Category Archives: Media

Media News Digest: Vice loses in Supreme Court, DeMelt replaces Schwartz at CTV, Makos leaves City

News about news

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Journalists of Tomorrow: Stéphane Grasso

Every year, I speak to winners of Concordia’s journalism school awards as they’re presented at the Montreal Gazette offices. Today, one of the 2016 winners of the Philip Fisher bursary, Stéphane Grasso.

Stéphane Grasso in 2016.

Stéphane Grasso is an artist. His specialty is in film production, thanks to his education at Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema that started 15 years ago.

As he explains below, he produced documentaries for non-profits like World Vision, and that work led to a desire to focus on underrepresented people, so he decided to study journalism.

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Quebec City still isn’t ready for its first English-language commercial radio station, CRTC finds

Evanov Radio’s controversial plan to launch Quebec City’s first English-language commercial radio station will have to wait some more after being denied again by the CRTC.

In a decision released Thursday, the commission said the Quebec City radio market “cannot sustain an additional radio station at this time” and that the two applications for new stations — the other by Gilles Lapointe and Nelson Sergerie is for a French station — would be returned.

Evanov had previously tried a decade ago to convince the CRTC to move forward with an English music station in the provincial capital, but the commission denied its application in 2010, in a controversial decision that included a dissenting opinion.

The application is controversial because the other stations in the market argue that Quebec City’s English-language population is far too small to sustain a commercial radio station, so Evanov would instead target the francophone population. By being an English station, it would not be subject to the 65% French-language music rule, which would give it an unfair competitive advantage by allowing it to play more American and U.K. hit songs that are very popular among francophone audiences.

Evanov, who wants to launch a Jewel brand station in Quebec City, argues it wants to serve the anglophone community as well as the anglophone tourist market (though Quebec City already has an English tourist information station), and that it has experience in running radio stations in small markets.

The 2010 decision includes a detailed analysis of the anglophone market in Quebec City. But today’s decision only analyzes the market conditions overall, without commenting specifically on the appropriateness of an English radio station in Quebec.

The current applications for Quebec City actually date from 2016, but were put on hold when the CRTC ran low on French-speaking commissioners.

Under CRTC rules, it won’t consider new applications for Quebec City for the next two years. In December 2020, they can try again.

The news was better in neighbouring communities. In Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, an application by Attraction Radio for a second music station there will go ahead. And in Portneuf, which is technically still the home of CHXX-FM (Pop 100.9), the commission will proceed with an application by Michel Lambert. Both raised concerns from the commercial broadcasters in Quebec City for fear that they might eventually target the Quebec City market. The Beauce application was also opposed by Groupe Radio Simard, which owns stations in Saint-Georges-de-Beauce.

The applications themselves haven’t yet been published, but should be soon. a public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20 (to hear an application for Leclerc Communication to buy CHOI Radio X and 91,9 Sports from RNC Media), but these items will not require any oral presentations.

How The Beat beat Virgin (and other trends of Montreal radio ratings)

Numeris released its quarterly metered radio ratings today. There aren’t a lot of surprises, because it’s mostly the same numbers as the last time, and the time before that, and the time before that.

So instead of just excitedly reposting the top-line numbers or fetching the various spins by the broadcasters that make everyone look like they had the best quarter, I thought I’d take a look at some historical data and see how the stations are trending over time.

I did this exercise for Canada’s five metered markets for Cartt.ca after the last ratings book. If you’re a subscriber you can read them there: VancouverEdmonton and Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

In this post, I’ll go into some more detail about the Montreal numbers, with charts!

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CRTC decision clears way for Kanesatake station to launch rebuild plan

CKHQ-FM Kanesatake in 2014.

There was a sigh of relief in Kanesatake on Monday that relations between the federal government and the Mohawk reserve wouldn’t be strained over a radio frequency coordination issue.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission released a decision denying a licence application for a new Christian music radio station in Lachute. The application by LS Telecom proposed a 300-watt station at 101.7 MHz.

That same frequency is used by CKHQ-FM (Kanesatake United Voices Radio), a low-power (27W) community station serving the reserve about 25 kilometres away. And though the applicant’s engineers said (and the CRTC agreed) that the new station could co-exist with this existing one, because CKHQ is low-power it does not have a right to its frequency and could be forced to find a new one if a licensed station would receive interference. Because of Kanesatake’s proximity to Montreal, there aren’t other frequencies available that would be nearly as good, even for such a low-power station.

