Monthly Archives: April 2013

City TV Montreal to launch local culture/lifestyle show this summer

Tamy Emma Pepin

Tamy Emma Pepin will be one of three hosts for a new local weekly series on Montreal city life

I don’t know why they made this announcement on a Friday afternoon, but even before their first local program goes to air, City Montreal is expanding its slate of local programming.

According to the press release, which I regurgitated into Tuesday’s Gazette, Rogers-owned City has greenlighted a half-hour weekly “magazine-style” series on local culture, to be hosted by three fresh faces to the local television scene: Tamy Emma Pepin, the former Tourism Montreal ambassador, HuffPost Quebec editor and prolific tweeter; screenwriter and producer Matt Silver; and Dimitrios Koussioulas, whose name I hadn’t heard at all until he came onto the scene with his own Mile End web video talk show Parc Avenue Tonight.

“Only In Montreal takes viewers into the kitchens of the latest restaurants, feature humourous portraits of famous locals and Montreal-loving celebrities, and informative stories on local hidden gems,” the press release says.

CJNT, which officially became a City TV station in February, had promised to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that it would produce a local three-hour morning show and a weekly half-hour sports show to fulfill its mandate for local programming. It decided against a 6pm local newscast mainly because CTV, Global and CBC already have those, and going up against all of those would be asking for failure.

But those programs fulfill the requirements, and there was no talk of a culture/lifestyle show before now, so there’s no reason that Rogers has to do this. Unless … unless it actually thinks it could make money with it.

Imagine that.

English Montreal hasn’t had programming like this in years. CBC cancelled Living Montreal as part of severe budget cuts in 2009. CTV had cancelled Entertainment Spotlight along with Sportsnight 360 a few months earlier, incorporating their features into expanded weekend newscasts.

Put simply, this is exciting news, and I’m anxious to see how it’ll turn out. Without specifying a date, City says the show will begin airing in the summer, which means it would be the first local show to begin on the station since Rogers bought it from Channel Zero and changed it from an ethnic station into an English one.

The biggest question will be what time slot City gives this show. It’s one thing to put it at, say, 7pm on Thursdays, when a lot of people might watch it (provided it’s also properly marketed). It’s another to sandwich it between two infomercials on Sunday morning, or to put it against the top-rated 6pm local newscasts it has already decided it doesn’t want to compete with.

The show will be produced by Whalley-Abbey Media, the Montreal-based production house behind everything involving Chuck Hughes and Debbie Travis.

Bell/Astral’s radio divestment plan still looks self-serving

Bell’s list of radio stations for sale. The “Market Rank” column has limited use, because it doesn’t list how the stations to be divested compare to the ones being kept.

In its revised application to the CRTC to request regulatory approval for the purchase of Astral Media, Bell parent BCE promised that its revised plan would handle the commission’s concerns about concentration of ownership. Bell would sell off some popular Astral specialty channels including Family, MusiquePlus, and Musimax, and offload its half of Teletoon, Historia and Séries+ to Corus. The result would put Bell at just above the 35 per cent mark where the CRTC, according to its own policy, would normally approve such an acquisition (though the commission said in rejecting the first deal that this was more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule).

But what about radio? On that front, Bell’s plans are identical, with the exception of its revised proposal for CKGM in Montreal (asking for an exemption to keep it instead of requesting it be converted from English to French). For the rest of the country, Bell would keep all the Astral radio stations, except in markets where they would put the combined company above the CRTC’s common ownership limits (two AM stations and two FM stations in any market with eight or more commercial stations).

That comes out to 10 stations, in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa (Bell has already agreed to sell the two Ottawa stations to Corus). Bell submitted a list of the 10 stations it planned to sell during the CRTC hearing on the first application last September. It included seven stations currently owned by Astral and three by Bell.

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Mark Bergman puts himself back on Virgin Radio

Mark Bergman

Mark Bergman missed being on the radio.

Fortunately for him, he runs a hit radio station, so today he decided to just put himself back on the air. Astral announced today that starting Monday, April 8, Bergman will be doing afternoon drive again, from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays.

The press release (copied below) makes no mention of Andrea Collins, who currently holds that position. The station has been reassuring fans on Facebook that Collins is staying with the station.

Here’s how the new schedule will work: Collins will move to late mornings, doing the 9-12 shift. Nikki Balch, who currently does that shift, will move to weekends, but also be doing more web work, making videos and conducting interviews. So she will remain full-time at the station.

