News about news
- The Suburban held its election “debates”, which consisted of candidates writing answers to the same question, including Beryl Wajsman, who is a candidate for mayor of Westmount and editor of the newspaper. The issue with the answers includes a note from the publisher explaining that “Mr. Wajsman did not know the questions and agreed to have his answers recorded before any of the other candidates arrived, and has had no hand in any Westmount stories since May.” Christine Smith, the interim mayor who’s running against Wajsman, declined to participate because of Wajsman’s conflict.
- The Montreal Gazette and La Presse collaborated on an investigation into Montreal city contracts. The collaboration is interesting if only because it means the articles need to be translated between French and English.
- For those looking for live TV coverage of Sunday’s municipal elections, the pickings will be a bit slim. RDI and LCN will have live coverage throughout the night, and most media will have online coverage, but the local stations will have mostly regular programming during the evening. Global Montreal will extend its 11pm newscast to an hour for an election night special, while CTV and CBC will incorporate election results into its regular broadcasts, according to their TV schedules. CBC News Network and CTV News Channel don’t appear to have any plans for special programming.
- Le Devoir looks at the new charter created by the Association de presse francophone, representing French-language media in English Canada.
At the CRTC
- Quebec City radio station CHXX-FM (Pop 100.9) has succeeded in getting its licence renewed by the CRTC despite coming short on its requirement for French-language music. Rather than issue a short-term renewal, it has de facto fined the station $920. And once again, the station has been shot down in its request to cut its conditions of licence requiring it to serve the Portneuf region. When it was first approved in 1995, the station was sold to the CRTC as being a local service to Portneuf. Its current owner RNC Media has repeatedly tried to eliminate the requirements to have a studio in Donnacona and 14 hours a week of programming for the region. The CRTC found there was insufficient evidence put forward that such a change was necessary to the station’s financial survival and that the change would be bad for people in the Portneuf region who have no other local station.
- The commission has denied a request from Vancouver radio station CHLG-FM (LG 104.3) to amend its licence to eliminate the requirement that 15% of its music be special interest. The CRTC found there as no compelling economic reason to approve the change. CHLG-FM is owned by Newcap, purchased out of the Bell-Astral deal.
- Much, formerly MuchMusic, seems to be getting more and more attention from Bell Media these days instead of just being a de facto Comedy Network 2 or CTV 3. “Music is part of Much’s DNA,” says the press release announcing that the new Tragically Hip documentary will be the first in a series of music docs airing Friday nights on the channel. Even though Bell has pushed Much away from its music background (even removing the word “music” from its name), it’s coming to realize that youth still like music content, if not an automated feed of music videos. You have to think that new Bell boss Randy Lennox, whose background is in the music industry, has a lot to do with this.
- OMNI has renewed three original series: Chinese drama Blood & Water, South Asian digital dramedy Mangoes, and comedy Second Jen.
- Bill Brownstein talks to Leah Balass about her interview series Montrealers for MAtv.
- Richard Therrien got Videotron to confirm that France’s Canal+ will be added to Videotron’s system on Nov. 15.
- Corus’s History channel will have special Remembrance Day programming, including the original documentary I Am War.
- Radio-Canada will be broadcasting a dubbed version of the City miniseries Bad Blood, based on the life of Montreal mobster Vito Rizzuto. It starts Nov. 11.
- Rogers appears to have gone back to using Canadiens games to drive subscriptions to Sportsnet on Saturday nights. This Saturday’s Maple Leafs game will be on both CBC and City, while the Canadiens-Jets game gets Sportsnet.
- TVA is getting its personalities — even news anchor Sophie Thibault — to record videos about how important homegrown television is. The context, explained more explicitly by producers and writers, is the federal government’s reluctance to tax U.S. services like Netflix.
- The Financial Post’s Emily Jackson looks at Canadian cable providers’ decisions to adopt Comcast’s X1 platform for their new set-top boxes and cloud-based PVRs to better compete against IPTV providers like Bell and Telus.
- One of the judges of the Great British Bake-Off accidentally tweeted the name of the winner hours before the finale aired on Channel 4. But 7.7 million people still tuned in to watch the show. Its Canadian spinoff the Great Canadian Baking Show, debuts Nov. 1 at 8pm on CBC.
- Netflix has suspended production on House of Cards in the wake of an allegation of sexual harassment against star Kevin Spacey.
- Despite its critical acclaim, the Viceland series Nirvanna The Band The Show isn’t getting much audience love. This could be because of a lack of promotion from Rogers, which hasn’t picked up Bell Media’s knack for promoting the crap out of its original programming.
- Canada’s Copyright Act is undergoing its regular review, and that means music labels are trying to get more money out of royalties. One issue is that royalties for music labels and performers from radio stations with less than $1.25 million a year in revenue are only a nominal amount (Songwriters still get paid though). The industry wants this rule eliminated so small stations pay artists properly.
- Bell Media is flexing its convergence muscle and says that the original songs produced for its reality competition series The Launch will get regular airplay on iHeartRadio Canada radio stations (i.e. Bell Media brands like Virgin Radio).
- Bell has decided to keep its Rouge FM drive show Éric et les fantastiques on the air despite the fall from grace of its host Éric Salvail. The show will be simply “Les fantastiques” and its host chair will alternate between Étienne Boulay, Jean-François Breau, Pierre Hébert and Maripier Morin.
- The rift in Canada’s magazine awards is over. A year after announcing it would break off from the National Magazine Awards and create its own awards system with fewer awards, Magazines Canada has announced it’s rejoining the fold and merging the awards back together. The new “unified” system will have 29 awards, just three more than the Magazine Grands Prix. The fee to enter starts at $100 plus tax per award.
- The Globe and Mail’s new freelance contract is being criticized for demanding moral rights (and just about every other right) for all content produced on a freelance basis.
News about people
First day ?
— Alyson Lozoff (@AlysonLozoff) October 30, 2017
- Some people have been wondering what happened to Alyson Lozoff, who left City/Sportsnet Montreal three years ago. She finally resurfaced on social media this week, announcing she will be a rinkside reporter for AT&T Sports Network Rocky Mountain region covering the new Vegas Golden Knights.
- Breakfast Television host Joanne Vrakas has begun her maternity leave as she expects her second child.
- Former CTV Ottawa anchor Carol Anne Meehan is leaving her radio job after deciding it was too much work.
- National Public Radio’s editorial director Michael Oreskes has resigned after the Washington Post reported cases of sexual harassment against three women.
- Garry Marr has left the National Post, where he covered real estate. He’s joined the CoStar Group.
- CBC Ottawa videojournalist Roger Dubois has retired after 40 years.
- Dave Hodge isn’t done at TSN yet, and will discuss his future after his show The Reporters was cancelled.
- Reporter, TFO Sudbury (deadline: Nov. 3)
- Summer intern, Montreal Gazette (deadline: Nov. 10)
- Digital content creator, Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal (deadline: Nov. 24)
- Fellowship for aboriginal investigative journalism (deadline: Dec. 1)