News about news
- The Vancouver Sun has apologized after publishing an opinion piece that argued against ethnic diversity. The newspaper’s attempts at damage control have left some wanting.
- Many journalists, particularly at the Globe and Mail, have published an open letter saying that Unifor president Jerry Dias does not speak for them when making partisan comments against the Conservative Party.
- La Presse says the Quebec government will announce a payroll tax credit to help news media.
- Pew Research has data about the tens of thousands of layoffs in journalism in the past decade, which have affected not just traditional media but online outlets as well.
- La Presse is doing YouTube videos with its journalists as part of its fundraising campaign.
- Infoman does a good job debunking the viral Trudeau-getting-too-close-to-people photos by (a) showing video of them in context an (b) doing the same with other politicians.
- New York magazine looks at what’s next for Vice, after HBO dropped its daily news show.
At the CRTC
- The commission is asking about wireless outages in Atlantic Canada during Hurricane Dorian.
- Large telecom companies are launching a judicial appeal of the CRTC decision lowering wholesale rates for internet services.
- The commission has launched its voter contact registry for the federal election. The registry requires those using robocalls for political purposes to register.
- Rogers has asked to swap the new channel assignments for CITY-DT (Citytv) and CFMT-DT (OMNI.1) in Toronto, putting City on Channel 18 and Omni on Channel 30, and increasing City’s power from 16kW to 49.4kW to reduce adjacent-channel interference from Global & TVO transmitters. City and OMNI are required to move from channels 44 and 47 next year as part of a repacking of TV transmitters to reallocate higher TV channels in the 600 MHz band to wireless use. Rogers doesn’t explain why Citytv needs a signal boost but OMNI doesn’t.
- Bell Media has gotten CRTC approval to shut down yet another CTV transmitter: CJCB-TV-1 in Inverness, N.S. Bell says the 10kW transmitter is no longer serviceable and would cost $300,000 to replace.
- Quebec Press Council:
- Journal de Montréal columnist Lise Ravary was blamed for asserting the presence of Islamic State flags at a protest against the CAQ government. The assertion was based on a photo of a different event. Ravary apologized but the original column, uncorrected, is still online.
- A report by TVA Nouvelles about businesses on Mont-Royal Ave. being upset by the presence of homeless people from northern Quebec sparked several complaints about it being unfair and discriminatory. The council said the report didn’t make generalizations about Inuit and dismissed the complaints.
- A CBC and Radio-Canada story about a website publishing creepshots of women’s butts did not violate ethics codes by showing a screenshot of said website, which contains said photos.
- A Guy Fournier Journal de Montréal column on SLAV was not erroneous, sensational or discriminatory.
- The newspaper L’Express Drummondville was not inexact or biased in reporting on a petition related to noise at the local airport.
- Your gun-related pedantry of the week.
- CBC ombudsman:
- A “dear white people” opinion piece published on CBC North had “problematic” passages that included some generalizations about white people, but was not racist.
- A CBC News story about changing building codes misstated the estimated costs of flooding damage from a 2018 storm in Toronto, instead using figures from a storm in 2013. That was corrected only after the ombudsman’s report, and other corrections also made to the story were not identified until after the report.
- A Neil Macdonald column saying white supremacists tend to gravitate toward right-wing political parties did not violate policy.
- A CBC News story about the Christchurch mosque shooter was accurate in describing his manifesto as being “far-right” and “white nationalist.”
- A CBC Radio news story about carbon pricing did not need to explore all aspects of the issue in a minute and a half, and was not unduly regurgitating “partisan talking points.”
- The National Newsmedia Council found that a Hamilton Spectator story about a double stabbing was properly corrected to fix where the incident occurred, and was not perpetuating stereotypes about neighbourhoods of the region.
- Kathy English explains how the Toronto Star accidentally sent out an email alert saying Serena Williams defeated Bianca Andreescu at the U.S. Open (an editor copy-pasted the wrong pre-written text). The column does not suggest how this could be corrected beyond asking people to be more careful not to make mistakes. Editor Irene Gentle also explains the error in a Twitter thread but does not lay out any concrete steps being taken to avoid a repeat of the error.
