Happy World Press Freedom Day!
News about news
- Nominees for the Michener Award were announced Monday. The award, for public service journalism, is probably the most prestigious in Canadian journalism because (1) only one is given out a year, and (2) it’s given out by the governor-general at a fancy ceremony. The finalists are:
- CBC/Radio-Canada and Toronto Star for the Panama Papers investigation
- The Globe and Mail for reporting on real estate practices in British Columbia
- The London Free Press for a two-year investigation into a man’s death
- The National Observer for investigations into the National Energy Board that resulted in a panel resigning after meeting with Jean Charest
- La Presse for reporting into video lottery terminals
- The Toronto Star for reporting on Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit
- CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition retracted a documentary it aired on Sunday about an ex-convict making good after they learned she downplayed her criminal past (and they didn’t double-check it)
- The Journal de Montréal lost in court, failing to convince a judge to quash an order allowing police to seize a reporter’s laptop. They plan to appeal.
- Journalists at the Boston Herald are pissed after a reporter was suspended for tweeting a scoop without management approval.
- There’s some disagreement over whether Pierre Karl Péladeau’s visit to his company’s National Assembly bureau is to encourage them to be more aggressive against the government he used to oppose as PQ leader, or simply following a tradition of a boss personally meeting his employees. Regardless of spin, it’s clear that a former political party leader running a large news media company makes things awkward. Quebecor’s beefing up of its National Assembly bureau could be seen as a great investment, or a way for Péladeau to help the party he used to lead by increasing the number of embarrassing stories about the government. And the Liberals are not-so-subtly pushing that idea.
At the CRTC
- He’s baaack! After he won a court challenge to the government’s decision to fire him as a CRTC commissioner (which was itself partly based on a report that was also overturned by a judge), Raj Shoan is once again listed on the CRTC website as the commissioner for Ontario. To say things will be awkward between him and chairperson Jean-Pierre Blais is an understatement, but presumably both will attempt to be professional about it. The judge’s decision wasn’t a complete victory for Shoan, and some of his actions (like meeting with groups that have business before the CRTC) are “troubling”, so another review could still find cause for his dismissal. Or maybe Blais just minimizes his involvement (the chairperson decides who sits on any panels, and Blais did not choose Shoan for anything important) until his term is up next year. (Assuming Blais is re-appointed — his own term ends sooner.)
- CBC Quebec held its biannual public consultation on Tuesday. The video is here if you want to watch it.
- The commission has approved the privatization of Sirius XM Canada. The biggest issue for the commission was determining whether the transaction, which would see the CBC sell its shares and three groups (including Sirius XM U.S.) have minority stakes in the company, is considered a change in effective control. The CRTC determined that yes, it is, which means a 6% tax on the value of the transaction to fund Canadian content development. That works out to $29 million, to be paid out over seven years.
- CBC/Radio-Canada has asked the CRTC for permission to move its Radio One and ICI Première transmitters in Timmins, Ont., from a tower north of the city to its old TV tower much closer. It would be able to cover the same area better by using a higher antenna at lower power.
- The commission said no to a proposal by Vista Radio to change the licence for CJLT-FM in Medicine Hat, Alta., so it could move from its Christian music programming to more mainstream indie/alternative music. The commission found that the change would have an undue financial impact on existing stations in the market.
- Global Montreal is pushing something it’s calling Greater Montreal Day on May 11, promoting acts of kindness. This is modelled after a similar thing that Global Toronto did.
- The major vertically integrated companies have started redirecting money from community television channels in major cities to over-the-air local TV stations, now that the CRTC has given them the power to do so. Shaw TV will close in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton to divert money to Corus’s Global TV stations, and Rogers is doing the same with Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Toronto, and Brampton, Ont., redirecting funds to City TV. Other Rogers TV stations will also see cuts.
- The Writers Guild of America has reached a deal with studios to avert a writers’ strike that would have made TV and movies even more awful.
- CTV has greenlit a new Canadian detective series called The Detail. The series will also air on the Ion network in the U.S., the over-the-air network known for mostly running reruns of shows from better networks.
