News about news
- National Newspaper Awards were announced: The Globe and Mail won six (including journalist of the year for Robyn Doolittle), the Toronto Star and La Presse each won four.
- The Canadian Association of Journalists also handed out its awards.
- Ipsos wants to use copyright law to prevent people from using its poll results in aggregate form, arguing that the polls were not designed to be used in this way. Ekos wants to do the same.
- City Montreal is finally hiring more journalists for its soon-to-launch evening newscasts. It put up postings for two full-time and one part-time journalist. No word yet on a launch date. City had hired Cora MacDonald and Tina Tenneriello for the job last year. Macdonald has since left for Global Montreal.
- La Presse publisher Guy Crevier writes about the decision to go non-profit. As is his habit, there are a lot of statistics. Among them:
- In 1975, 79% of homes received a daily newspaper. Now it’s 2%.
- La Presse did three studies in recent years about a paid subscription model. The most generous on showed it could get 50-100,000 subs paying $5 a month. But up to $6 million in revenue would be offset by “tens of millions” in lost ad revenue.
- Since 2010, the two largest newspaper chains in Canada (Postmedia and Torstar, I’m presuming) held on to only 35% and 42% of ad revenue. La Presse managed to keep 66% despite the fact that it no longer has a print edition.
- Le Devoir looks at the Philadelphia Inquirer, which underwent a similar transformation into a nonprofit.
- Meanwhile, the provincial government is open to expediting the process of approving La Presse’s transfer of ownership. Its unions want the change to happen ASAP.
- Alexandre Taillefer has stepped down from the board of Mishmash Media (owner of L’Actualité and Voir) and dropped his column in Voir to avoid conflicts of interest coming out of his recent decision to become campaign chair of the Quebec Liberal Party.
At the CRTC
Evanov Radio resubmits new joint #CRTC technical plan for Toronto radio stations CIDC-FM (Z103) and CIRR-FM (Proud FM):
CIDC-FM moves to 103.7, increases from 30.7kW to 45kW, points NW
CIRR-FM to 103.5, from 0.2kW to 20kW and doubles antenna height. Will also add HD. pic.twitter.com/6Njy76hm4t
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) May 10, 2018
- Evanov Radio is trying again with its plan to reconfigure its two Toronto-area radio stations to turn at least one into a bona fide Toronto station. Like its last attempt, this new one involves converting CIDC-FM (Z103.5) into a station serving Orangeville (as it was licensed to do) and clearing the way for CIRR-FM (Proud FM 103.9) to increase power to cover all of downtown Toronto. But after the last attempt was deemed technically unacceptable by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (which regulates radio spectrum) because of interference it would cause to other stations, this one tries another option: move CIDC to 103.7, with a signal pointed entirely northwest away from Toronto, and move CIRR to 103.5, allowing it to increase power 100-fold. Evanov also proposed to add an HD transmitter for CIRR, with up to four channels. The first will simulcast the analog signal, but it hasn’t decided what the other three will carry yet.
- The Supreme Court of Canada will be hearing an appeal by Bell over the CRTC’s Super Bowl ad substitution policy. The court’s focus isn’t on the CRTC’s rules per se, but on the issue of how the courts can overrule decisions by administrative bodies like the CRTC. It’s unclear if we’d get a decision on this by the next Super Bowl in February, but the court has declined a request to expedite the process.
- Kanesatake’s community radio station CKHQ-FM 101.7 is fighting against a proposed new Christian radio station in Lachute on the same frequency. Under Canadian broadcasting regulations, CKHQ is a low-power station and is unprotected, so if another station gets a licence to operate that would cause interference, CKHQ would have to move to another frequency. The problem is that Kanesatake is close enough to Montreal that there aren’t many frequencies available, even for a tiny 11-watt station. Legally it doesn’t have much to go on, but it’s hoping political pressure will push the CRTC to act in its favour. The station, which can’t be heard outside the immediate area of Kanesatake, has been off the air since last July.
At the CBC
- Another week, another decision against André Arthur. This time, the Quebec Press Council finding he was wrong to call teachers “crazy”, and wrong for his employer BLVD 102,1 to deny he said that on the air.
