Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cousin Vinny goes crawling back to radio job after failing to be named minister of justice and attorney general of Canada

“Cousin” Vinny Barrucco

Cousin Vinny has quietly returned to the air. The radio DJ went back to his old job — in fact, his old, old job, doing late nights at Virgin Radio — after he was passed over for the job of minister of justice and attorney general of Canada in January.

Vinny Barrucco announced he was leaving The Beat 92.5 on Jan. 29, 15 days after Jody Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the justice ministry and into veterans affairs. “I thought to myself, this is my chance, I got to go for it,” he said in an emotional interview. “I’ve always wanted to work in the justice field, but … I guess now is not my time. So I’m back to my other passion, taking requests from drunken teenagers for that song I’ve already played five times in the past two hours.”

After getting over the shock of not being considered for the important ministerial position — in part because David Lametti had been named to the post two weeks earlier — Barrucco took some time off to spend with his family, caught up on a bunch of TV he’d left on his PVR, and is now ready to get back to cramming as much entertainment as he can into the seven seconds of airtime he has between Shawn Mendes and Imagine Dragons.

Passersby say they won’t give La Presse money because wine columnist will just spend it on booze

Two months after launching its voluntary contribution program, La Presse says it has been falling below expectations for donations from the public because of concerns that wine columnist Véronique Rivest will spend their money on alcohol.

“I believe quality journalism is something worth supporting, but I know what they say about wine columnists,” said Avril de Pouassohn as she was asked to spare some change. “I don’t want to make the problem worse by feeding their vices.”

She had similar concerns about donation money being spent on non-essential things like auto reviews, hockey coverage and recaps of La Voix. But it was the spending on alcohol and “drugs like marijuana” that most bothered her.

Rivest said the money would be used for important investigations into political corruption, but evaded the question when asked if she would ever spend money on booze.

De Pouassohn said she would prefer to give her money to a journalism shelter that La Presse can go to. La Presse said the journalism shelter keeps turning it away and it would prefer the cash. But it wishes her a good day.

Quebec TV networks ask cultural institutions to churn out more celebrities for their talk, game and lifestyle shows

Facing an unprecedented shortage in celebrities as talk show guests, game show contestants and artiste-invitée of the week, Quebec’s TV networks banded together to request the province’s cultural training centres create more celebrities to fill those positions.

“We’re reaching the bottom of the barrel of the Union des Artistes,” said Radio-Canada VP Noam Fikteef. “Les Enfants de la télé is down to people who were minor characters on Auberge du chien noir, and just filmed its third special devoted to La Petite vie. We’re desperate.”

The letter is addressed to the École nationale du théâtre, the École nationale de l’humour, as well as ADISQ and Quebec’s sporting associations. “Singers, athletes, struggling comedians, we don’t care at this point. As long as a reasonable case can be made that they’re an artist who should be known by someone, we’ll take them,” Fikteef said.

The fall TV schedule for Radio-Canada, TVA, V, Télé-Québec et al include 35 new shows based on having celebrity guests. As many as half may need to be cancelled if enough celebrities aren’t found.

New Canadian Press millennial-friendly style replaces S with Z for all uses

After previously replacing “per cent” with “%” and doing away with abbreviations on names of states and provinces, The Canadian Press is further bringing its stylebook into the 21st century by adopting a new rule that replaces the letter S with the letter Z for all uses.

As an adherent to CP style I will do the same starting now.

Canadian Prezz’z prezident zaid the change waz a long time coming, and reflectz the evolving Englizh language that millennialz have adopted. He couldn’t point to any actual ztudiez or zurveyz that zhow millennialz have ztopped uzing the letter.

The change to the official ztyle meanz changing the zpellingz of many wordz, and a complete rewrite of itz Capz and Zpelling guide. The provincez of Britizh Columbia, Zazkatchewan, New Brunzwick, Nova Zcotia and Prince Edward Izland, for example. Nova Zcotia now getz abbreviated az N.Z. and Zazkatchewan az Zazk.

Zome Canadian Prezz clientz have already announced they will adopt the new zpelling, including Poztmedia, the Toronto Ztar, Global Newz and Rogerz Zportznet.

The Globe and Mail, CBC and CTV have not yet announced their planz.

One CP journalizt, who zpoke on condition zhe not be named, zaid the change waz an excezzive caze of pandering to youth and zhe would be looking at wayz to rezizt the change.

CP’z francophone counterpart, La Prezze Canadienne, haz not announced any planz to follow zuit with changez to itz zpelling.

Jody Wilson-Raybould excited at new role as overnight DJ on The Beat 92.5

After deciding being a federal minister isn’t for her, Jody Wilson-Raybould announced this morning she’s taking on a new role as overnight announcer on 92.5 The Beat, where she will be presenting the hottest new tracks for an audience of preferably women 18-54.

