Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Legendary Buffalo news anchor Irv Weinstein has died

Irv Weinstein, 87, the legendary WKBW-TV anchor who used alliterative expressions like “pistol-packing punks” as the king of local television news in Buffalo for decades, died Tuesday morning in a Irvine, Calif., assisted living residence after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS.
Weinstein, who retired at age 68 in 1998 after 34 years at the ABC affiliate, announced in October 2016 that he was battling the neurodegenerative disease that quickly silenced his voice but not his spirit.
Full story

Friday, December 22, 2017

Jane Philpott warns journalists against 'sloppy' reporting

Excerpt from a CBC interview with Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott:
In the last month, Philpott has taken aim at at least four different news stories, including a couple published by CBC News and one from the Postmedia-owned Saskatoon StarPhoenix, in which she called a story by one of that newspaper's columnists "irresponsible reporting."
"When people aren't accurate, or they're sloppy in terms of printing old information or information they haven't fact-checked, I think, as a minister, it's important for me to get the facts out there ... perpetuating myths and misunderstandings about what's taking place in this day and age does a disservice. Communities are thriving, growing, taking on leadership roles and succeeding, we need to tell those stories," she said in a year-end interview with CBC News at her office in Gatineau, Que.
Full story

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Canadian TV providers being paid to carry Russian ‘propaganda machine’

Exclusive story by the Globe and Mail's Susan Krashinsky Robertson
"Some of the country's biggest television providers have been accepting payments from RT – the Kremlin-controlled news channel that is considered part of Russia's propaganda machine – in return for ensuring that it is widely available to Canadian households.
"The deals are unusual because they represent a reversal of the usual flow of money in the TV distribution business. In most cases, cable and satellite companies pay specialty television channels for the right to carry them, usually in the form of a monthly fee for every subscriber.
"But the Russian government is so intent on using RT to spread its point of view in foreign countries that it is willing to pay cable and satellite operators for the privilege, according to sources familiar with the agreements."
The full story

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ESPN president John Skipper resigns to deal with substance addiction

John Skipper, president of the sprawling ESPN sports network, said Monday that he is resigning to treat a substance abuse problem.
Skipper's sudden announcement will force the Walt Disney Co.-owned network to search for new leadership at a time of retrenchment, with the company losing subscribers due to cord-cutters and working to boost its digital output to follow the migration of young sports fans to their smartphones.
The 61-year-old executive, who has worked at ESPN since 1997 and has led the company since 2012, said he's struggled for many years with substance addiction but gave no details of his specific problem. He said he had concluded that now is the time to deal with it. (AP)

Monday, December 18, 2017

More staff cuts at CTV

A news release from Unifor, the union which represents on-air and broadcasting technicians at 17 local CTV stations, says that CTV Toronto sports reporting figures Joe Tilley and Lance Brown are among those laid off in a series of job cuts. Unifor says that as many as 50 jobs have been cut at 15 television stations across Canada. So far as is known, Bell Media has not yet announced or commented on this. The South Bayview Bulldog requested confirmation Thursday but has not had an answer. Others laid off according to Unifor are Ottawa CTV 2 hosts Melissa Lamb and Lianne Laing and BNN host Michael Kane. The union is critical of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission for granting Bell a five-year licence renewal in May of 2017 without requiring conditions related to what it calls “local presence.” (South Bayview Bulldog)

Friday, December 15, 2017

FCC deep sixes net neutrality rules in the U.S.

The Federal Communications Commission voted three to two to change the way "net neutrality" is governed.
Internet service providers (ISPs) will now be allowed to speed up or slow down different companies' data, and charge consumers according to the services they access.
But they must disclose such practices.
Ahead of the vote, protesters rallied outside the FCC's building to oppose the change.
Many argue the reversal of rules introduced under President Barack Obama will make the internet less open and accessible.
The decision is already facing legal challenges, with New York's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, announcing he will lead a lawsuit challenging the FCC's decision. (BBC)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stephen LeDrew permanently suspended from CityTV

As the Sun's Joe Warmington describes in his imitable prose:
"Stephen LeDrew was so sure he would be back on his popular CP24 Live at Noon show he had two special guests lined up for the day of his return following a one-week suspension.
"TTC boss Andy Byford and former foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay were booked. LeDrew had his coloured glasses and bow tie picked out.
The comeback didn’t happen. Instead, the former Toronto mayoral candidate said he was called into an office where “people were snarling at me.” It turns out the suspension for his appearance on Tucker Carlson’s FOX News program is not the only punishment.
“'I was fired,' said LeDrew. 'Fired for cause for violating our competition clause. Merry Christmas.'”

