News about news
- Two Reuters journalists have been released after being detained for more than a year in Myanmar.
- La Presse has updated its public donations website with some statistics from the first three months of the program: they’ve raised $1.7 million, which works out to an average of $40.47 for 42,000 contributors. Presumably the enthusiasm for donations was stronger right off the bat, and many of those are either one-time donations or larger than they will be in the future, but if that pace holds, it would put them well ahead of their goal of raising $5 million a year through voluntary donations.
- Former CTV Montreal reporter turned Concordia professor Aphrodite Salas took a group of students to Gull Bay First Nation in Northern Ontario to do a short documentary about a solar power project being set up there, and the history of the community that led to Ontario’s government setting up the project as a sort of apology. The documentary was posted to a special section on CTV Montreal’s website. Bill Brownstein writes about the project in a Gazette story and Salas appeared on CTV News to discuss it as well.
- Cult MTL has released the results of its annual readers’ poll. Here are the results in the media category.
- The Toronto Star is offering free digital subscriptions until Oct. 31 to post-secondary students and faculty. They only need a school email account to register. Meanwhile the paper says digital subscriptions are up 50%, but that’s not enough to counteract the plummeting print ad sales revenue.
- The Toronto Star is also “enhancing” the labels on its online articles to better explain to readers the different types of journalism.
- The owners of the New Orleans Times-Picayune put on a master class on how not to fire an entire newspaper. It’s being shut down in favour of its younger rival, also owned by the same company.
It’s that season again.
I think this photo accurately represents this moving moment, with @CatouCBC winning the APTN/CAJ Reconciliation Award for her incredible empathetic and delicate work. See just a fraction of it here: https://t.co/IAEHODVb8p Bravo Catou, so so well-deserved and inspiring. ?? pic.twitter.com/rGqTfqd2sE
— Verity Stevenson (@vestevie) May 5, 2019
- Canadian Association of Journalists awards (includes Ricochet’s Jon Milton, Erin Seatter and Ethan Cox in the online media category, a team from CBC Montreal for labour reporting, and CBC’s Catou MacKinnon for the reconciliation award).
- National Newspaper Awards: The Globe and Mail won 10 of 21 categories, and Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix was named journalist of the year for his coverage of the Humboldt Broncos crash and its aftermath. (The NNAs also announced they’ve named five more of their awards after prominent journalists.)
- RTDNA national awards: Includes three from CBC Montreal
- RTDNA network awards
- Charles Lynch Award: Chantal Hébert of the Toronto Star
- Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec:
- Atlantic Journalism Awards: Includes five awards for Radio-Canada Acadie.
- Hebdos Québec (community newspapers)
- Prix du Devoir de la presse étudiante
- News Media Canada’s Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prizes for Young Canadian Journalists
- Fonds CDPQ bursaries for young journalists: Includes Marissa Ramnanan in the anglophone category — she will be interning with CTV Montreal this summer.
- Awards from the Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec
- Canadian Church Press awards and awards for design
Plus nominations for the Michener Award, the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s Jackman award for excellence in journalism
At the CRTC
- As the commission holds a review on Canadian broadcasting expenditure quotas, it is now in a fight with 14 broadcasters who have refused to hand over financial data on their digital media activities (which are not subject to CRTC licensing). The commission has directed them to comply with the request for information by June 3. (This is not a mandatory order, which would require a hearing before being issued.) The broadcasters are Bell, Corus, Rogers, Quebecor, APTN, Super Channel, Channel Zero, DHX, Fairchild, V, Pattison, RNC Media, TV5 and Zoomer Media.
- The commission will hold a hearing July 11 to consider licence renewal applications in cases with serious non-compliance issues:
- Super Channel — Issues related to spending requirements that owner Allarco agreed to when the channel was first licensed. The service has gone through bankruptcy protection and is still struggling financially.
- CINU-FM Truro, N.S. (Hope Radio) — Program logs and Canadian music content quota
- CJSO-FM Sorel, Que. — Reports, installing an emergency alerting system, and records of broadcasts related to previous noncompliance (CJSO says the broadcasts did go out, but a communication failure led to proof not being filed. It blamed other issues on software problems, and said the emergency alerting system would be installed by the end of 2019.)
