Sunday, January 31, 2010

CBS has jock gender jitters #1

Gay dating ad nixed from Super Bowl by CBS

CBS has jock gender jitters #2

CBS rejects Super Bowl ad featuring "effeminate football star".

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why the computer is doomed

Longish story not so much about "doom" but rather how the laws of physics can't accommodate faster and faster computers. Interesting comments by readers. Globe and Mail

Star publisher heralds "Golden Age"

Upbeat review by the publisher of the Toronto Star of outsourcing and its talks with the unions on this subject.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vivendi lied about finances says jury

But former executives catch a break as judgement is made against the company only.

Corus closes two unprofitable Montreal stations

One news station, Info690 and one music station, AM940 Montreal's Greatest Hits, will close with licenses being turned back to the CRTC. Ten people will be laid off as a result.

Breaking up Canwest 'disaster' for ad buyers

Canada's biggest newspaper chain, Canwest Limited Partnership, is more attractive to advertising buyers if it is sold as a single network of newspapers anchored by a national footprint, according to two of the biggest media-buying networks in the country. The Canwest chain, which includes the National Post, 10 major market daily newspapers and 35 community papers, was put on the selling block earlier this month after the company filed for protection from its creditors on Jan. 8. Calgary Herald

Thursday, January 28, 2010

James Ferrabee, Southam and Montreal Gazette newsman, dies at 72

James Ferrabee, whose wide-ranging career as a reporter, foreign correspondent, editor and commentator began at The Gazette on the eve of the Quiet Revolution and grew to span much of the globe, died yesterday. He was 72.

McClatchy to experiment with online pay model, but carefully

McClatchy is one of the few newspaper companies reporting positive online advertising results in a very tough year. In Q4, online ad revenue was up 14.9% and now represents almost 16% of total revenue*. McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt stressed during Wednesday morning's conference call that 44% of online ad revenue was online-only. It's no surprise, then, that McClatchy is going to tread very lightly, if at all, with regard to online pay models for its Web sites. Given the said it was moving to a meter model in 2011, it's a given the question would come up.

Click on the title to read the full story in Editor and Publisher.

New York Times take on Apple's iPad

Half an inch thick and weighing 1 1/2 pounds, the device will vividly display books, newspapers, Web sites and videos on a 9.7-inch glass touch screen. Giving media companies another way to sell content, it may herald a new era for publishing.

But the iPad, costing $499 to $829, also lacks some features common in laptops and phones, as technology enthusiasts were quick to point out. To its instant critics, it was little more than an oversize iPod Touch. A camera is notably absent, and Flash, the ubiquitous software that handles video and animation on the Web, does not work on the device.

Another thing missing is an alternative to the AT&T data network, which is already buckling under the strain of traffic to and from iPhones. Some versions of the iPad can, for a monthly fee, use a 3G data connection like cellphones, but the only carrier mentioned was AT&T. One question Apple faces is whether there is enough room for another device in the cluttered lives of consumers.
Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research, says he thinks book lovers would continue to opt for lighter, cheaper e-readers like the Amazon Kindle, while people looking for a small Web-ready computer would gravitate toward the budget laptops known as netbooks.

But other analysts say they have heard similar criticism before — once aimed at the iPhone, which has now been bought by more than 42 million people around the world. These believers say Apple’s judgment on the market is nearly infallible.

Click on the title to read the full story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple reveals new gadget: the iPad

Apple CEO Steve Jobs says users will be able to use the iPad’s touch screen to email, store photos, navigate maps, play video games and read electronic books. The device is “so much more intimate than a laptop, and so much more capable than a smartphone,” Jobs said during his presentation. The iPad runs on a one gigahertz chip and comes with 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage. It also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities and contains an accelerometer and a proximity sensor. The device is about 1.3 centimetres thick, has a 25-centimetre screen and weighs about half a pound.

'Golden age' for readers: Arianna Huffington

She's been called a liberal, a conservative and, most recently, one of the most influential women in media. As the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the world's most popular online newspaper, The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington in on the vanguard of the media's most revolutionary shift is more than a century. In an interview with the Financial Post's Matt Hartley, Ms. Huffington shares her thoughts on the future of media and technology, Apple Inc.'s much rumoured tablet device and her impressions of the first year of the Barack Obama administration.

Click on the title to read the interview.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Apple tablet to be announced Wednesday; may not "save" print media

Publishers have high hopes that Apple's highly anticipated tablet computer will attract new readers and boost revenue, but few expect that it will by itself reverse the fortunes of a beleaguered industry. Investors and analysts are cautiously optimistic and they warn the device -- launching Wednesday -- is only part of the solution to the flight of readers to cheaper content on the web.

