News about news
— John Wayne Ferguson (@JohnWFerguson) August 29, 2017
- A consortium of news organizations has filed recommendations with the Chamberland Commission looking into spying on journalists. Among them are rules that better separate politicians from police.
- Globe and Mail journalist Nathan VanderKlippe was briefly detained by authorities in western China and had his computer seized after he was asking people questions.
- The World Press Photo exhibition is in Montreal until Oct. 1. Stories about it at the Gazette, Global, Le Devoir, La Presse, Radio-Canada, Métro, HuffPost Québec.
- A war of words continues between La Presse and the Quebec Press Council over the latter’s recent decision blaming La Presse for publishing personal information about convicted killer Karla Homolka. The decision led to Philippe Teiscera-Lessard, the story’s author, to resign from the council (he obviously wasn’t part of the panel that decided on the case). The president of the council, Paule Beaugrand-Champagne, responded with an open letter saying that the council is composed mainly of people from the industry and it is absurd to suggest they are anti-journalism.
- Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times has been dismissed.
- Global News would like anarchists to know that no, they do not hand over video footage of protests to police without a court order to do so.
- The FPJQ has announced its next conference will be in Sherbrooke in November. Nominations are open for its annual journalism awards, the Judith Jasmin prizes for news, and the Antoine Desilets prizes for photography. It also announced a new financial backer: Mishmash Media, Alexandre Taillefer’s media company that owns Voir and l’Actualité.
At the CRTC
- It’s Sept. 1, which means a lot of new licences take effect today, including those of TV services owned by Bell, Rogers, Corus, Quebecor and V. Also starting today, OMNI starts charging a mandatory 12 cents a month to all TV subscribers in Canada.
- The commission has finally released financial details of specialty (now referred to as discretionary) channels for the year ending Aug. 31, 2016. Among the highlights:
- Sportsnet saw a huge nine-figure jump in ad revenue, and made $93.6 million in profit in 2015-16, making it the most profitable television channel in Canada. Add in Sportsnet One ($44.8 million), Sportsnet 360 ($1.2 million) and Sportsnet World ($2.7 million) and the Sportsnet channels had $142.3 million in profit in one year. This is the first year that Sportsnet (just the regional channels) surpasses TSN in total revenue, total expenses and total profit. But TSN still has slightly more subscribers and slightly more revenue from subscriber fees.
- The acquisition of national NHL rights meant a huge change for TVA Sports, causing its subscriber revenue to quadruple in a year. But its programming expenses also quadrupled, and it went from losing $20 million in the year before the rights change to losing $40 million the year after. Reducing expenses has allowed it to recover slightly in 2016.
- Early numbers for Viceland Canada don’t tell us much. The channel was rebranded from Bio halfway through the 2015-16 year, and was on free preview for a while.
- FXX Canada, the little sister to FX Canada, has squeaked into the black in its third year.
- Numbers for G4 Canada show a dramatic 87% drop in the number of subscribers in 2015-16, pushing it into the red despite spending $0 on Canadian programming. This explains why Rogers has decided to shut down the channel, which no longer exists as of today.
- RDS Info is continuing to bleed money, with revenue covering only about half of expenses. Profits from RDS more than make up for that, though.
- Zombie channel Book Television, which has zero staff, zero original programming and little worth watching, still has more than 2 million subscribers and made $1.28 million in profit that year.
- The commission has renewed the licence of CIRA-FM (Radio Ville-Marie) in Montreal and its retransmitters. The five-year renewal reflects some compliance issues, including appeals for donations that said without money the station could cease to exist — CRTC policy prohibits such threats.
- With licences set to expire, the CRTC has given itself an extension until Dec. 31 to process the renewals of several radio stations, including CHXX-FM (Pop 100.9) in Donnacona, Quebec, near Quebec City. It also gave itself another year for CIBL-FM 101.5 Montreal.
Breakfast Television celebrates 4 YEARS today! Happy birthday, BT! You've got a lot of people who sure do love you! ?? pic.twitter.com/o4Gipf8qbJ
— Breakfast Television (@BTMontreal) August 25, 2017
- Sportsnet has released full broadcast schedules for the three NHL teams it has all the rights for, the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. Nothing surprising here, with 36 or 37 games of each team being broadcast nationally, and less than 10 of each being forced onto the overflow Sportsnet One channels. The big question this season will be the Canadiens, which move from Sportsnet to TSN, forcing Bell to figure out what to do when both the Canadiens and Senators are playing at the same time.
