Monthly Archives: July 2011

Astral’s Martin Spalding on Terry DiMonte, CHOM, CJAD and Virgin Radio

Astral VP Martin Spalding outside his offices at Fort and Ste. Catherine Sts.

“You only have one chance to make a first impression.”

It’s a cliché, but I thought it was funny when I heard it come out of the mouth of Martin Spalding, the vice-president at Astral Media who is in charge of its three English-language stations in Montreal: CHOM, Virgin Radio (CJFM) and CJAD. The fact that we were talking to each other was kind of proving that assertion wrong. Or at least it was strong evidence against it.

Eleven days earlier, I called Spalding at his office to talk to him about the return of Terry DiMonte to CHOM, a move he arranged. But our conversation was brief.

“I know who you are,” he said after I introduced myself. Just as I was starting to feel relieved that I wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of convincing him to speak to some guy on the Internet as if he was a journalist, Spalding put the brakes on the interview. “I’m not in the mood to have this conversation,” he said.

I asked why. “Let’s just say you should be careful what you post on Twitter,” he said, without elaborating. He followed that with “this conversation is over.”

There was a slight hesitation in his voice, as if even he couldn’t believe he was saying this.

I didn’t know how to react. I don’t expect that everyone I contact will be interested in talking to me – mostly because I’m not a traditional journalist and my audience is not that of a metro newspaper or a supper-hour TV newscast. But I’d never had someone answer me like this before. This conversation sounded like it would be in the script from a bad movie.

What got me most is that I had no idea what set him off. Other than quoting some press releases with his name in them, I’d never talked about him on my blog. I’d never mentioned his name on Twitter. I didn’t even know what he looked like.

And I’ve posted thousands of things on Twitter. Plenty of stuff has been negative about CHOM and other Astral stations. I couldn’t really narrow it down.

The call was just before the end of business on June 23. My post about DiMonte – with the bit about Spalding at the end – was published the next day.

An email from Spalding was dated 9:05am the next Monday. He said he realizes he may have been a little “curt” in our phone conversation, and offered to take me out to lunch to explain. We scheduled a meeting for the following Monday at noon – July 4.

After seeing Spalding’s office – a corner office with wood panelling – and meeting Virgin Radio Brand Director Mark Bergman, we went to a Chinese place nearby and discussed our respective pasts a bit. Everything was cordial.

It was actually quite a while into our conversation at the lunch table until Spalding set the record straight about that minute-long conversation.

He said he had taken exception to something I tweeted the day before, suggesting that CHOM’s promotions department was lacking because its website had no mention of DiMonte a day after a press release announcing he was coming back to the station.

Spalding explained that it wasn’t because they’d simply forgotten about this or were lazy about it. Because DiMonte was still contracted to Q107 in Calgary, Spalding said that CHOM couldn’t use his image or promote him. Even issuing the press release was “playing with fire,” he said.

Spalding took my ill-informed tweet as an attack on the employees who work for him, and for me to then call and ask for comment after bashing his radio station didn’t exactly put him in the mood to cooperate.

By Monday morning, he had read my post on DiMonte, and his mood changed. He apologized for the curt tone on the phone, and went out of his way to compliment me on posts I had written, including the DiMonte one and an earlier one on Cogeco’s CRTC application for all-traffic radio stations, which he considered much more solid journalism than some of the shoot-from-the-hip tweets that are based on incomplete information.

It’s amazing how a simple conversation can change your perspective.

I, in turn, asked Spalding to apologize on my behalf to CHOM’s promotions department, an apology I repeat here. I jumped to an incorrect assumption (not the first time I’ve done so with CHOM-related news), and I should have checked. Just because it’s on Twitter doesn’t mean it’s exempt from basic journalistic rigour. I’ll try to do better in the future.

So we’re good now. Spalding gave me his card (asking me to call him before I tweet next time), paid for my lunch (the next one will be on me – I want to try to have at least some journalistic ethics here) and gave me two hours of his time – even pushing back a conference call so he could give me a few extra minutes.

The image of the super-professional businessman that DiMonte had painted for me during our conversation turned out to be a lot more accurate than I had thought after that brief phone conversation.

So, now on to the good stuff. I had a good bank of questions related to recent events at his radio stations, so I posed as many as I could fit in before I started to feel really guilty about taking him away from his real job.