Globe columnist Gary Mason puzzled by firing of CBC Vancouver reporter

The Globe's Gary Mason writes about "the bewildering and troubling case" of former CBC reporter Richard Zussman.
Mason writes: "Mr. Zussman was recently fired for participating in a project not dissimilar to the one I embarked on a few decades earlier. He and Vancouver Sun reporter Rob Shaw collaborated on a book about the fall of B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark and the rise of the NDP under John Horgan. With a scheduled release date of next spring, the pair had little time to spend on research and writing. But their extensive contacts with those in key political circles made a very tight timeline possible."
Full column

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Niagara Region Council apologizes for seizing reporter's computer

The chief administrative officer of the Niagara Region issued a public apology for the inconvenience caused to a journalist by the seizure of his computer and notes during Thursday night's council meeting.
However, Carmen D'Angelo would not say the region made a mistake in taking the equipment from St. Catharines Standard reporter Bill Sawchuk, nor could he explain why he thought he had the legal power to make the seizure.
Sawchuk's equipment was confiscated by regional staff, who answer to D'Angelo, during a closed-door session of regional council. Regional clerk Frank Fabiano told Sawchuk that "someone" had accused the reporter of secretly recording the in-camera meeting.
Sawchuk was in the lobby of regional headquarters at the time, and his computer was on the media table inside the council chambers. He told Fabiano he was not recording the closed the session of council, but the computer and later his notes were taken anyway.
In a more than 30-minute-long interview with The Standard Friday, D'Angelo was asked 17 times what legislation grants the municipality the authority to take a reporter's notes and devices.
He did not answer the question once.
Full Hamilton Spectator story

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

PBS announces 'Amanpour' as interim replacement for Charlie Rose

"Amanpour," the acclaimed journalist's existing program on CNN International, will be aired by PBS stations "on an interim basis," the public broadcasting network said Monday.
The network said it is also "finalizing plans for a second public affairs program to follow 'Amanpour' on PBS in the 11:30pm half hour time slot, rounding out the hour."
PBS declined to say who will host or produce that program.
"Charlie Rose" was a staple of the PBS schedule for decades. The hour-long program was owned by Rose's production company and distributed to local PBS stations all across the country. Many stations scheduled it at 11 p.m.
The program was taped at Bloomberg TV headquarters and reaired by Bloomberg.
Now both PBS and Bloomberg have an opening. The networks severed ties with Rose after the Washington Post and other outlets reported on sexual harassment allegations in Rose's past. (CNN)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Maritime newspaper lovers pay to fly Globe and Mail east after delivery cancelled

Readers will pay $9.50 to pick up the Globe & Mail's Saturday edition, after it's flown from Toronto, the CBC reports.
More than 200 people in Halifax have agreed to pay for a copy of the Globe and Mail's Saturday edition to be loaded on a plane and flown for same-day delivery in Halifax. In August, the Globe announced it would no longer distribute to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island or Nova Scotia. Distribution stopped to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2013.
The newspaper has promised to invest in East Coast content which would be available online, but that's not good enough for many hard-copy readers.
Link to CBC story

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Stephen LeDrew suspended for a week

CP24’s Live at Noon host Stephen LeDrew has been suspended by network owner Bell Media because he appeared this week on Fox News as a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show.
“I can confirm that Stephen LeDrew has been suspended from CP24 for one week as the result of his violation of the CTV News Policy and Code of Conduct,” said Scott Henderson, Bell Media vice-president of communications, who did not elaborate, or comment further, on the reason.
But LeDrew said the suspension was for being on Carlson’s show, which his superiors explained was appearing on the “competition.”

Barrie Mc Kenna claims that CBC’s digital shift is helping to kill local news outlets

"A more obvious culprit is the Liberal government's tacit endorsement of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s aggressive and expensive "digital shift," which has put the CBC into direct competition with the country's besieged newspapers for online readers and advertising.
"The CBC is now among Canada's largest news websites, offering national, regional and local news in the same markets served by the main Canadian newspapers. And it wants to become even more dominant online.
"'Our digital shift allows us to extend our reach even further and position ourselves as the public space for all Canadians,' CBC president and chief executive Hubert Lacroix says in the Crown corporation's most recent annual report."
Full column

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Supreme Court agrees to hear Vice Media case about press freedoms

The Supreme Court of Canada agreed on Thursday to weigh in on a case in which the ability of journalists to do their work conflicts with the ability of police and prosecutors to do theirs.The court’s decision to grant Vice Media leave to appeal follows a ruling by Ontario's highest court that reporter Ben Makuch turn over background materials to the RCMP related to interviews he did with a suspected terrorist.
The materials at issue relate to three stories Makuch wrote in 2014 on a Calgary man, Farah Shirdon, 22, charged in absentia with various terrorism-related offences. The articles were largely based on conversations Makuch had with Shirdon, who was said to be in Iraq, via the online instant messaging app Kik Messenger.
With court permission, RCMP sought access to Makuch's screen captures and logs of those chats. Makuch refused to hand them over.RCMP and the Crown argued successfully at two levels of court that access to the chat logs were essential to the ongoing investigation into Shirdon, who may or may not be dead. They maintained that journalists have no special rights to withhold crucial information. (CP)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

John Doyle about the Matt Lauer firing

John Doyle writes:
"Television fame often makes people delusional. It makes people who talk about themselves on the air feel terrifically important. Fame and recognition on the street adds to the hubris, to the delusion that the TV star is a really, really interesting person. Add in the entitlements that come with TV stardom – there's always a limo to take you to the studio and an assistant to get your coffee just the way you like it – and hauteur flourishes. Common sense fades away. Some people start believing their power as a focal point for a popular TV show makes them untouchable. Given the number of men revealed to have behaved inappropriately, it seems men are particularly susceptible."
The full column

