News about news
- It’s the Semaine de la presse et des médias in Quebec this week. Various local news outlets are opening their doors to tours or holding open houses on May 3. The latter includes Les Affaires and Urbania in Montreal, but many others too.
- The FPJQ isn’t impressed by small-town governments in Quebec barring journalists from public information meetings about flooding.
- Montreal news reporters and authorities were scrambling to find a pink-maned pony after a photo circulated on social media. The image turned out to be a hoax by Vlog, the TVA viral video show.
- The South China Morning Post has a story about Karen Lin Woods, who has been expressing opinions about Canadian politics without fully disclosing her employer’s connections with the Chinese government. Lobbyists for foreign governments are considered diplomats and don’t have to register with the lobbyist registry.
- The Walrus has a story about how the cuts to local news affects political reporting in Canada, which is bad news going into a federal election.
- La Presse is launching a new mobile app.
- The Montreal Gazette and other Postmedia publications have switched from Facebook commenting to a new system run by Viafoura, which hopes to cut down on spam and abusive comments below news articles. So far it seems to have put an end to automated get-rich-quick-by-working-from-home spam comments.
- The editor of Your Ward News, convicted of hate speech, is trying to stay out of jail, arguing he was giving a voice to angry people.
- The New York Times is “deeply sorry” for a cartoon about the U.S. and Israel that appeared in its international edition and was condemned by critics as anti-semitic. The cartoonist tells the Jerusalem Post he didn’t feel the cartoon was anti-semitic.
At the CRTC
- Approved: New English and Indigenous-language radio station in Afton Station, N.S.: Indigenous non-profit, 104.5 FM, 50W. Afton Station is about halfway between Antigonish and the start of Cape Breton.
- Approved: New English commercial radio station in Listowel (North Perth), Ont.: Owned by Five Amigos Broadcasting, 100.1 FM, 8,000W. Listowel is about 50 km northwest of Kitchener and is not served by other radio stations. It plans an adult contemporary format.
- Licences for 23 Indigenous radio stations, including CKHQ-FM in Kanesatake, have been extended to 2022 as the CRTC prepares a review of its Indigenous radio policy.
- National Newsmedia Council: A Globe and Mail opinion piece did not include a significant factual error in citing how much money Bombardier received from the federal government, even though it lacked some context and qualifiers (such as the money being adjusted for inflation).
- Globe and Mail readers say they want more fact-checking and analysis in election coverage.
At the CBC
- The corporation is being less than forthcoming about documents concerning the construction of its new Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal. But Radio-Canada decided to remind people that the new building comes with no additional cost to taxpayers, because they’re paying the same rent as before.
Pierre-Luc Dubois est fin prêt pour le match avec un cri de ralliement très particulier! ? pic.twitter.com/awtXSYSQMq
— RDS (@RDSca) April 30, 2019
- Some colourful language got onto the Sportsnet/CBC NHL playoffs broadcast.
- Rogers has picked up the rights to the Eurovision song contest, and will be broadcasting the two semifinals and the grand final this month on OMNI and streaming it on OMNITV.ca. (ICI, the Montreal ethnic station that partners with OMNI and carries some of its programming, won’t be airing the shows because of scheduling conflicts, president Sam Norouzi tells me.) Canada isn’t participating (and so Canadians can’t vote), but Greece’s entry is sung by Katerine Duska, who was born in Montreal.
- Corus Entertainment has joined a group that’s developing a video measurement standard that hopes to finally solve the problem of how you properly measure the TV, online streaming and social media audience for a broadcast.
- Amazon is bringing its Amazon Channels service to Canada, according to The Logic. Amazon Channels is sort of a cross between TV and streaming, offering subscriptions to services like HBO on an individual basis at different prices.
- YouTube has scored the exclusive rights to 13 MLB regular-season games this season in the U.S. and Canada. The exact games haven’t been announced, but those games won’t be available on TV.
- APTN workers voted 39-1 in favour of a new labour contract.
- APTN is still feeling the energy of its NHL broadcast in Plains Cree, though there are no specific plans for future sports broadcasts on the network. They do want to do more sports in Indigenous languages though.
- APTN has started airing a French dubbed version of Mohawk Girls, called Belles, fières et Mohawks.
- CBC has revived Battle of the Blades, six years after its last season aired. The show will air this fall, and contestants are to be announced.
- Bell Media has greenlit a new sci-fi mystery drama series called Albedo starring Evangeline Lilly. It will be broadcast by streaming service Vudu in the U.S. Bell doesn’t say where it will broadcast the eight-episode series.
