Shaw Media plans new national all-news channel called Global News 1

Buried deep within its 30,000-word submission to the CRTC as part of its Let’s Talk TV consultation process, Shaw Media dropped this little bombshell:

There are other means of fostering local programming through market-based innovations. Global News has been a market-leader in the adoption of news gathering and production practices that maximize efficiency while preserving local voices. Building on its leadership role as a local news service, Shaw will submit an application to the Commission for a new hybrid local/national, English-language, Category C specialty programming undertaking to be known as Global News 1, a service that will expand and diversify the amount of news and information-related programming in the Canadian broadcasting system. There is no specialty news service that currently provides such a service in this country, namely the provision of uniquely local reflection.

The submission provides no other details on this proposed service, including what exactly it means by “hybrid local/national”. I’ve asked to get more details, but everyone’s out of the office for Canada Day. (UPDATE: Canadian Press got an official no comment from Shaw.)

Category C is the category that the CRTC has established for all-news channels that compete directly with each other under common conditions of licence. CBC News Network, CTV News Channel, Sun News Network, RDI and LCN are all licensed under that category. (CP24, BNN and others are in a different category.)

Shaw Media already has a regional all-news channel, Global News BC 1, which operates in British Columbia, where Global has strong ratings and Shaw Cable is the dominant cable provider. It’s not clear if this new service would replace BC 1 or be complementary to it.

An application for such a channel would go through the regular CRTC process, which would take months at a minimum, so don’t expect this kind of channel on air this fall.

This channel, like CTV and CBC, would undoubtedly rely on sharing resources with the newsrooms of local television stations. Global’s TV network has stations in Vancouver, Kelowna, B.C., Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Saint John, N.B., and Halifax, with an affiliate in Thunder Bay. Shaw also owns CJBN-TV in Kenora, Ont., which doesn’t brand itself as a Global station.

Add in the resources of Global National, The West Block and other national news programs, and this kind of channel makes sense, though it might be a bit western-focused (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). If it’s similar to BC 1, we could see a mix of national and local news presented on screen 24/7 along with local weather and other graphics.

(Hat tip to this Channel Canada forum post, which first spotted the paragraph in the submission.)

UPDATE (July 4): This story has gotten its first mainstream attention now that Canadian Press has spotted it. That story is being picked up by CTV, HuffPost, Toronto Star, Financial Post, La Presse and others.

4 thoughts on “Shaw Media plans new national all-news channel called Global News 1

  1. Stéphane Dumas

    First time I post here. ^^;

    I’m a bit sceptical about this. CityTV tried it with CityNews but closed its door 2 years later. I wonder, even if it’s for the moment a far-fetched theory, we might see an amalgation or mergers of tv stations/network in Canada in a more long-term like the WB and UPI merged to form CW in the United States? I could imagine for example, a merge of CTV news with Global news to form CTG (for CTV-Global) news if the economic context could be more harder then they thaught.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I could imagine for example, a merge of CTV news with Global news to form CTG (for CTV-Global) news if the economic context could be more harder then they thaught.

      Neither the CRTC nor the Competition Bureau is likely to approve such a merger unless the situation in broadcasting changes radically. When CTV bought CHUM Ltd. in 2007, the CRTC ordered that it sell the Citytv network (CTV had originally proposed keeping Citytv and selling CHUM’s “A Channel” stations instead).

      And since Global and CTV stations generally operate in the same markets, a more likely scenario is that eventually Global’s business model fails and it shuts down its network. But I doubt that happens any time soon.

      1. Stéphane Dumas

        It could be interesting to imagine a “what if?” scenario about what if the CRTC allowed CTV to keep CityTV and selling CHUM’s A-Channel?

  2. Pingback: Global would add “local newsroom” in Quebec City as part of Global News 1 plan | Fagstein

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