News about news
- A coalition of journalism outlets published an open letter to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard demanding it expand the province’s access to information law. Signatories are:
- After TVA and every other French media, it looks like there might be a televised debate in English between the four main parties ahead of the provincial election in October. All four have agreed to participate, though these agreements are through scrum answers and tweets so not the most official. CBC, CTV, Global, CJAD and the Montreal Gazette form the consortium that would broadcast it.
- The Association des médias écrits communtautaires du Québec handed out its awards. The Rouyn-Noranda Indice bohémien won the award for publication of the year.
- The Prix Lizette Gervais for emerging journalists were also given out.
- The Quebec Press Council holds its annual general assembly on May 11.
- A terrorist attack in Kabul has killed nine journalists, including the AFP’s chief photographer there. A 10th journalist in Afghanistan was killed the same day in a separate attack. It’s the deadliest day for journalists in the country since 2002.
- The Denver Post has shut down its cannabis vertical The Cannabist.
- The Globe and Mail has finally brought back comments to its website, but will now restrict the ability to comment to paid subscribers. Le Devoir and The Athletic have also done this and it appears to be a very effective way to avoid trolls and increase the level of discourse.
- Village Media, which owns SooToday and other Today websites, has expanded to Bradford.
- Thursday was World Press Freedom Day. The New York Times and other publications marked the occasion by encouraging people to read and support other news outlets.
- High school students at Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation are working on a journalism pilot project with mentors from CBC Edmonton.
(You watched the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, right?)
At the CRTC
- The commission has ruled against a Videotron complaint about Rogers’s affiliation agreement for NHL Centre Ice and NFL Sunday Ticket, which offer out-of-market regular-season games and formed part of Videotron’s SportMax package. Videotron had complained that Rogers was imposing a de facto minimum revenue guarantee, which goes against the TV wholesale code. The CRTC analyzed the contract and determined that this was not the case. Videotron no longer offers either NHLCI or NFLST, and has instead kept only MLB Extra Innings.
- The CRTC has authorized the distribution of One America News Network in Canada, at the request of Ethnic Channels Group Ltd. OAN is a fast-paced headline-driven channel that is strongly pro-Trump and has a habit of pushing anti-left conspiracy theories. The Washington Post describes it here.
- Centre Communautaire Bon Courage de Place Benoît, which operates La Voix de St-Lo, has been given an extension until June 1, 2019, for the launch of its low-power FM station at 90.7 in St-Laurent. The station’s antenna was supposed to be on the building that houses its studio, but the owner refused that option after a public notice was issued, the station says. So instead, the will look at getting space from the borough or another source.
- OMNI is getting the public involved in its campaign to have its service renewed (glossing over the fact that there are other offers on the table).
- The Globe and Mail’s Sylvia Stead looks at coverage of the Toronto van attack, mostly defending the paper’s stories against critics.
- The National Newsmedia Council has upheld a complaint against the Toronto Sun about a column that incorrectly described the Sikh or Muslim religion. The Candice Malcolm column remains uncorrected.
- BNN Bloomberg launched on Monday. The rebranded channel has mostly Canadian programming during the weekday. Also launched was BNN Bloomberg Radio, taking over the second TSN station in Vancouver. It consists mainly of the audio feed of the TV channel. You can listen to it here.
- As a result of the launch, the U.S. feed of Bloomberg TV is no longer being distributed in Canada, though it is available as a feed on BNN’s site. Videotron has dropped Bloomberg TV but finally launched an HD feed of BNN.
- CBC has greenlit six episodes of a kids’ version of Canada’s Smartest Person. Kids 8-12 can apply online until June 30.
- CBC has released its schedule for the IAAF Diamond League for this summer. Track events will be live online and summarized on its weekend Road to the Olympic Games show.
- The iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards have set Aug. 26 as the date for this year’s event, after 16 years of having the event in June (and 11 of having it in September before that)
- TVA Sports has acquired the rights for Euro 2020.
- NBC Universal is launching Hayu, a reality TV subscription video on demand service, in Canada by the end of the year.
- Global Montreal has designated May 10 as Greater Montreal Day.
- Conan O’Brien’s nightly talk show on TBS is being cut to half an hour starting next year, with fewer celebrity interviews and more comedy.
