News about news
Woups ! Le PLQ a décidé d'identifier l'autocar de campagne des MÉDIAS avec leurs logo et slogan. Les médias sont indépendants. Leurs autocars ne devraient pas être identifiés (d'autant plus que les médias paient leurs autocars) #PolQc #qc2018 #Quebec2018 @LiberalQuebec @FPJQ pic.twitter.com/dbS5pe9OOH
— François Cormier (@fcormierTVA) August 22, 2018
- Someone at the Quebec Liberal Party probably thought it would be cool to properly brand the media bus, until the media objected to having political logos and slogans affixed to the bus they paid for to follow leader Philippe Couillard around. The logos have since been removed.
- Quebecor is suing the Quebec Press Council because it continues to reach decisions about Quebecor’s news coverage despite the fact that Quebecor is no longer a member and refuses to participate in its proceedings. Quebecor says that TVA is part of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which is true but ignores the fact that the Journal de Montréal (which is way more often the subject of complaints) submits itself to no outside ombudsman. The council has only acknowledged the news so far.
- CBC has more details on the cancellation of the New Brunswick French leaders’ debate.
- La Presse is charging $40 a head to attend its Quebec leaders’ debate viewing party on Sept. 13.
- CBC has launched its Vote Compass for the Quebec election. The analysts have put the Quebec Liberals as closest to centre on policy, which I’m sure won’t please everyone.
- U.S. news media lost audience on just about every platform in 2017 versus 2016, likely because it wasn’t a presidential election year.
- The New York Times redesigned its website homepage and no longer shows reporter bylines there (they remain on the actual stories). People lost their minds.
- David Pecker, CEO of the company that owns the National Enquirer, has been granted immunity in exchange for information about Donald Trump and lawyer Michael Cohen. Pecker, who reportedly would help Trump’s campaign kill stories about his affairs by buying exclusive rights to them and never publishing them, is on the board of directors of Postmedia (my employer).
- BuzzFeed reporter Megha Rajagopalan has been kicked out of China, for reasons that remain unclear.
- The Globe and Mail has its annual grammar quiz out. (Full disclosure: I got 14/16)
At the CRTC
- Because broadcast licences normally end on Sept. 1, late August is licence renewal season:
- CFNV 940 Montreal, the French-language TTP Media station, got its licence renewed for five years. No licence compliance issues were raised and no interventions were filed, but because it took so long to launch, it gets a shorter-term renewal.
- Blue Ant Media’s licensed TV channels — A.Side, BBC Earth, Cottage Life, HIFI, Love Nature, Makeful, T + E and Smithsonian Channel — got a five-year renewal (which is what most TV licences are getting these days). The group as a whole has a 21% Canadian programming expenditure quota set, despite requests from various industry groups for a higher quota, and all channels now get standard conditions of licence. There was a compliance issue related to the filing of audited financial statements that was quickly rectified.
- Canal Évasion has also been renewed to 2023, with its CPE quota reduced from 46% to 40% (not the 32% it requested). Compliance issues related to Canadian content and closed captioning were dismissed as minor reporting issues. Évasion is owned by Groupe Serdy, which is looking to sell to Quebecor.
- Hollywood Suite has been renewed, with no compliance issues and a minimum CPE quota of 10%.
- Knowledge Network and BBC Kids were renewed. Knowledge had requested a reduction in Canadian content exhibition requirements from 55% to 40% of the broadcast day. The CRTC denied this request.
- Rewind (formerly Moviola), renewed with a 19% CPE requirement.
- The Rural Channel, renewed with a 10% CPE requirement.
- CKOY-FM Sherbrooke (Cogeco talk station 107,7 Estrie) got a four-year licence renewal because of a compliance issue related to local programming. The station blamed it on an exceptional broadcast of an Alouettes football game with Sherbrooke native Jacques Chapdelaine as the new head coach. The CRTC was satisfied that it was an exceptional case, but because the station had two previous licence terms in non-compliance, it gets a short-term renewal.
- CJLD-FM Leduc, Alta. (The One 93.1) got a full seven years. But it must pay $1,189 in owed Canadian content development contributions.
- CJOA-FM Thunder Bay got four years because of failure to provide financial statements for two years before the current owner (United Christian Broadcasters) took control of the station.
- CJHR-FM Renfrew, Ont. (Valley Heritage Radio 98.7) got six years, because the community station’s financial statements reflected a fiscal year that didn’t match the CRTC’s broadcast year (September to August). The station is fixing that issue.
