Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NFB releases free iPad application

Last fall, the NFB launched an iPhone application. There's now a National Film Board iPad application that can be downloaded, free of charge, from the iTunes store or from the NFB download page. More than 1,000 NFB documentaries and animated shorts are available through this application. There are also 3-D and high-definition selections, a kids' channel (with both entertaining and educational content). The selection can be stored for up to 48 hours for viewing off-line.

Larry King to leave nightly CNN show after 25 years

Larry King announced Tuesday that he would be ending his nightly Larry King Live show on CNN this coming autumn after 25 years on television. King, 76, said in a statement he would still host specials for CNN on major events, but wanted to spend more time with his wife and young children. Known for his non-confrontational style and for wearing colored suspenders, King has interviewed a broad array of guests from Hollywood stars to politicians and athletes.
“With this chapter closing I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders,” King told viewers on Tuesday night’s show.
Larry King Live recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

G20 reporters complain to police watchdog

Four journalists have filed complaints with Ontario's police watchdog, alleging physical assaults and threats of sexual violence by police during the Toronto G20 summit, their lawyer says. Amy Miller, Daniel McIsaac, Jesse Rosenfeld and Lisa Walter each filed complaints about their arrests with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director on Tuesday, their lawyer Julian Falconer said in a release. According to Rosenfeld's complaint, the Toronto-based freelance journalist for the Guardian was covering a group of demonstrators in front of the Novotel hotel in downtown Toronto on Saturday evening when he said he was attacked by police. According to Miller's complaint, the Montreal-based freelance journalist for the Dominion was covering a group of demonstrators who were detained by police in downtown Toronto on Sunday afternoon when she said she was verbally abused, arrested and taken to the detention centre.
"So you think you're a journalist. You won't be a journalist after we bring you to jail," the 29-year-old recounted an officer saying to her in her complaint. "You're going to be raped. We always like the pretty ones. We're going to wipe the grin off your face when we gang bang you. We know how the Montreal girls roll."

Steve Paikin's take: A black eye for democracy

"It was, plain and simply, an unprecedented weekend for Toronto," TVOs Steve Paikin writes in a column published in several newspapers.
" . . .First, the Ontario government, almost by stealth, passed a new regulation authorizing the police to act in ways which many would consider to be inconsistent with our democratic traditions. The government believed that unprecedented action was necessary to keep the peace, or so it said.
"The Toronto Police Service, which normally has excellent support among those it serves, is facing some appropriately tough questions, now that the summit is over.
"Too many officers seem to have overreacted numerous times in dealing with members of the public and journalists. They used too much force in detaining many people who either were protesting peacefully, or were just passing by at the wrong time. . . "

Click on the title to read the full column.

Frequency of radio deals reflects lucrative industry


Mergers and acquisitions among Canadian radio stations are heating up as major players, such as Rogers and Astral, seek to gain a bigger share of a market forecast to grow at more than 4% a year, industry experts said. The overall radio market in this country is on track to grow 4.1% each year to reach $1.7 billion in 2014 after losing some ground in 2009, according to a report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this month. Over-the-airways advertising in Canada will rise 1% on a compound annual basis to $1.3 billion in less than four years time, PwC projected. Even with the recession, conventional radio has done very well.
Last week, CTVglobemedia’s CHUM Radio said it would buy Toronto’s New Flow 93.5 FM from Milestone Radio for an undisclosed amount. A few days earlier, Rogers Communications announced it was preparing to buy Edmonton’s Bounce FM and BOB-FM in London, Ont., from CTV. Corus Entertainment said earlier this spring it plans to sell 11 of its under-performing stations in Quebec to Cogeco for $80 million in cash in order to focus on other markets. Another company has now offered $81 million for the assets. Cogeco borrowed $100 million for the purchase, according to reports.

Amazon adds audio, video to Kindle app


Amazon.com is raising the stakes in the e-book war by adding multimedia capabilities to its downloadlable application for Apple devices.An update to the Kindle app for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch will allow e-book authors and publishers to include video and audio, the online bookseller said Monday. The company introduced 13 e-books with audio or video to coincide with the launch, and said more are on the way. Rose's Heavenly Cakes, for example, includes video tips on preparing baked goods while Bird Songs has audio of actual bird calls.

U.S. recording industry outraged at court's Youtube copyright decision


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) voiced its opposition to the decision in the YouTube-Viacom copyright infringement case. Last week, a New York District Court ruled that the posting of Viacom-owned content by YouTube users on the Google-owned video site did not constitute copyright infringement because YouTube removed the offending content as quickly as possible after being alerted to their existence.
"We believe that the district court's dangerously expansive reading of the liability immunity provisions of the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] DMCA upsets the careful balance struck within the law and is bad public policy," Cary Sherman, RIAA president, wrote in a blog post. "It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites."

Monday, June 28, 2010

G20 is very good for CP24

The chaos on the streets of Toronto during the G20 summit may wind up being a historic coming-of-age story for news channel CP24, the Toronto Sun reports. CP24, owned by CTV, attracted an astonishing 3.6 million unique viewers on Sunday, making it the most-watched day in the history of the channel. This after CP24 attracted 3.2 million unique viewers on Saturday, when the violence was at its worst. Considering that CP24, which debuted in 1998, is available primarily in Ontario, those numbers are absolutely huge. Certainly when big news stories happen, especially scary ones, the traditional media — newspapers, TV, radio — still tend to be where people flock for information.

Protest coverage: "all live, all the time, all shallow"

From The Globe and Mail TV critic John Doyle's column:

"Thus, so much of our TV news seemed to be salivating at the prospect of protests. Dramatic footage! Riot police! Gangs of roving youths. Running battles on the street! And it became stupendously obvious in the lead-up to Friday and Saturday that local TV news was worshipping at the altar of local police authorities. Local TV news tends to gravitate toward authority on a daily basis anyway, but in Toronto in the last week the sense of paranoia fostered by the police was absorbed and spread to a ridiculous extent.