Bergman and Astral Radio Montreal Operations Director Martin Tremblay insisted that the changes have nothing to do with the recent ratings report showing Virgin trailing The Beat overall among 2+ audiences (Tremblay noted that the station still dominates most key demographics), but was merely a question of Bergman wanting to come back to the air.

You can read more about the situation in this story I wrote for The Gazette, which will appear in Thursday’s paper.

It’s hard not to see this as a demotion for Collins and Balch to make room for Bergman, if only because it’s consistent with the musical chairs that see people moving one rung down the ladder. Bergman and Tremblay, again, say this isn’t the case. But this could also be seen as Virgin recognizing that it needs to beef up daytime and weekends. The Beat is No. 1 during the daytime because of its strength as an at-work station, and Virgin’s lead on weekends is slipping against a station that has local favourite Nat Lauzon.

Bergman has been at a desk job since he hired his own replacement in 2010. He tells me there are still plenty of hours in the day for him to continue his brand director job and host a show without needing to hire more administrative staff.

Mark Bergman returns


Montreal, April 3rd 2013 – Virgin Radio Brand Director Mark Bergman is thrilled to announce the return of Mark Bergman to Virgin Radio’s airwaves. After a 3-year absence on-air, his deep passion for the product has driven him back to the mic to be part of your drive home!  Apparently, when you give someone a mic they never really want to let it go. As of April 8th at 3 p.m., Mark Bergman is back on Virgin Radio.

“Selfishly speaking, I’m thrilled to have someone as talented as Mark on the air” said Astral Radio Montreal Operations Director Martin Tremblay.  For Mark personally, I know this is something he really wants to do”.  For his part, Mark Bergman said, “I’m assuming that this will mean I will now be getting 2 paycheques.  I’d never double-dip in the chip bowl at a party but I most definitely will with our accounting department”.

Born and raised in Montreal, Mark Bergman has always been Mark Bergman’s favorite radio personality.  He fondly remembers actually starting on-air in 1998 by handing out bumper stickers to Montreal listeners and thinking “One day I want to put myself back on the air!”  After leaving Montreal for 7 weeks for what were rumored to be cosmetic surgery procedures, he realized that there was no place like home and returned to his roots in Montreal, where he has remained an active member of the community!

Mark retains his role as Virgin Radio’s Brand Director… meaning one day he technically could  have the unique opportunity of firing himself.  Mark Bergman implores you to please tune in April 8th at 3 p.m. for the return of Mark Bergman.

About Astral:

Virgin Radio 96 is a member of the Astral family. Astral is one of Canada’s largest media companies.  It operates several of the country’s most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and digital media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit

Jean-François Lisée joins Equality Party: Good omen for anglos?

Jean-François Lisée Equality Party

Jean-François Lisée waves to an excited but skeptical crowd at an Equality Party event on Monday morning in Westmount.

By now you’ve heard the news announced this morning that Jean-François Lisée, the Quebec minister responsible for anglophones, has pulled a reverse Richard Holden and quit his party and cushy job to join the resurrected Equality Party as its only current MNA.

While surprising to some, and certainly a gutsy move to go from being in the government to being a one-man party, the move comes as much less of a surprise to people who have followed Lisée and his actions over the past few months.

From his appearances at anglophone events to his secret meetings with important figures in the anglophone community, Lisée became fast friends with key people in the community. And though they were very skeptical of what he had to say as the official turd polisher of the Parti Québécois, the mood changed significantly in the past few weeks. Some anglo leaders started to speak of Lisée as the one good guy at the PQ.

As anglos became more comfortable with Lisée, the other side became less so. Lisée’s thinly-veiled attacks on fellow minister Diane de Courcy (responsible for language policy) certainly didn’t earn him too many friends, nor did his suggestion that the STM be bilingual. His public comments earned the minister a lemon prize from language group Impératif français.

According to people with knowledge of PQ cabinet discussions, Lisée was even more disagreeable behind closed doors, questioning language policies, pleading for the party to kill Bill 14 and even questioning some of the fundamentals of Bill 101.

His views don’t represent a complete reversal of position. Lisée was famously responsible for a speech Lucien Bouchard gave at the Centaur Theatre saying anglos are an important part of Quebec. The speech, and statements contained in it, were not universally accepted among his colleagues.