- Other Quebec Press Council decisions:
- A LaPresse.ca story about an assault suspect being sought by police, that was later updated after the suspect was found, should not have included a description of the suspect as “Indigenous” as that was not relevant. La Presse argued the ethnic description was an “artifact” of the previous story as a physical description of a man being sought by police.
- A TVA story about the dangers of sugary drinks was not biased against sugar and obesity, despite the complaint of Fondation Belles rondeurs. A complaint by the same group against a Le Soleil series on weight loss was also rejected.
- A La Presse story about the Quebec City mosque shooter’s like of guns was not sensationalist, despite the complaint of the Canadian National Firearms Association
- A Journal de Montréal story was not discriminatory or prejudicial by noting that a victim in a gang rape case had consumed alcohol before the alleged crime.
- CHOI host Jeff Fillion was within his rights to say that if he was a cop, he would treat protesters in a brutal manner. (A split 4-2 decision.) — We’ll see how his suggestion that protesters be outright murdered goes down.
- A Lise Ravary column in the Journal de Montréal that noted the “climategate” scandal of alleged manipulation of data by climate researchers should have noted that a subsequent investigation found no such manipulation of data.
- The Quebec Press Council itself says it has reviewed 83 cases in the past year, and is looking at mediation to accelerate them because they take about a year to process.
- Toronto Star Public Editor Kathy English wants to know why more women don’t write letters to the editor.
- CBC ombudsman: Broadcasts have to be clear about panelists’ conflicts of interest in political discussions.
- CBC ombudsman: A report quoting a witness at a murder trial saying “Jesus fucking Christ” was not inappropriate but should have come with a warning.
RENEW BROOKLYN NINE NINE
I ONLY WATCH LIKE 4 THINGS
THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS#RenewB99
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 10, 2018
- Fox has cancelled sitcoms Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth and The Mick. But oh wait, NBC has stepped in and saved the Nine-Nine!
- Meanwhile, Fox picked up Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing from ABC.
- CTV is going ahead with Season 2 of The Launch, and is seeking applications from artists. One of the songs from Season 1 (Ain’t Easy by Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine) went platinum in Canada, four of the songs had short-term success going #1 on the iTunes Canada charts, and the other two (by Ethan Young and Jayd Ink) … didn’t.
- CTV has bought the right to premiere a new Martin Scorcese-directed SCTV reunion special in Canada (now with Rick Moranis set to participate). This means the show won’t be available on Netflix in Canada right away, but will be after it airs on CTV.
- Most French-language TV broadcasters not owned by Quebecor have agreed to a partnership with Radio-Canada’s Tou.tv that will make some of their content available on Tou.tv Extra. This includes Bell, V and TV5, and possibly Télé-Québec in the future.
- V has renewed Le Show de Rousseau, its replacement for Éric Salvail’s nightly talk show, despite its less-than-stellar debut.
- Bell’s food channel Gusto is on free preview from May 15 to June 26.
- Quebec City’s ComediHa! festival has renewed its TV deals — for three years with Radio-Canada and Bell Media and for two years with Unis.
- Thursday’s Winnipeg Jets/Nashville Predators Game 7 unsurprisingly did well in the ratings in Canada. Its 3 million viewers made it the most-watched Jets game ever. It even did okay in the U.S., with 1.6 million viewers on NBCSN and streaming.
- CJAD has added a new name to its wall of fame: former host Melanie King.
- Claude Rajotte is returning to CIBL, with a show Wednesday nights starting May 16.
- Mario Dumont is leaving Montreal’s 98.5FM in June, where he was a collaborator to the morning show, citing a lack of available time. His replacement, Denis Coderre, will stay on, despite saying last fall that a media job is not what we should expect him to go into.
- Vancouver’s Roundhouse Radio went off the air last Sunday, though it looks like the station will be sold. A sale requires CRTC approval before it can take effect.
- CBC has renamed its B.C. noon-hour call-in show from B.C. Almanac to BC Today. That was a bit annoying to BC Today, a website that covers the B.C. legislature.
- Amid the talk about La Presse going nonprofit, Le Devoir’s Brian Myles discusses its structure, which is technically a for-profit enterprise but one that’s controlled by its director and accepts donations.