"As a result, obvious questions were never asked. No context for the rioting and destruction that was to come on Saturday in Toronto was ever provided. This was an occasion in which all the shallowness and predictability of TV news was glaringly illuminated."

Click on the title to read the full column.

The intriguing world of France's Le Monde

Globe columnist Lysiane Gagnon takes a look at the venerable French newspaper:

"Two groups of financiers are vying for the chance to pour up to a hundred million euros into what most business people would consider a bottomless pit from which no profits can be expected (except maybe through the paper’s website, which is growing). Yet, for the very rich, Le Monde is an attractive prize. Even though its circulation (about 350,000) is comparable to that of Quebec’s La Presse for a population almost 10 times larger, it is by far the most influential medium in all of France – and its prestige extends beyond the borders of the country."

Click on the title to read the full column.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

National Post photographers spend night in detention

National Post photographers Brett Gundlock and Colin O’Connor were among the hundreds of people arrested at the G20 Summit. They were taken into custody at about 6 p.m. on Saturday while attempting to photograph clashes between police and demonstrators. Both men were charged with obstruct peace officer and unlawful assembly. Neither photographer was accused of any violent act. Instead, they were “amongst violent people,” and allegedly failed to comply with a police order to disperse, a Crown attorney alleged in court on Sunday. The two men spent about 24 hours in custody before the Crown consented to their release on bail.

Robert Fulford: If Canadians have a time crunch, they should stop reading silly Star reports

Robert Fulford writes:

"We learned this week that Canada is in deep trouble and badly needs help. Canadians, according to a new report, work too hard at inconvenient hours and find it impossible to balance the demands of families, employers and themselves. This degrades our health and leaves us unsatisfied with our lives.
"At least 131 newspapers and broadcasters spread this word. The Toronto Star placed it on the front page. The Globe and Mail did better, giving it 1,200 words and a heading, “Why our well-being hangs in the balance.” It certainly sounded like a crisis.
"Not one of the many news stories I saw raised a single question about the report’s content. The media bought it outright (the Post ran a brief item). It all sounded to me like a rewrite of several hundred articles I’ve read over many years but in fact it emanated from the Institute of Wellbeing, founded last year, and its self-described “signature product,” the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW). The Atkinson Foundation, backed by the Toronto Star, organized the Institute and partly funds it. It’s affiliated with the University of Waterloo but its offices are in the Star building in Toronto. . . .

"The report reads like a parody of sociology. It contains absurdly precise statistics that can’t be precisely measured: “The proportion of males and females experiencing high levels of ‘time crunch’ grew from 16.4% in 1992 to 19.6% in 2005.” Thank you, Mr. Science. But that means only that more people in 2005 than in 1992 believed they were pressed for time. My guess is that they spent too much of their time reading feature stories about over-stressed families. They may be, as Romanow would say, 'increasingly exceeding recommended times.'”

Click on the title to read the full column.

Three die as helicopter carrying journalists crashes in the Netherlands

Three people were killed on Sunday when the helicopter they were on crashed in Rotterdam. Two others were seriously injured.

The crash happened around 1 p.m. local time after the Eurocopter EC130 had taken off from the Rotterdam The Hague Airport. The aircraft was carrying a pilot and four photo journalists. The journalists were on board to film the Tour du Port, a bicycle race that goes through the Port of Rotterdam.

Star blog reports arrest of free-lance journalist

From The Star's running blog:
"The British newspaper The Guardian is reporting that the Canadian arrested during a protest last night in Toronto is a freelance journalist who has written for their Comment is free site. Jesse Rosenfeld (pictured) describes himself in his profile as editor of thedailynuisance.com, a worker's collective, who lives in Jaffa and has reported on Israel/Palestine since 2007. Allvoices.com, a news and information collective, says Rosenfeld was born and raised in Toronto and has written for NOW magazine, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, The Montreal Mirror and This Magazine.'
"

The Star's photo sequence shows the hoodlums in black

The Toronto Star's photographers have put together an excellent sequence of the black-clad people who started the riot in downtown Toronto. Several other shooters can be seen in the photos but The Star put it all nicely together on its web page. Hard hats might be in order for photogs covering such scenes. It's a wonder none were hurt.

Click on the title to connect to the photo gallery.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Covering the world leaders from 200 kms away

The Star's Oakland Ross takes the pulse of reporters covering the G20:

"Venerable CBC television anchor Don Newman remembers a time when journalists covering international summit meetings actually came within shouting distance of the world leaders they were covering, not to mention the protesters.

“We were right next to the demonstrators,” he said Friday, recalling coverage of the 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec City. “I’d be on the air, and you could smell the tear gas coming in through the windows.”

"Times have changed.

"Most of the more than 2,000 Canadian and international journalists reporting on Friday’s G8 summit in Muskoka came no closer than 200 km and a live video feed of the talks they were charged with covering. . . ."

Click on the title to read the full story.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fan 590 gets "facelift"

The Star's Chris Zelkovich says FAN 590 program director Don Kollins told him that his station had been in need of a facelift.

"By the time Kollins had finished his surgery on the all-sports radio station, he had given it a facelift, a nose job, a tummy tuck, a butt lift and several injections of Botox," Zelkovich writes.

Gone are morning hosts Don Landry and Gord Stellick. Gone is mid-morning host Mike Hogan. Replaced as host of HockeyCentral at Noon is Daren Millard. Also gone is the early afternoon show hosted by Jack Armstrong and Eric Smith. Kollins said the wholesale changes amount to more of a new paint job than a total renovation, though there will be programming changes to go along with the new voices.