- CHCR-FM Killaloe/Wilno, Ont., got a full seven years, with the CRTC finding that getting the emergency public alerting system operational 39 days after the deadline (because of missing parts) was not significant enough to warrant a finding of non-compliance.
- CFAQ-FM Blucher, Sask., got five years, with a non-compliance because of a failed logging system.
- CIRP-FM Spryfield, N.S. (Live 94.7) got a full seven years, after sorting out its paperwork and showing that it did indeed make Canadian content development contributions as required.
- CKNT Mississauga, renewed for only five years because it’s only finally getting on the air now.
- The CRTC is renewing mandatory distribution orders, which require all TV subscribers to subscribe to particular services. Orders are until August 2023 unless otherwise noted:
- AMItv, AMItélé and AMI audio, renewed at the same wholesale rates of $0.20, $0.28 and $0.04, respectively (AMItv and AMItélé rates are only for their respective language markets, so Canadians pay for one or the other but not both).
- Canal M, renewed with the wholesale rate doubled from $0.02 to $0.04 per month.
- Legislative Assemblies of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, renewed with no expiry date because they do not ask for a subscription fee.
- The commission won’t make its own deadline deciding on some licence renewals, so has issued so-called administrative renewals, extending current licences for a few months to give itself more time:
- Independent over-the-air TV broadcasters Télé-Québec, CHCH, CHEK, NTV, Yes TV, CHFD Thunder Bay, the three Pattison stations CFJC, CKPG and CHAT, plus Rogers’s City Saskatchewan and community station CFTV Leamington (Dec. 31, 2018)
- Super Channel (Aug. 31, 2019)
- CIBL-FM Montreal (Aug. 31, 2019)
- CIPU-FM Micmac, N.S. (Aug. 31, 2019)
- Sirius XM Canada (Aug. 31, 2019)
- CKJS Winnipeg (Aug. 31, 2019)
- CKEZ-FM New Glasgow (Classic Rock 97.9) and CKOS-FM Fort McMurray (The Bridge 91.1) (Feb. 28, 2019)
- CILM-FM (O98.3/105.5) Saguenay (Dec. 31, 2018)
- At the request of basically everyone who owns a private commercial radio station in Quebec City, the CRTC has extended the comment period for the proposal to add new stations in Quebec City, Portneuf and Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce. The new deadline is Sept. 28.
- The commission has launched an online survey asking people’s opinions about misleading and aggressive sales tactics by telecom providers.
- A CBC News story describing a government-funded organization as “independent” was incorrect, even though the term was meant to say it is independent of the drug companies it deals with.
Tonight, I did weather and shared the anchor desk with THE @MJohnsonCTV. Two black on-air broadcasters doing the 6pm news at @CTVMontreal, I'm not sure that's ever happened before! Anyway, this means the world to me! pic.twitter.com/xG9Cfo3NWY
— Julian McKenzie (@jkamckenzie) August 18, 2018
On August 26, 2013 we aired our very first show here in Montreal.
Thank you to our whole team — from our host, to our crew, guests and viewers (that’s you)!
Teamwork makes the dream work, and working on this team is a dream.
Thank you, Montreal. ?? pic.twitter.com/DS6WZjH9d2
— Breakfast Television Montreal (@BTMontreal) August 26, 2018
- More details about the first ever English-language televised leaders’ debate in Quebec. The Sept. 17 debate will have two moderators — CTV anchor Mutsumi Takahashi and CBC anchor Debra Arbec — and a host, Global’s Jamie Orchard. The debate will be broadcast live on Montreal stations of CBC, CTV, Global and City, as well as CJAD radio, CBC Radio One throughout Quebec, and online, including the Montreal Gazette website. “Journalists from major English-language media outlets will fact-check the leaders’ statements in real time during the event.” Also Québec solidaire’s Manon Massé will be participating, even though it was suggested earlier that Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois would take her place because he’s better in English.
- Three Corus-owned TV stations in southeastern Ontario will finally be fully merged into the Global network as they end their affiliation contracts with CTV. CHEX-DT Peterborough, CHEX-TV-2 Oshawa and CKWS-DT Kingston have been owned by Corus since 2000, when it bought Power Broadcasting. They were long-time CBC affiliates, but switched to CTV in 2015 when CBC decided to stop having private affiliates. Since Corus bought Global, they’ve had Global newscasts but CTV primetime programming. Starting Monday, it’s full Global programming (though CHEX promises to maintain the CHEX brand). This brings Global’s network to 15 stations, plus two private affiliates, plus a shared affiliation on NTV in St. John’s.