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Water gun fight at city hall Saturday

After a successful event last year, the group Les Évenements T’es po game is organizing a second water gun fight around the fountain outside Montreal city hall this Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Facebook page shows more than 200 set to attend, though experience has shown that number to be as much as 10 times the eventual actual turnout. Last year about 100 said they would attend, and about 50 did, so that bodes well for this year.

The weather forecast for Saturday shows sunny, low chance of precipitation and a high of around 30 degrees. Also a good sign.

The event isn’t organized in any official way with the city, and participants are reminded to follow rules of common sense – particularly not to target people who are not participating in the fight.

Michel Godbout leaving CBC for TVA Sports

Michel Godbout has found a new career opportunity over the horizon

Quebecor’s soon-to-be-launched TVA Sports specialty channel isn’t just looking to RDS hockey analysts like Dave Morissette and Yvon Pedneault (or La Presse’s Réjean Tremblay) for on-air talent. Their hiring spree has also poached CBC Montreal’s sports anchor.

Michel Godbout confirmed Monday that he will be leaving the CBC to join the TVA Sports channel set to debut this fall. His last day is July 30. (He was cut off early: see below)

Godbout (who is, as you can imagine, fully bilingual) worked for 15 years at Radio-Canada and then CBC Montreal – most famously as the evening news anchor between 2005 (when Dennis Trudeau retired) and 2009 (when Andrew Chang and Jennifer Hall took over a revamped newscast). He starts an anchoring job at TVA Sports on Aug. 22.

TVA Sports, which was approved by the CRTC in February 2010, has already signed deals to carry some Ottawa Senators games and most Montreal Impact soccer games, though it failed to get the government to break the deal the Canadiens have with RDS. Quebecor is also trying to get an NHL team to Quebec City, giving another big reason for fans to subscribe to this channel.

No word yet on who will replace Godbout permanently. CBC Montreal News Director Mary-Jo Barr is on vacation until August.

You can follow Godbout on Twitter at @GodboutSports (fortunately he won’t have to change that name – but expect it to be a bit more francophone in the future).

UPDATE (July 21): Thursday was Godbout’s last day. He says during an interview this morning on CBC Daybreak that he gave his two weeks’ notice on Friday (July 15), but was told that Thursday would be his last day, being let go because he was leaving for a competitor.

Godbout had a brief goodbye on air with Debra Arbec (Andrew Chang was off):

The Team 940? Bell proposes frequency swap

Cogeco’s CRTC application to bring two Montreal AM radio stations back to life has prompted interventions from the owners of the other AM stations in the city – Astral (which owns CJAD) and Bell Media (which owns CKGM/The Team 990) – as well as Paul Tietolman, who has been trying for some time to start up his own AM station at 940 kHz.

The interventions (two are opposed to the application, while Astral is negative but not quite so categorical) are based on these main points, which have been responded to by Cogeco:

  1. Concentration of ownership: The interventions point to the fact that Cogeco asked for and received an exemption to a CRTC policy that forbids any owner from having more than two stations on the same band in the same language in the same market. This allowed them to purchase all of Corus Quebec’s radio assets in Montreal, adding CKOI and CHMP 98.5FM to CFGL Rythme FM, giving them three French-language FM stations. Now they want to add two more stations to their empire, giving them five French-language stations (they also own CKAC) and two English-language stations (with CFQR). Cogeco responds by saying that exception was, well, exceptional, and that owning two French-language AM stations would not be a further exception to CRTC policy. Cogeco also says it doesn’t believe an all-traffic station (even one that solicits advertising) would be a significant competitive threat to existing broadcasters.
  2. Use of clear channels: The interventions agree with me and other radio watchers that 50,000 watts and a signal pattern that stretches into the Maritimes and northeastern Ontario is overkill for a Montreal traffic station. They say that if the application is approved, it should be for two frequencies that are not clear channels. Cogeco responds that the frequencies have been vacant since June 2010 (when the CRTC announced it had revoked the licenses) and no one has applied for them.
  3. Unfair competitive advantage: The interventions question the entire point of a publicly-funded all-traffic station. And while there’s nothing the CRTC can do to change how the Quebec government spends its money, the incumbents object because the funding would give the traffic stations an unfair competitive advantage. The funding “will allow Metromedia (the Cogeco subsidiary that owns the stations) to aggressively sell advertising in the marketplace, potentially offering lower rates than what is offered by the incumbents. This potential strategy will only serve to further undermine an already weak market,” writes Bell Media VP Kevin Goldstein in his intervention. Cogeco responds by quoting news articles demanding better communication about road conditions from the government and says they only expect about a quarter of its advertising revenue ($600,000 for the first year) will come at the expense of their competition.
  4. Guarantee of format: The interventions say there’s no guarantee that their all-traffic format would be maintained once the contract with the Quebec government runs out. Cogeco responds that it would accept a condition of license making such a guarantee.
  5. No public bidding: The interventions feel this project should have been open to a public bidding process. Cogeco responds that any broadcaster could have responded to the notice from the transport ministry that it intended to award this contract to Cogeco, but none ever did. The lack of demand meant the government did not have to open bidding on the project.