Click on the title to readtghe full story.

Why Harper and Hu stiffed the press

Norman Spector reports on why there was no China-Canada news conference at the end of the state visit:

" . . . China’s embassy was concerned that a press conference would include journalists from two media organizations that Beijing detests: Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty.

"The Embassy therefore approached the organizers a few weeks ago and demanded that representatives of these media be excluded from the press conference. When the parliamentary press gallery refused to accede to the demand — on the basis that the two media organizations were full members of the gallery — the Embassy turned to the PMO, which took up its cause.

"At first, Mr. Harper’s advisers tried to negotiate a compromise with the gallery — but these negotiations did not bear fruit. In the end, the press conference (which had never been officially announced) was cancelled . . ."

Click on the title to read the full column.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jane Skinner quits Fox News to go home

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Jane Skinner announced today on Happening Now that she would be stepping down from her position as co-anchor of the top rated daytime news program. In making the announcement at the conclusion of today’s show, Skinner said, "It's been a thrill to have been a part of FNC's success over the past 12 years. My talented co-workers have shown how hard work and a great attitude pays off. However, my life has changed significantly in those 12 years, in wonderful ways that have created new responsibilities. I added a husband who became the NFL Commissioner and who has a job even busier than mine, and twin daughters with lives even busier still

Conrad Black's fraud conviction set aside

The U.S. Supreme Court set aside on Thursday the convictions of former media baron Conrad Black and two ex-colleagues for defrauding shareholders of one-time newspaper publishing giant Hollinger International Inc. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said for the unanimous court that the defendants had properly objected to the jury instructions at trial and can challenge those instructions on appeal. The appeals court had previously ruled the defendants had forfeited their objection to the jury instructions. Ginsburg said it will be up to the lower courts to determine whether the error in the jury instructions about the honest services law was harmless or not. Reuters

Norman Spector on Rolling Stone and the CBC

He finds CBC decision to tape interview with CSIS director and then sit on it until the G20 opens to be reprehensible.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Story behind the Rolling Stone-McChrystal story

Stranded together by volcano ash, general and his aides bonded with Rolling Stone freelancer in the most unfortunate way for them. Nice insight from The Christian Science Monitor.

Eliot Spitzer CNN's bid to add buzz to ratings

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in disgrace two years ago after admitting to using a prostitute, will co-host a new show on CNN, the cable news network said on Wednesday. CNN said the man who rose to political prominence as New York's attorney general, earning the nickname "Sheriff of Wall Street" for his relentless efforts prosecuting financial malfeasance, will co-host a show with 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post

Big internent copyright victory -- but appeal coming

Google Inc won a landmark victory over media companies as a Manhattan federal judge threw out Viacom Inc's $1 billion lawsuit accusing the Internet company of allowing copyrighted videos on its YouTube service without permission. Viacom claimed "tens of thousands of videos on YouTube, resulting in hundreds of millions of views," had been posted based on its copyrighted works, and that the defendants knew about it but did nothing to stop illegal uploads. But in a 30-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton said it would be improper to hold Google and YouTube liable under federal copyright law merely for having a "general awareness" that videos might be posted illegally. "Mere knowledge of prevalence of such activity in general is not enough," he wrote. "The provider need not monitor or seek out facts indicating such activity." Viacom said it plans to appeal to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. It called Stanton's ruling "fundamentally flawed," saying it reflects neither Congress' intent behind copyright laws nor recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions

Now Shaw must deal with unsecured creditors

With an agreement in place that satisfies Canwest Global Communications Corp. shareholders, including the founding Asper family, Shaw Communications Inc. faces its next major obstacle in its pursuit of the lucrative television assets — approval from unsecured creditors. They must sign off on agreement at meeting next month and may not like getting what appears to be about 30 cents on the dollar.

16-hours and $11 million brings CanWest deal

The wrangle over the CanWest broadcast assets is settled after court-ordered negotiations. Globe and Mail

APTN appeals exclusion of cameras

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network says it is appealing a decision by the chairwoman of a human rights tribunal to exclude cameras from hearings into whether the Canadian government discriminates against First Nations children through its funding of on-reserve child welfare agencies. CBC.ca

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Into the night! CanWest wrangle heading for sun-up

Reuters update stating that the parties will be meeting into the evening (Tuesday) in hope of finding agreement. The two sides hope to hammer out a deal that can be finalized in a hearing on Wednesday, David Byers, a lawyer for the court-appointed monitor for the CanWest bankruptcy and sale, told Toronto Superior Court on Tuesday. See posts below.

Eric Morrison receives RTNDA President's Award

From the RTNDA as reported by the Canadian Journalism Project: "CEO of The Canadian Press, Eric Morrison, was presented with the President's Award. "Eric is a proven leader in the evolution of journalism in Canada and has long supported the objectives of RTNDA," said RTNDA President Cal Johnstone. The RTNDA President's Gala honours an individual who has made a major contribution to,broadcast journalism in Canada. "

Bloomberg take on Canwest court rebuke

As noted in posts below, Ontario Court of Appeal Judge Sarah Pepppal kicked the parties to the CanWest broadcast sale disagreement out of court earlier today. According to BNN at 5 pm. the chastened parties are still meeting several hours after being told to find a solution to their disagreement, but with no agreement in sight. Story linked off headline is Bloomberg write through.

