Saturday, March 31, 2012

CTV host allegedly tells boss to f--- himself

The offensive language was not apparently directed at Mr Cope personally. In fact, Cope seems to have been several worlds away from it. Martin supposedly used the vulgar rejoinder during an argument with the employer of Cope's son Blair at a post budget party in Ottawa. As we read it, George Cope wasn't at the party. Martin is said to have quickly apologized to those present.. Toronto Sun is linked.  

China punishes websites on coup talk

Friday, March 30, 2012 investigates what caused site to crash

Persichilli quits Harper staff citing fatigue, stress

Flashback to August, 2011
There's much speculation about the sudden resignation. How come Angelo didn't know how much work he would face before he took the job? And then, a thought from the story announcing his appointment last August that Andrew MacDougall, who unlike Persichilli speaks French, was to be the chief spokesman. An odd arrangement. Make what you will of it. 

All your penny headlines and more

It's a journalism thing, for sure. "One-cent coin won’t come back like a bad penny" says the Edmonton Journal In Toronto the Metro Handout shouted "Penny Antics" (huh?) We could follow the sense of the CBC's "Does getting rid of the penny make 'cents'?"  The Winnipeg Free Press offered "Their two cents: Canadians share ample opinions on scrapping the penny"  Still out west "Budget pinches penny‎" says the Star Phoenix. The two cents strain runs strong along the east shore as well. "Your two cents' worth is now worth nothing‎" opined the  Whig Standard. Very good gang.  Can we get in on the fun? How about "What's it to you copper?" Or, "It costs us money, penny wise. And, yes, it's laboured but "Penny just an unneeded ex-pence.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reuters suspended in "Ninja" fiasco

 The Iranian government has suspended the press accreditation for Reuters staff in Tehran after the publication of a video story on women’s martial arts training which contained an error.Reuters, the news arm of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information group, corrected the story after the martial arts club where the video was filmed made a complaint.The story’s headline, “Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran’s assassins,” was corrected to read “Three thousand women Ninjas train in Iran.” National Post.

Media locked away from Robocall hearing?

National Post -- Elections Canada boss Marc Mayrand offered to give evidence to MPs, but was scheduled by the government to appear on the same day that most political journalists in Ottawa will be in the federal budget “lockup.” The appearance was scheduled by committee chairman Joe Preston, a Conservative MP. New Democrat David Christopherson suggested after the hearing that it was convenient for a government that is seeking to minimize attention to the robocall story. “I don’t want to make a federal case of it, but it would seems to be an advantage to the government to have it happen today,” he said.

Suck it up, CBC. You should have seen this coming

SCOC denies Drabinsky’s bid for appeal

One of Canada’s most notorious white-collar criminals, Garth Drabinsky, will not be able to appeal his fraud and forgery convictions in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. Canada’s top court announced Thursday that it would not hear the case of the former live-theatre mogul, who helmed the publicly traded theatre production company Livent Inc.

Reading the Toronto Star's NADBank tea leaves

The Toronto Star continues to be Canada's most read newspaper by far but as usual the stories describing NADBank stats are fuzzy when it comes to whether readers are online or some other place. Susan Pigg's story in the Star says: "The Toronto Star now has more than one million readers a day, bolstering its position as the most-read newspaper in Canada and most-visited newspaper website across the GTA, according to a survey by the Newspaper Audience Databank (NADbank)". The rest of the story is in a similar vein and anyone reading Susan's story might comment here if they can clarify this for us.. It's a remarkable achievement nonetheless for the Star which as newspaper historians will know dates its supremacy in Ontario at least back more than 60 years.

Trayvon Martin outrage stirs mob instincts

Here are some links related to the unfortunate killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. They show how the media    perhaps inevitably contribute to an atmosphere where misinformation thrives.  Wrong Zimmermans targeted by Trayvon protesters. And Supporters of shooter afraid to speak This being said, it's interesting to note the Ontario justice system was bound by responsible conduct to let the courts decide the fate of Michael Bryant whereas in Florida, no such test of justice seems necessary.

CTV weatherman Tom Brown wins on The Price is Right

CTV Toronto weatherman Tom Brown collected two surfboards, surfing lessons and a Costa Rican vacation after a surprise appearance on The Price is Right.
The veteran television personality, who was on vacation in Los Angeles with his daughter, managed to snag a spot on contestant’s row while attending a taping of the popular U.S. game show. The episode was filmed last month, but Mr. Brown was contractually prevented from disclosing details until it aired Wednesday.

