News about news
Le Devoir a aujourd'hui 110 ans! Pour l'occasion, la Une de notre édition papier du jour reprend la maquette de l'époque. Bonne lecture ! @jeanhuguesroy @edmUQAM @FPJQ @AJIQ pic.twitter.com/SHAjA2MhNR
— Alexandre Shields (@AShields_Devoir) January 10, 2020
- Le Droit is moving across the river from Ottawa to Gatineau to qualify for Quebec’s print media assistance measures. But the paper insists it remains franco-Ontarian at heart. To prove it, the newspaper has appointed its first Queen’s Park reporter in 30 years. Émilie Pelletier will cover the Ontario legislature for the newspaper, as the only francophone outside of Radio-Canada and TFO to do so.
- Les Affaires is dropping its print schedule to 14 times a year, and adding new contributors.
- La Presse gave some insight into its finances, saying it got $3 million in donations in 2019, well short of its $5 million goal. But through severe cuts in expenses, it has gotten its deficit down to a projected $2.6 million in 2020, and hopes to achieve a balanced budget in 2021. It’s working on an endowment with some big-money donations, and will implement new measures like playing a 30-second video ad when people open La Presse+ (a feature that people who donate will be able to turn off).
- Postmedia News is hiring journalists with the funding it’s getting from the Canadian government’s Local Journalism Initiative. The full-time 15-month positions include one in the National Assembly in Quebec City, reporting on the Quebec government and its impact on the anglophone community (and joining Gazette bureau chief Philip Authier). The deadline to apply is Feb. 10.
- The Toronto Star is also using the LJI to hire a journalist specializing in Indigenous issues.
- The Montreal Newspaper Guild, which represents unionized workers in the newsroom, advertising and other departments at the Montreal Gazette (including yours truly), voted overwhelmingly on Jan. 12 to ratify a new four-year collective agreement. The deal has a wage freeze, but maintains most benefits that the employer wanted to cut.
- The Globe and Mail is ending its Report on Business Cannabis Professional standalone publication.
- The Professional Writers Association of Canada and freelance branch of the Canadian Media Guild are merging to form a new union for Canadian freelance writers, called the Canadian Freelance Guild.
- CBC’s The National is dropping its four-anchor format. Instead, Ian Hanomansing will host Fridays and Sundays and Rosemary Barton will become chief political correspondent. Andrew Chang and Adrienne Arsenault will co-anchor the Monday to Thursday editions.
- The Quebec Press Council is changing the structure of its complaints committees, no longer giving members of the public a majority on them. Instead, they will have equal say as journalists and newsroom managers, with the chair still a member of the public and with the ability to break a tie. The change is due to recent issues where news organizations had lost confidence in the council. The council is looking for an employee to help manage complaints.
- Le Devoir talks to local media, including La Presse and Postmedia, about their anti-ad-blocking messages.
- The Toronto Star is adopting standardized labelling language for sponsored and advertiser-supported content.
- The National Observer‘s newsroom is now unionized, after the Canada Industrial Relations Board accepted their certification.
- Infoman talks to the people behind Le Revoir, the Quebec news parody website.
- Science journalist Sarah Everts offers some tips for journalists covering the coronavirus outbreak.
- Selena Ross writes for the Guardian about Canadian media giving Harry and Meghan their privacy.
- Warren Buffett is selling his newspaper business, which means we definitely don’t have a future now.
- The Washington Post is undergoing a bit of turmoil because of its decision to suspend a reporter for tweeting about Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case shortly after his death. The decision prompted a revolt in the newsroom and she was reinstated after a review found her tweets did not violate policy.
At the CRTC
- The commission has begun a wide-ranging three-phase review of its commercial radio policy. The formal notice of consultation will come in Phase 2, but will include questions relating to:
- Local programming, including news
- French-language music quotas (which have been waiting for a review since 2015)
- Music montages (which tend to be used, particularly in Quebec, to get around the above quotas)
- Emerging artists policies
- Specialty radio policies
- The limit on hit music imposed on FM stations in Ottawa and Montreal
- The Common Ownership Policy, which limits how many radio stations in a market can be owned by the same company
- Canadian content development contributions
- How commercial radio can support Indigenous people, Canadian content, linguistic duality, etc.