Alanna Mitchell wins $75,000 writing award

Toronto writer and former Globe and Mail reporter Alanna Mitchell was named winner of the $75,000 Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment Tuesday, edging fellow Canadian Cleo Paskal, one of three other writers cited for an award of merit in the same competition. Mitchell won the honour, funded by the Grantham Foundation and administered by the Metcalfe Institute at the University of Rhode Island, for her second book, Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis. Paskal was cited for her book, Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map. Established in 2005, the Grantham Prize is one of the richest available to North American writers and reporters specializing in the environment

Judge orders CanWest, Shaw and parties to settle

CanWest, Shaw and shareholders get rebuke. "Get out of court and settle" Reuters.

Rogers acquires Edmonton's BOUNCE FM

RELEASE -- Rogers Broadcasting Limited has purchased subject to approvals Edmonton radio station BOUNCE (CHBN-FM) from CHUM Radio, a division of CTV Limited and Milestone Media Broadcasting Limited. BOUNCE, one of Edmonton's top hit music stations, will join Rogers' modern rock station SONiC and Rogers' ethnic radio station World FM. The sale is subject to CRTC approval.

G20 inspires all-Canadian ads in New Yorker mag

Chest-thumping series of ads in current issue of the U.S. magazine sells Canada. Toronto Star.

McGuinty ads in early evening TV news

The Strong Medicine TV spot was scheduled to run during newscasts across Ontario, starting last nightt at 6 p.m. The ad will also run online until July 1 — the day the harmonized sales tax takes effect in Ontario. Strong Medicine is the HST. CBC.ca

Monday, June 21, 2010

CNN drops AP, starts its own distribution service

CNN President Jim Walton, in a memo to staff announcing the decision, said that starting immediately the cable network would be the "primary source of all content for all of our platforms and services."

NYT picks Arthur S. Brisbane as public editor

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The New York Times today named its next public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, a journalist and news executive with 34 years experience, including as publisher and editor of The Kansas City Star and as a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. Mr. Brisbane begins his three-year assignment this summer.

France declares war on Google Street View

Google is facing prosecution in France after ‘accidentally’ scooping up masses of personal information while compiling its Street View service. The US internet giant spent months driving around the country’s streets as it built up a map, recording wi-fi hotspots along the way so as to list local services. But it also recorded emails, browsing histories and other highly sensitive information including bank details and medical records. Mail Online

Approval given to sell CanWest newspaper group

Court gives approval as expected. CBC.ca

Rogers buys BOB-FM in London from CHUM

CNW release.

Friday, June 18, 2010

3 Sun Media staff cut from Parliament Hill Bureau

Christina Spencer, Elizabeth Thompson and Peter Zimonjic were fired from Sun Media's Parliament Hill bureau, Toronto Sun Family reports. Rumours suggest as many as six employees were let go.The news come after the company's announcement it would launch a right-leaning 24 hours news network. Former PM spokesman Kory Tenecyke was recently named head of the Ottawa bureau. Toronto Sun Family reports: "Rue Frontenac, staffed by locked out Journal de Montreal employees, says Sun Media reps from Toronto arrived in Ottawa today to "announce the sad news to Christina Spencer, Elizabeth Thompson and Peter Zimonjic.""The online newspaper says Spencer, Thompson and Zimoniic didn't see it coming and quoted the president of the press gallery as saying they all "have a very good reputation on the Hill." J-Source.ca

New low: Glam TV reporter blamed for Spain loss

Sara Carbonero is the alleged cause of Spanish goalkeeper's blunder. Sure.


Mercer says he turned down Sun TV job offer

Toronto Star reports this tid-bit on Rick Mercer.

Forecast for newspaper revenue points lower

NEW YORK — Newspaper advertising and subscription revenue in North America will continue to drop through 2012, according to a new forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The accounting firm's report suggests newspapers still have a painful time ahead of them after spending the last two years or so furiously cutting costs to keep up with shrinking revenue sources. AP

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Former Canadian ambassador to Guatemala guilty of slandering film maker

When his nine-minute documentary on a Canadian company’s alleged human rights abuses in Guatemala was disparaged by Canada’s ambassador to that country, a York University filmmaker took the federal government to small claims court and won. After three years of chipping away at a federal “wall of silence,” Steven Schnoor emerged victorious Wednesday in a slander case against former ambassador Kenneth Cook. Justice Pamela Thomson said Cook was “reckless” and “should have known better” when he said Schnoor’s film was falsified. Thomson awarded the filmmaker $5,000 from Cook and $2,000 from the federal attorney general for not responding properly to Schnoor’s complaints.

Producers association adopts digital age name

The body representing the almost 400 Canadian companies producing English-language TV, movies and new media programming is giving itself a face-lift, starting with a new name. The Canadian Film and Television Production Association announced on Wednesday that it is changing its name to the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA). A non-profit trade association, the group champions Canadian film, TV and new media producers, negotiates labour agreements and lobbies the federal government on policies related to the production industry. The amendment is the industry group's third major name-change since it was founded in 1948, when it was known as the Association of Motion Picture Producers and Laboratories of Canada.

Media union mulls over challenge to Canwest newspaper sale


Canada’s largest media union is considering to challenge the sale of Canwest Global Communications’ newspaper assets to group of debt holders. "We believe this sale will require a review under the Investment Canada Act," said Peter Murdoch, vice-president, media, for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Buyers, led by National Post publisher Paul Godfrey, agreed to purchase the Canwest basket of newspapers titles, including the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen, the Montreal Gazette and the National Post, for $1.1 billion. But the ad hoc group of buyers is made up of mostly U.S.-based bondholders, the union said. "Parliament should be acting now to ensure these newspapers remain under Canadian control and ownership,” Murdoch said.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

'Save Local TV' campaign not a code violation: CBSC

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) said in a decision Wednesday that CTV’s “Save Local TV” campaign on fee-for-carriage last year did not violate any broadcast codes. The CBSC examined an advocacy campaign conducted by CTV-owned stations in May 2009 that had run related promotional spots and news reports.
Cable and satellite distributors had run a corresponding campaign called “Stop the TV Tax,” which opposed paying fees to broadcasters for the carriage of their over-the-air analogue signals. The distributors had complained to the CRTC that CTV-owned stations used their programming to air biased and unbalanced content to promote the campaign. That complaint, considered a “content issue,” was forwarded to the CBSC. The CBSC found that many of the segments under complaint were promotional spots or commercials that attempted to “sell” the broadcasters’ position in support of local television.