At the CBC
- The new Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal will cost $25 million more to build than predicted, says TVA. Radio-Canada responds that there is a “contingency budget” for this and they have requested no new taxpayer money.
- CBC has joined the BBC-led Trusted News Charter to fight “disinformation.”
What the “L” bars look like on BT Calgary and BT Vancouver.
BT Toronto, of course, doesn’t have one, because it’s special. pic.twitter.com/4j2aA8HFVh
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) September 23, 2019
- Citytv launched its “refreshed” Breakfast Television in Vancouver and Calgary on Monday. While repeatedly stressing the shows will be “hyper-local”, they also feature national lifestyle and entertainment segments by Dina Pugliese out of Toronto. They also have an “L-bar” design with on-screen traffic and weather info throughout the show. (Toronto, of course, doesn’t have the L bar.) Based on the final hour of their first episodes, BT Calgary and BT Vancouver have about a quarter of their content now coming straight out of Toronto, and one of the first segments repeatedly assumed its audience was in Toronto.
- Victoria’s CHEK TV celebrated its 10th anniversary as an independent TV station this month. The celebration included a new website, new set, a branded beer in its honour (proceeds going to charity), and special newscasts hosted from several Vancouver Island communities, including an anniversary newscast on Sept. 20 (5pm & 6pm) and a party memorialized by photos posted to its Facebook page. As one of its reporters recounts, CHEK was saved by its own employees and other investors in 2009 after Canwest shut down the E! network in a round of budget cuts. (Other stations in that network were CHCH in Hamilton, now owned by Channel Zero; CJNT in Montreal, now a Citytv station; CHBC in Kelowna, now Global Okanagan; and CHCA in Red Deer, which didn’t survive the cut.)
- Bell Media finally went through with its promised rebranding of four specialty channels — Comedy to CTV Comedy, Bravo to CTV Drama, Gusto to CTV Life, and Space to CTV Sci-Fi. It tried drumming up interest by pointing out that Comedy is the most popular entertainment specialty channel. The change also means merging the PR teams (even down to their Twitter accounts).
- The Prix Gémeaux were given out. Daily cop drama District 31 was the big winner.
- Canadian Lilly Singh has started her late-night show on NBC. It airs at 1:35am on NBC but 12:35am on Global (though local airtimes vary across the country). Its set includes a lucky loonie in the floor.
- Netflix says it has already surpassed its $500 million spending commitment on Canadian productions, set through a deal with Mélanie Joly. The example series put forward to illustrate that commitment is a series shot in Toronto but set in Chicago.
- Saturday Night Live announced three new cast members, then quickly fired one after some racist stuff from his recent past became public.
- RDS is trying again to launch a second-channel experience for select Canadiens games this season, with a show called “D’un autre angle” on RDS2, RDS Info and online. Details are scarce, but it appears to be focused on real-time analysis with experts.
- TSN and Sportsnet have announced their Raptors season schedule. The rights are split down the middle on both TV and radio, as the team is indirectly owned by both Bell and Rogers.
- Sportsnet has released its Hometown Hockey schedule for this season. The tour comes to the Montreal area with a stop in Châteauguay on Feb. 2 (Super Bowl Sunday). The network will simultaneously show Canadiens vs. Blue Jackets and Canucks vs. Hurricanes that afternoon. It also travels to Ottawa Feb. 9 and Quebec City Feb. 16.
- It’s been 10 years since V rose from the ashes of TQS. The network seems more comfortable with the niche it has built, and Julie Snyder has scored a big guest for her new talk show starting January: Ellen Degeneres.
- Super Channel is suing Best Buy, Staples and others, alleging its salespeople are encouraging customers to buy Android set-top boxes and set them up to access pirated content.