- Cult MTL has released its annual Best of Montreal readers’ poll results, which includes a section on local media.
- The Toronto Star is bringing back the paywall, three years after dropping it. It’s also applying the paywall to StarMetro, even though those are free newspapers.
- The Star is also dropping its contract with Pagemasters North America to outsource the editing and print layout of its paper. PMNA is owned by The Canadian Press.
- Employees at the Windsor Star have voted 91% in favour of a new three-year labour contract, just before they were set to go on strike. The new deal avoids most of the concessions demanded by the employer, and includes only a 0.5 per cent pay hike in 2020.
- The Chicago Tribune’s owner has voluntarily recognized a new union, which will encompass the Tribune and some related publications.
- Le Devoir talks to Mike Ward about his podcast series Sous écoute, which features discussions with comedians.
- Spotify has pulled R Kelly’s music from its playlists — but not from the service itself — after more reports of sexual misconduct.
News about people
In 1975, Jim, who lived down the street, asked me to prom. We had a blast and he moved away. 40 years later we reconnected, fell in love, and last night he proposed! #ISaidYes ? pic.twitter.com/tad1aRpTX3
— Marilyn Denis (@MarilynDenisCTV) May 7, 2018
- Marilyn Denis got engaged.
- Montreal Gazette cartoonist Terry Mosher (Aislin) and La Presse’s Serge Chapleau are getting honorary degrees from Concordia University.
- CBC’s Kate McKenna launched her book about the abortion fight in PEI, first in PEI and on Thursday in Montreal.
- Radio-Canada reports the police have ended their investigations into Éric Salvail and Gilbert Rozon. It will now be up to the prosecutors if charges will be laid against them for alleged sexual harassment.
- La Presse speaks to Maripier Morin about her personal branding and her reputation.
- Robyn Doolittle has a book deal out of her long investigation into police departments dismissing sexual assault complaints.
- The Washington Post profiles Lainey Lui (The Social, eTalk) and her LaineyGossip blog.
- Amil Niazi is leaving Vice Canada to join the BBC.
- Alex Panetta is leaving The Canadian Press, where he was its Washington correspondent, for some other unnamed job.
- Tyler Dawson is leaving the Ottawa Citizen to become the new Alberta correspondent for the National Post.
- Lindsey Wiebe, formerly at audience development at Rogers Media, is joining the New York Times as its first Canadian audience growth editor.
- CTV’s Avis Favaro is getting an honorary doctorate from McMaster University.
- Christiane Amanpour has been named Charlie Rose’s replacement at PBS. The new show will be called “Amanpour & Company”
- An internal report at NBC has conveniently showed that NBC bosses did not know about Matt Lauer’s behaviour toward women.
- Rita Trichur has been promoted to senior editor at the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine
- Elizabeth Hughes, CBC Vancouver executive producer
- André Payette, journalist and essayist
- Peter Mayer, former Penguin Group chief executive (in charge when it published the Satanic Verses)
- The Walrus on the Toronto Star’s efforts to reinvent itself (not much new here, but a good summary of its history and some insight from star reporter Daniel Dale).
- Reporter/photographer, The Eastern Door in Kahnawake (deadline: May 14)
- Summer intern, Maisonneuve magazine in Montreal (deadline: May 14)
- Student summer researcher at FPJQ in Montreal (deadline: May 18)
- Videojournalists, City Montreal
- Program Director, K103 in Kahnawake (deadline: June 1)
City News Montreal will likely launch in August when their morning licensing requirements expire. Must be nerve wracking for the BT team.
The licence requirement to produce a local morning show on City Montreal expired on Sept. 1, 2017. It now has the standard conditions of licence applied to the rest of the City network. That means it must produce 14 hours a week of local programming, including 6 hours a week of locally reflective news.
Another informative post Mr. F.! Possible that the delay at City television has something to do with Paul Rogers retiring?
I’m unaware of any delay. They promised a local news show in 2018, but never set a date.
What will Éric Grenier do?
RCP and 538 are very popular in punditry circles Stateside.
Just about spit out my Mother’s Day supper reading the Cult Mtl Best of .LOL… Of the 10 favourite media personalities 9 of them were likely authentic nominations whereas one is not. #selfnominator #yeahright #weknowyouvotedforyourself LOL LOL
The Best of Montreal has always been pretty suspect, first from the Mirror and now CultMontreal.
