Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Trump pardons Conrad Black

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a full pardon for former media mogul Conrad Black, who was convicted in 2007 of fraud and obstruction of justice and spent 3-1/2 years in prison, the White House said.
Black, 74, a Canadian-born British citizen, once ran an international newspaper empire that included the Chicago Sun-Times, Britain’s Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post.
“Lord Black’s case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character,” the White House said in a statement announcing the pardon.
He was found guilty in the United States in 2007 of scheming to siphon off millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger Inc, where he was chief executive and chairman.

Two of his three fraud convictions were later voided, and his sentence was shortened. He was released from a Florida prison in May 2012 and deported from the United States. (Reuters)

Shaw Communications sells its stake in Corus Entertainment for $548M

Shaw Communications Inc. is selling its stake in Corus Entertainment Inc. for $548 million.
Under the deal, the cable and telecommunications company will sell 80.63 million class B Corus shares at a price of $6.80 per share through a secondary offering.
Corus shares closed at $8.06 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
The sale represents a roughly 38 per cent stake in Corus.
Shaw said the money from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of debt.
Corus will not receive any of the proceeds of the sale. (CP)

Friday, May 10, 2019

Globe and Mail to offer buyouts, aims to cut $10 million from operating budget

Canadaland and other outlets report that Globe and Mail staffers received  news at a midday town hall Wednesday, where publisher Phillip Crawley told attendees that the newspaper is cutting costs by cutting staff.
“The company wants to reduce the portion of its operating budget dedicated to labour costs by $10-million annually,” Mason Wright, the chairperson for the Globe unit of Unifor 87-M, told Canadaland in a Twitter message. “They are offering a ‘voluntary separation package,’ and if they don’t hit the $10-million target with voluntary departures, they’ll turn to involuntary dismissals to make up the difference.”
Wright told Canadaland that employees from all departments, unionized and non-unionized, will be eligible for a voluntary buyout. In a memo to union members (embedded below), Wright wrote that union leadership asked the company for “more generous voluntary separation terms in an effort to minimize the impact on the workforce, but that suggestion was rejected.”
Full story

Thursday, May 9, 2019

CTV converting journalists into videographers

A blog being run by free-lancer Steve Faguy reports that staff at CTV News departments across the country were called into mandatory meetings on Thursday, and told that they’ll have to tighten their belts a bit more.
"I don’t have specifics or numbers (I’ve asked CTV News for comment), but the headline is that journalists will be transformed into “videojournalists” who do not only their own reporting but also their own camerawork, editing and even writing for the web," he writes.
"As a result, editors and cameramen will be offered buyout packages or laid off. Layoff notices have been issued in Montreal and Toronto, I’m told, but not everywhere. In Montreal, 15 jobs are being cut and an unspecified number of online jobs added.
"CTV News already employs some videojournalists (there are four at CTV Montreal, all of them young), and they’re used at other networks as well, notably Citytv, which relies almost exclusively on them.
“Today’s announcement from CTV of its shift to ‘digital-first’ airing of local news stories on the Internet was inevitable,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Retooling local news for digital is necessary and, hopefully, a successful business plan because local TV is being starved for advertising revenues and anything that brings in a bigger audience and more ad revenue is welcome.”
Dias cautioned Bell Media of its responsibility to guide news staff through the technological change


Full story

BBC DJ fired after including chimpanzee picture in royal baby tweet

A BBC disc jockey has been fired after using a picture of a chimpanzee in a tweet about the royal baby born Monday to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry.
Danny Baker tweeted Thursday that he has been fired after posting an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes and the caption: "Royal baby leaves hospital."
The tweet was seen as a racist reference to the heritage of the couple's newborn, Archie, who was born Monday. The duchess's mother, Doria Ragland, is black, and her father, Thomas Markle, is white. (CBC)

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