Monday, November 27, 2017

Postmedia to close community newspapers in Stratford, London, St. Thomas

A deal between media giants Postmedia and Torstar will result in the closing of many community newspapers, the CBC reports.
In this region, Our London will be closed, as will the St. Mary's Journal-Argus, the St. Mary's Weekender, the St. Thomas/Elgin Weekly News and the Stratford City Gazette.
The St. Mary's Journal-Argus has been publishing since the mid 1850s.
"This transaction allows Postmedia to focus on strategic areas and core products, and allows us to continue with a suite of community-based products, in a deeply disrupted industry," said Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey in a statement.
Torstar bought eight community publications, seven daily newspapers and two free dailies from Postmedia.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

TIME Inc. sold to Meredith and Koch brothers

Media company Meredith announced Sunday that it has agreed to buy the 95-year-old magazine's publisher, Time Inc., for $2.8 billion. Acquiring the legendary magazine business gives Meredith control of dozens of other big titles such as People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Entertainment Weekly. Meredith already publishes several top magazines, including Parents, Shape and Better Homes & Gardens. The two media companies are worth roughly the same on the stock market. To finance the deal, Iowa-based Meredith is taking on some serious debt, borrowing about $3.6 billion from an assortment of lenders. It also plans to sell a sizable chunk of the combined business -- $650 million worth -- to a company owned by Charles and David Koch. The Koch brothers are mega-donors to the Republican party and conservative causes.  
Meredith said in a statement that the Koch brothers will not have seats on the board "and will have no influence on Meredith's editorial or managerial operations." The company said the Koch brothers' investment underscores the significant "unlocked value" from the merger. (CNN)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Amanda Lang rejoining CTV and BNN

Amanda Lang will rejoin Business News Network (BNN) in January 2018, CTV announced today. In addition, Lang will  contribute to a number of Bell Media programs including CTV News and iHeartRadio, the announcement said.
Lang has been covering business news in North America for 20 years. She started her journalism career at The Globe and Mail and then the National Post. As New York correspondent, she was a key part of the team that launched BNN's predecessor, ROBTV, in 1999. She then moved over to  CNN as a reporter and anchor.
Media release

Saturday, November 18, 2017

CTV thrashing sports at local stations

A news release from Unifor, the union which represents on-air and broadcasting technicians at 17 local CTV stations, says that CTV Toronto sports reporting figures Joe Tilley and Lance Brown are among those laid off in a series of job cuts. Unifor says that as many as 50 jobs have been cut at 15 television stations across Canada. So far as is known, Bell Media has not yet announced or commented on this. The South Bayview Bulldog requested confirmation Thursday but has not had an answer. Others laid off according to Unifor are Ottawa CTV 2 hosts Melissa Lamb and Lianne Laing and BNN host Michael Kane. The union is critical of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission for granting Bell a five-year licence renewal in May of 2017 without requiring conditions related to what it calls “local presence.”  CTV News Toronto Sports said to be close to end of road. (Courtesy Bayview Bulldog)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

CBC "comfortable" with ratings of The National; livestreaming up 90 per cent

Bill Brioux of The Canadian Press writes:
The CBC says it’s “comfortable” with the early buzz for its revamped The National, even though the debut newscast’s ratings were only on par with the kind of numbers Peter Mansbridge used to draw.
And they’ve slipped since last Monday’s first broadcast.
"On a randomly chosen Monday night in January, when Mansbridge was still anchor, The National on the main network had an estimated audience of 734,000 viewers during the first half-hour of the show, dropping to 584,000 viewers in the second half.
"For the debut of the new National — now hosted by Ian Hanomansing, Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton and Andrew Chang — 739,000 viewers were tuned in for the first 30 minutes on CBC, while 601,000 were still watching for the second half.
"But subsequent nights saw ratings peak between the high 300,000 to low 600,000 range.
"Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News, says the network is 'comfortable with the audience numbers and the anecdotal reaction to the program so far.'”
Full story

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Koch brothers reported poised to buy TIME Magazine

The New York Times reports that Time Inc. is said to be in talks to sell itself to the Meredith Corporation, in a deal backed by Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers known for supporting conservative causes.
Talks between Time Inc., the publisher of Time and People, and Meredith, the publisher of Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens, fizzled this year. The new round of negotiations, motivated by the surprise entry of the Kochs, could lead to a quick deal, according to people involved in the discussions.
The Kochs have tentatively agreed to back Meredith’s offer with an equity injection of more than $500 million, the people with knowledge of the talks said. A spokesman for the brothers’ business, Koch Industries, declined to comment on Wednesday

John Doyle chimes in on Facebook; sticks to his assessment

John Doyle Seems to me you agree with my assessment while dismissing it. My column did say that 4 top people are being misused in this format. And pls remember I speak for the readers, not CBC insiders. CBC had about 12 months notice Mansbridge was leaving and spent a further several months on this version. How long they need, how many years? And with respect the focus of producers and new-ideas people is not of interest to bewildered, frustrated viewers who want coherence from a service they support with their tax dollars. If it's an experiment then tell the viewers that.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust award winners announced

The  Globe's Brad Wheeler reports:
"Dr. James Maskalyk's Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine is the winner of this year's Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
"The announcement was made on Tuesday at the Writers' Trust Awards ceremony at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio, where seven awards and more than $260,000 in prize purses were presented to writers across the country.
"The memoir from Dr. Maskalyk was drawn from his experience at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and Black Lion Hospital in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. The jury praised the work for revealing the "compelling universal truths about the power, and limits, of medicine, the strength of human will, and the fragile, infinitesimal gap between dying and living."
"The ER physician and author takes home the Trust's richest prize, $60,000, while the other four finalists (including Tanya Talaga, Ivan Coyote, Kyo Maclear and CBC Radio's Carol Off) receive $5,000."