Canadians switch off during TV commercials

‘Advertisers must accept they no longer have a captive audience. Whatever your product, service or message, it needs to be of high interest or it will not sustain awareness,’ ad executive says

Media entrepreneur joins Toronto's mayoral race

Sarah Thomson, 42, founder of Women's Post Media, which publishes the Women's Post that started in 2002 as a newspaper but currently is a glossy magazine has become a candidate for mayor of Toronto.

Martha Stewart heading to Hallmark Channel on cable

Stewart's weekday program, currently syndicated to various broadcast channels, will move to the Hallmark Channel in September, the network and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. have announced.

Nearly 77 per cent of Canwest's lenders support its restructuring plan

Toronto-based law firm McMillan, which is acting as counsel to Canwest LP's key lenders, says that 135 lenders representiing 77 per cent of senior secured lenders have committed their support to the restructuring plan. The proposal requires the consent of two-thirds of Canwest LP's senior secured debt (66.6 per cent) and a majority of all votes cast at a formal vote scheduled for Wednesday.

Diane Francis joins team bidding for CanWest papers

Business journalist and media executive Diane Francis has joined a consortium interested in bidding for three CanWest LP newspapers. Francis is editor at large at the National Post, one of the 11 papers CanWest has put up for sale. She would become vice-chair of the management committee if the consortium succeeds in its bid to buy the Post, the Ottawa Citizen and Montreal's The Gazette. The consortium is led by former senator Jerry Grafstein, a Liberal, former Global TV executive Raymond Heard and Montreal editor Beryl Wajsman.

Washington Post bureau caught up in Baghdad blast

From an eyewitness account by reporter Leila Fadel:

"We got up. Aziz Alwan, one of our Iraqi reporters, dragged our guests, a colleague from National Public Radio and me to a windowless room behind the kitchen. We thought it was over, and I felt embarrassed that we had forced our guests into such tight quarters.

"Then we heard shots and a third, deafening blast. The house, inside the compound of the Hamra Hotel, felt like it was collapsing. We heard screams outside.

"Our office manager, Abu Mohammed, walked in, holding his bleeding head. One of Alwan's arms was wounded and his ribs were bruised. He told no one, ignored the pain and pulled others into the room, until he collapsed."

For the full story click on the title.

Monday, January 25, 2010

ZoomerMedia purchase assets from Moses Znaimer

ZoomerMedia Limited ("Zoomer")has announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire several media and real estate assets currently owned directly or indirectly by Zoomer's President, Chief Executive Officer and majority shareholder, Moses Znaimer. The proposed acquisition of these assets was previously announced in connection with the private placement by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited ("Fairfax") of $17.6 million into Zoomer.

NBC will regret appeasing Leno; "Conan was the Czechoslovakia of late-night TV," Wall Street Journal

Cultural historians are desperately seeking a precedent to the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien fiasco. They are looking in the wrong places. True, Pat Sajak, Chevy Chase and Joan Rivers all got axed from late-night talk shows after shockingly brief stints at the helm, but none of them got $32.5 million to take a hike. And none of them got replaced by the person they had replaced. And none of them pouted about getting canned for general incompetence while millions of their countrymen—who had not actually failed at their jobs—were unable to find work.

No, the most appropriate parallel to the debacle that has humiliated NBC took place in central Europe in the late 1930s. It happened at Munich.

Jay Leno, much like Adolf Hitler,(pictured at left with British P.M. Neville Chamberlain) is a master of making secret demands for foreign territory and then acting like the wronged party. First he pretended that he wanted to annex only the first half-hour of Mr. O'Brien's "Tonight Show." Here he was mimicking Hitler, who insisted that he merely wanted to annex the German-speaking Sudetenland, not all of Czechoslovakia.

Then, adopting the craven British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as a role model, NBC stabbed Mr. O'Brien in the back by agreeing to let Mr. Leno reoccupy the first segment of his old "Tonight Show" slot. NBC's defense was that Mr. O'Brien had dismal ratings, and the show was a bit of a mess. But the same can be said about Czechoslovakia, a hodgepodge cobbled together after the First World War that never really got its act together.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

N.Y. Times public editor on Haiti body photos

It was hard to look at some of the pictures of suffering and death caused by the earthquake in Haiti — and impossible to turn away. Some readers were offended at these scenes and even more graphic pictures on the paper’s Web site, calling them exploitive and sensationalistic. Just as a picture of a grieving mother told the story of the tsunami in 2004, the disturbing images of the last two weeks have been telling the story of Haiti, and The Times is right to publish them. As Patricia Lay-Dorsey, a reader from Detroit, put it, Winter’s “camera was my eye as much as it was his. And every one of his photos told the truth.”

For the full story, click on the title.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Can the Web save newspapers?

The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month was abuzz with talk of touch-screen tablet computers that are slim and light enough to function as 21st-century replacements for newsprint. And this week came reports that Apple Inc. may be working with The New York Times on a new way to deliver and charge for online content, possibly based on the popular iTunes model used to sell digital music.

