Tag Archives: Global News

Posted in TV

Global News 1 would add 100 journalists, 8 new local newsrooms including Quebec City

Updated with a correction about stations being offered to participate.

After being tight-lipped about it for months, Shaw Media has made the first announcement about its plan for a new national news channel called Global News 1, first mentioned in a CRTC filing in June.

In a press release issued Monday, Shaw Media says it has submitted its application for the new all-news channel to the CRTC (which hasn’t published it yet, so we don’t have details). The timing is deliberate, coming just after the commission concluded its Let’s Talk TV hearing. Reeb said the submission was made several weeks ago, but Shaw wanted to wait until the proceeding was over to respect that process.

Hybrid format

Shaw explains its unique blend of national and local news this way:

Global News 1 will feature a national newsfeed bookended by local news segments tailored specifically for each of the markets it serves. Using next-generation technology, the service will be framed by a continuous data feed of hyper-local headlines and community events. With the ability to cover live, breaking news at the local, regional or national level, Global News 1 will be like no other service on the dial.

Shaw says that each of the 12 markets with owned-and-operated Global stations (Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Saint John, Halifax) will have its own feed, but there will also be eight additional communities getting “local newsrooms” — places with “either no local television news or limited competition”:

  • Fort McMurray, Alta.
  • Red Deer, Alta.
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
  • Niagara, Ont.
  • Mississauga, Ont.
  • Ottawa, Ont.
  • Quebec City, Que.
  • Charlottetown, P.E.I.

And on top of that, “Shaw Media is also proposing to open the channel to eight small-market, independent broadcasters who would have the opportunity to add their own local content to the service and retain all local advertising in their markets.”

Troy Reeb, senior vice-president of Global News, tells me these stations are:

  • CKPG in Prince George, B.C. (Jim Pattison Group) — City affiliate
  • CFJC in Kamloops, B.C. (Jim Pattison Group) — City affiliate
  • CHAT in Medicine Hat, Alta. (Jim Pattison Group) — City affiliate
  • CKSA/CITL in Lloydminster, Alta./Sask. (Newcap) — CBC and CTV affiliates, respectively
  • CHFD in Thunder Bay, Ont. (Dougall Media) — already a Global affiliate
  • CHEX in Peterborough, Ont. (Corus) — CBC affiliate
  • CKWS in Kingston, Ont. (Corus) — CBC affiliate
  • CJON in St. John’s, N.L. (NTV)

(An earlier version of this post also listed CHEK in Victoria, B.C. Reeb actually referred to CHEX, the Corus station. CHEK is not on the list because it competes directly with Global B.C.)

Reeb specifies that there has been no discussion with these stations. Rather, the offer is being made because Global does not want to compete with them. “We didn’t want to threaten any of the small stations that are already struggling,” he said. “We didn’t want to go in and say hey we’re going to open up a competitor. We’re looking for a solution not just for us but for the system overall.”

Assuming it adds all of these stations, that would mean up to 28 different markets getting a hybrid national/local news channel.

Notably absent from this list is CJBN, a station owned by Shaw (but separate from Shaw Media, its acquisition predated the Global purchase) in Kenora, Ont. Its tiny market and limited local programming means it doesn’t have the resources to contribute to this service, Reeb said.

Reeb told me that, if the proposal is approved, Global would add about 100 journalists across the country, between those working at the regional newsrooms and those working nationally. This would mean about a half-dozen people working in each regional newsroom.

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Posted in TV

Global Montreal morning show will focus on community

UPDATE (Feb. 6): Read my review of the show’s first week and a half.

Global Montreal morning show cast, from left: Richard Dagenais, Jessica Laventure, Camille Ross

Global Montreal morning show cast, from left: Richard Dagenais, Jessica Laventure, Camille Ross

How do you compete with someone who outperforms you on budget, staff, technical resources, consumer loyalty and reputation? The short answer is you don’t.

As another ratings report comes out confirming CTV Montreal’s incredible dominance of the local TV news ratings, Global Montreal was doing its final rehearsals for a new morning show that launches on Monday. As Montreal doesn’t have a local morning show in English, it will have that market all to itself, at least until August when City starts up its morning show here.

But even with the million dollars a year that Shaw has promised this show to get it off the ground over the next five years, its resources are limited. Global Montreal has added only eight jobs for this show, on-air staff and technical people combined. It won’t have its own news team scouring the city for scoops (unless it steals reporters from the evening newscasts, which are already understaffed). It won’t look like Canada AM, which is still popular in Montreal.

Part of the station’s strategy for building an audience has been a focus on the anglophone community. In essence, it’s treating anglo Montreal as if it’s its own small town, going after the smaller stories that don’t make the same kinds of headlines.

That’s easier said than done, though. CTV’s news operation is still far larger, and Global can’t ignore the top stories of the day to indulge in community reporting. Global Montreal doesn’t have a sports department so it can’t really cover varsity sports. It doesn’t have the kinds of coverage of arts, entertainment and lifestyle stories that you’ll find on CTV News or even CBC News, so it has to be very picky about where it uses its resources, and its goal of making this the home of anglo Montrealers (rather than just an English-language newscast) is far from complete.

With a morning show, this community focus will become more apparent. The biggest aspect of this we know already is that the weather presenter, Jessica Laventure, will be doing her weather segments from a location on the West Island. This will plant the station’s flag there, allowing people to come by and interact with it, as well as show West Island residents watching from home that they’re close, at least geographically.

Will that be enough? We’ll see.