Brown won the pair of surfboards after correctly guessing their price, giving him a shot at a game called “Secret X.” He succeeded there too, winning the trip to Costa Rica and surfing lessons, but later lost out on the grand prize opportunity. He said he was thrilled at the outcome.

Scotland Yard media chief resigns in disgrace

The media chief at Scotland Yard has resigned after he faced gross misconduct charges over the phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, Britain's police watchdog said Thursday. Dick Fedorcio stood down a week after the Metropolitan Police said it would start proceedings against him for hiring Neil Wallis, a former deputy editor at the now-closed paper, as a media consultant.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rogers Communications plans up to 300 layoffs

Rogers Communications is planning to lay off up to 300 employees, the company confirmed Wednesday.
Spokesperson Patricia Trott didn’t specify a timeline for the job cuts but did say the company began notifying affected employees Wednesday.
“This is a very difficult decision, obviously,” said Trott, Rogers’ director of public affairs. “We don’t make these decisions lightly but we really feel we’re positioning ourselves well to maintain our leadership going forward.
The Toronto-based Rogers is Canada’s largest communications company, with more than 9 million wireless subscribers, a cable and Internet service provider and a media portfolio that includes City TV, Maclean’s Magazine and the Sportsnet networks. In December Rogers, which owns the Blue Jays, teamed with Bell to pay $1.3 billion for a majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
Trott says no single section of the company is targeted for layoffs. Instead, she says the job cuts will be spread across the company, mostly affecting management and head office positions.

Britain to end ban on video in courts

Plans to allow television cameras into courts in England and Wales are to be announced in the Queen's Speech in May, the BBC reports.
British Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said last year he would end the video ban to boost public understanding of justice.
Cameras are only expected to be able to record the judge's summing up and sentencing in serious criminal trials.
The Ministry of Justice would say only that it planned to introduce the change "as soon as parliamentary time allows".
Video recording is currently banned in all courts in England Wales - except the Supreme Court - by two Acts of Parliament, meaning new legislation is required to allow cameras in.
There is no similar ban in Scotland - but all parties must agree before cases can be broadcast.
The most important case to be televised to date was the appeal by Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was tried under Scottish law in a special court in The Netherlands.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Canadian Press employees vote 83 per cent in favour of new collective agreement

Unionized employees at The Canadian Press have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a new three-year collective agreement.
The Canadian Media Guild said Monday 83 per cent of members who voted supported the deal — the first since the national news agency shifted from a co-operative to a for-profit corporation.
The deal includes salary increases over the second and third years of the agreement, with four increases of one per cent each at six-month intervals. Employees will, however, have to take on some of the cost of benefits, estimated at between $100 and $140 a month per worker.
In all, 163 of some 240 eligible employees voted on the contract, which was unanimously endorsed by the union bargaining team. The employees included editorial, technical and administrative staff.
CP has faced a substantial deficit in its pension plan, but the federal government gave it a longer-than-normal period to repay that deficit. Under the deal ratified Monday, employees gave up the interest on amounts owed to them as part of an earlier restructuring plan in lieu of pension benefits for 2009-11.

Al Jazeera will not broadcast Mohamed Merah’s Toulouse killing spree videos

Al Jazeera television said on Tuesday it would not broadcast video footage of three deadly shootings in southern France filmed by an al-Qaeda-inspired gunman using a camera strapped to his body.
The Qatar-based news network also said it was declining all requests from other media outlets for copies of the footage.
The French government, and the CSA broadcast regulator, had urged television channels to refrain from running video clips that gunman Mohamed Merah told police he had filmed as he shot dead three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers.
France is still reeling from the gruesome nature of the attacks, which saw Merah grab one little girl by the hair as he shot her at point-blank range in one of three shooting sprees before he was killed by police last week.
“In accordance with Al Jazeera’s Code of Ethics, given the video does not add any information that is not already in the public domain, its news channels will not be broadcasting any of its contents,” a spokesman for the network said in a statement.
 The spokesman said Al Jazeera had passed the video footage on to the French police to help with their investigation.