Here’s where the intervention from Bell gets interesting: They state that they have been trying, since Corus shut down CINW (940 Hits) and CINF (Info 690) in January 2010, to purchase the transmitter and antenna from them, to no avail. Bell says that if the CRTC wants to approve this application, it would be prepared to perform a frequency swap, taking either 690 or 940 kHz and taking up a clear channel that allows them to broadcast 50,000 watts day and night.

Propagation patterns for CKGM (Team 990AM) in red (day) and black (night) vs. CINW (940AM) in purple and CINF (690AM) in blue, as provided in Bell's CRTC intervention

As Team 990 gains broadcast rights to Canadiens games in the fall, nighttime propagation becomes more important. As a Class B frequency, 990 requires the transmitter to modify its signal at night, reducing its coverage. Switching to 940 would give CKGM a much larger coverage area.

The idea makes a lot of sense. Montreal sports teams – and the Canadiens in particular – are going to have a lot more interest in the outlying regions than Montreal traffic information. It makes sense for that station to have a larger coverage area. And, of course, most people interested in traffic will listen to the radio in their cars, which should not have trouble picking up a giant transmitter just a few kilometres away.

But Cogeco responds by criticizing Bell’s suggestion that it would have been too expensive to retune its existing transmitter and antenna from 990 to 940 kHz. It quotes an engineering expert it hired that said in the worst case scenario of having to replace everything, it would cost less than $250,000.

We’ll take them: Tietolman

Tietolman Tétrault, in its intervention (PDF), suggested the stations use frequencies of 600 and 850 kHz (formerly of CIQC and CKVL, respectively) and said the 690 and 940 frequencies should be open to applications. It said it would be willing to apply for both:

Tietolman Tétrault Média est déjà prêt, intéressé et apte à appliquer pour l’obtention de ces fréquences. Nous avons en main un plan d’action que nous estimons bénéfique pour la diversité radiophonique nécessitant ces deux fréquences-clés. Évidemment, ces deux fréquences seraient en ondes peu de temps après l’obtention des licences.

Tietolman, whose family once owned CKVL, had tried to offer a competing $81-million bid for Corus Quebec, including 690 and 940. They’ve indicated for a while now that they’d like to bring back 690 and 940, though they haven’t said what kind of format the stations would have.

Other interventions

A few other smaller groups and individuals also filed interventions in this application.

Jacques Blais of S.O.S. Québec Radio filed a handwritten note (PDF) – he wrote that he had computer problems – in which he called the project useless and a waste of public money, and appealed to common sense in rejecting it. He also repeated that 50,000 watts was too much for this station, and said the 690 and 940 frequencies should be reserved for French-language stations only, because the French language is threatened in Quebec.

That last part is kind of funny because his supporting documentation was my previous blog post and an article from The Suburban.

Marc St-Hilaire of the Syndicat général de la radio union said (PDF) endorsed the new station but said it was worried that Cogeco would deduct the number of people it hires for these stations from its commitment to hire journalists for its Cogeco Nouvelles news agency. Cogeco made the commitment as part of the deal that got it to own three francophone FM stations in Montreal.

Chantale Larouche of its parent union the FNC expressed similar thoughts in a separate intervention (PDF).

Cogeco says each station would have six full-time announcers, plus a full-time traffic journalist, and that these would be in addition to the commitments they already made for the creation of Cogeco Nouvelles and the hiring of journalists.

Finally, Miguel Therriault of Quebec City filed a very brief intervention (HTML), saying, in its totality: “Les coûts sont outrageusement exagérés. De plus ce service est complètement inutile. Les stations de radio actuelles répondre très bien à la demande. C’est une dépense inutile.”

