Friday, September 30, 2011

The glitch in Postmedia's digital switch

"The trouble with this quest (for profits in digital media), however, is that Postmedia is trying to reinvent itself at a time when digital profits are still elusive and the company’s traditional newspaper business is sapping its financial strength," reports the Globe in a story about the company's new media drive.

Click on the title to read.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

AP Enterprise: UK tabloid paid spies for scoops

1990s scandal that saw a secretary fired from the Sun People has now ensnared Piers Morgan. AP Enterprise suggests that the stolen secrets went to the News of the world where Morgan was editor. Such a nice business.

Supreme Court to hear 'value for signal' TV case

CBC synopsis: In 2010, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission asked the Federal Court of Appeal to rule on whether the broadcast regulator had the right to establish a regime whereby broadcasters could attach value to their signals and charge the distributors — the cable and satellite companies .Canadian cable and satellite companies currently carry over-the-air network television signals without paying for them. In a 2-1 ruling released in late February, the appeal court said the regulator could implement a proposed "value for signal" regime. The cable and satellite companies subsequently asked the Supreme Court for leave to appeal that decision.

Kindle Fire will sell for $199 in U.S.

Jeff Bezos introducing the Kingle Fire. Telegraph TV story.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Star trumpets NADbank results

And to its credit the Star continues to be the most read news source. The perennial guessing game continues however about the break out between print and online readership. It's a secret. Why?

Vancouver police serve warrants for riot footage

Vancouver police say they plan to serve warrants on local media outlets to collect video footage from the Stanley Cup riot earlier this year.

Robert Hurst at Fanshawe College

Robert Hurst has joined Fanshawe College's broadcast faculty as a visiting professor. Earlier this year, the award-winning journalist retired from his post as president of CTV News and Current affairs after 38 years in the industry. Hurst began his broadcast career as a writer for Canada AM in 1973. He was promoted to news director of Toronto's CFTO affiliate at the ripe old age of 26. Over his career, Hurst has worked in many different position, including as a foreign correspondent in Washington, Moscow and Beijing. In 2007, TV Guide named him as the most powerful person in Canadian TV news. Hurst will join the faculty this fall -- RELEASE.

Time is up for head of Canada's telecoms regulator

The Canadian government will not reappoint Konrad von Finckenstein as chairman of the federal communications regulator, with whom it has clashed in recent years over Internet billing and foreign telecom investment. Reuters

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Conservatives call Sun staff to testify in CBC fight

Globe and Mail observations on who will testify about the CBC's position on freedom-of-information requests by, mainly, Sun Media.

U.S. obsession with race entraps the AP

It would hardly be worth noting, except that somebody noted it on national television. Author Karen Hunter (inset) has accused the AP of being "inherently racist" for not cleaning up President Obama's grammar. Mr. Obama consistently dropped the letter "g" when he spoke to the Black Caucus. The now well noted speech contained this memorable exhortation. “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.” AP is saying that it quoted the president accurately.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Roger Ailes Reality Show

Howard Kurtz in the Daily Beast with some nice insight into what's going on at Fox News. Roger Ailes is quoted as saying that Glenn Beck became "a branding problem" for Fox.

Brits say Google most desirable media employer

Research released today places search giant Google and broadcaster the BBC as the first and second most desirable employers respectively. Next on the list of places media job hunters would most like to work were The Guardian, self-employment, Channel 4, Penguin and Apple.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How much traffic and weather can man survive?

Radio Circulation 730 will focus exclusively on Montreal traffic and weather Linked to the Gazette.

