Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rush Limbaugh 'good, stable' after chest pains

Conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh will undergo a complete medical examination Thursday but remains in "good, stable condition" after he was admitted to a hospital in Hawaii for chest pains.

Washington Times eliminates sports section

The Washington Times will slash newsroom staff by more than 40 per cent and eliminate its sports section as it revamps to focus on politics, business and investigative reporting. The newspaper's Thursday edition announced the layoffs and said the last sports section would appear Friday. Among those let go was the newsroom leader, Managing Editor David Jones. A new print edition will be launched Monday. The newspaper announced several management changes, though it is not clear who will oversee the newsroom operation. The paper was founded in 1982 by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church.

The paper also thrashed its entire photo department.

Two French journalists kidnapped in Afghanistan

Insurgents have kidnapped two French journalists, their translator and driver northeast of the Afgha capital, a police official quoted by Reuters said on Thursday.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang, four soldiers killed in Afghanistan

A Canadian journalist and four Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan on Wednesday in the blast of an improvised explosive device. Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang, 34, was on secondment to Canwest News Service and was travelling with a provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar when the attack occurred. The Department of National Defence has not yet released the names of the four soldiers killed in Wednesday's explosion, but their deaths bring the toll of Canadian soldiers to 138 since the mission there began in 2002. Details of the attack have not been released. It was Lang's first stint in Afghanistan. She arrived in the country on Dec. 11 and was due to return to Calgary on Jan. 22

Car crashes into CBC Vancouver studios after attempted carjacking

Four people are in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following an attempted carjacking Tuesday morning that ended with a black BMW crashing into CBC's downtown studio. Police Const. Anne Longley said the incident began around 10:35 a.m. when a pedestrian jumped on to the hood of the BMW, stopped at the intersection of Cambie and Georgia streets. When the driver got out of the car to seek help, the suspect jumped behind the wheel and sped off backwards, hitting three vehicles before crashing into the window of the CBC building. None of the injured are from the CBC.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

David Levine, biting caricaturist, dies at 83

David Levine, whose macro-headed, somberly expressive, astringently probing and hardly ever flattering caricatures of intellectuals and athletes, politicians and potentates were the visual trademark of The New York Review of Books for nearly half a century, died Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 83 and lived in Brooklyn.

To read the full New York Times obituary click on the title.

Ratings remain steady for Diane Sawyer’s evening start

In Diane Sawyer’s first week as an evening news anchor, her “World News” on ABC remained firmly in second place among the broadcast networks, roughly 800,000 viewers behind the “NBC Nightly News,” according to The Nielsen Company.

Journalists' group condemns NBC for bringing NJ man, son home from Brazil on jet

The Society of Professional Journalists condemned NBC News for practising "chequebook journalism" by chartering a jet that carried a New Jersey man involved in a bitter custody battle and his son home from Brazil. David Goldman, who successfully fought the Brazilian family of his now-deceased ex-wife for custody of 9-year-old Sean, granted an interview to Meredith Vieira of NBC's "Today" show that aired Monday. NBC said Goldman was booked for "Today" before the network invited him on the plane. The network had already arranged for the plane to bring its own employees home for Christmas, NBC News spokeswoman Lauren Kapp said. If NBC hadn't brought the Goldmans' home, one of its rivals would have, she said.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 predictions: Another turbulent year ahead for media

If there was still any debate in the media world over which is king -- content or distribution -- it was settled in 2009.

Between cable giant Comcast Corp.'s $30-billion deal to take control of NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co.'s surprise $4-billion purchase of comic book publisher and Spider-Man home Marvel Entertainment Inc., it became abundantly clear that it's more valuable to own what goes on the screen than the screen itself. Even a back-of-the-pack cable network like the Travel Channel sold for almost $1 billion, and Nickelodeon shelled out more than $50 million for rights to four old Ninja Turtles characters.

Content owners may be king, but it won't be worth much if these media titans can't figure out how to make money from all the new platforms overwhelming the landscape. There is a general consensus that putting content on the Internet for free -- d'oh! -- may not have been the brightest idea. Much of next year will be spent experimenting with business models.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

H1N1 flu virus voted top news story of 2009 in Canadian Press survey

An influenza virus that scientists believe migrated from pigs to people before touching off a global pandemic was the runaway selection for the top Canadian news story of 2009. The H1N1 virus was chosen by 70 per cent of the newspaper editors and broadcast news directors in the annual year-end survey of newsrooms conducted by The Canadian Press.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sci-fi author resigns from guild; says it made a deal with the devil in Google deal

Award-winning science-fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin has resigned from the U.S. Authors Guild after accusing the organization of dealing with the devil in a settlement with Google over its plan to digitize books.

Ryerson University seeking Chair of Journalism

From the ad on Jeff Gaulin's journalism job board:

"The School is seeking an experienced professional and educator with a strong sense of journalism’s public purpose and value, a vision of excellence in journalistic practice and education, and the ability to articulate these to the student population, the university community, the industry and the public. S/he must understand the rapidly changing world of journalism, and lead the School’s response to it. The successful candidate will have teaching experience, a relevant graduate degree, and outstanding professional and management qualifications. The Chair must have enthusiasm for students and an appreciation of the importance of Ryerson's integration of practice and theory in university education."

Click on the title to link to the full ad.

Reporters attacked in crackdown by Iran militia

The opposition Jaras website claimed security forces had attacked a building housing Isna, an Iranian news agency, where it said some demonstrators had sought shelter during the clashes. An eyewitness said at least two people were injured when police chased after protesters into the building.

“They fractured the skull of one Isna person and badly beat up another employee,” the witness said. Isna’s news service appeared to be working normally and it later issued a report on the incident, saying one of its reporters had been injured without specifying who was to blame.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Reinventing the Newspaper

Interesting feature story from The Korea Times:

"It's time for the print media to change. Many business sectors reinvent their wheels to survive in a constantly changing environment. Media organizations are not an exception. They are also forced to review their business models in a very serious way. In the past, for example, the primary information delivery platform was newspapers. Then, information moved on to the Internet. Now, it's available on mobile devices, even as moving pictures and customized video."

Click on the title to read the full story.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ryerson University advertising for Chair of the School of Radio and TV Arts

From the ad in Playback:

"The successful candidate understands the necessary balance between university sector education and scholarly, research and creative activities (SRC). She/he will provide inspirational leadership, and demonstrate a capacity to plan, organize and undertake academic administration in a unionized environment. An accomplished team builder, she/he will marshal financial and human resources to create an atmosphere of collegial consensus in which student learning and faculty creative and scholarly endeavours will flourish. The Chair will use his/her broad knowledge of domestic and international trends in media and broadcasting to guide the School through an era of rapid technological change."

Click on the title to read the entire advertisement,

Sportscaster George Michael dies at 70; was mainstay of D.C. sports TV scene

George Michael, a mainstay on the Washington, D.C., sports television scene for decades who reached a national audience with "The George Michael Sports Machine" highlights show, has died. He was 70.

"Let's Abolish the Term Citizen Journalist"

Editor of "Digital Journalist" online magazine calls for abolishing term "citizen journalist;" setting off heated debate

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Meteoric Youtube the social media story of decade

Didn't even exist for first five years of the decade. Mashable

Toronto Star take on SCC revision of libel rules

The new defence does not go as far as the U.S. model, which requires a public figure plaintiff to show "actual malice" on the part of a reporter. The Supreme Court of Canada said in that contest between free expression and reputation protection, "free expression decisively won the day."