Friday, November 10, 2017

Come back Pastor Mansbridge says the Globe's John Doyle

The Globe and Mail's John Doyle doesn't like the new CBC National either. An excerpt from his column:
"Outside of this bizarre format, these are superb journalists. Barton is excellent in political interviews. Hanomansing is a superb news announcer. Arsenault is a great TV reporter and Chang is a lively, personable TV news guy. But nobody's strength is being used in this hallucinogenic, harebrained version of a newscast.
"Maybe it's some kind of homage to Max Headroom. A few of you will remember Max Headroom, an artificial intelligence TV character from the 1980s. In a nutshell, Max was a head-and-shoulders TV figure that floated around the screen, disconnected from the studio and from reality. Eerily and uncannily just there, floating. That's your four hosts of The National now. Regrettably, the gimmick makes them all look like Pez dispenser heads.
"Seriously. It's perfectly possible some CBC honcho got high, saw this ad for personalized Pez dispenser heads (they're surprisingly affordable) and had a eureka moment. Wouldn't be surprised. This news program is so high it's on the moon."
John Doyle's full column

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Moose Jaw Times-Herald to publish last issue Dec. 7

The Moose Jaw Times-Herald will publish its last issue on Dec. 7, after more than a century of publishing.
Roger Holmes, the president of Star News Publishing Inc., which owns the paper and several others in the province, confirmed the news Wednesday afternoon.
Holmes said Star News will also stop publishing content on the paper's website, mjtimes.sk.ca, on Dec. 7.
The decision affects about 25 employees. (CBC)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Paul Adams in iPolitics on the new CBC National

Paul Adams writes:
"No newscast can be judged by its first edition. CBC-TV’s The National re-launched last night with a fleet of new anchors, cool, modern-looking graphics — and the usual first-night glitches.
"However, its character will be defined not just by the months of planning that went into Night One but the reaction of audiences (and perhaps even critics), intense rounds of internal self-examination, and the thousands upon thousands of decisions, big and small, made by scores of reporters and producers night after night after night.
"Still, this first newscast gives us a glimpse of what CBC’s news service hopes will be its future. There are at least three goals that we know about at work behind the new National. The first is to reimagine what a flagship nightly newscast should be in an age when we are bombarded by news daily from the moment we wake up. The second is to weave The National brand through the CBC’s burgeoning news platforms. And the third is to attract new audiences, particularly among the young."
The whole story

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Canadian Media Guild frustrated with Corus

CMG this message on Facebook:
"CMG members work in operations on the TV side at Corus and have been trying to negotiate a collective agreement with the company since March.
"We’re looking for an agreement that respects workers at Corus Entertainment and treats employees fairly.
"Instead, Corus is only pretending to negotiate after taking away some of our co-workers’ benefits – as if to punish people for voting in the union. That's wrong. And it goes against the values that Corus pretends to uphold."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

National NewsMedia Council launches industry survey on practice of ‘de-indexing’

The National NewsMedia Council is seeking input from Canadian editors, publishers, and journalists, from coast to coast to coast, on the emerging issue of ‘deindexing’.
Our reason for undertaking this survey project is pressing: over the past few months, we have received several complaints from members of the public who, for various reasons, have requested that news organizations remove individual news articles from online search engines. Given the rapid pace, impact, and long-life of digital news, (our organization recognizes) the need to better understand how these kinds of requests are addressed within newsrooms before we can develop an effective set of suggestions for the industry. To be clear - our objective for this survey is not to assess individual newsroom practices but to learn about deindexing requests in Canadian newsrooms.
Deindexing, which is sometimes referred to as ‘delinking’ or ‘delisting’, is the process of removing a webpage from a search engine’s results. It is often carried out by adding a piece of code to the webpage that “tells” the search engine not to include the page in its search results. Deindexing differs, it should be noted, from unpublishing or taking down pages. A deindexed page, for example, still exists on a publication’s website but cannot be found via search engines.
Preliminary research indicates that newsrooms are receiving an influx of requests from readers to remove or deindex news articles from search engines.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Toronto police daily newscast will provide ‘unfiltered’ information

The Star's Wendy Gillis writes:
"The Toronto Police Service is dabbling in the news industry, launching a short weekday newscast as part of what it calls an ongoing effort to communicate with the public and officers alike.
"Starting Thursday, the force will broadcast a three-minute newscast to 'talk about what we do here at the Toronto police directly and unfiltered,' according to a promotional video the service released this week. The show will 'air' on YouTube and its social media networks at 10 a.m. each weekday.
Meaghan Gray, spokesperson for the Toronto police, said Wednesday that the show is a natural progression from some of the existing communication initiatives, including their website and social media accounts.

