Cousin Vinny goes crawling back to radio job after failing to be named minister of justice and attorney general of Canada

“Cousin” Vinny Barrucco

Cousin Vinny has quietly returned to the air. The radio DJ went back to his old job — in fact, his old, old job, doing late nights at Virgin Radio — after he was passed over for the job of minister of justice and attorney general of Canada in January.

Vinny Barrucco announced he was leaving The Beat 92.5 on Jan. 29, 15 days after Jody Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the justice ministry and into veterans affairs. “I thought to myself, this is my chance, I got to go for it,” he said in an emotional interview. “I’ve always wanted to work in the justice field, but … I guess now is not my time. So I’m back to my other passion, taking requests from drunken teenagers for that song I’ve already played five times in the past two hours.”

After getting over the shock of not being considered for the important ministerial position — in part because David Lametti had been named to the post two weeks earlier — Barrucco took some time off to spend with his family, caught up on a bunch of TV he’d left on his PVR, and is now ready to get back to cramming as much entertainment as he can into the seven seconds of airtime he has between Shawn Mendes and Imagine Dragons.

Passersby say they won’t give La Presse money because wine columnist will just spend it on booze

Two months after launching its voluntary contribution program, La Presse says it has been falling below expectations for donations from the public because of concerns that wine columnist Véronique Rivest will spend their money on alcohol.

“I believe quality journalism is something worth supporting, but I know what they say about wine columnists,” said Avril de Pouassohn as she was asked to spare some change. “I don’t want to make the problem worse by feeding their vices.”

She had similar concerns about donation money being spent on non-essential things like auto reviews, hockey coverage and recaps of La Voix. But it was the spending on alcohol and “drugs like marijuana” that most bothered her.

Rivest said the money would be used for important investigations into political corruption, but evaded the question when asked if she would ever spend money on booze.

De Pouassohn said she would prefer to give her money to a journalism shelter that La Presse can go to. La Presse said the journalism shelter keeps turning it away and it would prefer the cash. But it wishes her a good day.

Quebec TV networks ask cultural institutions to churn out more celebrities for their talk, game and lifestyle shows

Facing an unprecedented shortage in celebrities as talk show guests, game show contestants and artiste-invitée of the week, Quebec’s TV networks banded together to request the province’s cultural training centres create more celebrities to fill those positions.

“We’re reaching the bottom of the barrel of the Union des Artistes,” said Radio-Canada VP Noam Fikteef. “Les Enfants de la télé is down to people who were minor characters on Auberge du chien noir, and just filmed its third special devoted to La Petite vie. We’re desperate.”

The letter is addressed to the École nationale du théâtre, the École nationale de l’humour, as well as ADISQ and Quebec’s sporting associations. “Singers, athletes, struggling comedians, we don’t care at this point. As long as a reasonable case can be made that they’re an artist who should be known by someone, we’ll take them,” Fikteef said.

The fall TV schedule for Radio-Canada, TVA, V, Télé-Québec et al include 35 new shows based on having celebrity guests. As many as half may need to be cancelled if enough celebrities aren’t found.

New Canadian Press millennial-friendly style replaces S with Z for all uses

After previously replacing “per cent” with “%” and doing away with abbreviations on names of states and provinces, The Canadian Press is further bringing its stylebook into the 21st century by adopting a new rule that replaces the letter S with the letter Z for all uses.

As an adherent to CP style I will do the same starting now.

Canadian Prezz’z prezident zaid the change waz a long time coming, and reflectz the evolving Englizh language that millennialz have adopted. He couldn’t point to any actual ztudiez or zurveyz that zhow millennialz have ztopped uzing the letter.

The change to the official ztyle meanz changing the zpellingz of many wordz, and a complete rewrite of itz Capz and Zpelling guide. The provincez of Britizh Columbia, Zazkatchewan, New Brunzwick, Nova Zcotia and Prince Edward Izland, for example. Nova Zcotia now getz abbreviated az N.Z. and Zazkatchewan az Zazk.