You can read the interventions here:

The hearing to discuss Cogeco’s application was supposed to happen next Monday, but the CRTC announced last week that the items have been withdrawn from the agenda and will return as part of a later hearing. No explanation was given and no date has been set yet.

UPDATE: An open call has been issued for the two frequencies, with a deadline of Aug. 29. Cogeco maintains it still wants to setup all-traffic radio stations and will go through this process if necessary.

Kai Nagata quits CTV

Is the news media too focused on style over substance? Kai Nagata thinks so

Less than a year after taking on the job of Quebec City bureau chief for CTV, Kai Nagata abruptly quit his post on Friday, publishing a long piece (one might call it a manifesto) on a new blog explaining why.

Nagata writes that his decision to leave is not the result of any falling out with CTV or any personal issues, but is more of a philosophical decision based on what he sees are the limitations of the news media, and television in particular. Among them:

  • “… there is an underlying tension between ‘what the people want to see’ and ‘the important stories we should be bringing to people’.”
  • “I admit felt a profound discomfort working in an industry that so casually sexualizes its workforce. … The idea has taken root that if the people reporting the news look like your family and neighbours, instead of Barbie and Ken, the station will lose viewers.”
  • “… the target viewer, according to consultants, is also supposed to like easy stories that reinforce beliefs they already hold.”
  • “the Kate and Will show. Wall-to-wall, breaking-news coverage of a stage-managed, spoon-fed celebrity visit, justified by the couple’s symbolic relationship to a former colony. … On a weekend where there was real news happening in Bangkok, Misrata, Athens, Washington, and around the world, what we saw instead was a breathless gaggle of normally credible journalists, gushing in live hit after live hit about how the prince is young and his wife is pretty. And the public broadcaster led the charge.”
  • “I have serious problems with the direction taken by Canadian policy and politics in the last five years. But as a reporter, I feel like I’ve been holding my breath.”
  • “Within the terms of my employment at CTV, there was a clause in which the corporation (now Bell Media) literally took ownership of my intellectual property output.”
Nagata makes it clear that his criticisms of the television news industry apply as much to the CBC (where he worked before) as to CTV. And presumably the others as well.

“I quit my job because the idea burrowed into my mind that, on the long list of things I could be doing, television news is not the best use of my short life. The ends no longer justified the means,” Nagata writes.

Nagata, who’s all of 24 years old, isn’t sure what he’s going to do next. But he’s already heading out west to Vancouver to be with his family.

“I’m broke, and yet I know I’m rich in love. I’m unemployed and homeless, but I’ve never been more free,” Nagata writes.

I had only one real question for Nagata: “Are you insane?”

His response: “Fair question, and one I’ve been asking myself for a week. … I mean what I say about feeling free. And calm, and happy. And yes, sane. The tradeoff, so far, is worth it.”

Of course, “so far” has been a matter of hours.

Debra Arbec, Catherine Sherriffs debut without a hitch

Debra Arbec (left) on CBC at 5, and Catherine Sherriffs on CTV at 11:30

Monday was a pretty big day for local TV watchers, with new faces debuting on CBC and CTV newscasts.

Debra Arbec, who left CFCF in May for an evening anchor position at CBMT, saying she wanted a shot at a supper-hour newscast, finally got her first night on air after her contractual obligation to CTV ended on July 1. She co-anchors with Andrew Chang from 5pm to 6:30pm, replacing Jennifer Hall, who has moved back to southern Ontario.

CTV, meanwhile, gave Arbec’s old job of 11:30pm weekday anchor to Catherine Sherriffs, who wasn’t even part of the permanent reporting staff at the time. Sherriffs’s first shift as a television anchor was Monday night.

Both Arbec and Sherriffs were flawless on their first nights, and got lots of praise from their bosses.

Smooth transition for Arbec

“It could not have gone smoother,” said CBC Montreal News Director Mary-Jo Barr, who has been working with Arbec for three weeks. “I was so excited to see the team on air,” she said. “It felt like Christmas morning.”

Arbec agreed that things went very smoothly, even when the first news report she introduced failed to play and she had to give her first we’re-having-technical-difficulties speech.