It remains to be seen just how militant Lisée will be on the other side. Will he call for the repeal of the Quebec language charter and all special protections for the French language? So far, all he’s said is that he wants both languages to be equally protected in Quebec (he said something similar at the CBC’s recent Living English event, though to the guffaws of the crowd). He also said the fight for French isn’t over, and that he will work hard to ensure language equality in other provinces as well. (I guess that means he’s a federalist now too?)

The other question is whether Premier Pauline Marois will replace Lisée. Clearly he’s no longer a minister. Will she name someone else as minister responsible for anglophones, or will she decide not to, for fear that someone else might be turned to the dark side?

The standings

With Lisée’s defection, the National Assembly is left with 53 PQ members, 50 Liberals (including speaker Jacques Chagnon), 19 CAQ members, the two Québec solidaire MNAs and Lisée’s Equality Parti/Parti Égalité. It doesn’t shift the balance of power, but it does make things tougher for the PQ.

City decides “fuck it, we’ll just go with dirt roads”

With public opposition growing to the city of Montreal’s plans to award contracts to ethically questionable companies to fix potholes, and public demand still high for those potholes to be filled nonetheless, Montreal’s city council has finally found a third option that everyone can live with: Tear up the asphalt and just leave dirt roads everywhere.

The Applebaum administration announced the move the way it usually does, via a tweet from councillor Marvin Rotrand. He said the independents and the three city hall parties came to the unusual agreement that roads in poor state outside the downtown core would be stripped of their asphalt and left with dirt or gravel roads (most of the a mix of the two) until a more permanent solution could be devised. Those in the downtown core would still be repaved, since dust covering downtown would be more of a problem than switching to dirt roads would solve.

Highways and bridges, which are managed by the provincial (or, for some bridges, federal) government, are not affected by this measure.

While dirt and gravel roads sound like an interesting (if dirty) solution, they won’t come without a price. Even dirt roads need maintenance, and contractors will still need to be hired to tear up the roads and lay down the dirt. Fortunately for us, out-of-province construction companies can handle that job (dirt, unlike asphalt, doesn’t have to be poured immediately).

The conversion will happen in stages, with the most deteriorated roads getting the highest priority.

Rotrand said some practical elements, like how you mark lanes on a dirt road, will also need to be figured out. He hopes to get some ideas from a handful of European cities that have made the same transition, reportedly with quite a bit of success.

The measure will be put to city council at its emergency meeting this week for a vote. Rotrand said tearing up of streets could happen within two weeks of the special bylaw passing.

Game story tells horrifying tale of experience in Dave Stubbs metaphor torture chamber

The game story doesn’t want to talk about it. It’s too painful. But it has to come out.

“It was … awful,” the story said, trembling while sipping coffee at the Gazette office yesterday. “He just wouldn’t stop. I told him it wouldn’t work, but he just kept pushing. I couldn’t recognize myself at the end.”

The game story, covering the Canadiens’ game against the New York Rangers Saturday at the Bell Centre, knew it was going to be bad when it heard it was being assigned to columnist Dave Stubbs. It had heard the stories, of the run-on sentences, the strained connections with irrelevant facts, the obsessions with long-dead goaltenders nobody knew about when they were alive. “But I wasn’t prepared for what would happen to me that night.”

By the end of the night, Stubbs had taken what should have been a 300-word game story and turned it into a 6,000-word column about… “I don’t even know what the point was,” it said.

“At one point, he compared a video review to the Supreme Court decision over the presidential election in Kenya. He compared a second-period slump with that sinkhole at the Trudeau Airport parking lot. And then he said something about how a speech from the head coach was like the North Koreans declaring war on South Korea. And that was just the stuff I could understand.”

Stu Cowan, Stubbs’s editor at the Gazette, said he saw the warning signs, but didn’t do anything at first. He thought it was the harmless fun that sports writers have trying to turn the daily they-win-they-lose stories into something more interesting. He said he first realized he had a serious problem when Stubbs went on for 350 words about the Canadiens’ record on days when a new pope is chosen. “I knew then that we had to stage an intervention. I just wish we had gotten to him sooner.”

Cowan said the Gazette would cover the cost of treatment for the game story and its family. “It was the least we could do,” he said.

