It’s been a month and a half since the last one of these, and frankly it’s quite the load on my time. I’m going to have to explore ways of lowering the workload if I’m going to keep doing this. In the meantime, I’ve dropped the jobs section and may drop others that are less popular and/or have better sources elsewhere.
News about news
After more than 11 years and nearly 10 million visitors, we want to say thank you to everyone who has visited. You made the Newseum extraordinary. Thank you. Thank you and goodnight. pic.twitter.com/JnxUVpBnZG
— Newseum (@Newseum) December 31, 2019
- A court has approved the plan to convert Groupe Capitales Médias into a group of workers’ cooperatives. The arrangement has not pleased GCM’s retirees, who have said they will appeal the decision and have gone so far as protesting former owner Power Corp. demanding that they make good on the underfunded pension plan. The six newspapers have formed their boards of directors (Le Droit, Le Nouvelliste, Le Quotidien, Le Soleil, La Tribune, La Voix de l’Est) and begun appointing general managers — Gilles Carignan at Le Soleil, Éric Brousseau at Le Droit. Claude Gagnon, the previous president, has retired.
- Cabinet mandate letters for the new federal government have been published, including that of new Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault. Among the promises he’s being asked to carry out:
- New legislation requiring online platforms remove “illegal content, including hate speech, within 24 hours or face significant penalties”
- Modernize the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act to make internet access more affordable and require streaming platforms to offer and contribute to Canadian content
- “Strengthen the regional mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada to broadcast more local news and require CBC/Radio-Canada to open up its digital platform.”
- More funding for Telefilm Canada
- Implement new online rights, including: “data portability; the ability to withdraw, remove and erase basic personal data from a platform; the knowledge of how personal data is being used, including with a national advertising registry and the ability to withdraw consent for the sharing or sale of data; the ability to review and challenge the amount of personal data that a company or government has collected; proactive data security requirements; the ability to be informed when personal data is breached with appropriate compensation; and the ability to be free from online discrimination including bias and harassment.”
- Review the Copyright Act
- “Support local journalism and develop business models that facilitate private giving and philanthropic support for professional journalism and local news.”
- Guilbeault also says the government will impose GST on foreign platforms like Netflix.
- The Canadian government has launched its newspaper bailout. This includes the release of the form to fill out to be considered a qualified Canadian journalism organization.
- Meanwhile, News Media Canada has released the list of recipients for its Local News Initiative. They include my employer, the Montreal Gazette.
- Canadaland has a story about the publisher of the Globe and Mail lobbying the Canadian government for direct funding.
- Radio-Canada is clamping down on excessive use of the term “exclusive” in news reporting, except in very narrow circumstances — notably when getting interviews with important figures who are difficult to access. Investigations will be labelled as such (“enquête”) when they’re the result of significant investigative journalism work.
- A media placement agency presents some potentially self-serving data from a Via Rail experiment showing that advertising in Canadian-owned media gives more return than foreign digital giants like Facebook and Google.
- Alberta’s Canadian Energy Centre, a so-called “war room” set up by Premier Jason Kenney to counter negative news about Alberta oil, has drawn the ire of the Canadian Association of Journalists because the people writing stories for its website have been identifying themselves as journalists in talking to sources.
- As part of its CRTC licence renewal (see below), CBC commissioned an analysis comparing CBC News Network and CTV News Channel. For the most part they were similar, but this remark struck me: “CBC relied more extensively on its local journalists (the majority reporting from the field) for reporting and commenting on events while CTV relied more heavily on third-party speakers and experts, as well as US-based reporters.” And “CBC journalists filed or provided commentary on almost 49% of the network’s international coverage, compared to 24% for CTV.” In other words, CBC NN tends to rely on its network of journalists more, particularly for international stories. That sounds about right based on my anecdotal observation of the two channels.
- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers got mad at TSN reporter Darrin Bauming and pulled him from his job during the Grey Cup, according to the Free Press.
- CBC Manitoba and the Winnipeg Free Press appear to have entered into a content sharing agreement, with each website excerpting from and linking to stories on the other. Here are a few examples of Free Press stories at CBC and CBC stories at the Free Press.
- The new movie Richard Jewell, about a man whose reputation was destroyed by the media, is being criticized for falsely portraying a (now deceased) reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as having traded sex for information. It is hardly the first movie to portray female journalists having sex with sources or subjects, even though this is virtually unheard of in practice.
- A legal battle between radio host Pierre Mailloux and La Presse journalist Rima Elkouri has been settled out of court. The battle stems from a previous legal case that was also settled out of court, but Mailloux blabbed about its contents, prompting lawsuits both ways that have now been withdrawn.
- The Grande guignolée des médias fundraiser has raised $3.6 million for various local charities.
- Staff of the National Observer online news outlet have filed to unionize.
- Daniel Leblanc of the Globe and Mail took some Quebec media to task for allowing sources within the Quebec Liberal Party to say behind the cloak of anonymity that Dominique Anglade should not be leader of the party because of her race. He explains his reasoning here, and notes that the Globe and Mail’s investigative reporting has improved since the paper restricted the use of anonymous sources.
- The Globe and Mail looks at Thunder Bay and northern Ontario after a year of stories it produced from a bureau it set up there, with profiles of 10 people who are making a difference.
- The New York Times takes a couple of peeks behind the curtain, discussing how it decides what goes on the front page, and what technology its reporters use.
At the CRTC
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) December 2, 2019
- The commission has called a hearing for May 25 to discuss the renewal of broadcasting licenses of CBC/Radio-Canada, with public comment being accepted until Feb. 13. I compiled some observations in this Twitter thread. Among the proposed changes to licence conditions, the CBC is asking for:
- lower quotas (more flexibility) for so-called “programs of national interest” (long-form documentary, scripted dramas and comedies, award shows), original children’s programming, and local programming on TV stations (the CBC argues it doesn’t plan to reduce production, but rather put more of it online only, where these quotas don’t apply)
- the elimination of the requirement for large market TV stations to produce an hour a week of non-news local programming
- an increase to the mandatory per-month per-subscriber fees for CBC News Network ($0.15 to $0.20 in French-language markets) and RDI ($0.10 to $0.13 in English-language markets)
- the elimination of the requirement for ARTV to spend 20% of its Canadian production budget to productions outside Quebec (in exchange, ARTV would no longer have to be offered by cable companies outside Quebec)
- A new requirement for biannual consultations with Indigenous Canadians, similar to the consultation it currently does with minority language communities.
- The commission has received more than 1,000 interventions related to CBC’s licence renewal, the vast majority appear to be from individuals arguing that the CBC should be shut down because it’s too left-wing. That may be because Conservative MPs are encouraging people to comment, and that encouragement is amplified by right-wing media and activist groups.
- Bell’s proposed purchase of the V television network (which will be the subject of a public hearing on Feb. 12) has prompted a lot of comments:
- For it are just about every TV production company in Quebec, including Productions J (Julie Snyder), AETIOS (Fabienne Larouche), KOTV (Louis Morissette), Zone 3, Attraction Images, Urbania, Fair-Play and DATSIT Sphère. They argue, with words clearly provided by Bell, that it will result in more investment in programming. Snyder adds that it will prevent an unnamed private conventional French-language TV network from becoming a monopoly (that network happens to be owned by her ex-husband).
- Against it are, unsurprisingly, Quebecor, which argues that a French conventional TV network is the “only missing piece” of the Bell omnicorp, and would give it too much market power on a national scale. (Bell argues Quebecor is the dominant player in Quebec, which is what matters.) The Public Interest Advocacy Centre also argues against the deal, saying it will “negatively impact competition, ownership concentration, and vertical integration, and raises serious concerns about Bell’s exercise of market power.”
- Neither for nor against are a lot of remaining groups, who suggest the deal could be approved under conditions:
- Quebec’s ministry of culture and communications wants Bell’s programming promises to be conditions of licence, and that all benefits go only to French-language programming.
- The Association québécoise de la production médiatique wants higher quotas for Canadian content and scripted programming, which Bell argues against because of V’s precarious financial situation and because it relies a lot on non-scripted programming to compete against TVA and Radio-Canada.
- The FNC-CSN union is worried about job cuts, particularly among positions that would be redundant after a takeover.
- The SCFP union wants more local programming and protections against merging of CTV and V newsrooms. It also wants V’s agreements with its independent affiliates renewed.
- A group of independent TV stations argues a review of regulatory policy is needed to better protect independent stations.
- Telus argues Bell and Quebecor combined would have too much power, and wants “a condition of licence requiring the provision of commercially reasonable access to advertising availabilities to unrelated operators of broadcasting undertakings and telecommunications service providers.”
- Bell’s reply stated that Quebecor’s accusations are baseless, and other worries were either unfounded or already dealt with through existing conditions of licence.