Raise the Hammer rants are fun

An amusing blog called Raise the Hammer (from Hamilton of course) reports on the Spectator getting a paywall courtesy of its owner Torstar, We found it fun to read the feisty comments which have the feeling of cantankerous Spec employees or maybe former employees. That's just a guess. Maybe some of them will take a tilt at Mostly Media. Raise the Hammer.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

YouTube's Rosebud moment

YouTube is making the 1941 Orson Welles classic available for rental online, in what it says is the first time the movie can be viewed on-demand on the Interwebs. You can watch the first 10 minutes below; full rental costs $3 for a 24-hour period. (For Welles completists, there's also a Blu-ray boxed set out.) Linked to the LA Times.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rogers wants you to write to your MP to let it bid on new radio spectrum

Rogers Communications Inc. is taking public lobbying efforts to have an auction of key airwaves set up in the telecommunication giant’s favour, the National Post's Jamie Sturgeon reports. Rogers, the country’s largest mobile operator, has quietly launched a campaign asking Canadians to email elected officials to ask for an “open and fair” auction of the all-important 700Mhz radio spectrum band Ottawa has slated for sale next year.
The move is tied to broader efforts among all three sector incumbents Rogers, Bell Mobility and Telus Corp. to convince new Industry Minister Christian Paradis and bureaucrats in his department that the three should not be excluded from bidding on any portion of the band, which is ideal for mobile Internet use and hence critical to the carriers’ long-term wireless plans.
On a website, Rogers is asking Canadians — and especially its more than nine million mobile customers — to “respectfully urge” policy-makers “to allow free and open access to the 700-megahertz spectrum by allowing all companies to participate in the upcoming auction.
Rogers and the other incumbent operators are worried Ottawa will once again set some licences aside exclusively for a handful of smaller new entrant firms like Wind Mobile. Industry Canada adopted the “set-aside” auction structure during the last sale in 2008, a move resulting in the current competitive environment consumer advocates say has yielded better services and lower prices.

Newspapers facing revenue/readership crisis

A candid snatch of information from a writer at the Guardian newspaper in a column lamenting the disappearing printed news service. It's this: Despite a hemorrhage of readers from printed to online news, metropolitan newspapers still obtain the majority of their revenue from the printed version. The split at the Guardian, we're told, is 80/20. It is not jaw-dropping stuff but if you believe unconfirmed information that more than half of readers are now getting their information online, you can see what a crisis it represents for the papers.

CRTC outlines rules for controls on web traffic

The CRTC plans to release quarterly updates on the traffic management practices of the country's largest Internet providers, and if any break the rules, the public is going to hear about it. The Commission issued a news release clarifying how it plans to deal with complaints from Canadians about how Internet service providers (ISPs) are managing web traffic. Two years ago, the CRTC ruled ISPs could employ traffic management practices - such as slowing down certain forms of peer-to-peer file transfers - to maintain a constant level of service on their networks. Some ISPs, such as BCE Inc.'s Bell Canada, slow down or "shape" certain Internet traffic to preserve the integrity of their networks. The ISPs contend that certain applications, such as peer-to-peer traffic, are used by a minority of Internet users, but can consume a great deal of bandwidth, slowing down service for everyone else on the network.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New York Times ad revenue expected to slide

New York Times Co. Chief Executive Janet Robinson said the company expects third-quarter advertising revenue will fall 8%, more than it previously forecast, as ad volume for all its publications and websites has come under pressure. Particularly surprising was the company's new projection that digital ad revenue, which has been rising, would fall 2% to 3% in the quarter.
"Economic conditions have been getting more difficult since the second quarter," Ms. Robinson told analysts at a conference in New York. "The advertising market certainly is under pressure." New York Times had expected to see a drop similar to the 4% decline in the second quarter, Ms. Robinson said. The company now expects print ad revenue to slide 10% and digital ad revenue to drop 2% to 3%, she said.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CRTC rewrites rules for mobile broadcasting

The CRTC has introduced a new set of controls on how television content can be sold, in a move that will curb BCE Inc.’s plans to use programming to boost its wireless business. Wireless companies that also own TV channels must offer all their content on fair terms to competing mobile phone providers for their smart phone and tablet devices, and on the Internet, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission said Wednesday. The ruling throws a wrench into part of BCE Inc.’s strategy for the media assets it purchased in a massive deal last year. The Montreal-based telecommunications provider said repeatedly it would offer its TV content – from channels CTV, TSN and others – to competitors.
But Mirko Bibic, Bell’s senior vice-president of regulatory and government affairs, also said on Wednesday that it wanted to “exploit some content exclusively,” most likely meaning lucrative sports content that was such a driver of mobile video use for Bell during the Vancouver Olympics.