Montreal newspaper tries to have warrants against journalist quashed

 Le Journal de Montreal has filed three motions asking Superior Court to quash warrants that led to a raid on the home of reporter Eric Yvan Lemay.
Police seized several items from Lemay's home south of Montreal on March 15 after Le Journal published his investigation into unsecured medical files at four area hospitals.
The newspaper and Lemay say the provincial police force's request to obtain three search warrants was unreasonable.
The motion adds that Judge Suzanne Paradis should never have granted the warrants.
"We submit to the court that there were no reasonable grounds to believe an offence had been committed," Quebecor lawyer Bernard Pageau said.
Lemay's Feb. 9 story said private medical documents were left in full view of passersby at three Montreal hospitals and one facility east of the city.
Photographs of some of the files were published with the story along with a summary of the type of information that Lemay was able to obtain.

Monday, March 26, 2012

NDP communications chief leaving following Mulcair's election

Drew Anderson, the NDP director of communications, has announced that he is leaving his post. He joins a number staffers who had been close to Jack Layton who are leaving following the election of Thomas Mulcair as the party's new leader.

Star's consumer reporter says she learns from reality TV

Ellen Roseman, the Toronto Star's hotshot consumer reporter, writes that she learns a lot about money from reality TV shows.
"I’m impressed by the potential of reality TV to help people learn to manage their personal finances. Entertainment is a key goal, but education happens along the way,"she writes.

Defunct home improvement mag leaves subscribers holding the bag

The publisher of a defunct home improvement magazine — that had ties to TV handy man Mike Holmes — has apparently closed its Toronto office leaving thousands of subscribers waiting on refunds and owing its landlord rent money.
Rubbing salt into the wound is the fact the same company — Dauphin Media Group — has recently launched the new NFL Magazine out of New York City with subscriptions at just under $20 for 12 issues.
The high end, glossy football magazine — with contributors such as former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason and high profile sports writer Jason La Canfora — is a monthly publication that launched in Dec. 2011 with its March edition on magazine racks now.
It bills itself as the official magazine of the National Football League.
The home improvement publication — Holmes, the Magazine to Make it Right — ceased late last year after the Mike Holmes Group had a dispute with Dauphin.
Liza Drozdov, director of communications for the Mike Holmes Group, says the actual day-to-day business was farmed out to Dauphin with the Holmes group regulating a portion of the editorial content.
Drozdov says that due to the nature of the business agreement the Mike Holmes Group is not responsible for recompensing payments
“Mike feels terrible about it,” says Drozdov. “But it’s not his fault … he didn’t get any of that money.”

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mass killer Pickton tells reporters to pose as lawyers so they can interview him

From inside the walls of a maximum-security prison in British Columbia's Fraser Valley, serial killer Robert Pickton offers a suggestion to a reporter interested in visiting him for an interview.
"If you are looking for a story, 'boy do I have one for you!!!"' Pickton writes in a letter to The Canadian Press.
"Tell them (prison staff) when making appointment by telephone that you are my new defence lawyer being appointed to this case, in defending Mr. Pickton's rights."
The bizarre ruse is Pickton's solution to what he describes as a "certain stumbling block" -- an apparent restriction that has kept the killer away from reporters since his arrival at Kent Institution, east of Vancouver.
While inmates in the federal prison system are permitted to arrange interviews with journalists, Correctional Service of Canada guidelines allow prison staff to restrict that access in certain cases.
Pickton appears to be one of those cases.
"At this point, what I can tell you is that the case-management team has made the decision that it's not in his correctional plan to give interviews," said Jean-Paul Lorieau of the Correctional Service of Canada.

Man tries to climb NY Times tower, says he wanted newspaper

A man described by police as emotionally disturbed is being evaluated after he tried to climb The New York Times’ 52-storey headquarters in Times Square, then said he wanted a copy of the newspaper.
The unidentified man began scaling the building at around 7 a.m. Saturday. A police spokesperson says the man got as far as the fifth floor, then came back down when officers told him to descend. He was not injured but was taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
The New York Post reports that the man said he climbed the building because he was looking for a copy of the newspaper.
Three men climbed the building’s ladder-like facade in separate incidents in 2008. Two made it to the roof and one got to the 11th floor.
(Who says newspapers are dead?--ED)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Social media, youth take centre stage at NDP convention

Social media and youthful antics took center stage at the NDP leader's convention on the weekend as delegates flooded hashtags, danced in a flashmob, wore colourful wigs and marched to the beat of drums.
The NDP prides itself on its ability to attract young voters to its campaigns and the convention adequately reflected their young demographic and the way youth communicate political messages.
The hashtag the party pushed #ndpldr was flooded with messages from supporters of all camps, rendering it nearly impossible to follow for thoughtful discussion. Still, the high amount of traffic it garnered made it one of the top trending topics on Twitter in Canada for most of the weekend. The party also pushed delegates to use the #Layton hashtag during the evening tribute to late NDP leader Jack Layton.
Thomas Mulcair won the leadership race.