Ecuador shuts station for 72 hours

Concerned about press freedom?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rules relating to libel and defamation re-written

Globe and Mail reporting on SCC decision which seems to place the key to defense on the quality of "diligence" exercised by media in checking the truth of its statements. Time will tell how courts decide the question but editors like the Globe's John Stackhouse said "the heavier blinds of Canadian libel law have been pulled back.” Interesting reading. TPG

Monday, December 21, 2009

CTV counts out top news

Recession and Swine Flu are one and two. Release

Citadel Broadcasting sees bankruptcy exit in 2010

Citadel, which broadcasts the Don Imus "Imus in the Morning" show with ABC Radio Networks, filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday, hurt by $2.08 billion in debt and adecline in advertising by auto, banking and restaurant companies Reuters

Washington Times to publish last Sunday paper

The newspaper made the announcement Monday, saying it will produce Monday through Friday editions that focus on its "distinctive news and opinion content."

Diane Sawyer begins at ABC's `World News'

Diane Sawyer follows quickly on the heels of Charles Gibson's retirement to launch a new era as anchor of ABC News' flagship evening newscast on Monday.
Women now hold two of the three top jobs on what have always been considered the most prestigious newscasts on broadcast TV. Three years ago, CBS' Katie Couric became the first woman to hold the job by herself. AP

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sheila Shotton was producer and interviewer for CBC

Globe and Mail obit on Sheila Shotton.

A Reader’s Digest That Grandma Never Dreamed Of

New York Times take out on challenges of the Reader's Digest. Entertaining picture of Digest's founders, Lila and DeWitt Wallace, taken way back when.

Two sides of the "Local TV" soap opera

Toronto Star set up of Bill Brioux vs Denis McGrath.

The art of the timely review

Toronto Star Public Editor Kathy English.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Enquirer quashed Woods story 2 years ago: WSJ

Tiger Woods cut a deal with the National Enquirer to hide evidence of an extramarital affair in 2007, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

CEP demands charges against Olympic security

RELEASE -- The head of a union representing journalists in Ontario is demanding criminal charges against security officers involved in crowd control for the Olympic torch run after two journalists were assaulted in Newmarket today. The two journalists, both photographers for the Toronto Sun, were attempting to take pictures of Olympic torch bearers as they made their way along Davis Drive in Newmarket shortly after noon. Photographer Dave Thomas was repeatedly shoved as he tried to take pictures but was not injured. But photographer Ian Robertson, who is about 60 years old and was laden with camera gear so he was unable to defend himself, required hospital treatment for an apparent head injury after he was shoved to the ground by security officers wearing the grey Olympic uniforms.

Time Warner Cable may drop Fox TV shows

"Testy negotiations"

U.S. university finds "racist body language" on TV

Toronto Star Health Reporter Joseph Hall.

The future of the magazine

Globe and Mail thinker.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

BBC gives qualified apology for "killing gays" debate

Regarding Ugandan proposed legislation. BBC adding that the program was a legitimate attempt to encourage discussion about a crucial African issue.

Sony's Stringer says e-reader to stay a book device

The way Howard Stringer sees it, Sony's digital e-readers should focus on the printed word and making reading "comfortable," even though the consumer electronics giant could turn it into a multimedia machine. Stringer, Chief Executive of Japan's Sony Corp, admits there is a lot of "energy" behind's Kindle, which is seen as the leader in a burgeoning market for portable reading devices.

CBS TV chief Nancy Tellem moves to strategic role


Freed Lindhout thanks supporters in 1st statement

Bandaged Berlusconi leaves hospital

Doctors said they ordered Berlusconi, 73, to cancel or reduce public appearances for the next two weeks, meaning he will skip climate talks in Copenhagen. They previously had said he would be released Wednesday. Reuters video.

Reporter pinned in chopper crash

National Post on TVA crash.

Bell can claim to be "the best" and "most powerful”

The injunction allows Bell to continue advertising that it has the “largest and fastest” as well as the “best and most powerful” network in the country. Globe and Mail.

3 journalists for Guardian released

Released after six days captivity in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bell told to scrap 'most reliable' ads

Following Rogers Communications complaint, B.C. judge rules claim about wireless network is false and misleading.

'E&P' To Publish January Issue -- Hope Remains?

Due to overwhelming reader and advertiser demand, Editor & Publisher will publish its next issue, the January 2010 edition, as planned, Editor Greg Mitchell announced today. The issue will be mailed to subscribers around Jan. 4. But it may still be the final issue of E&P, after 125 years. In a surprise move, E&P's parent, the Nielsen Co., revealed last Thursday that the magazine, along with sibling Kirkus Reviews, would be shut down at the end of this month, and many assumed no more issues would be printed.

3 Journalists Kidnapped In Afghanistan Are Set Free

Three journalists for Britain’s Guardian newspaper were released unharmed on Wednesday after being kidnapped last week by an armed gang in a rugged and remote part of eastern Afghanistan, the newspaper said. The journalists, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who is Iraqi, and two Afghan colleagues had spent six days in cold and snowy conditions surviving on soup, tea and bread, the newspaper reported. It credited efforts by representatives and intermediaries in Afghanistan but did not release details, including the names of the two Afghans, to “avoid compromising the security of those involved, particularly those remaining in Afghanistan.”

TVA helicopter down; two injured

A helicopter carrying a TVA journalist made an emergency landing Wednesday morning near the studios of Mel's Cité du Cinéma, off the Bonaventure Expressway in Montreal. The pilot and the journalist,Réjean Léveillé, were injured. The helicopter crashed about 7:45 a.m. alongside the highway, about 600 metres short of a helipad behind Mel's studios. The pilot, Antoine Léger, was able to get out of the downed helicopter on his own. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. Léveillé was initially trapped in the chopper.

Judge rules in favour of Canwest in spat over specialty TV with Goldman Sachs

The Ontario court overseeing the restructuring of Canwest Global Communications Corp. ruled Tuesday in favour of the company and changes it made to the ownership structure of its prized specialty television assets. U.S. investment bank had Goldman Sachs had wanted the court to overturn a move by Canwest to shut down the numbered company that housed the specialty TV assets that both companies held a stake in. However, Ontario Superior Court Justice Sarah Pepall dismissed the request in a written decision released late Tuesday. The lucrative specialty channels, which include HGTV, Showcase and Diva, were acquired by the two companies from Alliance Atlantis in 2007 as part of a joint agreement.

Tony Parsons leaving Global News Vancouver for newly-independent CHEK

Veteran Global News anchorman Tony Parsons will depart the supper-hour newscast months earlier than expected, with his last broadcast Wednesday evening. Parsons, who reduced his workload this year to just two telecasts a week, was expected to remain as a part-time anchor for News Hour through the end of February and the 2010 Olympic Games.
He is said to be going to CHEK in Victoria that was recently bought by its employees.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

US moves to ban 'excessively noisy' TV advertisements

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill which aims to limit the volume of television advertisements. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) was approved by a voice vote in the house. Democrat Anna Eshoo, who filed the motion, said most Americans were willing to tolerate adverts but were annoyed by sudden volume increases.

