgusting or just stupid.

So when the left-wing website PressProgress published a story about a Conservative candidate’s sharing of Russian stories on Facebook, it just got added to the pile. Apparently some of these articles are, to be generous, not politically correct when it comes to gender.

Because the original articles are in Russian, people who don’t understand that language kind of had to take PressProgress’s word on its translations. So there was initial skepticism about the story.

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Posted in TV

Antenna work on Mount Royal tower means more overnight transmitter shutdowns

Mount Royal tower.

Mount Royal tower. (Fagstein file photo)

I’ve been getting a lot of questions (and a few conspiracy theories) from irate over-the-air TV watchers over the past few weeks because Montreal-based stations have been going off the air overnight.

Overnight shutdowns aren’t new. The same thing happened last year when they installed a microwave receiver on the tower.

So I asked Martin Marcotte, director of transmission for CBC, which owns the tower, what was up. He explained that this time they’re installing a standby antenna for UHF digital TV stations — CBC, Radio-Canada, Global and V — which allows those stations to be switched to that antenna in case the main one fails. (Ironically, that requires shutting down the transmitters for safety reasons.)

“Our current UHF antenna for DTV is now over 30 years old. Because of new code restrictions on work in confined spaces, we are no longer able to service that antenna. So the standby antenna is required to ensure continuity of service if ever there are problems on our main antenna as we can no longer repair the main antenna,” Marcotte explains.

The shutdowns, which start shortly after midnight, don’t just affect the four stations broadcasting on the UHF DTV antenna, but also the two using the VHF antenna (CTV and TVA) as well as most of Montreal’s FM radio stations, though most of those have standby facilities that allow them to stay on the air at reduced power (you may have noticed some of them being a bit noisy at night — Virgin Radio in particular seems to have a very poor standby signal).

The plan is to keep the UHF DTV antenna until 2022 when it’s scheduled to be replaced. If something breaks before then, that replacement would be moved up.

Installation work for the standby antenna is continuing. It’s expected to be done by Sept. 18, but that assumes ideal weather and no unforeseen problems.

Delivery of TV and radio signals through cable, satellite and online are not affected by this work.

The work has annoyed OTA viewers partly because the CBC doesn’t have a webpage that explains what they’re doing, and partly because there are often things to watch just after midnight. People missed Jon Stewart’s final Daily Show on CTV and part of Stephen Colbert’s first Late Show on Global because of these shutdowns.

You might wonder if delaying the start of work until, say, 1am each night might solve that problem. But then it would either have to continue later into the morning or be extended over more days.

So I guess you’re just going to have to live with it for another week.

Posted in Media, Navel-gazing

CROP poll of how anglos and francos drink is garbage, based on sample of 30 people

Breakdown of results of CROP poll show sample size of 31 for anglo Montrealers.

Breakdown of results of CROP poll show sample size of 31 for non-francophone Montrealers.

This morning, Éduc’alcool, an organization devoted to moderation in alcohol consumption, released the results of a poll it commissioned from polling firm CROP related to how people in Quebec drink.

The results were offered to the media under embargo yesterday, and stories appear today in the Journal de Montréal, La Presse, Métro, Rouge FM, Radio-Canada, CJAD and elsewhere that focus on interesting results outlined in the organization’s press release: that there’s a significant difference in how francophones and non-francophones in Montreal drink. Francophones drink more and more often than the rest of the city.

You won’t find a story about this in the Montreal Gazette, despite how relevant this kind of information is to its readership. It’s not because there wasn’t a journalist to cover it — a story was written about it and was set to be given good play in today’s paper. But I had it killed last night.

Well, actually the city editor is the one who made the call, but I’m the reason why, and it sounds cooler to say “I had it killed” than “I noticed something and brought it up to an authority figure”.

The reason is simple: All that data about how non-francophones in Montreal drink is based on sample sizes of 30-40 people, which is laughably small for any survey. None of the conclusions on the difference between language groups could be taken seriously, and without that data there’s really no story here.

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Posted in Radio, TV

CBC Daybreak on TV: Slightly enhanced radio makes for awful television

Host Mike Finnerty, right, with sports reporter Andie Bennett in the Daybreak studio.

Host Mike Finnerty, right, in the Daybreak studio.

For almost two weeks now, CBC has been broadcasting an hour of Montreal radio morning show Daybreak on television, with cameras installed in the radio studio. Managing Director Shelagh Kinch explains a bit how it works on her blog. But basically, a handful of cameras are set up in the studio that allow us to see the people on the air as they’re speaking. Because the cameras are voice-activated, the switching happens without the need for human intervention (i.e. without needing to hire someone for it).

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Posted in Radio

91.9 Sport launches with lots of talk, but no sports

Four years after CKAC abandoned its all-sports format, leaving Canada’s largest French-language market without an all-sports radio station in that language, RNC Media’s 91.9 FM officially became 91.9 Sport this morning at 6am. And it made clear that it sees itself as a natural successor to the former CKAC Sports, even though CKAC is owned by its competitor Cogeco Diffusion.

Here’s what the first couple of minutes sounded like today:

RNC announced the format change two months ago, after concluding that talk format “Radio 9” had done about as well as its predecessor “Radio X”.