The newspaper industry must change, or become yesterday's news: Columnist

Mike Elgan of Computer World writes:
"Something catastrophic happened to the newspaper industry this month, a catastrophe that the industry itself does not appreciate: Apple shipped an iPad.
"More to the point, Apple shipped the first tablet that represents the future of all tablets, which has a screen of higher quality than the glossiest print magazine.
"High-definition tablets will do for print newspapers what high-megapixel cameras did for film. 
"People who read news find news stories through a wide range of avenues. They go directly to the websites of specific newspapers, visit Google News, or click on links to news stories in blogs or social media postings, among other things.
"There are advantages to electronic news. It can be more timely, more relevant and less expensive than news that's published in print, to name a few. . . ."
He also lists the disadvantages.
Read on

Friday, March 23, 2012

Facebook warns employers not to demand passwords from job applicants

Facebook is warning employers not to demand the passwords of job applicants, saying that it’s an invasion of privacy that opens companies to legal liabilities.
The social networking company is also threatening legal action.
An Associated Press story this week documented cases of job applicants who are being asked, at the interview table, to reveal their Facebook passwords so their prospective employers can check their backgrounds.
In a post on Friday, Facebook’s chief privacy officer cautions that if an employer discovers that a job applicant is a member of a protected group, the employer may open itself up to claims of discrimination if it doesn’t hire that person.
“If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password,” Erin Egan wrote.

Astral execs to get big payout if BCE deal goes through

BCE Inc. could spend at least $21-million on severance pay for five Astral Media executives if the company's deal for the broadcaster closes as expected in April.
The two companies announced details of the $3.2-billion deal last week. BCE gets dozens of radio and television stations as part of the agreement, and strengthens its hand considerably in Quebec.
Astral's management circular outlines who gets paid what in the event of a takeover, and it indicates five of the company's executives are in line for $21-million in payouts. The total dollar amount is a combination of severance pay, stock options and other share plans.
Founder Ian Greenberg, for example, would receive $5.8-million in severance on top of $5.1-million in stock-related compensation for a total of $10.9-million. The final amount is likely to be higher, because the vesting options section of the circular assumes a takeover price $34.35 for the company's Class A shares. BCE has offered $50 for these shares.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Redemption TV star charged in thefts

A former Ottawa convict who was given a second chance on the CBC reality television show Redemption Inc. may be hoping for another opportunity for salvation after he was arrested Sunday during an alleged crime spree that included stealing a car from a radio show host National Post

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wildrose party rethinks wheels on leaders bus

It might not have  been a problem in a time where there wasn't an off-colour double entendre for everything. But now there is and it means the placement of the picture of Danielle Smith on her campaign bus will have to change. Ms Smith is leader of Alberta's Wildrose party.  As you can see, the campaign bus picture makes the shoulder down extension of Ms Smith look she's on wheels -- if you catch our meaning.  “We’re getting it adjusted right now since it will be a distraction throughout the campaign,” said Shannon Stubbs, party spokeswoman and candidate in the Alberta riding of Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville. “Nobody really noticed, since we have been focused on providing a solid campaign platform. There were a couple of comments when we were doing the initial draft a long time ago, but the majority of the team didn’t notice or didn’t anticipate it would be an issue.”

