News about news
Harvey Weinstein fallout
I won’t begin to try to compile all the news reports, opinion pieces, hot takes and takedowns that came out of the Harvey Weinstein case (except the head of Amazon Studios being sacked for similar reasons), but I will point out a couple of things locally:
- La Presse on Wednesday blew the whistle on the behaviour of one of Quebec’s biggest TV and radio stars, Éric Salvail, publishing accounts from 11 people (all but one anonymous) that accused him of inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace. The reaction was swift, but also non-committal. His nightly TV talk show has been “suspended” by V, which had basically made him the face of the network. His daily radio show has been “suspended” by Bell Media, which basically made him the face of Rouge FM. Radio-Canada, which has production deals with Salvail’s company, says it will re-evaluate its business dealings with him. Companies that had Salvail as spokesperson have terminated or declined to renew their agreements. Salvail himself says he never intended to make anyone uncomfortable. Everyone will have to make a decision in the coming days if Salvail’s alleged misconduct is something he and his career can recover from. (UPDATE: Salvail has made a longer more fall-on-your-sword apology, pleading for the careers of the people who work for him and saying he would put his career on hold while he gets help and tries to make amends for what he’s done.)
- On Wednesday evening, it was Le Devoir’s turn, publishing devastating accounts from nine women, seven of whom were named, against Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon. Rozon too has resigned from his posts.
- Among the many women to come forward and be counted as victims of sexual harassment and sexual abuse at the workplace, Global Montreal anchor Jamie Orchard published a blog post outlining the times she was sexually harassed at work. She doesn’t name any names or explicitly say where they happened, but before joining Global Orchard worked at CTV Montreal and CBC.
At the CRTC
- The commission has begun its public hearing on the renewal of cable companies’ licences. The oral portion of the hearing focuses on three topics: how they’re dealing with new channel packaging rules, how they’re working toward a system to use set-top box data for ratings purposes, and how they’re supporting their community TV services. The latter part is getting a lot of attention as groups complain about community TV channels owned by cable companies. Transcripts of the hearing, which concludes Thursday, can be found here.
- The CRTC has announced a hearing April 30, 2018, to discuss the renewals of most mandatory distribution orders, which require all TV subscribers to have certain channels in their basic service. Most services are requesting the status quo, but three are seeking increases to their per-subscriber wholesale rate: CPAC, from $0.12 to $0.13 a month, APTN from $0.31 to $0.36 a month, and audio service Canal M from $0.02 to $0.04 a month. APTN is also requesting a reduction in its CanCon quota from 75% to 70%. Other services requesting renewal are AMI, The Weather Network/MétéoMédia, TV5/Unis, and the Nunavut and NWT legislatures (whose distribution comes with no wholesale fee). Others, such as CBC NN, RDI, TVA and OMNI, will have theirs reviewed at a later date. In all, mandatory services would represent $1.63 in French-language markets (slightly less in English-language ones) if all the increases are approved, which in a world of $25 a month basic cable makes a big difference to distributors’ bottom lines.
- The CRTC has published two complaints against OMNI over its decision to outsource the production of its Cantonese and Mandarin daily newscasts to Fairchild, which owns Canada’s Chinese-language TV channels. The main complaint by the Unifor union says that OMNI’s licence clearly says OMNI must “produce” the newscasts in question. Comments on the complaints are due Nov. 16.
- The commission is suspending a proceeding involving a dispute between EBox and Bell Media while it determines how much of the information provided by Bell should be part of the public record.
- Through the CRTC hearing I’ve learned that Videotron has started producing English-language programming for MAtv outside Montreal. The current affairs show CityLife now has an Outaouais version, produced with the Regional Association of West Quebecers and hosted by Linton Garner. Videotron says a community access show will also be produced in English for the Sherbrooke market, to air in 2018.
- The second season of Canadian news parody series The Beaverton begins Nov. 1 on Comedy Network. New this season is that the series will also be broadcast on CTV, Sundays at midnight. And they’re also launching a book.
- The Kahnawake-based dramedy series Mohawk Girls begins its fifth and final season on APTN on Nov. 14 at 8:30pm.
- With the announced death of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, CTV has moved up the broadcast of Long Time Running, a documentary about the group’s final tour, to this Friday. It will be broadcast again on its original airdate, Nov. 12.
- Someone complained that The Weather Network’s 30-day forecasts are actually only 28 days. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council noted that TWN changed its wording, and said “the Panel considers that this complaint is also hair-splitting, and even verging on the frivolous.”
- CBC Montreal has begun livestreaming its 6pm local newscasts on Facebook. The commercial breaks are filled with a roof camera skyline shot.
- Le Soleil has its midseason report card on new French TV series. Faits Divers and Trop get the top marks, while Occupation Double is at the bottom of the list.
- RDS’s documentary series 25 ans d’émotions is back with a documentary on Tim Raines, airing Oct. 23 on RDS Info and Oct. 29 on RDS.
- The Montreal Gazette has migrated its Hockey Inside/Out website to montrealgazette.com, mainly for technical reasons. But HIO stories posted to montrealgazette.com will be exempt from the Gazette’s paywall, at least for this season. HIO fans are not happy about the change. Meanwhile, Marc Dumont has begun his analytics column.
- U.S. ratings measurement giant Nielsen says it will begin reporting ratings for shows on Netflix, despite the fact that Netflix does not participate in Nielsen nor does it have any interest in publicizing its viewership numbers. Netflix says Nielsen’s numbers are inaccurate.
- Speaking of Netflix, it plans to increase its original programming spend next year to $8 billion. To put that in perspective, that’s about twice the amount of money spent on all television programming in Canada, regardless of language, source or channel, in 2015-16.
- Philippe Papineau at Le Devoir visited Vice’s Quebec offices. No word on the French version of Viceland.
- Craig Silverman has a long story for BuzzFeed about online ad fraud, and the consumer goods companies that are getting screwed over by it.
- The hit web series En audition avec Simon is coming back with new episodes after a six-year hiatus.
News about people