News about news
- The news out of Charlottesville, Va., where a move to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee was met with protests by right-wing, extreme-right-wing and white-supremacist activists, and counter-protests by left-wingers, has caused chaos not only for the U.S. president and politicians, but right-wing media in Canada as well. Ezra Levant, the supreme commander at The Rebel, wrote a memo disassociating himself with the “alt-right” over this, believing the group had gone too far. But even that wasn’t enough for several contributors who decided to leave this week:
- Brian Lilley, Levant’s former colleague at the Sun News Network, announced his departure from The Rebel on Monday. Levant, classy guy that he is, suggested Lilley was being pressured by Bell Media and others (Lilley has a show on Bell’s Ottawa talk radio station), which Lilley said was not the case. Lilley’s interview with As It Happens suggests the two didn’t part on good terms.
- John Robson, who was also a Sun News Network contributor, also cut ties, citing the shifting “tone” of the outlet.
- Barbara Kay, a National Post columnist, cited “bad apples” at The Rebel for spoiling its mission and prompting her to cease her contributions.
- Meanwhile, Candice Malcolm, a Sun Media columnist who contributed to The Rebel, wrote a piece criticizing the alt-right as Nazis but did not denounce The Rebel.
- Speaking of Charlottesville, one of the pieces of early reporting that got a lot of attention was an interview in Ohio with the mother of the man believed to have driven the vehicle that ran into protesters. This Columbia Journalism Review story tells how the Toledo Blade managed to track her down before police did.
- CBC News was caught using bogus footage in a news story about the threat drones pose to airplanes. CBC apologized for using the YouTube clip in its story without checking (and, presumably, without asking permission either). The realistic-looking but fake video was created by a special effects company.
- Queen’s Park Today, a subscription news service covering Ontario’s legislature, is expanding, opening up a franchise in British Columbia. It’s hiring.
At the CRTC
— Mélanie Joly (@melaniejoly) August 14, 2017
- The federal government has decided to ask the CRTC to review its licence renewal decisions for major commercial TV broadcasters — Bell Media, Corus, Rogers, Quebecor and V. At issue are two elements of those decisions that have become controversial: standardizing a special quota called “programs of national interest” (defined as long-form documentary, drama, scripted comedy and specific Canadian award shows that celebrate Canadian creative talent) at the lowest minimum the English groups had, and eliminating a special requirement for Corus’s Séries+ and Historia that required expenditures on original first-run French-language content. The actual order hasn’t been posted yet, so Joly’s tweet is actually the most detailed thing we have to go on right now.
- The CRTC is seeking comment on whether to consider a new commercial radio station in the Lloydminster (Alta./Sask.) market. It received an application from mid-size player Vista Radio, which already owns CKLM-FM (106.1 The Goat) in the market. The only other commercial station is CKSA-FM (Real Country 95.9), owned by Newcap Radio.
- Full seven-year licence renewals for three Bell Media stations: Rouge FM in Sherbrooke and Quebec City, and Énergie in Saguenay. ADISQ, Quebec’s music industry association, had complained that Bell wasn’t running enough French music because of the number of music montages being aired.
- The CRTC has approved Rogers’s request to pull the licence for G4, formerly G4techTV. News of the channel’s demise came out last month, but the letter from Rogers confirms the station will shut down Aug. 31 and they don’t plan to just rebrand it as something else. The American G4 was shut down in 2014. G4 in Canada been operating as a zombie channel for a while now.
- Bloomberg TV Canada, a channel owned by Channel Zero (owner of CHCH, Rewind and Silver Screen Classics), is ending its original programming.
- TVA has pulled the plug on its reboot of Piment Fort, the panel comedy show hosted by Normand Brathwaite.
- CBC’s fall premiere dates are out, with most series starting in the third week of September.
- HGTV Canada has announced its fall programming lineup, highlighted by a new Vancouver-set home reno series, Worst to First.
- Food Network Canada also announced its fall programming.
- Canal Vie has a new logo. It used to be an apple, then a stylized crescent cutout of an apple, and now it’s just the leaf. The new season’s programming highlights include a first ever original fiction series for the channel.
- Z’s fall lineup includes a documentary series about Bordeaux prison.
- CASA’s fall programming lineup is highlighted by Le monde selon Chuck, starring Chuck Hughes.
- Canal Vie’s announcement notwithstanding, Richard Therrien finds the French specialty channels’ fall lineups uninspiring.