Monday, October 30, 2017

How Europe fights fake news

Anya Shiffrin writes in the Columbia Journalism Review:
"This month, a new law against hate speech will go into effect in Germany, fining Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media companies up to €50 million if they fail to take down illegal content from their sites within 24 hours of being notified. For more ambiguous content, companies will have seven days to decide whether to block the posts.
"The rule is Germany’s attempt to fight hate speech and fake news, both of which have risen online since the arrival of more than a million refugees in the last two years.
"Germany isn’t alone in its determination to crack down on these kinds of posts. For the past year, most of Europe has been in an intense and fascinating debate about how to regulate, who should regulate, and even whether to regulate illegal and defamatory online content."
Full story

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Steve Ladurantaye won’t return as managing editor of CBC’s The National

The former managing editor of The National, who was reassigned in the wake of a cultural appropriation controversy, will not be returning to the CBC’s flagship news program, The Canadian Press reports.
Steve Ladurantaye was reassigned in May for what the public broadcaster called “an inappropriate, insensitive and frankly unacceptable tweet” he made as part of a controversial online debate over cultural appropriation.
At the time, the CBC said Ladurantaye had been reassigned to work on digital “storytelling strategies” and added that he would reach out to Indigenous communities “as part of his learning process.”
In a memo to staff, CBC News editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire also said Ladurantaye’s future with The National would be reassessed in the fall.
On Wednesday, McGuire said Ladurantaye “won’t be going back to The National.”
She said Ladurantaye is now the managing editor of the CBC’s “content verticals,” which include the business, health and arts units.
Full Canaiian Press story

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fashion photog Terry Richardson dropped by brands over allegations of abuse on shoots

Hannah Ellis-Petersen of the Guardian writes:
"A string of fashion magazines and brands have said they will no longer work with the photographer Terry Richardson, who has been the subject of allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour at photoshoots for almost two decades.
"News that the fashion houses Valentino and Bulgari would stop commissioning Richardson, known for his often explicit material, came shortly after a decision to drop him by Condé Nast, the publisher of the glossy magazines Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ.
"Richardson is one of the most successful photographers in the world. His trademark style is highly sexualised and he often appears naked in pictures alongside his subjects. Despite years of allegations about his behaviour, he has photographed everyone from Barack Obama to Oprah Winfrey and Kate Moss, and has directed music videos such as Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball and Beyoncé’s XO."
Full story

A new TV show, Political Blind Date, sends Canadian politicians — who are at odds over issues such as marijuana or transit — out on a ‘date’ to see if they can find common ground

The Star's Alex Ballingall writes:
"Blind dates are by definition risky, with so many looming questions, but a new TV show promises to raise the stakes even higher by hooking up opposing politicians who already disagree on a big public issue.
Political Blind Date debuts Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. on TVO and tvo.org . The six-episode first season features politicians from all levels of government who take each other on outings in an effort to bolster their perspective on a given issue.
"The first episode matches Conservative MP Garnett Genuis and Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who travel to a weed dispensary and an industrial marijuana factory as they continuously bicker about the Trudeau government’s plan to legalize the drug."
The story

Former CTV broadcaster Steve Vogelsang accused of robbing 2 Alberta banks

Former Winnipeg broadcast personality and Red River College journalism instructor Steve Vogelsang has been charged with two counts of robbery involving two separate banks in Alberta.
The 53-year-old was the news director and longtime sports anchor at CKY, now known as CTV Winnipeg, beginning in the early 1990s. He became a journalism instructor at Red River College in 2002 and resigned in 2011. (CBC)
CBC story

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Young subscribers flock to old media: Politico

Politico's Jason Schwartz writes:
"As President Donald Trump wages daily war against the press, millennials are subscribing to legacy news publications in record numbers—and at a growth rate, data suggests, far outpacing any other age group.
"Since November's election, the New Yorker, for instance, has seen its number of new millennial subscribers more than double from over the same period a year earlier. According to the magazine's figures, it has 106 percent more new subscribers in the 18-34 age range and 129 percent more from 25-34.
"The Atlantic has a similar story: since the election, its number of new subscribers aged 18-24 jumped 130 percent for print and digital subscriptions combined over the same period a year earlier, while 18-44 went up 70 percent."
Full story 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Avery Haines leaves CITY-TV to join W5

W5's Kevin Newman posted on social media:
"I am very excited to share that Avery Haines will be joining W5 starting tomorrow as a correspondent. We've only met a few times as she considered our offer, but I know our viewers and team will take to her immediately. She is a brave and brazen foreign correspondent, the kind of broadcaster who connects to her audience, and incredibly humble and fun to work alongside. I've rarely met someone I've clicked with as quickly and admired so thoroughly. She will be missed at CITY-TV, where she was adored, but the chance to explore long form and investigative journalism was the challenge she was looking for. I know Avery will be a strong addition to W5."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Former cabinet minister, broadcaster, environmentalist, and author Rafe Mair dies

Charlie Smith writes in "Straight:"
"A legendary B.C. broadcaster and environmental crusader has passed away at the age of 85.
"Rafe Mair wore many hats in his lifetime. Born and raised in Vancouver, he became a lawyer after graduating from the UBC law school, practising in Vancouver until 1968.
"That's when he moved to Kamloops, where he was elected as a Social Credit MLA in 1975 when the right-wing party came roaring back into power under its new leader, Bill Bennett.
"Mair held several cabinet posts, including health, environment, and constitutional affairs. In 1981, he suddenly quit to become a talk-show host on CJOR Radio, which was owned by Jimmy Pattison.
"When Mair's soaring ratings started eating into "Top Dog" CKNW's audience, he was snapped up by the rival station. He spent 19 years on the air with CKNW but was fired even though his audience numbers were exceptionally high."

