Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Literary Review of Canada seeking a new editor; Bronwyn Drainie departs after 10 years

From the LRC's posting:
The Literary Review of Canada (LRC) is seeking an Editor to lead our development of lively and thoughtful multi-partisan conversation about the future of Canada. This is a full-time staff position.
Link to the full ad

Sunday, December 28, 2014

CBC chair's 2010 letter to Harper slams Tory attacks on broadcaster

By the Canadian Press
OTTAWA - The Conservative party's public attacks on the CBC have been "wilfully destructive" and undermine its independence, says a newly uncovered letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper from the broadcaster's Tory-appointed former chair.
The sharply worded 2010 letter, released last month under the Access to Information Act, alleges that unwarranted attacks that year "disparaged the Crown Corporation in order to solicit political donations for the Conservative Party."
The missive from then-CBC chair Tim Casgrain warns the party and government MPs against "intruding" on the broadcaster's independence as they seek "to influence the content of programming."
The full CP story

Friday, December 19, 2014

Huffington Post Live seeks approval from CRTC to start Canadian stream

A Canadian entrepreneur and an American Internet giant are hoping to bring The Huffington Post to Canada’s television dial.
Toronto-based Evan Kosiner, who heads Kosiner Venture Capital Inc., has filed an application with the federal broadcast regulator for permission to add HuffPost Live, a daily Web-based news and conversation show, to the list of foreign channels approved for Canadian TV.
HuffPost Live broadcasts free online and its programming is made up of short segments and interviews, often conducted via Skype.
Full Globe and Mail story

Andrew Coyone becomes National Post's Editorials and Comment editor

Andrew Coyne
Andrew Coyne has been named Editor, Editorials and Comment of the  National Post, the newspaper announced today..
Coyne worked for National Post during its launch 1998 until 2007. He returned to the Post in 2011 and is currently a national columnist whose work is carried in all Postmedia newspapers. He is a frequent commenter on TV and radio and a fellow of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto.
“We set out looking for a brilliant thinker, talker and writer who can expand our role in the national conversation,” said Anne Marie Owens, Editor, National Post. “We wanted someone who possessed the wit, scathing insights and intelligence that are the hallmarks of our commentary coverage. We got it all, and more, in Andrew.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CBC yanking Jian Ghomeshi’s interviews offline

CBC management announced Monday they are pulling almost all interviews conducted by Jian Ghomeshi offline, sparking outrage from Q listeners on social media, the Star reports.
“We aren’t erasing the archives, we’re just taking them offline for now,” said CBC media relations chief Chuck Thompson told the Star in an email Tuesday.
Thompson said Ghomeshi’s interviews posted on CBC platforms and YouTube will be taken offline “very soon.” He said “the lion’s share” of interviews will be taken off the CBC’s website and YouTube channel but there may be some exceptions.
“There is no obvious right or wrong approach here,” Thompson said. “We’ve been giving this a lot of careful consideration over the last few weeks and want to give the program every opportunity to be as unencumbered as possible while some very creative people reimagine Q’s future.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

More job and program cuts at CBC

From the CBC web page:
The CBC is shortening all its regional supper-hour newscasts beginning in the fall of 2015, the broadcaster announced today.
The news comes after CBC president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix said in June that the broadcaster would be shifting its priorities from television and radio to digital and mobile services. He also said the 2020 strategy would shorten supper-hour news broadcasts, but he did not provide full specifics.
Most of the existing supper-hour newscasts run 90 minutes. But on Thursday, the CBC said in a statement that some newscasts would be reduced to one hour, and others to 30 minutes.
CBC’s 2020 plan will leave the broadcaster with 1,000 to 1,500 fewer employees, on top of the 657 job cuts already announced in April.
About 1,000 employees are eligible for retirement, and about 300 leave through attrition every year, according to the broadcaster.

Moses Znaimer in talks to buy Sun News Network

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw reports that Moses Znaimer is "hoping to expand his reach on the TV dial by acquiring the money-losing Sun News Network from Quebecor Inc."
"According to a source familiar with the negotiations, Mr. Znaimer is eager to make a deal that would see ZoomerMedia Ltd., a company he controls, buy the news and opinion channel before the year is over. Mr. Znaimer currently has exclusive negotiating rights, and the price of the purchase would be low, the source said," Bradshaw writes.
Full story

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Questions swirl over effectiveness of outside Jian Ghomeshi probe at CBC

Colin Perkel of The Canadian Press writes:
"Questions about the effectiveness of an investigation into the CBC's handling of the Jian Ghomeshi affair swirled Wednesday amid employee concerns about incriminating themselves.
"While senior managers defended the process as independent, the union said only a promise of immunity would allow all employees to speak freely to investigator Janice Rubin.
"There's no guarantee that your information or your identity is protected, said Carmel Smythe, president of the Canadian Media Guild.
"'Every day, it looks less independent, that she's just now taking orders and supplying all the information to CBC.'"
The whol story

Monday, December 8, 2014

Union cautions CBC employees about internal Ghomeshi investigation

The Globe and Mail's Simon Houpt writes:
"The union representing CBC employees is warning members about co-operating with an internal investigation of the Jian Ghomeshi affair, saying the information they provide could be used against them.
"In a memo issued to its members Monday morning, the Canadian Media Guild says that, while it is “strongly supportive of an independent investigation into this issue,” it is concerned that employees may not take certain steps to protect themselves if they choose to participate in the workplace probe led by lawyer Janice Rubin.
“'CBC has told us that Ms. Rubin will be recording her interviews. However, participants will not be allowed to make their own recordings, obtain a copy of Ms. Rubin’s recordings or a transcript of the interview until the investigation is completed and findings made,' says the memo, written by Marc-Philippe Laurin, president of the CMG’s CBC branch.
"In fact, Laurin writes, the union has been “informed Ms. Rubin’s recordings may however be provided to CBC management and relied on by management to discipline the employee being interviewed."
The whole Globe and Mail story

Former journalist Bruce Phillips dies at 84

Bruce Phillips
Former journalist and federal privacy commissioner Bruce Phillips has died. He was 84.
A statement from his family says he died of kidney failure on Saturday in Penticton, B.C.
The statement says he suffered a stroke in June.
Phillips worked for a number of media outlets during his career including CTV news in the 70's and 80's.
Among his other duties he hosted the CTV show "Question Period."
He later served as Canada's privacy commissioner between 1991 and 2000.

