News about news
- Finalists for the National Newspaper Awards have been announced. The Montreal Gazette didn’t get any nominations, and the Journal de Montréal only one, but subscription sports website The Athletic got its first nod. Winners will be announced May 4. The usual outlets led nominations:
- Globe and Mail: 18
- Toronto Star: 12
- La Presse: 8
- Edmonton Journal: 3
- Winnipeg Free Press: 3
- Google is putting $300 million into supporting quality journalism. Among the things it plans to do is make it easier for people to subscribe to paid journalism outlets. The blog post explaining the Google News Initiative is here, and there’s a website here.
- Radio-Canada Enquête host Marie-Maude Denis will be asked to testify about her sources in the trial of Marc-Yvan Côté and former Liberal cabinet minister Nathalie Normandeau, though a judge has limited what she can be asked about. Radio-Canada is appealing the ruling as a blatant violation of the public’s trust in journalism.
- Maclean’s has a new politics newsletter.
- A BuzzFeed investigation has shown that a PR firm is paying pundits to write opinions for conservative publications in order to sway public (and political) opinion, and those writers are failing to disclose the financial link.
- Bloc Québécois leader Martine Ouellet is threatening political commentators with libel suits.
At the CRTC
- The commission has published the application for the acquisition of Historia and Séries+ by Bell Media. The channels, currently owned by Corus, are valued at $200 million, which is less than the $274 million it was valued at in 2013 when Bell sold Astral’s half to Corus. Bell says the main reason for the drop is the loss of regulatory protections that older specialty channels got. Though these are channels Bell sold off in order to get the CRTC to accept the acquisition of Astral Media, Bell says even with these channels it would have a smaller French-language viewing share (22.5%) and subscription revenue share (56%) than it did after the acquisition. We’ll see how Quebecor feels about that.
TV & video
- CBC is going all in on the Juno Awards, with four hours of pre-show programming on TV. It will also be broadcasting the awards live on both radio networks.
- Corus is starting a new fashion competition series called Stitched, hosted by Montrealer Kim Cloutier. The 12-episode one-hour series is expected to air in the fall on Slice. Corus is also trying to sell it internationally at MIPTV in Cannes.
- Also from Corus, four new docu-series:
- Big Rig Warriors (10x30min, History) about truck drivers who also race their trucks on weekends;
- Rust Valley Restorers (8x60min, History), about classic car restorers in the B.C. interior;
- World Without (9x60min, History), which notes inventions tied to specific countries by imagining a world in which those countries didn’t exist; and
- Island of Bryan (13x60min, HGTV), about a family trying to restore a beachfront resort in the Bahamas.
- La Presse reports next week’s Quebec budget will contain a provision that will make Quebec’s sales tax apply to companies like Netflix that have no physical presence here.
- ARTV is pulling the plug on humorous arts show Paparagilles and the TV version of La soirée est encore jeune.
- National Canadian Film Day is April 18. There are a few screenings in the Montreal area.
- The Masters has uploaded the full broadcasts of final rounds of its tournaments going back to 1968 on YouTube. You can watch them here.
- NBC has picked up the Indianapolis 500, which is moving away from ABC for the first time in 65 years.
- Attraction Radio is being sold to its own vice-president, Sylvain Chamberland, as Attraction gets out of the radio business. Attraction’s 15 stations include M103.5 in Joliette, the Rythme FM affiliate in Saguenay, and stations in Victoriaville and Lac-Mégantic. The sale needs to be approved by the CRTC, at which point we’ll learn what the sale price is.
- Radio Centre-Ville has launched another crowdfunding campaign. On a new Facebook page because the old one appears to be under the control of a dissident faction whose year-long fight with an administration they see as illegitimate shows no signs of changing soon. Meanwhile, it held another general assembly this weekend to approve changes that would make independent producers members with voting rights. The dissident group of former hosts and members says that, too, was done illegally. And it paid off a creditor that was threatening to start seizing equipment.
- Le Devoir’s Philippe Papineau talks to Radio-Canada radio boss Caroline Jamet about the future of the public broadcaster’s service.
- The BBC is slowing down on a future switch from analog FM radio to digital audio broadcasting.
- The Globe and Mail looked up the Competition Bureau’s warrant application that led to raids at Postmedia and Torstar in connection with their recent newspaper swap and mass shutdown. The court documents show that the agreement between the companies included a non-compete clause, that it listed job losses only at the papers that were going to be shut down, and that at least one employee was informed by Postmedia that he was being laid off, even though Torstar was acquiring his newspaper. The bureau has reason to believe there may have been a criminal conspiracy, though no charges have been laid. (Postmedia is my employer.)
- Meredith, which just acquired Time Inc., is flipping its namesake magazine and others including Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money.
- Employees at Pagemasters North America have ratified a new collective agreement.
- Sportsnet tried a new thing this week, a Twitter-based streaming program called Ice Surfing, which featured live look-ins on NHL and OHL games (the latter being broadcast by Rogers TV), as well as chats with Sportsnet personalities. A bit similar to NHL on the Fly from the old NHL Network. The program, which ended at 10pm ET, included some check-ins with the Toronto-Nashville and Ottawa-Edmonton games, which were regional and would normally be blacked out. But there was a lot of long segments in which there was no live action, despite no shortage of NHL activity.
- There’s child porn in the Bitcoin blockchain.
- Howie Mandel is part of the group that is taking over Just For Laughs, and they promise to keep it in Montreal.
News about people
Another special night in Ottawa. Blair and Scott Tetreault will be directing the 2 shows tonight. Blair for @Sportsnet and Scott for @TSN. Proud son. Prouder Dad. Congratulations boys!#OilersvsSens pic.twitter.com/WZoP4eqzDM
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) March 22, 2018
- Michael Cooke is stepping down as editor of the Toronto Star in June. His goodbye message is posted here.
- Journalist James McLeod is leaving the St. John’s Telegram to join the Financial Post.
- Commentator Ian Capstick, a regular on CBC’s Power and Politics, is “retiring” from that job, having decided that the partisan political thing wasn’t for him anymore.
- It took PBS almost a year and a half after Gwen Ifill’s death to finally decide that they should just have Judy Woodruff anchor News Hour solo.
- La Presse’s Guillaume Lefrançois has a biography of RDS’s Chantal Machabée coming out soon.
- Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre has been hired as a special advisor to music media company Stingray, focused on international expansion (he says he won’t lobby the provincial or federal governments himself).
- Mike MacDonald, comedian
- Lisa Garcia Quiroz, People in Español magazine publisher
- Les Payne, Pulitzer-winning Newsday journalist
- Columnist-researcher, Homerun, CBC Montreal (deadline: March 24)
- Journalists, First Peoples Radio (Ottawa/Toronto; deadline: March 27)
- Video manager, Montreal Gazette (deadline: March 31)
- Parliament Hill reporter, The Canadian Press (full-time temporary, replacing Joanna Smith; deadline: April 4)
- Desk editor, La Presse (deadline: April 27)
- Diversity bursary, La Presse (deadline: May 3)