- Bell Media has commissioned a new six-part documentary series for Crave, called We’re All Gonna Die, about the various ways humanity could go extinct.
- Séries+ has announced its first original series since it stopped making them during a failed sale to Bell: Winnebago, a six-episode miniseries starring Guylaine Tremblay and Josée Deschênes, to air in 2020.
- Radio-Canada is working on a new comedy series that takes place in a universe where the Yes side won the 1995 Quebec referendum.
- Netflix’s first original Quebec production, a film called Jusqu’au déclin, has finished filming.
- Netflix and other foreign streaming services paid the Quebec government almost double what it was expected to in sales taxes, according to La Presse.
- You know that lawsuit that was obviously inevitable from Bell after the TVA Sports debacle? Yeah, it’s happening. Bell wants $150 million, for being forced to offer Sportsnet for free, the additional work for customer service, the misleading ad campaign that tried to blame Bell for cutting the signal, and Pierre Karl Péladeau breaking a confidentiality agreement by revealing the wholesale rate that Bell TV paid for TVA Sports. There’s also a separate class action lawsuit in the works by Bell subscribers.
- J-Source has a story about TV newsroom automation, and CBC’s efforts to implement it. It’s using a similar system that Global put in place a decade ago, though it’s not going as far as Global did in terms of centralizing on-camera functions.
- RDS’s 85 or so newsroom employees have been accredited as a union.
- Jimmy Kimmel is bringing back All in the Family and The Jeffersons for a primetime special.
- A strange story about a Labrador City francophone community radio station called Rafale FM that was collecting ad money for ads that it never aired because it was off the air. And it wasn’t just an honest mistake, either. The general manager confirmed in writing that the ads had aired.
- Rogers Media has acquired the podcast company Pacific Content, which mainly creates branded podcasts for companies.
- Matt Cundill’s Soundoff Podcast interviewed two people in the radio industry with Montreal connections: Ian Howarth is a freelance writer who wrote a book about Montreal’s top 40 radio heydays of the 60s and 70s. And Steve Anthony worked at CKGM and CHOM, along with stations in Toronto.
- The National Post has launched a new business podcast.
- The National Magazine Awards nominations are out. Nominees include Toronto Life (19), The Walrus (14), L’actualité (9), Nouveau Projet (9), Maclean’s (9), Hazlitt (8), the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business (7) Maisonneuve (6), Fashion Magazine (5), Canadian Geographic (5), Cottage Life (5) Dînette magazine (5), The New Quarterly (5) and The Site Magazine (5).
- La Presse and Groupe Capitales Médias are seeking more bailout money from the Quebec government. The latter, which owns Le Soleil, Le Droit, Le Nouvelliste, Le Quotidien, La Tribune and La Voix de l’Est, says it could run out of money by the end of summer.
- Métro Média, the company that owns Métro in Montreal and the former Transcontinental community weeklies on the island, is launching a new free magazine aimed at people over 50, called Nouvelle Liberté.
- ESPN The Magazine is shutting down its print edition.
- The Guardian in the U.K. has finally stopped losing money. It gets more revenue from online than print, and getting money directly from readers has helped a lot in getting to this point.
- Facebook broke several privacy laws, the Canadian and B.C. privacy commissioners find in a new report. It’s enough that the Canadian privacy commissioner has deleted its Facebook page and no longer wants to be associated with Facebook. But Facebook promises it will take privacy more seriously now.
- HuffPost Canada is shutting down its unpaid blog section and will be paying writers for opinion pieces. HuffPost Québec us doing the same.
- Websites owned by Microsoft and Google will not be taking Canadian political ads this year, and others are still considering their options, according to a CBC News survey. The new registry requirement for political ads is the main reason why, although some websites don’t allow any political ads in any country.
- Blackberry is shutting down its BBM messaging platform for consumers on May 31. People are sad.
- Twitter deleted tweets with links to stories about copyright infringement after a company hired by Starz to deal with copyright infringement went a bit overboard.
- The group behind the Ontario Proud Facebook page has started a federal version aimed at making sure Andrew Scheer defeats Justin Trudeau this fall.
- The Globe and Mail on Hollywood studio Voltage Pictures’ attempts to sue thousands of internet users in a reverse class action for movie piracy.
News about people
?@DeanBeeby? Last day in the office. Silver Fox Row will never be the same pic.twitter.com/dbkYSP5imH
— Chris Hall (@chrishallcbc) April 25, 2019
- CBC freedom-of-information specialist Dean Beeby has retired from the Ottawa bureau.
