News about news
- Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly suggests government support for print media might be coming, but says they won’t bail out business models that are no longer viable. She told La Presse an announcement could be coming in the next month, which suggests it would probably be in the federal budget.
- The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that a CityNews report about a house explosion in Mississauga that was found to be a likely double suicide did not breach journalistic codes by broadcasting the contents of personal letters from the couple that were found scattered around the neighbourhood after the explosion. The council found there was a genuine public interest in knowing what led to the couple’s decision to end their lives in this way, which not only destroyed their home but damaged dozens of others.
- A CBC Fifth Estate episode on pit bulls naturally upset the pit bull lobby, who demanded an ombudsman investigation. That investigation showed that while there were some minor issues, the episode met CBC’s journalistic policies.
- Journalists Marie-Maude Denis and Louis Lacroix are being asked by Nathalie Normandeau’s lawyers to divulge their sources. Bold prediction: They won’t.
- François Cardinal of La Presse wants the app’s opinion section to be more solution-focused, and is seeking 100 ideas to make Quebec better.
- Canada’s privacy commissioner has released a draft position paper on online reputation, which seems to suggest that requiring search engines to censor search results with personal information could be legal under current privacy law.
- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new plan to evaluate the validity of news sources: ask users whether they trust them. That may or may not fix the problem, depending on whose hot take you believe.
At the CRTC
- The Super Bowl will not be substituted. The Supreme Court has denied Bell’s request for an emergency stay of the CRTC’s Super Bowl ad substitution decision in advance of next week’s game. But the decision doesn’t dismiss the case entirely, and allows an expedited determination of whether the court will take the case, which means it might be heard in the fall and a decision reached before the 2019 Super Bowl. Barring some miracle, this year’s game will be the same as last one: CTV ads on CTV and U.S. ads on the U.S. network (in this case, NBC). CTV will once again run its watch-to-win contest during the game.
- Juicebox, Loud, Vibe and Retro, four channels that used to be part of the Much family but were sold to Stingray, have been re-licensed after losing enough subscribers to qualify for licence-exempt status, and then gaining enough to lose that status (200,000 is the magic number). Stingray had asked for a below-normal Canadian content spending quota, and interest groups like ADISQ and the directors and writers guilds asked for higher quotas or special music-related conditions. The CRTC threw out all those requests, noting that the channels are not tied to their formats and deserve no special treatment either way. They are required to spend 10% of revenue on Canadian content.
- Vintage TV, a 24-hour music network, has similarly applied for and received a licence after passing the 200,000 subscriber mark. Its licence conditions are standard, but the commission was worried about foreign control since 33% of voting shares are held by a U.K. parent company. The licensee must inform the commission of any changes related to its control bylaws.
- TVA Sports got a minor licence amendment, allowing it to average out the 12-minutes-per-hour advertising limit over a day instead of having to meet it every hour. RDS got a similar condition. This will allow TVA more flexibility when airing content that has fewer chances for commercial interruption (for example, during soccer games).
- The commission has approved acquisition of CHLW-FM Barriere, B.C., and a new ownership structure for CKOV-FM Strathmore, Alta.
- After HBO and Showtime, Bell has signed a content deal with Starz. It plans to rebrand TMN Encore as a Canadian Starz channel. (It’s unclear if both TMN Encore and TMN Encore 2 are being rebranded or just one of the two.)
- P.K. Subban was the guest on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah this week. You can watch it here.
- La Presse has discovered that, to the surprise of no one, ratings for the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec are down from last year.
- We have a premiere date for Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale: Sunday, April 29. The series airs on Bravo in Canada, and Season 1 is available on Bell’s Crave TV.
- APTN is launching a new show, The Laughing Drum, from the guy behind satirical news website Walking Eagle News. The first episode is Tuesday at 6:30pm.
- HBO has added Meryl Streep to the cast of Big Little Lies, the series directed by Quebecer Jean-Marc Vallée.
- Last summer’s Just For Laughs galas are coming to television as the next season of Just For Laughs All Access begins Feb. 3 on Comedy.
- NLogic has a couple of tidbits of ratings info from the fall season, including that La Voix was the most highly-rated Canadian program of the season, ahead of The Amazing Race Canada, and that the only market where hockey is among the five most popular broadcasts is Edmonton.
- Videotron’s recent price increases were severe enough to warrant a news story.
- Season 2 of Due South is on YouTube.
- Jon McTaggart, president of Minnesota Public Radio, sent a message to MPR members about the organization’s decision to sever ties with Garrison Keillor, host of A Prairie Home Companion, over accusations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. The message answers questions about how seriously MPR took the allegations and why they took the very severe step of ending one of public radio’s most popular shows.
- CIBL is slowly forming the committee that is supposed to come up with a plan to manage its finances.
- Don Imus is ending his radio show in March. The move appears to be related to parent company Cumulus’s financial problems.
- The Hockey News, a hockey magazine that Transcontinental sold to Quebecor, has been bought by W. Graeme Roustan for an undisclosed price. Roustan is apparently a hockey fan and sees potential for growth.
- Le Devoir speaks with Pierre Marcoux, the new head of TC Media (and son of its founder). He says he can’t say what’s going on with a possible sale of Métro and other newspapers.
- Vividata has released quarterly newspaper and magazine readership figures. InfoPresse has some numbers for Quebec dailies.
- The Los Angeles Times voted 248 in favour, 44 against forming a union.
- TC Media is shutting down its mobile news application on Jan. 31, directing users to its remaining newspapers’ websites. TC Media is in the process of divesting its newspaper holdings, which once measured in the hundreds, and now amount to a few dozen in Quebec.
- CNN is shutting down Beme, and ending its relationship with Casey Neistat. If you know what those things are, you know more than me.
- Bell had to inform 100,000 customers that their contact information had been compromised after being illegally accessed. No credit card data or other critically sensitive information was exposed, but Bell is being secretive over what exactly happened and how it will prevent it from happening again.
- Quebecor has signed a 10-year deal with Sherbrooke’s transit agency to handle its outdoor advertising.
- A settlement in a copyright case means that the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome enters the public domain and can be used without compensation.
News about people
Holding my own book for the first time. It’s a cool feeling. pic.twitter.com/OEIXoYSbsV
— Kate McKenna (@katemckenna8) January 23, 2018
- CBC’s Kate McKenna has a book out, about the difficulty accessing abortion services in Prince Edward Island.
- CTV News Toronto has suspended reporter Paul Bliss following an allegation of sexual misconduct in the workplace brought on by a former employee. His suspension was announced on air at 6pm.
- Richard Zussman is going back to reporting on the B.C. legislature after being hired by Global News. He was terminated by CBC from the same job for a conflict of interest apparently related to his work on a book.
- Jen Gerson and Claire Brownell have left the National Post. The latter is taking a new job at Macleans.
- Among those leaving Vice, either through voluntary layoff or involuntary one, are Sarah MacDonald and Brigitte Noel.
- Geraldine Malone is joining The Canadian Press’s Manitoba reporting team.
- Jacques Languirand, author and former Radio-Canada radio host (In English)
- Hugh Wilson, creator of WKRP in Cincinnati