- CJMC-FM Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Que. (Bleu FM) — Annual returns
- Though it has not scheduled a hearing, the CRTC has also published the licence renewal application of CINQ-FM (Radio Centre-Ville 102.3) in Montreal. The application includes 36 documents, most relating to the internal conflict that started in 2016 as the station went through a financial crisis. Though the financial situation has improved a bit with the controversial sale of airtime, the conflict continues. It’s unclear how or even if the CRTC plans to meddle in all that, but the commission has noted that the station failed to provide financial statements on time and has not yet implemented an emergency public alerting system. The station hired regulatory consultant Michel Mathieu to put those affairs in order, and an automated public alerting system is promised by the end of the year.
- The same hearing also includes other less controversial items:
- A new licence for Stingray’s PalmarèsADISQ channel, which has exceeded the subscriber threshold that allows it to be exempt from licensing
- A new licence for an English-language community low-power FM radio station in Sheet Harbour, N.S.
- A corporate restructuring of the Jim Pattison group.
- The Bell vs Quebecor saga has taken another turn: Now Bell Media has filed its own CRTC complaint of undue preference against Videotron. Videotron, which uses mainly a pick-X-channels packaging system, and puts sports and “premium” channels in their own groups because they cost more, recently removed Super Écran and Crave (formerly The Movie Network) from the “Premium” category of channels, which means fewer people can easily find them and the only way to add them is to pay full price for them à la carte. Meanwhile, Quebecor is going to try going to court to overturn the CRTC decision ordering it to provide the TVA Sports signal to Bell while they negotiate a new carriage contract.
- Bell’s response to interventions against its plan to shut down 28 CTV transmitters was brief, re-explaining its reasoning and saying it’s within its rights to do so.
- Videotron has asked the CRTC to be relieved of the obligation to provide set-top box viewership data to Numeris, which is the company the industry has selected to compile that data for ratings purposes (it will logically combine with its survey data to increase ratings accuracy). Videotron doesn’t say why exactly it has a problem with Numeris — its detailed reasons are redacted from the public version of the application — but it wants to instead sell anonymized data directly to small broadcasters, who have a particular need for set-top box data because Numeris can’t get sufficiently large survey sample sizes for their smaller-scale ratings to be meaningful. Videotron does point out that it would like this to be a new revenue source for the company. Videotron’s licence, renewed last year, explicitly states that by Sept. 30, Videotron has to provide the data to “a national set-top box-based audience measurement system” or, if that isn’t operational, to individual broadcasters upon request, and at no cost.
- The CRTC has approved a new licence for a low-power bilingual community radio station for Carlsbad Springs and Vars, Ontario. It replaces an exempt tourist information station and adds a second transmitter. The station is proposing entirely pre-recorded programming.
- Zeste and Évasion, which were purchased by Quebecor, have now been integrated into TVA’s designated group, which means they can pool quotas together with other TVA services.
- Community station CIHO-FM 96.3 Charlevoix, Que., has applied for licence renewal. It learned through that process that it had failed to file three years of financial statements with the commission, which it blamed on staff turnover and failure to pass long important information. The station has filed the missing statements and says it is putting measures in place to avoid a repeat of the situation.
- Radio licence renewals for a full seven years:
- CIND-FM (Indie88) in Toronto
- CHIN 1540 Toronto
- Pattison group:
- CHAT-FM 94.5 Medecine Hat, Alberta
- CHBW-FM (B94) Rocky Mountain House, Alberta
- CHBZ-FM (Total Country B104) Cranbrook, B.C.
- CJAV-FM (93.3 The Peak) Port Alberni, B.C.
- CKLR-FM (97.3 The Eagle) Courtenay, B.C.
- CKLZ-FM (Power 104) Kelowna, B.C.
- Golden West Broadcasting:
- CILT-FM (Mix 96.7) Steinbach, Manitoba
- CJUV-FM (Sunny 94) Lacombe, Alberta
- CHGB-FM (97.7 Max FM) Wasaga Beach, Ontario
- CKER-FM (101.7 World FM) Edmonton
- Winnipeg ethnic station CKJS has been given another year to complete its transition from AM to FM.