- Pierre Karl Péladeau, CEO of Quebecor, is buying the remnants of the bankrupt Téo Taxi, including the Montreal taxi companies it bought, Taxi Diamond and Taxi Hochelaga. They are being bought by him personally, and not by Quebecor.
- Péladeau was interviewed by Esther Bégin for her CPAC show. It focuses mainly on Péladeau’s career path and the intersection of his personal and professional life. Part 1, Part 2.
- Marc-Olivier Brouillette is the new play-by-play analyst for Alouettes games on TSN 690. He gave an interview to the station when the hiring was announced. He replaces Bryan Chiu, who left during the season last year because of family issues and has since gone back to coaching.
- Anne-Élisabeth Bossé is Véronique Cloutier’s summer replacement on Rouge FM’s afternoon show in Montreal.
- Jeff Douglas, formerly of As It Happens, is the new host of Mainstreet, the afternoon show on Radio One in Nova Scotia.
- Nabil Karim, formerly of TSN, has joined ESPN.
- Simon Coutu is leaving Vice Quebec.
- Political reporter Elise von Scheel is now permanently at CBC’s parliamentary bureau.
- Amir Nasrabadi, former president of Pixar Canada, has been hired to head up animation at DHX Media, which owns Family Channel.
- Stephanie Myles, a former Montreal Gazette sports reporter who has been writing about tennis since leaving it, was the target of Genie Bouchard’s fans after the tennis player tweeted “fake news” at Myles’s report that she was taking time off the court to get healthy. Two weeks later, Bouchard confirmed the news herself, saying she was rehabbing her “ab”. Réjean Tremblay writes about how unfair that was to Myles.
- Gazette Alouettes reporter Herb Zurkowsky, on leave to be treated for bladder cancer, is in the middle of six weeks of immunotherapy treatment.
- Quebecor columnist Richard Martineau got blocked from Facebook for three days after comments that were deemed transphobic.
- Radio broadcasters Boyd Kozak of Winnipeg and Bob Ridley of Medicine Hat are being inducted into the Western Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
- Krzysztof Pelc of Montreal has won the CBC Short Story Prize. Jacques Lemaire is the winner of the Radio-Canada French equivalent.
- More RTDNA award announcements:
- Gordon Beck, Montreal Gazette photographer
- Nigel Armstrong, PEI Guardian reporter and photographer
- Gordon Stimmell, Toronto Star wine critic
- Jason Botchford, Vancouver sports writer
- Fitzroy Gordon, founder of G98.7 FM in Toronto
- Wayson Choy, author
- Teva Harrison, cartoonist
- News editor, Ottawa Citizen/Sun (deadline: May 3)
- Provincial affairs reporter, Radio-Canada in Toronto (deadline: May 9)
- Summer journalist, Iorì:wase in Kahnawake (deadline: May 10)
- Digital broadcast journalist, Global News in Toronto (deadline: May 10)
- Extended-Term Appointment in Digital Journalism Futures, Concordia University (deadline: May 10)
- Report On Business Magazine editor
- Calgary reporter, Globe and Mail
Thanks so much for alerting readers here to Howarth’s book on Montreal radio in the 1960s and 70s. I can’t wait to dig in.
How could we have studied for exams without George Boxer and Ralph Lockwood?
George Boxer?? It’s Dave Boxer at CFCF 600 from 64-68.
Whoever was responsible for that pony stunt at Quebecor should have been fired on the spot. But that would depend on the company having good ethics which we all know Quebecor doesn’t have.
And as for the antisemitic cartoon in the New York Times (New York Slime as I call it), they’re sorry they got caught. That didn’t get published by accident or at the drop of a pin. That decision went through several people before being fully given the green light.
Mainstream media has a major credibility problem and they don’t even realize it.
The “Stunt” was all PKP… he really does come off as that arrogant. I have little doubt that he will use the whole thing as a push for Quebec independence away from the horrible federal government intervening in his right to empty your pockets.
As a side note, I think that the wholesale rates for channels should be publish, not subject to secrecy agreements. If Bell charges $20 for a channel and pays $3 for it, the public should know.
For that matter, the prices charged to consumers should be limited to that of a reasonable mark up, say 20% at most. That way the cost is published, the rates set, the maximum price set, and the public can make an informed choice. Right now, there is nothing on the consumer side to protect us from the greedy oligopoly that rules the airwaves.