Publishers Weekly apologizes for cover

Publishers Weekly has kicked up some dust this week with this cover photo illustrating a story on the African-American publishing world. On Twitter, comments have ranged from "wonderful" to "offensive," with some saying: "Publishers Weekly has lost its mind." Today, the editor in charge of the cover design, which includes the line, "Afro Picks! New Books and Trends in African-American Publishing," apologized

Click on the title to view the cover and read the entire story.

Miami Herald asks online readers to consider 'voluntary payment'

The Miami Herald is asking readers of its website to voluntarily pay for the privilege, a new wrinkle in newspapers' ongoing battle to increase revenue from their online operations. A link at the bottom of online stories directed readers to a separate page that accepts credit card information. A short message thanks them for making the site "South Florida's most-read news destination on the web," and asks them to support the content.

Union supports move to refuse accreditation to "replacement workers" in Quebec Assembly (release)

The Montreal Newspaper Guild takes issue with and dissociates itself from a self-serving editorial in The Gazette Dec. 10 that called for the granting of accreditation to two Journal de Québec reporters to the National Assembly press gallery in Quebec City. . . . The gallery clearly views the move by Quebecor Inc, which publishes the Journal de Québec, is designed to enable these reporters to act as replacement workers for the Journal de Montréal reporters who have been locked out by the same employer, along with 253 unionized workers, for almost a year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Yes Men" take credit for hoax climate news release

Well-known prankster group the Yes Men took credit for a sophisticated hoax that made it appear the Canadian delegation had publicly committed to bold emission reduction targets and tens of billions in new aid to help African nations.

"The idea was to confuse the Canadian government, which set up a war room to positively spin their position in the debate even though everyone here knows that their position is a cruel joke," Yes Men member Mike Bonanno told the Associated Press.

China blocks broadcasts of Hong Kong cable network whose shows addressed political reform

China has blocked broadcasts of a Hong Kong cable network whose talk show guests spoke openly of political reform, reinforcing Beijing's grip over media content considered politically sensitive. Sun TV's broadcasts stopped airing in mainland China from Dec. 5 or sooner, though were still available in Hong Kong, Macau and other countries.

Italy politics: Sex, thighs and 'Videocracy'

Take a sex scandal dogging Silvio Berlusconi, add plenty of scantily clad young women on Italian TV and throw in some of the first serious scrutiny of a national culture where television lies at the nexus of power and politics. The result is sex, thighs and "Videocracy" — a documentary that takes a harsh look at a system perfected through Berlusconi's TV empire, in which sexy women become a symbol and instrument of power.

Click on the title to read the full story.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gord Grant, legendary CP journalist, dies at age 73

Gordon Grant, who died early Saturday in an Ottawa hospital at the age of 73, was a brash, boisterous journalist and editor who spent 27 years at The Canadian Press and helped nurture a generation of reporters.

'Editor & Publisher' to cease publication after 125 years

Editor & Publisher, the bible of the newspaper industry and a journalism institution that traces its origins back to 1884, is ceasing publication. An announcement, made by parent company The Nielsen Co., was made Thursday morning as staffers were informed that E&P, in both print and online, was shutting down. The expressions of surprise and outpouring of strong support for E&P that have followed across the Web -- Editor & Publisher has even hit No. 4 as a Twitter trending topic -- raise the notion that the publication might yet continue in some form.

To read the full story in E&P click on the title.

Mansbridge wins award for Arctic journalism

Peter Mansbridge has been announced as the winner of the first ITK Award for Excellence in Arctic Journalism. Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, an organization that works for the cultural and political advancement of the Inuit, named him winner Friday for his series of CBC Road Stories about the Arctic, broadcast in 2006 and 2007. Mansbridge and his production team were recognized for three reports that documented scientific work being done in the Arctic to address climate change, said national Inuit leader Mary Simon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Diane Sawyer makes teary farewell on ABC's 'Good Morning America'

Sawyer is leaving "GMA" to become the anchor of ABC's "World News," where she's replacing Charles Gibson, who retires Dec. 18. She'll start Dec. 21. George Stephanopoulos will replace Sawyer starting Monday on "GMA."

Cable freedom is a click away!

"I have a Mac Mini, wireless mouse and a Microsoft Xbox hooked up to my television. This quest for cable freedom has been a couple of years in the works. Before I called the cable company to bid my farewell I imagined that I would need a vast array of devices to fill the entertainment void: a device for games, something for television shows, a contraption for streaming movies through Netflix and, finally, something to control all of the above. But it turns out a computer can do all those tasks with some software upgrades and a wireless keyboard and mouse," Nick Bolton in The New York Times

e5 Global Media buys The Hollywood Reporter

e5 Global Media, a new company formed jointly by private equity partner Pluribus Capital Management and financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, is acquiring The Hollywood Reporter and seven of its sister publications from the Nielsen Co. Management of the acquired brands and their staff members will begin to transition immediately. The acquisition, which is subject to normal terms and conditions, is scheduled to close by Dec. 31.

NY's Newsday names new editor-in-chief

The Long Island newspaper announced that Debby Krenek will succeed John Mancini, who resigned Friday after five years. Krenek is the former editor of the New York Daily News. She joined Newsday in 2001 and was promoted to managing editor in 2004. Newsday is the 11th-largest newspaper in the U.S.; its average daily circulation was 357,124 as of October.

Google starts service it says will help newspapers

Google is teaming up with The New York Times and The Washington Post in what it says is an attempt to help out the ailing newspaper industry. The new project, called "Living Stories", debuted in the experimental "labs" section on Google's website. The service is supposed to make it easier for readers to follow evolving news stories. It will package stories from both the Times and the Post so the coverage can be more easily updated to include new developments. Some of the initial topics featured on the service included health care reform, executive pay and the Washington Redskins football team.

Google isn't paying the newspapers to feature the content, and there aren't any immediate plans to sell advertising alongside the material, said Josh Cohen, a Google product manager overseeing the project

Clement overules CRTC; allows Globalive into telecom market

"It is a Canadian company that meets Canadian ownership and control requirements," Mr. Clement said in a press conference Friday morning.

The much-anticipated announcement comes six weeks after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission denied Globalive's bid to be the country's fourth-biggest wireless operator.

(Sign of other things to come? -- PG)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cable campaign falls silent during CRTC hearings

Coincidental or not, the repetitious messages urging Canadians to "Stop the TV Tax" have ceased with the beginning of the CRTC hearings on the subject. In fact, the CRTC chair complained about the fevered campaigning by both sides as the hearings opened. The messages, which have run many times a day for months on U.S. cable channels carried by the cable companies, feature an actor, posing as a man-on-the-street reporter. He earnestly tells of a "$10 tax" and questions ordinary people, presumably also actors, about the tax. "Unbelievable" and "kind of greedy" are among the scripted responses he gets. His closing exhortation of "Come on Canada, enough is enough" has caused more than one cable viewer, as it apparently did the CRTC chair, to conclude that it is, indeed, more than enough. TPG

Cable and Satellite Bring Subscribers to CRTC Hearings


Television Broadcasters Deliver "Consumer First" Solution

RELEASE -- In a historic joint presentation before the CRTC today, CEOs from CTV, Global and CBC appeared together for the first time and delivered a consumer-first solution that provides affordable, accessible, and sustainable TV services for all Canadians.