CRTC publishes final anti-spam regulations

Netflix algorithms predicts what users really want (not what they think they do)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tablets drawing more people to news, but news industry may not profit from it

Story about how Google and the others will make more money out of online news viewing. Nothing too surprising.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bell invests in 'TV everywhere'

Insight into Bell Canada's strategy to dominate the market -- TV everywhere.  At this juncture we can both see what that means now and we can imagine what it may soon mean. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Photographers vie for $50K Canadian prize

Scotiabank Photography Award finalists are Arnaud Maggs, Fred Herzog, Alain Paiement. Toronto Star

Bell Media buys Astral Media for 3.38 billion

Canada's largest telecommunications company BCE Inc. has reached an agreement to buy Astral Media Inc. for $3.38 billion. The transaction will give the Montreal-based company a slate of media assets that include television channels and radio stations across the country. BCE, which owns Bell Media, says the agreement includes $380 million in debt. Astral owns dozens of radio station in Ontario alone.  Among the locals are Newstalk 1010 (once known as CFRB)  Boom 87.3, Oldies 1150 in Hamilton and EZ Rock 105.7. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval from the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission. Astral is Canada's largest radio broadcaster with 80 radio stations in 54 markets including NewsTalk 1010, BOOM 97.3 and Virgin Radio 99.9 here in Toronto. It is also the country's largest broadcaster of English- and French-language pay and specialty TV services including The Movie Network, HBO Canada, Viewers Choice, Teletoon and the Family Channel. Bell Media owns 33 radio stations including here in Toronto, CHUM-FM, FLOW and TSN Radio. On the TV side, big holdings including CTV, CP-24, TSN, Much Music, Discovery, Animal Planet. 75 per cent of the deal will be in cash while 25 per cent will be in BCE common stocks. Ian Greenburg, the CEO of Astral calls the transaction "an excellent transaciton for Astral, it's shareholder sand employees." He calls the fit with Bell "a natural." A news conference was set for 9:45 a.m., Friday, in Montreal to announce the details of the sale.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Victoria journalist wins Travers fellowship

Katie DeRosa, a journalist with the Victoria Times Colonist, was named as the first recipient of the $25,000 R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship, presented by Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication.
She will study the experience of Australia’s immigration laws and their possible influence on Canadian policy.
DeRosa beat out 24 other applicants with her proposal. .
The fellowship honours the memory of Travers, who had a long distinguished career with Southam News, the Ottawa Citizen and the Toronto Star.
He was a national affairs columnist with the Star when he died on Mar. 3, 2011.

Quebecor’s Sun Media targets rivals with four new Ontario weeklies

Sun Media Corp. will launch four new weekly papers in Ontario in a bid to compete more effectively with rival Metroland Media Group.
The newspaper chain – which owns dozens of weekly and daily newspapers across the country – said it would close its advertising-focused Smart Shopper papers in Ottawa, Windsor, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph and replace them with publications that also have news stories in them. 
 While all newspapers have suffered a loss of revenue from a shrinking advertising market, weekly newspapers are less dependent on large national advertisers than dailies. The move by Sun Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rebekah Brooks, five others arrested in U.K. phone hacking probe

British police made six arrests early Tuesday in the British media's phone hacking scandal, including Rebekah Brooks, the former top executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International, according to media reports.
Police did not identify those arrested, but a person who had been briefed on the details said Ms. Brooks and her husband, a prominent horse breeder and a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, were arrested at their house.
The six people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, police said in a statement. The charge is an indication that investigators may be focusing on a possible coverup of the scope of phone hacking.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Encyclopaedia Britannica ends print, goes digital

The Encyclopaedia Britannica, which has been in continuous print since it was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1768, said on Wednesday it will end publication of its printed editions and continue with digital versions available online.
The flagship, 32-volume printed edition, available every two years, was sold for $1400. An online subscription costs around $70 per year and the company recently launched a set of apps ranging between $1.99 and $4.99 per month.
The company said it will keep selling print editions until the current stock of around 4,000 sets ran out.
It is the latest move Encyclopaedia Britannica has made to expand its Internet reference services and move farther into educational products. It first flirted with digital publishing in the 1970s, published a version for computers in 1981 for LexisNexis subscribers and first posted to the Internet in 1994.

PayPal retreats from ban on 'obscene' e-books

PayPal, the online payment service owned by eBay Inc. , is backtracking on its policy against processing sales of e-books containing themes of rape, bestiality or incest after protests from authors and anti-censorship activist groups.
PayPal’s new policy will focus only on e-books that contain potentially illegal images, not e-books that are limited to just text, spokesman Anuj Nayar said on Tuesday. The service will still refuse, however, to process payments for text-only e-books containing child pornography themes.

