News about news
— Dan Spector (@danspector) August 20, 2017
- The anti-fascist counter-protest in Quebec City was made controversial when people wearing masks decided to engage in wanton vandalism and violence toward police. They also targeted the media for reasons that are unclear (though some will try to defend the Black Bloc by shifting blame to police*). A Global News camera was damaged, as were equipment of several photographers. An anonymous blog post later justified such attacks saying that the media hands over footage to police, a charge Global News vehemently denies.
- Ezra Levant’s The Rebel has been in the news lately, a lot. I really don’t want to recap everything, but the National Post had a very long story about the organization, lots of people have opinion pieces now that it has parted ways with several high-profile contributors and staff, and Levant himself has promised changes after blaming problems on insufficient management. He’s also disclosed some financial information, showing the website got $1.5 million in the past year from crowdfunding, which covers about 90% of its expenses.
- CBC News has acquired a federal government advertising blacklist of websites that it won’t buy ads from. It includes 4chan and Breitbart, and lots of porn sites, but also Jezebel, Imgur, HollywoodPQ.com and Cosmopolitan.com.
- Our new governor general Julie Payette has dropped her efforts to keep her divorce records secret in order to keep them away from journalists, and instead is appealing to their sense of decency.
- Globe and Mail journalist Nathan VanderKlippe was detained in China and had his laptop seized by authorities.
- CBS Radio in Las Vegas has reversed an ill-considered decision to ban coverage of the Vegas Golden Knights on its radio stations after failing to get broadcast rights to the team’s games.
- A Michigan man falsely accused by right-wing news sites of being the driver in the Charlottesville incident plans to sue the websites that named him.
- The CBC ombudsman has found that referring to a homophobic statement as such is not editorializing.
- The Journal de Montréal has won a court battle over whether lawyers’ fees paid by public institutions should be subject to access to information law.
*UPDATE: Nora Loreto, who wrote the piece linked to above, objects to the way this was originally written and says she does not condone attacking journalists. You can judge for yourself whether she defends the Black Bloc in general in this piece.
At the CRTC
- The government order requiring the CRTC to reconsider its TV licence renewal decisions has been posted. It asks the commission to consider, for the French-language decisions, “how it can be ensured that significant contributions are made to the creation and presentation of original French-language programming and music programming,” and for the English-language ones, “how it can be ensured that significant contributions are made to the creation and presentation of programs of national interest, music programming, short films and short-form documentaries,” and “take into consideration that creators of Canadian programming are key to the Canadian broadcasting system and that, while the industry is going through a transformation, Canadian programming and a dynamic creative sector are vital to the system’s competitiveness and contribute to Canada’s economy.” Nothing specific, but it does bring into question decisions related to quotas for programs of national interest, the elimination of special requirements for contributions to the BravoFACT and MuchFACT production funds by Bravo and Much, respectively, and to the Remstar Fund by MusiquePlus and MAX.
- CJSO-FM 101,7 Sorel has had its licence renewed for two years. The station failed to install a public alerting system before the deadline and failed to provide proper program logs. In addition to the short-term renewal for repeated non-compliance, the station is being required to broadcast a message announcing its compliance failure to its audience.
- Another station getting a licence renewal is CKBK-FM Thamesville, Ont. This despite failure to file annual reports and the fact that it failed to respond to the CRTC’s requests for information about that issue.
- Shaw has gotten a temporary exception from the CRTC about how it distributes TV channels. Shaw had complained about a rule setting a quota on how many independent services to distribute related to the number of related (i.e. Shaw- or Corus-owned) channels. Because there’s a change in categories of specialty channels (which become “discretionary” channels because they no longer have to be specialized), Shaw would be technically in non-compliance as of Sept. 1 for one year. Shaw gets an exception to the rule, but can’t use it to drop independent channels it’s already carrying.
- Bloomberg TV Canada has a broadcasting licence now after passing the threshold where it can no longer operate without a licence. The channel must broadcast at least 35% Canadian content as of Sept. 1, and spend at least 10% of revenues on CanCon. With the channel dropping all its original programming, it’s unclear how that will happen.
- Some uber pedant demanded the CRTC review a decision by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council about a CTV News report that, in the complainant’s view, failed to properly distinguish between a service dog and a support dog. The CRTC found the CBSC was correct in finding that the CTV News story wasn’t wrong.
- CTV’s new 5pm newscasts have a launch date: Monday, Aug. 28. Montreal’s will be anchored by Paul Karwatsky.
- NOVA put together a special episode about the solar eclipse on Monday night, combining interviews and explainers with plenty of day-of footage of people and scientists across the United States watching the event. Unfortunately, Mountain Lake PBS had an issue broadcasting it, restarting the episode 10 minutes in and losing about the last five minutes.
- Bell Media announced that it has sold the rights to the 1980s CFTO-TV game show Just Like Mom, which will become Just Like Mom and Dad and air on Yes TV in Canada and something called BYU TV in the U.S.
- Vrak has announced its fall lineup, which includes a new fiction series, new seasons of existing original series and a new documentary series.
- Le Soleil looks at how much of the fall schedule of V and affiliated channels Musique Plus and Max are devoted to the Occupation Double reboot.
- CMT is dropping country music now that its licence no longer requires it. The conversion into generic discretionary channel allows Corus to turn it into whatever it wants (except news or sports).
- RDI’s fall schedule includes adding a second hour to political has-been show Les Ex, from 4-5pm. The second hour will end with a who-won-the-political-day segment, the epitome of horse-race journalism. Among the documentaries being aired is Québec, my country mon pays, this Friday at 8pm.
- Production has begun on season 2 of Global’s Mary Kills People (another six episodes). Added to the cast are Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight, Under the Dome) and Ian Lake (Bitten, Rookie Blue). For broadcast in winter 2018.
- The Jewel 106.7 has a new home, in Plaza Pointe-Claire near St-Jean Blvd. and Highway 20. It stresses that it remains committed to serving off-island communities despite moving away from them, but this reinforces the fact that it sees its big market as the West Island, even though it told the CRTC that Hudson/St-Lazare sees itself as separate from Montreal.
- CBC News looks at the coming battle between TSN 1040 in Vancouver and its new competitor, Sportsnet 650. Both TSN 1040 and Sportsnet 650 have since announced their full lineups. Unmentioned in the story is TSN 1410, its second station. With no more Canucks games to broadcast, does TSN really still need a full-time overflow station? Or should Bell consider another vocation for CFTE, like an all-news station with maybe some sports overflow at night?
- La Presse speaks to program directors at francophone music stations about how they’re dealing with competition from streaming services. Talk has a lot to do with it, and stations are impatient for the CRTC to finally review French-language music quotas.
- Canadaland has a guest opinion piece by Nick Fillmore about the issues he has with CBC Radio. It’s a bit harsh, but it makes the point that personal “storytelling” shows of late are taking the place of big-issue shows. I think personal storytelling has its place, but there seems to have been a surge in the number of interview shows where first-person stories are taking the place of journalism and documentary of old, mainly because it’s cheaper to produce.
- TC Media has reached another deal to sell community newspapers: Five weekly papers and one monthly on the South Shore of Montreal are being sold to Gravité Média, which is backed by two local entrepreneurs. This brings to 13 the number of newspapers that have been sold since 93 were put up for sale in April. The affected papers are:
- Le Brossard Éclair
- Le Reflet de Delson
- Le Journal Saint-François de Valleyfield
- Le Soleil de Châteauguay
- L’Information d’Affaires Rive-Sud
- The Globe and Mail is dropping print distribution in the Maritimes as of Nov. 30. The announcement comes right after hiring a new Atlantic correspondent, Jessica Leeder. The Globe and National Post have both written off entire provinces as print markets.
- New York alt-weekly the Village Voice is ending its print edition.
- A major leadership shakeup at the Los Angeles Times.
- Quebecor is bailing out the Cinéma Impérial, which otherwise likely would have been crushed by its own debt. In exchange for taking over its mortgage debt, Quebecor gets two seats on a six-seat board, with the Losique family having two and the two others to be independent. Meanwhile, the neverending trainwreck that is the Montreal World Film Festival continues with Serge Losique at the helm, and the Cinéma Impérial acting as the only theatre.
News about people
- Susan Krashinsky, now Susan Krashinsky Robertson, is the Globe and Mail’s new media reporter, adding the beat to her existing advertising and marketing coverage. Krashinsky Robertson had previously been the media beat reporter from 2010 to 2012, replaced by Steve Ladurantaye, who was replaced by James Bradshaw when Ladurantaye left for Twitter. Bradshaw was recently moved to the banks beat.
- Emmanuelle Latraverse is coming back to television after an extended absence, but she won’t be coming back to her weekly political show. Instead, she’ll be joining the Téléjournal as a special reporter, doing more field reporting. The reason for her absence still hasn’t been explained. Daniel Thibeault takes her place as host of Coulisses du pouvoir.
- La Presse talks to Bernard Drainville about his life and his new solo show on 98.5 FM, replacing Benoit Dutrizac.
- Caroline St-Hilaire is joining LCN as a political analyst, just as soon as she’s done being mayor of Longueuil in November.
- Also at 98.5 FM, feminist columnist Judith Lussier and former CAQ MNA Sylvain Lévesque are being paired up for a weekend open-line talk show.
- Ken Rosenthal, best known as a Fox Sports analyst, is joining online sports writing magazine The Athletic. This comes mere weeks after Fox decided its website shouldn’t have any more written articles and instead be just video. Rosenthal will continue contributing to Fox Sports broadcasts and MLB Network.
- Brandon Gonez, formerly of CTV Barrie, is replacing Your Morning weather presenter Kelsey McEwen as she goes on maternity leave. He shows off his hometown in this introductory segment.
- Robin Turnau, president of Vermont Public Radio, is stepping down from her role in March after spending all her adult life at the station.
- Le Soleil journalist Simon Boivin is leaving his job and the National Assembly press gallery for a government job, at the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec.
- Deadspin has a story about a filthy paragraph that made it into a small-town newspaper in 1997 because of an immature writer and an overworked editor, and the fallout from it.
- Boris Spremo, former Toronto Star photographer
- Rosaline Désilets-Ledoux, pioneer of Quebec agricultural journalism
- Doug Anderson, Ottawa country music broadcaster
- Associate editor, Maisonneuve (deadline: Sept. 1)
- Reporter/editor, CBC Indigenous in Winnipeg (deadline: Sept. 5)
- Directeur principal, affaires institutionnelles, Québecor