Zome Canadian Prezz clientz have already announced they will adopt the new zpelling, including Poztmedia, the Toronto Ztar, Global Newz and Rogerz Zportznet.

The Globe and Mail, CBC and CTV have not yet announced their planz.

One CP journalizt, who zpoke on condition zhe not be named, zaid the change waz an excezzive caze of pandering to youth and zhe would be looking at wayz to rezizt the change.

CP’z francophone counterpart, La Prezze Canadienne, haz not announced any planz to follow zuit with changez to itz zpelling.

Jody Wilson-Raybould excited at new role as overnight DJ on The Beat 92.5

After deciding being a federal minister isn’t for her, Jody Wilson-Raybould announced this morning she’s taking on a new role as overnight announcer on 92.5 The Beat, where she will be presenting the hottest new tracks for an audience of preferably women 18-54.

“I may still be bound by solicitor-client privilege about SNC-Lavalin, but when it comes to the latest music and Hollywood gossip, I can dish dish dish,” JWR joked about her new job. She takes over at midnight starting tonight. “The only pressure I’ll be feeling is the need to get you the sickest beats and not to swear on the air!”

She will be joined by regular contributor Jane Philpott, for a segment called “Jody and Jane’s Juicy Judgments,” where they will talk about celebrity fashions and poor life choices. Though she said she’d take a more human approach than what you might usually hear. “I know what it’s like for anonymous people to talk about you in the media.”

“Anyway, it’s gonna be a hoot,” Wilson-Raybould said. “We’re going to have so much fun, and I can’t wait to connect with our audience.”

MTL Blog to put up paywall

Saying it is not immune to the economic crisis affecting professional journalism outlets around the world, MTL Blog announced this morning it will be putting its award-winning news and lifestyle content behind a paywall and charging visitors $20 a month to read it.

“We understand some of our most loyal fans will be disappointed by this news,” said co-founder Chuck Lapointe, “but we need their financial support to fund our important work into stories like the recent Verdun hostage crisis and our exhaustive list of best Churros in the city. It takes many minutes to write up these stories.”

The paywall will apply to news stories, news listicles and news stories about listicles. Sponsored content will remain free.

TL;DR MTL Blog is putting up a paywall

Canadiens hire Tony Marinaro as GM, coach, equipment manager, athletic therapist…

Describing it as the job he was born for, Tony Marinaro announced this morning that he will be leaving his job at TSN Radio 690 to join the Montreal Canadiens hockey team as general manager, and his first act was to fire the entire front and back offices and install himself in almost every management position at the club.

Effective immediately, Marinaro becomes general manager, director of player personnel, head coach, assistant coach, goaltending coach, video coach, team services coordinator, director of player development, equipment manager, athletic therapist, massage therapist, performance director, sports psychology consultant, nutritionist, pro and amateur scouting director, and director of media relations.

“Dr. David Mulder can keep his job as chief surgeon,” Marinaro said, “but I’ll expect him to check every procedure with me.”

Marinaro, aka “Tony from LaSalle,” has extensive experience in knowing how to manage a professional hockey team, even though he has not formally held the title of head coach or general manager at the NHL level.

“It’s an unconventional pick,” said Canadiens president Geoff Molson. “But Tony spent a few hours explaining it to me using a lot of Italian words I didn’t understand, and when the ringing in my ears stopped, I realized he had a point.”

Besides, Molson said, with Marinaro assuming most of the management jobs, the team can save a lot in salary.

Asked about his plans to turn the season around in its last week, Marinaro said he would “do whatever it takes — WHATEVER IT TAKES — to get the power play back from the dead and get this team scoring SIMONAC” and then ripped his shirt off for some reason.

Marinaro was last spotted in the dressing room yelling expletives at Jonathan Drouin.

Media News Digest: Budgets, CSAs, Finnerty and Campbell take breaks from CBC mics

News about news

Continue reading

Bell Media wants to shut down 28 more CTV transmitters

Two years after requesting to shut down more than 40 over-the-air retransmitters of CTV and CTV2 stations as part of its licence renewal, Bell Media has applied to the CRTC to shut down more than 28 more of them, saying they have little viewership, provide no original programming and are expensive to maintain.

