Friday, July 31, 2009

CEP local at CHCH supports sale but grieves pension

CEP release

New York Times gets early Boston Globe bids

Among them is Celtics principal Stephen Pagliuca -- Reuters.

RAI pulls plug on Sky, goes to Mediaset

Berlusconi gives it to Murdoch in the eye -- Reuters.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Globe and Mail columnist needles Keith Boag

"Keith Boag moves from CBC's Ottawa bureau to become a correspondent in Los Angeles. Oh Lordy, what exactly will the very, very serious Boag be covering? The mind boggles. “Well, Peter, Lindsay Lohan has done it again. Another DUI case. And here, Peter, I'm standing right at the spot on Hollywood Boulevard where her car was stopped by the LAPD. Oh look, Peter, that's Mischa Barton walking by, and in her new line of headbands too” -- John Doyle, Globe and Mail.

Venezuela: 'Freedom of expression must be limited'

Disturbing social peace a concern -- AP.

CBC plans 90-minute TV newscasts for 5 p.m.

Back to the future for the CBC as it tries to get more out of news dollar by lengthening program. Begins Monday, August 31, 2009.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Micro-hoo to challenge Google

Microsoft and Yahoo announce 10-year project to build a better search engine -- CNET.

Publisher, editor fired for Communion wafer mistake

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal cleans house.

Star relies on Harlequiin to prop up results

Second quarter results a sad story for Star -- release.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

W-FIVE Executive Producer Malcolm Fox Retires, Senior Producer Anton Koschany Promoted

CTV release

Microsoft and Yahoo draw closer

Microsoft and Yahoo set to announce an online search and advertising deal in the next 24 hours, according to The Wall Street Journal -- CNN.

Taiwanese fear spying, misrepresentation by Chinese media

China looking for permanent news bureaus on the island.

Canwest Global to wind up CHCH pension plan, retirees face reduction

"Retirees are concerned that the issue of pension plan windup will pit current active employees at CHCH-TV against retired former employees," retiree Bob Ireland said.

Amanda Lang to host CBC business show

CBC gets scoop on Amada Lang's new duties

Monday, July 27, 2009

China launches Arabic-language TV channel

Chinese state television launched an Arabic-language channel beamed to the Middle East and Africa on Saturday as part of efforts to expand the communist government's media influence abroad -- AP via Yahoo

Murdoch vs Google over Aussie real estate ads

Sydney Morning Herald reports on this clash of the titans.

USA TODAY starts weekend online edition

The e-Edition product will include a Saturday-Sunday edition called USA TODAY EXTRA, the first-ever regular weekend product from USA TODAY -- release.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gossip queen bee quits Us Weekly

Janice Min is on her way out of a 6-year, lucrative editorship of Us Weekly magazine. Making her own gossip, the queen bee of celebrity dirt is said to be leaving because Us Weekly wants to trim her reported $2.5 million annual package in the name of hard times. The search is on for a replacement.

Nominations for Al Jazeera, Ukraine TV

Al Jazeera English and Ukraine's INTER TV were both nominated for International Emmys in the news category for their coverage of last summer's Russia-Georgia war over the breakaway province of South Ossetia -- CP.

NY Post blames ESPN for outing nude reporter video

Glamorous reporter Erin Andrews appparently the victim of a dirty trick by someone who planted a camera in her hotel room. Police are investigating -- AP.

Pay-tv price cuts coming in U.K.

Reuters offering on British Telecom efforts to get BSkyB to cut prices -- Reuters

Moses Znaimer's second act

Moses Znaimer's CITY-TV foretold the future, when media are everywhere. Think for a second and his less-cool revelation – that older people have lives – seems as prescient.
Click on the title to read the full story.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Family of Australian photog kidnapped with Amanda Lindhout breaks silence

The family of a photographer taken hostage along with Alberta journalist Amanda Lindhout, pictured at left, in Somalia is stepping up the pressure on the Australian government to negotiate the man's release.

The family of Nigel Brennan has broken its silence on the case, criticizing the negotiation process as lacking in transparency and taking "a ridiculous amount of time."

"We are just desperate to get some answers from our government," family spokeswoman Rebecca Hutchins told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "What do they think is a reasonable time for an Australian citizen to be held captive?"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New York Times Q2 profit jumps 84%

New York Times Co.'s second-quarter earnings climbed 84% on a tax benefit and lower operating costs, though advertising revenue fell 30%. Even without the gain, the company posted a surprise profit.