“I may still be bound by solicitor-client privilege about SNC-Lavalin, but when it comes to the latest music and Hollywood gossip, I can dish dish dish,” JWR joked about her new job. She takes over at midnight starting tonight. “The only pressure I’ll be feeling is the need to get you the sickest beats and not to swear on the air!”

She will be joined by regular contributor Jane Philpott, for a segment called “Jody and Jane’s Juicy Judgments,” where they will talk about celebrity fashions and poor life choices. Though she said she’d take a more human approach than what you might usually hear. “I know what it’s like for anonymous people to talk about you in the media.”

“Anyway, it’s gonna be a hoot,” Wilson-Raybould said. “We’re going to have so much fun, and I can’t wait to connect with our audience.”

MTL Blog to put up paywall

Saying it is not immune to the economic crisis affecting professional journalism outlets around the world, MTL Blog announced this morning it will be putting its award-winning news and lifestyle content behind a paywall and charging visitors $20 a month to read it.

“We understand some of our most loyal fans will be disappointed by this news,” said co-founder Chuck Lapointe, “but we need their financial support to fund our important work into stories like the recent Verdun hostage crisis and our exhaustive list of best Churros in the city. It takes many minutes to write up these stories.”

The paywall will apply to news stories, news listicles and news stories about listicles. Sponsored content will remain free.

TL;DR MTL Blog is putting up a paywall

Canadiens hire Tony Marinaro as GM, coach, equipment manager, athletic therapist…

Describing it as the job he was born for, Tony Marinaro announced this morning that he will be leaving his job at TSN Radio 690 to join the Montreal Canadiens hockey team as general manager, and his first act was to fire the entire front and back offices and install himself in almost every management position at the club.

Effective immediately, Marinaro becomes general manager, director of player personnel, head coach, assistant coach, goaltending coach, video coach, team services coordinator, director of player development, equipment manager, athletic therapist, massage therapist, performance director, sports psychology consultant, nutritionist, pro and amateur scouting director, and director of media relations.

“Dr. David Mulder can keep his job as chief surgeon,” Marinaro said, “but I’ll expect him to check every procedure with me.”

Marinaro, aka “Tony from LaSalle,” has extensive experience in knowing how to manage a professional hockey team, even though he has not formally held the title of head coach or general manager at the NHL level.

“It’s an unconventional pick,” said Canadiens president Geoff Molson. “But Tony spent a few hours explaining it to me using a lot of Italian words I didn’t understand, and when the ringing in my ears stopped, I realized he had a point.”

Besides, Molson said, with Marinaro assuming most of the management jobs, the team can save a lot in salary.

Asked about his plans to turn the season around in its last week, Marinaro said he would “do whatever it takes — WHATEVER IT TAKES — to get the power play back from the dead and get this team scoring SIMONAC” and then ripped his shirt off for some reason.

Marinaro was last spotted in the dressing room yelling expletives at Jonathan Drouin.

Review: A mostly flawless election night for 2/4 English TV networks

Election nights are always fun. All hands on deck, at night on the tightest of deadlines, working together to report on the story of the year.

Each medium has its own challenges, but TV has the highest stakes. Everyone’s watching — including the politicians — and seconds count. Make an early call that turns out to be right, and you get supreme bragging rights. Get it wrong, and you’re a laughingstock. And you have to fill hours of programming, usually without even the benefit of a commercial break.

Four TV networks broadcast live election specials during primetime on Monday night on their local TV stations and all-news networks — Radio-Canada, TVA, CBC and CTV. Two others had live wrap-ups at 11pm: Citytv and Global.

I checked in with all of them on election night (though I was busy with helping put out a newspaper), and reviewed recordings of the four English networks after the fact. (I’ll leave it to my francophone colleagues to review how RadCan and TVA did.) Here’s how they did:

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Radio station program director admits son’s all-fart-sounds show probably wasn’t the best idea

Radio station 107.5 Le Poisson in Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade is ending its Saturday evening show made up entirely of fart sounds after its program director admitted that it wasn’t the kind of success he was hoping for.

“My son’s proposal sounded so innovative,” said Paul Natrillé, who has been at the helm of the station’s programming for seven years. “When we launched it last fall, he was really excited about the possibilities. But since then his interest has waned a bit, and we don’t think it’s the best fit for the station anymore.”

Natrillé’s son Thomas said he had fond memories of the show, but it was time to move on anyway. He has several interviews with morning shows in Quebec City.

107.5 will fill the discontinued hour’s time slot with its usual music programming of classical and easy listening music.

CRTC staffer can’t understand why colleagues aren’t also freaking out about how lit the next notice of consultation will be

Saying she’s hyperventilating at even the thought of it, CRTC junior legal affairs staffer Janet Phehknaim just can’t bring herself to comprehend why her colleagues aren’t jumping over themselves about how exciting the notice of consultation to be issued next Tuesday is going to be.