The Times' debt-laden parent company wouldn't confirm links with Apple, but did say it intends to introduce a "paywall" in January 2011 that will allow it to charge online readers after they've read a certain number of free articles in a month. All eyes will be on Apple next week as it is expected to launch its highly anticipated tablet computer, unofficially dubbed the iSlate.

To read the full Toronto Star story, click on the title.

Conan O'Brien takes his parting shots, but thanks NBC

Since the turmoil started two weeks ago – when he said in a statement he wouldn't host the show if it was moved back to 12:05 a.m. to make way for a reinstated Jay Leno at 11:35 – O'Brien has mercilessly made fun of NBC and its executives. But on the show Friday he acknowledged his time at the network.

"Between my time at Saturday Night Live, The Late Night Show, and my brief run here on The Tonight Show, I have worked with NBC for over 20 years. Yes, we have our differences right now and yes, we're going to go our separate ways. But this company has been my home for most of my adult life. I am enormously proud of the work we have done together, and I want to thank NBC for making it all possible."

The final show's guests included Tom Hanks, musician Neil Young and actor Will Ferrell, who was O'Brien's guest on his inaugural Tonight Show episode.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Union wants hearings into City-TV cuts (release)

OTTAWA, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's largest media union is asking whether the silence from the CRTC about the latest shutdown of local news at CITY television stations is the result of Heritage Minister James Moore muzzling the CRTC.

"Despite Canadians' overwhelming demonstration in the past several months of the importance of local news to their daily lives, the CRTC and the Harper government have been alarmingly tight-lipped about this drastic cut in local coverage," says Peter Murdoch, Vice-President Media for CEP, Canada's largest media union.

When Rogers bought the City stations in 2007, the billion-dollar media giant told the CRTC it supported the stations' "distinctive local programming." But now, just two years later, it has slashed local newscasts and laid off employees, despite the fact that from 2008 to 2009, local advertising revenues on Rogers' television stations jumped 41% - an amazing increase in the middle of a recession.

"While the Tories absent themselves from Parliament, big lobbyists like Rogers are given free rein to duck their promises to Canadians. And it appears the CRTC, Canada's broadcast regulator, has been told to go on vacation as well."

Corus Entertainment files shelf prospectus for up to $500 million

Corus Entertainment Inc. said Friday it has filed a preliminary short form base shelf prospectus that will allow the company to raise up to $500 million in new debt securities. The company has said it may be interested in buying some of the specialty channel assets of Canwest Global Communications Corp.), which is restructuring its business under court protection from creditors. Corus operates a broad array specialty cable channels, including YTV, Treehouse, W Network, and Cosmopolitan TV, as well as Movie Central and HBO Canada in western Canada.

Unions slam Péladeau for 'hateful' comments

Media baron Pierre Karl Péladeau has come out swinging against a trade union movement in Quebec that he says benefits from too many unjustifiable "privileges" that are hobbling the province's economic development. In an open letter published yesterday in le Journal de Québec - one of the daily newspapers in his media empire - the chief executive officer of Quebecor Inc. . slams the unions for what he says are their entrenched ways that have no place in a global economy. But at least one business leader applauded Mr. Péladeau's criticisms. In the letter, Mr. Péladeau says he is not questioning the unions' right to exist, but believes they have gained too many privileges that are no longer warranted in the new global economic context.

Star-struck 'supermarket tabloid' aims for a Pulitzer

The executive editor of the National Enquirer, dismissed by some as a ''supermarket tabloid'', says he plans to enter his paper's work on the John Edwards scandal for a Pulitzer Prize, the highest award in US journalism.
Don't laugh.
''It's clear we should be a contender for this,'' Barry Levine said, hours after the former Democratic presidential candidate admitted what the newspaper had been reporting all along: that he is the father of Rielle Hunter's baby.

Tonight's new tomorrow

According to reports, Conan O'Brien's deal to walk away from NBC's Tonight Show is worth almost $45 million (U.S.), with the host getting $32.5 million and his staff splitting about $12 million.

The Beaver's name change makes it a media sensation

The plan to change the title of The Beaver after 90 years to avoid online porn blockers has made Canada's top history magazine an international media sensation — first as joke fodder for Jay Leno and now as the subject of an editorial printed Thursday in another venerable publication: the British-based newsweekly The Economist.

Click on the title to read the complete story.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cable cuts expose absurdity of CRTC

Lorrie Goldstein lets rip at Rogers, CRTC. Toronto Sun

Research firm sees competitor to Google

BIA/Kelsey sees the return of the competitive market in search ads, with the potential for a Bing-AOL-Yahoo combined brand to compete with Google. Its Mobile Local analysts, meanwhile, see location-targeted mobile as having a "core role" in local media. Says BIA/Kelsey, "Location and geotargeted advertising will represent a long-elusive revenue stream for Twitter and for third parties that mash up Twitter streams and location data." Radio Ink

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 has Tiger Woods pictures

National Enquirer's hot gossip site, known for paying well for tips and pictures, has what it calls the first pictures of Tiger Woods since he went into hiding in November.