Corus Entertainment buys its HQ from Toronto, then immediately resells it

The lakeside office property that is headquarters for Corus Entertainment Inc. has been sold for $186 million to H&R Real Estate Investment Trust.
Corus, which is one of Canada’s largest radio and television companies, acquired the property from the government-owned Toronto Port Lands Co. and immediately resold it for the same amount to H&R.
The media company will continue to be the main tenant at 25 Dockside Dr., also known as Corus Quay.
The technically advanced building was completed in 2009 to house the various Corus businesses that had been in various locations throughout Toronto.
Corus Quay is also part of a revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront.
As part of the agreement between Corus and H&R, the media company will extend its original 20-year lease term at the property and have options to renew its lease for an additional 20 years.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Music industry wants more royalties from CBC

Music publishers want more money out of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. for the rights to play their music, after the broadcaster launched an online streaming music service that allows listeners to hear thousands of songs a day on their computers and phones for free.
The fight will be closely watched by other online music providers, who charge subscribers a fee and are operating in a new industry with few parameters in place. Popular American music sites such as Pandora and Spotify are avoiding setting up in Canada until a clearer royalty picture emerges. has attracted hundreds of thousands of listeners since it launched last month, offering dozens of channels tailored to specific tastes. Unlike its competitors, it doesn't pay a per-song royalty. Instead, it pays a flat-fee because it technically doesn't earn any profits.
That has also attracted the attention of the country’s artists, who feel the broadcaster is taking advantage of its current royalty scheme by unexpectedly launching a service that plays thousands of songs a day on the site’s 40 genre-based channels.
The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), which handles royalties for more than 100,000 music publishers in Canada, said when it set a flat fee for the broadcaster, nobody envisioned a constant stream of free music flooding the Internet.

Brian Burke didn’t ask for Don Cherry to be fired, CBC says

Toronto Star columnist Raju Mudhar says, contrary to a Globe and Mail Report, Leafs GM Brian Burke did not ask for the head of Don Cherry.
He quotes Jeffrey Orridge, head of CBC Sports as saying: I can’t speak (for Cherry), but I can say Brian Burke specifically told me: ‘I don’t want the guy fired.’ ” Jeffrey Orridge, head of CBC Sports, said in an interview on Sunday.
Orridge did not dispute what was reported in the Globe piece, but did want to clear the air on some points.
He said the CBC-NHL meeting — including Orridge and Kirstine Stewart, CBC’s head of English services — did get “spirited” with teams voicing issues, but added that details of the meeting weren’t meant to be made public.
He said the meeting was at commissioner Gary Bettman’s invitation for an update on the CBC-NHL partnership and was in no way an early negotiating session for a rights extension.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Apple, publishers may be sued for collusion

The U.S. Justice Department has warned Apple and five major publishers that it plans to sue them, accusing them of colluding to raise the prices of electronic books, a person familiar with the probe said on Thursday.
Several parties have held talks to settle the potential antitrust case, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The five publishers facing possible Justice Department action are Simon & Schuster Inc, a unit of CBS Corp; Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group; Pearson Plc's Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH; and HarperCollins Publishers Inc, a unit of News Corp.
U.S. and European officials have been investigating whether e-book publishers and Apple fixed prices in the growing electronic book industry, blocking rivals and hurting consumers.
Publishers adopted an "agency model" in 2010, around the time that Apple launched the iPad, allowing publishers to set the price of e-books. In turn, Apple would take a 30% cut.

German tabloid moves naked model pix off front page

Germany's biggest-selling newspaper marked International Woman's Day by scrapping its trademark front page featuring a naked model.
Tabloid paper Bild, which sells an estimated four million copies a day, will now print the images on page three instead.
The decision was taken by the publication's male staff  on Thursday after their female counterparts were given the day off to mark International Women's Day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Newspapers fastest shrinking industry in the U.S.

"If you want to be a journalist, think online," says  Business Insider's Matt Rosoff.
"Newspapers have shed a greater percentage of jobs since 2007 than any other industry in the United States, according to data published today by LinkedIn," he reports.
"That's not surprising, given how ad revenue in the newspaper industry has fallen off a cliff since 2000.
"LinkedIn has professional profiles from millions of users, and also is a big tool for recruiters, so it's got a ton of accurate data about jobs. This year, the Council of Economic Advisors, which works for President Obama on economic issues, turned to LinkedIn for insight into which industries are hurting.
"On a percentage basis, newspapers shed the most jobs, down 28.4% between 2007 and 2011.
The good news: online publishing had job growth of 20.4%. But it didn't add as many jobs as newspapers lost.
"Other losers include restaurants and warehousing, each of which shrank by more than 20%. Retail shed the greatest number of positions.
"The big winner? Renewables and environmental jobs, which grew 49%. Internet-related companies added the most jobs, and had the second-biggest percentage growth at 24.6%.

