News about news
- The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the CBC did not have to “unpublish” a story it posted about a homicide victim after a publication ban was ordered because the victim was a minor. The decision does not set a precedent that publication bans don’t apply to previously published online articles, but rather says that an injunction to order a news organization to remove such stories has a much stronger test than the appeal court thought. A separate ruling acquitting the CBC of contempt of court is being appealed by the Crown.
- Concordia University’s journalism program is starting a sports journalism course, funded thanks to a 2015 donation from Sportsnet that helped Rogers satisfy CRTC-imposed conditions related to its acquisition of The Score (now Sportsnet 360). The Concordian has also published Concordia’s 2015 pitch to Sportsnet for the donation, which it got through an access to information request.
- La Presse+ is putting out a special edition at noon every day of the Olympics with the latest from Pyeongchang, whose time zone doesn’t work well with its 1:30am ET deadline.
- NiemanLab has a story about the Washington Post’s Arc Publishing system and its growing popularity among newspaper publishers. Its clients include the Globe and Mail.
- Fox News pulled an opinion piece published online that basically said that the Olympics were too diverse.
At the CRTC
- The commission sent a flurry of letters to various media companies asking for confidential information about their users. Included in that list is Netflix, which famously refused to provide similar data during the Let’s Talk TV proceeding. This time the CRTC says explicitly that it has already decided that all information provided will be kept confidential and that decision is final. Other companies who received such requests are Google, Amazon, Apple, Spotify, Facebook, and the usual Canadian broadcasters and telecom companies.
- The battle continues over a proposal by an industry coalition to block piracy websites. The number of comments at the CRTC has passed the 4,500 mark as I write this. The deadline is March 1.
TV and video
— CTV (@CTV_Television) February 5, 2018
- You probably missed it because it was announced during the Super Bowl broadcast on CTV, but the new Canadian cop drama The Detail has a premiere date: March 25.
- Similarly, the new animated version of Corner Gas debuts April 2 on Comedy.
- Speaking of the Super Bowl, CTV’s ratings were about on par with last year, about 4.4 million, versus 7.3 million when its signal was substituted over the U.S. network feed. Though we don’t know how many Canadians watched on NBC across the country, in Toronto according to Bill Brioux it was 947,000 watching on CTV and 529,000 on WGRZ Buffalo.
- Bell Media has launched an app called Snackable TV, which offers short-form video content, mainly of the comedy variety. Bell says it will be ad-supported and free for consumers. But the design of the app is very clunky, and in general it seems like more of a consultant’s idea of what young people want than something that young people have actually been demanding. Most of the videos on the app are already available on YouTube, FunnyOrDie or other websites.
- Hulu lost almost a billion dollars in 2017.
- Radio-Canada is cutting deep into its daytime TV programming, cutting the number of episodes of Marina and Entrée Principale, and cancelling summer replacement show Indice UV.
- CBC has ordered a second season of The Great Canadian Baking Show.
- Sportsnet has announced its Blue Jays spring training schedule. The first game is Feb. 23, and the preseason ends once again with the two games in Montreal on March 25 and 26, on Sportsnet and Sportsnet One, respectively.
- Professional actors in Quebec are upset that TV and film productions are hiring actual police officers to act as extras. Quebec’s actors union says as long as those off-duty cops are members of the union they can’t stop the practice.
- A story in the Montreal Gazette on how anglos have found success on TVA’s La Voix, which begins its next season on Sunday.
- A new collective agreement has been ratified at City and OMNI in Toronto.
- The New York Post got hold of ratings for the U.S. version of Viceland, and they’re pretty awful.
- NBC apologized after an analyst put his foot in his mouth during the Olympics’ opening ceremony by suggesting that Japan acted as an “example” to Korea.
Radio and audio
- Radio Centre-Ville (CINQ-FM 102.3) is still not out of its financial crisis, and it got to the point last week where a creditor threatened to start seizing equipment forcing the station to shut down.
- CIBL 101.5 finally has its rescue committee in place. Names include Jacques K. Primeau, Alexandre Taillefer and Jean-Martin Aussant.
- BLVD 102,1 in Quebec City has terminated the contract (apparently by mutual agreement) of late morning host Sophie Durocher, as well as dismissing morning show co-host Maude Boutet.
- Nominees for the Juno Awards have been announced. The big show is March 25, on CBC TV.
- Andy Oudman of CJBK radio in London, Ont., has apologized after an open letter accused him of misogynist and sexist comments.
- Canadaland has a new politics podcast, hosted by Jen Gerson (formerly of the National Post) and Justin Ling (formerly of Vice News).
- Shari Okeke is working on a new CBC podcast featuring the voices of teenagers.
- Radio-Canada has a new podcast called Si j’ai bien compris avec Louis T, reviewing the week’s news with the comedian’s unique explanatory touch.
- The Montreal Gazette has new columnists: Karl Lohnes on home decor, and Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed, who previously wrote for the West Island section. Their additions are announced in an editor’s note that also gives the Christmas Fund donations total as $812,186, which is great but also an indication that donations are slipping as readership and ad revenue decline.
- Everyone is abandoning ship at Newsweek as the company self-destructs. To make things worse, the guy who was put on leave after it became public that he lost his previous job as a result of sexual harassment allegations has been reinstated.
- The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune have a new owner: a guy with a lot of money spent $500 million on them. Staff there seem more hopeful than under the previous owner, Tronc, which seemed more concerned with cutting costs than investing in a new business model.
- Unions at Postmedia-owned newspapers are banding together to resist the owner’s demands in contract negotiations. The Windsor Star has joined the Montreal Gazette (my union) and Ottawa Citizen/Sun in passing near-unanimous votes in favour of strike mandates. The union locals have vowed to work together, refusing to accept new contract terms unless they apply to each other.
- The editor in chief of The Baron, the student newspaper at the University of New Brunswick Saint John, learned a lesson the hard way about taking a hard line on free speech. After the newspaper published an op-ed by what has been described as a neo-Nazi group, the newspaper’s board has apologized for the incident and has a new interim editor.
- J-Source has some details about staff cuts at the Victoria Times Colonist, owned by Glacier Media.
- The New York Times beat expectations as digital subscriptions went up again.
News about people
- A La Presse investigation into former Université de Montréal professor and Radio-Canada host Jean Larose shows several former students he allegedly sought to begin sexual relationships with, including by just jumping them in his office. Some of them complained, including one to the police, but those complaints were rejected, and the police case was closed as “unfounded” (you may have heard that term before). The university admits it didn’t handle the cases well and has changed the way it operates.
- TVO has launched an independent investigation after former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson accused Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda, of asking her for sex. Paikin says the accusation is completely false, and several people in the media are coming to Paikin’s defence.
- Former Impact player Hassoun Camara will join TVA Sports as a soccer analyst.
- A change at Radio-Canada’s Saguenay station: Christian Grégoire is the new manager there, replacing Michel Gagné, who is retiring.
- Whitney Stinson is the new managing editor of Global News Saskatchewan.
- Justin Ling, in addition to his new Canadaland podcast, is also joining the Globe and Mail on contract. He did reporting on homicides in Toronto’s gay community that has come to the forefront in the Bruce McArthur case.
- Jason Chow is the new Toronto dining critic for the Globe and Mail.
- Matt Frehner heads the new visual journalism department at the Globe. He’s looking for contributors.
- Ron Kronstein, anchor of Global Halifax and Global NB, is moving to Peterborough, Ont., to become news director for CHEX TV.
- David Shannon, CBC and CKUT journalist, and Montreal Mirror columnist
- Reg Innell, Toronto Star photographer
- John Valorzi, Canadian Press journalist