Citizen journalism gaining steam

It took Mike Boon a few years of blogging until he finally beat the mainstream media to a story, an especially big accomplishment considering he lives in Toronto, with its hyper-competitive media market and four newspapers fighting for scoops. CP

Peter C. Newman visiting professor at Ryerson

Eminent Canadian author Peter C. Newman has been appointed a visiting professor at Ryerson University. His appointment is to both the Ted Rogers School of Management and the School of Journalism in the Faculty of Communication & Design.Newman will deliver lectures and seminars to students in journalism and business courses and give two public lectures in the winter term.The former editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star and Maclean's Magazine has published 24 books, won a dozen literary prizes and is a companion of the Order of Canada. CP Undergrads may hope that Mr. Newman addresses them in his sporty trademark cap (above). TPG

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Toronto Star says 166 employees take buyouts

From CP via

Cable, satellite revenue still rising: StatsCan

An inconvenient truth for Big Cable?

CBS Cancels As the World Turns

Procter & Gamble, the company that invented the soap opera and gave the genre its name, is no longer in the soap opera business. New York Times

Falsely described in Wikipedia, actor sues

Ron Livingston, the actor who starred in the 1999 cult comedy Office Space, is suing an anonymous Wikipedia editor for writing that he is a homosexual. Toronto Star

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

PMO videos spark debate says CP

The photos, and now the videos, have sparked a debate over media access and when the use of government-produced and approved images may be appropriate in an independent news media. CP

Fight over specialty assets may hurt CW restructuring

A battle between Canwest Global Communications Corp. and its investment partner Goldman Sachs grew a little more tense on Tuesday when a Canwest lawyer suggested the fight over its specialty television assets could hinder the restructuring of the entire company. CP

Bryant Gumbel reveals his lung cancer on Regis

Bryant Gumbel is being treated for a malignant tumor, the former Former Today show anchor revealed on Live! With Regis & Kelly Tuesday morning. People with video of Gumbel from the program.

Cuomo out at GMA, JuJu Chang will succeed him

Reporter JuJu Chang (right) will replace Chris Cuomo as host of Good Morning America on ABC. On Twitter, where he has almost a million followers, Mr. Cuomo wrote Monday morning, “Yes, change is coming. I invite it, honestly. All is good. Will tell more soon.” There is speculation he will move to 20/20.

CRTC tells cable, satellite execs to tone down rhetoric

CRTC asks again for end to the school yard fight. Meanwhile, Bell Canada release indicates that consumers don't want a "TV tax". (No, really?) In fact, they might agree to anything to stop that bullying "Come On Canada, enough is enough" guy.

Black’s fraud conviction questioned by top court

National Post

U.S. law gives Conrad Black his last day in court

Toronto Star says he is "part of coalition challenging state's interpretation of little understood honest-services fraud statute." Happens in SCOTUS today.

Coffee house owner helped get Amanda released

"Neither Going, the owner of the Good Earth Cafe chain, nor Allan, of RSM Richter, had any experience with kidnappers in foreign lands before this.
But each has extensive business contacts with deep pockets and big hearts, so they mined them for quick cash when they took up the cause last October." Calgary Journal

Google launches ‘real time' search

"Where are you now?" "I'm in the kitchen. How about you?" Who knew Google, the company that searched, mapped and news-indexed the world, would come to this.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tom Brokaw escapes injury in highway accident

Tom Brokaw and his wife survived a fatal three car accident on a busy New York City highway. While avoiding a spool of wire, a woman lost control of her vehicle and hit a mail truck in the left lane. She got herself killed in the process and injured the mail truck driver. According to Brokaw the woman driving a green SUV apparently lost control while trying to avoid a spool of cable. The mail truck was forced into the left lane leaving no option for Brokaw, but to apply brakes very hard. This made his car skidded along the median. When the mail truck catapulted the median the Brokaw vehicle slid into it. Neither Tom nor his wife Meredith were injured.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rogers loses bid to overturn "most reliable" injunction

Future seems friendly for Telus as it bests Rogers in BC court skirmish. All about its effort to stop Rogers saying it has the most reliable wireless network.
Toronto Star

Web-TV Divide Is Back in Focus With NBC Sale

Thoughtful piece on the dilemma of those who stream TV shows to the web for expossure, while trying to somehow protect broadcast ad revenues. New York Times

Bloomberg Ceases Publication of SmallBiz

RELEASE -- Bloomberg BusinessWeek announced today that it will cease publishing BusinessWeek SmallBiz and integrate the coverage into the Web site and magazine. The final issue of the bimonthly, controlled circulation publication is the December 2009/January 2010 issue.

Erin Andrews case sparks searches at Yahoo, Google

ABC offers Stephanopoulos 'GMA' job

No word on whether he will accept. Media Life Magazine

Knives come out in Amanda Lindhout debate

Chris Selley crosses swords with Andrew Cohen.

"Headline a shocker" -- anyone know why?

Any reporter has to wonder how it happened. The doom of yesterday is replaced this morning with the joy of jobs created in Canada. But no one, it seems, saw nearly 65,000 new jobs coming. Time to ask a question or two about how come. Reuters story. The Planet Guys.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Veteran Ottawa anchor Max Keeping steps down after 51 years in journalism

Veteran Ottawa news anchor Max Keeping says he will be stepping down on March 31 after nearly 40 years on the job. Keeping started anchoring in Ottawa in 1972 on what was known then as CJOH and has now become CTV Ottawa. Keeping will be succeeded by CTV reporter Graham Richardson, alongside Keeping's long-time co-anchor Carol Anne Meehan. Before taking on the job of anchor, Keeping also worked for radio stations in Halifax, St. John's and Ottawa.


Max Keeping to retire in March

CTV story with video of his announcement.

Comcast Gets NBC from G.E. in deal that reshapes TV

After nearly nine months of negotiations, Comcast, the largest cable operator in the United States, reached an agreement on Thursday to acquire NBC Universal from the General Electric Company. The deal valued NBC Universal at about $30 billion.

The agreement will create a joint venture, with Comcast owning 51 percent and G.E. owning 49 percent. Comcast will contribute to the joint venture its stable of cable channels, which includes Versus, the Golf Channel and E Entertainment, worth about $7.25 billion, and will pay G.E. about $6.5 billion in cash, for a total of $13.75 billion. For now, the network will remain NBC Universal, but ultimately Comcast could decide to change the name.

Almost immediately, the transaction reshapes the U.S. entertainment industry, giving a cable provider a huge portfolio of new content.

CanWest books among the best read on Bay Street

More than 90 groups - from private equity funds to rivals - have expressed interest in combing through CanWest's books as the company and its financial advisers at RBC Dominion Securities Inc. seek up to $65-million in new funding. Of those, about 20 parties have gone a step further, signing the stringent non-disclosure agreement needed to actually look under the hood at CanWest's television properties to see if the company's flagship operation, Global Television, is worth investing in. They include the Jim Pattison Group of Vancouver and former Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. executive chairman Michael MacMillan.

Click on the headline for the full story.

Money to be made in newspapers: Globe analyst

"To further the point: The classified sections of newspapers are thinning out before your eyes. Ten years ago they were chock-a-block and churned out profits.

"Now all those ads are on Craigslist and Kijiji. They're stimulating demand by charging nothing for the ads unless you upgrade to a premium listing. But they also sell display ads because they have the eyeballs. They might not be able to charge top dollar but they're not burdened with expensive unionized work forces.

"Why didn't newspapers create sites like these?" Fabrice Taylor.