Colleen Walsh fined for assault in air rage case

Fines totalling $2,400. Toronto Star

Walsh trial hears explanation from defendant

Detailed refutation of allegations given by Colleen Walsh on the stand in St. John's.

Toronto Star column on CityTV layoffs

Radju Mudhar reviews the situtation.

NYT has plan for mixed pay-free online news

Months of deliberation to take this "risky move" says AP.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CP24 swimming in Schadenfreude

The Germans have a word for it. Schadenfreude, or unalloyed pleasure at the misfortune of others (see post below). Still, CP24 will now program news in time periods apparently abandoned by Citytv. (What will we do without Animal House Calls just before dinner?) It shows, perhaps, the impact not just of the recession but the loss of the 24 hour news station, grabbed by CTV in the CHUM breakup ordered by the CRTC a year or so ago. Here is the CP24 news release. The Planet Guys.

"In response to CityTV announcement of restructuring of broadcast operations and cancellation of 5 p.m. newscast, CP 24 offers two new half-hour news programs on the radio and on the web– Toronto, ON (January 19, 2009) – Today, CP24 brings a fresh approach to news with the debut of two new half-hour programs: CP24’s LIVE AT 5 and LIVE AT 5:30. CP24’s lead anchor, Ann Rohmer, anchors tonight’s inaugural CP24 LIVE AT 5 newscast featuring CP24’s team of resourceful reporters bringing viewers breaking Toronto news stories, traffic and transit, weather and sports, along with national and international news stories. Melissa Grelo helms CP24 LIVE AT 5:30, bringing Torontonians the news they need when and where they need it. In response to CityTV’s announcement that they are restructuring broadcast operations, including eliminating their 5 p.m. newscast today, CP24 has announced it will fill the void for Toronto. “

Bloodbath at Citytv

Inconic local TV names with big salaries are let go. Anne Mroczkowski (left) Pam Seatle, Laura DiBattista, Marianne Dimain, Merella Fernandez, Farah Nasser, Michael Serapio and up to 10 cameramen were laid off Tuesday. Questions about 5 pm, 5.30 pm and weekend newscast go unanswered. Toronto Sun

Google Delays Release of Cellphones in China

New York Times

Google isn't racing from China

For all the insinuations and indignation unleashed over the past week, the fact that Google Inc. GOOG-Q is still censoring sensitive searches suggests the Internet giant is far from certain that it wants to leave China to others. Globe and Mail

Monday, January 18, 2010

Apple special event Jan 27 might announce tablet

Reuters says Apple is expected to show a tablet, the hoped-for bridge between smartphones and the laptop. It says, "tablet computers have never managed to catch on with consumers, and industry watchers say Apple will have to offer a compelling reason to buy such a device."

Consortium to bid for three CanWest dailies

Grafstein, Heard and Wajsman say they have financial support and would "broaden and deepen" present readership. Globe and Mail

Star take on bid for CanWest flagships

Toronto Star: "Canadian media luminaries Jerry Grafstein, Raymond Heard and Beryl Wajsman announced today they are leading a consortium of local investors to acquire Montreal’s The Gazette, The Ottawa Citizen and The National Post."

Colleen Walsh air rage trial opens today

Walsh has pleaded not guilty to charges of endangering the safety of an aircraft, obstructing its use, and causing a disturbance. She was on an Air Canada flight last April from London to Toronto when it landed in St. John's for a medical problem involving another passenger. Police said they were called to respond after a woman began yelling and swearing. Walsh was released on conditions to keep the peace after paying $2,500 bail.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Polanski wins privacy action in French court

Against Aujourd'hui en France.

New gossip sites pay plenty for tips

Okay situational in Toronto Star from special correspondent Sarah Barmak

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Denver Post, Salt Lake Tribune in Chapter 11 filing

Affiliated Media Inc., the holding company for the MediaNews Group of newspapers, based in Denver, said Friday it has reached a deal with its creditors to carry out a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a financial restructuring, the News reported. The company said in a statement that the reorganization won't affect newspaper operations and is being done to reduce Affiliated Media's debt by about $765 million to $165 million through a debt-for-equity swap.

Canwest Fellowship in Honour of Michelle Lang


NBC's talk show wars a PR disasterl

With the struggling network still scrambling to sort out its failed prime-time experiment with host Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel have played out their talk show wars with Leno all week in what media watchers called a public relations disaster from which NBC could be slow to recover. Reuters

Photographers in Haiti Face Shortages of Fuel, Water, Housing, and Food

Photo District News.

Prorogation splits Kent brothers

Globe and Mail

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rogers radio hires Jennifer Ashawasegai

Rogers release announces that the company has hired aboriginal producer Jennifer Ashawasegai to produce a one hour program each week for a number of its radio stations.