The notice, related to an application received for a new low-power radio station in Dryden, Ontario, and a corporate reorganization at Vista Radio, will be posted to the commission’s website at 11am on Tuesday. Phehknaim said she assumed the announcement would be pushed back to 4pm to avoid any market impact, and that media advisories would be issued on Monday to invite journalists to a press conference.

“The CRTC is an exciting place to work and there are announcements almost every day that affect people’s lives, so you can imagine what this will mean to the people at Dryden and the accountants at Vista,” Phehknaim said.

“Personally, I’m planning a viewing party at work for when the application goes live. It’ll be a potluck, but my colleagues are being slow in getting back to me with what they’re going to bring.”

Quebec talk show guest sues after learning that “merci infiniment” did not mean infinite thanks

Saying he felt humiliated and distraught, Quebec talk show guest Fanny Nonspavré has filed a lawsuit in Quebec superior court against the producers of Tout le monde en parle saying she is owed the infinite thanks she was promised by host Guy A. Lepage at the end of her recent interview, and not the very finite thanks she says she was actually given.

“This is a show that is watched by a million people every week, and the host has a reputation as an honourable man, so when he says ‘merci infiniment d’être parmi nous ce soir’ I take him at his word that his thanks will be infinite,” the statement of claim says. “To later discover, when the cameras were turned off, that Lepage’s thanks were severely limited seems to be a blatant contract breach to me.”

Nonspavré said she didn’t expect Lepage to follow her until the end of days repeating the word “merci” over and over again until one of them dies, but the least he could do if he was serious about offering unlimited thanks is to do her a favour once in a while on demand.

“I don’t want to be greedy about this,” she said. “I’m not doing this for me, but for the next person who will be told one thing on the air and another when the cameras aren’t looking. Mr. Lepage needs to stay true to his word when he says something, and if he doesn’t want to be locked into limitless commitments, he should choose his words more carefully.”

Carlos Leitão asking journalists what they think of chapter of his novel he included in budget

Quebec finance minister Carlos Leitão says he is ready to begin receiving feedback from the province’s political and economic journalists who have by now had plenty of time to read the draft of the first chapter of his new novel, which he included at the back of the 800-page budget plan.

Titled “Prosperity of the heart,” Leitão’s novel, about an economist by day who spends his nights fighting crime and making the world a better place while finding love in an unexpected way, is not quite ready for mass publication, the finance minister said, and he’s still looking for a publisher for it, but he thinks the story is very original and he has an outline for a dozen chapters, each one better than the last.

“There definitely will be an accumulated surplus of warm feelings after finishing this novel,” Leitão joked on Saturday. “And though I plan to keep my day job for now, I can’t discount the possibility that I’ll turn full-time to fiction writing if this takes off as well as I hope it does.”

Global News saves costs by covering only prescheduled breaking news events

Saying it will keep looking for ways to innovate in the production and presentation of local news, Global announced in a message to its staff this week that it will further streamline its operations by only covering local breaking news events that are scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

“Our efficiency experts found that in newsrooms across the country we have reporters and videojournalists who are just sitting in the office waiting for things to happen, and that’s incredibly inefficient,” explained Global News vice-president May Didupp. “So starting April 1, we’ll only cover fires, car crashes, natural disasters and surprise announcements where the newsroom has been informed at least 24 hours in advance of the event to take place.”

Didupp said she expected that competitors’ newsrooms would follow in that policy, and that once everyone else is on board breaking news will have no choice but to play ball. She reminded police departments that information can be provided under embargo.

RDS documentary chronicles Canadiens’ 25th Stanley Cup they would have won if they just put Alex Galchenyuk at centre

Route vers la victoire, the RDS documentary showing how the Canadiens would have won their 25th Stanley Cup this season if they’d only moved Alex Galchenyuk from the wing to centre last year like you told them to, is set to air just before the first game of the NHL playoffs later this month.

The hour-long documentary, which includes player interviews and simulated game footage showing the projected run to the sacred chalice, presents “as accurate a projection as our best experts could create of the path taken if only Michel Therrien and Claude Julien had listened to common sense and moved Chucky to centre where he belongs,” RDS said in a statement.

RDS expects the documentary to have higher ratings in Quebec than the Maple Leafs or Jets or whichever other English Canada team makes it to the playoffs.

Man yelling obscenity behind TV reporter during standup disappointed after being cut in editing

A man who yelled an obscenity behind a TV reporter while she was filming a standup shot for a report on gun violence in schools says he is profoundly disappointed after seeing the finished report on the 6pm newscast and finding he was cut during the editing process.

“I waited five minutes to get the perfect timing for it,” said Todd Aldushbaig. “And her delivery during that shot was perfect. I feel like she chose another more mediocre version just so she could cut me out of the story.”

The reporter apologized for having to cut the man out of the story. “Unfortunately, as journalists we must often make tough decisions on what to keep in our reports to meet the time constraints of a television newscast,” she said. “But I will keep Mr. Aldushbaig in mind for the next time I need a source about women’s reproductive health.”