For the full story click on the headline.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pulitzer board eases eligibility for online-only entries (release)

The eligibility rules for the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism have been revised, opening the door wider to entries from text-based online-only newspapers and news sites, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced today. A year ago, the Board broadened the competition to include many United States news outlets that publish only on the Internet at least weekly, but it required that all entered material - whether online or in print - had to come from entities "primarily dedicated to original news reporting and coverage of ongoing events." The Pulitzer Board decided to eliminate that entry requirement at its November meeting at Columbia University.

Newfoundland Capital gets CRTC approval to sell Thunder Bay radio stations

Newfoundland Capital Corp., one of Canada's leading radio broadcasters with 81 licences across the country, said Wednesday it has received approval from the CRTC to sell two FM radio stations in Thunder Bay, Ont., to Acadia Broadcasting. The company announced the sale of the stations CKTG-FM The Giant 105.3 and CJUK-FM Magic 99.9 for $4.5 million plus working capital in July. Acadia Broadcasting is a community focused radio broadcaster with 10 licences in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario. It owns radio stations in the Ontario cities of Fort Frances, Kenora and Dryden.

Part of Toronto's Jarvis Street renamed Ted Rogers Way

The one-year anniversary of the death of Canadian media magnate Ted Rogers was marked with a special tribute in Toronto on Wednesday. The telecommunications pioneer passed away at the age of 75 and his life and achievements were commemorated by the city with a stretch of Jarvis Street, between Bloor and Charles, being renamed Ted Rogers Way.

Google to set limits for free web news

Web users who click on more than five articles a day from the same internet source will be directed to payment or registration pages. The new system will run using First Click Free, a programme that allows publishers to promote their content and users to see if they like the news source prior to paying a subscription fee for it. Publishers will now have more control over who is viewing their sites and the move comes after a number of companies have claimed that Google is profiting from their content.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Now Rogers sues Bell Mobility

Rogers Communications Inc. says it has filed a suit in the British Columbia Supreme Court against BCE Inc.'s Bell Mobility for claims Bell is making in a new ad campaign that boasts its new high-speed service runs on “the largest, fastest, and most reliable network.” A suit by Telus Corp. led to a B.C. Supreme Court judge ordering Rogers to remove its own claims of running “the most reliable network.” An appeal is scheduled for Wednesday, but Rogers has already begun to remove the claims from its marketing.
Canada's wireless field has become hotly competitive after Telus and Bell together last month launched a high-speed voice and data network that is capable of running devices like the iPhone, which until recently was offered only by Rogers. Directly echoing the Telus suit it lost, Rogers is accusing Bell of “false or misleading” advertising with the campaign for its new network.

FP analysis of Chatelaine editorial shuffle

Douglas Bennett, publisher of Masthead, said others in the industry are questioning whether Rogers is cleaning house in order to put its magazine division up for sale.

"[ Chatelaine] is an important business for Rogers and has been a powerhouse for most of the decade. But there is a lot of restructuring going on in other parts of the [publishing] business and its wireless division is huge relative to publishing. It takes three days of Rogers' wireless billing to generate the annual revenue of Chatelaine, approximately. That puts it in perspective."

Click on the title to read full story

Dow Jones CEO: Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts

At the World Newspaper Congress in Hyderabad, India,Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton came out swinging against the world in general, as is the wont of every News Corp exec these days. More specifically, against “geeks bearing gifts”, “false gospel of the Web” and “out & out theives on the Internet.” It is a familiar cry, one spitted out by the overlord and repeated in slightly more eloquent and dulcet tones by the underlings, including Hinton.

Click on the title for the full story and his speech.

US government discusses the future of journalism

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is holding a two-day workshop to explore how the internet has affected journalism. But this is not just another workshop. "How will journalism survive in the internet age?" brings together some of the most important figures in actual journalism, among them Rupert Murdoch, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post and the Guardian columnist Jeff Jarvis.

"The answer is not to save newspapers. The goal should be to assure the continuation of journalism."

Monday, November 30, 2009

G.E. Pact With Vivendi Clears Way for Sale of NBC

General Electric has reached a tentative agreement to buy Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBC Universal for about $5.8 billion, helping clear the path to a sale of the television and movie company to Comcast, people briefed on the matter told the New York Times web page DealBook. But much remains to be negotiated, these people warned. The Vivendi agreement values NBC Universal at $29 billion, less than the $30 billion or so that G.E. and Comcast had agreed to last month.

Grey Cup delivers a record audience of 6.1 million

More than 14 million Canadians, or nearly 43% of the country's population, watched the game in whole or in part. An incredible 8.35 million viewers were watching the broadcast at 9:49 p.m. ET on TSN and RDS as Montreal kicker Damon Duval converted his second game-winning field-goal attempt as timed expired. The combined TSN and RDS audience for 2009 Grey Cup surpasses the previous combined Grey Cup audience high of 5.2 million set in 2002 by 16%.

CRTC asks views to comment (again?) on the local news vs cable issue

The federal broadcast regulator wants Canadians to use a spoecial website to air their views on the availability of local news, information and public affairs programming.
At the heart of the debate is a battle between the major television broadcasters and cable and satellite companies over who pays for TV signals. The TV broadcasters have asked the CRTC to compel the cable and satellite operators to pay for the broadcasters' TV signals to help maintain local stations and programming. Cable companies have said such a fee could result in charging their customers as much as $10 a month on top of their bills to cover the extra costs.

Jane Francisco named new editor-in-chief at Chatelaine magazine

Jane Francisco, an 18-year veteran of the publishing industry, is the new editor-in-chief at Chatelaine magazine, Rogers Media Inc., the magazine's owner has announced.
She takes over from Maryam Sanati who is no longer with Rogers Media.Francisco has most recently served as editor-in-chief at Style at Home magazine, a Rogers publication.

CanWest pensioners' lives in limbo

At age 72 and with health problems to contend with, Bob Ireland says there's not a "heck of a lot" he can do to find new work to replace his crumbling pension plan. So the veteran Hamilton television reporter, who retired from station CHCH in 1997 after 30 years of service, says he and his wife are reviewing their finances, trimming costs and cancelling vacation plans. Mr. Ireland is one of more than 200 CHCH retirees and active workers who learned this summer that their underfunded pension plan was being shut down and liquidated as part of the agreement by CanWest Global Communications Corp. to sell the station to Channel Zero, a Toronto-based specialty television producer. Channel Zero made the purchase on the condition it would not take over the station's pension plan. While retirees are waiting to learn the final funding numbers, the plan had a shortfall of over $10-million at the end of 2008. At that level, retirees would face a 22-per-cent cut to their pension payments.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Torstar chief says company is making changes to keep pace with the future

David Holland, the head of Torstar Corp., is convinced Torstar is headed in the right direction as it broadens its focus beyond the troubled newspaper industry and into the digital world. The company's board of directors gave Holland a vote of confidence last week by confirming his role as president and chief executive. He started in the job as an interim CEO. Holland says the company, once centered on its newspaper operation and named after its cornerstone big city newspaper, the Toronto Star, is now a broadly based media enterprise.

In addition to the Star, Torstar's Metroland Media Group has more than 100 smaller newspapers including the Waterloo Region Record, Guelph Mercury, Hamilton Spectator and numerous community weekly papers. Torstar also holds a 19 per cent stake in Black Press, which publishes more than 150 daily and weekly newspapers with 17 press centres in Western Canada, Washington and Hawaii, and a 20 per cent stake in CTVglobemedia.

