News about news
- The Canadian government has selected eight organizations to choose a panel that will decide the criteria for news organizations to meet to be eligible for part of its $595-million subsidy: News Media Canada (the newspaper association/lobbying group), the Association de la presse francophone (representing francophone media outside Quebec), the Quebec Community Newspaper Association (representing anglophone media inside Quebec), the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, Unifor and the Fédération nationale des communications (the last two being unions representing journalists). Links are to their statements on the matter. Some of those statements are telling: The FPJQ said it was only told Tuesday that it was part of this group. The CAJ says it’s not sure if it will participate. QCNA says it already wants to expand eligibility criteria beyond what the government announced. Unions, naturally, are focused mainly on jobs.
- The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in a case of a former Quebec cabinet minister trying to get Radio-Canada journalist Marie-Maude Denis to reveal her sources. The decision will set precedent for the limits of journalistic protections.
- The Journal de Mourréal, a fake news, parody or satire website depending on your interpretation, lost its court battle against its near-namesake, who convinced a judge it was using the Journal de Montréal’s brand and was profiting off being confusingly similar. The website must change its name and pay $23,500 to Quebecor.
- A lawsuit launched by Quebecor columnist Richard Martineau against news website Ricochet has been settled out of court. Ricochet claims total victory, in that they paid nothing and did not apologize or pull the satirical obituary they wrote about him. Martineau said he wanted to avoid a circus and compared himself to a sexual assault victim.
- Postmedia has reached a deal in principle with journalism startup The Logic that will see some of The Logic’s stories in Postmedia publications and the two groups partner on “content licensing, marketing projects and events.” Postmedia will take an unspecified minority stake in The Logic, which was started last year by David Skok, formerly of the Toronto Star. The Logic, which covers the “innovation economy,” explains the deal to its subscribers here.
- Postmedia (my employer) has registered a lobbyist in Alberta to try to get the company involved in some way with the new Alberta government’s “energy war room”.
- An anti-Muslim “pundit” named Kevin J. Johnston was ordered to pay $2.5 million in damages in a libel case brought on by Mohamad Fakih of Paramount Fine Foods. Johnston didn’t hire a lawyer, his defence was poor and his statements so egregious that it warranted one of the largest defamation judgments in Canadian history.
- The Canadian Press newsroom in Toronto held a retirement party for a reporter’s guide dog.
- The U.S. government is charging Julian Assange of Wikileaks with revealing government secrets under the Espionage Act. This is chilling for journalists, who could in theory face similar charges for publishing leaked classified information.
- A CNN Greece journalist’s car was destroyed by a homemade fire bomb. The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the attack.
At the CRTC
- The Competition Bureau has provided comments to the commission for its review of wireless services. The comments say that in provinces with strong regional competitors like Quebec (Videotron) and Saskatchewan (SaskTel), prices are significantly less expensive. But the bureau doesn’t endorse the idea that mandated MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators), which would allow companies like Cogeco to set up wireless networks with significantly less infrastructure by buying access from the incumbents (I’m overly simplifying here) would be a good idea: “Whether mandated MVNO access is the best way to foster competition in Canada’s retail wireless market is not clear at this stage in this proceeding.” Meanwhile, the commission is asking for more information from wireless carriers after repeated requests from the bureau, including a study of the Timmins, Ont., market, to give a better idea of how the arrival of new wireless providers (Eastlink in that case) affects prices and plan offers.
- The CRTC has ruled that wireless providers are not required to unlock devices of non-customers for free. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre had requested the Wireless Code be clarified to say that a provider had to unlock any device locked to their network, but the CRTC says it must only do so for people on a prepaid or postpaid plan.
- The commission got more than 150 submissions on the licence renewal for Shaw Direct’s satellite TV service. The vast majority were from individuals, and concerned Shaw’s plan to end its free LTSS basic package offer, which it created as a tangible benefit to get its 2010 purchase of Canwest approved. (I summarized them for Cartt.ca)
- University of the Fraser Valley campus radio station CIVL-FM 101.7 in Abbotsford, B.C. has gotten approval to add a transmitter in Chilliwack, to serve the university’s campus there. It will operate at 92.3 MHz with 4,600 watts of power.