Veritas Communications replaces Media Profile as CBC's PR and ad agency

Veritas Communications has been named the CBC's agency of record for publicity and promotion following a formal competitive process, the CBC has announced. Veritas replacves Media Profile, CBC’s publicity and promotions agency for the past five years.

"A transition plan is in effect and stakeholders are in the process of being updated on their new contact information. Publicity and promotional activities, including those associated with the FIFA World Cup, will continue as usual." the CBC announcement said.

Disgruntled investors claim Canwest TV was unfair

The proposed $2-billion sale of Canwest Global Communications Inc. to Shaw Communications Inc. was not the result of a “full and informed auction,” and failed to fetch hundreds of millions of dollars in additional value the company is estimated to be worth, according to documents filed in an Ontario court. In an affidavit filed in Ontario Superior Court this week, James Kofman, an independent financial advisor specializing in mergers and acquisitions, says the solicitation process conducted by RBC Capital Markets last fall contained a “material omission” because it didn’t “expressly state that control and indeed 100% of Canwest would be available to interested parties. The filings were made in support of a legal challenge by an ad hoc group of disgruntled Canwest Global shareholders. The shareholders are asking the court to reject Shaw’s proposed $2-billion acquisition and force a 30-day open auction for all of the company’s television assets. The group includes the founding Asper family. They intend to challenge Shaw’s takeover at a hearing scheduled for June 22.

Sun News may offer needed jolt to TV scene

At a press conference in Toronto, Quebecor president Pierre-Karl Peladeau and vice-president of development Kory Teneycke assured reporters that Sun News won't be anything like CBC ( "boring news by bureaucrats for elites and paid for by taxpayers," Mr. Teneycke sniffed), or CTV (much of the same, just not paid for by taxpayers). It might be a little like LCN, Quebecor's French-language TV outlet, but it won't be nearly as much like Fox News as all those hyperventilating lefties would have you think -- except, one assumes, in that, like Fox, it will soon be kicking the living snot out of its lamestream competitors in the ratings department.

What will Sun News be doing, then? "We're taking on the mainstream media," said Mr. Teneycke. "We're taking on smug, condescending, often irrelevant journalism. We're taking on political correctness."

To read the full National Post story, click on the title.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hamas TV forced to halt broadcasts to Europe

A France-based satellite provider is halting broadcasts of the Hamas TV channel to Europe and parts of the Arab world because of concerns that it spreads incitement, a station official said Tuesday. The decision will deprive Gaza-based al-Aqsa TV of most of its viewers, said the channel's head, Hazem Sharawy. The Hamas station — best known for its children's programs glorifying violence against Israel — is the centerpiece of a growing media operation of Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers. Losing the satellite provider will hamper the group's attempts to spread its message and raise funds abroad.

Terence Corcoran tells Canadian Journalism Foundation: Time for a fresh start

Terence Corcoran in the Financial Post:

"The Canadian Journalism Foundation is little known and is of little value to anyone outside the ingrown cabals of mostly Toronto-based old-line liberal media celebrities and groupies. Playing a supporting role are milling flocks of corporate public relations cads and charitable funds who share the cabals' abiding interest in maintaining and celebrating the soft-left wonder years of the '60s, '70s and '80s, when all problems could be resolved by a little more regulation and a lot more taxation. The corporate interest in backing the foundation may be more aligned with coddling media contacts than reviving liberalism, but not necessarily."

Click on the title to read the full column.

Peter Worthington's take on the SunNews channel

Peter Worthington writes in the Toronto Sun:

"Leave it to the Toronto Star to cast the first stone at the idea of Quebecor Media Inc. bidding for a broadcast license for a TV channel centred on “conservative” news and opinion. “A Canadian Fox News knock-off,” is how Christopher Dornan called it in a Sunday Star article. “Enough to give not-so-worked-up citizens the willies."
Dornan despises Fox News which he says “has the none-too-bright persona of the schoolyard bully.” He says Fox tolerates contrary political viewpoints “not so they can be debated but so that they can be debased: brayed at, mocked, vilified.” To Dornan, “mean-spirited and vindictiveness” distinguish Fox News which, one infers, is what he suspects is in line for Canada if the Quebecor bid is accepted.

"Frankly, I doubt if Mr. Dornan watches Fox News. . . .If one wants opposing views in news commentary, it strikes me that Fox is the only channel that specializes in such opinions, most of them reasonable, if you discount Glenn Beck, who I, for one, find insufferable and would cheerfully strangle (just kidding).

"I haven’t a clue what Kory Teneycke, (misspelled in Dornan’s Star article as Keneycke) has in mind for the new channel he is said to head. But if it matches the versatility, enlightenment and independent alternative view that Fox does, it’ll find a receptive audience in Canada, inundated as we are with lib-left orthodoxy. . . ."

Click on the title to read the whole column.

New Sun-TV News logo and website


Website trumpets Canada's Home for Hard News and Straight Talk. Linked off the headline above.