The application published on Monday includes six transmitters Bell Media said it wanted to shut down in places like Swift Current and Flin Flon during the process to reconsider its licence renewal.

If this application is approved, Bell Media will have dropped from 126 transmitters for its CTV and CTV2 stations before 2016 to under 50.

“With the increased focus on the financing, production and distribution of programming content, signal distribution through a repeater network is becoming an increasingly lower priority and an outmoded business model as Canadians have other ways to access television programming,” Bell Media says in its application.

The shutdowns are being prompted by the federal government’s new DTV transition plan, which will require stations to change channels to free up spectrum that is being auctioned to wireless providers. Consistent with that plan, Bell plans for the shutdowns to occur mostly in 2021.

These are the transmitters Bell is proposing shutting down, along with their dates, their transmitter power (maximum ERP) and the population in their coverage area, according to Bell Media’s estimates.

Nova Scotia

Rebroadcasters of CJCH-DT Halifax and CJCB-TV Sydney (CTV Atlantic):

  • CJCB-TV-3 Dingwall, 3 December 2021 (64W, 785 people)
  • CJCH-TV-3 Valley Colchester County, 3 December 2021 (150W, 32,957 people)
  • CJCH-TV-4 Bridgetown, 3 December 2021 (58W, 3,823 people)

New Brunswick

Rebroadcasters of CKCW-DT Moncton and CKLT-DT Saint John (CTV Atlantic)

  • CKAM-TV-3 Blackville, 3 December 2021 (88W, 2,884 people)
  • CKAM-TV-4 Doaktown, 3 December 2021 (22W, 1,409 people)
  • CKLT-TV-2 Boiestown, 3 December 2021 (24W, 904 people)

Ontario

Rebroadcasters of CJOH-DT Ottawa (CTV):

  • CJOH-TV-47 Pembroke, 2 May 2020 (492,000W, 75,388 people)
  • CJOH-TV-6 Deseronto, 9 October 2020 (100,000W, 436,141 people)

Rebroadcaster of CKCO-DT Kitchener (CTV):

  • CKCO-TV-3 Oil Springs, 2 May 2020 (846W, 293,703 people)

Rebroadcaster of CKNY-TV North Bay (CTV Northern Ontario):

  • CKNY-TV-11 Huntsville, 9 October 2020 (325,000W, 174,627 people)

Rebroadcaster of CITO-TV Timmins (CTV Northern Ontario):

  • CITO-TV-2 Kearns, 3 December 2021 (325,000W, 88,472 people)

Manitoba

Rebroadcasters of CKY-DT Winnipeg (CTV):

  • CKYA-TV Fisher Branch, 16 July 2021 (62,000W, 15,759 people)
  • CKYD-TV Dauphin, 16 July 2021 (140,000W, 30,897 people)
  • CKYF-TV Flin Flon, 16 July 2021 (2,060W, 7,762 people)
  • CKYP-TV The Pas, 16 July 2021 (2,130W, 9,996 people)

Saskatchewan

Rebroadcasters of CKCK-DT Regina (CTV):

  • CKMC-TV Swift Current, 26 February 2021 (100,000W, 29,035 people)
  • CKMJ-TV Marquis (Moose Jaw), 26 February 2021 (98,000W, 87,838 people)

Rebroadcasters of CFQC-DT Saskatoon (CTV):

  • CFQC-TV-1 Stranraer, 26 February 2021 (100,000W, 36,546 people)
  • CFQC-TV-2 North Battleford, 26 February 2021 (30,300W, 39,686 people)

Alberta

Rebroadcasters of CFRN-DT Edmonton (CTV):

