News about news
- VICE News explains how the RCMP is manipulating the news media to support its campaign to get more legal powers for online surveillance.
- Doc Mailloux bragged about the huge settlement he got from La Presse in a libel case. Now La Presse is threatening to sue for violating a gag order on that settlement.
- The Associated Press has clarified how it makes use of the term “alt-right”.
- The stories of Yellowknife reporter John MacFadden’s dealings with authorities are getting more numerous. CBC reports on a 2013 incident where he was manhandled by a member of the courthouse staff.
At the CRTC
- Aboriginal Voices Radio, the organization that ran radio stations in major cities that were to target indigenous Canadians in urban communities, has lost its case at the Federal Court of Appeal to have it reverse a CRTC decision revoking its licences for blatant violation of its conditions of licence. This clears the way for the commission to order the stations off the air and proceed with applications from other groups to launch new indigenous stations on those frequencies in those cities. The decision says the CRTC has received 12 applications from five groups for new stations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa.
- The CRTC has approved two new ethnic radio stations in Vancouver/Surrey (one AM, one FM) and an FM retransmitter in Surrey of an existing Vancouver ethnic station.
- The commission has published an application by Sirius XM Canada Inc. for change of ownership. Sirius XM (U.S.), John Bitove (via Obelysk Media) and Slaight Communications remain the main shareholders, but the CBC’s stake would be bought out. The total cost of the transaction is $236.4 million.
- CHIN 1540 AM in Toronto has applied to convert its FM retransmitter at 91.9 FM into its own separate station, with 42 hours of simulcast programming but 84 hours of local programming.
- The CRTC has approved a minor relocation of the FM retransmitter for Montreal ethnic station CHOU (Radio Moyen-Orient) on 104.5 FM.
- The CRTC is giving itself an extra year (so until August 2018) to deal with licence renewals for several independent television services, including Super Channel, Family Channel, Évasion, Silver Screen Classics, Explora, Télémagino, Rewind, Wild TV, Playmen, NTV in St. John’s, CFTV-DT in Leamington, Ont., and some ethnic channels. This will bring their licences in line with other CBC and independent services so that new conditions of licence can be implemented for all of them at the same time.
- The CBC board has approved a bid by the group Broccolini to build a new Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal. The new building, to be built by 2020, would sit at the René-Lévesque Blvd./Papineau Ave. corner of its current lot, across the street from the Bell Media radio and CTV/RDS buildings. The 43-year-old tower would be kept but repurposed, and remaining land (mostly the giant parking lot) developed into housing.
- The CBC has heard everyone say it should stop competing with private broadcasters, and says it’s willing to go ad-free. But only if it gets an extra $400 million or so from the government to compensate for revenue losses and fill in the extra programming. More details of the CBC’s proposals are posted here. TVA has already come out and called the proposal “bewildering”.
- The CBC has published its quarterly financial report (PDF). It shows increases in both revenues and expenses mainly related to broadcasting the 2016 Olympics. There was also a $1 million drop in revenue from subscriptions to specialty channels (CBC News, RDI, ARTV, Explora and Documentary).
- Corus’s W Network has greenlit a new The Bachelor Canada, based on the success of The Bachelorette Canada. No mention is made of the previous The Bachelor Canada, which produced two unsuccessful relationships over two seasons on City TV.
- The Cooking Channel, which launches Dec. 12 (as a rebrand of W Movies), has announced programming highlights. The channel will be available on most providers.
- The first leg of the Montreal-Toronto MLS Eastern Conference final set a record as the most-watched MLS game in TSN history, almost doubling the previous record, which was the Montreal-Toronto playoff game last year.
- Videotron looks to finally add The Comedy Network and CTV News Channel in high definition (though only for subscribers with next-generation Illico boxes), according to illicotech.com. Others are MTV Canada, E!, Gusto, Nickelodeon Canada, Treehouse and Haiti HD. There are still some more it could upgrade, like TVO, BNN and MSNBC, but Comedy and CTV News, both owned by Bell Media, were probably the most in demand.