SUN-TV news release from Marketwire (linked here)

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - 06/15/10) - Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc. and Sun Media Corporation, today announced that Quebecor Media, through a partnership between its two subsidiaries TVA Group and Sun Media Corporation, will be challenging the English Canadian TV news establishment by investing in a new hard news/straight talk English specialty channel called SUN TV NEWS
"Canadian TV news today is narrow, complacent, and politically correct" -- Teneycke.
"CBC News Network and CTV News Channel have had respectively 21 and 13 years to get it right and they've failed to win over viewers. Canadian TV news today is narrow, complacent, and politically correct," added Kory Teneycke, Vice President, Development of Quebecor Media. "SUN TV NEWS will be different from the all-news channel format we know all too well in Canada. It will offer Canadians an attractive mixture of "hard news" reporting during the day and "straight talk" opinion journalism at night. This will not be another network catering to elite opinion and ignoring stories important to many Canadians."

Quebecor to launch all-news TV channel

CBC.ca take on new Quebecor concept, Sun-TV (national)

Quebecor to reformat Sun TV

Company seeks to remake small Toronto network to potentially be carried on cable across the country. Globe and Mail

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Fox News North" announcement Tuesday in Toronto

After reports last week that Quebecor Inc. was poised to launch a 24-hour news channel aimed at more conservative Canadian viewers, the company said on Monday that president and chief executive officer Pierre Karl Péladeau will “make an announcement in regard to new investment in Canadian media” in downtown Toronto on Tuesday morning.

Click on the title for the full story.

Krista Erickson leaves the CBC; may go to new QMI net

Krista Erickson, the CBC reporter who became controversial in 2007 for submitting questions for use in the House of Commons to NDP MP Pablo Rodriguez, has left the CBC, the corporation announced.

The Globe and Mail's Jane Taber reported that Erickson may be joining the new right-wing network being launched by Qubecor.

The network's chief and former Harper spokesman Kory Teneycke would not comment about Ms. Erickson. However, he said that he and Quebecor president Pierre Karl Péladeau will hold a press conference Tuesday in Toronto at the Sun offices on King Street to shed some more light as to what their venture involves, Taber reported.

Erickson was censured and ordered transferred out of Ottawa. But her union filed a grievance and the transfer never took place. CBC Ombudsman Vince Carlin looked into the matter and concluded that her action was against CBC policy but that it was a matter of excessive investigative zeal.
"There is absolutely no evidence of any partisan interest on her part,” Carlin said in his seven-page report."
Erickson joined the CBC in Winnipeg in 1999. She worked on a variety of programs and moved to Ottawa in 2006.

Robert J. Wussler, CBS executive and aide to Ted Turner, dies at 73

Robert J. Wussler, a senior executive for the CBS news and sports divisions and president of the CBS Television Network in the 1970s, and later the top aide to Ted Turner in the expansion of his cable TV operations, died June 5 at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 73.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Plot thickens in Penguin publishing scandal

A former colleague has launched a half-million-dollar lawsuit against former Penguin CEO David Davidar alleging he sexually harassed her for three years. In a statement of claim, Lisa Rundle alleged Davidar practised a “campaign of harassment,” which included inappropriate text messages, leering and stalking, and culminated with Davidar bullying his way into her hotel room at the Frankfurt Book Fair last October and forcing his tongue into her mouth. The allegations have not been proven in court and Davidar has not yet filed his defence.

“There’s so much I want to say,” Davidar’s wife, Rachna, told the Toronto Star. “So much, but I’ve been asked to zip it.”

She said she would stick by her husband.

Click on the title to read the full story.

Alberta gov't employees to get schooled in social media

The Alberta government is imposing a new social media policy for employees. They will now need approval and training should they be required to use sites such as Twitter or Facebook as part of their job. During Premier Ed Stelmach's leadership review, he promised to do a better job communicating, including using social media sites. Since then, several government Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as blogs have started up. "There is a big role for social media in communication and we want to take advantage of that," said Tom Olsen, director of new media and Internet for the provincial government. Now the government believes it's time for some guidelines to be implemented showing employees how they should conduct themselves in the Internet.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

ITV HD viewers miss England's first World Cup goal

ITV has apologised to its HD channel viewers after a "transmission problem" caused them to miss England's first World Cup goal. Viewers did not see Steven Gerrard's early strike against the USA in the 1-1 match. Some reported seeing an advert. ITV said coverage had encountered an "interuption" and presenter Adrian Chiles apologised on air at half-time. Last year, ITV viewers missed the winning goal in a Liverpool-Everton FA Cup tie when coverage cut to an advertisement.

Canadian Journalism Foundation pays tribute to Blackberry creators

Not since the printing press, cable, and maybe even the Internet has such an invention changed the media landscape. Its significance was recognized by the Canadian Journalism Foundation Thursday night in a tribute to Research in Motion co-founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. The recognition by journalists isn't so surprising. Reporters were among the early adopters of the device, said Lazaridis, as he acknowledged the role it has played in the news business.

Right-wing TV needs upscale market:Globe and Mail

The wraps come off as early as next week for a Fox News-style TV network being assembled by Quebec billionaire Pierre Karl Péladeau – a right-of-centre cable offering that’s already causing a stir in Canada. But market researchers familiar with right-wing audiences say the Quebecor network cannot style itself too conservatively if it hopes to attract significant advertising dollars. Right-wing talk shows – which are almost solely on local AM radio stations – tend to attract an older and downscale audience with far less disposable spending than advertisers prefer.

Click on the title to read the full story.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Obama taking hard line against leaks to the press; maybe Harper is not so bad?

Hired in 2001 by the National Security Agency to help it catch up with the e-mail and cellphone revolution, Thomas A. Drake became convinced that the government’s eavesdroppers were squandering hundreds of millions of dollars on failed programs while ignoring a promising alternative. He took his concerns everywhere inside the secret world: to his bosses, to the agency’s inspector general, to the Defense Department’s inspector general and to the Congressional intelligence committees. But he felt his message was not getting through. So he contacted a reporter for The Baltimore Sun.

