Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maclean's owner Rogers expresses 'regret' over Quebec article

The owners of Maclean’s magazine say they “sincerely regret” any offence caused by a cover story on Quebec corruption that drew unanimous condemnation in Parliament. On Thursday, Rogers Publishing issued a statement that stopped short of the apology Quebec Premier Jean Charest and others had demanded for the cover story that declared Quebec to be the “most corrupt province in Canada.” But the Toronto-based publisher acknowledged the importance of the Quebec market to its sales numbers.
"On behalf of the company, we sincerely regret any offence that the cover may have caused,” said Brian Segal, president of Rogers Publishing. “We value all of our customers and their perspective. Quebec is an important market for the company and we look forward to participating in the dynamic growth of the province and its citizens."

House of Commons censures Maclean’s over Quebec article

Maclean’s magazine has done something that very few politicians have been able to to do, unify the House of Commons. MPs voted unanimously on Wednesday to censure the magazine over a controversial article which called Quebec “the most corrupt province.”
The motion was put forward by the Bloc Québécois.
According to Sun Media’s David Akin, independent MP Andre Arthur voiced his dissent but soon left the chamber and the motion was reintroduced and passed unanimously, gaining votes from MPs of all parties. Arthur slammed the motion as the House interfering with the press.

Globe fires leftist columnist Rick Salution; supporters launch protest

Vancouver writer and activist Murray Dobbin has started a letter-writing campaign to protest the Globe and Mail’s firing of weekly left-wing columnist Rick Salutin.
“I don’t need to tell you how few progressive voices there are in the mainstream media whether it’s TV, radio or newspapers,” Dobbin wrote in a message being distributed by e-mail. “Someone from outside the country observing the media would assume that this is a reactionary country with virtually no progressive tradition.” Dobbin stated that Salutin told him he was given no reason for his dismissal. Salutin had written a column for the paper since 1991

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Fast Fix appears -- warmed over stuff

The Fast fix may be fast, but it doesn't fix much that hasn't already been fixed. The Washington Post and Yahoo are promoting it as a daily necessity. The Fast Fix, a daily original video series featuring political news and analysis in about 60 seconds, featuring Chris Cillizza, managing editor of and author of “The Fix.” The series is available at both and Yahoo! News. To watch the inaugural segment of “The Fast Fix,” go to or

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Incredible blunder names wrong "winner" in contest

"Excuse me, I may have that wrong"-- video from Australia of an incredible on-air blunder when a contestant is told she's the winner, but must be told she's not. Ugh. Toronto Star link

Further award for G&M's "Behind the Veil"

RELEASE -- The Globe and Mail's multimedia series on women in Kandahar Afghanistan won a prestigious Emmy award in the category of New Approaches to News and Documentary Programming at the 31st annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards last night in New York. Other nominees in this category included The New York Times, Reuters, the San Jose Mercury News and Behind the Veil was the only nomination and win for a Canadian newspaper. "This award demonstrates that our journalists are among the best in the world," said John Stackhouse, Editor-in-Chief of The Globe and Mail. "Multimedia storytelling dramatically enhances our narrative with readers and is a fundamental pillar of our growth strategy."

Monday, September 27, 2010

RIM confirms release of new tablet to rival iPad

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion unveiled the PlayBook, a tablet computer, at a developer conference Monday. The tablet market is so far dominated by Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) and its popular iPad, but other tech companies are trying to cash in as well. "Every successful professional has a great PlayBook," said Mike Lazaridis, co-chief executive of RIM, at the BlackBerry Developer conference in San Francisco. CNN

Bell reaches settlement in class action

Sad state of affairs in the new life of Bell Canada as it settles with a group of consumers who were apparently charged twice. The case is an example of the hard practices used by Bell on consumers which include such things as not acknowledging mail canceling service.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Proms and Winbledon cut by BBC World Service

The BBC World Service, the U-K's radio service abroad, will no longer broadcast plays, the Proms or Wimbledon, as part of a cost-cutting exercise, the BBC has announced. The man charged with announcing the bad news is Craig Oliver, controller of the English speaking section. These were, he said, "difficult decisions". They will come into force in April, 2010. The BBC admitted the changes would not be popular with audiences but the4 cash strapped Beeb had to cut somewhere.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

OUT: CNN news chief Klein, NBC's Zucker

End of the line for two media biggies (left) Jon Klein at CNN and (right) Jeff Zucker at NBC. Hard pressed CNN gets rid of Klein as the man who could not help the channel break out of audience slump and turns to live-wire chief of its Head Line News sub Ken Jautz. Zucker is forced out by new owners Comcast who apparently remember too well the mess Zucker made of the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien business.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rogers, other carriers said to be eyeing Altria

Financial Post insider story on moves by the private telecom firm.