- The U.S. Open women’s final, in which Canadian Bianca Andreescu upset superstar Serena Williams, set ratings records on both sides of the border: 3.4 million viewers on average on TSN and RDS (761,000 of those on RDS), making it the most-watched tennis match ever on both channels, with a peak of 5.3 million. It was also the highest-rated U.S. Open women’s match in EPSN history.
- The Sept. 14 Alouettes-Roughriders match was the most-watched CFL game on TSN and RDS this season, which is an indication of how strong those teams have turned out to be, and how sad the Toronto Argonauts have become.
- Citytv did not score a ratings record with its Trudeau-less debate, with 1.6 million viewers.
- APTN has launched its own streaming service, at $5 a month.
- CBC’s The Weekly has a four-minute segment on Tout le monde en parle, where Wendy Mesley talks to host Guy A. Lepage.
- Canada’s Drag Race has announced its judging panel: former Drag Race contestant Brooke Lynn Hytes, actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and model Stacey McKenzie.
- ESPN revamped its on-screen graphics for Monday Night Football and quickly changed them after fans complained that the black-on-yellow down marker looked too much like what you’d show for a penalty flag.
- Programming announcements:
- Vista Radio has fired four of its executives, including president Geoff Poulton.
- Sportsnet’s Fan 590 in Toronto has shuffled its lineup. In place of Prime Time Sports will be Tim and Sid, taking the audio from their TV show. Greg Brady is the main casualty.
- Kitchener’s 91.5 The Beat has a new morning team: Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan return to the region after a stint hosting Z103.5’s morning show in Toronto. They replace Carlos Benevides, who left for Conestoga College.
- The Montreal Gazette is launching a podcast series about organized crime in Montreal, hosted by crime reporter Paul Cherry.
- Virgin Radio Montreal has started a week-in-review rap segment performed by Adam Greenberg.
- CHOM 97.7 is celebrating its 50th anniversary with special guests on Friday mornings, and a concert with tickets selling for $9.77 (not including service charges and taxes). Among those special guests was Ted Bird, reminiscing about the old days.
- Bell Media and Stingray, which are the #1 and #2 commercial radio companies in Canada measured by number of stations, have joined forces on a multiplatform audio sales system called Audio360. It covers terrestrial radio, streaming, Stingray’s audio services and podcasts.
- The Prince George Citizen is ending its run as a daily newspaper, and will become a free weekly instead. The announcement does not explain how many people will be laid off, but it’s hard to imagine there wouldn’t be.
- The future of Groupe Capitales Médias will be known on Nov. 6, when the bankruptcy trustee presents to the court which offer is best for its creditors. Meanwhile, the company says it will continue to publish on Mondays, despite a suggestion from economy minister Pierre Fitzgibbon. Francis Vailles breaks down the grim economics of the company and what needs to be done to bring it back into the black.
- Transcontinental has sold off almost all of its remaining media assets, including the business publication Les Affaires and specialty business magazines like Canadian Investment Review and Advisor’s Edge. The buyers are two companies — Contex Group Inc., headed by Pierre Marcoux (son of Remi Marcoux, who bought Les Affaires 40 years ago) and Newcom Media Inc., led by Joe Glionna. Financial terms were not disclosed. While most employees will move to the new owners, 20 will be laid off. Transcon’s remaining media assets include TC Media Books (educational publications) and Groupe Constructo (a construction magazine and related business).
- Newspaper industry association News Media Canada is arguing that Canada Post shouldn’t have exclusive access to condo and apartment mailboxes to deliver flyers, which allows it to unfairly compete with newspapers for that service.
- A new community newspaper has launched in Montreal — the Beaconsfield Journal will publish bimonthly.
- Concordia student newspaper The Concordian has redesigned its print edition, giving it more whitespace.
- La Presse looks at Elle Québec, and the magazine’s new editor Sophie Banford, a few months after the magazine was taken over by KO Média from Quebecor, who bought it from Transcontinental in 2014.