The Lachute station would also have limited CKHQ’s ability to seek an increase in power (though the CRTC says it “would not affect the ability of CKHQ-FM to serve its principal market” and “would not prevent CKHQ-FM from expanding to a regular power station”).

The Lachute application was denied, not because of concerns about CKHQ, but because of issues with the application itself. The commission seemed to think it was a bad application in general, that LS Telecom “did not provide a quality application and did not demonstrate an understanding of the regulations and policies for commercial radio and religious broadcasting.” But it particularly showed concern with the complete lack of news programming proposed, even after the CRTC reminded them that such a thing is expected of commercial FM radio stations, religious or not.

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Leslie Roberts leaving CJAD after two years

Leslie Roberts, who has been hosting the 9-to-noon show on CJAD 800 for two years, announced on Tuesday morning he will be stepping down from the job at the end of the month. His last show is Dec. 21.

Roberts told Andrew Carter he plans to do some travelling, and has accepted a position with travel website TravelToWellness.com, where he says he’s also been asked to launch a video channel, which he jokingly described as “Travel Travel 2.0” in reference to the former CFCF-12 show he contributed to back in the day.

He said his CJAD contract was expiring but he was asked to stay on a bit longer, and he is in talks with station management to continue to contribute in some capacity, perhaps as a regular panelist or analyst.

Roberts, whose father worked at CJAD, began his career in Montreal, mainly at CFCF, until he was hired first by Global Quebec then by Global Toronto, where he anchored its newscast for 14 years. Roberts resigned from the anchor chair at Global Toronto in 2015 after a Toronto Star investigation found that he owned a PR firm and his clients were appearing on his show without any disclosure.

He was brought in to CJAD in November 2016 to fill the hole left by Tommy Schnurmacher. At the same time, the station fired afternoon host Barry Morgan and upgraded Natasha Hall to his former slot.

CRTC says no to demanding English programming from Télé-Québec

It was a nice try from the English Language Arts Network, but the CRTC didn’t bite. In renewing Télé-Québec’s broadcasting licence for a five-year term on Tuesday, the commission turned down ELAN’s request that Quebec’s public broadcaster devote 10% of its programming budget to English-language programming (proportional to the number of anglophones in the province).

The request made headlines when it was published earlier this year, and an angry motion from independent MNA Martine Ouellet.

ELAN pointed to Ontario’s creation of TFO, a francophone equivalent of TVO, as precedent for having bilingual public broadcasters. But the commission was unconvinced.

“The creation and operation of TFO in Ontario is a decision of the Government of Ontario,” the commission wrote. “Provinces have the opportunity to put in place educational television stations in both official languages for their citizens if they wish.”

Télé-Québec argued its programming was reflective of all Quebecers, including anglophone Quebecers, in the topics discussed if not the language it is discussed in.

ELAN also asked for “a policy and an action plan relating to Quebec’s diversity”, a 20% quota on programming reflecting minorities, and an advisory committee. The CRTC said the demands were “beyond the scope of this licence renewal process” and should be dealt with at a policy hearing.

Other interest groups also sought quotas or commitments from Télé-Québec. Producers wanted more spending on scripted programming, children’s programming and original French-language programming, a Quebec City group wanted a 10% quota on programming from Quebec City, and ADISQ wanted an expectation related to music.

The commission turned those down, but did add a purposely vague expectation related to regional programming: “The Commission expects the licensee to make use of independent producers from all of Quebec’s regions in such a way that producers from the regions outside the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area, as well as producers from the Montréal CMA, are proportionally contributing to the production of programs broadcast on CIVM-DT Montréal.”

It also allowed Télé-Québec to extend its target audience for youth programming to include teenagers ages 12-17.

Télé-Québec has 17 over-the-air transmitters across the province, but even though they mostly carry different callsigns, they are all formally licensed as retransmitters of the Montreal station, and the programming carried on all of them is identical.

Its new licence expires Aug. 31, 2024.

Journalists of Tomorrow: Emilee Gilpin

Every year, I speak to winners of Concordia’s journalism school awards as they’re presented at the Montreal Gazette offices. Today, the 2016 winner of the Susan Carson bursary, Emilee Gilpin.

Emilee Gilpin, shortly after receiving her award in 2016.

Emilee Gilpin’s face has been hidden inside one of my browser tabs for almost two years now, as a reminder that I should write these bloody interviews up. Concordia’s website did a brief article about the 2016 award winners, and she was one of the winners quoted.

So, one browser tab closed, 25 more to go. Anyway, how can I make this blog post more about me?