Wall Street Journal launches new weekender

Release -- The Wall Street Journal will unveil an expanded Saturday newspaper tomorrow, Sept. 25. The enhanced Weekend Edition -- now called WSJ Weekend -- will feature new sections and expanded coverage, highlighted by provocative reports and essays on world affairs, business and culture as well as a range of personal and lifestyle coverage and content.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer Lenders Win Auction

it appears the lenders will now take possession of the two Phily papers. Complex process is complicated by tough unions. The Teamsters have refused to budge.

Will E-readers take off or remain a niche?

Interesting Reuters report on prospects for this invention .

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Netflix "extras" told to pose as happy consumers

It was the canned answers, says the National Post, that tipped reporters to the bogus "extras" peopling the Netflix launch party in Toronto.

NYT foresees loss on lower ads and circulation

Diversified media giant New York Times Co. says it anticipates a loss from continuing operations for the third quarter, on lower advertising and circulation revenues and special items related to the Boston Globe. On an adjusted basis, the company expects a profit. RTT News

Postmedia aiming to have a public offering of its shares by mid-2011

The new owner of the CanWest newspaper business has confirmed the company is aiming to list its stock on a public market “sometime before Aug. 1, 2011.” Postmedia Network Canada Corp. says its board of directors has confirmed the strategy to issue shares to the public within about year of buying the National Post and CanWest’s other newspapers and numerous websites in July. Paul Godrey, the chief executive of Postmedia, had indicated at the time that he hoped there would be an initial public offering of shares by the end of 2010 but a company spokeswoman said Wednesday that there’s been no change in policy.

"Le Droit" cartoon draws ire of Jewish group

B'nai Brith Canada is asking an Ottawa-based newspaper to pull from its website a political cartoon that appears to depict the Star of David on the Parliament Buildings. The Jewish community organization called the cartoon, which ran in the print edition of Le Droit and online at, anti-Semitic propaganda. The group is also demanding an apology from the newspaper.
The cartoon shows the front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, with what appears to be a Star of David on the clock face of the Peace Tower. At the gates of the hill is a road sign that warns of a slippery road ahead

Indo-Canadian radio host’s life threatened

The talk-show host at a Punjabi-language radio station in Vancouver received a death threat hours after a drive-by shooting at the home of the station manager. Gurpreet Singh, who opens the phone lines to listeners of Radio India six mornings a week, received the threat Monday in the mail. In the two-page letter, written in Punjabi, the writers threaten to shoot Mr. Singh in broad daylight.
“We won’t rest now … we are waiting for an opportunity,” the letter writers say.
Mr. Singh is accused in the letter of being “a traitor” to Sikhs.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First Lang fellowship recipient named

Laura Stone of Ottawa has been named as the first recipient of the Michelle Lang Fellowship in Journalism -- established in the memory of the award-winning reporter For The Calgary Herald (pictured) who lost her life on Dec. 30, 2009, while on assignment for Canwest News Service in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She was the first Canadian journalist killed while reporting on the war. "Laura is a wonderful choice for this inaugural fellowship," said Scott Anderson, Senior Vice-President, Content, Postmedia Network Inc. "Laura carries with her many of the great qualities Michelle exhibited in her work every day, which include a passion for telling stories that have gone unreported or unnoticed on topics of social significance." Ms. Stone has media experience including internships at the Ottawa Citizen, National Post, The Province, The Toronto Star, and Canwest News Service. She will split her time between Postmedia News in Ottawa and the Calgary Herald .

Lisa LaFlamme: From danger zones to a desk

Mary Grimsby in the Toronto Star has an admiring account of the new CTV National News anchor and her eventful climb to the top. Many anecdotes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

CBC News Toronto Announces New Anchor Team

CBC Release -- CBC News Toronto is bringing together two of Toronto's most dynamic news anchors to lead its local TV supperhour newscasts, beginning Oct. 12. Anne-Marie Mediwake moves to CBC News Toronto from the morning anchor desk at CBC News Network. She is joined by fellow veteran journalist and anchor Dwight Drummond, who has spent the last 20 years at CityTV. Together, they will co-host CBC News Toronto's supperhour newscast at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. "We are thrilled to have such journalistic leaders and popular anchors as Anne-Marie and Dwight teaming up to bring GTA residents the day's most important local and regional news stories, delivered in a context they simply won't get anywhere else," said Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor in chief, CBC News.

Globe to unveil redesign on Oct 1; release says it is "most significant change in its history"

TORONTO, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - On Friday October 1, The Globe and Mail will reveal a dramatically redesigned newspaper that features the most significant changes in The Globe's history, including colour on every page, outstanding photo and graphic production, special stock paper and custom print options for advertisers. In addition, will simultaneously introduce changes and improvements including improved functionality and navigation, enhanced story telling features for readers and greater visual presentation of content and news stories.