Today, because of that decision, Mr. Drake, 53, a veteran intelligence bureaucrat who collected early computers, faces years in prison on 10 felony charges involving the mishandling of classified information and obstruction of justice.

The indictment of Mr. Drake was the latest evidence that the Obama administration is proving more aggressive than the Bush administration in seeking to punish unauthorized leaks to the press.

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

Bloomberg launches real-time Portuguese news service in Brazil

Bloomberg L.P. today announced the official launch of its real-time Bloomberg Portuguese Language News Service, which is offered through the BLOOMBERG PROFESSIONAL® service. This offering provides users of the BLOOMBERG PROFESSIONAL service with the ability to make quicker and more informed business decisions by delivering breaking local financial news in Portuguese, including global perspectives on the market. Over the past seven months, Bloomberg has expanded its news staff in Brazil by 80% to provide hundreds of headlines and stories in Portuguese daily, including coverage of the Central Bank, the National Treasury, the economy, corporate announcements and market movers. With this growth Bloomberg becomes the second largest news organization in Brazil.

CEO of Penguin Canada forced out by a sexual harassment suit

Just days after announcing David Davidar was resigning from his post as CEO of Penguin Canada to pursue other endeavours, the company now says Davidar was “was asked to leave last month,” and that a former employee has filed a sexual harassment suit against him. The suit was filed Thursday by Lisa Rundle, according to a media release issued this afternoon by Yvonne Hunter, vice-president of publicity and marketing for Penguin Canada. The release says Davidar, 52, “was asked to leave the company last month” – he was named Canadian president in 2007 – “and his departure was announced Monday [this week].” "Mr. Davidar will play no further role in the company," the release said.

Click on the title to read the full story.

CBC names new executive producer of the fifth estate

Jim Williamson has been appointed Executive Producer of the fifth estate, effective June 21st, the CBC has announced. Williamson holds degrees from The University of Toronto and Carleton University. He has worked at CTV’s Canada AM, CBC’s The Journal, The National, and the Documentary unit. One of his recent projects was the documentary “Love, Hate and Propaganda.” He replaces David Studer.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blogosphere alive with "Fox News North" frenzy

Link on headline goes to Google search of blogs. It yields rich variety of comment, ranging from sheer joy to complete contempt. Mockup above is courtesy of a blog called Creekside, which has named former Tory aide "Corncob" Kory Teneycke. This is apparently a reference to his interest in ethanol. Note corncob character in the jpg. TPG

Joint letter complains about CP "media manipulation"

The letter is co-signed by the heads of nine organizations, including the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Federation professionelle des journalistes du Quebec. Also included are the heads of the parliamentary press galleries in Ottawa, Quebec City, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.

SCoC finds 8 to 1 to uphold bail publication bans

Lone dissent came from Justice Abella who indicated the judge should be able to decide whether a ban at bail hearings is applied.

Dolphin slaughter film creates free speech debate

Report from the Japan Times summarizes debate in that country over protests calling for the film to be cancelled. Link off headline, video courtesy Youtube.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quebecor eyes Fox News-style TV for Canada

From Globe and Mail story quoting "sources": "It’s an attempt to mine what Mr. (Kory) Teneycke believes is a largely untapped market for more right-of-centre TV offerings in Canada, acquaintances and people familiar with the plans say. Sources say Mr. Tenecyke pitched the proposal to Quebecor last year and has been trying to prove the business case for the station ever since."

Corus radio stations in Quebec draw $81 million bid

The offer jumps up the market value by a million dollars over the previous bid. It is from T&T Media, a company led by businessman Nicolas Tetrault and Montreal radio veteran Paul Tietolman, former owner of CKVL and CKOI.
Montreal Gazettte

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Harper ex-aide takes over Quebecor Ottawa bureau

Kory Teneycke, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former communications director, is assuming a new posting as head of media giant Quebecor's Parliament Hill bureau, effectively overseeing coverage of a government for which he was chief spokesman one year ago. Teneycke will become vice-president of development for the Montreal-based communications company, publishers of the expansive Sun chain of newspapers, and assume responsibility for the Ottawa bureau, where he will be located, said a joint Sun Media-Quebecor announcement Tuesday. New Democrat Charlie Angus denounced Teneycke as "a hatchet man for Stephen Harper" whom he said has no business working in the Ottawa bureau of a major news organization Montreal Gazette

Telus rebrands TV, Internet services

Telus Corp. is rebranding its TV and high-speed Internet services and calling it Optik, the telecommunications company said Tuesday.

Drudge Report made Thomas remarks an issue

Interesting observation by TimesOnline that Helen Thomas's remarks about Israel were scarcely reported at first, but when posted on the Drudge Report website at the weekend they provoked a storm of controversy. The pack affect?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oprah's new cable network is sewing up ad deals

Oprah Winfrey, the queen of daytime TV, is extending her rule to Madison Avenue. OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, the talk show host's namesake cable channel, which is set to debut Jan. 1, is close to finalizing a sizable ad deal with General Motors, sources tell The Post. The deal, if closed, would mark the third major sponsorship agreement for OWN, following notable deals with Procter & Gamble and Kohl's. New York Post

Information commissioner beats up the CBC

Reported on the CBC site, Suaanne Legault's report complains that the CBC is too slow responding and sometimes over billing information seekers.

Sad end for an 89-year-old Washington insider

MarketWatch commentary on the end of Helen Thomas's career.