CNN opens the world's first 'CNN Cafe' in Seoul

The new CNN concept 'coffice' (coffee-office) offers customers free wi-fi, computers and printing services, and features CNN content across different platforms, including a live feed of the CNN International channel on a large screen, the latest CNN newswires on a digital ticker and computer terminals featuring and
The new marketing initiative is due to the growing number of self-employed and students who study at coffee shops.
"CNN Café is not just another coffee shop, but an information hub for locals to get the latest international news from CNN, as well as a chance to learn English in a more comfortable, relaxed environment," said Ron Lee, senior vice president and general manager of Turner Entertainment Networks Korea.
It also provides a chance for locals to learn English using YBM’s various study-oriented features, including free study abroad consultations, language consultations and TOEIC test registrations provided by YBM instructors at set times at the café.

CTV won't run "ethical oil" ads because of threat of Saudi legal action

Saudi Arabia is upset over television commercials that promote Canada's "ethical oil," in contrast to oil coming from Saudi Arabia, a regime that oppresses women.
The commercials are sponsored by a tiny grassroots organization based in Toronto,, which encourages consumers to favour "ethical" oil from Canada over "conflict" oil that comes from undemocratic regimes, where most of the world's oil reserves are located. ran the commercials on the Oprah Winfrey Network in Canada in late August. The Saudis responded by hiring lawyers to tell the Television Bureau of Canada, the advertising review and clearance service funded by Canada's private broadcasters, to withdraw approval of the ads.
The group was so outraged by the Saudis' "intimidation tactics" it started running the commercials again this week on the Sun News Network and was planning to run them on CTV, until the network backed out, said Alykhan Velshi, executive director of
CTV's director of communications, Matthew Garrow, e-mailed the Financial Post that CTV News Channel received an order for an ad from Ethical Oil: "As the ad in question is the subject of a legal dispute between Ethical Oil and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at the advisement of our legal department we will not accept the order until the matter is resolved," the statement said.

Dogs in Canada magazine going to the dogs after 122 years of publishing

Dogs in Canada, Canada's oldest continually published monthly magazine, has announced plans to close. Featuring articles and columns on breeding, canine nutrition and the "lighter side" of dog ownership, the Toronto-based magazine started out as a newsletter for the Canadian Kennel Club before ultimately hitting newsstands as a general-interest pet magazine. Despite being billed as Canada's top-selling pet magazine, publishers announced Sunday that Dogs in Canada has "no reasonable expectation of profit." The magazine's last issue will be issued in December. Founded only 22 years after Confederation, Dogs in Canada has run for 122 straight years; 16 years longer than Maclean's. In a Tuesday news release, the Canadian Kennel Club said the decision to fold Dogs in Canada was "solely financial" and that it will continue to run the magazine's content on its website.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2 of Mexico’s largest newspaper drop most sex ads amid anti-trafficking campaigns

Two of Mexico’s largest newspaper groups say they have stopped running most of the sex ads that once blanketed the back pages of popular tabloids. The newspaper El Universal says it has banned “ads that could be used by traffickers of people.” It is part of an effort to combat what experts call a huge problem of exploitation of women and children in Mexico.The newspaper Reforma also says it has canceled sex ads.
Both paper’s tabloid editions on Tuesday continued to run ads for what appear to sexually oriented phone chat services, but escort-style ads had disappeared.Neither paper specified what guidelines they were applying in the ban, and some other papers continued to run escort ads.