Friday, October 6, 2017

Young Japanese reporter works herself to death, dies with cellphone in her hand

A young journalist’s gruelling work schedule — including a single month with 159 hours of overtime and just two days off — triggered the heart failure that killed her at age 31, Japanese labour regulators ruled.
Authorities officially attributed Miwa Sado’s death to “karoshi” — the Japanese word for a death due to overwork — according to information released this week by NHK, the public broadcaster that employed her.
Sado, a political reporter, had been covering elections for Tokyo’s government and the national parliament in the months leading up to her death in 2013. She died three days after the elections for Japan’s upper house.
NHK had not released information that regulators had compiled about the death until this week. (Washington Post)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Google ending paywall policy for digital news; publishers to decide how many stories will be free

The Globe and Mail's Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes:
"Google Inc. is ending a decade-old policy that asked publishers to open up their paywalls to Google News users, or see their traffic from the search giant drop. And it is announcing that it will work with publishers to help them promote their digital subscriptions.
"The shift comes as the digital giants are facing pressure over their dominance of the information ecosystem online. Both Google and Facebook Inc. have in recent months announced initiatives to promote journalism and to work more collaboratively with news publishers. Google's policy, known as 'first click free,' mandated that publishers with subscription-based websites must allow users clicking on links in Google News to bypass their paywalls on a minimum number of articles each day. Those who did not participate saw their Google News listings ranked lower. It will now replace 'first click free' with what it calls 'flexible sampling,' which will allow publishers to decide how many stories Google News users can read for free before being asked to subscribe. The change is based on tests Google did with the Financial Times and the New York Times."
Full story

Friday, September 29, 2017

AP's Richard Pyle dead at 83

Richard Pyle, whose long and accomplished Associated Press career spanned the globe and a half-century of crisis, war, catastrophe and indelible moments in news reporting, died Thursday at age 83.
He died at a hospital of respiratory failure due to lung fibrosis and obstructive lung disease, said his wife, actress-writer Brenda Smiley.
AP obit

Thursday, September 28, 2017

No bailout for ailing media outlets, Ottawa says

The Star's Bruce Campion-Smith writes that Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly took the wraps off the Liberal government’s vision for culture in Canada, laying out in broad strokes a road map for everything from onscreen productions, poetry and books and the fate of small-town newspapers.
Good journalism is “critical” to democracy but she said Ottawa won’t bail out media models “that are no longer viable.”
“We start from the premise that this is a shared responsibility between government at all levels, the private sector and civil society,” she said.
She said that “reliable” journalism is “critical” to a health democracy and that any government measures must respect journalistic independence.
“Our approach will not be to bail out industry models that are no longer viable. Rather, we will focus our efforts on supporting innovation, experimentation and transition to digital,” Joly said.
Full Star story

Saturday, September 23, 2017

TVO's newly expanded team of journalists will report from communities around the province

TVO will open four hubs to provide on-the-ground coverage in different regions of Ontario. Journalists Jon Thompson and Mary Baxter in our hubs in Thunder Bay and London, respectively, have already started producing articles. We’ve also hired a field producer, Jeyan Jeganathan, to file video stories from across the province. We’ll announce the location of two additional hubs this fall.
Each hub will be partnered with a local postsecondary institution, so we can provide internship opportunities and help nurture the next generation of Canadian journalists. We have already partnered with Confederation College in Thunder Bay and Western University in London. (TVO Web page)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New York deli owner doubles as Egyptian TV commentator from backroom studio

By Sarah Maslin Nir of the New York Times
Every other day or so, Hatem El-Gamasy connects to a news audience nearly halfway around the world, delivering hot takes on American politics, live from New York, but on Egyptian television.
When the broadcast ends, he slips out his earpieces, opens the door of his makeshift studio and returns to his day job.
“You want ketchup on that?” he said to a customer on a recent morning. “Extra ketchup as usual?”
Mr. El-Gamasy owns the Lotus Deli in Ridgewood, Queens, a place known for its sandwiches, extensive craft beer selection, and its gracious, friendly owner. But few of his customers — and likely, none of his viewers in Egypt — know that the man making egg sandwiches and small talk behind the counter is the same one who appears on popular Egyptian television news programs, holding forth on subjects from immigration policy to North Korea.
Nor do many know that his television studio is actually a converted room in the back, past the potato chips display.
Full story

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Literary Review of Canada replaces publisher Helen Walsh

The Star's Deborah Dundas writes:
"Turrmoil in the publishing industry appears to be affecting one of Canada’s most highly regarded literary magazines.
"The Literary Review of Canada sent an email to supporters saying it was undergoing a “period of transition.” Publisher Helen Walsh is leaving and being replaced in the interim by board member Mark Lovewell.
"While the email was short on details, it did say the LRC 'is launching a comprehensive strategic review and fundraising campaign to chart a course for the long-term outlook of the magazine.'
"The email came from the editor-in-chief, Sarmishta Subramanian, who would not provide any further comment when requested.
"Subramanian was named editor of the LRC in 2016, coming from a position as a managing editor at Maclean’s magazine. She replaced Bronwyn Drainie, a former CBC host and literary journalist who was with the magazine from 2003."

National Post staff announce union drive at Postmedia’s flagship paper

Editorial staff at the National Post announced Wednesday that they are beginning a union drive with CWA Canada, Global TV reports. The paper’s beleaguered parent company Postmedia, which has suffered steep revenue declines affecting the entire print media industry, offered buyouts last week, just months after completing a company-wide salary cost reduction of twenty per cent.
“It has been a year of unprecedented events, of things we once thought were beyond the realm of possibility,” said the union drive’s organizers, in a playful nod to the paper’s conservative editorial bent that has often been critical of Canada’s labour movement. “A reality television star is president of the United States. Ontario’s liquor control board is planning to sell marijuana. And the National Post is unionizing.”
Full Global News story

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Arnold Amber memorial on September 24

Arnold's daughter  Jeannine writes that a memorial will be held at 2  p.m. on September 24 in the Imperial Room of the Royal York Hotel.

Globe and Mail obituary by Fred Langan

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Globe and Mail to tap into online data to help reshape daily newspaper

The Globe and Mail is putting more faith in algorithms as part of a newspaper redesign that’s influenced by what’s trending on its website.
A print revamp that launches Dec. 1 will incorporate news and topics that already have a proven track record with readers online, publisher Phillip Crawley said in an interview with CP on Tuesday.
Editors will ultimately decide which stories land in the paper, but their choices will be informed by what the Globe’s internal tracking systems have tabulated online.
"Instinct of an experienced editor … can’t ever be substituted, but when you’ve got data which constantly feeds and gives you great clarity, there will be great surprises.”
It’s part of a larger overhaul of the Globe’s newspaper that will see its weekday sections reduced to two: News and Report on Business. Stories from Sports will appear in Report on Business while Life and Arts will be folded into the News section. (CP)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Pulitzer-prize-winning New York Daily News was just bought — for $1

Tronc Inc., owner of newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune, agreed to pay $1 and assume pensions and liabilities for the New York Daily News and NYDailyNews.com to expand its digital business and add coverage of the biggest media market in the U.S.
Chicago-based Tronc assumed operational and pension liabilities for the New York Daily News in a deal that includes 100 per cent ownership of the New York newspaper’s printing facility in New Jersey, Tronc said in a statement late Monday. The pensions and liabilities Tronc is accepting under the deal total more than $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because financial terms are confidential.
Acquisition of the almost 100-year-old paper marks the highest-profile media deal for Tronc Chairman Michael Ferro, a former software entrepreneur and investor, since he bought into the company last year through his Merrick Ventures LLC. The newspaper group will now operate in 10 major U.S. markets and have more than 80 million unique monthly digital visitors, it said in the statement. (Bloomberg)

New CRTC chief will face several unusual issues

Here are three out-of-the-ordinary files Ian Scott will have to deal when he starts his job as head of the CRTC today writes Christine Dobby, the Globe's Telecom reporter:
-A new model for cheaper wireless service?
-Bell's Super Bowl ads Hail Mary
-A test of support for original Canadian programming
The full story

Monday, September 4, 2017

Arnold Amber has died

Arnold Amber
Longtime CBC producer Arnold Amber has died at age 77, his family has announced. He had two strokes during the summer and also suffered from cancer. Arnold was a long-time producer of CBC election coverage and of many specials and was a major figure in the Canadian Media Guild.
A tribute to Arnold Amber from the CMG's Lise Lareau.
CBC obit

The face of North Korean TV: The emotional news anchor who announced the nuclear test

The announcement that North Korea had carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, fell, almost inevitably, to Ri Chun-hee.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Mrs Ri has been reading the news on North Korean state television since 1971 and appeared on Sunday to announce the regime's latest military breakthrough.
In front of a backdrop of Mt Paektu, the dormant volcano on the Chinese border that is the fount of Korean nationhood, she trembled with excitement, smiling broadly as she pronounced the test's "perfect success".Mrs Ri's appearance was the latest landmark in a remarkable TV career. She is believed to be 73-years-old.
The full story

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Canadian Press marks 100 years

CP's John Ward writes:
The Canadian Press, the national news service that was created during the First World War to bring home stories from the European front — and went on to become the country's go-to, real-time source — turned 100 Friday.
But even dedicated news junkies might not know where to send a birthday card.
Described by some scholars as a cornerstone of Canadian history, CP remains a mystery to many, a low-profile but central part of the news landscape. Its news stories, photos, videos and radio broadcasts, in both official languages, appear in almost every media outlet in the country, yet readers or listeners are often unaware of their source.
The agency was established in 1917 by an Act of Parliament, as newspaper publishers looked to share stories across a massive, thinly populated country. With the war raging in Europe, Canadians were hungry to hear about their troops. Coverage of the Canadian military has remained a top priority for CP, the only news outlet to have a reporter stationed in Afghanistan throughout the duration of that conflict.
As it grew into a non-profit co-operative owned collectively by member newspapers across Canada,
Full story

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Globe And Mail axes Tabatha Southey, Leah McLaren: Canadaland

Ahead of a major overhaul of the paper coming later this year, The Globe and Mail has let go of “a number of” longtime, high-profile freelance columnists, including Tabatha Southey and Leah McLaren, Canadaland reports.
Link to full story -- worth a read!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Man acquitted in impaired driving case after York Region police let news crew film him

The Star's Jacques Gallant writes:
A man was acquitted of a drunk driving charge after a Newmarket judge found his rights were violated when police allowed a TV camera operator to film him giving breath samples and speaking to a lawyer on the phone.
Ontario Court Judge David Rose wrote that there was no evidence to suggest York Regional Police placed any restrictions on a Global News TV crew on the night in question in 2016 after approving their presence at a RIDE check in Richmond Hill.
Concluded that Kunal Gautam’s rights to counsel and to be free from unreasonable search and seizure were infringed, Rose threw out the breath samples and acquitted him.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sarah Palin’s lawsuit against New York Times thrown out