- A bunch of applications for licence renewals of radio stations ended their comment period with nary a peep from the public, including the controversial CHOI-FM in Quebec City. One group did chime in, though: The Forum for Research and Policy in Communications said the CRTC failed to justify its determinations that the stations are in “apparent compliance” and demanded more information from broadcasters including Corus and Rogers, including how many journalists they have and what their plans are related to national and international news.
- A CRTC-commissioned report comparing public broadcasters around the world (well, eight European ones and Australia) has been published. The CRTC has extended the deadline to comment on CBC’s licence renewals to give people time to read and comment on it. The renewals have already surpassed 3,000 interventions, the vast majority from individuals either calling for the CBC to be shut down or demanding it be saved.
- The commission has finally released the complete Communications Monitoring Report, which contains 2019 analysis of 2017-2018 data.
- Evanov Radio’s plan to have a viable Toronto radio station has hit yet another CRTC denial. After being rebuffed in its plans to turn CIDC-FM Orangeville (Z103.5) into a de facto Toronto radio station, Evanov tried a new approach, proposing to decrease CIDC’s power and change its frequency so that it could turn CIRR-FM (Proud 103.9) from a 225-watt special-interest station downtown to a 20,000-watt general interest station covering a much larger area of Toronto. But the commission found that changing Proud FM’s mandate from an LGBTQ station to a general commercial station would undermine the integrity of the licensing process.
- The CRTC is seeking comment on whether a new radio station should be added to the Ajax/Pickering, Ont., market, using its last available FM frequency. A commercial ethnic station has been proposed for 91.7 FM, at 2,000W.
- The commission has approved a low-power country music radio station in Nipawin, Sask. The station will be on 89.5 FM at 50 watts, and owned by Nipawin’s other radio station CJNE-FM (The Storm 94.7). The application was opposed by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, which owns radio stations in nearby communities, but the CRTC determined that those stations don’t operate in Nipawin.
- The CRTC has renewed the licence of Christian music station CINU-FM (Hope 106.3) in Truro, N.S. for a year and a half, issuing two mandatory orders and a de facto fine of $482 after it failed to meet licence requirements for fourth consecutive term. The commission found it had incomplete logs and insufficient Canadian music content.
- The commission has approved power decreases for Maritime Broadcasting’s CFBC 930AM Saint John (from 50,000W to 2,000W daytime/150W nighttime) and CKAD (AVR) 1350 AM in Middleton, N.S. (1,000W to 400W nighttime). The changes are part of cost-saving measures.
- The commission has directed Bell Canada to release some more information — but only to those who sign non-disclosure agreements — about how it will be automatically blocking suspected fraudulent phone calls. Bell doesn’t want scammers getting hold of the information to figure out how to get around the blocks.
- Bell is appealing a CRTC decision that requires Bell TV to distribute TVA Sports in the same packages it has RDS.
- The CRTC has dismissed an application by serial entrepreneur Evan Kosiner to get a must-carry status on SiriusXM Canada for a radio-based audio guide for the visually impaired.
- Shaw’s cable systems in Thunder Bay and Fort McMurray qualify for licence-exempt status, so the CRTC has revoked their licenses.
- Kathy English has published the results of the annual You Be The Editor quiz. A couple of questions were almost perfectly evenly split.
- Sylvia Stead doesn’t go hard either way on whether the Globe and Mail should use “Chiefs” when describing the Kansas City NFL team.
- A Toronto Sun story that included graphic detail of alleged sexual assaults against minors was edited to fix that, the National Newsmedia Council found. The Sun did not add a correction notice, however, to the NNC’s disappointment.
- CBC ombudsman:
- A Matt Galloway Metro Morning interview with the City of Toronto ombudsman about an incident in which TTC police detained a black man on a subway platform was not biased just because Galloway asked tough questions.