Monday, September 19, 2011

News International to pay $4.7 million to settle hacking

News International is expected to pay three million pounds ($4.7 million) to settle hacking claims by the family of murder victim Milly Dowler against Britain's now defunct News of the World newspaper, sources close to the issue told Reuters.
The settlement is likely to involve close to a two million pound payment to the schoolgirl's family and a donation of at least one million pounds to charity.

Gmail ‘ready to tackle Microsoft Outlook'

Five years after it launched, Google’s Gmail for business is finally ready to worry Microsoft, according to leading analysts at Gartner, reports the London Telegraph. The verdict, announced in advance of a summit Gartner is holding in London tomorrow, cites Gmail’s growing influence, with more than 5,000 major contracts with businesses. Cloud-based email is claimed to be more secure and easier to access remotely than traditional email, which is typically run through a server owned and stored at a company’s premises.

Read more:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Can AOL and Yahoo Come Back to Life?

Not to take satisfaction in other peoples problems, but this story from Bloomberg about the "Walking Dead of the Internet" is good reading.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Toronto councillor tables motion to prohibit mayor from excluding Toronto Star

Councillor Adam Vaughan, (pictured) a former TV journalist and a vocal critic of mayor Rob Ford, has tabled a motion that would forbid the mayor and his staff from discriminating against the Toronto Star. Ford and his press secretary have responded to the Star’s questions only on rare occasions since the paper published an article in July 2010 about a confrontation between Ford and a high school football player he was coaching. Ford says the article was false, and he seeks a front-page apology.
His office does not send the Star its news releases. Last Friday, his policy chief excluded the Star from a briefing on arts cuts to which every other major member of the City Hall press gallery was invited.
Vaughan's “Free Press and Democracy” motion, seconded by centrist Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, would prohibit city employees and politicians from excluding any specific journalist or news outlet from any “media conference,” “media event” or news release. The motion does not explicitly mention the Star, and it does not seek compel Ford to respond to Star inquiries.
“Individual relationships, talking to journalists one-on-one, public officials can choose who they want to talk to,” Vaughan said. “But when you speak to the city through the press gallery, all members must be treated equally."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Connecticut newspaper’s open newsroom wins APME award for innovation

The three reporters gathered for The Register Citizen’s afternoon news meeting pitch stories to a wider audience than their editors: A camera mounted atop a newsroom television broadcasts the meeting online for readers who want to comment or make suggestions or requests. It’s part of the public newsroom approach at the Torrington, Connecticut, newspaper, which was honored Thursday with the award for Innovator of the Year by the Associated Press Media Editors association.Anyone from the community is welcome to ask questions online during the meetings, attend in person or stroll up to the desk of any reporter or editor all day Monday through Saturday. The newspaper is closed on Sunday. Staffers say the unimpeded access required some adjustments but has helped them connect with readers. And they say their worst fears about gadflies taking over the newsroom have not been realized.

CRTC tells Rogers to stop slowing down the speed of online games

The CRTC on Friday gave Rogers Communications Inc., mere days to come up with a plan to solve a problem that could be unfairly slowing down the speed of online games. In a letter to the telecom giant, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission said the company's own traffic management policy states that online games, such as World of Warcraft, should not be throttled or slowed down, and would only be affected if Rogers misclassifies the games and other peer-to-peer applications were running at the same time. Rogers now has until Sept. 27 to present a plan to the regulator to deal with the issue."Commission staff considers that Rogers should address and resolve this misclassification problem," the correspondence, dated Sept. 16, states. In a statement issued Friday, Rogers downplayed any problems, saying the company already has corrected the issue with World of Warcraft and is "not aware of any problems with any other online games."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bricker, Wright warn against misleading polls

Pollsters John Wright and Darrell Bricker have something to say. They are concerned about misinformation,. That's reasonable. But for those who want to plough through their admonitions they come off as a bit evangelical. Open society is a self correcting thing. Wright and Bricker are part of the process. As we said back in February in response to another Wright-Bricker release, Democracy survived for a long time without polling and despite misinformation.