- Bell Media’s French specialty channels — Vie, D, Investigation, Vrak and Z — are all on free preview until Sept. 18, on Videotron, Cogeco and Bell, and probably others.
- The Rogers Cup semifinal match featuring Canadian Denis Shapovalov was a hit for both Sportsnet and TVA Sports, which had about half a million each on average, and a peak above 700,000 each. For both, it was the most watched tennis match ever.
- Jay and Dan, or rather “SC WITH JAY AND DAN PRESENTED BY TIM HORTONS”, will start Sept. 4 at midnight. Be warned, “the Tim Hortons sponsorship also includes custom product onset integrations”
- Bell is selling ads for the next Super Bowl at simsub prices, hoping again that the CRTC will reverse its decision or that it will win in court.
- The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council came down on HIFI, the Blue Ant Media channel, for airing The Trailer Park Boys and other offensive fare during the day without sufficient viewer advisory.
- The New York Times on Orphan Black’s #CloneClub and the effect the fan base had on the series. (I note the words “Canadian” or “Canada” don’t appear once in the article.)
- RNC Media has dropped its last Rythme FM affiliate, rebranding CHOA-FM in Abitibi to its new WOW format as of Aug. 7. In January, RNC did the same thing to its Gatineau station CHLX-FM, dropping Rythme in favour of WOW. The only remaining Rythme FM affiliate not owned by Cogeco now is the one in Saguenay, owned by Attraction Radio. The Abitibi station’s format change, billed as a way to make it more local, was nevertheless treated with some resistance by fans on Facebook.
- With Énergie’s on-air personalities going to Rouge, the former had to figure out what to do with its schedule, so among other things it hired two people from CKOI: Kim Rusk and Philo Lirette.
- Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver has announced its play-by-play team for Vancouver Canucks broadcasts: Brendan Batchelor and Corey Hirsch. Batchelor had previously done play-by-play for the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, and Hirsch was part of the national Sportsnet NHL team on TV. The station launches Sept. 4.
- The Gazette’s T’Cha Dunlevy writes about the end of CBC Radio 2’s The Signal, which tapes a sold-out show in Montreal on Thursday.
- Female country singers aren’t getting much airplay on the radio, a Global News analysis finds.
- The Halifax Chronicle-Herald strike is over after a year and a half. About half those who left on strike are getting jobs, and will have to work with the scabs who replaced them. LocalXPress, the site set up by striking journalists to continue reporting, will be shut down, though there’s still some discussion over what happens to its archives.
- Transcontinental has sold off three newspapers in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region to a company run by two of its employees. This is part of a larger process to potentially sell off all its newspaper holdings.
- Postmedia has closed the sale of media monitoring and archive service Infomart. The $38.25-million sale to Meltwater Canada will go to debt repayment.
- The Hamilton Spectator’s editor-in-chief had to run a column justifying the paper’s decision to accept an ad from a local gun store.
News about people
- Tina Tenneriello, who recently filled in for Joanne Vrakas at Breakfast Television, has been hired at City Montreal. But it’s not as Vrakas’s maternity leave replacement. Rather, she’s been added to the roster of video journalists for the new local evening newscasts set to begin in 2018. Until she starts here she’s training and working for City nationally, including for the Edmonton and Winnipeg newscasts starting next month. Cora MacDonald, who like Tenneriello cut her teeth reporting at CJAD, was hired earlier for the team.
- Bell Media has finally announced the hiring of Martin Tremblay as vice-president, local radio and television, Quebec — put in charge of Quebec’s French radio stations and Virgin Radio Montreal. Tremblay, who had worked at Astral and Bell before, had to sit out a non-compete clause since he left The Beat in the spring.
- Entertainment reporter Tanya Kim, who was let go by CTV’s eTalk, has met the same fate at City’s Breakfast Television in Toronto, a victim of “restructuring” there.
- XL 103’s Don Stevens and Joanne Johnson are retiring after 25 years together on the radio in Calgary.
- Editor Daniel Kaszor is leaving the National Post for the Edmonton Economic Development Corp.
- Ontario legislature reporter Shawn Jeffords is jumping from the Toronto Sun to the Canadian Press.
- Business reporter Armina Ligaya is jumping from the Financial Post to the Canadian Press.
- Vice News was in Charlottesville during the demonstration last weekend. You should watch the footage they came back with.
- A golf columnist comes face to face with a player he mocked. They work it out.
- Reporter, BC Today (deadline: Aug. 20)