OK, fine, let’s talk about Emilee. She’s 27 (or 25 when she won the award), she’s from London, Ontario, and she has an undergrad degree in philosophy and Spanish from McMaster University. She mentions off the bat her love of travelling, including teaching English as a second language in China before doing Concordia’s journalism diploma program.

As you can see from her answers below, she’s one of those activist journalists that white guys get so riled up about, focusing particularly on Indigenous issues. Susan Carson, the Gazette journalist after whom the award she received was named, was similar in her own way, seeking out stories of injustice and shining a light on them in the hope that doing so would spark change.

Here’s what Gilpin had to say when I caught up with her by email.

Why did you decide to study journalism?

I saw a few documentaries featuring some badass investigative journalists and I saw myself in them. I have a passion for justice and a strong intolerance for injustice and I believe in doing what we can during our cycle on earth to nurture positive change. One of the important roles of a journalist is holding truth to power and I liked that. I also noticed a gap in coverage of Indigenous communities in Canada, and wanted to see what I could do to help fill it in a good way.

What does journalism mean to you?

There have always been forms of journalism — news sharing, story-telling — they are ancient practices. When settlers first arrived, communities had scouts to inform them on information, there were runners between communities and nations, stories shared in potlatches and law lodges. Western journalism was built to protect democracy, so it involves holding truth to power, but it is also an institution and a corporation, created by white men, so it is also full of space for adaptation and diversification. Journalism for me means sharing stories in a good way — fleshing out the black and white, including all voices, being accountable to those whose stories we share, building relationships to ensure trust and accountability, being on the front lives of important events, documenting history and more.

What kind of journalism would you like to do?

I work now for National Observer, leading a series ‘First Nations Forward,’ emphasizing stories of success and sovereignty of First Nations in B.C. I’d like to continue to write about stories that have been historically made invisible or misrepresented, to diversify out media coverage and tell a more wholesome and accurate picture.

I give workshops on decolonizing or indigenizing journalism, but it really involves basic anti-oppressive techniques to ensure a level of ethical behaviour and accountability in our relationships and professional duties. It involves learning about and including historical and cultural contextualization of events, fact-checking and culture-checking, being accountable and objective, addressing assumptions, stereotypes and internalized racism, and some.

What have you been up to since receiving your award?

After graduating from Concordia, I received Journalists for Human Rights’ ‘Emerging Indigenous Journalist’ internship, with the Tyee in Vancouver. After that internship, I was hired by National Observer to lead their ‘First Nations Forward’ series. I have been working full-time with National Observer since.

How can people follow your work?

You can see my work with National Observer here, work with the Tyee here, and my personal website here.

Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram: emileeguevara

Media News Digest: Tax breaks for journalism, Roundhouse Radio sold, more cuts at Bell Media

News about news

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Journalists of Tomorrow: Meagan Boisse

Every year, I speak to winners of Concordia’s journalism school awards as they’re presented at the Montreal Gazette offices. Today, the 2016 winner of the Lewis Harris award, Meagan Boisse.

Meagan Boisse (courtesy of Meagan Boisse)

I haven’t met Meagan (we communicated over email), and I don’t have any cool anecdotes or insights to share to open this up. So we’ll just get right into it. Boisse is 27, from Châteauguay, and studied cinema, video and communications at Dawson College before doing an undergrad in journalism at Concordia. Her bylines have appeared in Reader’s Digest Canada, Montreal Families, the National Post, and particularly Concordia’s own website.

Why did you decide to study journalism?

It seemed like a natural fit. I’m a curious person and have always loved to meeting new people, exploring new places and storytelling.

Beyond that, I was very interested in media studies. As Marshall McLuhan once stated “the medium is the message”; each new form of information technology carries its own social discourse. Studying multimedia journalism seemed like a way to delve into how different media forms work with the public and what their specific abilities are in conveying a message.

What does journalism mean to you?

For me journalism an important filter that separates fiction from truth, it is a voice for those that need to he heard and a manner for people to engage and better understand the world in which they live.

What kind of journalism would you like to do?

Narrative journalism, it’s what I like to read and what I hope to write. Well done long-form, narrative journalism has a literary quality that if done properly can be more fascinating than fiction.

What other interests do you have that you think you can apply to a career in journalism or a related field?

I enjoy design and photography. I like to fuss over details, and as visuals can be a big part of story telling an interest in aesthetics can only bolster one’s work as a journalist.

How do you see the future of journalism?

I know there’s this idea out there that journalism is dying, that it cannot sustain itself in the digital age. However, I believe robust, reliable journalism is something people will always seek out, something that has an intrinsic value that carries across borders, generations and political spheres. I think journalism will survive the death of its institutions. What will it look like in fifty years? I don’t know, but I’m certain good, honest journalism will always be around.