Metroland wins big in U.S. newspaper awards

Hamilton Spectator account of the success of the Torstar owned Metroland Publishing in the Suburban Newspapers of America awards.

Top Viacom Ad Exec Out Over Alleged Kickbacks

Schlock "direct response" advertisers were asked for kickbacks, says the Hollywood reporter.

Xinhua's world of news and/or intelligence

"Xinhua, experts say, exists somewhere on a continuum between a legitimate Chinese journalistic organization and an arms-length extension of Beijing’s security apparatus. There is no doubt that the agency provides valuable insights into the world as China sees it. There is also no doubt that Beijing closely picks the brains of Xinhua reporters who’ve been sent abroad to find out what they know." Globe and Mail

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Incredible rescue molded to fit TV news format

This dramatic rescue was caught by a camera in Logan, Utah, when bystanders risked their lives to save a motorcyclist trapped under a burning car. It's gripping video but TV news has no time to let you hear what's on the natural audio. If you look at the video on You Tube, you'll hear the harrowing voices of the man and woman watching (and recording) this drama from, presumably, their apartment. Have a listen. Leave a comment.

Score Media sends in Ethan Ross at mobile sales

Score Media has appointed Ethan Ross as Vice President of Digital Sales. In this role, Ross will be responsible for the development and execution of Score Media's U.S. digital media sales strategy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

$3.99 a week to read the Boston Globe digital

The Boston Globe will erect a paywall around part of its content, hoping to attract some cash. Its owner, the New York Times did a similar thing earlier this year and the story linked above notes that the Times has had 224,000 readers sign up for the service. A newspaper analyst is quoted as saying, “They all now realize they made a grievous mistake years ago when they put everything on the Web for free." Maybe, but this does not address the spur that all newspapers felt from those like Yahoo and simple indy publishers to do the job for free. It's easy to argue that too many paywalls will create a "free vacuum" that will be quickly filled by the free services. You decide. Better yet, comment.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jaz says US media soft on Christian right

Al Jazeera is on familiar turf as it concludes that the U.S. media is down playing religious fundamentalism in the U.S. The writer, Paul Rosenberg, covers a lot of ground. He alerts us to the concept of Dominionism and laments the consequences of the "theocratic mindset." Like in Iran maybe. Linked off the headline.

West and Islam in an unending struggle: poll

A majority of Canadians believes conflict between Western nations and the Muslim world is "irreconcilable," according to a new national survey that revealed a strong strain of pessimism in the country leading up to Sunday's 10th anniversary commemorations of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. The survey of 1,500 Canadians, conducted over three days last week for the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies, showed 56 per cent of respondents see Western and Muslim societies locked in an unending ideological struggle, while about 33 per cent — just one-third of the population — held out hope that the conflict will eventually be overcome. Vancouver Sun

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reporters fear rape at Israeli embassy riot

Journalists have come under attack in Cairo. The mob assault on the reporters, a mumber of them women, has revived fears of the type of attack that occurred on a CBS reporter this Spring. Following is the CNN account:

An angry crowd lingering near the Israeli embassy in Cairo after an attack on the building a day earlier turned on journalists reporting the incident Saturday, accusing at least one of being an Israeli spy.As a CNN crew filmed the embassy from across the street, another crew from American public television -- led by Egyptian television producer Dina Amer -- approached the building.The crew's Russian cameraman was preparing to film the embassy when a woman in the crowd began hurling insults at the TV team, Amer said."There was this older lady who decided to follow me and rally people against me," Amer recalled."She said 'you're a spy working with the Americans.' Then they swarmed me and I was a target."A growing crowd surrounded Amer and her colleagues, as they tried to leave the scene.Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a producer working for CNN, rushed to help escort Amer through the angry crowd. But suddenly the two reporters were pinned against the railing of an overpass by young men who were accusing Amer of being an Israeli spy. Yelling "I'm Egyptian," Fahmy managed to pull Amer another 10 meters down the road, until the pressure from the mob overwhelmed the pair.
Amer screamed as she and Fahmy were knocked to the ground and the crowd started to trample them.Other CNN journalists tried to reach in to help, but were pushed back by a wall of angry men.Fahmy lay on top of Amer, shielding her with his body. "I was thinking, how powerless I was because there was no police to save us," Fahmy said. "I was worried that they were going to rape her." At that moment, a student bystander named Mohammed el Banna called out to the journalists and pointed out a nearby car. Somehow, Fahmy managed to carry Amer to the open door of the public television crew's car, where two of her female colleagues were waiting just a few feet away.The mob pounded on the windows and tried to reach into the vehicle as the panicked reporters fumbled and struggled to get behind the steering wheel.
When Margaret Warner, a correspondent with the PBS program "Newshour" managed to get the vehicle moving away from the crowd, men threw stones at the departing vehicle.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bell Media, CBC in bid for Olympics TV rights