- An Out in the Open interview with a woman who advocated “responsible violence” against men as a thought experiment adhered to standards by being careful with and challenging her statements, though an online story about the interview lacked some context and was subsequently fixed.
- A Radio One newscast that incorrectly suggested the Turkish government sees all Kurds as terrorists did not prompt an on-air correction, and the ombudsman said it was minor enough that it didn’t need to. But he also said CBC’s website should have a place that lists minor corrections like this, similar to Radio-Canada’s page.
- No, CBC’s Terry Reith is not a “cassette recording of the bullyish oil industry.”
- A person who wanted CBC Montreal to remove his name from a story because of how it appears in his Google search results was turned down because he gave his quotes freely and it was even him who asked CBC to write about the issue.
- CBC describing “where the leaders are” during its federal campaign coverage should have said “where the major leaders are” since it technically only included leaders of six of 21 registered parties.
- Radio-Canada ombudsman:
- It was not against policy for Françoise David to note that Quebec Liberal party leadership candidate Dominique Anglade is black.
- It’s not a violation of policy to refer to Quebec as a province.
- An Espace autochtones discussion about who is and isn’t Indigenous in Canada did not violate policy by referring to a genealogist and was not insulting to Quebec groups that have stirred controversy with arguably questionable claims to indigeneity.
- Quebec Press Council decisions:
- Le Devoir published a letter arguing against prostitution by a man they later learned had pleaded guilty to sexual touching of a minor. It apologized and added a note to the letter online explaining his criminal past. The council found that there was no public interest in adding the note and said Le Devoir should not have added it. The newspaper has so far refused to remove the note, arguing it should stay, and it remains there as of this writing. The note originally said he had been found guilty of sexual assault, which was incorrect. That part has been corrected.
- Journal de Montréal columnist Mario Dumont was incorrect (the council found by majority vote) in citing a NASA study about climate change selectively in one of his columns, which said the planet is getting greener. Dumont neglected to quote the part of the study saying this greening does not make up for loss of natural vegetation in tropical areas.
- A TVA/Journal de Montréal story was incorrect in saying Canada’s Wonderland had the world’s highest and fastest roller coaster. In fact, it’s the highest dive roller coaster. The article remains uncorrected.
- La Presse was not biased in publishing a photo of Véronique Hivon that a complainant found to be ridiculing her, nor is it evidence of a La Presse plot against the Parti Québécois.
- Le Devoir was not wrong to say some professors were acting as censors by preventing a professor from attending a union conference to share her views opposed to the wearing of religious symbols.
- And the usual gun stuff: La Presse erred in saying that handguns and assault weapons aren’t registered, Le Journal de Québec identified an AR-15 as an M-16 in a headline, Le Devoir’s description of a semi-automatic weapon didn’t satisfy a complainant but wasn’t inexact, and a La Presse story about handguns was fine to use a file photo of handguns. (Note that the last three complaints were from the same person.)
There's more to the #FamilyFeudCanada chicken story – What happens when contestants guess wrong on a sudden death round? Take a look at these behind-the-scenes bloopers and see what you'd never get to see on TV. #bloopers #chicken pic.twitter.com/K7x6V0hpSv
— Family Feud Canada (@FamilyFeudCa) January 10, 2020
- A TVA drama called Épidémie, about a fictional coronavirus outbreak in Montreal, is benefiting from some what-are-the-chances timing in light of recent events. So much so that the Quebec government wanted to pay for a banner ad or other notice to be broadcast with the show to explicitly separate fact from fiction. But TVA said it would not support such an ad format, and instead suggested a standard commercial break video ad, which the government wouldn’t be able to produce that quickly.
- A new 3-on-3 ice hockey league has been created called 3ICE, and TSN and RDS have already picked up the broadcasting rights. The league will have eight teams, which will do touring shows starting in 2021.
- Among the technology tested out at the NHL All-Star Game was “Digitally Enhanced Dasherboards,” which allow TV broadcasts to replace ads on NHL rink side boards with virtual ones, tailored toward the market they’re being broadcast in.
