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 expos̩ 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 Рdubbed 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)

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