- French-language Timmins radio station CHYK-FM (Le Loup 104.1) has gotten around to asking the CRTC to drop its retransmitters in Hearst and Kapuskasing from its licence. It says both towns have French-language community stations and transmitters are too expensive to maintain. The decision was made back in 2016.
- Another AM-to-FM conversion for CBC Radio: Schreiber, Ontario (90.9 MHz, 130 watts)
- Dufferin Communications (Evanov Radio) has received an extension until Nov. 30, 2020 to move ethnic station CKJS (AM 810) in Winnipeg from AM to FM. Evanov tells the commission it has decided to build its own transmission tower in Winnipeg rather than rent space from Rogers or another tower owner. This is the first extension of an authorization granted in 2017.
- Applications have been published by CBC to replace three radio transmitters in Flin Flon, Manitoba, with new ones using a common antenna. Frequencies and coverage areas will remain unchanged.
- The commission has approved two new area codes covering Alberta (code 368, on May 15, 2021) and Saskatchewan (code 474, on Oct. 2, 2021). Both new codes cover the entire province.
At the CBC
- President Catherine Tait gave a speech in Montreal, which focused on the broadcaster’s efforts to sell its content internationally. Some sort of announcement should be coming soon, which is something we’ve heard before. In 2017, CBC was a partner with other public broadcasters in the launch of Panora.tv, a marketplace for rights to documentaries.
- If you missed the Quebec anglophone public consultation last week, its live stream is archived here. Among the complaints brought up: too many of the same faces on panels on CBC News Network and The National, insufficient coverage of regions,
- A new round of Quebec Press Council decisions:
- Journal de Québec journalist Elisa Cloutier broke the ethics code by disclosing too much information about the victim in an article about a psychiatrist suspended for having sex with a patient. The case was under a publication ban, though whether it violated that ban is beyond the scope of the council’s mandate. The article was modified after publication but no correction notice was added.
- Martin Everell, co-host of Nathalie Normandeau’s show on Quebec City’s BLVD 102,1, broke the code by repeatedly describing a teenage girl as a “guidoune” (prostitute or whore) for challenging school dress codes. The council found the comments “insulting and degrading.”
- A 2017 Michel Beaudry column in the Journal de Montréal was found to include transphobic comments, though it did not break other elements of the code.
- A TVA Abitibi story about working conditions at a rehab centre was not found to break the code, despite several complaints of incorrect information, but the anchor’s introduction to the story was found to have made an unfair link between suicides and overworked workers.
- An Yves Poirier report for TVA Nouvelles about migrant crossings at Roxham Rd. found he was incorrect in referring to “illegal immigration” because entering a country to seek asylum outside of a designated point of entry is not illegal.
- FM93‘s Eric Duhaime did not go too far (though one person on the panel thought he did) by referring to activist Jaggi Singh as a “parasite”
- A Sophie Durocher column in the Journal de Montréal about the financial troubles of a self-described “jeune millionaire” did not break the code by suggesting the woman got different treatment because of her gender and looks.
- A Radio-Canada report about a Lancet study on sugary drinks, and the potential benefit of a tax on them, was found to be accurately reported and not opinion.
- A complaint against CHOI Radio X for an online title that suggested a group promoting a Quebec national team wanted a “Quebec race” represented in sports was dismissed because, well, that’s true. The complainant argued that it was putting words in the interviewee’s mouth, but the title doesn’t say that these are the interviewee’s words.
- The council was not able to verify with police whether or not protesters used or planned to have fire extinguishers filled with pepper spray, and so dismissed a complaint about a Journal de Montréal article. The complainant said it would be impossible to do such a thing.
- Radio-Canada ombudsman:
- A column by Alec Castonguay on the radio did not break journalistic norms in its passing description of the 2008 opposition “alliance” against the Harper minority government, but the broadcaster should take more care to properly identify columnists and guests who are there to give analysis and opinion, as opposed to CBC journalists who are expected not to give their personal views.
- Radio-Canada is still having problems properly distinguishing between “percentage” and “percentage point“.