- Bell Media has commissioned a new comedy series called Children Ruin Everything. It is also looking to sell the show internationally.
- Corus has announced or re-announced 50 original Canadian made-for-TV movies for its Lifetime, Showcase, and W Network channels, including those that aired as part of its Hallmark Christmas movie campaign.
- According to a FiveThirtyEight analysis, there are about 15 minutes of actual football game action in a three-hour NFL broadcast.
- Videtron has replaced its Stingray Juice kids’ music video channel with Stingray Country.
- The Globe and Mail has a short story about how Sportsnet dealt with the sudden death of Kobe Bryant.
- Radio-Canada’s Infoman held a panel discussion streamed on Facebook about its 20th anniversary.
- CTV Sci-Fi Channel got 1.1 million viewers for the premiere of Star Trek Picard, its highest audience ever.
- The eighth season of Global’s Big Brother Canada begins March 4.
- A new series on GameTV called Canada’s Game Shows looks at the history of Canada’s TV game shows, including this episode about a doomed show called Pitfall hosted by Alex Trebek:
- Montreal community station CIBL-FM 101.5 is continuing to work its way through a financial crisis that began two years ago. It is still being run entirely by volunteers, and is located in a prestigious location (at the corner of Ste-Catherine St. and St-Laurent Blvd. downtown) that is very expensive, but it has 40 shows on the air and hopes to be back to normal by 2021 or 2022. Unexpected technical expenses, including required changes at its transmitter on Mount Royal, didn’t help financial matters.
- K103 (CKRK-FM) in Kahnawake has parted ways with its station manager as it goes through another financial crisis, and has delayed its board elections so it doesn’t dump the problem on the next board.
- It’s been 100 years since AM radio broadcasting began in Montreal, and a local museum is honouring that with an exhibit about XWA, the station that would become CFCF Radio. (CFCF eventually became CIQC, then morphed into CINW/940 News, which went off the air 10 years ago this week.)
- Global News Radio stations have added an ET Canada-branded entertainment update, as Corus continues converging its brands.
- Ottawa’s Frank magazine is going from a biweekly to a monthly print schedule, and offering digital subscriptions to print subscribers to make up for it.
- The Canadian Medical Association Journal is dropping its paywall, making medical information freely available to everyone.
- The Daily Hive is in court defending itself against former contributors who argue they’re owed money for their work.
- Kevin Chan, head of public policy at Facebook Canada, has been named visiting scholar in election integrity at Carleton University in Ottawa, which naturally raised some eyebrows from those who think Facebook has a spotty record in regard to elections.
- Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News have formed a partnership that will see THN content on SI.com and the two launch co-branded sites for every NHL franchise.
- The Wire Report has an unlocked story with some more details about the fight between Bell, Rogers and Quebecor against TV pirating service GoldTV, and the additional websites they’ve asked internet providers to block.
- The company that owns CollegeHumor laid off almost all its employees as it looks to sell.
- Quebecor has made some structural changes in senior management at Quebecor Content and TVA.
- The Screen Actors Guild has established guidelines for the filming of sex scenes to protect actors involved in them. They set responsibilities for intimacy coordinators and ensure that what appears in a finish product is what the actor agreed to.
- Radio-Canada is launching internships for “diversity” people. I guess that vague description is supposed to sound less weird in French.
News about people
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) February 1, 2020
- Elysia Bryan-Baynes has left Global Montreal, taking early (very early) retirement. The station marked her departure on Jan. 31 with a tribute story and on-air gathering of colleagues. Global Montreal has posted a job for a full-time reporter.
- Peter Akman no longer works at CTV News. The sudden change in status came days after publishing a tweet joking about his barber (an Asian man who was wearing a surgical mask) and the coronavirus, which caused a lot of blowback accusing him of racism. Akman was reportedly also involved in a physical incident last year involving a W5 colleague, which several people tell me also likely figured into the decision.