Stubbs was met by friends and colleagues later in the day, who asked him to seek treatment for his problem. At first he said there was nothing wrong, and everyone on Twitter loved what he was doing. But slowly, as the gravity of the situation was explained to him, he broke down, confessed about his grammatically abusive childhood, and said he would check himself in to be treated the next day.

Just after he finished a 14,000-word essay on John Aiken, a goalie who played one game in relief of Jacques Plante in 1958.

Montreal police arrest themselves at illegal police union protest

Montreal police arrest themselves after they were found breaking the law on Sunday afternoon. Arrests continued into the night.

Onlookers watch in confusion as Montreal police arrest themselves Sunday afternoon. Arrests continued into the night.

About 50 Montreal police officers arrested themselves late Sunday night after they failed to respect a municipal bylaw that required them to provide themselves with their itinerary in advance.

“It was brutal,” said one arrested officer, who didn’t want to be named for fear of recriminations against himself. “We kept ourselves out there for hours in the rain, without the ability to go to the bathroom or eat.”

The 50 officers told themselves at first that their protest would be allowed to proceed despite being declared illegal under city bylaw P-6. But before the march could get going, things got pushy and the police quickly found themselves inside their own kettle.

“I thought, oh crap, we’re going to arrest ourselves,” said the officer, who showed off a bruise he said he got when he hit himself in the chest with a baton.

According to witnesses, the police kettled themselves for about three hours as they proceeded with self-arrests. It was longer than usual for such a small group because of the difficulty filling out paperwork and searching oneself while handcuffed, the officer said.

Police gave themselves a ticket of $637 for violation of the bylaw and illegal assembly, an amount multiple officers said was “absolutely outrageous.”

“It’s clear we’re sending a message to ourselves here,” said another officer, Constable Laframboise, who is also a union vice-president. “What happened to freedom of expression and assembly?”

A Montreal police spokesperson said the force acted properly, and was only restraining itself for its own safety and for the safety of the public.

Journalist searching for racist comments on Twitter shocked to find racist comments on Twitter

“I was disgusted,” she said. “The fact that people could say the awful things that I searched for…”

Janet Legendre, a reporter with HuffPost Québec, was sitting at home, watching a scene on television involving a black actor. It was somewhat controversial, but never would she have imagined that, by merely putting racist words into a search engine, she could find exactly what she was looking for on the worldwide microblogging site.

For obvious reasons, I won’t use the words here, but they were awful. Words that nobody would consider acceptable in civilized society. Deliberately hurtful words.

“They were words I didn’t think people used anymore until I searched the Internet for them figuring people were using them.”

Legendre said she was proud of her investigative journalism work. “Those quotes were really hard to find,” she said. “Some of them required some interpretation to be considered so shockingly racist. Others sounded like they might have been said sarcastically or unseriously or just for shock value. But through hours of searching I found three Twitter comments and that was enough to make a gallery.”

The 14, 15 and 17-year-old boys who made the Twitter posts (since deleted) did not respond to requests for comments.

Roads release 1500 hostages, increasing hopes for peace

A line of hostages is slowly let free by the roads that have taken them hostage for years.

A line of hostages is slowly let free by the roads that have taken them hostage for years.

Quebec roads allowed 1500 motorist hostages to go free on Monday, prompting analysts to wonder if a peace accord between roads and the cars that drive on them might be on the horizon.

“We do this because we are a peaceful road network,” said Quebec roads leader Otto Root. “We have no wish to harm drivers, we only ask that they allow us to be treated for our injuries.”

Quebec drivers have been held hostage by the roads for years now, according to journalists at TVA and the Journal de Montréal. Monday morning’s move to release some of them is the first peace move in recent years by the militant roads that call themselves the Root Barrais.

But some drivers aren’t buying the apparently peaceful offering. “We’ve seen this kind of thing before,” said Rick Les, who has been several minutes late to work for what seems like forever. “I’m not buying it this time. Either they release all their hostages or we’re not going anywhere.”

Representatives from the government said negotiations have picked up in recent days, and credit the hostage release to intense talks with the hostage-takers. “We take this as a sign of good faith,” chief negotiator Claude Poirier said. “We’re 10-4 with talks continuing.”

Root said further hostage releases could be possible if talks continue to be fruitful. “But rest assured, we won’t withdraw. The Root Barrais aren’t going anywhere soon.”

