Tag Archives: Dominic Arpin

NRJ shuffles its lineup, brings in Dominic Arpin as morning man

The changes at NRJ this fall are going beyond the departure of Les Grandes Gueules.

Bell Media announced today the morning and noon show lineups are also changing as of Aug. 24. Here’s how it breaks down:

Mornings, 5:30-9am: The morning team of five (or six depending who you count) gets pared down to three. Dominic Arpin, the host of TVA’s Vlog and one of Quebec’s most followed people on Twitter, moves over from competitor 98.5, where he was a contributor. Arpin makes the announcement this morning on his blog. He’s joined by Anaïs Favron, who remains on the morning show, and Maxim Martin. Journalist Étienne Phénix and sports reporter Martin Lemay also remain with the morning show, although they don’t get a mention in the press release. François Morency and Philippe Bond move to other shows.

Lunch, 11:30am-1pm: Claudine Prévost gets replaced by Morency, who says the noon time will fit in better with his schedule with standup shows at night. He’s joined by Marie-Claude Savard, whose previous jobs have included TVA and Radio X.

Afternoon drive, 4-6pm: As previously leaked, Éric Salvail will take over the afternoon show, thanks to a special Véronique-Cloutier-like arrangement that sees a studio built in his office so he doesn’t have to commute back and forth to Papineau Ave. every day. Philippe Bond will be a contributor to his show, moving from mornings. The afternoon drive slot will face strong competition from TV stars including Cloutier at Rythme FM and Marina Orsini at Rouge. Salvail replaces Les Grandes Gueules, which just signed off after 20 years at the station.

Bell Media is no doubt hoping that the dramatic lineup change does something to boost the station’s ratings. The latest report showed it falling below direct competitor CKOI, and its 6.6% overall share among francophones wasn’t much higher than the anglo stations, Virgin and The Beat.


TVA renews Vlog for third season

Dominic Arpin

If Dominic Arpin looks happy here, it’s because I’ve taken a file photo and used it out of context as filler art to tell you that TVA has renewed his weekly web video clips show Vlog for a third season, days after it aired its second season finale. Arpin says he’s got a deal for 10 episodes so far, not including the four special-topic episodes that will air over the next few weeks.

Vlog premiered in 2007 as a half-hour show with Arpin and Geneviève Borne that screened 30-second clips from popular videos online. It took me a while to warm up to it, especially because it seemed to leech off other people’s creative content without offering much in return (the show still isn’t downloadable or streamable after it airs). Its erratic schedule following Occupation Double (and against RadCan’s powerhouse Tout le monde en parle) didn’t help its ratings, which eventually led to its cancellation.

But Arpin refused to give in. He launched his own website and began work on an online video guide, and eight months after it was cancelled, TVA brought Vlog back to life in a retooled form. Gone were his co-host and the all-white sets and giant flat-screen TVs. Instead, he’d introduce the videos webcam-style from his fake apartment. The show was also moved to Thursday nights (and eventually Friday nights) at a fixed time.

Apparently that was enough. Vlog is here to stay, and Arpin doesn’t have to worry about going back to reporting.

My photo on a T-shirt

Dominic Arpin on a T-shirt (Bombe.tv)

Dominic Arpin on a T-shirt (Bombe.tv)

I was just reading a post on Dominic Arpin’s blog about how he noticed a picture of himself in a video on Bombe.tv (click on “Les infos”). It’s silly, but we bloggers are a vain group sometimes, we love talking about how other people are talking about us.

It’s cute, a picture of Arpin being made into a T-shirt. But something seemed familiar about the picture. It looked similar to one I’d taken of him at a YULblog meet last year.

The original photo from my blog

The original photo from my blog

In fact, it’s the same photo, apparently taken through a Google Image search. Needless to say, they’ll be hearing from my lawyers soon.

Oh wait, I don’t have any lawyers.

Well that’s ok. My outrage is tongue-in-cheek anyway. People can do what they want with my stuff for personal use (you know, build a shrine to me or something). So long as they’re not selling them I’m OK with it. But would some credit have hurt? At the very least they could have asked me for a high-resolution version instead of taking the 450-pixel wide one on my blog.