- CHET-FM (Peace FM) Chetwynd, B.C. has been approved to add low-power retransmitters in Hudson’s Hope, about 40km northwest, and Tumbler Ridge, about 80km southeast. That adds to its existing retransmitter in Dawson Creek.
- CBC has gotten approval to move its CBC Radio One transmitter in Aklavik, N.W.T., from AM to FM. The 50-watt transmitter with callsign CBAK-FM will operate at 97.7 MHz. It rebroadcasts CHAK Inuvik.
- A low-power church radio station in Weedon, Que., has turned in its licence to continue to operate as a licence-exempt station.
- CJNE-FM (Storm 94.7) in Nipawin, Sask., got denied a request to move a low-power retransmitter from Carrot River to Tisdale. The application was opposed by other broadcasters in the area as lacking serious justification.
- The commission is asking for more information and reopening public comment about the licence renewal application for community station CJRM-FM Labrador City after learning through a CBC News story that the station has been off the air for years but still accepting advertising money.
- A truckload of radio station licence renewals (seven years until 2026, unless otherwise noted):
- Maritime Broadcasting System:
- CHLQ-FM (Q93) Charlottetown
- CJRW-FM (Spud 102) Summerside, P.E.I.
- CHFX-FM (FX 101.9) Halifax
- CJCB (1270 AM) Sydney, N.S.
- CKPE-FM (The Cape 94.9) Sydney, N.S.
- CKAD (AVR 1350 AM) Middleton, N.S.
- CKEN-FM (AVR 97.7) Kentville, N.S.
- CFAB (AVR 1450) Windsor, N.S.
- CFBC (930 AM) Saint John, N.B.
- CJYC-FM (Kool 98) Saint John, N.B.
- CFLT-FM (Jack 92.9) Dartmouth, N.S.
- CJNI-FM (News 95.7) Halifax
- CHEZ-FM (106.1) Ottawa
- CKBY-FM (Country 101.1) Smiths Falls, Ont.
- CHAS-FM (Kiss 100.5) Sault Ste. Marie
- CJQM-FM (Country 104.3) Sault Ste. Marie
- CJMX-FM (Kiss 105.3) Sudbury
- CJRQ-FM (92.7 Rock) Sudbury
- CKFX-FM (101.9 Rock) North Bay, Ont.
- CITI-FM (92.1) Winnipeg
- My Broadcasting Corporation:
- CIMA-FM (92.1) Alliston, Ont.
- CIMY-FM (104.9) Pembroke, Ont.
- Arctic Radio:
- CHTM-FM (102.9) Thompson, Man.
- CJAR-FM (102.9) The Pas, Man.
- Evanov Radio:
- CHLG-FM (Breeze 104.3) Vancouver (Stingray)
- CIME-FM 103.9/101.3 St-Jérôme/Mont-Tremblant (Cogeco)
- CKYQ-FM (KYQ 95.7) Plessisville, Que. (Arsenal)
- Campus and community stations:
- CJJJ-FM (CJ 106.5, Assiniboine Community College) Brandon, Man.
- CILS-FM (107.9 Radio Victoria) Victoria
- CJLO (1690 AM, Concordia University) Montreal
- CKVL-FM (100.1) Montreal (Lasalle)
- CIEU-FM (Baie-des-Chaleurs) Carleton/Paspébiac, Que.
- CJSE-FM (CJSE Country) Shediac/Memramcook/Baie Sainte-Anne, N.B.
- CIAU-FM (103.1) Radisson, Que.
- CJNU-FM (93.7 Nostalgia Radio) Winnipeg
- CICK-FM (93.9) Smithers, B.C.
- CKVS-FM (Voice of the Shuswap) Salmon Arm, B.C.
- CJBI-FM (Radio Bell Island) Bell Island, N.L.
- CFLX-FM (95.5) Sherbrooke
- CFUT-FM (92.9) Shawinigan, Que.
- CIWS-FM (Whistle FM 102.9) Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ont.
- CHOQ-FM (105.1) Toronto
- CFBO-FM (Bo FM 90.7) Moncton
- Religious stations:
- CKOE-FM (CKO Inspirational Hit Radio) Moncton
- CION-FM (Radio Galilée) Québec/Beauceville/Saguenay
- Maritime Broadcasting System:
- The National Newsmedia Council has dismissed a complaint against the Ottawa Citizen over a David Pugliese column about whitewashing of Nazi history. The complainant felt that references to the involvement of Ukrainians in the Holocaust were incorrect. The council found that the facts were based on information from reliable sources.
