Media News Digest: Corus sells TLN, Action becomes Adult Swim, Pete Marier on air in French

News about news

At the CRTC

  • The commission has completed its 2018 Communications Monitoring Report (based on data from the 2016-17 broadcast year) with the publication of its broadcasting portion.
  • The government of Canada is proposing a new order to the CRTC giving it direction on telecom policy that would favour consumers. Meanwhile, the commission itself has launched a new review of the mobile wireless market, that would potentially open the door to virtual network operators, something companies like Cogeco have been calling for as a way of offering wireless service.
  • On Feb. 28, the CRTC posted 132 applications for radio station licence renewals. In the Montreal area, they include CFQR 600 AM, CJLO 1690 AM, CIBL-FM 101.5, CKVL-FM 100.1 LaSalle, CHSV-FM 106.7 Hudson and CIME-FM 103.9 St-Jérôme. The stations with compliance issues:
    • CFQR was found in apparent non-compliance because of missing financial returns (owner TTP Media wasn’t separating its finances from sister station CFNV 940) and non-implementation of emergency alerting (a technical issue about internet access to the transmitter site, TTP says). The application has little information on programming plans.
    • CIBL had various issues related to the effects of their recent financial crisis
  • The commission has quietly approved, without a public process, the sale of Corus’s 50.5% stake in TLN and its related channels for $19 million. The sale is to the other three shareholders, plus president Aldo Di Felice. TLN’s channels include EuroWorld Sport, Univision Canada, TeleNiños and Mediaset Italia. It appears tangible benefits must be paid on the transaction, but because this was done without a public process the CRTC hasn’t published a decision that lays out the conditions.
  • Bell, Corus and Rogers have jointly asked the CRTC to add an exception to the new described video rule set to come into effect in September. It would require all primetime drama programming have described video. But the owners of CTV, Global and Citytv say they often get programs from foreign sources too close to their airdate to add DV to them. So they’ve proposed a compromise: They can run a program without DV if they get it less than 72 hours before air, so long as they air it again — also in primetime — later with DV. Comments on the proposal are being accepted until April 25.
  • Quebecor has filed a complaint against Bell over its packaging of RDS and TVA Sports in Quebec. Bell’s TV service has RDS in the popular “Good” package in Quebec, but not TVA Sports, which is a $14/month add-on. Quebecor argues this is unfair, and because of how popular the “Good” package is, it’s costing them millions of dollars in lost subscriber revenue. Bell has not yet responded to the complaint, but is likely to argue that it has no obligation to treat TVA Sports identically to RDS.
  • The CRTC has approved the acquisition of MacEachern Broadcasting, owner of CIGO-FM in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., by Acadia Broadcasting for $1 million to $1.4 million, depending how you count it. The MacEacherns decided to sell the station to get out of the business.

Ethical reviews






News about people


News about companies

Good reads


8 thoughts on “Media News Digest: Corus sells TLN, Action becomes Adult Swim, Pete Marier on air in French

  1. Jon

    Some other TV news: Shortly after Much cut back on its music videos to one hour per day, Bell TV quietly added some of Stingray’s music video channels for Bell TV subscribers, primarily Hits, PalmarèsADISQ and Retro. Only Vibe, Loud and Juicebox are still not available. No press release was issued by Stingray.

      1. Jon

        PalmarèsADISQ and those channels you mentioned have been free on Bell Fibe since the middle of August last year, as they were added to the regular programming package with all the standard channels.

        The original post was referring to Bell TV (satellite). The only Stingray services being carried until recently were the 40+ digital audio channels.

  2. Brandon H


    Why do you “wish the industry was a bit less defensive about this”?

    Are you saying politicians often ask people they are close to to write op-eds that align with their agenda? How would a news organizations know who’s related to who?

    The case in the National Observer story you referenced doesn’t sound unethical insofar as the writer of the letter’s sending it to a paper our of their own volition. A politician may have tipped them about the process and given them email addresses, in this particular case, but the letter gets published on its own merit (editorial line of the newspaper not withstanding) once it reaches the media organization. Or am I missing something?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Are you saying politicians often ask people they are close to to write op-eds that align with their agenda?

      “Close to” isn’t necessarily the case, or relevant. But yes, politicians will do whatever they can to ensure opinions that agree with their agenda get more attention.

      The case in the National Observer story you referenced doesn’t sound unethical insofar as the writer of the letter’s sending it to a paper our of their own volition.

      The issue is more the lack of disclosure. If a political party is helping someone get something published in a newspaper, that should be disclosed to the newspaper’s readership.

      1. Brandon

        Makes sense. I was under the impression you’d originally said that the papers’ defensiveness on the issue was somehow hinting at their guilt.

  3. Brandon

    Ah, read too fast, hadn’t seen the politician had asked her. Still, I’m curious as to how often this is done and if editors can even spot such letters when they come across one.

  4. Dilbert

    For what it’s worth, The Kowch media website is already down and gone. His final post was:

    “kowchmedia consultant Steve KowchFrom where I sit On The Kowch, it’s time to start the countdown clock to when will go dark. It will happen on March 11, 2019. In March I turn 68-years-old. It’s time to move on and retire. I have accomplished all I set out to do 10 years ago when I launched kowchmedia to help emerging radio and podcast talent to chase their dreams to be stars on the radio and online. In fact, I think I’ve done even more than I had hoped from writing a book, teaching at Humber and Seneca College, helping clients apply to the CRTC for radio licenses and writing this blog.

    Let the countdown begin:

    I was a 17-year-old kid from east-end Montreal who graduated from highschool in 1968 and got a job as a copy-boy at The Montreal Star. Three months later, I convinced editors I should be a reporter. That was the start of my 50-year media journey. From the Montreal Star to The Montreal Gazette to radio as a reporter to news director, head of Standard Broadcast News to Operations Manager/Program Director of two of Canada’s largest newstalk radio stations – CFRB in Toronto and CJAD in Montreal. Along the way I covered or produced news coverage of the biggest news stories of the day from 1968 to 2010.

    I was lucky to work with great reporters, photographers, editors, anchors, talk show hosts, producers and technical producers who put up with my antics (good and bad) and my crazy ideas to beat the competition to help win more than 30 local, national and international awards – including three Canadian Association of Broadcaster’s Gold Ribbon Awards.

    These awards would not have been possible without all the hard work and talent of the staff and support of senior management like Rob Braide at CJAD in Montreal and Pat Holiday at CFRB in Toronto. And of course the owners: Alan Slaight and Gary Slaight who took a chance on me to run the crown jewels of their radio empire.

    No one is an island in the media. There are no one man bands. There is only team work that can lead to success. At times, I didn’t set the best example as team leader. Asshole was probably a better definition. So to those who say Kowch was an asshole, you’re right and I apologize.

    And to those who followed me to the edge of the cliff, took a chance and implemented my plans – thanks for your support.

    So, for the last time from where I sit On The Kowch, I leave you with what has been my message since starting kowchmedia: If I could do it, you can too! Be a member of the 25% Club. Be positive and believe in yourself and your ideas. You don’t believe in CAN’T. Remember 75% of people are negative who find a reason to say it can’t be done. Positive beats negative all the time. Chase your dream! OWN IT! It was the key to MY success. It will be the key to YOUR success! “


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