News about news
- A lawyer who was to work as chief prosecutor in an inquiry into police spying on journalists in Quebec has stepped down after criticism of things he has written that were critical of the media, and in particular La Presse’s Patrick Lagacé, who is central to the issue.
- Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly is worried about fake news online and want to talk to Facebook and Google about it.
- Edmonton police have made an arrest after Sheila Gunn Reid of Ezra Levant’s The Rebel was allegedly assaulted covering the women’s march there.
- Several journalists face felony charges after they were caught up in mass arrests covering protests in Washington, D.C.
At the CRTC
- With the commission’s seats slowly emptying out, the federal government has finally started the process of filling them, posting notices for several jobs: chair, vice-chair broadcasting, and members for Ontario and Manitoba/Saskatchewan. Deadlines to apply are Feb. 20. The non-chair positions say that “With the exception of decision-making responsibilities, Members report to the Chairperson,” which is actually a point under some contention at the moment in a legal appeal by the former Ontario member, Raj Shoan. Chair Jean-Pierre Blais’s term ends this year, but the posting of his position doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be re-appointed.
- The commission has approved the purchase, for $1.5 million, of a majority stake (80.1% of voting shares, 50% of non-voting shares) of World Fishing Network to Keywest Marketing, owned by Canadians Mark Yelic and Hugh McKinnon.
- MAtv has a new English-language series, Studios, Lofts and Jam Spaces, starting Feb. 2.
- Projet J reports on the centralization of newscast production at TVA. It notes that the Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke newscasts can’t be produced simultaneously under the new system, so one is produced live and the other is pretaped an hour earlier (they rotate every two weeks).
- Blue Ant Media’s radX channel officially became a Canadian version of BBC Earth on Tuesday.
- Bell Media’s CraveTV has announced its third original series, What Would Sal Do, launching March 24.
- The FCC’s incentive auction, during which wireless providers bid for frequencies to be reallocated from television in the 600 MHz band, will raise $10 billion to compensate TV broadcasters for changing frequencies, and reassign 84 MHz of TV spectrum.
- Montreal’s MELS Studios will be home to Issues, a fictional series about work at a magazine being produced by NBC Universal. It will air on Freeform (formerly ABC Family) in the U.S.
- CJBN-TV, the Shaw-owned tiny-market TV station in Kenora, Ont., finally shuts down on Friday. Its original programming continues on the Shaw TV community channel in the region.
- How does TV drama deal with a Trump presidency? The New York Times asked some creators.
- A daytime-only AM radio station in Plattsburgh is one of the few stations sticking to a ’50s and ’60s deep-cuts format.
- The Concordian, one of Concordia University’s student newspapers, has a weekly show on CJLO 1690 AM. Here’s their first episode. It helps that the two have offices about 10 feet apart.
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) January 18, 2017
- The Halifax Chronicle-Herald has now been on strike for a full year. A Canadaland story looks at the state of the newspaper and its union.
- Postmedia layoff notices were issued on Tuesday. There are nine jobs being cut at the Montreal Gazette, six at the Ottawa Citizen, and “about six” at the Windsor Star. (iPolitics also has some details.) All this is part of the 20% chainwide payroll cut announced last year, and comes after a buyout package failed to reach the desired number of positions. It will be a while before we know exactly who is leaving (though the Citizen’s Kady O’Malley might be one of the ones affected). The union (which I belong to as a Montreal Gazette unionized employee), unsurprisingly, is unhappy. Meanwhile, other people have announced their departures this week: Susana Mas of the Citizen, Rob Granatstein of Postmedia digital.
- A video from the Toronto Star following a Toronto Star photographer taking pictures of the final days of the Toronto Star printing plant.
- A planned big-budget Star Trek fan fiction project has reached a settlement with CBS and Paramount, who were ready to sue over copyright infringement.
News about people
- Today is Bell Let’s Talk day. I’ve written about it before, the good and the bad and the worrisome. But beyond the financial implications, it’s encouraging a bunch of people to come forward with personal stories. Many of those are Bell Media employees, like Jason Rockman, Andrew Carter, Leslie Roberts, Chris Nilan, Amanda Stein (also at CJLO) and Robyn Flynn.
- Murray Sherriffs stopped by The Jewel 106.7 in Hudson to chat with Ted Bird. He seemed resigned to the idea that he wouldn’t be working in radio again, saying “radio is behind me”.
- Allison Hanes, the new city columnist for the Montreal Gazette, published her first column on Monday, introducing herself.
- FM93 journalist Mathieu Boivin has been named Quebec parliamentary correspondent for Cogeco Nouvelles.
- Rémi Nadeau has been named Quebec parliamentary bureau chief for the Journal de Montréal/Québec. He takes over for Michel Hébert, who is retiring (though he’ll still be contributing regular columns).
- Fiona Conway, executive director of programming for CBC news, has left the company.
- Katie Jensen is leaving her job as producer of Canadaland, where she created more than 100 episodes of the podcast and its sister podcasts.
- A Saturday Night Live writer has been suspended over a bad joke on Twitter about Donald Trump’s youngest son.
- Maclean’s on Ezra Levant and The Rebel
- The Globe and Mail on the Toronto Star, its ownership and the tough questions they’re asking about its future (paywalled)
- Copy editor, Le Devoir (deadline: Jan. 27)
- Indigenous community journalism trainer, Journalists for Human Rights (deadline: Jan. 27)
- Toronto Star summer reporting internship (deadline: Jan. 30)
- Web developer, CBC English services in Toronto (deadline: Jan. 31)
- Bourse AJIQ-Rogers (deadline: Feb. 13)