News about news
- A Canadian parliamentary committee is looking into the state of the news media, and heard from some powerful and not-so-powerful players in it, like the Toronto Star and iPolitics. One of the recurring themes is unfair competition from the CBC.
- CNN hired BuzzFeed’s political investigative reporting team
- The Globe and Mail is spending an entire hockey season reliving the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup — 50 years ago. It includes a special Twitter account reliving the season.
- Speaking of the Globe, it also has a new Facebook Messenger chat bot answering questions about the U.S. election.
- And another story about the Globe: CBC News reports that it got suckered into a “stealth marketing campaign” by a drug company by accepting an interview with a celebrity (This Hour Has 22 Minutes’s Cathy Jones) and writing a story about it without disclosing the company’s financial interest. The Globe edited the story online to add that, and Public Editor Sylvia Stead published a story noting that journalists should ask who PR firms pitching interviews are working for.
- Jean-François Lisée, who has a real shot at becoming the next leader of the Parti Québécois, wants to have local newscasts on Télé-Québec stations. (Of course he doesn’t say how he wants to pay for it.) He’s also proposing to make membership in the Quebec Press Council mandatory, though it’s unclear what kind of punishment there would be for refusing.
- Postmedia (my employer) has laid off all the journalists at 24 Hours Vancouver.
- The FPJQ is looking for a new president. Meanwhile, it announced it will award its Prix Hommage to former Le Devoir journalist Lise Bissonnette.
- Halifax’s The Coast is starting a new long-form journalism outlet called The Deep, in the form of an online magazine. They’re starting off with a crowdfunding campaign.
- A giant merger between U.S. newspaper chain owners Gannett and Tronc has been rumoured for days now.
- The International New York Times is pulling out of France.
- The owner of the Daily Mail is cutting more than 400 jobs.
At the CRTC
- A couple of interesting new applications in this notice. Bloomberg TV Canada, which is owned by Channel Zero (the company behind CHCH Hamilton, Silver Screen Classics, Rewind and some porn channels they don’t talk about), has passed the 200,000 subscriber mark which means they’re no longer eligible for exemption from licensing. The application is unremarkable except for two points: It asks to be required to broadcast only 25% Canadian content during its first licensed year, rather than the standard 35% (it argues that for independent channels, that 35% requirement is being phased in). The commission also had concerns that the program supply agreement with Bloomberg means Channel Zero doesn’t really control the programming. CZ says that’s not true, but the details of its answer (and even some of the questions) are redacted in the public file.
- The notice also contains new applications for radio stations in:
- Mount Pearl, N.L. (100kW Christian music FM station replacing the existing AM station VOAR)
- Saint John, N.B. (860W Christian music FM)
- Simcoe, Ont. (18kW classic hits FM owned by My Broadcasting Corp.)
- Peace River, Alta. (100kW hot country FM, replacing AM station CKYL and its existing FM retransmitter on the same frequency) — the same company is also proposing a power increase for CKKX-FM, KIX 106.1.
- Mount Jubilee, Yukon (482W CBC Radio One retransmitter owned by the Yukon government, but licensed to an employee since the law says a licence cannot be given to a government body)
— Troy Reeb (@troyreebglobal) October 3, 2016
- There’s a court battle brewing between Bell Media and a small television provider called VMedia. VMedia distributes licensed television services using an Internet-based platform, and got the idea of using an app on Roku. Because it’s not a private, managed network (like Fibe TV uses), VMedia can’t distribute some services without permission, but it believes it can distribute over-the-air stations this way. Bell believes it can’t, and so they’re both going to court. This case could have major implications for television service delivered over the Internet. Coverage from Cartt.ca and the Globe and Mail.
- Global TV announced some impressive ratings for (U.S.) premiere week, showing it had the top-rated show and seven of the top 10. Two of them are new series, and two of them have NCIS in their names. If this continues, Global could make a run at being the top-rated Canadian TV network in primetime for the first time in many years. Numeris has the rest of the top 30, which shows CTV has 11 of the top 20.
- CBC debuted its new daytime show The Goods this week. It’s yet another daytime panel talk show with “The” in its name. Unlike The View and its many ripoffs, there are cooking, fashion, beauty and other (women-focused) lifestyle segments, but the main focus of the show seems to be the personal lives of its hosts. I have no idea what element of the CBC’s mandate is served by this show. Most of it is not informative, entertaining or enlightening.
- CBC delayed the premiere of new sitcom Kim’s Convenience by a week because of the Blue Jays wild-card game on Sportsnet.
- HBO Canada has the first episode of new show Westworld on free preview online.
- Quebec’s cinema awards are looking for a new name (they were called the Jutra awards until we discovered that the guy they were named after was a pedophile). They’re doing a public survey to choose between two options: Iris and Lumi.
- Internet and satellite television service was disrupted for many people on Sunday after a mysterious problem with a satellite in orbit. It affected Northwestel customers in the north as well as Shaw Direct satellite subscribers. It was fixed the next day.
- There was some controversy out of Radio-Canada’s Tout le monde en parle on Sunday, after a journalist said conventional cancer treatment doesn’t work, and another talked about research he had done that seems to show that psychics are real. In neither case was there really any challenge to these statements from the hosts or other guests.
- Viceland UK is still struggling in the ratings, although its limited distribution (exclusively on Sky) explains part of it.
- CBC is hiring a videojournalist in Sherbrooke to cover the Eastern Townships in English.
- Joel North was fired (or resigned) from his job as an announcer on Coast 101.1 FM in St. John’s after tweeting “you’d get more viewers if you were stripping” to a woman who was streaming herself playing Overwatch. He doubled down, saying it was a joke and there’s nothing wrong with being a stripper.
- A documentary on the Radio Canada International shortwave transmission site in Sackville, N.B., is complete and has had its first screening at a film festival. No word on if it’s coming to Montreal, where RCI’s studios are located. You can see clips and teasers from it here.
- TVO’s Steve Paikin has an interview with the owner of two radio stations in northern Ontario who has dramatically reduced his transmitters’ electricity bill by installing a wind turbine.
- Dozens of employees who will be losing their jobs at shomi have posted their contact info on a website in case people are looking for qualified workers who launched an online video platform.
- CBC is launching an opinion site on CBC.ca, led by Robyn Urback. Because if the Internet needs one thing, it’s more opinions.
- Netflix has a new deal with movie theatres to screen original movies as they debut on Netflix.
News about people
— Laura Casella (@La_Casella) October 3, 2016
- Laura Casella debuted as the new host of Global Montreal’s Morning News on Monday.
- Terry Milewsky’s retirement tour continues. Here’s 10 minutes on him from CBC News Network.
- Global News journalist Monique Muise (a former colleague at the Gazette) is now a politics feature writer
- The New York Times on the civil war in right-wing media in the United States caused by Donald Trump’s campaign
- Tamy Emma Pepin on the continuing lack of diversity on television and in Quebec media in general
- Mario Girard on how Quebec’s star system is leading to an unwarranted attempt to Hollywoodize the way we treat celebrities
- The Toronto Star has an excerpt from Star journalist Kevin Donovan’s book about Jian Ghomeshi, focused on what happened the weekend he was fired. The Walrus has a different excerpt, about Jesse Brown coming to the Star, as well as a piece by Jonathan Kay praising Donovan’s journalism.