CBC took $5,000 from Warner Music so Jian Ghomeshi could interview Tom Petty

The Star's Kevin Donovan reports that the CBC violated its rules by accepting $5,000 from Warner Music so that Jian Ghomeshi could travel to Malibu, Calif., and interview American rock star Tom Petty for a Q show “Canadian exclusive.”
“Our policy is to never accept money for booking talent,” said CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson. “That said, we recently became aware of a situation on Q where, after the talent was booked, money was accepted to help defray travel expenses.”
After the Star asked the CBC about the payment for the July 17 show, the CBC said it would repay the $5,000 to Petty’s record label.
Full story

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Heads need to roll at the CBC: Paul Adams

Good piece in iPolitics by media veteran and Carleton prof Paul Adams on the Ghomeshsi situation.
"So here’s a question: From what we know now, if you were a woman working at the CBC, would you have confidence in the judgment of your managers to handle a complaint of sexual harassment? To ask the question is to answer it.
"We know the CBC’s handling of the Ghomeshi affair was shambolic. We know their executives have not been forthright and consistent in their few public utterances.
"It is time now for those responsible to resign or be fired. For the good of the CBC."
The whole column

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Panorama" current affairs show could be split from BBC in shakeup

The BBC is considering moving flagship show Panorama and some of its current affairs out of the corporation into a commercial subsidiary.
In the week that Panorama hit the headlines after its eagerly-awaited exposé of Mazher Mahmood was postponed for a second time, it has emerged that the weekly programme may not be protected from the proposal aired by director general Tony Hall earlier this year to shakeup in-house TV production. It will come as a surprise to media observers that the production of Panorama and parts of current affairs are being looked at as contenders for the new stand-alone subsidiary – dubbed NewCo internally at the BBC. BBC News, which produces the daily bulletins, is exempt from the changes.
Under Hall’s ‘compete or compare’ plan, BBC strategists are looking at how parts of the corporation could be spun off into a separate company that is allowed to make shows for rivals. The proposals are likely to need a change in the BBC’s charter.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Star columnist muses about Ghomeshi photo

The Star's Christopher Hume calls the photo by Colin McConnell of Ghomeshi leaving court "the first great image" of the fallen star's saga. Excerpt:
"The shot, taken as Ghomeshi, his lawyer Marie Henein and lawyer Danielle Robitaille make their way past a throng of media, isn’t just a study of a man who stands accused, but a portrait of pain and suffering. In earlier times, it might have been a painting by Raphael, Rembrandt or perhaps Caravaggio."
The whole column
(A little over the top maybe?--ED)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Judge orders Ezra Levant to pay Saskatchewan lawyer $80,000 in defamation suit

An Ontario judge who heard a defamation lawsuit against Sun News Network host Ezra Levant ruled Thursday that the controversial media personality libelled a Saskatchewan lawyer in a series of blog posts the judge said were "motivated by malice."
Justice Wendy Matheson ordered Levant to pay $80,000 in damages to Khurrum Awan and remove "defamatory words" about the man from his website within 15 days.
"I find that the defendant's dominant motive in these blog posts was ill-will, and that his repeated failure to take even basic steps to check his facts showed a reckless disregard for the truth," Matheson wrote in her decision.
Awan was completing his articling and looking for work as a lawyer when the statements were posted online by Levant. Awan was seeking $100,000 in damages.
Levant's posts centred on Awan's testimony at a British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal case about a complaint regarding an article in Maclean's magazine from 2006, titled "The future belongs to Islam."
Awan was a law student when the article was published and was among a group of students who alleged the article was Islamophobic.
Entire CP story

CBC News website hacked as part of attack on international media, reportedly by Electronic Syrian Army

The Syrian Electronic Army is claiming responsibility for the hacking of multiple news websites, including CBC News.
CBCNews.ca was affected Thursday by the hacking. the network's website reports.
Some users trying to access the CBC website reported seeing a pop-up message reading: "You've been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)."
It appears the hack targeted a network used by many news organizations and businesses.
A tweet from an account appearing to belong to the Syrian Electronic Army suggested the attacks were meant to coincide with the U.S. Thanksgiving on Thursday.
The group claimed to have used the domain Gigya.com, a company that offers businesses a customer identity management platform, to hack into other sites via GoDaddy, its domain registrar. Gigya is "trusted by more than 700 leading brands," according to its website.
The hacker or hackers redirected sites to the Syrian Electronic Army image that users saw.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Jian Ghomeshi faces five charges in sexual assault

Former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi is facing five charges in relation to a sexual assault investigation.
Ghomeshi, 47, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of “overcome resistance – choking,” Toronto police said in a news release.
According to the Criminal Code, anyone found guilty of attempting to choke someone to overcome their resistance to the commission of an indictable offence faces a maximum punishment of life in prison. Sexual assault carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Ghomeshi was charged on Wednesday morning after surrendering to police. He is scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m. at the city's College Park courthouse, police said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jian Ghomeshi withdraws lawsuit against CBC; has to repay legal costs

The CBC says its lawyers have reached an agreement with former radio host Jian Ghomeshi and he has withdrawn his $55-million lawsuit against the public broadcaster.
CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson says "the civil suit has been dismissed with costs in favour of CBC."
He says Ghomeshi is expected to pay $18,000 in legal costs to the CBC.

G20 disciplinary hearing to resume Dec. 1

The disciplinary hearing for Toronto  Supt. David (Mark) Fenton charged in relation to G20 “kettling” incidents is scheduled to resume on Monday. December 1, at 10 a.m.
Retired Judge John Hamilton has been named to replace Peter Grossi who resigned because of illness.
The hearing began last Wednesday and is dealing with  five charges of unlawful arrest and discreditable conduct for stemming from Fenton’s involvement in ordering mass arrests and kettling of protesters at the G20 summit in June 2010 in Toronto.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Judge presding over G20 hearing ill; proceedings suspended

Peter Grossi, the retired judge presiding over a disciplinary hearing for Toronto  Supt. David (Mark) Fenton charged in relation to G20 “kettling” incidents cannot  continue heading  the tribunal, it was announced on Friday.
Grossi has a medical issue that prevents him from continuing, the hearing that began on Wednesday and is dealing with  five charges of unlawful arrest and discreditable conduct for stemming from Fenton’s involvement in ordering mass arrests and kettling of protesters at the G20 summit in June 2010 in Toronto.
Hearing officer Supt. Debra Preston told the Toronto Star that she learned about Grossi’s medical issue five minutes before the Friday session was to start. She declined to describe the medical issue.
Police are looking at other options over the weekend, said Preston. “Hopefully we’re able to continue with this hearing as scheduled,” she said, adding the chief’s office will be reaching out to other retired justices for a replacement.

Friday, November 21, 2014

TVO's Steve Paikin testifies at G20 hearing

Paikin being interviewed after testifying
“'I’ve never seen this much riot gear, I’ve never seen the kinds of hemming-in that officers did this time. I’ve never seen people sort of picked up while peacefully protesting and put in the back of a court services vehicle,'” Paikin told the tribunal, adding that he has covered hundreds of demonstrations throughout his three-decades-long career,." the Star quotes him as saying.
The hearing is dealing with disciplinary charges against Toronto police Superintendent Mark Fenton.
Full Star story

Thursday, November 20, 2014

If the CBC management hi-jinks make you dizzy, read this

Linden MacIntyre has not been barred from appearing on CBC News Network this week despite an internal public broadcaster memo to the contrary, the Star reports.
Jennifer Harwood, managing editor of CBC News Network, sent a memo late Wednesday stating that any interviews with MacIntyre on the network this week have been cancelled.
The memo said the move came about because of MacIntyre’s recent comments to the Globe and Mail comparing the workplace behaviour of Peter Mansbridge to that of ousted Q host Jian Ghomeshi.
CBC News editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire said in an interview Thursday that Harwood did not consult with her before sending the memo and that it is not consistent with CBC’s editorial practices.
MacIntyre, the veteran host of The Fifth Estate who is retiring this week amid sweeping budget cuts at the public broadcaster, is still welcome to appear on CBC News Network, McGuire said.
Asked whether Harwood would issue a statement retracting the memo or be disciplined, McGuire said discussions were underway Thursday morning and she was not prepared to comment yet.
She described Harwood as a “long-time colleague” of Mansbridge. Many at the public broadcaster were deeply upset by MacIntyre’s “unsubstantiated” comments, she said.
In a statement, Mansbridge said he was not aware of the original story until MacIntyre wrote him a detailed and full apology Wednesday night.
(Maybe time for top management to take a hike? Just asking.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bell Media cuts 80 more jobs, citing challenging advertising market

