Media News Digest: CRTC chair criticizes, on-air protest at Radio Centre-Ville, Radio-Canada aboriginal website

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At the CRTC

  • Days before a hearing on TV licence renewals, a temporary fill-in CRTC commissioner has been named: civil servant Judith LaRocque. She has a six-month term, enough to serve as a francophone commissioner studying the renewals of TVA and V.
  • CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais gave a keynote speech to the Canadian chapter of the International Institute of Communications today. The speech goes over the past four years of the commission’s work (what a coincidence, that happens to be the amount of time he’s been there) and is mainly self-congratulatory. He also criticizes Canada’s television creative community for overstating the effect of a reduction in Canadian content requirements, he criticizes the “news media” for “spilled ink and exhaled air”, he criticizes online media for not having the training to replace traditional media reporters, he criticizes Shomi for pulling the plug too early and being lazy, and he criticizes “naysayers” in general for making “false and misleading statements.”



  • Last week the deadline passed for the launch of the TTP Media station at 600 AM in Montreal. The commission confirmed to me that an application for an extension to that deadline has been filed, but no decision has been reached yet. The last extension said it would be the final one, but the CRTC said the same two years ago about 940 and gave another extension anyway. They have until Nov. 21 to inform the commission that they are ready to launch the 940 station, which has been doing some on-air testing.
  • There was an on-air occupation by staff of Radio Centre-Ville (CINQ-FM 102.3) on the weekend. Contributors to the community-run ethnic radio station are complaining about management decisions to rent out airtime to stem a financial crisis. They’ve called for a special general assembly so they can discuss and vote on what to do about the situation.
  • West Island Gazette columnist Victor Schukov writes that the West Island needs its own radio station. He dismissed The Jewel 106.7 in Hudson (with comments that pissed off staff at that station), and noted that CFOX, the former West Island AM radio station, shut down because it wouldn’t work financially. Setting aside the lack of available FM frequencies, there doesn’t seem to be much of a case that West Islanders are not properly served by CJAD or other stations that broadcast from downtown.




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