With the launch, we get some more details about programming. The basics:

  • Live talk shows from 6am to 7pm
  • Repeats (highlights) of the day’s shows from 7pm to midnight
  • Rock music on weekends, 10am to 6pm

The schedule is very similar to what Radio X/9 had before it, and shows that they’re really focusing on daytime audience right now.

No announcements have been made concerning live sports programming. Rights to Canadiens and Alouettes games are held exclusively by Cogeco’s 98.5 FM, which also airs select Impact games. 91.9 Sport could pick up other Impact games, similar to what TVA Sports did when it first started, as well as non-local sports like NFL games. But it doesn’t look like this is a priority for the station.

Some people have been asking how you can have an all-sports radio station without broadcasting rights to live sports, as if this spells immediate doom. But 91.9 isn’t trying to compete during the evenings or weekends, it’s going after daytime audiences that used to listen to CKAC, and daytime at all-sports stations is about talk.

Sure, being the official broadcaster brings prestige and access, but it’s not a dealbreaker. TTP Media, which still plans to launch its own French all-sports station at 850 AM someday, came to the same conclusion: it’s the discussion that matters, not the play-by-play.

The host lineup is as follows:

  • 6-10am: Du sport … le matin! (Michel Langevin and Enrico Ciccone): The return of Langevin to morning radio is probably the clearest link with the old CKAC. He’s joined by former NHLer Ciccone, who like Langevin has been a frequent panelist on shows like 110%.
  • 10am-noon: Langevin en prolongation (Michel Langevin): More Langevin. This guy is going to be on air for six straight hours a day.
  • noon-1pm: Jean-Charles le midi (Jean-Charles Lajoie): One of the Radio 9 personalities to keep his job, Lajoie hosts both the noon show and the drive-home show, but gets a break in between at least.
  • 1-3pm: Laraque et Gonzalez (Georges Laraque and Stéphane Gonzalez): Pairing the former Canadiens enforcer with a numbers guy could be interesting, or could end up as an awkward failure.
  • 3-7pm: Jean-Charles en liberté (Jean-Charles Lajoie): The second half of the Lajoie shift. Langevin and Lajoie alone cover 11 of the 13 hours of daily broadcasts on this station.
  • 7pm-midnight: Les faits saillants: The best moments from the day, condensed, the station’s website promises
  • Weekends, 10am-6pm: Le garage (Jeff Paquet): Like 98.5, 91.9 mainly puts music on weekends.

Add to the list of hosts several regular collaborators, including Michel Villeneuve, Réjean Tremblay, Yvon Pedneault, Daniel Brière, plus non-hockey contributors Étienne Boulay (football), Valérie Tétrault (tennis), Serge Touchette (baseball) and Olivier Brett (soccer).

If you want to get a better idea of 91.9’s on-air team, there’s a half-hour montage posted here, and a “mot du producteur” posted here.


Posted in TV

Shakeup in management at City Montreal: Jeffrey Feldman out, Renato Zane in

Updated with comments from Feldman

Jeffrey Feldman, right, takes a picture of the Breakfast Television cast at a fall upfront event in June 2014.

Jeffrey Feldman, right, takes a picture of the Breakfast Television cast at a fall upfront event in June 2014.

A year after its founding executive producer, Bob Babinski, decided to quit to pursue freelance production work, City Montreal has parted ways with Breakfast Television’s supervising producer, Jeffrey Feldman.

Feldman, who worked as a Montreal producer for Bell Media’s eTalk and Fashion Television before joining City in 2013, is no longer with the company, a Rogers Media spokesperson confirmed.

Staff at City Montreal are tight-lipped about Feldman’s departure, referring me to corporate PR in Toronto.

UPDATE: I finally got in touch with Feldman himself. He insists his departure is amicable.

“It was just time to move on,” he said.

He’s considering moving back to his hometown of Toronto, where his family is, but is also considering an offer in Montreal. In the meantime, he’s taking his first real vacation in three years.

But Feldman says he enjoyed his time at City. “It was an amazing two years,” he said.

He said he turned off his Twitter account because he no longer needed it for work, and he didn’t think there was much there anyway.

As for why there was no on-air goodbye or social media well wishes from his colleagues, Feldman noted that he believes “producers’ jobs are supposed to be behind the camera” and he never wanted to draw attention to himself on air.

I guess that makes sense, but it’s still odd that no one has commented on his departure. Feldman mentioned that “I’ve always kept my professional relationships professional”, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t friends with the staff.

He also has only kind words for Renato Zane, the new executive producer (see below), calling him a great guy.

Renato Zane

Renato Zane

Zane, formerly director of news and current affairs at OMNI, has actually been working here for some time now. I met him (and took his photo) in April, and the decision for him to come here had been made, but Rogers wanted me not to reveal his new post until it was official. For some reason that took months.

Zane, who fills Babinski’s former job, admitted he’s new to Montreal, which is a stark contrast to most of the staff at the station, who have strong roots in this city. But he is eager to learn.

On Wednesday, Breakfast Television marked its second anniversary.

Antenna work

People watching City Montreal over the air have been noticing reception issues. Says Rogers: “We are currently in the process of returning the tower to our engineering standards, a long-term solution that will improve both the quality of our signal and its over-the-air reception by viewers; we hope to have these repairs completed very soon.”

City Montreal (CJNT-DT) broadcasts from a small tower next to the CBC Mount Royal antenna tower, which is undergoing its own maintenance this summer. Its lower height and 4kW power have made it more difficult to receive than other Montreal stations.