- Canadaland goes in depth about Global TV’s “multi-market content” strategy for local newscasts in a podcast episode and first-person tell-all. It includes anecdotes like having to put Quebec police press releases through Google Translate because no one was around at Global Montreal to write up a brief to add to the late newscast. There’s also a response from Global News boss Troy Reeb.
- Employees at TVA in Montreal have voted 86.5% in favour of reiterating a previous strike mandate.
- Rogers has released its schedule for Hometown Hockey this season. The 25-episode season runs Sunday nights from October to March. The only Quebec stop is in Boisbriand on Dec. 1-2.
- Sportsnet has released full broadcast schedules for the three NHL teams it has full regional rights for:
- Vancouver Canucks: 35 national games (8 on either SN360 or SN1), 48 regional games (2 on Sportsnet Canucks, which has been renamed from Sportsnet Vancouver Hockey)
- Calgary Flames: 39 national games (18 on SN360 or SN1), 43 regional (5 on Sportsnet Flames)
- Edmonton Oilers: 39 national games (15 on either SN360 or SN1), 43 regional (3 on Sportsnet Oilers)
- The Canadian Media Guild is pushing to unionize factual TV production workers, including those who work on The Amazing Race Canada and Property Brothers.
- CBC Television has renewed the Baroness von Sketch Show for a fourth season.
- Global TV has announced its fall premiere dates.
- Z has found a winning formula in, among other things, documentaries about the porn industry. Its fall lineup also includes a documentary series about the Philippe-Pinel institute, which houses violent mentally unstable people.
- The Télé-Québec series Like-Moi! is back for another season, but will premiere on Videotron’s Club Illico first. It has also replaced Adib Alkhalidey, who is too busy to stay with the show, with Mehdi Bousaidan.
- CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes is coming back without Shaun Majumder, who says it was not his decision and happened because of “creative differences.” He’s been with the show for 14 of the past 15 years.
- CBC has announced the contestants for the Great Canadian Baking Show Season 2.
- MTV is bringing back The Hills, with its original cast.
- Netflix’s latest talk show experiment is a show starring Norm Macdonald.
- The Big Bang Theory will finally come to an end after Season 12. Negotiating contract renewals with its stars had become more trouble than it was worth.
- Amazon has the exclusive U.K. rights to the US Open tennis tournament, so this week will be a key test for the streaming provider.
- A trick of the trade in TV newsgathering: if you need a clip of a source on camera but can’t get a journalist there, just send a camera and have the source hold their own microphone as you ask questions over the phone. This unedited clip from CTV Montreal shows it in action.
— Terry DiMonte (@TerryDiMonte) August 21, 2018
- Attraction Radio’s CILM-FM 98.3 Chicoutimi (formerly CKRS-FM) and CKGS-FM 105.5 La Baie have ended their affiliation with Cogeco’s Rythme FM network and adopted the Attraction brand O. It’s unclear if this is related to Cogeco’s pending purchase of RNC Media stations in the area, including KYK Radio X Saguenay and the Planète stations around Lac Saint-Jean. Cogeco could convert the Planète stations (none of which serve Saguenay directly) to Rythme FM, or KYK (which is licensed as a music station), or both.
- The New York Times takes a look at Quebec City talk radio and sits down with its most famous figurehead, Jeff Fillion.
- The situation at Toronto’s Jazz FM91 is getting worse, as donors are mad that key staff were fired right after a fundraising drive. Marie Slaight (of the Slaight broadcasting family), who was a major donor, is offering to take over control.
- ICI Radio-Canada Première has announced its fall lineup.
- CBC has announced its podcast slate for the fall. It includes picking up The Secret Life of Canada, the Katie Jensen-produced podcast hosted by Leah Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson.
- J-Source looks at the union talks at the Ottawa Citizen/Sun, which has a vote on a contract offer Sept. 9, with an agreement from both the union and employer to maintain the status quo until then. The Ottawa union and the Montreal Newspaper Guild, which represents unionized Montreal Gazette workers (including myself) has a pact with the Ottawa guild that if there’s a lockout or strike at one paper, there’s an automatic strike at the other. Both unions have strike mandates. Details of the contract offer have not been released.
- Small California newspapers are experimenting with the idea of selling stock to their communities as a way of raising funds and keeping them engaged.
- The Quebec government is appealing a court ruling that struck down a law that would allow Loto-Québec to order internet providers to block illegal gambling websites. The text of the appeal can be found here.
- Facebook has a Canadian Election Integrity Initiative, which looks like it will do virtually nothing to solve the problem of fake news.