Helen Thomas retires after Israel remarks

Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas retired on Monday after coming under fire for blunt remarks about Israel. The retirement of the 89-year-old Thomas, the longest-serving reporter in the White House press corps, was announced by Hearst Corp., where she worked as a newspaper columnist."Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately," Hearst News Service said. Always something of an uncontrolled spirit, Thomas appears to have written her own reitrement request by scolding Jewish reporters at a White House event celebrating Israel. "Tell them (Isreal) to get the hell out of Palestine," she said. AFP

Clement hints foreign telecom investment near

Minister speaks of "liberalizing" the market at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto. Toronto Star

Yahoo to Roll Out New Facebook Integrations

Yahoo Inc. will soon roll out new ways to view content from Facebook Inc. across its websites, according to people briefed on the matter, as it aims to prevent Yahoo users from defecting to the social network. As part of a partnership with Facebook announced last December, Yahoo will begin allowing users to view their stream of Facebook updates—which Facebook calls the "news feed"—from Yahoo.com and Yahoo Mail, these people said. The company will also more easily allow users to post actions they take on Yahoo, such as uploading a photo to Yahoo's photo service .. Wall Street Journal

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BBC is a crime says P.D. James

Speaking at a Media Society dinner last week, the celebrated crime writer said the Corporation's shows had often left her confused and exasperated. Baronness James will be 90 in August. Telegraph

Laugh a minute on the North Korean "news service"

Every once in a while it's instructive and amusing to look at the "news service" of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DKPR). That's North Korea to you. The web page is linked off the headline above. Members of this news bureau have the uncommon good luck to be stationed in Tokyo not Pyongyang. Well, Kim Jong Il has just gotten back from one of his command performance visits to Beijing. When the Chinese invite him, Kim can't say no. This occasion was accompanied by the usual hilarious platitudes. Here's Chinese President Hu Jintao: I believe that the Korean people, under the resolute leadership of the WPK headed by you, would explore a road of development suited to the actual conditions of the country and certainly register fresh and greater achievements in their cause of building a great prosperous and powerful nation. What a story! TPG

Streaming of games "about commerce, not freedom"

Sensible ruling from a judge in Wisconsin that local interscholastic games are subject to the same rules of commerce as professional sports. A deal between a local service and the schools to exclusively stream the games on the internet must be respected. Others may cover the games and provide limited coverage, but not whistle to whistle live coverage. Editor and Publisher

Jana Juginovic splits with Peter MacKay

All the news that's fit to print about the CTV producer and the cabinet minister from the Globe and Mail.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

NYT, WSJ duke it out for New York readers

The two newspapers are competing for readers on their home turf as industrywide circulation sales have plunged. News Corp.’s Wall Street Journal introduced its metro section in April, in part to attract readers from the New York Times. Bloomberg

Telus, Bell bigshots feel sorry for themselves

Globe and Mail reflective on CRTC meeting last week.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Penny Smith leaves BBC's GMTV after 17 years

Penny Smith bid a tearful farewell to the GMTV sofa on Friday, as she left the programme after 17 years. The star was treated to a video compilation of her most memorable moments, and was serenaded by 90s soul star Curtis Stigers. The pair sang together on BBC One talent show Just The Two Of Us in 2006. Smith's departure comes as GMTV begins a radical overhaul, moving to a team of presenters led by former One Show host Adrian Chiles. BBC video linked at headline.

Lloyd Robertson for Governor-General

With the lady with the 5,000 watt smile about to leave the Governor-General’s office, the search for a successor is on. Retired generals have been mentioned. There is a Blogosphere campaign to anoint Willliam Shatner and a Star columnist bemoans the fact that David Johnston, president of the University of Waterloo, likely won’t make it because he gave too narrow a focus to the Oliphant Inquiry. (He recommended against rehashing Airbus.)

Well, it seems to The Planet Guys that Prime Minister Harper is missing the obvious choice: Lloyd Robertson. For starters, the CBC has had two recent cracks at the job: Adrienne Clarkson and Michelle Jean. (Romeo Leblanc, too, if you want to go further back) CTV has so far had only Jeanne Sauve but that was long ago. (For those who don’t remember, she did a stint on W5.) Shatner? Well, the guy has been away from home probably longer than Michael Ignatieff. And, would YOU trade California for Ottawa? The right general might be okay but being a military analyst in the media is more satisfying than standing at attention on Remembrance Day.

Lloyd, on the other hand, has everything going for him. He is an avowed Royalist and would never claim to be the Queen of Canada and he knows how to stick to the script. How could Harper go wrong? – The Planet Guys

UK Express owner signals interest in buying Sun

Briton Richard Desmond, porn publisher and owner of Express Newspapers, indicated on Friday that he would be interested in buying the country's top-selling daily tabloid, the Sun, pledging to run it more efficiently. Reuters

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sportscaster Ron MacLean helps rescue man from river

Hockey Night in Canada fixture Ron MacLean was part of a heroic river rescue in Philadelphia on Thursday. MacLean was having lunch on a patio by the Delaware River with Don Cherry when a woman with a “heavy French accent” came in and said “help, help there’s someone in the water.” “There was four or five of us around,” said MacLean, who was taking a break from filming segments for one of Cherry’s Rock ‘em Sock ‘em videos. “We jump up and I grabbed a velvet rope off one of the dividers they have in the restaurant,” he said. “I thought that’d be useful to help pull the guy out of the water.” MacLean said he jumped over a wrought-iron railing they have around the patio and went down to the river. Another man, “I think the husband or boyfriend ... of the woman,” had already jumped into the river to assist. “He had already stripped down and was just in his underwear and jumped into the water and pulled the man over onto a raft,” MacLean said. The man had apparently been trying to take his own life. “His throat was all wrapped up in sort-of clear packaging tape and he had rope around him,” he said. MacLean said he and a couple of staff from the hotel helped to pull the man from the raft onto the wharf.

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