- The Competition Bureau has proposed policy to encourage more competition in wireless services. The bureau notes that the Big Three (Bell, Rogers, Telus) still have too much power in the marketplace, but it believes providers that establish their own networks would be the best option to compete with them. So rather than advocate for low-price mobile virtual network operators, that would use the existing networks but not encourage the building of new networks, it proposes a temporary mandated MVNO setup that would give new entrants access to the big three networks on condition that they build out their own networks. It’s also advocating for other measures like “mandated seamless handoff, more effective tower sharing and site access rules, and updated roaming rates.”
- The commission has released the TV, mobile and internet chapters of its annual Communications Monitoring Report. Among the findings: More than 90% of revenue market share for mobile is still with top 3 (Bell, Rogers, Telus).
- The CRTC has renewed the broadcasting distribution licences of Bell and Shaw’s satellite TV services, to 2026. The licences are mostly the same. The commission declined to require the two to carry all local TV stations in HD, because of insufficient bandwidth to do so, and retroactively approved Bell’s use of simultaneous program deletion, a variant of simultaneous substitution where Bell blacks out a U.S. TV channel when it’s broadcasting a program carried by a Canadian TV station, instead of replacing it with the Canadian channel. The CRTC also said Shaw no longer needs to offer free satellite TV service for people affected by TV transmitter shutdowns, having determined that it met its promise made as part of the 2010 acquisition of Canwest.
- SiriusXM Canada satellite radio’s licence has been renewed until 2024. The commission denied requested changes to licence conditions related to Canadian content after finding severe issues with licence compliance. The main issue was more than $650,000 of Canadian content development contributions that the commission found were either self-serving, not directly related to development of Canadian content, or had insufficient proof of eligibility. They include $199,869 for a Studio SiriusXM Canada Interview Series interview with P.K. Subban, who the CRTC notes “is not a Canadian musical artist,” and $285,000 to Just For Laughs, which paid for 35 half-hour standup segments that aired on SiriusXM’s Canada Laughs channel. (SiriusXM argued that programming had no value because “it does not pay for Canadian programming that airs on its Canadian channels.”) The commission requires the company to pay that shortfall to FACTOR, Musicaction and the Community Radio Fund of Canada.
- The CRTC has approved the sale of Radio Dégelis and its station CFVD-FM (Horizon 95.5) in Dégelis (near the New Brunswick border) to Arsenal Media for $400,000. The station and its two retransmitters become the 15th in the Arsenal Media network in Quebec. Arsenal tells the CRTC that previous owners Gilles Caron and Guylain Jean will remain station employees.
- The commission has sided with Videotron and required Bell subsidiary Cablevision du Nord to give Videotron access to its network to set up a third party internet access service in the Abitibi region. Quebecor is serious about the expansion, and has acquired a cable company in the region to accelerate its efforts.
- Bell (CTV), Corus (Global) and Rogers (Citytv) have gotten a minor adjustment to their obligations related to described video: Foreign primetime programming received without described video less than 24 hours before airtime will no longer need to have DV added, but will need to have DV for future airings. The broadcasters will need to report regularly to the CRTC on the status of their DV offerings.
- The CRTC has approved a plan from Rogers to swap the proposed new channels of CItytv (CITY-DT) and OMNI.1 (CFMT-DT) in Toronto, which have to move as part of the 600 MHz channel repack. The new arrangement will give Citytv more power while not negatively affecting OMNI.
- Licence renewal applications for 115 radio stations have been posted. They include stations owned by Rogers, Corus, Pattison, Golden West, Maritime and Harvard broadcasting companies, as well as CHOU 1450 AM (Radio Moyen Orient) in Montreal, CHOI-FM 98,1 (Radio X) in Quebec City and CHAI-FM 101,9 in Châteauguay. The deadline for comments is Jan. 20.
- CJSO-FM 101.7 in Sorel had its licence renewed for less than two years, with the CRTC finding serious compliance issues related to music lists and public alerting, and failure to prove it had broadcast a notice the last time its licence was renewed that it had failed to meet licence conditions in an earlier licence. The renewal comes with two mandatory orders, and the threat that future non-compliance could result in revocation or non-renewal.
- The commission has approved a new low-power community radio station for Sheet Harbour, N.S.
- The Gulf Islands Community Radio Society applying to bring CFSI-FM in Salt Spring Island, B.C. back after 4 years. Because it’s between Vancouver and Victoria, spectrum is tight, so the commission needs to go through a longer public comment process and issue a call for comments on whether it can issue a call for applications.
- CJMC-FM (Bleu FM) in Ste-Anne-des-Monts on the Gaspé peninsula has received approval for an eighth retransmitter, just west of that town. The new transmitter is at 103.1 MHz, 50 watts.