- Cult MTL talks to Steve Galluccio, writer of the Cancon rom-com Little Italy. The trailer for the movie is … not promising.
- Sony is acknowledging that some songs released on a posthumous Michael Jackson album were actually sung by a Jackson impersonator.
News about people
The Montreal Alouettes want to highlight the career of journalist Bill Beacon, who has worked more than 40 years for the Canadian Press and UPI. It is his last game tonight as he is retiring this week. Thank you Bill! pic.twitter.com/0sYFQB6Q9r
— #AlsMTL (@MTLAlouettes) August 25, 2018
- Bill Beacon is retiring as the Canadian Press’s main sports reporter in Montreal. If you’ve read news stories about Montreal sports, chances are you’ve read some of his work.
- Fariha Naqvi has joined the news team at City Montreal. The hijab-wearing journalist and Montreal Gazette columnist speaks about the importance of diversity in media during an appearance on Breakfast Television.
- Susan Delacourt is going back to the Toronto Star full-time as Ottawa columnist and bureau chief.
- CTV Vancouver has named its new anchor team, four months after firing its previous team of Tamara Taggart and Mike Killeen. Mi-Jung Lee and Scott Roberts will anchor the 6pm newscast, Scott Hurst anchors at noon and 5pm, and Nafeesa Karim will anchor on weekends. The full list is here. (The CTV Vancouver news story about the new appointments doesn’t bother naming the previously fired anchors.)
- CTV Vancouver’s Sarah MacDonald has let to join competitor Global BC.
- Camille Ross, formerly of CTV Montreal and Global Montreal, has been upgraded from weekend to weeknight co-anchor at CTV London. She replaces Tara Overholt, who is moving to Calgary after this week.
- Cousin Vinny Barrucco of The Beat 92.5 became a father this week with the birth of his daughter Sia.
- Marie-France Bazzo is now a contributor to 98.5 FM Montreal’s afternoon show. She was briefly the morning host at Radio-Canada’s morning show in Montreal, which competed directly with 98.5.
- Thomas Ledwell has joined his former CBC colleague Tim Duboyce at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
- The Canadian Media Producers Association has named its emerging producer award after the late Kevin Tierney.
- Gave Lindo has been appointed executive director of over-the-top programming for CBC, in charge of original digital content.
- The Montreal Gazette is losing three veteran journalists this week: health reporter Charlie Fidelman, and editors Patricia Crowe and François Lauzon, all leaving with buyouts.
- Annie Bergeron-Oliver is leaving CTV Ottawa to join the CTV’s parliamentary bureau. That will likely mean working more closely with her father, Craig Oliver.
- Melanie Adams is the new morning co-host at Ottawa’s The Rebel 101.7.
- Eric Francis is joining Sportsnet full-time in Calgary as an analyst and columnist focusing on the Flames.
- Pierre Karl Péladeau has a new headache: A $46,000 cellphone bill somehow racked up by his son while on vacation. The phone plan was owned by Julie Snyder’s production company, so Videotron (which Péladeau owns) is suing that company for the unpaid bill.
- CNN has suspended contributor (and Trump defender) Paris Dennard after the Washington Post revealed he was fired from a job four years ago for making sexually explicit comments to women.
News about companies
- CBC News has heard from a bunch of people who participated in the CRTC’s inquiry into sales practices at major telecom companies. Bell and Rogers, who are the subject of most complaints, continue to deny they mislead customers. So far the proceeding has prompted 737 comments.
- Quebecor has bought back $362.5 million of its debt.
- The Globe and Mail explores the changing dynamics for children’s television in Canada, and how the country’s strong position could be under threat as funding decreases.
- Motherboard goes in depth about the big problem of content moderation on Facebook, and what the company is doing to try to solve it.
- The New York Times on Conan O’Brien’s weird fanboy love for author Robert Caro, who he’s repeatedly tried and failed to get on his show.
- Here’s a crazy idea: How about for once we portray a female journalist in a movie or TV show who doesn’t have sex with a source? (I finally watched Spotlight recently, which happily did so, but it’s based on a true story.)
- Robin Leach, host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
- Meech Kean, VOCM legislative reporter
- Neil Simon, playwright
- Cree language journalist for Maamuitaau at CBC Montreal (deadline: Aug. 28)
- Radio and TV newsperson, Jim Pattison Broadcast Group in Kamloops, B.C. (deadline: Aug. 31)
- Breaking news editor/reporter, TheGrowthOp (Postmedia) in Toronto (deadline: Sept. 7)
- Afternoon news anchor, 1310 News in Ottawa
- Economics and Money Editor, Vice News in Toronto