What have you been up to since receiving your award?

Since I received my award I’ve finished my undergraduate degree, was an editorial intern for Reader’s Digest Canada and began working for Concordia’s newsdesk on a full-time basis. Over the last year I managed X Explained, Concordia’s own how-to video series. I also wrote weekly student-advice articles for my namesake column, ‘Ask Meagan’, which appeared on the university’s official app.

This past August, I moved to Berlin. I hope to begin writing for local publications here!

How can people follow your work?

Check out my website: meaganboisse.com

Media News Digest: Another alert test, union deal at Globe

News about news

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Remembering Randy Tieman

Randy Tieman with the Alouettes’ Paul Lambert at the Alouettes’ Grey Cup victory celebration in 2009.

I don’t have that much original to say about Randy Tieman, who died unexpectedly at the age of 64. For that matter, neither do most of his colleagues.

It’s not because he was unliked, or kept to himself, or hid his private life. The exact opposite, in fact. It’s because with Tieman, what you saw was what you got. He was a fun guy who loved to have fun, was passionate about sports (particularly baseball and football), and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.

Last year, when he was fired from his job as sports anchor at CTV Montreal, he took the news in stride. He didn’t get angry at his former employer. Instead, he worried about his former colleagues who were also let go, and weren’t as ready as he was to start retirement.

That’s just the kind of guy he was. So when you see tweets and Facebook posts and it seems like they’re all saying the same thing, that’s why. He wasn’t an act for the camera, he was really like that in person.

It’s very sad that he didn’t get much of a chance to enjoy his retirement. It’s also unfortunate that we’ll never get to see what he looked like without that moustache. A few years ago I thought it might make a good charity fundraiser to auction off the rights to shave it.

Mostly, I guess, because his upper lip was the only thing he kept hidden.

A service was held Friday, Nov. 23 at 4pm at Munro & Morris Funeral Homes Ltd., 46 Oak St., Lancaster, Ont.

UPDATE (Nov. 20): Stu Cowan writes about Tieman in a Gazette column. And the Canadiens paid tribute during a commercial break during the first period of Monday’s game at the Bell Centre.

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Buyer of 91,9 Sports wants to drop its all-sports format and turn it into a WKND music station

Leclerc Communication warned its staff and even issued a press release to soften the blow of the posting of the CRTC application today, but it still comes as a disappointment to many Montreal francophone sports fans that it is seeking to drop the sports talk format of 91,9 Sports (CKLX-FM) and replace it with the pop music format of its existing WKND station in Quebec City (coincidentally on the same frequency).

The other station being acquired from RNC Media, Quebec City’s CHOI Radio X, will keep its format.

In the applications posted Friday, which will be considered at a hearing in Quebec City on Feb. 20, Leclerc says the station hasn’t been profitable “for many years” and hopes of it eventually becoming so are “slim.”

Leclerc says “no other francophone broadcaster is offering a mix of alternative, triple-A and hot AC” (and a bit of new country) that WKND would bring. (The format is particularly popular among women 25-54, according to Numeris data.) It says of the top 25 anglophone songs played on WKND, 11 are not found on Montreal’s francophone stations, and of the top 25 francophone songs, 9 can’t be found on commercial radio in the metropolis.

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Media News Digest: Petty wars on journalists, cuts at La Presse, strike threat at Globe

News about news

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Corus asks CRTC to shut down 44 Global TV transmitters

Eight years after Shaw promised the CRTC it would upgrade Global TV’s network of over-the-air television transmitters to digital, Corus says it wants to abandon that plan before its completion and shut down 44 of Global’s 93 transmitters across the country, including 24 that have already been converted to digital.

In an application filed last week with the commission, Corus explains that the affected rebroadcasting transmitters “generate no incremental revenue, and attract little to no added viewership for Corus. They are also costly to maintain, and we expect expenses to increase as a result of the Government of Canada’s re-allotment plan for the 600 MHz band.”

In 2010, when Shaw purchased the television assets of Canwest Global, part of the tangible benefits proposal to get the CRTC approve the sale was to allocate $23 million to convert 67 analog TV transmitters to digital, in markets small enough to not be included in the mandatory analog-to-digital conversion. Those transmitters were mostly inherited from stations under previous ownership, and are unequally distributed. The two B.C. stations have 37 transmitters between them, and there are 17 for the two stations in Atlantic Canada.

Global is composed of 16 licensed stations with a total of 93 transmitters.

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