Chief Executive Janet Robinson noted the rate of the ad decline slowed in the quarter and Times Co. expects it to moderate slightly in the current quarter. The newspaper publisher's operating costs declined 20% as it continues its restructuring effort.

Times Co. reported a profit of $39.1 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with a prior-year profit of $21.1 million, or 15 cents a share. Excluding items, earnings were down at 8 cents from 26 cents. Revenue decreased 21% to $584.5 million.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Locked out Journal de Montreal reporters briefly occupy newsroom

Locked out employees at Le Journal de Montreal marked six months on the picket line by re-entering the newsroom of the daily newspaper Wednesday. During a protest at a park across from the Montreal office, dozens of locked-out employees marched across the street and entered the building.

Breaking a court injunction that forbids them to be on the grounds of Le Journal de Montreal offices, some employees shoved security guards in the lobby before entering the newsroom.

Management at the paper, which is owned by publishing giant Quebecor Media, has continued to publish during the lockout of more than 250 employees who have been without a contract since Dec. 31.

Neither side has been at the bargaining table since Jan. 22.

ESPN bans NY Post reporters over Andrews video

ESPN banned staffers from the New York Post from appearing on any of its programming after the newspaper published photos this week taken from a video showing sideline reporter Erin Andrews nude in a hotel room. The Post published three images from the blurry video Tuesday.

"While we understand the Post's decision to cover this as a news story, their running photos obtained in such a fashion went well beyond the boundaries of common decency in the interest of sensationalism," ESPN senior vice president of communications Chris LaPlaca said in a statement.

Newspaper reporters are regular guests on ESPN shows.

Canwest's financial woes claim CHEK-TV

Canwest Global Communications Corp. has announced that it will shut down Victoria-based CHEK-TV on August 31. Staff received layoff notices on July 22, according to a story on the station's Web site.

CHEK-TV was founded in 1956 and was originally headed by David Armstrong, who operated CKDA radio. Canwest continues to operate a Global TV station in Burnaby as well as the Global TV network.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

McClatchy newspapers surprises with Q2 profit after cost cutting

McClatchy Co.'s second-quarter profit more than doubled as a cost-costing spree that wiped out one-third of the newspaper publisher's staff offset the loss of more advertisers and subscribers. The performance, announced Tuesday, sent McClatchy shares soaring 40 percent. Analysts had been expecting the publisher of The Miami Herald and 29 other daily newspapers to lose money for the third consecutive quarter.

Instead the Sacramento-based company earned $42.2 million, or 50 cents per share for the three months ended June 28. That compared with income of $19.7 million, or 24 cents per share, in the second quarter of last year.

Amanda Lang to CBC

It has not yet been officially announced but sources tell the Planetguys that the glamourous host at BNN's "Squeeze Play" is moving to a high profile assignment at the CBC. Ms Lang has also worked at CNN in New York and at the Globe and Mail. She did announce her departure last week but did not say where she was going.

She is already being missed by viewers. A poster on said:

"As a frequent viewer of 'SqueezePlay' on BNN, I was surprised to learn that this was host Amanda Lang's last day on the program and evidently on BNN as well. I always enjoyed her work and her informative interviews which I shall miss. . . .
Nothing stays the same. You get used to watching someone and they move on to other things.

"I just thought that she was very good at what she did and am sorry to see her go. She will be hard to replace."

Monday, July 20, 2009

The new journalism -- get out a tin cup and beg for funding

Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The New York Times, in a column on Sunday described how journalistic assignments are funded now:

"Lindsey Hoshaw, a freelance journalist in Palo Alto, Calif., hopes to sell a multimedia slide show and maybe an article to The Times about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of floating plastic trash caught in swirling currents in a stretch of ocean twice the size of Texas.

"But first, she has to get there. To help finance a $10,000 reporting trip aboard a research vessel, Hoshaw has turned to Spot.Us, a Web site where reporters appeal for donations to pay for their projects. If she can raise $6,000 before the September departure date — so far, only about $1,600 has come in — she will take out a loan for the rest, she said.

"The Times has told Hoshaw that it might pay about $700 for the pictures, more if it also buys a story. To some, this is exploitation — the mighty New York Times forcing a struggling journalist to beg with a virtual tin cup."