I sat down with the three stars of Morning News, and spoke with station manager Karen Macdonald and Global News chief Troy Reeb for a story that appears in Saturday’s Gazette previewing the show. Below are some additional things that didn’t make it in the story.

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Posted in Montreal, TV

Global Montreal posts morning show jobs

It’s been two years since the CRTC approved the acquisition of Canwest Global’s television assets by Shaw, endorsing a plan that would involve millions of dollars in spending including the creation of new morning shows in Montreal and other markets that didn’t already have them. Montreal and the Maritimes, Global’s weakest markets, were the last to get local morning shows, set to launch in fall 2012.

Now Global and its parent company Shaw Media are taking a big step toward launching a morning show here, posting six full-time jobs:

The job postings don’t list a start date either for the job or the show itself, but do say it would be weekdays from 7am to 9am. The number of jobs is quite low (Rogers says it would need at least 20 for its morning show on a Citytv CJNT). I’m waiting to hear back from Shaw Media, but the last word was a morning show would launch some time in late fall.

UPDATE (Oct. 5): Ran into Global Montreal station manager Karen Macdonald last night. She said she’s been flooded with applications for the new positions. No start date for the show has been established yet, but we do know that technical functions will still be handled remotely.

Global uses Mosart, a Norwegian system that automates many control room functions. The evening newscasts are directed out of Edmonton, with only editorial staff and a technician in Montreal.

The job posts don’t include any deadlines, but Macdonald tells me they’ll come down next week.

Posted in Opinion, TV

Kevin Newman’s 10-year career

Kevin Newman says goodbye in his last Global National

In my few years as a professional in the news business, I’ve been witness on a few occasions to retirement speeches. A gathering of staff over slices of cake, presentation of some parting gift, and a speech – sometimes emotional – by the retiree.

In most cases, it’s because the person has taken a buyout and retired early. They might have spent 20 years there, or 30, or even 40 or more. They’ve been present through so much change, developed so many memories, and their lives become so connected with their jobs that letting it all go becomes a watershed moment. The emotion is entirely understandable.

Hell, I’ve been through the process myself. As recently as January I sent a goodbye email to my fellow employees, letting them know that my contract had ended and I would no longer be a colleague. A goodbye party followed soon after. (Little did I know at the time that my departure would be for exactly one month instead of the forever I had imagined.)

But even keeping that in mind, I find it just a bit silly that Global National spent more than half its newscast on Friday (12 out of 22 minutes) on the subject of anchor Kevin Newman leaving the show after a whopping 10 years.

The videos are online in case you want to see them. There’s three minutes worth of tributes from politicians, fellow journalists, Lloyd Robertson, Peter Mansbridge and Charlie Gibson (all with Newman’s reactions in the bottom corner). There’s five minutes worth of memories from his days at Global National, reporting on the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan. And there’s the three-minute farewell at the end of the show, in which he almost starts crying as he thanks his family (the text of that statement is also online). Or you can just watch the whole newscast, which also includes some actual news.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice when these things are acknowledged. I enjoyed when CFCF gave veteran reporter Herb Luft a proper sendoff this summer, and when it brought back memories of Bill Haugland during his last newscast. But those seemed more heartfelt, more natural, and less scripted than Newman’s speech. And we were talking about people who spent all or almost all of their careers in one job (and who were actually retiring), unlike Newman. It just seems like Newman’s sendoff was more about his ego than anything else.

Maybe it’s because Newman anchors his newscast alone, and so in effect he had to say goodbye to himself. Kind of an awkward position to be in. Maybe it’s because to be a national anchor you have to have a giant ego.

I can’t blame him too much, because I also have a massive ego, and I’d take every chance to give a long goodbye speech on national television.

Still, if they spent 12 minutes on Newman, I can just imagine the show they’ll put on when Lloyd Robertson says his goodbye.

Global sucks: Newman

There was, of course, a news story to accompany Newman’s departure from the news service that split off from his employer’s company. It includes this telling quote from Newman about what it’s like at Global:

But the transition from seven years in a well-financed American newsroom wasn’t easy, he recalls: “I was accustomed to things working all the time because they were well-resourced. This show (Global National) has always been one step from the abyss every night, because it’s so early (it airs at 5:30 p.m., versus CBC and CTV’s 9 and 10 p.m. newscasts), it has relatively few resources, and the only thing that prevents our viewers from seeing it is the quality of the people behind the camera to rescue it every day. Over time, that’s stressful for the people who work on it, and probably helps contribute to the fatigue that I feel.”

It was meant, I’m sure, to highlight the hard work of his colleagues, but reads to me like Newman thinks Global didn’t invest enough in its television newsgathering.

Looking at our local Global station, whose newscast has always seemed like that forgotten stepchild that’s kept in the basement and fed just enough table scraps to stay alive and be a source of welfare money, I can just imagine what it’s like at other Global stations and Global National (even though they have much more funding).

The Global Television Network is now in the hands of Shaw Communication (pending regulatory approval). They have the power and the money to turn that around.

But I won’t hold my breath.

Posted in Business, In the news, Media

Yes We Got Canned!

As expected, various media outlets used the insane hype of the Obama inauguration to take out the trash and announce layoffs, hopeful that the news will be buried in a corner at the back of the business section with all the Obamamania coverage going on.

But the big cuts are south of the border, with Clear Channel cutting 1,850 jobs (9%), Warner Brothers cutting 800 (10%) and the Los Angeles Times planning to cut an unspecified number.