- The CBC ombudsman found no fault in a headline describing a B.C. “game hunter” losing his hunting licence, though the complainant believed he should have been described as a Chinese poacher and that the headline tarred all hunters. (Incidentally, CBC has redesigned its corporate website, so links to all ombudsman reports up until now are broken.)
At the CBC
- The public broadcaster has released its three-year strategic plan, which includes a lot of buzzwords but no specifics. Its priorities are:
- Customized digital services
- Engaging with young audiences (children’s programming)
- Prioritizing local connections (local and regional content)
- Reflecting contemporary Canada (diversity)
- Taking Canada to the world (exporting content)
- The Globe and Mail has a story bout casual and temporary employees at the CBC. The union has been trying for years to improve the situation, but many people at the broadcaster are still in a situation where they don’t know if they’re working until the day of, or they’ve been working for months or even years without any permanency.
Le nouveau V, un an plus tard pic.twitter.com/kPKVKPTyKl
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) May 17, 2019
- V is finally killing the MusiquePlus brand, transforming the channel into Elle Fictions, a drama channel focused on women with shows like Dawson’s Creek, Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl. The new channel will launch this fall. The brand change explains why Quebecor gave up the Elle magazine brand — it wasn’t going to run a magazine that would have been promoting a TV channel owned by a competitor.
- Sportsnet is adding another option for its Sportsnet Now streaming service: a seven-day pass for $10. This comes after TSN and RDS created a $5 day pass. The seven-day pass is for SN NOW+, the premium version of the service that includes additional Rogers-produced NHL games (during the regular season) and other content not broadcast on the Sportsnet channels. It costs $28 a month.
- Global TV is now available on Roku. Meanwhile Global News has passed 500,000 subscribers on YouTube.
- Some ratings records broken recently: CTV got 4.33 million live viewers for the Big Bang Theory series finale, which is the same as it got for the Super Bowl. Sportsnet had 2.2 million for the Raptors-76ers conference semifinal Game 7, making it the most-watched NBA game in Canada ever. (RDS had another 258,000.) And HGTV Canada’s Island of Bryan is the best-rated show on that channel in 10 years (the statement doesn’t say how many people actually watched it).
- Speaking of ratings, Stephen Colbert’s Late Show continues to beat its competitors in the late night talk show game — 3.82 million a night versus 2.44 million for Jimmy Fallon and 2.04 million for Jimmy Kimmel. They all lost audience, but Colbert lost less of them.
- New series being worked on:
- V is trying again to find a successor to Éric Salvail’s primetime talk show. Julie Snyder will be the host of an unnamed show to begin in January, which will air at 9pm instead of 10pm. That will put it against Radio-Canada and TVA’s big dramas instead of against their newscasts, which is an interesting choice.
- Patrick Huard is working on a Quebec adaptation of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, to be shot in Quebec City this summer. It will be broadcast by Quebecor, though the exact channel (TVA, a specialty channel or Illico) has not yet been announced.
- Radio-Canada is producing a drama called Toute la vie about a school of pregnant teenagers starring Roy Dupuis and Hélène Bourgeois-Leclerc.
- Summer schedule announcements:
- CTV (Amazing Race Canada, Love Island, Grand Hotel, The Red Line)
- Crave (Veronica Mars, Big Little Lies, Killing Eve)
- AMI-tv (various reality and documentary programming)
this is my impression of every “news” podcast pic.twitter.com/5DpQoMH75y
— Matt Buechele (@mattbooshell) May 19, 2019
- CBC Radio One is launching a new national business show at 11:30 a.m. weekdays, called The Cost of Living. It starts in September, produced out of Calgary and hosted by Paul Haavardsrud.
- Énergie 94,3 has released its summer schedule, and promises to pay listeners $1,000 if caught playing the same song twice between 9am and 4pm.
- Torstar is shutting down its Hamilton printing press and mailroom operation. Printing of the Hamilton Spectator will be outsourced to Transcontinental and other plants, saving $4-6 million by laying off almost 200 people. The company is also looking at selling the building.
- Employees at StarMetro Vancouver, who quietly unionized last year, have rejected an offer for a first collective agreement.
- Tout le monde en parle’s Twitter account was briefly suspended after it was reported by people angry that the TV talk show invited Omar Khadr.