Leno experiment blew away key demo for local news

The research firm Harmelin Media says local NBC stations saw their late news audience drop by an average of 25 per cent in November compared with the previous year among 25-to 54-year-old viewers. That's the demographic upon which news advertising rates are based.

Erica Hill leaves CNN for CBS' 'The Early Show'

Hill has been anchoring the Saturday edition of "The Early Show" for a little more than a year with Chris Wragge. She's also been at CNN during that time, where she's been a correspondent and substitute anchor on "Anderson Cooper 360." Hill is giving up her CNN job. Hill has commented that “It was very tough decision to leave.” CBS News has not commented about Hill’s new expanded role at the network; however a statement is due next week. CP.

Fear of debt haunts CanWest auction

Andrew Willis in Globe and Mail ponders whether downturn will cool interest in event of auction.

Astral pay TV subscribers up; revenue in radio down

Not bad news for Astral. CP

Radio Free Europe broadcasting to Pakistan

US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty says it is starting to broadcast to the tribal areas of Pakistan. The broadcaster said in a statement on Thursday that its new Radio Mashaal would begin broadcasting Friday (today) in the local Pashto dialect.

Roger Ailes says he's not going anywhere

There's been lot 's of talk since Murdoch's son-in-law said: "I am by no means alone within the family or the company in being ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to.”

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Editor & Publisher back to life under new owner

Editor & Publisher, chronicler of the U.S. newspaper business for more than a century, will live again after being shut down two weeks ago. E&P, as journalists often call it, will resume publication after being sold to boating magazine publisher Duncan McIntosh, it confirmed on its website after Reuters reported the news -- Reuters

Shaw says he could be interested in some Canwest assets

Jim Shaw told reporters after the firm's annual meeting in Calgary that he has met with the Asper family, who run Winnipeg-based Canwest Global Communications. Shaw declined to specify which particular Canwest assets might be of interest.

"I'd call it exploring right now. There's no deal or anything," Shaw told reporters.

Follow the law, China tells Internet companies

Two days after Google announced that it would quit China unless the nation’s censors eased their grip, the Chinese government offered an indirect but unambiguous response: Companies that do business in China must follow the laws of the land. The comments, by two different officials Thursday, suggested that China was unlikely to give ground on Google’s demands that its search engine results be unfiltered. In announcing its decision Tuesday that it might leave the world’s biggest Internet market, Google also cited a series of cyberattacks aimed at breaching the accounts of human rights advocates on its e-mail service, Gmail.

Click on the title to read the full New York Times story.

Astral Media Q1 profit jumps, sees positive 2010

Astral Media Inc. reported first-quarter profit jumped 42% and said it expects new programming to help boost 2010 results. The company had a profit in the first three months of the fiscal year of $56.2 million, from $39.6 million in the year earlier period. Revenue rose 3% to $250.7 million, Astral said in a statement. New projects, such as the launch of online programming with Bell TV, new high-definition channels and the deployment of the country’s first national digital outdoor advertising network will have a positive impact on 2010 results, the company said.

Shaw revenue rises but profit slips

Shaw Communications Inc. revenues grew by 11 per cent in the first quarter through sales of its bundled services, but profits were affected by higher non-operating items such as debt retirement. The cable television, Internet and phone company said net income slipped to $114.2-million, or 26 cents per share, for the quarter. That's down from $123.5-million or 29 cents per share during the comparable quarter a year earlier.
Shaw's profits in the quarter ended last Nov. 30 were affected by $82-million in costs related to debt retirement, nearly double the amount logged a year earlier. Total revenue from all services rose nearly 11 per cent to $905.9-million from $817.5-million as it grew its customer base and increased service rates.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti earthquake coverage from Twitter and YouTube has revolutionized the media, says a Philadelphia blog

Thousands of updates poured in from the ravaged country, which lost most of its power. There were no other way for the news to reach the outside world.
Had this happened a few years ago, the world wouldn't be able to see the horror that's taking place in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

According to the blog, Twitter has reshaped media as we know it. Now, the people can contribute to the media. Gone are the days of people not being able to directly tell their stories. We saw it in Iran during the riots this summer. And, we're witnessing it now.

And, some of the footage popped up on YouTube from people's cellphones. Never before has individualist media from Twitter and YouTube played such a part in a tragic disaster on this scale. Gone are the days when we're at the mercy of TV networks "choosing" to provide us with footage and accounts.

Associated Press activates Its Twitter account for earthquake coverage

The Associated Press has launched its Haiti earthquake coverage on its official Twitter feed, an account that has not been active since July 13, 2009. The AP also launched a Facebook page for exclusive coverage of the Haiti earthquake.

"Join AP as we track developments in Haiti and interact with you while providing fast, reliable coverage on the stricken island nation," they noted their first Twitter update since the summer.