Bell Media has cut 80 positions across several departments, the Star reports. It is the second round of reductions the broadcaster has made this year. In June, the company announced a reduction of 120 positions.
The affected positions are across a number of departments, including Local Radio and TV; Sales, Research, and Revenue Management; Marketing & Communications; Network Operations; and News.
“It amounts to 80 full-time positions in our national radio and television operations‎, or about 1.3 per cent of Bell Media’s entire workforce,” said a spokesperson.
In terms of on-air talent, Jacqueline Milczarek, morning anchor on CTV News Channel, is one of the people affected by the cuts. She joined the channel in 2007.
Also on the list to lose their jobs are Amanda Logan, a host on CHUM-FM, and Chitra Nawbatt, a host on BNN. Just last week, high-profile broadcasters Tanya Kim of eTalk and Teri Hart of The Movie Network were let go as part of the first round of cuts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Media man Dick Nielsen focused on fairness, intellect (Nielsen Obit)

Excerpt from a Globe and Mail  obit by Martyn Burke:
"He died in Toronto on Oct. 25, leaving his wife Donna (née Dunseith); two of his daughters, Camilla Brockhouse and Petrea McConvey; eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was predeceased by a third daughter, Marta Nielsen, a filmmaker. Right up to the end, at the age of 86, he was still producing shows about the First World War and dictating instructions to his assistants from his bed at Toronto General Hospital even as pneumonia overtook him."
Link to Globe and Mail obit

Newly hired producer to oversee ‘Today,’ is fired at NBC after 10 weeks

In a new round of turmoil at the long-roiling NBC morning show “Today,” Jamie Horowitz, a former ESPN executive brought in 10 weeks ago to supervise the show, was fired on Monday after what several people at the network said was a series of conflicts with members of the show’s staff as well as the management of NBC News.
In a memo sent to the staff Monday evening, Deborah Turness, the president of NBC News, said that she and Mr. Horowitz “have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Senior Toronto cop faces G20 disciplinary hearing starting Wednesday

A long-delayed disciplinary hearing is finally slated to start Wednesday for the most senior police officer charged in relation to the mass violation of civil rights during the violence-marred G20 summit four years ago.
Civil liberties groups said they would be keeping a close eye on the month-long proceedings against Toronto Supt. David (Mark) Fenton given the unprecedented detentions of more than 1,000 people and the heavy security expected at next year’s Pan-Am Games in Toronto.

The charges against Fenton under the Police Services Act will be heard starting on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, at the Toronto Police Service Auditorium, 2nd Floor, 40 College Street, at 10 a.m. Peter Grossi, a retired Ontario Superior Court judge, will preside over the hearing.
TVO's Steve Paikin is expected to be a witness.
Canadian Press story 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Radio-Canada staff protest job cuts by rejecting boss' award

Radio-Canada staff refused an award presented to them Wednesday by CBC President Hubert Lacroix in protest against ongoing job losses, the Canadian Press reports.
The Sherbrooke, Que. newsroom had been selected to receive the President's Award in the "Audience First" category — an internal newsroom honour — for their coverage of the Lac-Megantic disaster.
The newsroom of about 60 people had tied for the award with the Calgary office, who were honoured for their coverage of the massive flooding in June 2013.
Full Canadian Press story

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CBC calls back veteran to run Q temporarily

Jamie Purdon, a former veteran CBC news director is returning to the network to take over the radio show Q following the firing of host, Jian Ghomeshi and the transfer of executive producer Arif Noorani, the CBC announced.
Purdon, who currently works with a non-profit organization, will start Monday as interim executive producer, replacing Noorani, who asked to be reassigned.
According to his online profile, Purdon spent nearly 30 years with CBC, working his way up to director of newsgathering until he left in 2012.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CBC weather will be coming from the Weather Network

The CBC and The Weather Network have struck an agreement that will see forecasts from the privately owned weather channel appear on the public broadcaster’s flagship evening newscast, The National, while CBC news reports will air on The Weather Network.
The one-year trial, which goes into effect Dec. 8, means Weather Network meteorologists and other on-air contributors will supply weather updates through the day on CBC News Network, on CBC Toronto’s weekend broadcasts, and on CBC’s News Express airport network.
In exchange, The Weather Network will be able to pick up CBC’s weather-related news reports for use on its TV channel and digital platforms, the Globe and Mail reports..

Monday, November 10, 2014

Executive producer Arif Noorani quits Q to develop ‘new show for CBC radio’

CP's Colin Perkel reports: The executive producer of Q is leaving the CBC radio show in the aftermath of the ongoing scandal involving its former host, Jian Ghomeshi, the broadcaster said Monday.
Arif Noorani, who opted to take time away from the program last week, will return to work on Monday to work on a different project, the CBC said.
Noorani did not respond for a request for comment but a spokesman for the broadcaster said the change was at his request.
“He’s asked for a reassignment given all that has transpired over the last couple of weeks,” said CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson.
“When he comes back next Monday, he’ll be working on the development of a new show for CBC radio

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Union 'disappointed' by comments from CBC boss on Ghomeshi allegations

Sam Colbert writes in the Star:
"The Canadian Media Guild says it is “deeply disappointed” by comments from a CBC boss on the handling of allegations against Jian Ghomeshi ahead of an independent investigation.
"A statement released Friday by the union said Heather Conway’s account made “pained efforts to exonerate management and its handling of the matter.”
"Conway, the CBC’s head of English programming, spoke publicly for the first time about Ghomeshi in a pair of interviews on the broadcaster’s programs The National and As It Happens on Friday.
Conway described the CBC’s version of events that led to the firing of the Q radio host on Oct. 26. She explained that CBC management became aware of allegations against Ghomeshi in April, when the host approached them to explain that the Star was looking into accusations of abuse.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

CBC's Ghomeshi investigation a cover-up before it begins: Jesse Brown

Jesse Brown, the free-lancer who broke the Ghomeshi story, writes in his blog:
"The fix is in.
"Information released today by Chuck Thompson, CBC's Head of Public Affairs, reveals the broadcaster's impending 3rd party investigation of the Ghomeshi scandal to be a pre-determined cover-up and whitewash.
Lawyer Janice Rubin's report will never be released to the public. What's more, the CBC now admits that Rubin has been contracted only to investigate past and present employees of Ghomeshi's shows, Q and Play. Rubin has no powers to demand answers, and no mission to learn who knew what and when. Participation in the investigation seems to be entirely voluntary. "
The whole Jesse Brown's story

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NatPost columnist Robyn Urback sees conflicty of interest in CBC's Ghomeshi scandal hire

Robyn Urback writes:
“'We see no conflict of interest,'” said CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson when pressed on (Janice) Rubin’s CBC appearances. 'As a leading authority on workplace harassment, Janice has often offered her views on this subject to a number of media outlets.'
"The CBC may not see a conflict of interest, and indeed, there may not be. I don’t know Rubin personally, but by reputation I’m assured she is fully capable of separating her occasional CBC appearances from the serious task at hand. But my impression doesn’t matter, nor does the CBC’s, nor does it really matter if there is any tangible evidence of conflict of interest at play.
 "The perception of bias is enough. And it should have been enough to compel the CBC to consult its list of guest contributors before handing off the reins to its investigation."
The full column

