Media News Digest: COVID, Canadian Jewish News shuts again, NNAs name wrong winner

Hi there. It’s been a while. Might want to sit down for this one, because it’s a bit long.

News about news, COVID-19 edition

News about news (non-COVID)

Journalism shutdowns

Journalism bailouts

Journalism awards

It’s that season again.

At the CRTC

  • Technical changes and licence amendments:
    • TVA has gotten approval from the CRTC to increase power of its Saguenay station CJPM-DT so it has better reception in Alma.
    • Evanov Radio has gotten approval to swap formats and licence conditions for its AM and FM stations in Brantford, Ont. The swap would put the country music format of CKPC 1380 on FM the Christian programming with special licence conditions of CFWC-FM (Arise Brantford 93.9) on AM. A cynical person would note that the swap would allow Evanov to eventually shut down the AM station but keep the commercially successful country format on FM.
    • The CRTC has approved a power increase for CJML-FM (101.3 My FM) in Milton, Ont., from 950W to 2,000W, despite finding insufficient economic or technical need to do so. Instead, the station argued the community of Milton itself has expanded, and it needs the extra power. CJML-FM is the only radio station licensed to serve Milton.
    • CBC has gotten approval to combine CBC Radio One and ICI Première transmitter antennas in Thetford Mines, Que.
    • The CRTC has approved a temporary FM transmitter for CKDY 1420 AM in Digby, N.S., which was knocked off the air after copper and equipment was stolen from its transmission site. The new 50W transmitter at 99.7FM allows it to get back on the air to provide COVID-19 updates. The station plans to submit an application to permanently move to FM.
    • The TV repack plan currently in progress, where TV transmitters change channels to free up the 600 MHz band for sale for wireless services, has led to various applications:
      • Corus has asked to consolidate Global TV transmitters in Eastern Ontario and the Okanagan valley by replacing some rebroadcasting transmitters with digital subchannels on other stations. For example, combining the Global BC and Global Okanagan transmitters in Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon, and having the Global Peterborough transmitter also carry Global Toronto instead of having a Global Toronto retransmitter in Peterborough. I break the application down for subscribers.
      • Rogers Media wants to replace its Citytv Edmonton transmitter in Red Deer, Alta. (CKEM-TV-1 on Channel 4 at 7kW) with a digital transmitter (Channel 15, 35kW).
      • Bell Media has gotten CRTC approval to change its repack plan for CJOH-DT (CTV Ottawa). It was set to move to Channel 7 this year, but will instead move to Channel 16 so it can colocate with CBC’s TV antenna on the Camp Fortune tower north of Gatineau.
    • Extensions:
      • CFAJ 1220 AM in St. Catharines, Ont., first approved in 2016, has a six-month extension on its required launch date. “Transmission equipment has now been installed, is operational, and is undergoing testing,” says owner Radio Dhun Inc.
      • CBC has until Feb. 5, 2021 to move its Radio One transmitter in Ear Falls, Ont., (CBOI-FM) from 690 AM to 95.5 FM, and until July 11, 2021 to activate a new ICI Première FM transmitter in Blind River, Ont.
      • Frank Torres has until July 11, 2021, to put a newly approved station in Georgina, Ont., on the air.
      • United Christian Broadcasters has until May 8, 2021, to put a new Christian music station in Regina on the air.
      • Faith Baptist Church has until May 8, 2021, to put a new Christian music station in Sydney, N.S. on the air.

At the CBC

Ethical reviews

COVID-19 and broadcasting






News about people


Good reads

17 thoughts on “Media News Digest: COVID, Canadian Jewish News shuts again, NNAs name wrong winner

  1. Dilbert

    The CRTC puts there foot down so slowly and so carefully that you almost don’t notice it. Most broadcasters sure don’t.

    Edge 102.1: This station is a perfect example of corporate failure on a grand level. What they have done is in a very short period of time (couple of years) remove / fire / reassign every public facing personality on the station with invisible no-names. The ratings are tanking at a station that has the full alternative rock / rock area to itself in Canada’s largest market. Proof what can be done if a big company concentrates so hard on the bottom line that they forget the top line.

    CKHQ-FM 101.7: one of the things the federal government should be doing ACTIVELY is helping aboriginal communities to have their own radio stations. Mr Trudeau could go a long way to mending fences and improving the community by pitching in to help, so that the community can have their station back on the air in protected status.

    Making Google Pay: If media companies feel Google is stealing from them, all they need to do is bar Google from visiting their sites and indexing them. It’s simple to do (robots.txt) and the problem would be solved. The problem? Media companies are beholden to Google and others for the majority of the visitors to their sites, an inconvenient truth few want to discuss.