AP will direct the rest of its news items to separate accounts on Twitter.

Corus Entertainment says it's only interested in some of Canwest's assets

Corus Entertainment is possibly interested in buying some specialty channels from Canwest Global Communications but not other parts of its media business, Corus CEO John Cassaday said Wednesday. Cassaday made the comments to analysts in a conference call about his company's first-quarter financial results, which provided evidence that Corus experienced a much-needed rebound in advertising revenue in November. Overall revenues from television and radio climbed to $222.3 million from $216.8 million, although the growth came from specialty TV channels..

Quebec businessman Tony Accurso sues CBC/Radio-Canada over Mafia-wake reports

Quebec construction mogul Antonio Accurso is suing the CBC and Radio-Canada, saying they incorrectly reported he attended the viewing for the eldest son of the reputed head of Montreal's Italian Mafia. Accurso says CBC and Radio-Canada reported Dec. 31 he was present at a funeral home where mourners were paying their last respects to Nick Rizzuto Jr. His statement of claim says journalists Kai Nagata and Yvan Cote repeatedly reported Accurso was present at the funeral home. Accurso says he was "thousands of kilometres" away.

TV hockey producer suspended for not showing 'definitive' replay of apparent goal

FSN Pittsburgh has indefinitely suspended a longtime hockey producer for not quickly showing a replay that could have proved Flyers forward Simon Gagne scored a short-handed goal against the Penguins on Thursday. The producer, Lowell MacDonald Jr., is the one-time lead hockey producer at ESPN and is the son of former Penguins forward Lowell MacDonald.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Google, citing cyber attack, threatens to exit China

Google threatened late Tuesday to pull out of its operations in China after it said it had uncovered a massive cyber attack on its computers that originated there. As a result, the company said, it would no longer agree to censor its search engine in China and may exit the country altogether. Google said that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human right activists, but that the attack also targeted 20 other large companies in the finance, technology, media and chemical sectors.

O'Brien won't do Tonight Show after Leno

Conan O’Brien has refused to play along with NBC’s plan to move The Tonight Show and return Jay Leno to late-night, abruptly derailing the network’s effort to resolve its scheduling mess. O’Brien said in a statement Tuesday that shifting Tonight will “seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting,” and he expressed disappointment that NBC had given him less than a year to establish himself as host at 11:35 p.m. EST.

Winnipeg-based magazine The Beaver to change name due to sexual connotation

The Winnipeg-based publication will be relaunched in the spring as Canada's History.
The innuendo of the old name was causing problems for the magazine online, said Deborah Morrison, president and CEO of Canada's National History Society, which publishes The Beaver. "Because of the sexual connotations that this next generation of Canadians have adopted for the name, 'The Beaver,' there were some very practical challenges," she said.

"We noticed monitoring our web traffic that the average visitor time to our website was eight seconds. And I have a feeling that might be because a lot of people going to the site weren't exactly looking for Canadian history content," she said.

Hosted AP content on hold in Google News

Google has stopped adding news stories provided by the Associated Press into Google News, the latest move in a long-running spat between the two organizations. As of December 23, Google stopped putting AP stories into Google News, although you can still read AP stories through Google News if the story was picked up by one of the AP's partners. The AP has been perhaps the highest-profile organization leading the fight against Google and Google News, time and time again accusing the search company of ripping off its content without fair compensation for news producers. However, the two have had a deal in place for several years to host AP content on Google Web pages. That deal is believed to expire at the end of January, and as Search Engine Land notes, that makes sense given the timing of the last AP story added to the hosting queue. AP stories on Google News expire after 30 days, and so if Google and the AP were unable to reach a new deal by the end of January, the two sides could make a clean break without having to go back and erase any stories added in January.

The AP declined to comment on the nature of its deal with Google, or the ongoing negotiations.

The Globe on the Post: Wrong for 21 years, and counting

Posted on the National Post web page:

"The Globe and Mail has been predicting the demise of the National Post for 11 years now, and counting. Before that, they spent 10 years incorrectly predicting the demise of the Financial Post, which went from a weekly to a daily in 1988 in direct competition to the Globe's business section, and is still thriving."

CanWest draws 4 potential bidders Globe and Mail says

Corus, Shaw, Fairfax and Pattison said to be interested in national media company's specialty, conventional networks.

Click on the title to read the full story.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Michelle Lang remembered as 'tenacious' reporter

Michelle Lang, the first Canadian reporter to be killed in Afghanistan, was remembered Monday as a tenacious journalist and gifted writer, as well as someone who always found time for family and friends. About 700 people packed the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver for Lang's funeral. The 34-year-old Calgary Herald reporter and Vancouver native was in the second week of a six-week reporting assignment in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb killed her and four Canadian soldiers on Dec. 30.