I could have even given them the non-cropped version:

The Dominic Arpin original

The Dominic Arpin original

Of course, it’s really Arpin that makes the photo with his adorable little smile there.

Maybe I should make some T-shirts out of it. I could make a career out of printing T-shirts of Quebec blogger celebrities.

I love you too, smoke-free TV people

CFCF's Rob Lurie, at his most smokalicious

CFCF's Rob Lurie, at his most smokalicious

A smorgasbord of government organizations and nonprofits is sponsoring Quebec’s anti-smoking week next week, and part of the campaign features videos with TV personalities giving heart-felt thank-yous to loved ones who helped them quit smoking, while sitting on the floor of the same living room. Each video ends with “je t’aime” (or “I love you”) in a serious, look-you-in-the-eyes way that seems to walk the line between tear-inducing and creepy (though maybe I’m overly sensitive in this regard).

Included in that list is token anglo CFCF’s Rob Lurie (above), TVA’s Dominic Arpin (who writes a blog post about the experience shooting this piece), RDS’s Pierre Houde and Jacques Demers, and a bunch of other people equally split between the media partners (they even got the two guys left at TQS).

Kidding aside, they’re pretty gut-wrenching videos, designed to make people uncomfortable and get them to talk to their parents, kids, siblings, spouses and other loved ones about quitting smoking.

Arpin launches WebTVHebdo

Dominic Arpin, the former TVA journalist, popular blogger and now host (again) of his own TV show about videos on the web, has finally launched a project called WebTVHebdo, which is a guide to web-based television shows. It’s a project he started a while ago with lackey Patrick Dion.

It covers international sensations like Ask a Ninja, but focuses on Quebec-based series like Le Cas Roberge and Les Recycleurs.

In a world where these things are popping up all over the place, a need quickly emerges to provide a reference, and Arpin and Dion have jumped on that void decisively.

En primeur: TVA to resurrect Vlog

Those of you who follow Dominic Arpin via Facebook already know this, but for the benefit of the less-connected: TVA is bringing back Vlog, its weekly roundup of hot web videos, more than nine months after it aired its last episode, supposedly for good

Vlog was cancelled due to disappointing ratings, though it got screwed by the network and was never really given a chance over its handful of episodes. Not only was it slotted against Tout le monde en parle, but it followed Occupation double, which would almost always run long and push the show back. That wouldn’t have been a problem if the audiences for the two shows were the same, but they weren’t, and people tuning in at 9:30 to watch a show about Internet videos instead saw some stupid reality show about sexy people living together, with no clue when their show would come on.

When it was cancelled, there was talk about an online-only version coming earlier this year to Quebecor’s new Canoe.tv website. But for reasons that Arpin promises to explain on his blog by next week when the fall schedule comes out, the network decided to try again to put it back on the air.

Arpin says they’re working on a new format (perhaps going into more depth about featured videos, to deal with some criticism that they’re exploiting them almost to the level of copyright infringement). Details will come about the new format, but the main difference is that Arpin is going solo. Former cohost Geneviève Borne already has a new gig at Belle et Bum on Télé-Québec.

Vlog Season 2 premieres Thursday, Sept. 28 at 9:30 p.m. on TVA.

I hate it already.

UPDATE: Arpin gives some details in a video on his blog. He mentions something about the format being more like a YouTube video blog, with him looking into a camera.

DOA resurrection

Dominic Arpin

Dominic Arpin is setting up a new blog

Dominic Arpin is back! Over three months since he gave up blogging and two months since his show Vlog went off the air. His first post describes what he’s been up to since.

It’s about time.

UPDATE: The best part about it: Not having to register with Canoe before I leave a comment.

UPDATE (Feb. 9): Bruno Guglielminetti has an interview (Windows Bleedia, sorry) with the Domster, in which he explains the blog is an independent venture designed to build a personal brand that would outlast his career at TVA (not that he’s planning on leaving anytime soon).

Arpin, meanwhile, is red-faced over all the attention he’s getting (he was a vedette at this week’s Yulblog), even from me, whom he calls his “plus fidèle tortionnaire.” I was going to complain that he used a complicated French word which Google translated as “torturer,” but looking back at that graphic I guess I did pick on him a bit. (Writing a newspaper article that called him a thief probably didn’t help either ;)

The vlogolution will not be televised

As promised, my first opinion/analysis piece appears in today’s business section as part of the new Business Observer weekly page, which includes other pieces from academics and a small glossary of bizl33t from Roberto Rocha.

The crux of the argument is this: YouTube wonders and other amateur producers are being exploited by big media companies who want to reduce costs. Instead of being offered a freelance fee for their work, they’re offered give-us-all-your-rights contracts and no monetary compensation in exchange for the opportunity to have one’s video put on TV.

Some of you might remember a column from Casey McKinnon in the Guardian last year that was along similar lines, and my article is a blatant rip-off an homage and expansion of that idea. I talked to her and to Dominic Arpin, who hosted TVA’s Vlog show during its brief run in the fall. Vlog, as a news show, relied on fair dealing provisions to side-step copyright. They didn’t ask permission before screening 30-second clips of popular videos online.

Though the article focuses on video, the situation is analogous for audio and text. Media organizations seek “user-generated content” because it’s free. That’s fine for letters to the editor and small comments attached to articles, but what about photos and stories? The line between freelancers and free content is blurring.

Casey’s advice is useful for all independent content producers:

Start thinking like businesspeople and stand up for their rights. Demand fair contracts and proper compensation, and ignore fast-talking TV executives when they say “you don’t need a lawyer.”

If you have any comments about this issue, you can of course add them here (I won’t pay you either, suckers). The Gazette is also soliciting responses to the idea: send them to businessobserver (at) thegazette.canwest.com

(I’ll refrain from pointing out the irony of big media soliciting free content on an article denouncing big media’s exploitation of free content. But at least here you’re doing so willingly.)

UPDATE: Digg it?

Vlog cancelled

The rumours are true. TVA confirmed this morning that Vlog, Dominic Arpin’s web video show, will be aired for the last time on Dec. 2.

The network hasn’t shut the door completely on having an overhauled version come back in the new year, although that glimmer of hope sounds a lot like what your ex-girlfriend tells you about the possibility of getting back together someday, to soften the blow when she dumps your ass on the curb.

Arpin, who has stayed mostly silent since he heard the news on Friday, opened up on the show’s Facebook group. He’ll be technically unemployed by the end of the year after leaving both journalism and his blog to focus all his energies on this project which has now slipped through his fingers. He still hasn’t decided what to do with his future (welcome to the club), but he isn’t too keen on going back to his old job.

His text is reposted here for those who don’t have Facebook:

Désolé pour le silence-radio des derniers jours, les amis. Par respect pour TVA, il était préférable que le département des communications se charge d’annoncer le sort de Vlog plutôt que moi ou un membre de l’équipe. Ça explique notre discrétion ici depuis que le début des rumeurs. Ainsi donc, Vlog cessera d’être diffusé à compter du 2 décembre prochain. Nous l’avons appris vendredi dernier, sur l’heure du dîner. Déçu? C’est certain. J’ai dû me mordre l’intérieur de la bouche pour ne pas pleurer devant les producteurs lors de l’annonce. J’ai tellement investi de temps et d’espoir dans cette émission que je me suis senti anéanti, l’espace de quelques heures. Et puis j’ai réfléchi. J’ai réfléchi au bonheur que ce projet m’a procuré, à tout ce que j’ai appris durant les derniers mois, à ces nouveaux amis qu’il a mis sur ma route, au privilège que j’ai eu d’animer une émission novatrice en prime time à TVA. Ça, personne ne pourra me l’enlever.