- La Presse’s Isabelle Hachey writes about Mirabel vous informe, a newspaper put out by the city of Mirabel. The owner of the community weekly newspapers L’Éveil and Nord Info isn’t crazy about this competition, especially since (a) the city no longer buys ads in the independent newspaper, preferring to use its own at lower cost, and (b) the city is banning the Publi-Sac that distributes the independent newspapers, which doesn’t affect Mirabel vous informe because it’s delivered by mail.
- Finalists for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction have been announced.
- The Washington Post has ended publication of its free commuter paper Express. The paper went out with a sarcastic bang.
- Elections Canada has a page on its website that lists all of its ads and official publications, so that Canadians can check if something they saw online or through some other media is actually from them.
- The Kik messenger app is shutting down so its owners can focus on its cryptocurrency again (and by that I mean focus on fighting the U.S. government to keep it alive).
- A list of names, emails and in some cases phone numbers and home addresses from L’Actualité’s old web server was leaked, and some subscribers say they should have been informed about the breach.
- Quebecor has reinstalled the iconic Archambault sign outside the building on Berri St., after what it called a misunderstanding led to it being taken down.
News about companies
- DHX Media, which owns most of the Peanuts intellectual property as well as the Family Channel, is rebranding as WildBrain.
- Vox Media has bought New York magazine.
News about people
— Kelly Greig (@KellyGreig) September 13, 2019
- The Globe and Mail has reassigned two reporters covering the media: Christine Dobby moves from telecom to corporate law, while Susan Krashinsky Robertson moves from media and marketing to retail. No word yet on their replacements for their former beats.
- Raina Douris, who left her job as CBC Music’s morning host, has been made the new host of World Café, the WXPN music show distributed via NPR.
- Chris Ensing is the new anchor of CBC’s evening TV newscast in Windsor.
- Gord Gillies is retiring from his job as host at Global News Radio in Calgary on Sept. 27.
- Jennifer Harkness is the new senior vice-president of unscripted content at Blue Ant Media. She was previously at Cream Productions.
- George Kalogerakis has been named the new deputy editor at the Montreal Gazette, a role essentially replacing managing editor Basem Boshra, who left for CTV Montreal.
- Jaren Kerr is leaving his job as a reporter for Canadaland for another opportunity.
- Daniel Levy has turned his Schitt’s Creek success into a three-year development deal with ABC Studios.
- Kent Morrison has been named a permanent member of Global News Morning in Edmonton. He will continue to anchor the noon newscast.
- La Presse has moved Pierre-André Normandin from municipal affairs to “chef de division” and making Tommy Chouinard its Quebec City bureau chief.
- Former Vice Canada music editor Yaroslav Pastukhov (aka Slava Pastuk) has pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle cocaine into Australia.
- Cabbie Richards has left TSN for The Bleacher Report. He had very kind words for his former colleagues.
- Maxime Talbot has been hired as an analyst on RDS, and will co-host a weekly show with Bruno Gervais.
- Brian Wilde is continuing to cover the Canadiens for Global Montreal.
- The Montreal Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky gave an update about his health to TSN 690. He’s doing well and back on the job after getting treatment for bladder cancer. He also talked to Global’s morning show about it to promote a fundraiser.
- Graeme Gibson, writer
- Yusra Javed, Queen’s Park press gallery intern
- Robert McConnell, former Montreal Gazette publisher
- Cokie Roberts, NPR journalist
- A short story about Anthony Federico, whose unfortunate headline about basketball star Jeremy Lin got him fired from ESPN and led him to life as a priest.
- Executive editor, Xtra (deadline: Sept. 30)
- Business editor, The Canadian Press (deadline: Oct. 1)
- Sports editor/reporter, Agence QMI (deadline: Oct. 4)
- Videojournalist, CityNews Montreal
- Videojournalist, CityNews Winnipeg
- Journalist, CityNews Toronto
- Anchor reporter, 680 News in Toronto
- Reporter, 660 News Calgary
- Anchor reporter, 570 News in Kitchener
- Weekend news anchor/reporter, 570 News in Kitchener
- Mandarin reporter, OMNI News in Toronto
- R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship (deadline: Oct. 28)