New Republic gets an owner steeped in new media

The newest owner of The New Republic magazine is Chris Hughes, a 28-year-old new-media guru who co-founded Facebook and helped to run the online organizing machine for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
Hughes’s purchase of a majority stake in the magazine was announced on Friday, once again remaking the masthead of the nearly century-old magazine that helped define modern American liberalism.
He says his focus will be on distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad. Though he does not intend to end the printed publication, “five to 10 years from now, if not sooner, the vast majority of The New Republic readers are likely to be reading it on a tablet,” he said.
Hughes will become publisher and the editor in chief of the magazine, and Richard Just will remain the editor. Martin Peretz, who was editor in chief from 1975 until 2010, when his title was changed to editor in chief emeritus, will become a member of the magazine’s advisory board.
The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

NHL could force Cherry, MacLean off Hockey Night: Sun Columnist

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons writes that  soon CBC Sports may be faced with a most difficult decision.
"Soon, as negotiations to renew Hockey Night In Canada’s contract with the National Hockey League commence, a determination on the future of Cherry and the ever-popular Coach’s Corner segment will have to be made," he writes.
"It may, in fact, be forced.
"When (Leafs GM Brian) Burke went behind Cherry’s back and made it clear to his NHL brethren that he no longer wanted Cherry on the large Hockey Night stage he found he had surprising support for the concept. He wasn’t alone in wanting the outspoken Cherry silenced. There is a sense within the NHL that Hockey Night, and in particular host Ron MacLean and Cherry, are too combative, too critical, too agenda driven for the NHL’s liking.
"If this is the league’s signature program, they, like some of their friends at CBC, would prefer it to be more vanilla. Less spice.
"So here’s the CBC dilemma: Cherry remains its ratings grabber. Large as the game may be, he still commands attention far beyond the game itself and long after Saturday night is over. It’s six days after game night and his anti-Burke rant is still a trending topic of conversation. . . "

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Toronto Star wins nine NNA awards

Vox Populi on Tori Stafford trial

The old issue of just what horrors we think it's necessary to publish.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Limbaugh Backlash as Sponsors Flee

Rush Limbaugh faced rising pressure from critics who are using new media to keep advertisers away from his long-running radio show. At least 10 companies, including online publisher AOL Inc. (AOL), have dropped the most-popular U.S. talk-radio show after Limbaugh called Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a “prostitute” and a “slut.” Fluke appeared before Congress on Feb. 23 to speak in favor of President Barack Obama’s policy requiring insurers to provide birth control to women. Bloomberg

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Brian Burke hangs up on talk show tormenter

The need to know is what you want it to. How about it Mr. Burke, do you think you're gong to fired?

Quebecor-CBC feud: New deal might mean peace

Star reporter Vinjay Menon sees an end to the CBC-Quebecor war. If so, it will be culture shock for Sun Media troopers who have made a way of life out of attacking the corp. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Russian media in love with Putin

Russian newspapers and television are cheering the election of Vladimir Putin as President.  It's pretty the only way you keep your job over there these days. The free bloggers are calling the election a disappointment however. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dear Newspapers: Keep Putting Up Silly Paywalls

One website's take on why paywalls won't work.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"CBC faces 10% cut in austerity budget"

Michael den Tandt in the National Post.

Media activist Andrew Breitbart dead at 43

Conservative media publisher and activist Andrew Breitbart, who was behind investigations that led to the resignations of former Rep. Anthony Weiner and former U.S. Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, has died in Los Angeles. He was 43. Breitbart’s website,, announced Thursday he died of natural causes in Los Angeles in the early morning hours. His death was confirmed by editor-in-chief Joel Pollak, who said he was at the hospital, and by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Breitbart was walking near his house in the Brentwood neighborhood shortly after midnight Thursday when he collapsed, his father-in-law Orson Bean said. Someone saw him fall and called paramedics, who tried to revive him. They rushed him to the emergency room at UCLA Medical Center, Bean said.

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