Toronto Star to drop paywall, create tablet

Canadian Press 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CBC names lawyer Janice Rubin to lead Ghomeshi investigation

The CBC has named employment lawyer Janice Rubin to lead an independent investigation into allegations of harassment or violent attacks against women by fired radio host Jian Ghomeshi, the CBC web page reports.
Heather Conway, CBC's executive vice-president of English Services, made the announcement Tuesday in an emailed statement to CBC employees, saying that Rubin is a "leading authority on workplace harassment" with a certificate in workplace investigation.
In her statement, Conway said current and former CBC employees who worked on shows where Ghomeshi worked as host — Play and Q — and who have "complaints, concerns or experiences they wish to share regarding harassment, discrimination, violence or other inappropriate workplace conduct during their work on these programs" are invited to contact Rubin.
Janice Rubin firm's web page

Monday, November 3, 2014

Court orders Jan Wong to repay $209,912 to the Globe

The Globe's Jeff Gray writes: "The Ontario Divisional Court has sided with The Globe and Mail in its dispute with Jan Wong, a former reporter ordered to pay back a $209,912 settlement with the newspaper after she revealed some of its confidential terms in a tell-all book.
"In a decision released on Monday, the court upheld a July, 2013, decision by a labour arbitrator to order Ms. Wong to pay back the settlement, even though she did not disclose the actual amount she was paid in her self-published 2012 memoir, Out of the Blue, which details her battles with depression and with The Globe.
"The Globe pursued the case after it objected to several phrases in Ms. Wong’s book, in which she wrote that the paper had paid her “a pile of money to go away,” and that a “big fat check [sic] landed in my account.”

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trudeau era scribes will enjoy "Thumper," memoir of Donald S. Macdonald

Written with Rod McQueen, "Thumper" is a good portrait of the Trudeau years. Interesting insights into PET himself and quite critical of John Turner. Great read too.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halifax Chronicle Herald issues 20 layoff notices

The Halifax Chronicle Herald issued layoff notices to 20 unionized newspaper employees today in a bid to cut costs, the Canadian Press reports.
Herald CEO Mark Lever says the move was made because of declining advertising and sluggish revenues.
The company says the number of layoffs could be reduced if the union agrees to concessions on pension cost sharing, mileage and a planned wage increase.
Lever says the newspaper expanded its digital and print products, but they have not generated enough revenue to offset continuing losses in national advertising.
He says employees affected by the layoffs will receive severance packages as stipulated under the union contrac

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rogers and Vice Media create joint venture

Rogers Communications is teaming with pugnacious cultural magazine and digital outlet Vice Media in a $100-million joint venture that will launch a new TV channel and open a production studio in downtown Toronto.
The partnership between Montreal-created Vice and Canadian media giant Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) will begin next year with the Vice TV Network in Canada and a digital distribution model that will let Rogers chase the 18- to 34-year-old demographic with exclusive mobile content.

Johathan Kay new editor of The Walrus

The Walrus Foundation has announced that the new Editor-in-Chief of The Walrus magazine and all of its content platforms will be Jonathan Kay.
For the past decade, Jonathan Kay has acted as the National Post’s Managing Editor for Comment, with direct oversight of the paper’s Editorial, Letters, and Issues & Ideas pages. He is the author of two books, and has edited several more.
Jonathan Kay will replace John Macfarlane, current Editor and Co-publisher.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

John Tory picks ex-journalist Chris Eby as his chief of staff

John Tory’s most senior staff member is a former journalist and communications consultant who has jumped in and out of the media and political worlds.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Chris Eby said Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Tory named him chief of staff. “Not to engage in hyperbole, but I feel like we are at a critical moment in the city’s history.”
Eby, 39, had spent the past seven months pulling 18-hour days at his day job and volunteering on Tory’s mayoral campaign. Eby has worked as a print reporter, political staffer for Tim Hudak, a reporter for CFTO and a communications strategist.
Star story

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CBC lands broadcast rights to 2018, 2020 Olympics

The CBC has announced that it managed to land the Canadian broadcast rights to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Rogers and BCE are expected to show some of the Olympics programming on their Sportsnet and TSN networks, respectively.
The announcement was made at the CBC’s headquarters in Toronto by network president Hubert Lacroix, along with Jeffrey Orridge, the CBC’s executive director, sports properties and general manager, Olympics, Neil McEneaney, chief business officer for business and operations and François Messier, general manager, productions, Radio-Canada. It was not immediately disclosed how much the network will pay for the broadcast rights.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Interviewer Jian Ghomeshi finished at the CBC

The 47-year-old writer, one-time rock star (Moxy Fruvous) and television host Jian Ghomeshi has severed relations with the CBC. It is not clear just what happened. For those who want to refresh their memories of his story there is Wikipedia  Globe and Mail

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Parliament Hill reporter Mark Dunn dies at 53

Mark Dunn, senior national bureau reporter for QMI Agency, has died in Ottawa following a struggle against cancer. died. His death was announced Saturday, October 25, 2014. Mike dun was 53.   after a battle with cancer. He was 53.  Dunn was born and raised in Ottawa and covered Parliament Hill for QMI Agency and The Canadian Press. He also served in senior communications roles for sitting governments and opposition parties, including a hitch with former Liberal leader Stephane Dion. His wife, Globe and Mail reporter Gloria Galloway, said "I will miss Mark Dunn's passion for Hill politics and having to tell him he'd just written a column from his heart and guts, not a mere story," Sun Media vice-president of editorial Glenn Garnett said. QMI Agency's national bureau chief David Akin wrote, "I will dearly miss Mark's wit, charm and nose for news. He was a leader in our newsroom, a good friend and mentor to our younger reporters, and valued by all for his experience and wise counsel. We are tremendously saddened by his loss." His colleagues took to Twitter Saturday to offer condolences and share memories. CTV news anchor Lisa LaFlamme tweeted, "So deeply sad to learn of Mark Dunn's passing. He made me laugh so often on the campaign trail. Such a memorable man. Thinking of Gloria."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Postmedia loses $50m in fourth quarter

Postmedia Network Canada Corp. says its losses deepened in the fourth quarter as revenues dropped 13 per cent, weighed down by weaker print and digital advertising sales.
The  media company says it had a $49.8 million net loss, or $1.24 per share in the most recent quarter ended Aug. 31.
Revenue slipped to $146.8 million from $169.3 million, mainly on weaker print advertising sales which fell 21 per cent to $74.2 million. Digital revenue dropped five per cent to $20.2 million while print ciculation revenue slipped to $48 million from $49.4 million.
Postmedia announced earlier this month that it is buying Sun Media’s 175 English-language newspapers, free dailies and online sites for $316 million from Quebecor Media Inc.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Anderson Cooper aghast when reporter asks him to take selfie near Ottawa shooting scene

Anderson Cooper scolded a young Sun News contributor for asking him to take a “selfie” near the scene of the Ottawa shooting Wednesday night.
The CNN host flew into Canada’s capital yesterday to report from the National War Memorial where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot dead while serving as an honour guard.
When Cooper took a break from his live coverage, Vandon Gene, who has worked for the Sun News Network for the past six months, asked the American journalist to take a photo with him.
Cooper refused. When Gene continued to urge him to take a picture, an aghast Cooper scolded the young reporter and told him to “have a little respect for what happened here today.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ben Bradlee, ex-Washington Post editor who led Watergate coverage, dead at 93