    1. Benjamin Hunting

      Barring Google from indexing a site doesn’t ‘solve’ any problems whatsoever. You’re saying that opting out of a search monopoly addresses the antitrust problem presented by a search monopoly? How does that make any sense? That’s akin to saying companies that had an issue with Ma Bell should have just cut their wires and gone back to smoke signals or semaphore prior to that particular antitrust breakup.

      And being beholden to Google is far from a ‘truth few want to discuss’ – it’s something discussed on a daily basis at every media outlet I contribute to, and it’s something that’s discussed in public forums the world over. For years.

      1. Fagstein Post author

        Making Google pay for news doesn’t solve the search monopoly issue either. The media aren’t making an antitrust argument here.

      2. Dilvert

        The truth few want to discuss is that they want all the traffic and visitors from Google, but they want it for free and without Google gaining any benefit from it. Google “news” is generally just an index of links anyway. The news sites get the benefit. The media somehow wants Google to index their stuff without actually indexing it or making even a single word of the content visible, yet magically still let people search for it.

        Google’s dominance of search is a fact, and for the most part it is a fact because they are good at it and their search results are generally pretty good. It’s also because Google is a dominant player in mobile devices, most of which have a Google search integrated.

        If you don’t want Google to index and display your news, the choice is to not allow Google to index. You can limit what they see. The more you limit, the less likely you are to get visitors from Google. It’s pretty simple.

        Google is a company that can choose how it operates. Newspapers and other media are companies that can choose how they operate. Nobody is obliged to be indexed in Google. It’s a choice.

  2. Victoria Pickering

    I’m impressed! Thank you for this thorough and much appreciated look at what’s happening in news.

  3. Dorothy

    Great job , Steve!
    On a sobering note…with the demise of the longtime Canadian Jewish News, it is truly inconceivable the country’s Jewish population of 330,000 is without its own media voice or forum.

  4. MJ

    Not a fan of the new Postmedia websites, at least on mobile. Videos block the content, the content is constantly moving around as ads load and reload, and their websites all cause my mobile browsers to crash (both Chrome and Safari). One of the worst mobile experiences I’ve ever seen.

  5. Richard G

    Thank you for your impressively detailed media news summary . I haven’t found anything else to compare . Loved all the links to news stories I may have missed .

  6. Michael Black

    So Jack Todd gets shifted back to the neighborhood beat for one, maybe two, columns, then is terminated? Things changed prettyfqst. At least Bill Brownstein (and Bob the Labrador) keeps on going, it seems like maybe his column hasbecome a bit more prominent.

    One thing about mtlblog is that they emulate (deliberately or incidentally) much of the format of And that site was the mother site of midnight poutine. I never knew that until poutine closed up. I’m not sure what that says about mtlblog, but bot sites areoften a rehash of “social media” or mainstream media. I certainky remember midnight poutine rehashing news stories, as if they felt the need without wanting to out in the effort to do actual news.

    The trouble with comments to news stories is that many people have lttle to say. Even the CBC”s parenting sectiin gets useless comments for opinion pieces. The problem with no comments is that one can’t add to the piece.

    Of course the blockades got letters to papers that indicated there isn’t enough native news, since people really didn’t understand the blockades. And everyone of those native stories is qbout real people, not just a third part retelling of people in the past, or way over there. About four years ago the CBC had a story about a Metis musician, and as I’m reading it I had already heard of her great, great, great grandmother, Annie Bannantyne, who horsewhipped Charles Mair in Feb 1869 for saying bad things abiut the daughters of mixed marriages in Red River. Some say Louis Riel acted because of her actions. But I also remembered someone had married into the Bannantyne family. Oops, it was my great, great grandfather after Henrietta died.

    Though, some of the recent letters in the Gazette about the Virus often seemto have little to say. A long rehash of what they read, and then a sentence of what they wanted to say. It reminds me, again, of the propaganda going on now. Not with sinister reasons, but to get people on board. It’s a fine line, and can backfire when leadership wants another direction. But those letters also show the group mind, which may be fine except not everyone fits into it.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      So Jack Todd gets shifted back to the neighborhood beat for one, maybe two, columns, then is terminated?

      Furloughed, he says. A victim of a near elimination of the freelance budget.

  7. Matt Zimbel

    Hey Steve,
    Thank you for such an engaging column that spans so many media worlds. Your reporting is excellent and to think that you deliver this service for free to your community is awe inspiringly generous. It is deeply appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *