Media news digest: CRTC lawsuits, hockey schedules and RIP Bob McDevitt

Every day I come across lots of news stories about the media, and tidbits of information that don’t justify their own separate blog post here. Most of these I’ve been sharing on Twitter (which can be seen on the sidebar), but not everyone will catch stuff there, and sometimes it helps to have just a bit more than 140 characters to give context.

So I’m going to try something new: Once a week (I’m trying Wednesdays at noon for now), I’ll round up all the stuff I’ve seen in one post. That way you can be relatively sure you didn’t miss anything unless I did too.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of every media story out there, but it’s most of what I’ve seen and found interesting. Let me know what you think, and of course if you see anything, let me know by email or on Twitter.

At the CRTC

  • The Globe and Mail has a good feature story on Jean-Pierre Blais, the chair of the CRTC (for subscribers only). It interviews him and discusses his controversial leadership style, which has rubbed many the wrong way (and resulted in one fellow commissioner being fired and filing lawsuits) but also earned him praise as someone willing to stand up for consumers and ensure the commission’s integrity and relevance.
  • Meanwhile, the Raj Shoan saga continues. The dismissed CRTC commissioner, who won a legal case challenging a biased report that accuses him of harassing a member of the CRTC staff, has lost a bid at an injunction to force him back to work. (The judge said there is not enough evidence of irreparable harm if Shoan has to wait until the case is decided.) Meanwhile, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations and Community Media Advocacy Centre have written an open letter to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly to demand she rescind her decision to unappoint Shoan.
  • In other suing-the-CRTC news, Bell has lost a case appealing the commission’s decision over ad substitution during the Super Bowl. But only because the policy had not been official yet and so the court ruled the case was premature. The official policy change is now official, so Bell will file another case.
  • And CRTC commissioner Linda Vennard got her knuckles rapped for accepting flowers and chocolate from a group that’s part of a competitive process for a new radio station licence in Edmonton.
  • MuchRetro, the only channel that needed CRTC approval for its sale to Stingray because it had enough subscribers to require a licence, now no longer needs that approval. It dropped below 200,000 subscribers (mainly, I believe, because it was dropped by Videotron) and can now be exempt from licensing and sold at will. The CRTC has consequently revoked its licence. Stingray has already acquired MuchLoud, MuchVibe and Juicebox, which it has rebranded. M3, formerly MuchMoreMusic, has been shut down and its place on TV systems replaced with Gusto, the food channel brand that Bell Media recently acquired. (See below.)
  • The CRTC has officially changed its policy to say that CTV Two Atlantic, which is a satellite-to-cable station and not a conventional television station, can be carried on basic cable under its new “skinny basic” regime.

News about news

News about people

TV and radio

Good reads

Upcoming events


Finally, I was on Canadaland Short Cuts last week. You can listen to me talk about Peter Mansbridge, CanCon and the CRTC here. And the edited-out clip where I make fun of his sponsor’s ad here. During that show, I note this Huffington Post story about Sophie Grégoire Trudeau “recycling” an outfit.

4 thoughts on “Media news digest: CRTC lawsuits, hockey schedules and RIP Bob McDevitt

  1. Media Man

    Good idea, but a bit long or packed, but I guess it’ll be a bit shorter with a regular weekly flow.

    I’m surprised you haven’t picked up that Laura Casella late of BT has been lured away to replace Camille Ross at Global mornings.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Good idea, but a bit long or packed, but I guess it’ll be a bit shorter with a regular weekly flow.

      Most of these stories are just the past week. But early September is a busier than usual time for news.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      You aren’t convinced that podcasts are a long-term thing? They’ve only been around for over a decade.

      And will probably continue to be for many years to come. I’m just not convinced that the business model is as sustainable as some people think it is.


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