- After a request from Bell, the CRTC has reconsidered how it regulates access to fibre-optic cable inside large residential buildings, and will consider regulating them differently from cable or telephone wires. It has published a notice of consultation toward creating a new policy.
- Following implementation of universal call blocking for calls with “blatantly illegitimate” caller IDs (i.e. numbers that cannot be dialled), which finally came into effect in December, the CRTC has set a deadline of Sept. 20, 2020, to implement a form of caller ID authentication called STIR/SHAKEN for IP-based calls. It has issued a call for comments on formally implementing such a mandate for telephone service providers.
- Chinese-language channel Fairchild no longer requires a licence to operate, as it has fewer than 200,000 subscribers nationwide.
- Community TV station CHCO-TV in St. Andrews, N.B., has filed a complaint against Rogers over its signal being temporarily unavailable to some subscribers in the region. Rogers told the station it had two unrelated technical problems, one of which replaced CHCO with a Rogers community channel.
- The commission has posted job openings for commissioners for Alberta/NWT and Atlantic/Nunavut. They replace Linda Vennard and Christopher MacDonald, whose terms end in May and June, respectively.
- The end of the year means the annual Toronto Star You Be The Editor survey, with 16 what-would-you-have-done questions based on the things people complained about this year. There’s also a “fact check” quiz based on errors in reporting, though that’s much less fun (you win by just picking “double check” for each answer). Kathy English says there have been 9,000 corrections by the Star in the past decade, and lists some of the more head-slapping ones of the past year here.
- The National Newsmedia Council is satisfied that “corrective action was taken” in regards to a County Weekly News story that appeared under the wrong byline. An editor, who is also a columnist, copy-pasted a John Ivison National Post column into the Postmedia publication’s content management system, and forgot to change the byline (which defaults to the user creating the story).
- In only its third decision of 2019 (it broadcast 17 in 2018), the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council found that CTV Toronto (CFTO-DT) broadcast cellphone video of a stabbing without a viewer advisory, which the station admitted was a serious error in judgment.
- The Globe and Mail was wrong to accept an ad for a restaurant that directly criticized their restaurant reviewer.
- The Globe’s Sylvia Stead explains how the PPC was labelled “Pirate Party of Canada” in an election results page (not a joke, they just used an old legend that also included other defunct parties), plus some other head-slapping brain farts.
- CBC ombudsman:
- A World Report story about a Weibo post by Liu Yifei was not inaccurate in describing the actor’s support for Hong Kong police, though it would have benefitted from more context.
- An analysis by CBC Montreal’s Jonathan Montpetit of a tweet by Premier François Legault about a book by columnist Mathieu Bock-Côté was not unfair, but maybe shouldn’t have used the adjective “hardline” to describe MBC.
- A story about a student support hotline at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Islamic Studies used language that suggested actions by CSIS were “worrying” and “pretty scary” and should have avoided using such words in some instances.
- A World at Six story that included quotes from climate analyst David McLaughlin about the Green Party’s platform didn’t violate policy by failing to disclose his past involvement with the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives, but during an election campaign the CBC should err on the side of more disclosure.
- The CBC did not violate policy in its coverage of a book by one of its journalists, Aaron Wherry, on Justin Trudeau, except that an online story should not have included a link to purchase the book. News stories about it were justified, and it was not a conflict for colleague Rosemary Barton to write them, nor did getting access to Trudeau mean that Wherry should not cover the election.
- Radio-Canada ombudsman:
- Election-night coverage by ICI Radio-Canada Télé was too Quebec-centric for the ombudsman’s liking, and though a Quebec bias should have been expected because (a) most of Canada’s francophones live there and (b) most of the seat changes happened in that province, Ontario and the western provinces were ignored a bit too much.
- A report from Radio-Canada’s Rad program that featured scenes from Extinction Rebellion activists climbing onto the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal during the morning rush hour did not violate policy. The journalist had advance knowledge of the action, but did not participate, was openly critical of the choice, and checked with his editor-in-chief. Journalists are not agents of the police and do not have to inform them every time they are aware of an impending action that is against the law.
- A Q&A segment by Radio-Canada’s Ottawa station that included only the Liberal and Conservative candidates in the Ottawa-Vanier riding prompted a complaint from the Green Party candidate. The ombudsman found the segment should not have described it in a title as “les candidats … se prononcent” but there was no obligation for racial diversity and overall the coverage was not unfair to the candidate.