The new chapter in The Globe's history will kick off with an eight-week series titled Canada: Our Time to Lead ( Each week for eight consecutive weeks the series will introduce a topic that defines who we are as Canadians and a nation, with deep coverage and online discussion and debate. The eight themes are: Multiculturalism; Women in Power; Failing Boys; Future of the Military; Work-Life Balance; Healthcare; Controlling the Internet; and Global Food.

Click on the title to read the full release.

Mississauga mayor's testimony draws Toronto media

Toronto media were drawn to the start of testimony at a judicial inquiry of Mississauga's 89-year-old mayor Hazel McCallion on Monday. The inquiry is looking into conflict of interest allegations involving a land deal in the city centre. McCallion is running for re-election in the October 25 vote.

The mayor arrives.

In the media room: Megan O'Toole, Phinjo Gombu, Royson James and Joe Chin.

CBC and CHCH TV trucks but no CTV Toronto! Global and CityTV recorded inside.

The Star's Leslie Scrivener introduces Global's new anchor in a feature

"Her parents were Mennonites, cultural more than religious, and she was raised on a grain farm 40 minutes west of Winnipeg. At 20, with her plaid blouses and layers of permed hair, she had the look of a rising country and western singer," Scrivener writes.

Click on the title to read the full story.

Federal scientists muzzled despite 'openness' policy

Canada's scientific community is buzzing over newly tightened rules that further restrict government researchers from speaking with the media about their work. Yet the No. 1 policy statement for government communications, according to Treasury Board, is to "Provide the public with timely, accurate, clear, objective and complete information about its policies, programs, services and initiatives."
The directive is part of the "Communications policy of the Government of Canada," posted on the Treasury Board website and dated Aug. 1, 2006, months after the Conservatives came to power. The policy calls on public servants to speak "openly" with Canadians. Recent access-to-information documents obtained by PostMedia News reveal that all media inquiries to scientists working for Natural Resources Canada must now pass through a Byzantine thicket of "subject matter experts" and the minister's director of communications — "no exceptions."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mexico newspaper begs drug lords to spare reporters

A Mexican newspaper on the U.S. border begged violent drug cartels for guidance on how to cover news in a way that would keep gangs from killing more journalists.
“You are the de facto authority in the city now,” El Diario newspaper said on Sunday in an editorial, referring to cartels that have killed over 6,400 people in Ciudad Juarez since 2008.
“Explain what you want from us, what you want us to publish or stop publishing,” the paper said.
Mexico is considered by media groups to be one of the world’s most dangerous places for reporters. More than 30 media workers have disappeared or been killed since President Felipe Calderon launched his war on drug cartels in late 2006, the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report this month.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sun apologizes to George Soros for Ezra Levant column

The Toronto Sun on Saturday published this statement:
"On September 5, 2010, a column by Ezra Levant contained false statements about George Soros (pictured) and his conduct as a young teenager in Nazi-occupied Hungary.

"Upon receiving a letter of complaint from Mr. Soros’s legal counsel on September 13, 2010, Sun Media Corporation always intended to publish a retraction and apology for this column. Despite constant efforts on both sides, Sun Media and Mr. Soros’s counsel were unable to reach agreement on the content of a retraction.

"The management of Sun Media wishes to state that there is no basis for the statements in the column and they should not have been made.

"Sun Media, this newspaper and Ezra Levant retract the statements made in the column and unreservedly apologize to Mr. Soros for the distress and harm this column may have caused to him."

State-run Egyptian newspaper explains why it doctored Mubarak photo (see post below)

That sleight-of-hand was criticized across the international media, drawing controversy and prompting questions regarding Al Ahram's professionalism. Al Ahram's editor has tried to play down the enormity of the fabrication: "The expressional photo is a brief, live and true expression of the prominent stance of President Hosni Mubarak on the Palestinian issue, his unique role in leading it before Washington or any other," Osama Saraya wrote on Friday.
The doctored photo, which has not been removed from Al Ahram's website, was spotted by blogger Wael Khalil, who said that the incident is a telling, if unsettling, example of the paper's role in glorifying Mubarak and his regime.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pat Burns is still alive, Twitter out of control

News of the death of Pat Burns spread like wildfire on Twitter. The trouble with the report was that he was very much alive. The son of the former award-winning NHL coach was forced to call in to CBC Radio to set the record straight that his father was alive. About half an hour later, TSN’s Bob McKenzie also spoke with Burns himself, who said, “Here we go again. They are trying to kill me before I am dead…I’m not dead, far [expletive] from it. They’ve had me dead since June. Tell them I’m alive. Set them straight.”
It all started when there were reports of his death on Twitter, citing a tweet by CTV Ottawa. More outlets began to cite a report by TSN and the confusion continued when the Toronto Star spoke to Toronto Maple Leafs executive Cliff Fletcher, who said that a friend called him to say that Burns had died. But Newstalk 1010, along with the CBC reported the son as a source saying his father was still alive. A few minutes later, CTV Ottawa retracted its report.

