Media News Digest: Journalist arrested for email, GameTV sold again, Competition Bureau raids Postmedia and Torstar

News about news

At the CRTC

  • The commission has approved the sale of GameTV … again. Only a year after buying it in 2016, Anthem Sports & Entertainment apparently determined the channel did not fit into its strategic plans (Anthem, owned by former Canwest CEO Leonard Asper, also owns Fight Network and FNTSY Sports Network) and came to a deal to sell the channel to Remuda Media Inc. for $6.5 million, or $2.5 million more than they paid for it. Remuda is owned 25% each by Canadians Dean Langille, John Phillips, William Sawchyn and Bryan Woodruff. They’ll put up some of the cash for the transaction, but $5.3 million is a loan from Rural Media Group, an American company that owns RFD-TV. The people behind Remuda got CRTC approval for something called The Country Channel in 2011, but failed to launch it because they couldn’t get carriage. So instead they bought an existing channel. Though they aren’t talking about a complete rebranding, their brief to the CRTC says they plan on “expanding the channel’s content offering to reflect the issues, interests and lifestyles of a currently underserved market: rural and suburban Canadians, while preserving the core features of Game TV’s currently strong ratings and popular programming.”
  • An application by Evanov Radio to increase power of low-power Toronto station CIRR-FM while simultaneously decreasing power of nearby station CIDC-FM in Orangeville has been dismissed by the CRTC after it was deemed technically unacceptable by ISED. It’s unclear what exactly is unacceptable about the proposed changes, but Evanov will have to fix it and resubmit the applications.
  • Former chairman Jean-Pierre Blais has a new public service job, as assistant deputy minister at Public Services and Procurement.
  • The commission has approved four Portuguese TV channels for distribution in Canada.
  • A proposal by Sirius XM to spend $3.79 million of its discretionary tangible benefits on a new fund named after itself has been denied. The commission found that the fund was not sufficiently described in the application, that it was partially self-serving by offering airtime on Sirius XM for emerging artists, and that it didn’t have much to offer that couldn’t be offered by existing funds like FACTOR and MusicAction. The CRTC ordered the money be sent to those funds instead.

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2 thoughts on “Media News Digest: Journalist arrested for email, GameTV sold again, Competition Bureau raids Postmedia and Torstar

  1. Scott Fybush

    Evanov’s denial in Toronto was the result of an intervention from Brock U. in St. Catharines, which has CFBU 103.7 and argued that moving CIRR to 103.7 would create unacceptable interference over on the St. Catharines side of the lake.

    Next step, I’m hearing, will be to apply to move CIRR to 103.5 (with higher power than the present 103.9 signal) and CIDC to 103.7 (with lower power than the present 103.5).


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