News about news
- Facebook is trying to address its fake news problem in part by working with third parties (including Associated Press) to flag stories that are disputed by reputable sources. This wouldn’t block or delete links to them, but would make sure users are aware that the facts are disputed before they’re shared.
- Ryerson University is hosting an academic conference on local news next June.
- Canadaland reveals CBC is posting sponsored content to its website, and hasn’t perfected the wall between that and news.
At the CRTC
- The CRTC has approved the acquisition of Manitoba’s MTS by Bell. The CRTC decision concerns only the MTS television provider licence, and an associated licence for its video-on-demand programming, so this approval was expected. The bigger part of the acquisition is MTS’s wireless network and other telecom services. Those don’t require approval by the CRTC, but they do need to be approved by the government, which is now the last step in the approval process for this $3.9-billion deal.
- Various forces are trying last-ditch political efforts to get the CRTC to reverse its decision on simultaneous substitution during the Super Bowl, which is just over a month away. They include an anonymous website being promoted by unions (possibly connected to ACTRA?) urging Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly to take action.
- As NBC prepares to switch its Boston programming from an affiliate to a new owned-and-operated station on Jan. 1, the CRTC has approved the latter for distribution in Canada, so Canadian providers using Boston as their source of U.S. over-the-air networks can make the switch as well. The soon-to-be-former NBC affiliate, WHDH, will fill its schedule with lots of local news, game shows (Family Feud in particular) and filler programming.
- The commission’s final decisions of 2016 come out today at 4pm (the big one is its decision on basic telecommunications services).
- Rogers has scrapped an in-house IPTV project and has decided to adopt one being developed by Comcast, and taking a half-billion-dollar writedown in the process. Experts say it’s the right decision, but should have been made a long time ago. Switching from classic digital cable to IPTV would allow Rogers to have features that Bell Fibe now offers, like rewinding live TV channels you weren’t watching, or cloud-based PVRs.
- Bell Media has greenlit an animated version of Corner Gas. 13 half-hour episodes, to air sometime in the 2017-18 season. The original cast will voice the characters, though they have to cast for Emma in light of actress Janet Wright’s death.
- The Canadian Press reviews the year in online streaming services, and notes that the launch of Amazon Prime Video in Canada has been a disappointment in terms of content selection so far.
- Télé-Québec is bringing back its acclaimed hospital documentary show De Garde 24/7, with new doctors, who all seem to be young and attractive, but that’s probably just a coincidence.
- CBC is airing the P.K. Subban Just For Laughs gala, taped just a month after he was traded to the Nashville Predators, on Jan. 2.
- Terry DiMonte and Ted Bird did a Christmas podcast together, during which they talk about things like DiMonte’s decision to leave CHOM for a job in Calgary. Nostalgic radio listeners are already clamouring for them to be permanently reunited again. Don’t hold your breath. (UPDATE: It’s been taken down because Bell Media wasn’t happy with it, according to Bird.)
- Still no news out of TTP Media, but the on-air message on CFNV 940 AM has changed. And Industry Canada’s database no longer lists the station as on-air testing.
— Affan Chowdhry (@affanchowdhry) December 18, 2016
- BazzoMag, the tablet magazine that came out of Marie-France Bazzo’s cancelled Bazzo.tv, has (like the TV series) been shut down for failure to attract enough revenue that isn’t a subsidy or grant.
News about people
— Don Macpherson (@DMacpGaz) December 17, 2016
- Alexandre Despatie, who was let go from Breakfast Television Montreal a year ago and had a temporary job with Radio-Canada’s Olympic coverage this summer, was hired as a fill-in host on CKOI’s afternoon show. The station says it would like to keep him in some capacity going forward.
- More Postmedia buyout announcements include Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun. The Montreal Gazette is losing provincial politics columnist Don Macpherson (though he will write weekly as a freelancer) and business reporter Paul Delean (whose weekly Tax Strategy and monthly Gazette Portfolio columns are being retired as well).
- Keith Leslie is retiring as Queen’s Park correspondent for The Canadian Press.
- Producteur(trice) associé(e), Vice (Montreal) (deadline: Jan. 6)
- Bourse AJIQ-Rogers (deadline: Feb. 13)
Happy holidays, folks. I’m assuming little news will break over the holidays, so I might take a break from this as well until January. If something crazy happens, though, I won’t be away from my Twitter for long.