- Fox still wants to try drastically reducing ad time during primetime one night a week, but is trying to figure out exactly how that would work.
- Newcap Radio, Canada’s second-largest commercial radio company by number of stations, is being bought by Montreal-based Stingray for $508 million in cash and stock. The deal requires CRTC approval. Stingray owns audio channels distributed by TV providers, as well as the former Much-branded music video channels. The deal would more than double Stingray’s size in terms of market capitalization, revenue and employees.
- CBC Montreal has launched a new podcast called Mic Drop, in which young people tell their own stories without adult narration. It’s produced by Shari Okeke and Carrie Haber, and has seven episodes.
- Vancouver’s Roundhouse Radio seemed to have some hope as a potential buyer worked through whether to buy it. But on Friday the station announced that it would shut down effective 6pm PT on May 6. They have received an offer to take over operations from an unnamed company, but the owners won’t keep the station running while the CRTC decides on a transfer of ownership.
- Some speakers will be speaking about various topics in a fundraiser for Montreal community station CIBL on May 17.
- Transcontinental has made the biggest sale of its process dumping its remaining newspaper titles, offloading its Montreal and Quebec City community papers (or what’s left of them, anyway) as well as Montreal’s Métro daily, to businessman Michael Raffoul, who promises to maintain the papers and all their employees. Of the 93 newspaper titles originally put for sale, about 85 by my count have been sold, at least three have been shut down (Courrier du Saguenay, Le Mirabel, Le Peuple Lévis) and according to TC only five remain, including:
- L’Avantage Gaspésien in Matane
- L’Avantage votre journal in Rimouski
- L’Avant-Poste in Amqui
- Seaway News in Cornwall, Ont.
- Vision Terre et Forêt, a special insert in the Gaspé/Bas-St-Laurent region
- The Windsor Star plans to go on strike if a deal with management isn’t reached by the end of the day on May 4. (UPDATE: A tentative deal has been reached, with a ratification vote scheduled for next week.)
- Nominations for the National Magazine Awards have been announced. L’Actualité leads with 13 nominations, followed by The Walrus (12) and Report on Business (11). Awards will be handed out June 1 in Toronto.
- The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour finalists have been announced.
- Mishmash Media, the company behind Voir and l’Actualité, is launching a new semi-annual print publication and website in which its staff goes on a tour of Quebec.
- A 17-year battle between freelance writers and print outlets is coming to an end after a settlement over electronic copyrights to their works. About $9 million is being paid out by the defendants.
- Right-wing U.S. blogging site Red State saw many of its writers fired, and the rumour that people critical of Donald Trump were more likely to get the ax.
- Pandora did some experimenting with its users, and found that increasing the number of ads in their streams made it more likely they would subscribe to the paid ad-free version, but for every one that did that, three people stopped listening.
- Facebook is looking at whether to add a paid ad-free version.
- A federal parliamentary committee reviewing Canada’s copyright law is going on the road to get people’s views. It stops in Montreal on May 8, at the Delta hotel on President-Kennedy Ave.
News about people
- Pierre Landry is the new music director at CHOM. He replaces Picard, who was let go in the latest wave of cuts. (UPDATE: And he gets a writeup in Le Devoir, promising to play more songs by familiar artists instead of the one or two most popular ones)
- Bernard St-Laurent is one of three people being given a lifetime achievement award by RTDNA Canada’s central region.
- Globe and Mail foreign correspondent Joanna Slater is leaving to join the Washington Post as its reporter in India.
- Denis Coderre is joining 98.5 FM as a commentator, filling in for Pierre Curzi on the morning show. This is being seen as a test run for potential future work.
- Radio-Canada’s TV news director Jean Pelletier is retiring.
- Caroline Proulx, who has been doing analysis on various TV and radio stations, has been made a CAQ candidate in the upcoming election.
- Tamara Baluja and Annie Burns-Pieper have been awarded Michener-Deacon Fellowships to work on journalism projects.
- A Washington Post investigation has shown far more instances of sexual harassment by Charlie Rose going back decades.
- Toronto Sports Media on the decision not to send journalists on road trips and when it make sense to avoid the expense.
- Filmmaker Xavier Dolan profiled in the New York Times
- Reporter/photographer, The Eastern Door in Kahnawake (deadline: May 14)
- Program Director, K103 in Kahnawake (deadline: June 1)