All Olympics, all the time. That’s what Canadian viewers can look forward to during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Bell Media and the CBC announced yesterday they would combine forces to bid for the Canadian television rights for those Games. Montreal Gazette story linked off headline Question: Where does that put Bell's content producer, CTV? The story says content will be offered to CBC and CTV. As the Gaz story suggests, no one is going to complain about anything because the applicants represent a business powerhouse that can't be matched

Jennings, Campbell named CP co-presidents

From Canadian Business

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Delivering the Chicago papers in 1939

The passage of time still hasn't taken away all the old-time mailers, drivers and "hoppers" who delivered papers in company owned trucks. This is for them. It's a 1939 Chevy truck that was specially built to deliver the Chicago Daily Times. Later, it was a prop in the the TV series The Untouchables. It's now in a Chicago museum. Hoppers, by the way, were the the kids who hopped on and off the moving trucks filling the "honour boxes" with papers. Newspaper buyers were on their honour to actually pay for the paper. .

US pseudo-merger points the way to a new journalistic future

Two of the largest newspaper chains in the United States, Journal Register (JRC) and MediaNews Group, have agreed to a merger that isn't a merger. Though they will maintain separate boards they will be jointly managed by a wholly new company - Digital First Media. And it is JRC's chief executive, John Paton,(pictured) who becomes the big boss. But, according to a Nieman Journalism Lab analysis, the non-merger merger has been engineered by a hedge fund, Alden Global Capital. Alden has specialised in buying up pieces of distressed or bankrupt newspaper companies and making substantial investments in a number of leading publishers, such as Gannett, McClatchy, Freedom, Tribune, PostMedia, Philadelphia Media, and Media General. It acquired JRC outright earlier this summer. Now all eyes - in the US and Britain - should be on developments at the Alden/Paton initiative. As the Nieman article says: "We might be looking back on today's announcement as the beginning of a wave that radically changed the US newspaper industry."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tom Clark goes Global (eat your heart out CTV!)

Ex CTVer Tom Clark has joined Global News as host of its new political program, The West Block. The West Block will debut on Sunday, Oct. 16 and will air weekly from Parliament Hill.“I’m going to use my 40 years of experience covering politics to make it accessible, interesting and interactive,” says Clark, whose new title is chief political correspondent and host.

Radio win-a-Russian-bride contest panned

An Edmonton radio station is feeling the heat over a contest offering the winner a Russia wife. "What the hell are they thinking?" said radio listener Alissa Foster, who has been tuning in to The Bear-FM since she was a teen, but now goes elsewhere for classic rock. "I'm still disgusted, still morally offended."
The Bear is partnering with an on-line matchmaking service that connects Russian women with foreign husbands.
Sometimes those women are exploited, said Andrea Burhart, with Alberta's Action Coalition on Human Trafficking.
"I cringed when I saw it," she said. "The bottom line is that we don't know how these women are coming into this. Employment and Immigration Minister Thomas Lukazuk found the contest so offensive, he pulled his ministry's advertising from the station.