Cynthia Kinch leaving CBC

Long-time CBC News producer Cynthia Kinch is leaving the Corp. In an e-mail to staff, head honcho Jennifer McGuire said: "In a remarkable career, defined by change, comes a change for one of our best-known leaders. Cynthia Kinch has decided to leave CBC News and start a new chapter of her life." The announcement did not say where -- if anywhere -- Kinch was going.

No licence to leer: NatPost columnist on the Mexican uproar

Scott Stinson writes about the uproar caused by Mexican sports reporter Ines Sainz:
" . . . what is remarkable about the Sainz story is how it so quickly moved beyond her and into a discussion in the media about whether women should even be allowed into men's locker rooms, and whether female reporters are just as responsible for the behaviour they might elicit from an athlete as the athlete himself. This seems like a debate that was settled decades ago: We expect the athletes to treat them professionally, regardless of what they wear. Don't we?. . "

Click on the title to read the column,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CP's Murray Brewster wins award for defence reporting

The judges said Brewster "files stories about war, the military, and security issues in the same fashion as Ross Munro himself — fearless, clear, and always bringing something new to Canadians." Created in 2002, the award commemorates the late Ross Munro, a Canadian Press journalist renowned for his vivid frontline reports from the battlefields and beaches of the Second World War.

AP monitoring CNN since it dropped service

Below is part of an AP memo critcizing CNN for "relying" on AP reporting, even though it no longer buys the service. The closest AP comes to saying CNN cribs material is to say that the cable giant attirbutes its information to AP. It's a tricky area. Here is the AP extract.
"When AP and CNN could not reach agreement on licensing AP content, it meant CNN would no longer have access to the breaking news and worldwide reporting resources of the Associated Press.
"We will no longer use AP materials or services," CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton told employees in an internal memo in June. "The content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own."
In fact, however, CNN continues to rely heavily, and apparently systematically, on AP breaking news, exclusive enterprise and in-depth reporting. CNN often cites AP, in its online stories and on its cable channels, trading on AP's valuable and respected brand and also free riding on resource intensive reporting done at AP expense. In the absence of AP, CNN is often late with breaking news stories, forced to rely on press releases and secondary sources, behind and sometimes even incorrect on critical facts and updates"

Egyptian newspaper alters Obama-Mubarak pic

Al Ahram, the Egyptian state newspaper, pulled a whopper that couldn't sneak by, even in Egypt. It shows (left) a doctored shot with President Mubarak walking on a red carpet ahead of US President Barack Obama as well as the Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders. Right, the true order of things, with Mr. Mubarak trailing at left of frame.

BSkyB review "likely" says U-K government

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Edwin Newman recalled for his literacy and humour

Puckish and literate, Edwin Newman outgrew the career of a 60s television news reporter. Wikipedia describes his rare blend of seriousness and humor. "For a 1964 documentary, he travelled from Paris on the Orient Express, talking to people along the way – and famously ended in a bubble bath in Istanbul. He also relished puns. When he worked on The Today Show his doggerel poem reviewing each year’s events would end, "Happy Noo Year to Yoose from Edwin Newman NBC Noose." Around the time he left NBC in 1984, he was twice host of Saturday Night Live and on one occasion, to the delight of the audience, sang the song "Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone" as part of the opening monologue. In 1974, his first book, Strictly Speaking: Will America be the Death of English? reached Number 1 in the New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller List. The book owed its force to his love of vivid, precise language; his detestation of pomposity, clichés, errors and jargon, especially from the powerful; and his fierce belief that degrading the language was damaging the nation. But what snared the readers was his wit and satire. One fan tried reading the book on a plane. He laughed so much that he fell into the aisle, much to the alarm of the other passengers. A Civil Tongue followed in 1976; Sunday Punch (a comic novel) in 1979; and I Must Say in 1988" He died in August at the age of 91 in the United Kingdom where he had moved to be closer to his daughter.

Kory Teneycke quits Sun TV

Somewhat unclear just what's going on. But Sun TV followed the statement by Teneycke (left) with immediate word that he will be replaced by Luc Lavoie (centre) a former aide to Brian Mulroney. Then Mr Lavoice showed up in Winnipeg to announce that radio firebrand Charles Adler (right) had joined Sun. Mr. Teneycke, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former director of communications, said by way of not so compelling explanation that he decided to resign because it had become clear his involvement in Sun TV would only “inflame” the controversy over the channel, dubbed “Fox News North” by its critics.

