News about news
- The Toronto Star sparked a lot of WTFs and mockery online when it published an article suggesting wine pairings with movies including 12 Years a Slave. The article has since been “edited” (read: hacked down to just the non-offensive suggestions) and Public Editor Kathy English admits it was a “mistake”.
- A memo about major changes to CBC News operations in Toronto and Vancouver as they prepare to relaunch The National, On the Money, Power and Politics, The World at Six and programs on CBC News Network.
- Vice Canada would like the federal government to drop a case trying to seize reporter Ben Makuch’s notes about a suspected terrorist, since that source is now dead.
- Another plea to save print journalism, this time making the argument that more money to local TV news is unfair.
- The Guardian has a long piece on how the Wall Street Journal covers Donald Trump.
At the CRTC
- New chairman Ian Scott has issued a statement as he begins his mandate. It’s brief, but seems to focus on the consumer-oriented mandate of his predecessor Jean-Pierre Blais. It also continues Blais’s tradition of referring to himself as “chief executive officer”, though not his tradition of beginning every statement by paying tribute to the elders of the closest indigenous people.
- Unifor has announced it will file a CRTC complaint against Rogers’s OMNI over its decision to outsource the production of its Mandarin and Cantonese newscasts to Fairchild, which owns Canada’s biggest Chinese television channel and runs the main competitor in providing Canadians with news in these languages. Unifor argues this goes against the licence granted to OMNI and the accompanying must-carry order, which says “the licensee shall produce and broadcast” daily newscasts in the four languages (it produces the Punjabi and Italian newscasts in-house). The commission may have to split hairs on what the word “produce” means in this context.
- Speaking of OMNI, Rogers filed a request to amend the licence for its new OMNI regional feeds to correct what it saw as a typo: It required ICI in Quebec to produce 14 hours of original local programming a week for the Quebec OMNI feed, when Rogers says it meant to say 14 hours a month. But intervenors including Quebecor, Cogeco and the Community Media Advocacy Centre strongly objected to this, saying it amounts to getting a licence under false pretences. Complicating matters is that the conditions of licence first imposed on ICI in 2012 contain an inconsistency between French and English versions. The French version says “le titulaire doit, au cours de chaque semaine de radiodiffusion, diffuser 14 heures d’émissions locales originales à caractère ethnique, calculées mensuellement”, while the English version says “in each broadcast month, the licensee shall broadcast 14 hours of original local ethnic programming, calculated monthly.” (Emphasis mine.) The preamble in both languages makes clear that ICI’s commitment was 14 hours a week of local ethnic programming, but didn’t specify that this commitment was for original programs. It’s also redundant to say “each broadcast month” and “calculated monthly.” Until this application is approved, ICI’s original condition of licence remains.
- The commission has approved a request by CHOD-FM Cornwall, a francophone community station serving eastern Ontario, for another transmitter farther north in Dunvegan (I first reported on this in April). The new transmitter is on the same frequency, 92.1 MHz, so they’ll either need to synchronize the two (which is tricky) or there’s gonna be interference for people between the two transmitters.
Tony Romo's going to be so good at this. pic.twitter.com/uCj4cxomJX
— Jack Fritz (@Jack_Fritz34) September 11, 2017
- Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo seems to be working out well as a TV analyst.
- Global TV launched its Quebec station 20 years ago this week after it purchased a Quebec City station, CKMI-TV, and installed retransmitters in Montreal and Sherbrooke. Global Montreal produced a story by Anne Leclair about the anniversary and the station’s history.
- RDS has announced its Canadiens and Senators broadcast schedule for 2017-18. It includes all eight Canadiens preseason games and the 60 regular-season games it has access to. It’ll even broadcast an intra-squad game on RDS Info and stream two others online. For the Senators, it’s all 50 regular-season games it can, plus two preseason games against the Canadiens and one against the Leafs. All of these games are regional and should be blacked out west of eastern Ontario.
- We’re still waiting for TSN to announce its schedules for regional NHL games. But a look at the schedule shows three Habs preseason games scheduled for TSN2 (Sept. 21, 25 and 29). Other matches are against Canadian teams — two against Ottawa on TSN5 and one against Toronto on TSN4. TSN2 would make sense to solve conflicts between the Habs and Senators over use of TSN5, which is distributed in the teams’ shared region. (15 games during the season would create this conflict.) But it means TSN2 would be blacked out to most of Ontario and all of western Canada up to 50 times, mostly Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
- Good news and bad news for TSN’s The Reporters, which the network proudly announced has been revived: It’s airing at 9am Sunday mornings on TSN2, and simulcast on TSN Radio stations including TSN 690 Montreal. But Michael Farber won’t be on the show regularly because of “budget restrictions.” He’ll be invited on special occasions like NHL free agency and trade deadline coverage.
- TVA Sports has signed a deal with WWE, which includes airing WWE Raw on TVA Sports.
- CTV went so far as to referring to a competitor as “fake news” after Global’s ET Canada billed itself as “Canada’s #1 entertainment news show”. Bell Media’s press release brings out the Numeris numbers to show eTalk has 30% more viewers.