Asked what the biggest transition issue was, Arbec pointed to technology. CBC uses Avid video editing software, and Arbec had to learn to edit, something she didn’t do at CTV. And in HD, to boot. She and Chang edit the international news roundup themselves.

Arbec also said the change in the schedule took some getting used to. “My body clock has been used to late nights for so long,” she said. Now she has a day job and can spend evenings at home with her husband, Brian Wilde.

Chang, incidentally, also will have a more daytime schedule. It was decided to pull him off the late-night newscast (which runs 10 minutes from 10:55 to 11:05pm) so he could concentrate exclusively on the supper-hour show. Instead of coming in at 3pm and having only two hours to familiarize himself with the show, he can come in and shape it from the beginning. “The show was always a bit of a surprise to him,” Barr said. The move was done by rearranging existing staff, avoiding the need to increase the show’s budget by hiring another person.

Reporter Amanda Margison has been given the late-night host job, which includes some lineup editing and monitoring breaking news during the 5pm newscast.

Arbec heaped praise on her coworkers, including co-host Chang, who she said has been “such a godsend for technology for me.” She’s had a chance to meet the new team (she likened it to moving to a new school) and how to pronounce their names (try saying “Anna Asimakopoulos” without hesitating) and said they were all “really supportive and understanding” about her move there.

Aside from anchoring and preparing the newscast, Arbec will also be introducing a weekly segment called Montrealer of the Week, profiling people who make a difference in the community but aren’t otherwise recognized. Similar in style to the My Montreal series she did at CTV, but focusing on individuals instead of ethnic groups. They will air Fridays, with the first one this coming Friday.

You can watch the 6-6:30pm portion of Arbec’s first newscast here. It includes and end-of-show welcome from Chang, in which Arbec notes how fast the hour and a half went. CBC also has Arbec’s bio on its website.

UPDATE (Sept. 26): The Gazette’s Brendan Kelly profiles Arbec as an advance to a half-hour special Secrets of Montreal, which she hosts.







Sherriffs’s nerves fade quickly

A few hours later at CFCF, it was Sherriffs’s turn behind the desk. A smaller desk, as she was thrown the curveball of having her first day also be the first day of a new temporary set while they build a brand new studio.

“She went into that position a little cold,” said CTV Montreal News Director Jed Kahane. “It’s not a hermetically sealed studio. There’s a lot of distraction. I thought it was great that she was able to do it under those circumstances.”

For Sherriffs herself, it was a bit intimidating doing her first shift as a television news anchor. Other than some time with Todd van der Heyden on Crescent St. during the Formula One broadcasts, she hasn’t had any experience behind the desk. She got some voice coaching (standard for new anchors, Kahane said), but nothing beat the pressure of being live on air by yourself.

“I was more nervous when I came in at the beginning of the shift,” Sherriffs said. By showtime, she realized there was no going back now, and with every segment the nerves became more manageable.

The nervousness showed a bit on air, particularly in more light-hearted segments when she didn’t seem entirely natural. By Tuesday night, it seemed much less apparent and she looked a lot more comfortable in her new role. (Well, as comfortable as you can be with bright lights shining on you, a camera in your face and thousands of people watching you live.)

Like Arbec, Sherriffs credited her crew for helping her get through it. “The crew was amazing,” she said, offering her lots of support.

And in case you were curious, Arbec did watch Sherriffs’s first show, even though it was on what is now a competitor’s channel. She said Sherriffs did a fine job and she wishes her well.

You can read Sherriffs’s CTV bio here.

A new studio at CFCF

CTV and RDS are really excited about upgraded studios that are being constructed on the ground floor of their building at Papineau St. and René-Lévesque Blvd. But before CTV can move in to the new set in September, it has to vacate its old one. Sunday’s 11:30pm newscast with Paul Karwatsky was the last in the old studio (he’s very proud of that). Starting Monday at noon, the newscasts were being done on a temporary set constructed in the CTV Montreal newsroom.

The temporary set has its issues. For one thing, there’s only one chair behind the anchor desk. Kahane says the plan is to only have one anchor at a time (summer vacations mean the newscasts that normally have two anchors won’t again until September). But it still causes some interesting situations, particularly when they have to switch between news and sports anchor. Currently, one of the two stands when they chat with each other during transitions, which is a bit awkward.

The other thing is that the newsroom is a pretty active place. There was a bit of noise in the audio from the anchor desk on the first night, and people working in the newsroom during a broadcast have to be careful what they yell or what they do when they’re in the camera’s view.