Hollywood Reporter (THR) most read show biz site

Comscore survey shows it beating Variety and others. THR

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

National Post offers employee buyouts

Slashing new moves at the National Post to turn the paper into something profitable. Note that while everyone may apply for the buyout, the company will not necessarily accept. Someone has to write the paper. The company memo follows:
"The structural changes and issues facing our industry are causing us to review our operations and processes. Our industry has changed, and so must
we. Our focus is to improve the efficiency of our operations, reduce our costs,
while positioning ourselves for the future. Labour is our single largest cost.
In an effort to bring our cost structure in line with a changing business model,
we are offering a voluntary buyout program to National Post
Details of the National Post Voluntary Buyout Program
3 weeks of base
salary, multiplied by the employee’s years of service, to a maximum of 78 weeks and $125,000 dollars. Payments will be made
as a lump sum with applicable deductions. Benefits cease on last day worked.
While all employees may indicate their interest to participate in
this program, acceptance to the program is at the discretion of management.
Deadline for application is Friday September 17th, 2010. If you are
interested in being considered for the Voluntary Buyout Program please submit
your application to Human Resources by 4 p.m. on September 17th,
Kind regards, Cheryl, Human Resources"

Woman reporter embarrassed in locker room

TV Azteca reporter Inez Sainz has complained that she was embarrassed by members of the Baltimore Ravens in their locker room last Saturday. Various reports are linked to the headline. Interestingly, Sainz has been something of a focus among players previously. A story from 2007 notes that "every player on the Bears and Colts wanted to be interviewed by this woman. She’s Ines Sainz of TV Azteca. Allegedly, she is a journalist. Media Day really underscores the point that this week is not about football. Somehow, it’s about everything except football." Pictures is from the media day in question.

Czechs stop Google's Street View data collection

The Czech Office for Personal Data Protection (UOOU) rejected for a second time Google’s application to collect personal data in the central European state of 10.5 million, saying the process could potentially break the law.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bell officially launches Fibe Internet TV

Expensive and sparsley available, it is nonetheless a potential gamechanger in the delivery of video to homes. Bell website launches the assault as follows: Bell Fibe™ TV – an outstanding new service only available on Canada's most advanced network. It's not cable or satellite – it's first of its kind. Using our latest fibre optic technology, Bell Fibe TV brings the best TV experience right to your door. On top of absolutely stunning picture and sound quality, Bell Fibe TV also offers tons of incredible features you won't get with cable
Globe bnd Mail story linked on the announcement today.

"Frugal" Bob Gage leaves Western Mustangs $1 M

The University of Western Ontario announced today a major bequest of $1 million from the late Bob "Scoop" Gage that will bring his total giving to the university to almost $1.2 million. When asked how Gage (left and centre in a classic newsman's fedora of the day) could amass a million dollars, sources said he had lived frugally. The bequest from the long-time London Free Press sports reporter will support current Mustangs and future generations of Western student-athletes. Known as the “dean of amateur sports reporters in Canada,” Gage covered the Western Mustangs during his 33-year career with the London Free Press. He died July 12, 2009 at the age of 89. BoxScare News

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Survey shows transition to online news

In the U.S., Pew has found that people have added 13 minutes a day online to their day seeking news. Canadian Press

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Piers Morgan wants Obama on his CNN talk show

Telegraph tips plan by Piers Morgan to go with a really big draw in his effort to establish himself in Larry King's slot.

Fecan decision to leave unexpected, unexplained

In particular, Globe and Mail recalls, Mr Fecan had dinner with BCE president George Cope and "there was an expectation" that he would stay at least until 2012.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ivan Fecan to retire when BCE deal complete

Globe and Mail story quotes Mr. Fecan memo of today: “Soon it will be time for someone else’s imagination to take it further,” he said in his memo. “And with George Cope at the helm of Bell, I am confident that CTV will be in great hands.”

Can phone guys finally find happiness in TV Land?

CTV’s full return to the BCE fold brings back memories, not all of them fond. BCE’s roots are in telephones and during its first run at the TV network, the buzzword was convergence and thus the need for content. Jean Monty, then BCE president, practically mortgaged the farm to make it happen before making a somewhat inglorious exit. As a condition of the CTV acquisition, the CRTC imposed good funding for news that lasted several years. Before that, the phone bureaucracy created its own content on the web for several years under the Sympatico label -– complete with a huge newsroom downtown, CBC-like executive producers and a number viewer forums – an early go web audience participation. That too got ditched in favour of alliance with MSN. The bottom line is that the phone giant has been groping, trying to survive in a changed world where content is needed to draw eyeballs and a significant number of people have abandoned expensive phone land lines. Can a phone company be happy in TV land? We may find out or there will be more shuffling of assets. The Planet Guys

"Level playing field" says BCE's Cope

Reuter version of the BCE story in which Mr. Cope says the acquisition of CTV "more than levels the playing field in our increasingly competitive industry."