Nancy Benac of the Associated Press writes:
 "The hard-charging editor who guided The Washington Post through its coverage of the Watergate scandal, Ben Bradlee, has died. He was 93.
"The Washington Post reports that Bradlee died at his home Tuesday of natural causes.
"As managing editor first and later as executive editor, the raspy-voiced Bradlee engineered the transformation of the Post from a sleepy hometown paper into a great national one. He brought in a cast of talented journalists and set editorial standards that brought the paper new respect. . ."
Full obit in the Star

Friday, October 17, 2014

As a court deliberates if Jan Wong owes The Globe $209K, it’s still unclear why she did what she did: NatPost columnist

The National Post's Chris Selley writes about Jan Wong:
Jan Wong
"It would be intriguing to know why she did what she did in her 2012 memoir, Out of the Blue — namely, reveal that the Globe had sent her a 'big fat cheque' as part of a bitterly contested settlement over her long-term absence from work for depression and subsequent termination. Trouble is, that settlement prohibited the parties from disclosing its terms.
The Globe complained to an arbitrator. The Globe won. And now Ms. Wong owes The Globe $209,000.
"At the Ontario Divisional Court in Toronto on Thursday and Friday, her lawyers argued to quash the repayment order. They argue “there’s a reasonable apprehension that there was a question of impartiality” with respect to arbitrator Louisa Davie, and they argue union counsel representing Ms. Wong botched the case. They want Ms. Wong herself and her own representation, not the union’s, to have standing in a new arbitration hearing."
The whole column

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hockey Night in Canada: How CBC lost it all

The Globe and Mail's David Shoals' take on the Rogers-Hockey Night in Canada deal:
"It didn’t have to happen, staff at both the CBC and Hockey Night say, because they believe NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his marketing chief John Collins were willing to offer the CBC a compromise that would have saved a scaled-down version of Hockey Night for the network that still would have been a significant source of revenue. Those staffers also believe the CBC executives missed this chance because of their failure to recognize the changed broadcast landscape and to see the threat posed by Rogers and BCE Inc., which owns the TSN and CTV networks. The CBC negotiators insisted throughout an exclusive negotiating period with the NHL that any new deal would see the network stick to a regional and national schedule by carrying all games played by Canadian-based NHL teams on Saturdays."
Link (long read!)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ottawa seeks use of news footage without permission in political ads

Globe story by Steve Chase:
"The Harper government is preparing to alter copyright law in Canada so politicians can use news footage and other journalistic content for attack ads and campaign spots without asking broadcasters or publishers for permission.
"The measure would constitute an intervention into the intellectual property rights of broadcasters and other news organizations by a Conservative government that styles itself as laissez faire. . . "
Link to Globe story

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Islamic State, murderer of journalists, releases 11 rules for journalists

Vice News was able to film its remarkable view of life under the Islamic State in Raqqah, Syria, with apparent cooperation from the extremists. “These are managed trips, so you are there with their permission,” Kevin Sutcliffe, Vice’s head of news programming in Europe, explained to the Huffington Post. “While they are, to some extent, keeping you safe ... you are also an interloper.”
The whole story

Monday, October 6, 2014

CNN plans 1,475 full-time job cuts world-wide

CNN has announced plans to cut ten percent of its worldwide workforce or 1,475 full-time jobs. The parent corporation will be cutting 400 positions from its American and international channels, the news organization reported. The company said about 130 CNN reductions will be voluntary buyouts, and the rest will happen through layoffs. Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN, TBS and TNT networks, said it plans to cut its workforce by ten percent, which means roughly 1,475 full-time positions will be terminated worldwide. 

Postmedia buys Sun papers across Canada

RELEASE -- Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (“Postmedia” or the “Company”) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Quebecor Media Inc. (“QMI”) to purchase Sun Media Corporation’s stable of 175 English language newspapers, specialty publications and digital properties (“Sun Media”), including the Sun chain of dailies, consisting of The Toronto Sun, The Ottawa Sun, The Winnipeg Sun, The Calgary Sun and The Edmonton Sun, as well as The London Free Press and the free 24 Hours dailies in Toronto and Vancouver. The purchase price is $316 million in cash less a $10 million adjustment related primarily to real estate properties to be disposed of by Sun Media prior to closing, and other customary price adjustments to be determined subsequent to closing. The transaction also includes the acquisition of associated English language digital properties, including the Canoe portal outside of Quebec, as well as QMI’s Islington printing plant in Ontario, and 34 owned real estate properties in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.  Marketwatch 

Friday, October 3, 2014

NBC News freelancer in Africa diagnosed with Ebola

An American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment.
The freelancer, Ashoka Mukpo, 33, was hired Tuesday to be a second cameraman for NBC News Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Snyderman is with three other NBC News employees on assignment in Monrovia, reporting on the Ebola outbreak.
Mukpo came down with symptoms on Wednesday, feeling tired and achy. As part of a routine temperature check, he discovered he was running a slight fever. He immediately quarantined himself and sought medical advice. On Thursday morning, Mukpo went to a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) treatment center to be tested for the virus. The positive result came back just undeIn a phone interview with Matt Lauer on TODAY Friday, Snyderman said Mukpo "should have a very good prognosis." She added: "The amount of virus in his body is low."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New York Times plans cutbacks in newsroom staff

The New York Times plans to eliminate about 100 newsroom jobs, as well as a smaller number of positions from its editorial and business operations, offering buyouts and resorting to layoffs if enough people do not leave voluntarily, the newspaper announced on Wednesday.
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the newspaper’s publisher, and Mark Thompson, its chief executive, said that in addition to the job cuts, NYT Opinion, a new mobile app dedicated to opinion content, was shutting down because it was not attracting enough subscribers.
The reductions, they said, were intended to safeguard the newspaper’s long-term profitability.

The unruly media ruffles real estate flunky's feathers!

Doug Ford held a news conference at the Toronto Real Estate Board about his proposed cuts to the land transfer cuts.
Then it got interesting. As the Star's Daniel Dale reports:
"After Ford finished taking questions, the board’s chief government and public affairs officer, Von Palmer, stepped up to the microphone himself. Other board officials, including president Paul Etherington, watched from the side.
"After various questions about Ford’s proposal, James Tumelty, senior camera operator for Citytv, calmly asked Palmer a series of questions about realtors’ commissions.
"Etherington did not enjoy them."
The whole exchange -- worth reading
Arrogance or what?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Maria Babbage leaves CP for health ministry

Maria Babbage
CP veteran Maria Babbage is leaving the news service to become director of communications for Ontario health minister Dr. Eric Hoskings, the j-Source Twitter feed reports.
Babage joined the Queen's Park CP bureau in 2008 and recently moved to the news services' national desk.

Good CJFE article on the right to take photographs

"In both Canada and the U.S., there is little or no basis for preventing anyone – journalist or ordinary citizen – from taking photos in a public place. Authorities might be justified in asking a photographer who was obstructing emergency workers or security personnel to get out of the way, says Peter Jacobsen, partner at Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP in Toronto and member of the board of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), and if that photographer refused to move he or she might be arrested. The publication of certain images might prejudice an investigation or trial, and an officer at the scene might warn a photographer of that, but the issue would be publication, not the taking of the photo.
“'Generally speaking,' Jacobsen says, 'when you’re on public property you can take any pictures you want.'”