- A man has been arrested in connection with the arson at CPAM Radio Union (CJWI 1410 AM) in Montreal.
- Rogers has let its staff — and the public — know what’s happening to its French consumer magazines. It’s keeping Châtelaine, though like its English counterpart it will go down to only six issues a year. L’actualité is in the midst of a sale process. And it couldn’t find a buyer for LouLou, so that magazine is shutting down in both languages. About 60 employees will lose their jobs, though some of those could be rehired if L’actualité is sold. Rogers is meeting with staff at English magazines today (including Maclean’s) to detail staff cuts on that side.
- The National Post is reducing unsigned editorials to once a week. Several staff are leaving the paper as part of larger Postmedia cuts. They include Damon van der Linde, the Financial Post reporter based in Montreal.
- Sean Craig points out how Postmedia’s parliamentary bureau has about 1/10 the staff it had at the turn of the millennium. (And that’s not including the former Sun Media staff now part of Postmedia.)
- With serious cuts at Postmedia bringing down morale, people were not amused at news that executives got hundreds of thousands of dollars of retention bonuses. Two unions representing Postmedia employees said they should give those bonuses back.
- This critique of movie accents is really good and worth watching.
- The Internet Archive, the folks behind the WayBack machine, want to mirror their library in Canada now that Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States.
- Média Boutique, which works on a business model started at Voir in which businesses buy ads through gift cards that media then sell to consumers at discounted rates, is growing its client base. It has signed with V and RNC Media.
- The Globe and Mail is moving to peer moderation of website comments in a bid to keep them civil. Peer moderation can be useful in reducing spam and hateful comments, but it also risks imposing the bias of the majority and encouraging group-think.
- Huffington Post Canada has effectively shut down its B.C. bureau.
- Narcity, the group behind MTL Blog and its spinoffs, has opened a new one in Boston.
- Netflix is making some of its content available for offline download.
— Janet Wilson (@JanetDWilson) November 29, 2016
News about people
- Tom Clark, host of Global’s The West Block, is leaving journalism Jan. 1. The press release seems careful not to call it a retirement, and Clark says there will be an announcement about his future in January.
- Pierre-Elliott Levasseur has been named the new president of La Presse. Guy Crevier remains publisher, but will take a step back from day-to-day management. François Pouliot examines the state of La Presse amid this transition.
- Susan Schwartz has ended her lifestyle column in the Montreal Gazette with a final goodbye. She’s still with the paper, writing news and features. There’s no formal list of columns cut by the paper, but Doug Camilli, The Watchers, Applause, Monday Calendar and Tip Sheet are among those that will no longer appear.
- J-Source is compiling a list of people at the Globe and Mail who took buyouts.
- Hugo Meunier has left La Presse to become head of digital content at the Journal de Montréal. This reverses a trend of pre-lockout JdeM staff eventually finding jobs at La Presse.
- Maureen Holloway, a former Montreal radio host who still contributes to CHOM FM in the morning, has left Corus’s Q107 to join Rogers’s CHFI-FM. Unusual for someone quitting for a competitor, she was permitted to say goodbye to her listeners on Q107.
- Dave Rogers, a former Ottawa Citizen reporter, was found dead with his wife. Their son has been charged with murder.
- More news about specific people cut at Postmedia should come this week as the deadline for responses to buyout applications passes. Some Citizen staff like Ian MacLeod, Janet Wilson and Jason Fekete announced their departures already on Twitter.
- Jane Lytvynenko, formerly of Canadaland, will now join the ranks of BuzzFeed.
- BuzzFeed on how single moms in Britain have found a business model selling their stories about making money out of the social safety net.
- Robert Gibbens, journalist including a contributor to the Montreal Gazette’s business section and Financial Post up until the age of 89. No formal obituary, but a nice tribute from his granddaughter, Tina Gibbens-Tenneriello.
- Communications officer, CBC Montreal (deadline: Dec. 4)
- Journalist (temporary), 98.5 FM (deadline: Dec. 9)
- Bourse AJIQ-Rogers (deadline: Feb. 13)