News about news
- Quebec Liberal minister Rita de Santis has apologized after holding a press conference for anglophone media only. A Presse Canadienne reporter had to pretend to be writing for The Canadian Press in order to get in. The issue was the redrawing of Quebec’s electoral districts, which became a scandal in the anglophone community because it merged Mount Royal with neighbouring Outremont.
- A freelance journalist working for Global News and a Global cameraman were arrested in Hamilton for obstructing an investigation into a collision that killed a 10-year-old girl. It’s unclear how the journalists may have been obstructing the police, but Global News is seeking answers. Hamilton Police says it is reviewing the incident.
- CBC has announced a project for mass digitization of more than 1 million media assets (physical audio and video recordings) in French and English. The move is being done now in part because of the upcoming move of the Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal. Le Devoir speaks to the broadcaster about the project.
At the CRTC
- The commission issued its licence renewal decisions on Monday for the big private TV broadcasters — TVA, V, Bell Media, Rogers Media and Corus. The headline is that OMNI will get what it wants: nationwide mandatory distribution at $0.12 per subscriber. But only for three years, as the CRTC offers the chance for others to offer something better. I’ll have more highlights from the decisions in another post.
- I have not looked forward to a new TV series as much as I have this one. It’s like if Galaxy Quest was turned into a TV show.
- Bell has announced Alt TV, which is basically Bell Fibe TV only without a set-top box and far fewer features at a slightly reduced price. Available only to Fibe Internet customers in Quebec and Ontario for the moment.
- The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council found that TSN should have done a better job preventing swear words captured during a CFL game from being broadcast on air, during the day without any viewer advisory. The decision notes the difficulty of censoring live broadcasts, but “the language could and should have been anticipated, there appears to have been no attempt to discourage such language, and there were not consistent acknowledgments and repudiations of the language by hosts or other announcers.”
- ABC is bringing back Roseanne for eight episodes. On one hand, TV could use a show like Roseanne, with good comedy about working-class life. On the other hand, it’s yet another 90s nostalgia play.
- Mohawk Girls is shooting its final season in Kahnawake and looking for extras from the community.
- The Handmaid’s Tale, the Hulu adaptation of the Margaret Atwood novel, has become Bravo’s most popular series ever.
- The U.S. rights to the Canadian drama Cardinal have been sold to Hulu.
- Conan O’Brien has extended his deal with TBS another four years through 2022. He’s also expanding his show’s brand to include other media like podcasting.
- Beth Mowins will be calling a National Football League game on ESPN on Sept. 11. This is noteworthy because Mowins is a woman, and women calling games in professional sports is incredibly rare for some reason.
- TSN 690 has renewed its broadcasting rights agreement with the Montreal Alouettes for a “multi-year” deal (apparently three years). Negotiations were probably helped by the fact that there isn’t a competitor to Bell Media at the moment that would broadcast Alouettes games.
- Montreal writer Ian Howarth has a book coming out about the golden years of Montreal music radio: CFOX, CKGM and CFCF in the 1960s and 70s. Bill Brownstein writes about it in the Gazette. The book includes many interviews with personalities from those days who are surprisingly still around. (I got an advance copy so I could write a short quote for the back cover.) It launches Thursday evening.
- CBC has launched its station in London, Ont., and announced its broadcast team. The station has a local morning show and will be the home station of the regional afternoon show.
- Newcap Radio is buying NL Broadcasting, owner of three radio stations in Kamloops, B.C.
- CFGL-FM 105.7 in Montreal is now broadcasting in HD Radio. So far it’s just the station’s regular signal on an HD channel. Presumably owner Cogeco will simulcast CKAC 730 AM on a subchannel in the near future.
- Transcontinental has sold its first newspaper as part of a process announced last month. The Journal de Chambly has been sold for an undisclosed price to Les Versants du Mont-Bruno Inc., which owns Les Versants, Le Journal de Saint-Bruno and Le Journal de Saint-Basile. The sale takes effect immediately. TC has also added a page to its website where it will keep a list of its newspaper sales.
- Le Devoir lost $300,000 in 2016, but is pretty optimistic about the future. Nevertheless, it’s passing the hat looking for donations.
- Meanwhile, Le Devoir announced its entire newspaper collection until 2009 has been digitized, available free on the BANQ website.
- Workers at the Winnipeg Free Press have agreed to an eight per cent pay cut if the paper doesn’t make enough of a profit. In exchange, the paper has agreed not to lay anyone off until 2019.
- Jonathan Kay has resigned as editor-in-chief of The Walrus. He explains here.
- Postmedia has added former Ontario finance minister Janet Ecker to its board.
- The Chicago Sun-Times ran a front-page ad announcing it’s for sale. The ad is required (though not on the front page) in order to push through a takeover from rival Chicago Tribune.
- Apple and Amazon have buried the hatchet, allowing Apple TV devices to stream Amazon content in exchange for Amazon allowing Apple TV devices to be sold.
News about people
- François Bugingo, the freelance journalist who disappeared from public life after a La Presse investigation showed he made up several stories, will give his first interview since then, June 2 on Télé-Québec’s new talk show Y’a du monde à la messe.
- A statistical analysis of the repetitiveness of song lyrics based on how much they compress using the Lempel-Ziv algorithm.
- General assignment reporter at Yukon News (deadline: May 19)
- La Presse diversity bursaries and internships (deadline: June 9)
- May 20: Canadaland in Montreal