News about news
I send my FOIA birthday cards when my original requests turn one year older. Does this speed up my FOIAs? Not really, but the cards have to go into some file forever. pic.twitter.com/QjEPnpbzHQ
— Bill Geerhart (@CONELRAD6401240) February 11, 2019
- The FPJQ says 256 journalists submitted 422 stories for its 10 Judith-Jasmin journalism prizes this year, while 54 photographers submitted 213 photos for its six photography categories.
- A Quebec Court of Appeal ruling has said that the Quebec Press Act, which sets a time limit on when someone can sue a newspaper for defamation, does not apply to newspapers’ websites. The case in question was dismissed anyway, but the ruling could set a precedent for such cases in the future. The act dates from 1929.
- Some people were not crazy about CTV’s Omar Sachedina going to Gerald Butts’s home and talking to his wife after he resigned from his position in the Prime Minister’s Office.
- The Toronto Sun fell for a fake Gerald Butts Twitter account.
- Montreal mayor Valérie Plante says her city is being used as a “punching bag” for its handling of snow clearing operations, even though other cities are also experiencing snow-clearing problems and Montreal has received more snow and far more rain than in a normal winter.
- There’s a tendency at the National Assembly for politicians to change their routines to actively avoid journalists. CAQ members are entering caucus meetings by the back door, and PQ members are holding their caucus meetings on a floor inaccessible to journalists.
- Of the federal government’s total advertising spending, about half went to digital ads, and more money was spent on Facebook than TV, radio and print combined.
- Le Devoir has a new weekly newsletter summarizing the week at Quebec’s National Assembly.
- UQAM’s student publication Montréal Campus is actively avoiding using masculin nouns and adjectives when referring to groups of people.
- 12-year-old Hilde Lysiak is putting journalists far older than her to shame with her reporting, filming a police officer threatening to arrest her. The story got national attention. The officer in question was disciplined in some way, but his employer won’t say how.
- CARE International has created a list of the 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2018.
- A study by Northeastern University says viewers engage more with TV news stories that are longer and more emotional and include animation. The study itself actually re-edits some news stories to demonstrate, and frankly I’m not convinced by them. While some of the animations are very useful (like one of a train crash), others (like wacky transitions) add no information to stories, and the study doesn’t really address how much more work animation requires, while TV newsrooms are getting smaller.
At the CRTC
- The CRTC has released its report into sales practices by telecom companies, concluding unsurprisingly that there are some serious issues with how telecom services are sold. The report to the government is more of a here’s-what’s-happening than a here’s-what-we’re-gonna-do-about-it, but the commission says it will look at better monitoring (including its own secret-shopper program), and strengthened consumer rights, including a new internet service code, for which it’s doing a consultation right now through Facebook.
- The commission held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the proposals of Leclerc Communication related to the acquisition of CHOI-FM in Quebec City and CKLX-FM (91,9 Sports) in Montreal. I covered it for Cartt.ca. There’s also a story in the Journal de Québec. Not much new came out of the hearing, and I found their attempts to justify owning three radio stations in Quebec City pretty weak, but Leclerc made clear that it will not go through with the transaction if the CRTC won’t allow it to own three stations in Quebec City (it also owns WKND 91,9 and Blvd 102,1) and convert CKLX from a talk station to a music one. But as Alexandre Pratt notes in La Presse, even if the transaction falls through the future of Montreal’s only full-time French-language sports talk station is far from assured.
- The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta has gotten a one-year extension on the launch of its Edmonton Indigenous station, to June 2020. It told the CRTC its Calgary station CJWE-FM has “very disappointing” ad sales, about 25% of projections (which were around $200,000/yr), but it is “confident” its financials will improve. The Vancouver station that was licensed to take over the former Aboriginal Voices Radio frequencies also got an extension, but the stations in Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa are operational.
- A new FM transmitter for Radio-Canada has been approved for Matagami, Quebec, 180km north of Val-d’Or, replacing an AM transmitter. It’s 130 watts at 97.7 MHz.
- As part of its criteria for high-quality wired broadband internet access, the CRTC has set a “jitter” (variance in latency) standard of 5 milliseconds.
- The commission has authorized distribution of the French-language channel Museum in Canada. It’s a channel from France that talks about museums.
- TekSavvy has written to the CRTC complaining that its annual Communications Monitoring Report failed to provide the same detail on internet speeds as was included in past reports, without explaining why.