Bell "Fibe" experiment an alternative to cable?

Toronto Star story on what appears to be test market trials by BCE of a service which runs on the company's fibre optic network.

What do the players want from this mega-deal?

The CRTC will decide, but it will have to ask itself this question too. Why? Many will say it's an improvement on having BCE, Thomson and Torstar all sleeping in the same bed at CTVglobemedia. For BCE, struggling to regain communications preeminence in the world of wireless, it may make sense to be the sole exploiter of the influence of CTV. Rogers, after all, makes Bell and Telus look like monkeys with its non-stop promotion on cable. Will this induce Telus to think about merging with (selling to) Bell? A regulatory Hail Mary perhaps, but maybe worth a try. For Thomson, there's a kind of "going-home" quality to taking full control of the Globe and Mail. At a working grunts level, and notwithstanding a 15% BCE stake in the newspaper, what this means is that CTV and Globe reporters will be able to dislike each other again, with coverage reflective of their mutual disrespect. Excellent. TPG

Woodbridge (Thomson) release on G&M control

The Woodbridge Company Limited announced today that it will acquire direct ownership of Canada's National Newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Woodbridge is the investment vehicle for Canada's Thomson family. The Globe and Mail has been in print for more than 166 years, and currently has circulation of 300,000 and weekday readership of 930,000, and an average Saturday circulation of 380,000 and readership of 1 million. The Globe's websites attract an average of 3 million unique visitors generating over 90 million page views each month. The Globe will be launching a previously planned redesign of the newspaper on October 1, using the next generation of print technology. The business, headquartered in Toronto, has approximately 750 employees across Canada and in international bureaus. CNW

BCE to take full control of CTV

The Globe and Mail sub-head indicates the seven-point magnitude of the deal: "Agreement valued at $1.3-billion also breaks up CTVglobemedia; Thomson family to control Globe as Torstar, Teachers (Pension Plan) bow out." Globe story linked to the headline.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Citytv news anchor has kidney cancer

Citytv news anchor Mark Dailey said Wednesday that he is battling cancer for a second time. Dailey made the announcement during the TV station’s 6 p.m. newscast.
Dailey said that he had been experiencing symptoms like weight loss, fatigue and night sweats for several weeks. After undergoing a CT scan, Dailey said that doctors found a tumour on his left kidney.
“The problem with kidney cancer, until you get symptoms which can be for 20 other things, it’s probably been there for a while. It’s hard to detect unless you have a CT scan,” he said during the newscast.
“It’s yet another cancer challenge for me.”
Dailey says that he will continue anchoring the 11 p.m. newscast before undergoing surgery in the next couple of weeks, after his daughter’s wedding.
The veteran broadcaster has been very public about his successful battle against prostate cancer, which he was diagnosed with several years ago.
Dailey began his career as a radio and television reporter in Ohio in 1968, and joining Citytv in 1979.

How Google Instant could reinvent channel flipping

WIRED magazine reports:

"Google unveiled its new Instant search feature, which autoloads search results as you type. I’m skeptical about claims that it will save fifty kajillion man-hours once you add up all the milliseconds saved. Its real use cases are still on the way: local, mobile, and video search.
"Part of the inherent silliness of doing a Google Instant search on the wide-open web is the sheer size and heterogeneity of the data sets you’re working with. Google has no idea whether you’re looking for a quote, a movie title, a blog, a government site, or a string of text you remember sticking into a doc file months ago. So it spits out a similarly wild range of results. . . .
"The key to the next generation of TV is likely to be search, and the biggest drag on search is going to be text entry. This isn’t your laptop; people are going to be banging out text on remotes and mini-keyboards in bad light. Anything a company can do to minimize the number of keystrokes and make that process as painless as possible is going to be a tremendous usability boon to its customers.
"If Google TV is really going to be the “one screen to rule them all,” it has to solve that problem. . . ."

Click on the title to read the full story.

British journalist Piers Morgan named as Larry King's replacement

British tabloid veteran Piers Morgan, hired by CNN to start as Larry King's replacement as a prime-time interviewer in January, promised that he "came here to win." CNN nailed down the final piece of its prime-time makeover on Wednesday, after months where it was clear the "America's Got Talent" panelist was its top choice. King, who announced in June he was leaving "Larry King Live," will have his final show on Dec. 16.