Yahoo CEO Bartz fired over the phone

Yahoo Inc. Chairman Roy Bostock fired CEO Carol Bartz over the phone Tuesday, ending a tumultuous tenure marked by stagnation and a rift with Chinese partner Alibaba. Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse will step in as interim CEO, and the company will search for a permanent leader to spearhead a battle in online advertising and content with rivals Google Inc. and Facebook.Shares in the company jumped 6 percent. They are scarcely higher than where they were when Bartz first took the reins in January 2009 with hopes of reviving stalled growth and competing with up-and-coming rivals.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Iranian mag shut down over prez caricature

The picture looks like a 16th-century Persian miniature. The wise man on the right is lecturing his companions who kneel dutifully in front of him, listening to his sermon.

But something is not quite right. On second look, it becomes clear that all the characters are in fact recognizable to modern-day Iranians. Indeed, the wise man is none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's confidant, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. And in an obvious satire of the country's political leaders, it is Mashaei who counts the president among his obedient followers – not the other way round.

The image appeared on the front page of an Iranian magazine, Shahrvand-e-Emrooz, a month ago. But now it seems the Iranian regime has taken offence, and it is widely believed the picture was the reason behind the enforced closure of the magazine on Monday.

Shahrvand-e-Emrooz was previously shut down, along with several other titles, after the unrest that followed the 2009 elections, but resumed publication recently. Another publication, Roozegar, was also closed on Monday.

Click on the title to read the Guardian story.

PMO appointment a smart move: Peter Worthington

Worthington wites:
"It caught everyone by surprise when Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Toronto Star columnist Angelo Persichilli to succeed Dimitri Soudas as director of communications in the PMO.
"Surprise notwithstanding, it’s difficult to think of a more appropriate choice for that role."

Rogers (yes, THE Rogers) is applying to open a bank!

Telecom giant Rogers Communications Inc. has applied to form a bank under terms of the federal Bank Act. The financial institution, to be known as Rogers Bank, would be primarily focused on credit, payment and charge card services, according to a filing with the government published over the weekend. Kaan Yigit, president of media consultancy Solutions Research Group, called Rogers’ banking plans an “inspired move.” He said mobile banking “is taking off via smart phones” and Rogers is poised to capitalize on this through its seven million billing “relationships” with mobile telecom customers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Murdoch selling London HQ

Rupert Murdoch's News International, which is embroiled in a scandal over illegal eavesdropping and police bribery, is selling its flagship building in London's Wapping district, the company has announced. The move follows the closure of the best-selling News of the World newspaper, which is at the heart of the scandal. Staff of its other publications, the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times, will move to another east London site already owned by the company at Thomas More Square, the company said. Murdoch moved his publications out of London's historic Fleet Street district decades ago, a key step in the exodus of newspaper offices from central London.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Poor Angelo--separatists complain that PMs communications guy doesn't speak French

A separatist firebrand in Quebec has filed an official complaint against Prime Minister Stephen Harper's new choice for communications director. Gilles Rheaume wants the Canadian Human Rights Commission to investigate the appointment of Angelo Persichilli. The ex-president of the St. Jean Baptiste Society says the fact that Mr. Persichilli can't speak French is unfair to French-speaking Canadians and journalists. Mr. Rheaume also says that Mr. Persichilli, a former journalist, has engaged in “Quebec bashing” in some of his work. Mr. Rheaume isn't the first Quebecer to complain about the appointment. Several politicians and pundits have criticized the choice, saying it's a sign the province isn't a priority for Mr. Harper. (Photo is from Angelo's former life.)

Mostly Media comment: Hey, separatists! Get a life. Angelo speaks Italian and he will pick up French in no time.