- The commission has proposed an application guide to its new Broadband Fund.
- Licence renewal applications have been posted for pay-per-view systems by Videotron, Shaw and Rogers.
- FNTSY Sports Network has also submitted its licence renewal application, in which it says it will be rebranding to “Game+” on April 1 (the company also owns GameTV). Its financial projections show it losing half a million dollars a year in operating revenue over the next seven years. It says it lost major sponsors because of new legislation, and it has a non-trivial number of “non-paying subscribers.”
- Globe and Mail Public Editor Sylvia Stead defends the publication’s use of confidential sources that broke the SNC-Lavalin/Jody Wilson-Raybould story.
- The CRTC has determined that CHOI-FM’s coverage of the Quebec City municipal election campaign did not violate regulations by unduly focusing on the incumbent party.
- A CBC ombudsman review of a decision to publish a photograph even though the subject of that photo didn’t want it published says they ethically had no reason not to use it (it doesn’t address the legal copyright issue), but CBC editors voluntarily chose to remove it after the subject complained.
- Radio-Canada’s ombudsman says the decision to broadcast a story about Adonis Stevenson that showed images of the fight that resulted in him being seriously injured did not violate standards, because the images were not gratuitous and dit not require a viewer advisory.
Sliding into Monday like… pic.twitter.com/LhBOa58xJi
— Kelly Greig (@KellyGreig) February 12, 2019
- Global TV is expanding its national Morning Show, which airs after local shows at 9am, from half an hour to an hour starting March 4.
- TVA has completed its acquisition of specialty channels Évasion and Zeste.
- TVA has also bought Incendo, a TV producer and distributor, for $19.5 million.
- Victoria’s CHEK TV is broadcasting a local documentary on Saturday about homelessness commercial-free, followed by a panel discussion. The trailer for the film is here.
- Stingray and Telus have signed a new distribution agreement that will bring Festival 4K, Now 4K, Hits, PalmarèsADISQ and Classica to Optik TV customers, and upgrade the existing channels (Loud, Vibe, Retro, Juicebox) to HD.
- In case the pettiness of TVA management wasn’t clear enough already, Hugo Dumas writes about artist Marc Dupré having to cancel an appearance on En direct de l’univers at the last minute because the network wouldn’t allow him to appear on a Radio-Canada show while he’s a judge on La Voix (which airs on a different night).
- The Canada Media Fund is launching a new campaign during CTV’s Oscars red carpet show. The campaign “celebrates the creative talent from Canada, both at home and internationally,” noting Canadian successes like The Handmaid’s Tale, Arrival and Stranger Things (even though none of those are considered Canadian for regulatory purposes).
- Radio-Canada PR head Marc Pichette likes to share pat-on-the-back TV ratings on Twitter. Besides the usual ratings successes like District 31 and Tout le monde en parle, we learn that Saturday afternoon reruns of La Petite Vie are drawing hundreds of thousands of viewers every week, with 776,000 on Feb. 9 at 6:30pm. That’s slightly more than the Canadiens game drew that night on TVA Sports.
- Netflix is opening a production hub in Toronto, leasing two studio spaces for an unspecified amount of time.
- Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is sick of TV news reports about obesity featuring stock video of headless people walking down the street. So they’re offering TV newsrooms the chance to licence their footage of fat people who are actually people.
- Programming announcements:
- Food Network Canada has a new series called Fire Masters (10 one-hour episodes), starting March 21.
- The Big Downsize, a five-episode series produced out of Halifax about people clearing out their homes as they prepare to move into smaller ones, with the help of an expert. Starts March 11 on Vision.
- Life Below Zero: Canada, a Canadian version of the BBC documentary series (8 one-hour episodes), coming to Cottage Life in 2020.
- Les Combattants, a new documentary series on mixed martial arts, coming to RDS and Z.
- Projection privée, a new series (12 half-hour episodes) hosted by Hélène Bourgeois-Leclerc in which a celebrity of the week is shown a movie about their personal life. On Canal Vie starting March 6.
- En rodage, a documentary series (10 half-hour episodes) about Quebec comedians. In production soon, coming to Z.
- Notre premier flip, a home decor documentary series (10 half-hour episodes) starring Ingrid Falaise and her family. Coming this fall to Canal Vie.
- Merci de partager, an interview series (8 half-hour episodes) hosted by Isabelle Racicot, about celebrities’ social media posts related to moments in their lives. Coming this summer to Canal Vie.