Hoyt does not disapprove. he kicked in twenty bucks for the project. Click on the title to read his column.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Univision Communications Inc., the largest Spanish-language television network in the U.S., won a ruling blocking Grupo Televisa SAB from showing its programs to audiences in the U.S. over the Internet.

A judge in Los Angeles, agreed with Univision that a licensing agreement between the two companies that gives Univision exclusive U.S. rights to Televisa programs prohibits Televisa from making the programs available over the Internet in the U.S.

Televisa said it doesn’t agree with the decision.

Walter Cronkite: The voice that spoke for America

BBC broadcaster and a former Washington correspondent Edward Stourton, writing in the Daily Telegraph, pays tribute to Walter Cronkite who has died aged 92.

"Walter Cronkite stood for everything that drew my generation to television in the 1970s. More than anyone else, he symbolised the power of broadcast news; his career had demonstrated why television mattered, and why we thought evolving technology could have a moral purpose. It was an irony of this extraordinary successful life that he long outlived the golden age of the media he did so much to mould.

He came to television with his journalistic voice well formed; he had flown over Germany on an American bomber, covered the D-Day landing, and parachuted in to the Netherlands for Operation Market Garden; it was the kind of reporting pedigree that was bound to leave him with a strong sense of the seriousness of journalism.

But it was his manner as much as anything else that matched him so well with television, and he moved to CBS in the 1950s. He was a master of the small gesture, which worked so well in the intimate, living-room relationship between the news anchor and his audience. The way he removed his glasses for emphasis – without a hint of theatricality – and let his feelings show as he announced the death of President Kennedy in 1963 said just as much as his words. So, too, did the excited lapses into uncharacteristic inarticulate exclamation as he watched man's first steps on the Moon: 'Man on the Moon. Oh boy! Phew. Boy!'"

For the full stiry, please click on the title.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Surprise! Surprise! Facebook is not private!

Facebook shares personal information with developers who create games and quizzes in a way that breaches Canadian privacy law, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has found.

The popular social networking site, which is used by 12 million Canadians, doesn't have enough safeguards to prevent those third-party developers from getting unauthorized access to users' personal information, says the report released Thursday by assistant privacy commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

According to the report, Facebook does not ensure that users have given "meaningful consent" to allow their personal information to be disclosed to the developers.

Let Canadians see Al Jazeera TV: Toronto Star columnist

The Star's Haroon Siddiqui writes that Al Jazeera has developed a following of 140 million households in 100 countries . . .(it) reports from under-reported regions of this world. He quotes Al Jazeera's Tony Burman as saying that the network has a staff of 1,200 from 50 nationalities -- "Our staff is as multicultural as Canada. A-J should have special resonance in Canada."

(Click on the title to read the full column)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Conrad Black denied bail

In a ruling today, U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve turned down Black's motion for bail. St. Eve presided over the 2007 trial of the former chairman of Hollinger International Inc. and sentenced him to 6 1/2 years in prison. Black has been at a federal prison in Coleman, Fla., since March, 2008.

In her four-page ruling, St. Eve said that Black "failed to establish that a ruling in his favour on the issues before the Supreme Court is likely to result in reversal of his obstruction of justice conviction or a shorter sentence than the total of time defendant already has served in prison plus the anticipated time it will take the Supreme Court to resolve the merits of his case."

Is the worst over for newspaper companies?

Gannett offered the beaten-down newspaper industry a reason for cheer on Wednesday when it reported a second-quarter profit. Gannett said it accumulated a profit of $70.5 million, or 30 cents a share, against a year-before loss of $2.29 billion, or $10.03 a share. Not including items, earnings fell to 46 cents from $1.04 a share. Revenue dropped 18% to $1.41 billion.

Gannett, which operates 80 newspapers including its flagship USA Today, also reported a 32% decline in publishing advertising revenue - some data that are sure to bring executives back to their grim reality.

But they can hope that the Gannett numbers indicate that - at the very least - the worst is behind them.

British Tory MPs want regional newspapers to do local TV

Local newspaper companies could step in to produce local and regional TV news on ITV, the Conservatives said today in a proposal that would abandon the government policy to use the British TV licence fee for local media. Lord Carter's Digital Britain report proposed using about £130m a year from the licence fee from 2013 to fund a series of independent consortia to provide local TV news.