- Unifor members at Global TV stations in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax/New Brunswick, as well as the Ottawa bureau, have ratified a new contract, ending any threat of a strike.
- Missed this earlier, but Brendan Kelly talked to Jay Walker about his food show Resto Mundo on Zeste. I wrote about the show last year.
- Bell Media has announced two new original series for its food channel Gusto. One is Flour Power, hosted by Montrealer Jessica McGovern.
- Richard Therrien on TV5’s programming, which is under new management.
- CBC has renewed its rights deal with Spruce Meadows for equestrian events through 2020.
- HBO has renewed Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for three seasons.
- Trevor Noah has apparently done a good enough job as host of the Daily Show to get an extension through 2022.
- Ditto Conan O’Brien, renewed on TBS until 2022.
- Radio host André Arthur and a man who criticized him for fanning the flames of hatred in Quebec City are suing each other for defamation.
- Former NHL goaltender Alex Auld, whose career included a brief stint as a backup for the Canadiens, has joined Sportsnet 650 Vancouver as an analyst.
- L’Actualité magazine has made a major change, going from a weekly publication to a monthly one with less news and more features, mirroring a change made by its sister publication Voir. But there’s concern about elements of a proposed new revenue stream that includes selling travel and conferences with journalists. Owner Alexandre Taillefer insists there’s no risk of a conflict of interest, which I think is a bit naive. Coverage by Le Devoir and Presse Canadienne.
- TC Media has sold three more newspapers as part of its Quebec newspaper selloff. The Information du Nord Mont-Tremblant, Information du Nord Sainte-Agathe and Information du Nord Vallée de la Rouge go to Sonème hebdo inc. along with 12 employees. This is the seventh sale of newspapers or groups of newspapers to small local owners, affecting 18 newspapers. There are still 75 left to go.
- The National Post newsroom wants to unionize. At least that’s what some organizers hope. The mood there has changed since Postmedia made major cuts to non-unionized employees’ benefits, an anonymous source tells Global News reporter Sean Craig (himself a former Post employee) and the Globe and Mail.
- Postmedia has partnered with Rogers to publish a monthly section in Postmedia’s broadsheet newspapers filled with content from Rogers’s lifestyle magazines. Life By Design premiered last week in the Montreal Gazette.
- The website Canoe.ca (owned by my employer Postmedia) has been the victim of a data theft, with user information including names, emails, addresses and phone numbers from 1996 until 2008 being copied during a hack. About a million users who signed up before 2008 are affected.
- Streaming service DAZN, which made waves by securing the rights to out-of-market NFL games in Canada, got caught in a PR nightmare when the first weekend of games was bogged with technical problems. The company has apologized and the NFL is trying to salvage the situation with them.
- Fact-checking website Snopes.com, whose control is in dispute after events that followed the acrimonious divorce of its founding couple, has been “saved” thanks to an injunction that requires Proper Media LLC to release ad revenue to Snopes owner Bardav. This is a victory for David Mikkelson against the company his ex-wife sold her shares to.
- The Athletic is looking for correspondents in Winnipeg. It’s also seeking “new and emerging voices” in Toronto.
- The Globe and Mail explains technical aspects of its website redesign.
News about people
- Major executive changes at Bell Media:
- Stewart Johnston is appointed President, Media Sales, Marketing, and TSN
- Mike Cosentino is appointed President, Content and Programming
- Nanci MacLean is appointed Vice-President and Head, Bell Media Studios
- The Toronto Star has hired a democracy reporter, Sabrina Nanji. She’s on a one-year contract made possible by the Atkinson Foundation.
- Jessica Johnson has been named executive editor and creative director of The Walrus. This position replaces editor-in-chief, which was made vacant with the departure of Jonathan Kay. J-Source talks to her about her plans.
- Stephen Maher is leaving iPolitics. He hasn’t said where he’s going except to Italy for a vacation.
- Canadian Graydon Carter is stepping down as editor of Vanity Fair, a position he’s held for 25 years. He’s one of several magazine bosses to announce departures.
- Ashley Csanady has decided to take a buyout from the National Post. She’s contemplating her next move.
- Konrad Yakabuski is now a columnist for Le Devoir in addition to the Globe and Mail. He writes about politics.
- Peter Anthony Holder had a brief speaking role as a reporter on this week’s episode of 21 Thunder on CBC.
- ESPN SportsCenter host Jemele Hill has apologized for calling Donald Trump a white supremacist.
- Gretta Chambers, former host of CFCF’s The Editors and CBC Radio’s The Province in Print, and long-time columnist for the Montreal Gazette. An appreciation from Lisa Fitterman in the Globe and Mail.
— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) September 8, 2017
- Host, Power and Politics (deadline: Sept. 28)
- Reporter, Low Down to Hull and Back News (deadline: Sept. 20)
- Vancouver reporter for Globe and Mail (deadline: Sept. 20)
- Host, CBC’s Power and Politics (deadline: Sept. 28)
- CBC/QWF writer in residence (deadline: Oct. 15)
- National hockey reporter, The Canadian Press
- Digital broadcast journalist, Global News Toronto (plus same job but as a 12-month contract)
- Beijing news assistant, Globe and Mail