- A New Brunswick man demanded that a 10-year-old story about a complaint against him by the New Brunswick Securities Commission be deleted because the case was dropped and some information is inaccurate or incomplete, but the ombudsman found that complaints about the story come 10 years too late, and that an update that the case was dropped is sufficient.
- A complaint accused journalist Romain Schué of bias in covering immigration issues, based only on a vague perception that, taken together, his articles are overly critical of the Quebec government. The ombudsman found no evidence to back up that claim.
Ratings for English-language news channels in Quebec (6am-midnight, average minute audience), via CBC analysis:
CBC NN 2,800
FOX NC 1,000
CTV NC 800
CNN International <100
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) November 25, 2019
- Corus shut down the lifestyle channel FYI, based on the U.S. channel of the same name, on Dec. 30. The channel, formerly Discovery Health and Twist TV, is the third Corus-owned specialty channel to shut down in 2019, following Cosmo TV and IFC Canada. Will channels like DéjàView, DIY, DTOUR and MovieTime be far behind?
- APTN’s broadcast of an NHL game in Plains Cree last March was apparently successful enough that APTN and Rogers have signed a deal to continue broadcasts for the next three years — with six broadcasts in 2020, starting with two between the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks.
- Both Rogers and Bell gave notice they are dropping AMC. The cable channel has played hardball with Canadian distributors, and others have threatened to end their contract only to reach a deal at the last minute (like Videotron). Rogers announced on Dec. 31 they had reached a deal to keep AMC beyond Jan. 1. So far Bell is still planning to drop AMC on Feb. 1 if there’s no deal by then.
- Netflix is finally disclosing its Canadian revenues: $835 million in 2018. Netflix has been notoriously secret about this kind of information, and even refused to confidentially disclose it to the CRTC.
- Cogeco Connexion plans to launch its new TV platform progressively this year. The MediaFirst platform will be industry-leading, it says.
- WCAX-TV Burlington, Vt. and WPTZ-TV Plattsburgh, N.Y., are back on the air after their transmitting antenna on Mount Mansfield caught fire. They are currently using a temporary antenna while permanent repairs are made. The unexpected failure led to Videotron and others substituting Detroit feeds for CBS and NBC temporarily.
- The CBC/Netflix series Anne with an E has been cancelled after the third season that begins in January. And though there is a petition by loyal viewers to reverse that decision, the call is final.
- Amazon Prime Video has premiered Season 4 of Canadian sci-fi series The Expanse, which was saved from cancellation after SyFy pulled the plug.
- NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the pay TV system is “broken” and the reliance on cable networks for NBA broadcasts is in part the reason why the league isn’t more popular among younger people.
- Global has ordered a new legal drama called Family Law. It has also renewed the dramas Nurses and Departure, which haven’t premiered their first seasons yet.
- Bell Media has signed a content deal with Uninterrupted, the “athlete-driven” long-form content company, whose CEO is former Sportsnet boss Scott Moore.
- Bell Media has extended its rights deal with Hockey Canada, which includes things like the IIHF world junior championship on TSN and RDS, until 2034.
- Rogers Media’s new president Jordan Banks says there will be some hirings at Sportsnet in 2020.
- The creators of the 1970s Radio-Canada children’s program La fricassée are upset about the small royalties they are set to receive from the rebroadcast of the program on the Tou.TV streaming service.
- Christmas time means Hallmark Christmas TV movies, a lot of them filmed in Vancouver.
- RDI turned 25 on Jan. 1.
- Winter programming announcements:
- Global TV premiere dates
- Citytv premiere dates
- ICI Radio-Canada Télé winter preview
- Investigation winter schedule
- Z comedy programming
- Canal Vie
- Food Network has a new original cooking competition series called Wall of Chefs. It has … a lot of chefs. There’s also the Great Chocolate Showdown, with 10 bakers from across North America.
- 24CH is coming back to RDS.
One of the most recognizable voices on Vancouver radio is signing off for the last time. The legendary @jonmccomb980 thanks @CKNW listeners for their support over the last 36 years. pic.twitter.com/BQSHZtLZ53
— Global BC (@GlobalBC) December 13, 2019
- A survey by Canadian Podcast Listener shows that a quarter of podcast listeners has financially supported at least one podcast.
- Harvard Broadcasting’s Edmonton station CKPW-FM, which had to stop using “POWER 107” after it got sued by Corus for the logo’s similarities to the former Power 92, has renamed itself “Play 107.1”
- Franco-Ontarian community station FM 92,1 Est Ontarien (CHOD-FM) has activated its rebroadcasting transmitter in Dunvegan. The new transmitter, synchronized on the same frequency, extends its coverage north, toward areas like St-Bernardin, Vankleek Hill and Hawkesbury.