For the full story, click on the title.

CTV, Global "believed they were invincible"

"The world of broadcasting was quickly changing and almost everybody – the new pioneer broadcasters, cable companies and, of course, viewers – adjusted to this new reality. The only group that didn't see the changes coming was the "elite" of Canadian broadcasting, mainly CTV and Global. They believed they were invincible, that viewers would keep watching their programs no matter what, and they ignored that the world and technology were fast changing.

"They believed that those changes only affected other media, like newspapers and radio. In fact, those industries started to address the new reality long ago. They are still struggling with it and, in some instances, also having some success, without crying for help from anybody," Angelo Persichilli.

Click on the headline to read the entire column.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Amanda Lindhout: Gutsy reporter or naive thrill-seeker?

A golden rule for journalists is to report the story, not become it. Unfortunately for Amanda Lindhout, this was not the case. Kidnapped in Somalia, the Canadian journalist endured 15 months of captivity before her release this week. Snatched along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan in August 2008, the pair says they were beaten, tortured and left alone, often without food.

But their release has also sparked discussion about journalists in conflict zones – and questions about Lindhout's credentials. Online blogs note her dozens of Facebook photos striking glamorous poses amid conflict.

Gutsy reporter? Or naive thrill-seeker?

For the full Toronto Star story, click on the headline.

Detroit's new Daily Press goes on hiatus

Detroit's third daily newspaper has suspended operations, less than a week after its first edition hit the streets. The Detroit Daily Press had trouble getting paid advertisers, as well as operations problems, according to a statement posted on the newspaper's Facebook page. "Due to circumstances beyond our control, lack of advertising, lateness of our press runs and lack of distribution and sales, we find it necessary to temporarily suspend publication of the Detroit Daily Press until after the (first) of the year," the statement read.

NatPost CEO Godfrey to head troubled Ontario Lottery

National Post CEO Paul Godfrey is to oversee the troubled Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has nominated Godfrey, a well-known Progressive Conservative, as chairman of the corporation that has weathered scandals over insider wins and executive expenses in recent years. Godfrey is also the former president of the Toronto Sun and headed the Toronto Blue Jays until he stepped down last year.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rogers Plans On-Demand Television for Handsets

Rogers Communications Inc. plans to extend its new online- television service to smart phones in early 2010 as consumers watch more shows on their handsets, Reuters reports.

Canwest revenues and operating profits slump

Canwest Global Communications Corp. saw its sales and operating profit drop in its latest quarter even as the bottom line improved from a massive year-ago loss, the company said Friday. Canwest, which owns the Global television network and the National Post newspaper among other assets, posted a net loss of $111 million, or 62 cents a share, for its fourth quarter ended Aug. 31. The beleaguered media giant's bottom-line loss was an improvement over the year-earlier loss of $1 billion, or $5.74 a share, which included more than $1 billion in asset writedowns. For all of the 2009 financial year, Canwest lost $1.7 billion, or $9.51 a share. That was much worse than the net loss of $1 billion, or $5.87, for 2008.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cossette value doubles since putting itself on sale

Saying "no" to a hostile bid has virtually doubled the value of Cossette Inc and set the stage for a showdown next month between two private equity firms wooing Canada's biggest home-grown ad agency. Reuters.

Somali sources says Lindhout ransom was $700,000

"A police officer and a lawmaker said that a $700,000 ransom was paid for their release. It was not possible to independently verify their claim." Scotsman

Al-Jazeera English gets CRTC approval

Rogers to cut 900 jobs


Rogers to buy C$163 mln stake in Cogeco

"Rogers said the purchases were for investment purposes and it had no current intention to acquire ownership in either company." Reuters

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Amanda Lindhout set free after family pays ransom

"I don't think it was political -- you know 15 months with these men and I don't know very much about them. But I think, from the information that I've gathered, I think that it was criminals -- criminals under the guise of being freedom fighters for Somalia ... It was extremely oppressive. I was kept by myself at all times. I had no one to speak to. I was normally kept in a room with a light, no window, I had nothing to write on or with. There was very little food. I was allowed to use the toilet exactly five times a da ... So, basically, my day was sitting on a corner, on the floor, 24 hours a day for the last 15 months. There were times that I was beaten, that I was tortured. It was an extremely, extremely difficult situation." Quotes from CTV News

Toronto Star to outsource production work, cut 121

Further to Mr. Cruickshank's warning of last week. Star said by management to be facing "nightmares".

Washington Post closing remaining U.S. bureaus

Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Reuters

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Playboy to outsource magazine ops to American Media

This move is said to cut $5 million off Playboy's annual forecast loss of $8 million. Reuters

Judge unplugs Roger's "most reliable" boast

BC judge accepts argument that Telus and Bell Canada network upgrades earlier this month make it impossible for Rogers to claim Canada's most reliable network. How about fairly reliable network.

Monday, November 23, 2009

AP declares another cricket war in Australia


Mullahs muzzle popular Tehran newspaper

Worried about press freedom? Think Iran, where Hamrashri (right) the largest circulation paper has been closed down for publishing (are you ready?) a picture of a Baha'i temple. AP reports the lively social commentary paper ran an ad for tourists who might want to look at the temple. Silly of those editors not to understand that the mullahs get mad when you mention another religion. Makes you ponder what they think of the rest of us. Makes you wonder where the tourists might come from. The Planet Guys

CTV, CanWest want to delete U.S. signals

"The broadcasters now wish to expand the simultaneous substitution policy with program deletion. It would provide that when a Canadian broadcaster purchases the rights to a U.S. program, they would have the right to air it whenever they choose within a seven-day window. The hook is cable and satellite companies would be required to block the U.S. broadcast of the same program if it did not air simultaneously" Toronto Star

Harper to loosen telecom rules?

"Mr. Harper's thinking on the issue may have been coloured by a meeting last March in New York with News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch. The lunch meeting between the Prime Minister and the media magnate was ostensibly to discuss G20 issues, but it is understood that Canada's media ownership regulations came up in conversation, with Mr. Murdoch complaining Canada is the only country in the Anglosphere where News Corp. doesn't operate, simply because it is not allowed to. The meeting is said to have persuaded Mr. Harper that the government should revisit the Wilson report" National Post

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Microsoft and News Corp eye web pact

Some say enough money and the right techhology can corner Google. Traffic would be shoe-horned to the Murodch news sites where, guess what, you pay to read the news.

Anti Google wonks work on knocking off goliath

Can they pull it off? Murdoch dollars appled to making Microsoft Bing the exclusive search engine for his big papers. Who knows. Much excitement in the news seems to compel a public response from Google.

YouTube introduces automatic captions for deaf


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Time Warner, News Corp reported interested in MGM


Complaint that PM didn't take questions

CP makes a connection between free speech dinner and PM's decision not to take questions after.

Lawrence Solomon: What she didn't ask

In which global warming skeptic Solomon wonders why Anna Maria Tremonti didn't ask what in his view would have been tougher questions of James Hogan, who sells GW public relations. FP

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cranky Shaw snipes at CRTC, Ivan Fecan

Globe and Mail.

Manga comics keep Torstar chuckling

"Harlequin manga are comic adaptations of Harlequin's romance novels and are currently digitally distributed by Harlequin and SoftBank Creative within and outside of Japan. The digital comics, just released for Amazon's Kindle, are English versions of Harlequin's Japanese manga, which have been digitally distributed in that country since 2007. An ideal blend of "East meets West," the manga are acclaimed for their perfect marriage of Japanese-style comics and Harlequin's world-renowned romances."