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mike Duffy Senate expenses trial set for 41 days starting in April

Suspended Senator Mike Duffy's fraud, bribery and breach of trust case will begin on April 7 and last for 41 days through June, lawyers agreed in court today.  
These dates mean it's likely any damaging information for the Harper government will emerge before the next federal election, expected in fall 2015, according to fixed election date legislation.
Duffy was not in court again Tuesday. But his lawyer, Donald Bayne, met briefly with reporters outside after his appearance.
"We trust that the evidence will show Senator Duffy is innocent of these charges," Bayne said. (CBC)

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Tyee Names Jane Armstrong Editor-in-Chief

Jane Armstrong, a veteran of the Globe and Mail the Toronto Star, has been named editor-in-chief of The Tyee, an Internet newspaper based in B.C.
In 2010, Armstrong joined Open File, a multi-city experimental publication that crashed in debt after several months of operation. Open File invited readers to suggest story ideas to be pursued by reporters. The experience whetted Armstrong's appetite for Internet journalism. This year she completed a master's degree in digital enterprise at the School of Journalism at King's College in Halifax.

Friday, September 19, 2014

George Radwanski dead at 67

George Radwanski, a former high-profile journalist whose term as a defender of privacy rights ended in controversy, died of a heart attack on Thursday. He was 67.
Globe obit

Mistaking Chinese leader’s name for Roman numeral costs news anchor her job in India

A news anchor for India’s state TV channel has been fired after she referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as “Eleven” Jingping — apparently mistaking his name for a Roman numeral, a top official at the station said Friday. Xi left for China on Friday after a three-day visit to India, where he signed more than a dozen agreements to push trade and investment between the two Asian giants. The anchor for the Doordarshan news channel made the gaffe on Wednesday night while she read a late night news bulletin. She was dismissed after the blunder was discovered, the TV station official said.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Netflix dominates prime-time data usage in Canada, tripled in 3 years: report

When Canadians jump on the Internet during prime-time evening hours it's increasingly because they want to stream something on Netflix, suggests Waterloo, Ont.-based networking company Sandvine.
An analysis of downloading traffic during evenings in Canada found that 30 to 40 per cent of the data consumed was usually linked to Netflix streams, which was higher than any other Internet activity.
On a typical evening, YouTube viewing, web browsing, Facebook usage and accessing content via BitTorrent were the other top ways Canadians chewed through megabytes and gigabytes.
More from CP

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tyson heaps abuse on CP24's Nathan Downer

Boxer Mike Tyson launched into an abusive attack on CP24 host Nathan Downer of CP24 Wednesday afternoon (September 10, 2014). Downer was hosting as Tyson (top inset) and a handler type arrived at the station to talk about the boxer's one-man show "The Undisputed Truth" at the Air Canada Centre. The normally mild-mannered Downer started off by asking Tyson whether his endorsement of Mayor Ford yesterday might not actually hurt Ford since Tyson is a convicted rapist. “Some of your critics would say, ‘There’s a race for mayor. We know you’re a convicted rapist. This could hurt his (Ford's) campaign.’ What would you say to that?” “It’s so interesting, you come off like a nice guy,” Tyson responded, “but that was really a piece of s—, that comment. F— you.” From there on Tyson unloaded epithets of the "piece of s---" kind on Downer.  When Downer attempted to deflect the insults, he just got more. The same "piece of..." slur came when Downer asked Tyson whether it was more difficult being in a fight match or performing. Tyson told the CP24 host that the worst was being there with him. Comments on YouTube accompanying the video below reveal a range of reaction to the tirade. Some feel Downer's question was badly put, although there aren't too many ways to call a person a rapist. The notorious boxer visited Mayor Ford yesterday at City Hall to declare him the best mayor the city has ever had. The occasion prompted a series of news stories linkable on Google in which the boxer's criminal record was mentioned. Tyson has been convicted of rape and is said to have bitten off an opponent’s ear during a fight, Video may be offensive to some. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why the James Foley tragedy offers lessons for all freelance journalists

An excellent piece by Colin Freeman, chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph:

"Like many journalists of my generation, my first glimpse of the glamour of life as a foreign correspondent came not through an assignment to Africa or the Middle East, but from a night in front of the telly watching the film Salvador. For those who haven't seen it – and I recommend you do – it stars James Woods as an impossibly cool, witty and degenerate freelancer who covers the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. . . "
The whole story

Reporters evicted from Rob Ford campaign speech

Four newspaper reporters were welcomed into the swanky University Club of Toronto on Monday evening to hear Rob Ford give a campaign speech to a group called the Society for the Young and Politically Engaged, the Star's Daniel Dale reports.
They were kicked out upon the mayor’s arrival. There had, apparently, been a misunderstanding. Club general manager Nico Barrett told Ford’s campaign in a Friday email that “no media” had been invited, specifying that “there are to be no television or radio reporters invited.”
But the society, a different entity, issued a press release to the print media two hours later.
“There is the possibility the mayor, because he was not properly informed that the media would be present — that he may not speak tonight if there is media present,” Barrett told the reporters after hastily calling them into a hallway.
Ford’s remarks ended up being publicized anyway. Attendees recorded his comments on Twitter as he uttered them. The reporters were from the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, and National Post.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ontario wants CRTC to regulate new media like Netflix

Ontario wants digital media providers such as Netflix brought under the regulatory regime that governs traditional TV and says they should contribute to public funds that support homegrown content, the Star's Michael Lewis reports.
The online providers that benefit from delivering programming to Canadians would begin paying into the system once they reach some minimum threshold likely in market penetration, according to the province’s recommendation.
In a submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on the first day of a two-week regulatory hearing, Kevin Finnerty, assistant deputy minister of tourism, culture and sport, said Ontario wants the CRTC to revisit its new media exemption.
The full story

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Peter Kent beats throat cancer, urges HPV vaccination for boys

Peter Kent
Conservative MP Peter Kent noticed something different about his throat one day last November when he was shaving.
The former environment minister was in the midst of a four-week stretch before the House of Commons rose for the holiday break, so he waited a few weeks before going to see his doctor back home in his Thornhill, Ont., riding.
What was originally thought to be a cyst turned out to be Stage IV tongue and throat cancer. It was caused by the human papillomavirus​ (HPV), which Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital says 75 per cent of Canadians will get at some point.
Nine months later, Kent has been through surgery, seven weeks of radiation and chemo, and as of right now shows no remaining sign of cancer (there will be several years of follow-up tests before his doctors can be certain he's cancer-free).