- Bell Media is apparently putting its Pure Country format on HD channels of radio stations in markets where it doesn’t have country music stations.
- Quebec City’s FM93 has shuffled its schedule, bringing in Stephan Dupont, who recently left competitor Énergie.
- CBC has launched a Cree-language podcast.
- According to the Journal de Montréal, Cogeco is looking to replace some on-air hosts at Montreal’s 98.5 FM. Cogeco denies this.
- The end of a grace period for low-power TV stations to move to digital in the U.S. will mean the end of stations that are legally TV stations on Channel 6 but really FM radio stations at 87.7 MHz, just below the FM broadcast band.
- Akwesasne TV has an update on the plans to revive CKHQ-FM 101.7 in Kanesatake. They essentially have to rebuild from scratch, and are raising money to do so.
- CBC Montreal’s Shari Okeke, who hosted the 2018 podcast Mic Drop, revisits the teens she talked to two years later.
- VOAR in St. John’s is shutting down its historic AM transmitter at 1210, completing its transition to FM as 96.7 Lighthouse FM.
- Surrey B.C. South Asian ethnic station CJCN-FM (91.5 Connect FM) is on the air, currently testing.
- Radio Humsafar’s 1350 AM in Brampton, Ont., which struggled for years to find a suitable technical option for broadcasting, is finally on the air.
- Some format/branding changes:
— Nadine Yousif (@nadineyousif_) December 19, 2019
- The StarMetro free daily newspapers shut down as scheduled. Now the only remaining free daily newspapers in Canada are the two in Montreal. Meanwhile, Metro in New York City has been sold to the owner of its main competitor AM New York, which has “merged” the papers.
- Postmedia is shutting down three community newspapers in Alberta: The Lacombe Globe, the Hinton Parklander and the Edson Leader.
- The Winchester Press in eastern Ontario is also shutting down. Or maybe not? The owner now says they’re looking to find a new owner.
- Statistics Canada data shows how print ad revenue and profits have collapsed between 2016 and 2018. Though online ad revenue is up 20% over those two years, by my back-of-the-envelope calculations we’re still half a decade away from it being large enough to overtake print ad revenue for newspapers, assuming it can keep that growth rate. By then, total ad revenues will be two thirds of what they are now.
- Radio-Canada reports on the chaos at Le Franco, the newspaper serving the Franco-Albertan community.
- Le Devoir lays out some recent changes, including the departure of columnist Louise Beaudoin (who has accepted a mandate from the Quebec government) and some new additions:
- Anabelle Nicoud, deputy news director
- Éric Godin, editorial cartoonist
- Marie Hélène Poitras, literature columnist
- Diane Bérard, solutions journalist
- Toronto’s NOW magazine has been acquired by Media Central Corporation Inc., for a price between $1 million and $2 million. The new owner plans to integrate NOW with its cannabis website but there are “no immediate changes” planned for the NOW brand, and its co-founder is staying on. The company has also bought Vancouver-based Georgia Straight for $1.25 million.
- The end of a distribution contract between Postmedia and Groupe Capitales Médias means that the Montreal Gazette and National Post will no longer be distributed in Quebec City. The Gazette had about 125 residential subscribers in the provincial capital.
- The Montreal Gazette’s History Through Our Eyes daily feature, which republished photos from the newspaper’s archives (as the newspaper planned and then executed a move of its office), has come to an end after 365 days, but there are plans to turn it into a book.
- The Toronto Star is dropping restaurant reviews, according to a final column by Amy Pataki, who says “the restaurant critic job is now done like dinner as the newspaper redeploys its resources to better serve readers.”
- Torstar’s Metroland Media has sold City Parent, a parenting lifestyle magazine, to Media Classified Corp.
- The Competition Bureau has released guidelines for “influencer marketing” (i.e. popular people on Instagram hawking products for money). Among them:
- Disclosures should be prominent, not at the end of long captions or buried in a sea of hashtags, and should use clear, unambiguous language.
- Disclosures should happen if you’re given free products or discounts.
- “Don’t make broad claims about a product’s performance.”
- Disclosures should be tied to the content, and appear on each post they apply to.
- More details here.
- Twitter is starting to deactivate inactive accounts and release those usernames.
- CBC has launched a website called Original Voices, devoted to exploring Indigenous languages.