- A report from data journalist Naël Shiab on how winter is changing in Quebec respected journalistic norms despite a complaint that (incorrectly) said it relied on a study that was not peer reviewed and then saying it ignored data that did not support its conclusion.
- CBC’s ombudsman: A report about a “yellow vest” protest in Manitoba was not insufficiently critical, and it was appropriate to use images provided by the protest group (which were clearly labelled as such). The review goes into the logistics of assigning reporters to cover stories, and warns that these things need careful consideration.
- The U.S. networks are announcing their fall schedules, which means we’re getting details on renewals and cancellations. Among the series that won’t come back are Murphy Brown, Whiskey Cavalier, For The People, The Kids Are Alright and Lethal Weapon. Meanwhile, This Is Us has gotten an order for three new seasons from NBC, and Seth MacFarlane Star Trek fan fiction The Orville gets a third at Fox.
- The creators of Game of Thrones, who were embarrassed when viewers spotted a coffee cup in the background of a shot, acted quickly, digitally removing it and putting the edited episode on HBO’s on-demand platform within a day and a half.
- Rogers Media is going to save money this summer by cancelling its Toronto upfront presentation, showing off its fall schedule to media and advertisers.
- Among the things in Quebecor’s quarterly report is news that Videotron’s Helix IPTV system (similar to new systems at Shaw and Rogers and based off the same Comcast platform) is being tested with employees and should be ready to launch “in the coming months.”
- CBC has launched its first scripted series for tweens on its CBC Gem streaming platform, called Detention Adventure.
- Canal D has a new documentary series about the Sûreté du Québec’s tactical intervention group.
- Jean-Charles Lajoie’s ratings as the 5-à-7 guy on TVA Sports haven’t eaten into RDS’s yet. Lajoie tells La Presse’s Hugo Dumas he has a lot of work to do to change people’s habits.
- Stingray has expanded its offering on Bell satellite and Fibe TV, launching karaoke and concert films channels.
- TSN will broadcast a game of Canadian high school football prospects on June 2, tape-delayed from the day before.
- TSN is livestreaming the Overwatch League playoffs. (That’s a video game, for you olds.)
- TVO’s budget is being cut by $2 million, courtesy of the Doug Ford government.
- Next year’s Super Bowl is going from five ad breaks per quarter to four, but those breaks will be 30 seconds longer.
- Killing Eve, starring Canadian Sandra Oh, was the big winner at the BAFTA TV awards.
- Britain’s ITV has suspended the Jeremy Kyle Show, a Jerry Springer-like talk show, after a person who appeared on one episode later died.
- Disney has reached a deal to sell the 21 Fox regional sports networks to Sinclair Broadcasting for a sum valuing them at $10.6 billion. Disney was forced to sell as part of its acquisition of the Fox assets.
- Summer schedule announcements:
- Citytv (The Bachelorette, America’s Got Talent, Beat Shazam, Celebrity Family Feud, and new series Paradise Hotel, Songland, Press Your Luck, Card Sharks, Spin the Wheel and Bring the Funny)
- The Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada has reached an agreement with a group called StatsRadio, allowing francophone community stations to get more information about their audiences.
- Global News is launching a new daily news podcast called Wait There’s More, starting June 10.
- Patrick Masbourian has been named the new morning host on ICI Radio-Canada Première in Montreal. He replaces Alain Gravel, who was shuffled out of that job and will instead do a weekend show and some TV work.
- Bell Media’s iHeartRadio app has launched a Quebec rap channel called Rap Keb. It launches with 600 tracks.
- Stingray, already Canada’s second-largest radio station owner, is buying two more in Welland, Ont., subject to CRTC approval: CIXL-FM (Giant 91.7) and CKYY-FM (Country 89). They’re among seven commercial stations in the Niagara-St. Catharines region.
- Radio-Canada has announced several new shows starting this month on its two radio networks.
- Radioplayer, which is used by broadcasters in Canada not named Bell Media, is now operating in 10 countries, with Denmark signing on.
- New York City’s WPLJ is going off the air on May 31 after 50 years, being replaced by a Christian radio station.