La Presse has struck deal with three more unions


AP Layoffs Over But Morale Is 'In The Toilet'

"Morale -- which was low before -- is completely in the toilet now," says an editor who left AP during the recent buyout and still maintains contact with former colleages.Secrecy has been a long-running characteristic of the current management of the newsroom, says the editor, who's been in touch with laid-off staffers.So it's no surprise that e,ployees were left in the dark regarding job cuts. The editor laments the loss of talent -- and lack of faith in management -- at "the most important news organization in the world." Things used to be more open, says the editor, but "AP has become more top-level than ever before" at the expense of hearing valuable staffers' thoughts on improving content and moving the company forward.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FP Newspapers Income Fund Has Distribution for Nov

VANCOUVER -- RELEASE (edited) -- FP Newspapers Income Fund today announced a distribution of 9.50 cents per unit for the month of November 2009, to unitholders of record on November 30, 2009. The distribution will be paid December 30, 2009. FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership owns the Winnipeg Free Press, the Brandon Sun, and their related businesses, as well as Canstar Community News Limited, the publisher of seven community and special interest newspapers in the Winnipeg region.

AOL to cut one-third of workforce


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CRTC blamed for empowering cable firms

Cable companies have gained so much power they have become a threat to Canadian broadcasting, and the national telecommunications regulator is mostly to blame, says Canada's second-largest private broadcaster. Canwest Global Communications Corp. president Leonard Asper blamed the CRTC for setting ground rules that have impoverished broadcasters and put cable firms in the penthouse.

National Post available on Kindle

Kindle,'s electronic reader, has just been released in Canada and the NatPost is on it. The price is $14.99 and it includes international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet.

No doubt, other will follow suit. The kindle is in the photo at left, displaying The New York Times.

YouTube channel for submitting videos to newsrooms

YouTube on Tuesday introduced a new portal, dubbed YouTube Direct, intended to provide news organizations with a more organized way to find and use homemade videos about the day's major news stories. Now, through YouTube Direct, you can submit your video to the news organization of your choice and that station or Web site editor can choose whether to use or decline your footage via a private dashboard. The result? "Citizen stringers," YouTube said.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Offer Canadians low-cost TV package, CBC tells cable

The CBC says it has a simple solution to the battle over so-called television tax controversy facing cable and satellite subscribers. The public broadcaster is telling the federal regulator it should force the carriers to offer a skinny service of Canadian stations at a cost lower than current basic service offered by cable firms. CBC president Hubert Lacroix, shown at left, told the CRTC that cable companies are growing rich on the signals they currently retransmit free from the broadcasters. And he presented what he says is proof the system is broken, tabling graphs showing profits for broadcasters have been on a steady downward path since the introduction of cable specialty channels in the early 1980s.

Monday, November 16, 2009

CRTC blasts both sides in TV dispute

Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein says networks, cable companies ‘destroying each other' and tearing the industry apart.

Media take publication ban in bail hearings to top court

Mandatory publication bans that impose a “cone of silence” on bail hearings must be lifted, argued the country’s largest media companies before the Supreme Court of Canada Monday.

Sun Media lawyers have been fighting mandatory bail hearing publication bans ever since Michael White, an Edmonton man later convicted of killing his wife, was granted bail in 2005 despite widespread outrage in the community. The Edmonton Sun was not allowed to report on the judge’s reasons for releasing the accused because White requested – and was automatically granted – a publication ban. The highest court also heard arguments involving bail hearings for the so-called Toronto 18.

“The problem with section 517 is it’s a blanket all-or-nothing ban that the court must grant simply if the accused asks for it,” said Sun Media lawyer Peter Banks.

The media argued the pre-charter criminal code provision breaches the press’ constitutional right to free expression.

The public has a right to know why individuals the police suggest are terrorists are being released back into the community, said lawyer Paul Schabas.

Rogers decries 'irrational' bidding for U.S. shows

In the afternoon of the first day of the CRTC hearings, Rogers Communications Inc. accused Canada's big television networks of being locked in an “irrational” bidding war for U.S. programming, telling the regulator Monday that the broadcasters should not be allowed to collect fees for their signals.

CTV proposes shakeup as CRTC hearings start

Under the CTV proposal, networks would yank signals or black out popular programming if unable to agree to financial terms with cable, satellite carriers.

CTV appeared first Monday, while Rogers was slated to speak in the afternoon. CanWest appears on Wednesday.

Ted Bissland, long time CBC legal reporter, dead at 76

Ted Bissland, a longtime CBC legal reporter, has died. He covered such major stories as the alleged baby murders at The Hospital for Sick Children and the murder of Hannah Buxbaum. He wrote a number of true crime books and co-authored The Modern Canoe, regarded as the definitive work on making a cedar strip canoe.

"The Digital Journalist" to suspend publication

The Digital Journalist, a 12-year-old online publication aimed at photojournalists, has announced that it is suspending publication. Founded by veteran photographer Dirck Halstead,pictured, the publication also ran workshops to teach still photographers to shoot in video, now the staple of many newspaper web pages.

"Unfortunately, our principal sponsor, Canon, whose market has also been impacted by these turbulent times, has decided they can no longer afford to provide their financial backing to The Digital Journalist," Halstead wrote in an e-mail to readers. "We are very grateful for the generous support they have given us over the years."

He said the publication plans to reorganize, look for new funds and continue publishing sometime in the future.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NYT takeout on the ambitions of Bloomberg news

"Bloomberg has used the cash spraying from its terminal business to hire an astounding number of journalists in recent years, becoming something of a haven in a downsizing industry. Top writers or editors from Fortune, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal land there seemingly weekly. (Six of the company’s 11 executive editors have worked at The Journal.) Bloomberg now has 142 journalists in Washington, 196 in Tokyo and 30 in Paris. It recently opened bureaus in Nigeria, Ghana and Cyprus. It has won numerous journalism awards and, to cite just one example, has offered some of the shrewdest coverage of the financial crisis over the last couple of years," the Times writes.

For full story, click on this post's title

Purchase of NBC by cable company seen as "highly symbolic"

Eight decades after pioneering the concept of broadcasting, NBC is on the verge of a startling move that illustrates broadcast television's decline. Cable TV operator Comcast Corp. is expected to buy a controlling stake in NBC Universal, perhaps as early as next week, bringing the network of Johnny Carson, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Tom Brokaw under the corporate control of the company that owns the Golf Channel and E! Entertainment Television.

"This is highly symbolic," said Tim Brooks, who had worked at NBC for 20 years and now writes books on television history.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Star's public editor on citizen journalists

" . . . what's most important in the debate about citizen journalism is that news organizations themselves uphold journalistic standards and verify all information that is gathered before it is published or broadcast.

"Unverified information is not news, it's simply rumour – whether it's gathered by journalists or citizens committing acts of journalism." -- kathy english

Click on the title for the full article.

Friday, November 13, 2009

If local TV stations disappear, does anyone notice?

If a local TV station in a Canadian city goes dark, does anybody notice? A handful of markets were confronted with that question this fall. The CRTC will try to find the answer starting Monday.
For the full Globe and Mail story, click on the title.