Jean Charpentier, ex Trudeau press aide, dies at 74

Jean Charpentier, known to reporters as "The Count" because of his elegance and bearing, served as press secretary to prime minister Pierre Trudeau in the mid-1970s. Mr. Charpentier, who was 74, died on Friday after a protracted battle with cancer.

Sarah Palin to take new job as Fox pundit

According to Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post's doyen of media correspondents, Fox has taken Sarah Palin on board as a pundit who will appear on several of the cable news channel's shows. The deal, once confirmed, will give the former vice-presidential candidate an invaluable television platform that will beam her into millions of potential voters' homes. It ends months of speculation after her surprise announcement in July last year that she was standing down as governor of Alaska.

Head of Cyprus' largest private media group shot dead in Cyprus

Police in Cyprus say the head of the island nation's largest private media group has been shot dead outside his home. Andy Hadjicostis, the 41-year-old director of the Dias Group, was killed late Monday central Nicosia. No other information was immediately available about the attack. Police said no one has been arrested. The Dias Group runs the private Sigma television station, the conservative daily Simerini, a popular radio station and several magazines.

CanWest lenders can't wait, Scotiabank tells Asper

In response to a letter Canwest CEO Leonard Asper wrote last week attempting to block creditors from putting the company's 45 newspapers up for sale, the Bank of Nova Scotia has written a scathing letter questioning the CEO's authority. CanWest's newspaper division, known as CanWest LP, has fallen seven months behind on its debt payments. The bank has warned Mr. Asper that he now has no say over whether the assets are sold to recoup $935-million the senior lenders are owed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Peladeau watching Canwest newspaper sale

"We'll be watching the proceedings," Pierre Karl Peladeau told The Canadian Press at the centenary celebrations for independent Montreal newspaper Le Devoir. Peladeau said the development may be of interest to his company, noting the Big Five Canadian banks agreed to make what's considered a "stalking-horse" bid setting the base price for an auction that could fetch more than $1 billion.

"We'll see if there are people, institutions, who are interested and we'll determine eventually where we go from there," Peladeau said.

NBC drops Leno from prime time, orders new dramas

NBC said Sunday that it was abandoning its cost-cutting prime time experiment with talk show host Jay Leno, and was "going back to basics" by ordering up a slate of new scripted dramas and comedies. NBC Universal television entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin told television reporters that because of pressure from its local affiliates, starting Feb. 12 "The Jay Leno Show" would no longer air in the 10 p.m. slot it had occupied five nights a week since September 2009.

British journalist killed in Afghanistan

A journalist for Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, the British Ministry of Defence has announced. The reporter, Rupert Hamer, was accompanying a patrol to the northwest of Nawa in Helmand province when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device. Sunday Mirror photographer, Philip Coburn, was wounded in the attack and remains in a stable but serious condition, it said. Both Mr. Hamer and Mr. Coburn were embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps. One U.S. Marine and a member of the Afghan National Army were also killed in the explosion.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

NY Times look at Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News

"At a time when the broadcast networks are struggling with diminishing audiences and profits in news, he has built Fox News into the profit engine of the News Corporation. Fox News is believed to make more money than CNN, MSNBC and the evening newscasts of NBC, ABC and CBS combined." from the Times story.

Click on the title to read the whole story.

Norwegian paper reprints Prophet Mohammed cartoons

They were used to illustrate an article about Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist whose home was broken into by an Islamist armed with an axe a week ago. It printed six out of the 12 drawings that infuriated Muslims around the world when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten first published them in 2005.

New Detroit paper "on hold;" won't resume publication

A new Detroit-area newspaper that suspended operations after less than a week says it won't resume publication as planned. In a statement Saturday, Detroit Daily Press co-publisher Mark Stern blamed "circulation issues" for the paper's failure to publish again. The paper had said in November it planned to resume publication after Jan. 1. The statement said suspension of publication will be permanent "for now."

Rex Murphy leaves the Globe and Mail for National Post

Rex Murphy: Crocodile tears for the "dignity" of Parliament

For his first NatPost column click on the title.

Mathew Ingram leaving the Globe and Mail to blog

Mathew Ingram, whose job as communities editor at the Globe and Mail consisted of ushering the one-hundred-and-sixty-six-year-old newspaper into the age of social media, announced on Twitter this afternoon that he would be resigning his post to pursue a new job with GigaOM, a technology news blog, thereby casting in his lot with the new media world he has spent years advocating (and reporting on, before he became an editor) for his old employer. Ingram began working for the Globe in 1994, and assumed his current role in late 2008.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Leonard Asper files objection to newspapers' sale

In a letter filed in court Friday as CanWest's newspaper division sought protection from creditors and instigated the sale process, chief executive officer Leonard Asper said he objects to the move, arguing that the assets could fetch a much higher price down the road.