The former offices of Montreal’s free daily Métro sit empty after it moved away following its sale by TC Media. TC’s Les Affaires and business magazines remain in another part of the floor. pic.twitter.com/x1HMPMn2ko
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) May 3, 2019
- KO Média, the TV production company of Louis Morissette and publisher of his wife’s magazine Véro, has bought the Elle Québec and Elle Canada brands formerly held by Quebecor, and says it believes in the magazines’ future. The news was formally announced Monday morning. It’s unclear if anything besides the brand licence is shifting over.
- The Globe and Mail is offering a round of buyouts, trying to reduce its payroll by $10 million a year. If not enough people apply by May 29, they plan layoffs to make up the difference. It’s the Globe’s fourth round of buyouts since 2009.
- Le Soleil says its readership is doing well, as it tells the government it’s in desperate need of money. Groupe Capitales Médias is reassuring its own employees it is not on the verge of bankruptcy.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which announced in February it will outsource copy editing and layout to a shop in Indiana, has completed its transition. One copy editor explains how important the job is.
- Verizon is looking to sell Tumblr. Among the reported interested parties is Mind Geek, the Montreal-based owner of PornHub.
- The lack of diversity in Quebec’s acting community as highlighted by Radio-Canada pointing out that for the dubbing of the movie Black Panther, all actors but one were white. It’s part of a larger story looking at the dubbing industry, how black actors are dubbed mostly by white ones here, and the debate over whether that’s a problem and how to fix it.
- We have dates for Star Wars, Avatar and Marvel movies going several years into the future now.
- Canadian emergency management agencies issued another test alert this week, except for Ontario and Quebec because they didn’t want to cause increased stress during a flooding emergency. The eight remaining provinces and three territories issued their alerts on schedule, and it appears all of them went out on LTE wireless networks and were received by at least some compatible phones. We won’t know how many people received them, but a survey by a company specializing in this kind of stuff showed 70% of respondents received the alerts. They’re conducting a new survey after this week’s alerts.
- Bell Media has acquired outdoor advertiser Newad, which it will integrate into its Astral advertising business.
News about people
- Leslie Roberts, former Global Toronto anchor and CJAD 800 host, who left the latter job last year to work for a travel website, has been hired as the new co-host of CTV Morning Live in Ottawa.
- Washington correspondent Daniel Dale is leaving the Toronto Star for an unannounced opportunity.
- Aly Thomson, one of the casualties of Canadian Press cuts in Atlantic Canada, has joined CBC Nova Scotia.
- Erin Valois, former executive producer, digital at the National Post, has been promoted to National Director, digital editorial operations for Postmedia.
- The National Observer has hired Caroline Orr to lead reporting on disinformation and the “rise of hate” in advance of this fall’s federal election.
- CBC has rehired Kaleigh Rogers to report on disinformation.
- Helen Pike, former Star Calgary reporter, has joined CBC Calgary as a video journalist.
- Jasmine Bala has joined Global Lethbridge as a video journalist.
- Kamil Karamali has taken leave from Global News in Toronto to teach media studies at the University of Central Asia.
- The Gazette’s Bill Brownstein checks in with former CTV Montreal weekend anchor Tarah Schwartz about her new job and the more normal schedule it gives her so she can spend more time with family.
- Global Okanagan anchor Rick Webber is retiring.
- Kelsey Johnson is leaving her job as iPolitics’s agriculture reporter for a new one as Reuters economics reporter.
- CBC’s Vassy Kapelos talks to the Globe’s Robert Fife about his breaking the SNC-Lavalin story, and what he knew when he did it.
- The Writers Guild of Canada and Canadian Film Centre have created a $5,000 annual bursary for screenwriters in honour of the late Denis McGrath.
- Your #MeToo updates of the week: Seattle Times reporter Mike Rosenberg, who sent sexually explicit texts to another journalist (he said they were not meant for her) has been suspended, and WTNH-TV’s Micah Bailey is suing after he was fired following complaints from three women that he says were false.
- Dylan Howard, the American Media executive who tried to use dick pics to extort Jeff Bezos, has been quietly shuffled to other projects and is taking a less active role in the National Enquirer.