- The European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of a photographer whose photo was pulled from a website and used in a school project in Germany that the school posted online. The photographer sued the school for copyright infringement, but the school had argued that the photo was freely accessible online. The court found that argument had no merit.
- Sports website SB Nation has terminated contracts with its California freelancers to comply with a new state law that is designed to prevent companies from relying too much on independent contractors as de facto employees. It has posted some actual employee job postings to replace some of that work. Meanwhile, some freelancers in the state are suing to overturn the law, arguing it threatens their livelihood.
- LaPresse.ca has changed the URLs for its RSS feeds, so those who get news that way will need to change them.
- There was another national emergency alert test on Nov. 27, in every province and territory except Nunavut. All 12 alerts went out on time, on TV, radio and wireless networks, though there were many reports of people failing to get the messages delivered on their cellphones. It won’t be clear for a while how successful it was and how many other tests will be needed.
- Videotron has signed a deal with Samsung to build out a 5G wireless network.
- Montreal’s metro system has completed another leg in its six-year project to make wireless services available in tunnels and platforms, with the activation of the Radisson and Honoré-Beaugrand stations on the green line. The last leg, the green line stations west of Lionel-Groulx, will be the last of the 68 stations to have wireless service, some time in 2020.
- Quebecor has acquired Cable Amos as part of its planned expansion into the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.
News about companies
- Mirko Bibic has taken over as president of Bell parent company BCE, replacing the departing George Cope. La Presse interviews him about his priorities, and notes that he will be based in Toronto, though he tries to downplay that. With the new change comes some shuffling at senior management, including the promotion of Karine Moses as Vice-Chair Quebec (the senior-most person at Bell based in Montreal). Moses immediately announced the hiring of Suzanne Landry as Vice-President, French-Language Content Development and Programming for Bell Media. Landry left a similar role at Quebecor for this job.
- The Canadian Media Concentration Research Project’s annual report has been released.
- The move of the Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal will cost $17 million more than first announced. The CBC says there will be no effect on taxpayers or employees, but the union is worried.
- CBC/Radio-Canada had to claw back thousands of dollars from 498 temporary employees because they were overpaid by a system that failed to properly implement changes in their collective agreements.
- Quebecor has acquired a minority stake in Multicolore, the group behind the Igloofest music festival in Montreal.
- Canada’s Cineplex has accepted a $2.8-billion takeover offer from Cineworld, leading to some speculation of what that would mean for Canadian movie-goers. The Cineplex board has the option of seeking a competing offer, though, from a Canadian company.
News about people
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Feeling incredibly grateful and blessed on this special Sunday, as we spend our first full day at home with our newborn son, Alexandre Kingston Fortier. Our beautiful baby boy was born on Friday, November 29 at 11:05 AM, weighing in at 7 lbs, 1 oz. We were fortunate enough to be able to leave the hospital and step out into the sunshine by Saturday afternoon. Life brought sweet Alex to us at the perfect time… ? (And just on time for him to experience his first Jamaican Sunday brunch while an overjoyed Johnson family clan —grandma, grandpa and auntie — is still in town… ? I cannot think of a better way to welcome him to the world! ??) #babyboy #coupdefoudre #loveatfirstsight
- CTV Montreal’s Maya Johnson is a mom.
- New Order of Canada appointments include: movie directors James Cameron and Xavier Dolan, Montreal jazz festival founders André Ménard and Alain Simard, actor Marcel Sabourin, Globe and Mail publisher Philip Crawley, former CBC journalist Hana Gartner, former Globe and Mail journalist Joan Hollobon, TC Transcontinental chair Isabelle Marcoux, former Canada AM host Beverly Thomson and former Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed.
- Miranda Anthistle has joined Global News in Toronto.
- La Presse catches up with sports broadcaster Derek Aucoin, who created a bucket list in the wake of a serious brain cancer diagnosis.
- Denise Balkissoon has left the Globe and Mail for a position as executive editor at Chatelaine. Her departure leaves the Globe’s roster of columnists significantly whiter.
- Frank Cavallaro is retiring — kinda — as CBC Montreal’s chief weather presenter. He will be spending his winters in Florida and plans to do some fill-in work when he gets back. Catherine Verdon Diamond, who was the weather presenter for the entire run of Breakfast Television Montreal, has returned to CBC to replace him.
- Piya Chattopadhyay is the temporary host for Metro Morning on CBC Radio One in Toronto, replacing Matt Galloway, who left to host The Current.
- Benson Cook has left CJAD for Global Montreal.