  • CFRN-TV-3 WhiteCourt, 26 February 2021 (17,900W, 32,832 people)
  • CFRN-TV-4 Ashmont, 26 February 2021 (26,650W, 23,673 people)
  • CFRN-TV-5 Lac La Biche, 26 February 2021 (8,656W, 9,149 people)
  • CFRN-TV-7 Lougheed, 26 February 2021 (21,000W, 9,752 people)
  • CFRN-TV-12 Athabasca, 26 February 2021 (3,300W, 9,621 people)
  • CFRN-TV-9 Slave Lake, 16 July 2021 (840W, 9,683 people)

British Columbia

Rebroadcasters of CFCN-DT Calgary, Alta. (CTV):

  • CFCN-TV-15 Invermere, 26 February 2021 (10W, 4,843 people)
  • CFCN-TV-9 Cranbrook, 26 February 2021 (446W, 43,765 people)
  • CFCN-TV-10 Fernie, 26 February 2021 (23W, 6,568 people)

The application requires CRTC approval because it amends licences for stations these transmitters rebroadcast from. But the CRTC hasn’t been pushing the networks to keep retransmitters running. Instead, it’s more focused on preserving local stations with original programming.

UPDATE: The application drew six interventions from individuals during the open comment period. Bell’s reply was a single page, reiterating why it has taken the decision and adding this:

While we appreciate the concerns expressed by the intervenors, we would like to reiterate that the majority of these shutdowns will not occur before February 2021.  Further, our Application is fully compliant with existing Commission policy.

Rogers sells publishing division, including Maclean’s, to St. Joseph Communications

Rogers just announced it has sold its publishing division, including magazines, digital publications and custom content business, to St. Joseph Communications, the owner of Toronto Life and other magazines. The deal is expected to close in April but no financial information was announced. St. Joseph says it will keep all current employees.

It’s been known for a while that Rogers has been trying to offload its magazines to focus on broadcasting and telecom. The big question was who was going to buy it. A sale was reportedly in the works last fall to Graeme Roustan, owner of The Hockey News, but that deal fell apart. There was also reportedly a proposal by employees of the division to buy it, but Rogers did not seem to like that idea.

The deal includes Maclean’s, Chatelaine (English and French), Today’s Parent and HELLO! Canada, plus the “digital publications” Flare and Canadian Business. It does not include MoneySense (the Roustan deal also excluded that website, and it was sold to another buyer) nor anything Sportsnet-branded.

Continue reading

Media News Digest: NNA noms, Lilly Singh gets late-night show, telecom bureaucrat in conflict of interest

News about news

Continue reading

Montreal radio ratings: The Beat doubles Virgin, and a spike for Rouge

Numeris came out with its quarterly metered market radio ratings last week. Here’s the top-line data.

I’ll start by pointing out that this is the winter period, covering the Christmas holidays, when radio listening habits are a bit out of the ordinary. But even if you do a year-over-year comparison, two changes are noteworthy.

On the anglo side, The Beat is continuing to pull away from its main competitor Virgin Radio. Among anglophone audiences, The Beat had a higher average audience this winter than Virgin and CHOM combined.

Continue reading

Media News Digest: Corus sells TLN, Action becomes Adult Swim, Pete Marier on air in French

News about news

Continue reading

Media News Digest: Impact extends radio deal, Windsor Star stops publishing Mondays

News about news

Continue reading

Some context to consider about those TVA Facebook comments

You may have seen the story: TVA Nouvelles deleted a Facebook post pointing to a story about a house fire in Halifax that killed seven children (who happened to be from a Syrian family) because it received several unacceptable comments that appeared to make light of or even celebrate their deaths. Media personality Alexandre Champagne compiled some of those comments in a widely shared screenshot.

TVA Nouvelles posted another post and apologized, saying it would try to police its social media better next time.

I posted a link to the apology on Twitter and it got retweeted a bit, prompting a lot of discussion. I was interviewed for a CityNews story about it, during which I tried to say that a few comments on a Facebook page provides a skewed impression of the views of the audience — and larger population — as a whole.

Through the various discussions, I’ve seen a lot of statements that I feel are missing key context, so I’d like to try to add some of that here.

Continue reading