- Victoria Arsenault is the new morning co-host at Corus’s 104.5 Fresh Radio in Cornwall, Ont., moving from Fox FM in Yorkton, Sask.
- Cousin Vinny Barrucco of Virgin Radio 95.9 welcomed his second child, Maya.
- CBC Montreal’s Joanne Bayly describes to the Guardian how she met her husband.
- Siblings Ruby and Alex Carr have been dropped from Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge.
- Laval Families checks in with Global Montreal’s Laura Casella during her maternity leave.
- Kent Chambers moves from Jewel 92 in Brantford to Jewel 88.5 in Toronto.
- Mick Côté (a former Gazette colleague) is leaving Presse Canadienne to take a business position at the magazine/website/production company Urbania.
- Christopher Curtis of the Montreal Gazette has joined the board of directors of the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, after recently criticizing the organization for publishing an opinion piece by Josée Legault, and then editing and adding a disclaimer to a response he sent them.
- Derek DeCloet has left the Globe and Mail to be managing editor for Bloomberg in Canada. He replaces David Scanlan, who is moving to Singapore.
- Annie DeMelt has left CTV Montreal to join the communications team of the McGill University Health Centre. She will oversee the launch of “MUHCTV, a new on-line platform that will produce and disseminate both live and pre-recorded video content on the MUHC’s different social media channels.” Here’s her on-air goodbye.
- Keri Ferguson is now doing double duty as the anchor of both Global Peterborough (6/11pm) and Global Durham (5pm) in southern Ontario. Crystal Goomansingh, the former Global Durham anchor, is Global’s new European bureau chief. The Durham station is a former rebroadcaster of Peterborough and still carries the callsign CHEX-TV-2.
- Natasha Gargiulo is keeping busy since her unceremonious departure from Virgin Radio Montreal. She’s hosting a podcast for Cineplex and starring in the local theatre production Glam Mothers.
- CTV Montreal weather specialist Lori Graham doesn’t like how Groundhog Day disrespects meteorology.
- Matt Guité has left CJAD for a producer job at CFRA in Ottawa.
- A year after being dropped by Global News Radio in Toronto, Matt Gurney is back at SiriusXM.
- Jennifer Hollett, formerly of Twitter Canada (though probably better known from her MuchMusic days), has been named the new executive director of The Walrus. She starts in June.
- Steve Jordan has been appointed as Senior Director of CBC Music starting March 2. He comes from the Polaris Music Prize, which he founded.
- Christine Maestracci has been appointed vice-president of acquisitions and international distribution at Quebecor Content.
- Pierre Pagé has returned to Énergie 94.3, where he will be hosting weekends. He left the Bell Media radio station five years ago to join Cogeco’s Rythme FM and later CKOI.
- Tyson Parker is taking over strategy for podcasting at Bell Media. He might want to start by allowing talk radio stations to post their shows online, maybe even automating the process.
- Wayne Parrish, formerly an executive at Postmedia, is the new vice-president editorial at Torstar.
- Ben Smith is leaving his job as editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed to become the new New York Times media columnist. He replaces Jim Rutenberg, who remains with the Times.
- The Montreal Gazette looks at the resurgence of Julie Snyder, who lost her contracts with TVA when her relationship with owner Pierre Karl Péladeau ended, and is now hosting a nightly talk show and producing programs for TVA’s rival V.
- Ronnie Stanton has been put in charge of programming at Corus’s music stations in B.C. and Alberta.
- Nida Zafar has joined digital news website The Pointer in Brampton, Ont., as a reporter.
- Linda Diebel, former journalist with the Toronto Star, Montreal Star, Montreal Gazette and Maclean’s
- Thérèse Dion, TV chef and mother of Céline (you can see an episode of her show here)
- Roger Landry, former La Presse publisher
- Jim Lehrer, PBS news anchor
- Ralph Lockwood, Montreal radio broadcaster
- Fred Silverman, American network TV executive
all local news sounds like this to me pic.twitter.com/sTv9RU9ybj
— Matt Buechele (@mattbooshell) January 29, 2020