Sun Media plans to appeal judge's ruling on CBC FOIs

Sun Media plans to appeal a federal court's dismissal of a bid to make the CBC disclose almost 300 records in a timely manner using federal Access to Information law. "I think any Crown corporation collecting $1 billion in taxpayer dollars every year must be accountable," said Glenn Garnett, vice-president editorial for Sun Media.
"We're disappointed but we're not going to stop now."

New York Times News Service to Cut Jobs and Relocate

The New York Times News Service will lay off at least 25 editorial employees next year and will move the editing of the service to a Florida newspaper owned by The New York Times Company, the newspaper and the Newspaper Guild said Thursday.

Canwest to list shares on junior stock exchange after TSX delisting Friday

Canwest Global Communications Corp. says its shares will begin trading on the TSX Venture Exchange starting Monday, after being delisted from Canada's main stock market at the end of Friday's trading.

Washington Times editor resigns

John Solomon, the executive editor of The Washington Times, has resigned, the newspaper said. Solomon has held the post since January 2008. He resigned on Nov. 6.
Solomon's resignation followed the ouster of three top employees of the newspaper — Thomas P. McDevitt, the president and publisher; Keith Cooperrider, the chief financial officer; and Douglas D.M. Joo, the chairman. Before joining The Washington Times, Solomon was an investigative reporter at the Washington Post, focusing on politics and money.

Killer of U.S. TV anchor gets life

An Arkansas jury sentences Curtis Vance to life in prison, sparing him the death penalty. Wednesday, the panel found Vance guilty in the October 2008 murder of Little Rock TV anchor Anne Pressly.

Newspapers join coffee and "value meals" in exemption from new tax

Bowing to pressure from the restaurant industry and newspaper publishers – and fearful of overtaxing a cherished morning ritual – the McGuinty government has abandoned a scheme to slap the 13 per cent HST on newspapers and meals costing less than $4.

(Planetguys have to wonder whether the Libs consider newspapers "value meals" for the soul)

Most Canadians think media over-hyped swine flu threat

Opposition politicians and the media may be hammering governments for their handling of the H1N1 situation, but a new poll suggests Canadians themselves feel their governments are doing an OK job. The media's coverage of H1N1 on the other hand - well, that doesn't earn much admiration. The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey found that overall, most respondents see all three levels of government as having done at least a fair job of preparing for, and dealing with, the H1N1 flu virus.

When it comes to media coverage, 65 per cent of Canadians surveyed said news organizations had overreacted to H1N1 influenza.

"That says to me that Canadians are leaning pretty heavily towards saying there's been a bit more hype about this than they might have found preferable," said the pollster, adding that the age, level of education and sex of respondents made little difference.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

John King to replace Lou Dobbs; focus on political news

John King will anchor an ambitious new 7 p.m. hour of political news for CNN beginning early next year, the network announced. The news came a day after Lou Dobbs abruptly told viewers that he was quitting his CNN anchor job immediately. Until King begins his new assignment, a rotating cast of anchors will fill in at 7 p.m. on an interim program called “CNN Tonight.” King is currently the anchor of “State of the Union,” CNN’s Sunday political news show.

ESPN wins S. American rights for 2010/12 Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded the South American broadcast rights for the 2010 and the 2012 Olympic Games to U.S. broadcaster ESPN, the IOC said on Thursday. "ESPN will acquire free-to-air television and radio broadcast rights in Argentina for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and the London 2012 (summer Games), including minimum free-to-air exposure guarantees," it said.

Lou Clancy steps down as Toronto Sun editor-in-chief

Toronto Sun Editor-In-Chief Lou Clancy has left behind 45 successful years in the newspaper business. Clancy decided to retire and Friday marked his final day at the Sun after two years on the job. "He's had a ball," says Rhonda, his wife of 40 years. "This is his timing and this is good timing." Clancy leaves a newsroom that -- under his leadership -- put Toronto's stories on the front page, focusing on filling the Sun with competitive, hard-hitting local news.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SF Examiner says Dobbs may run for president in 2012

Multiple sources have told, Dobbs has been quietly testing the waters for a presidential run in 2012, the Examiner reports. According to these sources, Dobbs has increasingly been feeling the pressure from CNN head Jonathan Klein. The longtime CNN anchor has increasingly become a controversial flashpoint for the network, as he argues against illegal immigration and for the idea that Barack Obama might not be a legitimate citizen of the United States. His increasingly angry conservative/independent leanings stand out in stark contrast to the cable news network's more centrist approach.

Lou Dobbs leaving CNN; parting "amicable"

CNN's Lou Dobbs stepped down from his controversial role as an advocacy anchor at the network at the end of his show Wednesday night after announcing plans to seek a more activist role.
"Over the past six months, it has become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country and affecting all of us, and some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem-solving as well as to contribute positively to a better understanding of the great issues of our day and to continue to do so in the most honest and direct language possible," Dobbs said during his 7 p.m. broadcast.
Dobbs, 64, said he had discussed the issue with CNN President Jonathan Klein, who had agreed to a release from his contract "that will enable me to pursue new opportunities."

Linden MacIntyre wins Giller Prize

Linden MacIntyre, co-host of CBC's The Fifth Estate, has won the Giller Prize for his book The Bishop's Man, which deals with the sensitive topic of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests. The winner of the major literary award, with a $50,000 cash prize, was announced at a gala in Toronto on Tuesday by Jack Rabinovitch, founder of the award.The Bishop's Man is about "a priest who goes into the business idealistically, who realizes that priests also have feet of clay, and it leads him to a personal crisis," MacIntyre said.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Drop extortion charge, Letterman accused asks court

A TV news producer accused of blackmailing David Letterman in exchange for keeping quiet about his sexual affairs was only trying to sell the late-night comic a screenplay, a defence lawyer said Tuesday. Robert J. "Joe" Halderman's lawyer asked a judge to toss the attempted first-degree grand larceny case, saying the producer did nothing illegal in slipping Letterman documents alluding to the ``Late Show" host's dalliances and taking a $2 million check from Letterman's lawyer.

"There was no extortion. There was a screenplay for sale," the lawyer, Gerald Shargel, said outside court. "There was a commercial transaction. Nothing more."

Seven-year licence approved for Victoria's CHEK TV

The CRTC has approved a seven-year licence for CHEK Media Group. The broadcaster, acquired early last month from Canwest Global Communications with private and employee investment, called the licence transfer today a “historic” move in both expediency and the term of the deal.

“A licence transfer like this usually takes months,” John Pollard, president and general manager of CHEK News, said in a statement. “They have reviewed our application and approved it in less than a month."

Ex-NY Post editor sues paper for racism, sexism

Sandra Guzman, a black and Puerto Rican former New York Post editor has sued the newspaper and its parent News Corp, saying she was fired after complaining about sexism and racism, including a cartoon that appeared to liken U.S. President Barack Obama to a chimpanzee. According to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, the former associate editor, was terminated on Sept. 29 in retaliation for complaints about allegedly pervasive racism and sexism at the newspaper.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Murdoch may remove newspapers' stories from Google

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, said his papers which include the London Times and the Wall Street Journal , would probably cut themselves off from Google once they started to charge online. In an interview with Sky News Australia, Murdoch was asked why, given his attacks on Google for “stealing” the company’s content, News Corp had not decided to remove its websites from Google’s search indices.

“I think we will, but that’s when we start charging,” he said. “We do it already with the Wall Street Journal . We have a wall, but it’s not right to the ceiling.”

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