Transformation at Western’s journalism program

Western University’s graduate journalism program — one of the oldest in Canada — has formally acknowledged plans to re-fashion its one-year master’s program to offer a Master of Media in Journalism & Communication degree, Larry Cornies, author and journalism teacher reports in his blog Doon Valley Journal.
The decision to shutter the existing program was made by administrators in the university’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) last December, but has been kept low key, as it sought approvals from various offices within the university for a transformed curriculum. Full-time journalism faculty members have been engaged in the process of building the new credential in the hope that it might save jobs and preserve some form of journalism training at the university.
Over the past 20 years, the journalism program has had a checkered relationship with the university. Senior administrators attempted to close the Graduate School of Journalism, then led by dean Peter Desbarats, who rallied faculty, staff, alumni and the members of the university’s board of governors to save the school. (That campaign is chronicled here.) Although the effort succeeded, the graduate school soon lost its standing as a separate entity and was merged with the much larger Graduate School of Library and Information Studies in 1996-97, under the auspices of what is now the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

Friday, September 5, 2014

How Newsworld changed Canada’s political culture: The Star's Susan Dalacourt

OTTAWA—Some 25 years ago this summer, CBC launched its all-news cable channel, then called Newsworld, Susan Delacourt writes.
 The network has been marking the anniversary with periodic glimpses of its coverage of large and small events in Canada and abroad.
Many of the current denizens of Ottawa never knew or can barely remember a life before all-news TV.
(Before there was Newsworld, CTV had Question Period, hosted by the late Bruce Phillips. He and P. Trudeau once abolished private enterprise during a Christmas interview. :)) Well, not really, it was just Pierre's musings but caused quite a stir.)

Le Devoir facing money crunch, layoffs: report


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Paul Robertson, president of Shaw Media, passes away at 59

Paul Robertson, Executive Vice President of Shaw Communications and President of Shaw Media, passed away Tuesday after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 59.
Full obit

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Peter Stursberg, war correspondent, dead at 101

Peter Stursberg, who died in Vancouver on Sunday, his 101st birthday, was the last living Canadian war correspondent from the Second World War, and probably the last correspondent anywhere in the world who covered that war. Stationed in North Africa, Italy and northwestern Europe, he was one of only a handful of Canadian radio journalists to deliver reports on the conflict from the front lines.
The whole Globe and Mail obit

Friday, August 29, 2014

War by social media: Islamic State’s propaganda is growing online

An excellent story by the Globe's Omar El Akkad about the Islamists' use of social media to spread their propaganda.

"It is a testament to the propaganda prowess of the world’s most infamous new terrorist organization that, in April of this year, the U.S. State Department created a Twitter account specifically to dissuade young men from running off to fight for the Islamic State (IS).
"The account, called 'Think Again Turn Away,' is nominally aimed at condemning all terrorist groups, but has focused its efforts almost exclusively at IS (previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL). However, with just 5,000 or so followers, the State Department’s account has only a tiny fraction of the following of IS-related accounts on Twitter. Indeed, almost every item the U.S. government account posts is usually inundated with antagonistic replies from IS supporters.
the whole story

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Susan Bonner new host of World at Six

Susan Bonner
CBC News has announced that veteran CBC News journalist Susan Bonner will be the new host of the World at Six, CBC News’ flagship nightly radio program. Susan takes over the anchor chair on Tuesday, September 2.
“Susan’s been at the front lines of major stories over the course of her career, and she’ll bring that depth of experience and innate curiosity to her role leading the World at Six,” said Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor in chief, CBC News.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Missing journalist Steve Pettibone found dead

Steve Pettibone
A body found in a field in eastern Ontario is that of a journalist who went missing earlier this week, police confirmed Wednesday.
Belleville, Ont., police Det. Jeremy Ashley said the body of Steve Pettibone, 39, was discovered not far from his abandoned vehicle, the Canadian Press reports.
Police do not suspect foul play in his death.
Pettibone's car was found in a rural area outside Brockville, Ont., on Tuesday night, prompting an extensive search involving ATVs, a canine unit and a police helicopter that led to the discovery of the body.
Ashley said Pettibone's family has been notified and that an autopsy will be conducted Thursday in Ottawa.
Pettibone was last seen at 7:30 a.m. on Monday when he left his home in Belleville to go to work at the Brockville Recorder and Times, where he was the sports editor.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mark Medley, NatPost books editor, jumps to Globe

Mark Medley
Mark Medley, a veteran of the National Post, has joined the Globe and Mail as books editor, various twitter feeds report. It appears to be part of a continuing shakeup under the Globe's new editor, David Walmsley.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hunt for identity of masked killer who beheaded journalist James Foley

James Foley
UK intelligence agencies are seeking the identity of the masked man with an English accent who was filmed beheading US journalist James Foley in Syria, the Irish Times and British media report.
British prime minister David Cameron yesterday abandoned his family holiday to return to Downing Street for talks with foreign secretary Philip Hammond and intelligence and military officers.
The apparent involvement of a British citizen follows his recent warnings that the UK must help to defeat Islamic State because of the security threat it poses to the UK.
US authorities yesterday confirmed the authenticity of the video, which shows Mr Foley in an orange jumpsuit, kneeling before his throat is cut. His severed head is shown dumped on his body before the killer warns another kidnapped journalist, Steven Sotloff, will be executed next.
The militant who appeared in video, who called himself John and is believed to be from London, was identified by one of his former hostages as the ringleader of three British jihadists thought to be the main guards of foreign nationals in Raqqa, a stronghold of Islamic State rebels

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

QMI agency sports editor missing

Steve Pettibone
Police in Belleville, Ont.,  have found a car matching the description of the one owned by a QMI Agency sports editor Steve Pettibone who vanished on his way to work in eastern Ontario.
Pettibone was last seen at his Belleville residence at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. He left home for his job at the Recorder and Times newspaper in Brockville, Ont., about 160 km east, but never arrived.
The night before he went missing, Pettibone had texted with a fellow reporter and tweeted about the Blue Jays. On Monday morning, he said goodbye to his partner Michelle and said he was on his way to work.

Seamus O’Regan seeks nomination to run for federal Liberals in Newfoundland

Former broadcast journalist Seamus O’Regan is seeking the federal Liberal nomination in the Newfoundland riding of St. John’s South-Mount Pearl.
O’Regan, originally from St. John’s, hosted CTV’s Canada AM for nearly 10 years and later was a national correspondent for the network.
Prior to his career in journalism, O’Regan was a senior policy adviser to then-premier Brian Tobin.
The 43-year-old O’Regan is executive vice-president for communications at the Stronach Group, a racetrack operator, and a media innovator in residence at Ryerson University.

The riding is currently held by NDP MP Ryan Cleary.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Stephen Meurice is editor of the Canadian Press

RELEASE -- The Canadian Press announced today that Stephen Meurice has been appointed Editor-in Chief of the national news agency, effective immediately. Mr. Meurice has enjoyed a distinguished career in Canadian news organizations, including serving as Editor-in-Chief of the National Post. The Canadian Press also announced today the appointment of Andrew Lundy to the role of Vice-President, Digital. This is a new executive management role, responsible for the overall leadership of the news agency’s digital strategy and operations, reporting to Malcolm Kirk, President of The Canadian Press.  Release 

Friday, August 15, 2014

CTV axes seven W5 producers, reduces number of episodes

CTV has made deep cuts to its flagship newsmagazine show W5, blaming falling advertising revenues and changing viewer habits. Bell Media, which runs CTV, said Friday that seven contract positions on the production team at W5 were not renewed. As a result, the network is trimming the number of episodes it will air this season to 14 from the usual 23. CTV News president Wendy Freeman said in a statement that the broadcast industry faces severe financial pressures due to a steep decline in advertising revenue. W5 was launched in 1966, making it the longest-running current affairs/documentary program in North America. It tackles investigations and digs into top stories in a newsmagazine format. The show’s hosts include Lloyd Robertson, Sandie Rinaldo, Lisa LaFlamme and Kevin Newman, who joined after his prime-time series Kevin Newman Live was axed after just seven months

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Harper's official photographer to use drone camera in Iqaluit

GoPro camera
Jason Ransom, the official photographer for the Prime Minister’s Office. plans to use a drone mounted camera during the prime minister's visit to Iqaluit August 24 to 26.
He received permission to do so from Transport Canada and Iqaluit City Council. He plans to mount a GoPro camera on a remote controlled airplane during Operation Nanook. the  annual Arctic military exercise that will see 800 military personnel in Frobisher Bay from August 21 to 31, simulating a cruise ship disaster.  Harper will make an appearance in Iqaluit at that time, as part of his annual summer visit to the North.