Curious ad by the Globe

This is a dig at the National Post that does not publish on Mondays. Curiously, it is based on the premise that people get their news from newspapers. Hey Globeheads, most people have read the news on their iPhone or seen it on TV by the time your paper hits the increasingly fewer front porches. If you have an exclusive, it will hold till Tuesday and most people read the papers for the opinion columns. So enjoy your Mondays while they last -- until advertisers figure out that Mondays don't count.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dutch TV creates show featuring rejected refugee claimants

The nation that brought the television world Big Brother and a hoax game show with a donor kidney prize has now pitted five young rejected asylum seekers against one another to compete for €4,000 ($5,600) for when they are kicked out of the country.The one-off show Weg Van Nederland, or Out of the Netherlands, shone a satirical light on the plight of young asylum seekers slated for expulsion by Dutch immigration authorities despite having spent most of their childhoods here and speaking the language fluently. It tried to upend the perception among many native Dutch that immigrants don't successfully integrate.

Click on the title for the full CBC story.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lloyd Robertson's gracious farewell

This last newscast by Lloyd Robertson as the resident anchor was no doubt well watched last night. It featured a particularly gracious farewell from Robertson. Click to the last couple of minutes to listen and watch.

Ontario’s televised provincial election debate set for Sept. 27

The leaders of Ontario’s three largest political parties will duke it out on television from 6:30-8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 27, on TV Ontario. The debate is being organized by the Ontario TV Debate Consortium, made up of broadcasters CBC, CTV, Global, Sun News Network and TV Ontario. Consortium spokesperson Jeff Keay said there is no word yet on venue, location or format. “All I can tell you officially is to expect more announcements shortly,” he said. The debate will feature Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

Black won’t return to Florida prison; will serve sentence elsewhere

Conrad Black will not be returning to a Florida prison because two female guards fear for their safety, he told CTV News in an interview. The women, who work at Coleman Federal Correctional Facility, had testified against Black earlier this year.
“We had a security fear that if I went back there, that I was going to assault these two women,” he told CTV. “To go back there for seven months, I for the first time in my life, at the age of 67, am going to commit assault?”
According to court documents, affidavits from a prison unit manager and education specialist said Black demanded special treatment from staff, was an unenthusiastic tutor, and had followers who cooked, cleaned and ironed his shirt.
CTV did not reveal where Black would be transferred but said it would closer to Toronto. Black was originally sentenced to 78 months in jail for obstruction of justice and three counts of fraud in 2007. In July 2010, he was released on bail after a U.S. Supreme Court ruled a law was improperly used to convict him. In June, he received a new sentence of 42 months less the 29 months already served. Black must begin serving the remainder of his sentence Sept. 6.

Long-time CHUM man Bob Laine has died

Long-time CHUM-FM staffer Bob Laine died at his home on Wednesday at the age of 72. Laine spent nearly 46 years at CHUM, working his way up from on-air to Corporate VP of the company.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rise of tablet proves game changer for Shaw

The company spin is that video viewing on foot will find its way to the tablet and away from the smartphone. Could be. Globe and Mail linked off the headline.

Andy Walsh, Lloyd Robertson go to Hall of Fame

Broadcasters Andy Walsh, Lloyd Robertson have been named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame. Winnipeg Free Press.

Marking the end of an era in television news

The remarkable career of LLoyd Robertson is at a turning point. Knowing Lloyd, there will no doubt be much more to do. But his final CTV National News as resident anchor will begin at 11 p.m. local time tonight His replacement, Lisa Laflamme will take over as permanent anchor. It's been a long road from small town radio reporter (in Stratford) to a respected authority on the affairs of the world. Some important turning points in his career include the day he caught on with the CBC (above left, he is said to be eating a lunch of bread and jelly at the mike in Winnipeg) and the decision to hire him at CTV News as Harvey Kirck's career neared an end.

Are Groupon users having deal fatigue?

Groupon Inc. and rival both saw declines in web visits in July from June, according to Kantar Media Compete, a Boston-based company that tracks online traffic. Groupon's unique visits fell 8.9% to 30.6 million in July, the first month-to-month decline this year, Compete says. Washington, D.C.-based LivingSocial saw an even faster decrease of 28% to 10.6 million unique visitors. ChuicagoBusiness

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