The set added a bit of awkwardness to the introductions, because the establishing shot of the studio can’t be done anymore. Since that’s where the booming voiceover introducing the anchors comes in, that’s gone too. Now, the newscast goes straight from the opening theme to a closeup shot of the anchor. It’s a bit of a jarring transition for someone used to the way the newscast works.

Kahane said most of the work in setting up the temporary studio came in fixing the lighting. There was a camera in the newsroom before that reporters could use to report breaking news and the late anchor would use to say what’s coming up at 11:30, but to do an entire newscast from there, the background needed to be a bit better than the drab and – by television standards – dark cubicles of a newsroom.

Still, the production has a kind of out-of-the-basement feel to it. It looks fine technically, but it doesn’t feel as comfortable.

Kahane said the summer was a good time to do this (it’s kind of a lull in the news industry, and TV ratings are generally down as people head out and do things with their lives). And the move into a new expansive studio (with windows!) will be worth it.

The new studio will be “HD-ready”, meaning the infrastructure will be suitable for HD broadcast, but there are no concrete plans yet to convert the newscast to high definition. CTV has prioritized its specialty channels, which are currently being transitioned. And Montreal hasn’t been made a high priority because of the lack of competitive pressure.

Kahane also said the temporary set will be used as the in-the-newsroom live reporter feed once the new studio is in place, and its look will fit in with the look of the new studio.

You can watch the report CTV did here for some visuals of the building of the new set and the temporary one.

And what of their old set? Part of it is being used in the temporary studio, but the big desk and other elements have been donated to Concordia University’s journalism department, where it’s being used in their studio to teach students to become TV anchors themselves.

Rue Frontenac is dead

And so it ended, not with a bang, but with … I don’t know how to describe it.

As Montrealers were celebrating Canada Day and moving their stuff into their new apartments, the online news outlet Rue Frontenac, that began as a pressure tactic of locked-out Journal de Montréal workers and made of itself a solid source of news and investigative journalism, quietly shut down.

The website remains, but stripped of all its content. Its empty shell has been taken over by a new owner, whose identity is protected by a confidentiality agreement (UPDATE: The new owner, Marcel Boisvert, has revealed himself in an open letter). Negotiations about keeping Rue Frontenac running were unsuccessful, and all the writers, photographers, editors and others who shunned a return to the Journal or other jobs to try to keep Rue Frontenac running on its own have quit their project in apparent disgust.

The writing has unfortunately been on the wall since the Journal de Montréal lockout ended this spring. Salaries haven’t been paid since the end of April, and it wasn’t long before the organization that had split from the union filed for creditor protection. There was hope for a big name to come in with money and take over, then when that didn’t work they regained hope with another potential suitor. But for reasons that will probably only become clear once we know who this second party is, their ownership of Rue Frontenac caused everyone to leave.

It’s too early to say what these highly skilled journalists will do now. Most long ruled out rejoining the Journal de Montréal (in fact, only one news reporter and three sports reporters went back to their jobs, which required the paper to actually post for the remaining positions and hire new reporters). The most likely scenario is they go their separate ways, working for other media, freelancing (as many already do), writing books or doing other stuff.

It’s sad to see Rue Frontenac go. But let’s be honest, it’s for the best. Rue Frontenac wanted to be a generalist French-language news source in a market that was already oversaturated with competition. It was too big a project for two small a slice of the audience pie. Now those talented journalists can get on with their lives.

It’s also sad to see all the work done over the past two and a half years disappear from the Internet. Links to Rue Frontenac stories no longer work, and so far there’s no online archive of the stuff they posted. It’s a situation similar to what happened to MédiaMatinQuébec after the Journal de Québec lockout, although for a different reason. (UPDATE: Rue Frontenac’s archives have been reposted to

You can read more about the end of Rue Frontenac, including some interviews with its leaders, in stories from:

UPDATE (July 4): Marcel Boisvert’s open letter, which seems to present a reasonable case for why he thinks he’s the victim here, opens up a lot of new questions (and caused a lot of bitter comments from the Rue Frontenac people on Twitter). The letter is summarized in Le Devoir. I’ll try to make some sense out of this whole thing in the coming days if another journalist doesn’t beat me to it.

Also: Radio-Canada’s Pénélope McQuade interviews Jean-François Codère.