- Bell’s food channel Gusto has announced three new Canadian series.
- City has announced a bunch of awful-sounding reality shows being added to its schedule this summer.
- Global has also announced its summer lineup. Canadian drama Private Eyes returns May 25 for a second season.
- The Handmaid’s Tale, the Hulu series based on the Margaret Atwood novel, has been renewed for a second season. The series airs on Bravo in Canada, which aired the first two episodes on Sunday.
- Two kids walked onto the stage during a live broadcast of Radio-Canada’s Les Échangistes on Monday. We don’t know what they were trying to do other than get attention, but it doesn’t look like it was tied to the May Day protests happening at the same time. They were quickly shooed away.
- There’s more drama at K103 in Kahnawake. Four of the five board members resigned on the same day last week, leaving only Lance Delisle in charge. The people resigning gave various reasons, which they did not elaborate on, but it’s clear that at least some of them are fed up of whatever conflicts are going on at the station. Unfortunately we don’t have details because the people involved aren’t talking.
- An entry in the Industry Canada broadcasting database has appeared for CFGL-HD, which means that Montreal’s Rythme FM station expects to begin using HD Radio soon. Station owner Cogeco Media also owns CKAC 730 AM, so an FM HD rebroadcast of Radio Circulation seems likely. Other possible uses include a niche music channel or a spillover channel for 98.5FM’s sports coverage. Cogeco also indicated to the CRTC that a move of CKOI-FM to the Mount Royal antenna could allow it to broadcast in HD.
- CKLW 800 AM in Windsor was knocked off the air by a fire at its transmitter site. It quickly took over the transmitter of sister station AM 580 so people could get news-talk programming.
- Major cuts have been announced at Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald and other papers at Fairfax Media.
- Torstar has cut 110 jobs as it announces financial results that include a 19% drop in print ad revenue. Torstar owns the Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator and Metroland community papers.
- Metro papers in English Canada, also owned in part by Torstar, are cutting their size down. Their length will drop from 12.5 to 11.5 inches on Aug. 1.
- The Eastern Door newspaper in Kahnawake won several awards, including best overall newspaper in the under-1500 circulation category, at the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards. It’s “bittersweet” because the Eastern Door is leaving the CCNA. The full list of CCNA winners is here.
- The winners of the inaugural Canadian Magazine Grands Prix were announced.
News about people
Bit of exciting personal news: I'm joining the @mtlgazette as a business reporter. Starting on June 1.
— Jacob Serebrin (@jacobserebrin) May 1, 2017
- Jacob Serebrin has been hired as the new business reporter at the Montreal Gazette, which has been without a business department of any kind since the departure of Paul Delean in December.
- Jennifer Allen, who left CBC Montreal’s Daybreak to do the traffic job at Metro Morning in Toronto, gets a writeup on the CBC Toronto website.
- Journalist Stephanie McBride has left The Gleaner (which was downgraded by Transcontinental to an insert of a French-language newspaper). It’s unclear what this means for the future of that paper.
- CBC veteran Caroline Harvey has been named executive producer of The National. Still no word on who will host it, with less than two months until the departure of Peter Mansbridge.
- La Presse publisher Guy Crevier was honoured in Toronto and La Presse is very proud.
- Power Corporation president André Desmarais is taking a medical leave on advice of his doctor. Power Corp. owns La Presse.
- Carrie Haber, CBC producer behind the new Monteapolis podcast and the Absolutely Quebec series, among other things, is also a musician, and her group Goldfish got a writeup in the Gazette.
- Bernard Drainville is the new Jean Lapierre at 98.5 FM.
- Ryan Seacrest is the new co-host of Live with Kelly
- Digital News Editor, National Post (deadline: May 5)
- Ottawa correspondent for Journal de Québec (deadline: May 9)
- Journalist at CJSO-FM in Sorel-Tracy (deadline: May 12)
- General assignment reporter at Yukon News (deadline: May 19)
- La Presse diversity bursaries and internships (deadline: June 9)
- May 20: Canadaland in Montreal