Bien sûr, il y a ce sentiment d’échec qui me tourne autour, qui tente de m’écraser de tout son poids. Il a bien failli réussir, d’ailleurs. Mais savez quoi? Il n’arrive pas à la hauteur de la fierté que j’ai d’avoir participé à ce projet. Je suis fier de ce que je vois en ondes, fier de notre petite équipe qui travaille comme des malades depuis septembre, fier d’avoir créé la première émission du genre au Québec. Tant pis si elle ne revient pas en janvier, on en aura toujours bien fait une dizaine. Et TVA dit ne pas fermer la porte à un retour futur de l’émission.

Que va-t-il m’arriver maintenant? Honnêtement, je n’en sais rien. Techniquement, je peux retourner travailler dans la salle des nouvelles de TVA, mais je dois réfléchir avant de prendre ma décision.

En terminant, merci de votre support, merci pour le groupe Sauvons Vlog sur Facebook, merci de vos messages de sympathies, vous m’avez fait un bien immense durant la tempête des derniers jours. Presque autant que ma collection de scotch single malt ;-)

There was also a note from director Jean-François Desmarais:

Ce qu’est Vlog?

Vlog se veut être une représentation de la communauté web à l’antenne d’un généraliste. Avec Vlog on peut faire une intégration parfaite de la famille Québecor tout en donnant une voix à la masse. Enfin l’empire peut être en lien avec sa base. Enfin, le public peut participer de façon active au fonctionnement d’une émission. Enfin, le spectateur peut influencer un contenu et enfin le web rejoint entièrement la télé.

Vlog se veut être le porte voix des phénomènes hétéroclytes que l’on peut retrouver sur la toile.

Partir un nouveau show demande réflexion et énergie de la part de bon nombres d’intervenants. Partir un nouveau concept exige une dose de courage et de persévérance.

Pour moi, Vlog fut l’occasion de travailler avec une équipe qui voulait apporter un vent de fraîcheur ;)avec un nouveau look et un nouveau contenu.

Mais avant tout Vlog fut une porte qui nous a mis un lien directe avec ce qui est le plus important en TV: notre téléspectateur.

En terminant, ce fut un réel plaisir de travailler avec toi, Dominic, et je me dois de le mentionner publiquement. Merci pour cette expérience!

PS. En mon nom, je vous remercie sincèrement, membre du groupe Vlog et l’autre (comment y s’appelle encore;)))) pour votre support et vos commentaires.

Maintenant, moi, j’opte pour un rhume on the rock!

Réalisateur Vlog

The Facebook group to save the show, meanwhile, already has 172 members and is growing. (The official Facebook group is at over 1,200.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an article to rewrite.

Vlog in danger of cancellation

UPDATE (Nov. 13): It’s official: the show has been cancelled. See the latest post for more details.

Vlog, the TVA viral video show that airs after Occupation Double on Sundays, is apparently in danger of cancellation. Within hours of the rumour starting there’s already a Facebook group to save the show and suggestions for what host Dominic Arpin should do now. (He’s already shut down his blog, despite my objections.)

According to a funny-looking, funky-dancing, hairline-receding source at the show who I won’t name (at least not in this paragraph), the rumours have some truth to them. Director Jean-François Desmarais mentions on the Facebook page that “sad news” is coming tomorrow (Monday).

If the show is cancelled (and rumours like this tend not to propagate until after the decision has been made), that would be a shame. Despite its popular lead-in show, the start-up series has been a victim of horrible scheduling (it always starts late, and it’s on against Tout le monde en parle), insufficient advertising and a general lack of effort on the part of TVA to give it a chance to succeed.

But there’s a more important issue here: How this affects me. You see, I interviewed Arpin for an article I wrote about Vlog, which probably won’t be published for a week or two. If the show is cancelled by then, the article will be dated before it’s even printed. It’s not like I could just add a line that says “oh yeah and the show was cancelled”. So please, TVA, for my sake, don’t cancel the show (at least not until next month).

Vlog airs Sunday nights at an entirely unpredictable time between 9:30 and 10:30 on TVA. Let’s hope tonight’s episode won’t be the series finale.