The Conservatives proposals, produced by outgoing Johnston Press chairman Roger Parry as part of a review of creative industries, draws on the US and Canada where local TV companies succeed without the need for public subsidy.
(Ed comment: He is obviously not up to date on Canada)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Profits fall at BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide, which markets BBC programs including "Doctor Who" and "Dancing with the Stars" internationally and owns travel publisher Lonely Planet, said net profit dropped to 40.8 million pounds (C$76.8 million) in the year ended March 31, from 77.6 million pounds in the previous year.

BBC Worldwide said it took a 15 million pound hit from the loss of its joint venture DVD publishing business 2entertain with collapsed retailer Woolworths. The decision of regulators to veto Kangaroo, its proposed online video venture with Channel 4 and ITV, cost it another 9.1 million pounds.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The state of photojournalism

Back in 1999, Dirck Halstead wrote an editorial in lamenting how difficult it was becoming to pursue a life in photojournalism. Budgets were being slashed at the newsmagazines for photography, entry-level jobs at newspapers were becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, and once such an internship was secured, it was hard to move up the ladder. Compared to the glory days of photojournalism in the 1970s, the situation was looking bleak.

"As I reread that article recently, I realized that what I was talking about then were some cracks in the dam. Today, the whole damned dam is gone. It is difficult not to be concerned by the changes in the industry over the past year," he wrote in this month's edition of his electronic publication.

(Click on the title to read the full story.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blue banner nameplates everywhere

Toronto newstand mystery. Who owns the Job Journal with the nameplate sporting a blue banner similar to that of the Toronto Star.

N.Y. Times economics reporter on the hook for subprime mortgage

He warned Times readers about the perils of subprime mortgages – then he went out and got one himself.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Associated Press names new bureau chief in Havana

Paul Haven has been appointed The Associated Press chief of bureau in Havana, Cuba, following three years of leading AP's operations in Spain and Portugal, the agency has announced.

Star public editor takes paper's writer to task for post on blog

'Gay' blog post was just not fair

Kathy English

Capturing about 900 hits daily on the Star's website, Antonia Zerbisias's Broadsides blog is seen by a fraction of the people who read her twice weekly column in this newspaper.

I'm aware then, that by drawing attention in this column to a controversial comment that emerged this week on Zerbisias's blog, I am alerting a far larger audience to what I think is an unfortunate misstep on Zerbisias's part and an embarrassment for the Star.

First, this column is intended to address publicly the valid concerns of the Canadian Jewish Congress, whose chief executive officer, Bernie Farber, was the subject of a Zerbisias blog post that was tasteless and fell short of the Star's standards of fairness, accuracy and civility. That's a view shared by publisher John Cruickshank.

Second, this incident underscores the pressing need for clear "rules of engagement" for Star journalists using social media tools such as blogs and Twitter, where a no-holds-barred style of "new journalism" is emerging.

(For the full story, please click on the title.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Laws don't allow many exemptions for reporters: Comment on U.K. wiretapping allegations

In 1998, the Cincinnati Enquirer shelled out $10-million and published three massive apologies, renouncing a story about Chiquita Brands International fruit company, saying it had been deceived by its reporter. As it turned out, a source hadn't provided voicemails. The reporter, Mike Gallagher, pleaded guilty to illegally tapping into the voicemail system. He was sentenced to five years' probation. Whether the story was accurate wasn't the issue. The newspaper hung its reporter out to dry because he broke the law in stealing the voicemails.

The issue is on the front pages again this week, as one British newspaper, The Guardian, has published stories alleging that a tabloid, News of the World, wiretapped British politicians and celebrities, and then paid off those who found out to keep quiet. It's raised questions about the rights of journalists to pry into the lives of public and private figures.

(Click on the title for the full story)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

CTV Windsor station spared for a year

CTV Inc. has given a one-year reprieve to its Windsor TV station that faced closing this summer. The move is in direct response to a CRTC decision this week to boost subsidies for local programming, the broadcaster said.

"I am delighted," said Don Mumford, who has worked at the Windsor station since its birth in 1993 and is now its general manager.

Murdoch Newspapers to Be Investigated Over ‘Blagging’ Claims

Bloomberg on "underhand means" (dirty tricks?)