- The Canadiens will be starting their home games at 7pm next season instead of 7:30pm, much to the delight of newspaper reporters and editors, late-night TV sportscast producers, and people with early bedtimes.
News about companies
- Shaw unloaded its entire stake in Corus, by selling shares to bankers. But the investment bankers underestimated the demand for stock in Corus, and will lose millions of dollars on the Corus stock it bought from Shaw for a fixed price (which was already at a discount). The sale doesn’t affect the fact that both Shaw and Corus are controlled by the Shaw family.
- Disney is taking over full control of streaming service Hulu in a deal to buy Comcast’s stake. Comcast’s NBC content will remain on Hulu for now, and the sale itself won’t be paid for until 2024, but eventually NBC will transition its shows to its own service, and the fracturing of the streaming universe will continue.
News about people
I keep forgetting to formally (on Twitter) announce the exciting news that I’ve taken a job covering the Eastern Townships for CBC Quebec, so I’ll be moving to Sherbrooke next week. So please enjoy this photo of myself and my cat Stanley Tucci. pic.twitter.com/r2FTJgadAY
— Spencer Van Dyk (@SpencerLynne) May 22, 2019
- Spencer Van Dyk is CBC’s new Eastern Townships correspondent.
- Amanda Margison, a CBC Montreal alumna, is the new executive producer for CBC London Ontario.
- Isabelle Hachey has been upgraded from reporter to columnist at La Presse.
- Francis D’Souza is leaving Citytv in Toronto to become managing editor of news programming at CBC News.
- Gregor Chisholm is the Toronto Star’s new baseball columnist. He previously covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com.
- Brodie Fenlon is leaving his teaching job and returning to CBC News as deputy editor-in-chief.
- Amélie Daoust-Boisvert, who left Le Devoir last fall, has accepted an associate professor job at Concordia University’s journalism department.
- Video journalist Alessandra Carneiro is moving from CTV Yorkton to CTV Saskatoon.
- Judy Ziyi Gu is leaving The Walrus to become an associate producer with CBC podcasts.
- Katie May is leaving the Winnipeg courthouse to do other assignments for the Winnipeg Free Press. Dean Pritchard will take over the beat.
- Reporter Angelina King is leaving CTV News Channel to join CBC Toronto.
- Kate McGillivray has joined CBC’s Fresh Air, the Ontario weekend radio show, as a newsreader.
- Mel Woods is joining HuffPost Canada as an associate editor.
- Sarah Petz is now a permanent online reporter at CBC Manitoba.
- Justin McElroy is now the permanent municipal politics reporter at CBC Vancouver.
- Leah Jewer, senior product manager for Bell Media’s iHeartRadio operations in Montreal, is moving to Toronto.
- Brandon Lane is the new development producer at Nelvana.
- The Ryerson Review of Journalism profiles Toronto Sun Editor-in-Chief Adrienne Batra. Batra clams up when asked about the Sun’s recent scandals.
- The Canadian Association of Journalists has appointed four people to its board: Mick Côté (Presse Canadienne), Jason Markusoff (Macleans), Ken Partridge (Advocate Media) and Fatima Sayed (National Observer).
- Former Canadian media baron Conrad Black was pardoned by U.S. President Donald Trump.
- Dave (Bookie) Bookman, radio host
- Deane Cameron, former EMI Music Canada CEO
- Christine Crosbie, former Global News Toronto anchor
- Achille Hubert, Îles-de-la-Madeleine journalist and founder of Le Radar
- Tardar Sauce, aka Grumpy Cat, grumpy-looking cat and Instagram influencer
- Eric Talmadge, AP North Korea bureau chief
- Outside magazine has a story criticizing national and international media for their coverage of a fatal bear attack in Yukon, and whether it was really necessary for foreign reporters to bother people who had just been through tragedy and draw the attention of people who make hateful ignorant comments.
- Report On Business Magazine editor
- Calgary reporter, Globe and Mail
- Audience growth editor, New York Times, Canada
- Reporter, Global News Radio 980 CFPL in London, Ont. (deadline: May 29)
- Web journalist, HuffPost Québec (deadline: June 1)
- Engagement editor, Ottawa Citizen/Sun (deadline: June 7)
- Web editor/reporter, News 1130 in Vancouver