Canwest puts newspaper division under court protection as prelude to a sale

Canwest Global Communications has put its entire newspaper division under creditor protection and is expected to formally begin a sale process within a week under an agreement with its key creditors. The Winnipeg-based television and publishing company also said it has arranged up to $25 million in financing from its senior lenders, who have been working closely with Canwest management as it restructures the business.

Former Canada-AM staffer Ali Velshi set to anchor CNN's weekday newscast

CNN chief business correspondent Ali Velshi will soon be part of the "CNN Newsroom" anchor lineup. CNN says that Velshi will host a two-hour newscast weekdays at 1 p.m. Eastern. He joins Kyra Phillips and Tony Harris, who each anchor earlier segments of the "Newsroom" block.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Is Jay Leno Headed Back to Late Night?

Internet is alive with suggestions that he is. This report hints NBC is just tidying up the Conan O'Brien aspect before it happens. People

PMO hired Ari Fleischer twice for U.S. media advice

Source says "We got good value for money." CP.

Record audience as US beats Canada in WJHC game

5.3 million on the Sports Network (TSN). CP.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nightclub photo service snags suspects

Canadian news outlets are carrying the clear pictures of men accused of a crime at a Toronto hotel New Year's Eve. As police are saying, it will be easy to identify them. Media interest was high on just how the pictures were obtained. The Star reports that the victims apparently met their attackers earlier that night at the Princes Ball, a New Year's Eve party held at the Allstream Centre in Exhibition Place. The Star says photos from the event were later posted on, a website promoting nightclub events across the GTA. The victims looked through those photos and were able to identify the suspects, said Det. Anthony Charles.

Bobbie Tsankov Shot dead in Central Sofia

Bulgarian radio reporter said by a local blog to be known "for his affiliation with the Bulgarian underworld dons. He even admitted the fact recently on a TV show. He supposedly know (sic) about all the moves and quarrels of the Bulgarian underworld."

Who got most face time at NBC over decade


Angels play-by-play man Rory Markus dead at 54

L. A. Times sports blog.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nygard sues CBC for sneak filming of fashion show

Canadian designer sues Corp. for sneaking into a New York show. The complaint says other media signed off on no video. It also says CBC guys refused to leave when asked. It was a private event, and as a result the complaint also alleges trespass. From THR, Esq for whom TPG conjugate the verb to sneak: sneak, sneaked, sneaked.

Rizzuto funeral deserved the news coverage it got

Montreal Gazette quotes Evelyn Waugh regarding coverage of the crime family funeral: "News is what the chap who doesn't particularly care much about anything wants to read."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cheek, Doucet, Van Horne among broadcast nominees

Out of 15,505 votes cast, Tom Cheek (right) led the way with 5,930 votes while Doucet’s 5,183 votes put him second. Joe Nuxhall finished third and will be on a final ballot that also includes Billy Berroa, Skip Caray, Lanny Frattare, Graham McNamee, Jon Miller and Herb Score. Cheek broadcast 4,306 consecutive games for the Blue Jays from their inception in 1977 until June 3, 2004 when he missed an assignment after his father’s death.Read more:

Thomson Reuters buys Discovery Logic

New York-based Thomson Reuters said it will make Discovery Logic part of its Healthcare & Science business, which employs 536 at its Philadelphia office. Bizjournal.

News Corp sells Rotten Tomatoes to Flixster

These are "movie aggregators". Reuters

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Times Standards, Staffers or Not

Roll call of freelancers who have fallen before the New York Times various rules.

Media anguish over "sluttish" journalism

CP story on Society of Professional Journalists condemning NBC for paid scoop of David Goldman and son's return to U.S. from Brazil. Also in Google News file, Globe and Mail writer says CNN decision to pay Dutch air hero Jasper Schuringa for his story was "sluttish".

Iranian reporter goes to jail, banned from politics

CP on the trial of Ahmad Zeidabadi.

Somali man charged after attack on Danish cartoonist

Cartoonist is okay however.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Deborah Howell fatally hurt in car crash on vacation

Former Washington Post ombud Deborah Howell suffered fatal injuries when she was struck by a car while vacationing in New Zealand, stepson Nick Coleman said Friday, speaking by phone from Minnesota Most recently Howell wrote a searing revelation that the Post admitted a bias toward Barack Obama during the election campaign and that readers complained bitterly about the coverage.

Friday, January 1, 2010

CP video recalls Michelle Lang

Available on linked headline above via Yahoo. TPG

U.K. DJ fired for stopping Queen's "boring" address

Birmingham-based BRMB presenter Tom Binns cut short the speech during his live show on Christmas Day, saying: "Two words: Bor-ing". BBC

Fox, Time Warner ink deal to avoid blackout

Looks like a quick fix that doesn't really satisfy either party beyond holidays. Reuters.

Calgary mourns war-zone journalist

Including statement from Michelle Lang's fiance Micheal Louie. Toronto Star

Blog Archive