CanWest gains protection extension

CanWest Global Communications Corp. says the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has extended the company's protection from creditors until Nov. 5. The media company announced the latest extension on Wednesday, a few hours before the previous deadline.
CanWest filed for protection from bankruptcy on Oct. 6, 2009. Since then, the company has sold off its publishing division for $1.1-billion to a group led by Paul Godfrey.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

European Parliament wants media to "better communicate" its affairs

Better communication of EU affairs by public service broadcasters is key to bridging the gap between the European Union and its citizens, says the European Parliament, highlighting in particular the "huge potential" of social media to reach out to young people. In recent years, the European Commission has launched several initiatives to tackle citizens' growing lack of trust and interest in the EU project.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 hires managing editor from The Star

CBC Memo: Marissa Nelson has been named as the new managing editor of Marissa joins us from the Toronto Star, where she was senior editor, digital news for the Star and its digital properties. She managed the team of editors who run,, and, and last year oversaw the redesign of, amongst other major online projects. She's been a key member of the management team at the Star and has helped to lead newsroom integration there.

Google aims for fall U.S. launch of its TV service

Google Inc will launch its service to bring the Web to TV screens in the United States this autumn and worldwide next year, its chief executive said, as it extends its reach from the desktop to the living room. CEO Eric Schmidt said the service, which will allow full Internet browsing via the television, would be free, and Google would work with a variety of program makers and electronics manufacturers to bring it to consumers. Sony said last week it had agreed to have Google TV on its television sets, and Samsung has said it was looking into using the service. The announcement comes less than a week after rival Apple unveiled its latest Apple TV product and will intensify a battle for consumers’ attention and potentially for the $180 billion (U.S.) global TV advertising market.

Tom Clark leaving CTV

Veteran host and reporter Tom Clark is leaving CTV after almost four decades with the network. Clark, CTV's former Washington bureau chief and host of its political show Power Play with Tom Clark, is leaving to “pursue other opportunities,” according to a statement from the network. His resignation follows the announced retirement of Lloyd Robertson and the appointment of Lisa LaFlamme as his successor to host the CTV National News.

Fox News north: The view from abroad

Reuters is carrying a Hollywood Reporter story about the SunTV application. This is how it looks from abroad:

" . . .Much of the controversy over Sun TV News turns on what broadcast license it will ultimately receive from the CRTC, Canada's TV regulator. The CRTC initially rejected a bid by Quebecor to see Sun TV News carried on basic cable, which would have required local cable and satellite TV services to carry the new channel.
"Now Quebecor has warned that Sun TV News will require "mandatory access" to the Canadian market, meaning it must be offered by cable and satellite TV operators to Canadian consumers, if it hopes to survive against competition from incumbent CTV and CBC players. The CRTC will hear Sun TV News' application for a broadcast license at hearings set to start September 19. . ."

Click on the title to read the full story

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chief of ABC News is resigning

David Westin, the longtime president of ABC News, has decided to resign his position on Tuesday. In an e-mail that Mr. Westin sent to the staff on Monday night, he cast the decision in personal terms, saying that after almost 14 years, he had decided it was time “to move on.” He also pledged to stay in the position until the end of the year to give ABC time to find a replacement. One staff member informed before the release of the e-mail said that the decision was also related to a long-running conflict between Mr. Westin and the management of the network, including ABC’s parent company, Walt Disney, over the financial standing of the news division.

London police to Investigate Murdoch newspaper phone-hacking allegations

London’s Metropolitan Police will examine new evidence of phone-hacking by journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper detailed in a report in the New York Times. Assistant Commissioner John Yates said officers will work with the Crown Prosecution Service to review the evidence. They include a statement by a former reporter that the newspaper’s former editor, Andy Coulson, now Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications chief, asked him to tap phones. Coulson has said he didn’t know hacking was taking place.
“We’ve been in touch with the New York Times for many months seeking any new evidence or material they have,” Yates said.“They’ve now published this, it is new and we will be considering it.”
This is the second time police and prosecutors have reviewed the case following media reports. In July 2009, the Guardian newspaper reported that News Group Newspapers, part of Murdoch’s News Corp., paid 700,000 pounds ($1.08 million) to a victim of phone tapping at the News of the World.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Paul Conrad dies at 86

Paul Conrad, the political cartoonist who won three Pulitzer Prizes and used his pencil to poke at politicians for more than 50 years, died Saturday, his son said. He was 86. Conrad died before dawn at his home in the Los Angeles suburb of Rancho Palos Verdes surrounded by his family, David Conrad said. He said the death was from natural causes, but did not offer specifics. Paul Conrad took on U.S. presidents from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, mostly in the Los Angeles Times, where he worked for 30 years and helped the newspaper raise its national profile.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Judge OKs sale of Ohio-based newspaper chain