- Catherine Cullen is back at CBC News’s parliamentary bureau after 10 months of maternity leave.
- Chantal Desjardins got engaged.
- La Presse has a story on CBC Daybreak host Mike Finnerty and his cheesemongering sabbatical in London, which is coming to an end as he returns to Montreal over the holidays.
- Maura Forrest has left the National Post to join Politico as its Canadian energy/environment reporter.
- Jean-Louis Fortin has been named the new head of the investigative bureau at the Journal de Montréal. Éric Yvan Lemay is the No. 2.
- Kevin Gemmell is the new general manager for the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group operations in Prince George, B.C.
- Chris Howden is the new co-host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens, replacing Jeff Douglas, as of Jan. 6. Douglas left last May (to give you an idea how long CBC selection processes are) to return to Nova Scotia.
- Author Jonah Keri has been arrested again, charged with assaulting his wife and a minor.
- Sylvie Lalande, chair of the board of Groupe TVA, wasn’t happy when a Quebec minister accused her of a conflict of interest because of her position at the Desjardins credit union that refused (at first) to invest in a risky plan to turn the Groupe Capitales Médias newspapers into workers’ cooperatives. Quebecor, which owns TVA, had offered to buy the newspapers instead.
- Adam Langenberg is the newest reporting hire at the Wire Report.
- La Presse’s Fanny Lévesque is moving from the Ottawa bureau to the Quebec City bureau.
- Johanne Ménard and Nadège Pouyez have been hired as general managers at Quebecor Content. Ménard will be in charge of lifestyle and variety programming and Pouyez in charge of fiction and documentary. Ménard is a promotion within Quebecor and Pouyez comes from Télé-Québec.
- Vicky Mochama has joined The Conversation as culture, society and critical race issues editor.
- Raju Mudhar has moved to the podcast team with the Toronto Star.
- Yaroslav Pastukhov, a former editor at Vice Media in Toronto, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for cocaine smuggling.
- Les Perreaux, Quebec reporter for the Globe and Mail, is on leave dealing with his mother’s illness.
- Alexandra Posadzki has taken over the telecom beat at the Globe and Mail, previously held by Christine Dobby, who has moved to covering corporate law.
- Aaron Rand’s “Historic Quebec Anglo” t-shirt sales raised $10,000 for the Montreal Gazette Christmas Fund.
- Joanna Smith is now the Ottawa news editor for The Canadian Press
- Ken Smithard is leaving as president of Cogeco’s cable subsidiary Cogeco Connexion at the end of January.
- Rob Snow, recently dropped from Ottawa’s CFRA, has surfaced at competitor 1310 News, where he will host the mid-morning show. He replaces Mark Sutcliffe, who cuts his show down to an hour.
- Darryl Spring has left Rebel 101.7 in Ottawa, where he was program director and afternoon host.
- Ronnie Stanton is the new program director for Corus FM Radio in Vancouver (CFOX and Rock 101).
- Scot Turner, who managed Bell Media Radio’s stations in Kitchener-Waterloo, has been let go.
- Journalist Tanya Talaga is leaving the Toronto Star to focus on book writing.
- Journalist Nicolas Vigneault is leaving Radio-Canada for a job in the Quebec government.
- Diana Weeks has left CHCH in Hamilton for CHML 900 AM.
There are so many this deserves its own section
- Mitch Potter, Toronto Star journalist
- La Presse political reporter Martin Croteau
- John Geddes is retiring as Ottawa bureau chief for Maclean’s. But he will contribute with a monthly column on arts and culture.
- La Presse political journalist Denis Lessard is retiring, earning him a profile by his colleagues.
- Terry Marcotte, sports director at CTV Ottawa
- Le Droit editor Pierre-Paul Noreau. He filed his final column.
- Michael O’Byrne, anchor of CTV Ottawa.
- Craig Oliver, CTV News.
- Ken Shaw, anchor of CTV News Toronto (see his final goodbye on air). Nathan Downer has been named his successor.
- Myriam Ségal, FM93 in Quebec City.
- Foreign correspondent Alexandra Szacka, Radio-Canada.
- Leon Cole, CBC broadcaster
- Antoine Desilets, former La Presse photographer
- Peter Head, Ontario broadcaster
- Don Imus, radio host
- Monique Leyrac, singer
- Jean Pagé, hockey broadcaster
- The New York Times explores the history of lesbians represented in scripted television series.
- Selene San Felice, a reporter at The Capital in Annapolis, Maryland, gives some tips to other journalists on how to deal with sources after a traumatic event, having gone through a mass shooting herself.