CBC to rename itself the Canadian Belonging Channel

CBC Belong

A week after Radio-Canada announced it was rebranding itself as “Ici”, the CBC has taken a similar turn and will also soon be adopting a new name. The announcement is set for tomorrow, but three independent sources have told me the new name will be the Canadian Belonging Channel, keeping the same CBC abbreviation.

That’s for television, anyway. But other media will continue with this theme, with the word “belong” playing a big part. Similar to “Ici Première” and “Ici Musique”, the radio networks will be called “Belong One” and “Belong T[w]o” (the brackets are their addition, not mine).

According to what I’ve been told, the CBC plans a lot of word play with this, not only with the word belong but its first two letters “be”. “Be short, be long, be Canadian” is one suggested slogan, though it’s not clear if that’s one they’ll use.

Like with Radio-Canada, the official name of the company, which is set by Parliament, won’t change. It will remain the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This exercise will be merely a rebranding effort.

I agree the CBC is due for a rebranding, just like any other media, but I’m not sure about the “belong” theme. I guess we’ll have to see when it’s rolled out.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, I’m told the font used for the word “belong” here is Avenir Light. Interpret that how you will.

Radio Classique adopts new classical/jazz format

CJPXThough the CRTC has decided for now that CKLX-FM in Montreal must remain a specialty jazz station, the writing is on the wall that it will eventually become Radio X full-time and abandon the unsuccessful format.

A competing station in Montreal is seeing that as an opportunity. CJPX-FM, Radio Classique, has announced that it will combine its musical selection with that of the former Planète Jazz and adopt a classical/jazz mix format, starting April 15.

“We know there was a small but loyal audience for Planète Jazz,” the station’s manager said in announcing the change on the air this morning. “We want to welcome them on board while ensuring we still provide our listeners with the best of classical music.”

It’s not clear at this point how the format will work precisely, whether the musical selections will alternate between the two or whether certain parts of the day will be set aside specifically for one of the two genres. The station said it would experiment, in consultation with listeners, to determine the right mix.

Loyal Radio Classique listeners might not like the introduction of jazz, and the station seems well aware of this. But like Planète Jazz, Radio Classique is a low-rated station and could use all the listeners it can get. Clearly it sees this move as a way to get the best of both worlds.

We’ll see later this month if that theory works.

Quebec to repave highways for 5km at each border

The Great Pavement Change on Highway 40/417 at the Quebec-Ontario border

Tired of motorists from here and abroad comparing Quebec highway pavement with its neighbours by noticing the changes at the provincial and U.S. borders, the Quebec government has mandated the Transport Department to shorten repaving cycles for five kilometres of roadway at each of the borders so the Quebec pavement looks better than its neighbours.

The directive, which I acquired through an access to information request (the documents are large, but I hope to post them later today), requires the repaving of the following highways once every two years, or whenever the highway across the border is repaved, whichever is sooner:

  • Autoroute 5, from kilometre 0 (the Ontario border) to 5
  • Autoroute 15, from kilometre 0 (the New York border) to 6 (Route 202)
  • Autoroute 20, from kilometre 0 (the Ontario border) to 5
  • Autoroute 40, from kilometre 0 (the Ontario border) to 5
  • Autoroute 55, from kilometre 0 (the Vermont border) to 5
  • Route 101 from the Ontario border to Chemin Kipawa
  • Route 117 from the Ontario border to Chemin Kanasuta
  • Route 132 from the New York border to Chemin de la Pointe Fraser
  • Route 132 for five kilometres on each side of New Brunswick Route 11
  • Route 133 from the Vermont border to Chemin du Moulin
  • Route 139 from the Vermont border to Chemin du Pinacle
  • Route 141 from the Vermont border to Chemin Charest
  • Route 147 from the Vermont border to Chemin Poulin
  • Route 148 from the Ontario border (near Pembroke) to Chemin de Ceinture
  • Route 161 from the Maine border to Route 212
  • Route 173 from the Maine border to an unnamed road five kilometres in
  • Route 185 from the New Brunswick border to the Hydro Québec station
  • Route 203 from the New York border to Route 202
  • Route 209 from the New York border to Route 202
  • Route 219 from the New York border to Route 202
  • Route 221 from the New York border to Route 202
  • Route 223 from the New York border to Route 202
  • Route 225 from the New York border to Route 202
  • Route 235 from the Vermont border to Chemin Chevalier
  • Route 237 from the Vermont border to Chemin de Saint-Amand
  • Route 243 from the Vermont border to Chemin de la Vallée Missisquoi
  • Route 247 from the Vermont border to Rue Woodside
  • Route 253 from the Vermont border to Chemin des Côtes
  • Route 257 from the New Hampshire border to Route 210
  • Route 289 from the New Brunswick border to 4e Rang
  • Route 301 from the Ontario border to Chemin des Outaouais
  • Route 338, from the Ontario border to Chemin Sainte-Claire
  • Route 340, from the Ontario border to Chemin Saint-André
  • Route 344 and Rue Maple (in Grenville) from the Ontario border to Route 148
  • Route 389 from the Labrador border to Lac Mogridge
  • Boulevard Interprovincial from the New Brunswick border to Route 132
  • Boulevard Docteur Camille Marcoux in Blanc-Sablon from the Labrador border to Rue Goodchild