I remember the early days, people would list Burger King or McDonalds for “best fries”. And then they’d get letters about it.
People might be interested in a few categories, and then stuff others. I assumed people were either listing some very obvious answers, or just perpetuating what already had been best. So somebody who’d never seen much dance would fill in “O Vertigo” or “Margie Gillis”. Once on, it was harder to topple. Allison Louder was in the “best activist” category after campaigning to keep Park Avenue as the name. But she stayed there for a few years, though she wasn’t an activist after that.
But it got worse with time. Since they didn’t want “ballot stuffing”, they required answers in a certain number of categories, which made it hard. If you didn’t eat meat, that eliminated a lot of categories. So instead of people filling out a few categories that really interested them, they’d pick obvious name. I know I’d put in people I knew, since I had to fill the categories.
It all got worse once places started campaigning. I know at least one website which would say “vote for me” and point to the previous year’s answers “in case you need suggestions”. So it perpetuated the mediocre.
I gave up before the Mirror expired. I even wrote a letter about it, I don’t think it was published, saying why I’d stopped.
To make matters worse, when the Mirror closed down, I remember one site, I think “Midnight Poutine” lamenting that “The Best” was gone. But they could have stepped in and done “Cream of Montreal” or whatever, and try to make it more authentic. But they didn’t see it as their place, so Cult gets it, them sort of being the heirs to the Mirror. So it continues in all its mediocrity, no longer all that important, except for those who get listed. Even the campaigning has stopped or lessened.
Touché! Most “Best of ” lists are just lazy content and opportunities for wannabes to win a popularity contest for once in their life!
It’s also a self-selecting survey, so it’s “most popular whatever for 20 somethings in university who won’t have to work for a living yet”, mixed in with “most popular in the McGill Ghetto”. Not really informative!
Re: The Toronto Star’s Public Editor wants to know why more women don’t write letters to the editor.
The same question can be asked about radio: why do male callers to talk shows vastly outnumber women?
Whether venturing an opinion from politics to pitbulls, or as a contestant to win a prize, it seems there are way more men calling in to news and talk shows than women.
Evanov might have better luck with their efforts to change things around if they put HD on both and offered at least one of the channels to a community station to be determined by the CRTC (ie, a non commercial, non competitive station) in each marketplace. The tangible benefits (getting community radio a wider signal) might play in their favor.
As a side note Steve: Have you noticed that the UK is going to be the second country to basically ditch FM radio and replace it with digital / HD / non-tradition distribution methods? I find it really interesting to see how this is picking up speed.
The CRTC doesn’t operate that way. It’s up to the applicant to propose things, not the CRTC. And I’m not sure a community radio station would be viable with just an HD Radio channel.
The UK transition is not without controversy. And being only the second country to do so it’s hard to talk about “speed”. But we’ll see how it goes.
I was thinking about an existing community station. If each of the players in the market was required to (a) add HD to their transmitters over time, and (b) offer carriage to one of the lower power stations, community stations, or AM stations in the marketplace you would suddenly see a bigger offering on HD, which in turn would drive at least some consumer demand. When you consider that they can put 3 or 4 stations on each, it becomes a real benefit in the market. It wouldn’t be long before all of the lower power stations could find themselves with decent coverage.
UK has some controversy, mostly from the Luddite “I can’t use my antique 75 year old radio to listen to anything anymore”, the same sort of people who got really upset when TV moved off of analog, I guess. It’s pretty sad to hold back technology to satisfy a very small part of the market.
Most major-market HD radio stations owned by large broadcasters already simulcast their AM stations. I’m not sure it has caused any significant demand for HD radios, which are still very hard to find outside of cars.
If by “75-year-old” you mean “bought yesterday”. According to regulator Ofcom, it was only in 2016 that more than 50% of households had DAB radios, and only about a third of households have a car with DAB. More than 50% of radio listening is still through AM/FM, and in 2017 analog radios made up 63% of total radios sold in the UK. It is indeed similar to the TV digital transition, in that a lot of people are still using analog receivers.