Canwest Global saved by the recession

Winnipeg Free Press on top of hometown CanWest woes.

Canadian companies oppose fee-for-carriage for local TV

Cable companies, consumer groups --

UK Publishers Struggle to Turn International Traffic into Profit (Release)

British papers missing overseas interest says survey firm.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

News Corp won't buy Twitter, won't sell MySpace

Reuters dispatch from Sun Valley thinkfest at which New Corp. boss poured cold water on feverish Twitter rumour

Murdoch's UK publisher said to have paid 1 mln settlement over phone taps

The Guardian zings News Corp.

Google plans operating system for PCs

Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Black newspaper in Boston suspends publication

Bay State Banner in business 44-years with high reputation faced advertising drought -- AP.

Popular former Edge radio host found dead

Martin Streek was long-time on air personality for The Edge 102.1. Picture above is from his Facebook site where he posted an ominous message Monday, a few weeks after his layoff from the station, according to linked CTV story.

Writer swoons over Jackson ticket

Reporter says he was just "lucky" to get one -- Toronto Star.

Globe and Mail accepts calf-roping ad

The Vancouver Humane Society has welcomed a decision by the Globe and Mail newspaper to run an ad calling for a ban on calf-roping at the Calgary Stampede. The Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun refused to take the ad. CNW.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Toronto Star cuts 6 full-time and 21 part-time jobs in classified department

"Dramatic drop in classified services" causes Torono Star to outsource classified call centre, possibly to Buffalo company.

TV firms score victory in fight over fees

CRTC specifies arbitration if broadcasters and cable ops can't agree. Regulators side-step imposing a fee. Globe and Mail.

CRTC increases funding for the Local Programming Improvement Fund

Can $100 million save "local television?"

J-Source seeks new Editor-in-Chief

Canadian Journalism Foundation release.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Media players plot survival in Sun Valley

"People in the traditional media world are terrified," says Ken Auletta, famed writer who will attend the retreat -- Reuters.

Advertising set for mild 2010 recovery

ZenithOptimedia offers outlook -- Reuters.

Memory Lane for Sat Eve Post

Story of the Saturday Evening Post, with plans to find some off-line readers. SEP went from six million readers in 1960 to a present 350,000. It was the platform for famed artist Norman Rockwell.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Newspapers in WA get tax break during bad times

Not enough money to make it a bailout says lawmaker -- AP.

Ex-Nixon aide Herbert Klein dies at 91 in Calif

One-time newspaper editor negotiated terms for Nixon of first presidential TV debate

Plan to buy, spruce up local CTV stations goes sour for Shaw Communications

Like buying a car with no motor,they decided --CP.

Globe and Mail management, union agree on tentative deal

From Globe and Mail with interesting comments from readers attached.

B.C. web magazine wins prestigious journalism award

An RTNDA award. Magazine called The Tyee wrote about B.C. homeless and federal election -- CP via CBC.

Globe and Mal has tentative settlment

Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper has agreed to a tentative deal with unionized workers just ahead of a strike deadline, a union official said early on Friday -- Reuters.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Washington Post cancels plans to charge lobbyists for get-together

The New York Times reports that the Washington Post has decided to cancel plans to charge lobbyists and trade groups $25,000 or more to sponsor private, off-the-record dinner parties at the home of its publisher, Katharine Weymouth, events that would have brought together lobbyists, business leaders, Post journalists and officials from the Obama administration and Congress.

The revelation of the parties early Thursday morning by appalled members of The Post newsroom and put the paper squarely in the cross hairs of journalism ethicists. In response, Ms. Weymouth canceled the first dinner, scheduled for July 21.

Canadian journalist charged in Iran over protests

Maziar Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian journalist who was detained in Tehran during post-election protests has been charged with belonging to a Western-orchestrated conspiracy to overthrow the clerical regime. Bahari has a home in Toronto but has lived in Iran for more than a decade, and worked for Newsweek magazine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Globe and Mail strike deadline moved to midnight Thursday

Talks between the Globe and Mail's management and the union representing 480 of its workers have been extended for two days until midnight Thursday night. In a statement, the union said "there will be no strike, lockout or work-to-rule action earlier than midnight Thursday." Veteran Toronto mediator William Kaplan, who has arbitrated talks between Air Canada and its unions, will oversee the last-minute negotiations

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