That’s almost 40 highways and provincially-maintained roads that will get much more regular maintenance now.

What’s interesting about this plan isn’t so much that the government is being selective about highway maintenance, but how it’s being budgeted. There are rules that prevent the government from giving more money to certain roads for political reasons. So instead, the increase in maintenance costs is being considered a tourism expense, a way to make Quebec look better to potential visitors (though I don’t know how many are crossing the border at New Hampshire).

Critics will undoubtedly pan this move as a pathetic attempt to make things look better than they are. But the government is betting that eliminating the border comparisons, as transparent as they are about it, will at least help the province in bar-room arguments.

If it works, maybe the next move will be to make the roads gold-plated.

Global Montreal announces “be our sound technician for a day” contest

Camille Ross and Richard Dagenais

Global Montreal has found an innovative solution to the technical problems that have plagued its morning show since its launch two months ago: It will be asking members of the audience to come in and handle the duties of an audio technician for a day.

The hosts announced the contest this morning on the air. Winners, if I can call them that, will be brought in at 5am, taught how to control the audio levels for hosts, callers, studio guests and prerecorded video, and then given the job for three hours from 6 to 9. Afterward, they’ll be given a tour of the studio, a chance to meet the on-air staff. They’ll even see their name in the credits for that show, and to top it all off a free dinner at a mid-scale restaurant.

Asked whether this is a sly method of getting people to work for (near) free, Global News spokesperson Rich Aufmaias said he didn’t see it that way. “We made it as our goal when we started this show to connect with the community. Bringing them in one at a time is a great way to do that, and allowing them to push buttons and work at a real live television station is something many of them will jump at, I think. Besides, it’s only for one day.”

The better question isn’t so much whether this is legal but how long it could last considering the number of viewers the show has, and the number of them who would want to drive downtown for 5am on a weekday.

“We expect we won’t be able to do this forever,” Aufmaias said, “but that’s no reason not to do it. When we’ve run out of volunteers, we can move on to something else.”

The contest will commence next week, with the first winners brought in the week of April 15.

YouTube shutdown has local TV newscasts scrambling for content

YouTube’s surprise announcement that it was shutting down at midnight and finally declaring a winner for its eight-year contest came to a relief to many of the millions who submitted entries, but horror to news directors at local television stations who say they will now struggle to find fluffy filler content for the ends of their newscasts.

“Like everyone, I’m happy that the YouTube contest is coming to an end,” said Global News assignment editor April Fishman. “But we’ve become so dependent on just going to YouTube and stealing video from there. Music videos, viral videos, stock footage, eyewitness accounts, clips from TV shows. All of it was there so we could access it and air it without having to go through the trouble of getting the original or asking permission. I don’t know what we’re going to do about it now. Those people who used to handle those things before YouTube, they were laid off years ago.”

Global and other television news networks are furiously working out alternative plans for sourcing video. “We’re downloading as many popular videos as we can,” said CTV’s Fehk Naim. “And we’re looking at alternative video websites. Does Google Video still exist? What about that site … Vimo or something? We’re going to have to figure out how we can rip videos off of there now too.”

In the meantime, anchors have been told they might be called upon to increase the amount of small-talk banter they engage in to fill time at the end of their newscasts.

“It’s okay,” said CTV anchor Mutsumi Takahashi. “I’ve been in this business long enough to be able to handle it. Besides, I have plenty of dog stories I can tell.”