CBC cuts sportscasters

Veteran sportscasters Steve Armitage and Mark Lee are the latest high-profile casualties of budget cuts at the CBC.
Armitage, 70, lent his booming voice to CBC sports events for some 49 years — handling play-by-play on 29 seasons of “Hockey Night in Canada,” 27 Grey Cups and 15 Olympic Games. Lee is 58.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kevin O'Leary quits CBC, heads back to BNN

Not together again
Entrepreneurial television tough guy and Rosedale denizen Kevin O'Leary has jumped ship at the CBC to go back to CTV's Business News Network, the  National Post  reports. It leaves the CBC's Lang and O'Leary Exchange with only Amanda Lang still in place. The two made their earliest reputation in business news at BNN and then resigned to join the CBC. In 1999 Mr. Leary sold a software firm, The Learning Company, to Mattel in a $3.8 billion stock swap. TLC did not prosper and deal is often cited as an example of the tech boom folly of many large companies. Over the years, many people snickered at the Lang and O'Leary brand because frequently the program had neither Lang nor O'Leary at their on-air desks. CBC says the program will be re-branded somehow to feature Ms. Lang. She is the daughter of Otto Lang, a Liberal party MP and federal cabinet member during the 1960s and 1970s.  Her stepfather, Donald Stovel Macdonald, was also a federal Cabinet minister.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Chapman Pincher, Fleet St. scoop specialist, dies at 100

 Chapman Pincher
Great obit by the New York Times' Douglas Martin:
Chapman Pincher was ballyhooed by his own newspaper, The London Daily Express, as the world’s greatest reporter, and he introduced himself as such. He insinuated himself into the murky world of spy chiefs, generals, politicians and royalty by taking them to lunch at a fine French restaurant, say, or joining them for pheasant hunting and salmon fishing.
His reward was 40 years of scoops about double agents, secret weapons and the inner workings of governments. In 1966, not bothering to wait four more years, his paper called him its reporter of the decade. His best tributes came perhaps from his enemies.
“Can nothing be done to suppress or get rid of Pincher?” Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote to his defense minister in 1959.
Link to the full obit

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Jack Fleishmann to leave CTV

Jack Fleishmann
CTV announced today that Jack Fleischmann, Vice-President, CTV News Channel, and General Manager, BNN, “will be departing from Bell Media to pursue new opportunities.”
Fleishmann joined BNN at its start and in 2012 took on the role of Vice President, CTV News Channel.
An announcement from CTV News President Wendy Freeman said “succession plans will be shared soon.”

Monday, August 4, 2014

When lightning hits file stand-up from water

Journalism profs used to make shy students cry by ordering them to do man-on-the-street interviews. It sorted out who was going to make it and who wasn't. Another convention, this one created by television, is the flood-water standup. Here is Travis Dhanraj of CP24 in what may his first such immersion.   

CNN correspondent Arwa Damon bit two medics in violent, drunken rage at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad: lawsuit

Two employees of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad are suing CNN and one of its senior international correspondents, Arwa Damon, claiming that she was "seriously intoxicated" and "unruly and violent" on July 19 when she allegedly bit them both as they provided her medical aid.
Charles Simons and Tracy Lamar, EMTs working for a private contractor in Baghdad, claim CNN has continued to employ the Emmy-award winning journalist despite her “history of becoming intoxicated and then abusive.”
The 36-year-old was “totally out of control” the day of the incident, forcing embassy staff to call the medics to calm the correspondent.
N.Y. Daily New story

Former W.H. press secretary James Brady, wounded in Reagan assassination attempt, dead at 73

James Brady
James Brady, the former White House press secretary wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, has died at the age of 73.
According to a statement issued by his family, Brady died Monday morning "after a series of health issues."
Brady suffered a head wound on March 30, 1981 outside the Washington Hilton Hotel when a gunman fired six bullets at Reagan. One bullet bounced off Reagan's limousine and wounded the president in the chest. A Secret Service agent and D.C. police officer were also wounded and survived.
Brady's wound left him partially paralyzed and his job as Reagan's press secretary was cut short. He retained the title, however, throughout Reagan's presidency.
More from CBC

Alison Uncles to Maclean's

Alison Uncles, who had been associate editor weekends and features at the Toronto Star, is joining Maclean's magazine as deputy editor, various Twitter feeds report. Uncles masterminded the recent Star World War I features and special pages.


Jon Filson to lead launch of Toronto Star’s tablet edition

Jon Filson will lead the launch of Toronto Star’s tablet edition.
Filson, who is the sports editor of the Star, will start his new role as assistant managing editor–tablet launch, on Aug. 11, according to a memo sent by managing editor Jane Davenport. J-Source reports.
“In the year ahead, the launch of a tablet edition as a major platform for our journalism will be a top priority,” she said in the memo. “Jon will be taking a leading role, working directly with me, to get our newsroom ready to take this step—likely at this time next year.”
His replacement as sports editor has not been named.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Vancouver's Bill Good and Philip Till retire

Long-time hosts Bill Good and Philip Till are retiring after nearly three decades with Vancouver’s CKNW radio station, j-Source reports.
Good, who is leaving broadcasting after 50 years in the business and 26 at CKNW, aired his last show on Aug. 1. Previously, he also worked at CBC in Vancouver, where his duties included hosting Hockey Night in Canada, as well as CFAX in Victoria and BCTV and CTV in Vancouver.
Meanwhile, Till retired after 25 years on July 31. Till hosted the three-hour morning news show for nearly 10 years. Prior to joining CKNW, he was a foreign correspondent with NBC News.
Replacements have not been named yet for either host.

Lianne George named editorial director of Chatelaine

Lianne George is the new editorial director of Chatelaine.
George was editor of The Grid until its parent company, Torstar, decided to cease publication last month. She will join the Roger’s-owned magazine as its editorial director on Aug. 20 and report to editor-in-chief Karine Ewart.
George has previously worked for Maclean's, Elle Canada and National Post. She is a graduate of the journalism program at Western University.

The lights are on, but nobody's home at Google

The big news in the Google Ontario budget today (Saturday, August 2, 2014) was that terrible crash of a car into the doors of a Costco in London, Ontario. It hit six and had led to the death of at least two. But that top tale as posted by Google is a Canadian Press story in the Vancouver Sun dated today which is actually more than a week old.  It has happened before from time to time and no one seems to know exactly why. It is especially alarming that the story in the Sun is dated today. Strange News, strange Google, strange CP. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

John Honderich, Craig Oliver named to News Hall of Fame

John Honderich, a lifelong newspaperman who is chair of the board of Torstar Corp., has been named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame.
He will share the honour this year with CTV reporter Craig Oliver, a veteran newsman who started with a CBC radio station in Prince Rupert, B.C., in 1957 and moved to CTV in 1972, where he ultimately became Ottawa bureau chief.

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