- The Hollywood Suite channels are running a bunch of John Candy movies March 1-3.
- The Montreal Impact has extended its radio rights deals by two years with TSN 690 and 98.5 FM. Play-by-play teams are unchanged. Both stations have already committed to at least 30 games this season, though Bell is putting the season opener on CJAD because the Canadiens are playing that night. TVA Sports holds the TV rights for all Impact MLS games.
- The dissident group pushing for change at Toronto’s Jazz.FM91 station narrowly won a vote to overthrow the board.
- Le Devoir writes about Fred Savard’s new podcast project, which begins next week.
- Because apparently not enough has been said about the life of Véronique Cloutier, La Presse’s Mario Girard does a day in the life of her radio show on Rouge FM.
— Caitlin Ostroff (@ceostroff) February 17, 2019
- A stark image in the Miami Herald related to a project to write obituaries for the 1,200 kids killed by guns since the Parkland Florida shooting.
- The Windsor Star is the latest newspaper that will no longer publish on Mondays, as of March 4. Editions are also being cut at the Brantford Expositor and Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune (Mondays) and Kenora Daily Miner & News (Tuesdays).
- Ricardo is shutting down the English-language version of its magazine. The last issue hits March 18.
- TVA Publications has laid off dozens of employees at its English-language lifestyle magazines including Style at Home, Canadian Living and Elle. Canadian Living and Style at Home are moving from Toronto to Montreal. TVA acquired those magazines from Transcontinental in 2014.
- Alexandre Taillefer tells Le Devoir he’s committed to L’actualité and Voir, and is prepared to invest more money in them. L’actualité has seen its government subsidy, ad revenue and number of subscribers significantly cut, and Voir just announced it will no longer have a print edition.
- Métro Média, which bought Métro and Montreal community weekly newspapers from Transcontinental, is centralizing its offices in Saint-Laurent. Community news from the West Island to Pointe-aux-Trembles will be reported from one building.
- The comic strip Non Sequitur is in hot water after its cartoonist accidentally left a profane scribble directed at Donald Trump in a cartoon that was published in many newspapers. The resulting backlash led to many newspapers dropping the cartoon, including the Kansas City Star, the Concord Monitor, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel, the Chicago Tribune, the Tampa Bay Times and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Many readers at those papers have written to say they would like the strip reinstated.
- Employees at BuzzFeed Canada are forming a union. The website has a staff of 10, of which four are in sales, four in news and two in BuzzFeed Originals.
News about people
- Michel Cormier, Radio-Canada’s former news director, has been named executive director on the new Canadian commission that will organize the leaders’ debates during the next federal election.
- Troy Reeb has been promoted to Executive Vice-President of Broadcast Networks at Corus. The shuffle has also made Colin Bohm EVP Content and Corporate Strategy, and Chief Revenue Officer Greg McLelland adds marketing to his responsibilities.
- Mylène Crête, let go from Presse Canadienne as Ottawa correspondent, has joined Le Devoir’s Quebec City bureau.
- The Globe and Mail’s Jeff Gray is moving from covering Toronto municipal politics to Ontario provincial politics.
- Sudbury CTV reporter Callam Rodya (or as CTV News calls him, “a 32-year-old Sudbury man”) has been charged with three counts of child pornography possession. He is currently suspended from the CTV job.
- Radio-Canada’s blog profiles Manon Brisebois, the director of Tout le monde en parle and the mythical “Manon” Guy A. Lepage tells to play excerpts during the show.
- Montreal music journalist and Gazette freelancer Erik Leijon gets a bit personal talking about how changing the way he eats has changed how he appreciates the city’s culinary scene. Also he lost like 80 pounds in a year.
- La Presse’s Marie-Eve Morasse has started a new series about life with cancer.
- The Athletic profiles Hockey Night in Canada’s David Amber.
- The Globe and Mail profiles actress and writer Kathleen Robertson.
- General assignment reporter, National Post in Toronto (deadline: Feb. 25)
- Journalists, Métro Média (community weeklies) in Montreal (deadline: Feb. 28)
- Columnist-researcher, CBC in Sherbrooke (deadline: March 7)
- Corus Writer’s Apprentice Program (deadline: March 8)
- Journalist, ELMNT FM in Ottawa (deadline: March 8)
- La Presse diversity bursary (deadline: April 4)