A federal bankruptcy judge in New York approved the sale of most assets of Ohio-based newspaper chain Brown Publishing Co. to the company's lenders for about $21.8 million.
Judge Dorothy Eisenberg of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an order Friday approving the sale to Ohio Community Media LLC. Court records show Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank is part of the media group. The judge also approved sale of Brown Publishing's New York newspaper group, Dan's Papers Inc., to Dan's Papers Holdings LLC for about $1.8 million. Among the companies' newspapers are The Delaware Gazette in central Ohio and the Piqua Daily Call, the Troy Daily News and the Wilmington News Journal in western Ohio.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Postmedia cutting newspaper jobs

The newly re-branded Postmedia Network Inc. has begun cutting jobs at some of its daily newspapers. The company recently announced a voluntary buyout program to attempt to cut costs, according to an internal memo sent to staff at the Victoria Times Colonist on Thursday. A memo was also sent on the same day offering buyouts to staff at the Pacific Newspaper Group, a division of Postmedia that publishes The Vancouver Sun and The Province, also in Vancouver. In addition to buyouts offered, reports suggest some layoffs have occurred. According to a source familiar with the matter, roughly 20 jobs were cut last week at the Edmonton Journal, including some part-time positions and mostly non-union employees. The same source said roughly 30 jobs were cut this week at the Calgary Herald. Postmedia would not confirm those numbers. Target numbers for the voluntary buyouts have not been released.

German court rules against YouTube over copyright

A German court ruled Friday that Google Inc.'s subsidiary YouTube LLC must pay compensation after users uploaded several videos of performances by singer Sarah Brightman in violation of copyright laws. The Hamburg state court said the standardized question to users about whether they have the necessary rights to publish material is not enough to relieve YouTube of the legal responsibility for the content, especially because the platform can be used anonymously. Google is evaluating the 60-page ruling but will appeal the decision, a company spokesman says.

Former Globe and Mail editor Ed Greenspon joins Toronto Star

Edward Greenspon, a former editor-in-chief at the Globe and Mail, has been appointed vice-president, business development at the Toronto Star and the Star Media Group, The Star announced.
"Greenspon, considered one of Canada’s leading media executives, will be responsible in this newly created position for developing new initiatives across the many businesses within Star Media Group, with a goal of helping ensure quality journalism will continue to thrive into the future," The Star said in a story in the newspaper.
Greenspon began his journalism career at the Lloydminster (Saskatchewan) Times, later working at the Regina Leader-Post and the Financial Post before joining the Globe and Mail in 1986 as a business reporter specializing in media industries.
He held various positions at the Globe and Mail over the years, among them European correspondent, managing editor of Report on Business, executive news editor and Ottawa bureau chief. He is the co-author of two books on Canadian politics and has been a regular panellist at conferences and on television, radio and the Internet.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sun TV News asks for 3-year must-carry from CRTC

Longish The Wire Report story on Quebecor attempt to gain this advantageous exemption from the CRTC. Quotes various luminaries including Peter Sparkes of CTVglobemedia saying he wants that too and the views of Howard Bernstein.

Petition calls Sun TV News "hate media"

Globe and Mail take out focussing on Margaret Atwood's dislike of Stephen Harper's methods. However, in the eighth para it notes that 34,000 people have so far signed a petition calling the Sun concept "hate media". Sun Media types call that an attack on free speech. TPG

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

JAMA editor resigns after ten years on job

One of the leading medical journals in the Unisted States is looking for a new editor.Dr. Catherine DeAngelis has announced she is leaving the Journal of the American Medical Association and returning to Johns Hopkins in Maryland. She is 70 and was Hopkins' vice dean for academic affairs before going to JAMA as its first female editor-in-chief in 2000.

Washington Times Sold for $1 to Allies of Rev. Moon

After a confusing flurry of reports, it appears that control over the Washington Times will revert back to its founder, the controversial Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the worldwide Unification Church. Moon (left in picture) had handed the paper over to his son, Preston Moon, who made significant staff cuts in what he said was an effort to keep the paper afloat. The new owner of the paper will officially be Douglas Joo (right in picture) who is an ally of the reverend and whose company bought the paper for $1. New York Times

Atwood miffed with Harper, opposes Sun News TV story on Twitter exchanges related to this.

Environmental Militant Killed at Discovery Channel

A radical enviornmentalist who took three hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters while wearing what police may be explosives was shot and killed by officers, police said. The gunman, identified as James Lee, was killed by police following four hours of negotiations but the hostages are all safe, said Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger. ABC

Postmedia unveils new logo

Super simple with the appeal of being easily understood. May not be everyone's favorite. Better than odd but enduring CBC icon which has given birth to many vulgar allusions. Logo is the work of Rethink Toronto and precedes a national campign to seek advertising

Thomson Reuters Buys Healthcare Data Management

RELEASE --Thomson Reuters will merge it into the Healthcare & Science business of Thomson Reuters. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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