- Bell Media has confirmed that Mayday will have an 18th season. Season 17 begins next Friday on Discovery.
- Videotron has become the latest TV provider to announce it will incorporate the Comcast XFinity X1 platform in its service. This follows similar announcements from Shaw and Rogers (Rogers had tried to develop its own system but gave up on that after wasting a lot of time and money). X1 allows cable providers to have cloud-based PVRs and other features that will let Videotron compete on features better with Bell’s IPTV service.
- The Canadian Press talked to country music artists who are sad that CMT will no longer air country music videos.
- Fox is going to start selling six-second ads during NFL games.
- CBS is buying Ten Network in Australia, a TV company that was once owned by Canwest.
- Bell Media is starting a new national afternoon talk show, with Evan Solomon as host, on Tuesday. The show will run on eight Bell-owned news-talk stations, including CFRB 1010 in Toronto, CFRA 580 in Ottawa and CJAD 800 in Montreal. CJAD will carry only the second hour of Solomon’s two-hour show, from 3-4pm. Aaron Rand’s afternoon show will therefore start an hour later.
- Cogeco Media has launched a new smartphone app for its radio stations, called Cogeco Live. The application is the usual you’ll-love-this-if-all-your-favourite-radio-stations-are-owned-by-our-parent-company vibe to it, which can be especially offputting for anglophones since The Beat is Cogeco’s only anglophone station (it even warns you if you try to switch it to English that not all content will be available to you). The big sell is loyalty points you gain by interacting with it, which can theoretically be redeemed for cool stuff (right now it’s just getting into a contest for a vacation).
- Mike FM (CKDG-FM 105.1) has a new afternoon drive show, Radio Montréal France, weekdays 4-6pm, hosted by Julien Cardon.
- The Montreal Gazette has ended some regular columns (but at least gave them a chance to say goodbye): Dogs of Montreal, Mark Abley’s Watchwords and Squeaky Wheels.
- The Globe and Mail is also purging some freelancers, including high-profile ones Tabatha Southey and Leah McLaren. Freelancers were informed via form-letter email, which probably wasn’t the best idea. This follows an earlier announcement that weekday sections would be merged.
- The Associated Press has published newly restored footage of the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana on YouTube, converting the original film to 4K digital video.
- The blog Vancouver Is Awesome has been bought by Glacier Media. Its founder is staying on as editor-in-chief.
News about people
- Tootall is being inducted into the Canadian Music and Broadcasting Hall of Fame next year. The announcement was made live on the air on CHOM, which took the honouree by surprise.
- Peter Anthony Holder, who through his former CJAD show and Stuph File show and podcast has interviewed lots of celebrities, has published a book about those interviews.
- The Vancouver Sun talks to Red Robinson, who is losing his job at CISL in Vancouver now that it is being converted into a Sportsnet station. He suggests he’s not ready to leave the business yet.
- Caroline Locher writes a goodbye letter on her last day as general manager of the FPJQ. She starts at the Quebec Press Council on Tuesday. Catherine Lafrance takes over Locher’s old job.
- La Presse’s Gabriel Béland is moving from sports to be a Quebec City reporter.
- Zi-Ann Lum is joining the Huffington Post’s Ottawa bureau.
- The cofounder of MusiquePlus vehemently denies that he sexually assaulted a teenager in 1980-81.
- Global Regina station manager Mitch Bozak is retiring after 30 years. He sat down for an interview with the morning show.
- Pierre Gang, programming director for TV5, has left the company, reports Richard Therrien.
- Associate editor, Maisonneuve (deadline: Sept. 1)
- Evening talk show host, AM640 Toronto (deadline: Sept. 1)
- Reporter/editor, CBC Indigenous in Winnipeg (deadline: Sept. 5)
- Reporter, Low Down to Hull and Back News (deadline: Sept. 20)
- Directeur principal, affaires institutionnelles, Québecor