A federal judge on Tuesday tossed out a defamation lawsuit by Sarah Palin against The New York Times, saying the former Alaska governor failed to show the newspaper knew it was publishing false statements in an editorial before quickly correcting them.
The written ruling by Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the lawsuit seeking unspecified damages “fails on its face to adequately allege actual malice.”
“What we have here is an editorial, written and rewritten rapidly in order to voice an opinion on an immediate event of importance, in which are included a few factual inaccuracies somewhat pertaining to Mrs. Palin that are very rapidly corrected,” the judge said. “Negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not.” (AP)

Globe and Mail cutting weekday Arts, Life, Sports sections: Canadaland says

The Globe and Mail plans to reduce the number of sections in its weekday print product starting in December, CANADALAND has learned. News and Report on Business would survive as standalone sections, with Life & Arts coverage folded into the former and Sports into the latter, as part of a larger redesign of the paper.
Final details remain undecided, but several sources connected to the paper expressed concern that the changes would result in a net loss of arts coverage.
While the impact on Monday-Thursday arts content would likely be minimal — given the limited space that it currently occupies — the loss of the standalone Film section published on Fridays in the Greater Toronto Area would be more difficult to offset elsewhere in the paper. Deadlines, however, would be later for “A” section content, allowing for more timely arts news and reviews.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Village Voice wasn’t a victim of the internet but of greed: Michael Hollett

NOW mag's founder Michael Hollett's piece in the Star about the Village Voice (except):
"The Voice got in a bloody battle with the cowboys at the hugely successful Phoenix-based weekly, the New Times. The New Times were more loud mouth libertarians than liberals, prepared for a death match for alt-media supremacy. Both companies and their backers were committed to buying as many alt weeklies as they could.
"The fight between the Voice and the New Times ripped the heart out of the alt weekly world. When we should have been savoring the glory years before the internet’s assault on our young readers, we were consumed by which of the two companies was courting us.
"The once anti-monopoly, anti-mainstream media were lining up to be consumed. After the late ’90s crash, the two companies pushed the limits of U.S. antitrust laws, agreeing to shut down competing papers in shared markets."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mike Duffy suing the Senate and RCMP, seeking over $7.8 million in damages

Sen. Mike Duffy is suing the Senate and the RCMP for the way they handled accusations about his expenses, seeking more than $7.8 million for loss of income and benefits and damage to his reputation.
Duffy filed a claim in Ontario Superior Court on Thursday that alleges his 2013 suspension by the Senate was unconstitutional and that the RCMP were negligent in their investigation.
In a statement, Duffy said he and his family suffered stress and serious financial damage and that his lawsuit is as much about the future as it is about the past.
“My civil action raises questions which go to the heart of our democracy,” he said.
Duffy’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said the Senate overstepped its bounds when it took the unprecedented step to suspend Duffy. Greenspon said the decision was tantamount to an expulsion.
The claim alleges the RCMP failed to give Duffy a fair chance to respond to the allegations he faced and appeared to ignore evidence that would have proved his innocence.
The Senate must now file a statement of defence to respond to Duffy’s claims as part of a legal process that could take from two to five years, depending on whether the case goes to trial or settles out of court. (CP)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ESPN pulls broadcaster Robert Lee from Virginia football game over ‘name coincidence’

ESPN has removed an announcer from its broadcast of the University of Virginia’s first football game next month because he has the same name as a Confederate general memorialized in statues that are being taken down across the country, the New York Times reports.
The network announced late Tuesday that the announcer, Robert Lee, a part-time employee who calls about a dozen college football games a year for ESPN, would no longer participate in the broadcast of the Sept. 2 game in Charlottesville, Virginia, which became the centre of violent clashes this month during a white supremacist gathering.
Lee, whose full-time job is at a payroll services company in Albany, New York, started announcing games for ESPN and its other networks last fall, according to his LinkedIn page. For the past 17 years, he has also announced men’s basketball games for Siena College in Albany. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1999 with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

After more than half a century, The Village Voice is closing its print edition

Benjamin Mullin writes on the Poynter site:
"The Village Voice, a storied progressive alt-weekly that has watchdogged New York's political and business classes for more than half a century, is ending its print edition, its owner announced Tuesday afternoon.
The announcement is a symbolic blow for alternative weeklies across the United States, which have endured successive cuts and closures in recent years as print advertising revenue has dried up. The Village Voice, founded in 1955, is regarded as one of the first alt-weeklies and counts among its alumni crusading journalists and literary authors such as Wayne Barrett and Norman Mailer.
"In a statement, Village Voice owner Peter Barbey said that The Village Voice's website will remain intact and that The Voice 'plans to maintain its iconic progressive brand with its digital platform and a variety of new editorial initiatives and a full slate of events that will include The Obie Awards and The Pride Awards.'"
Full story

Boris Spremo dead at 81

The legendary Star photographer has died of cancer according to his family.
Spremo worked at the Star for 34 years, and won 285 national and international photojournalism awards over a storied career.

Shakeup at L.A. Times

L.A. Times reporter Meg James writes about her own paper:
"In a dramatic shake-up at the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago-based parent company has installed new leadership and plans to invest more resources in the news organization to move it more quickly into the digital age.
"Ross Levinsohn, 54, a veteran media executive who worked at Fox and served as interim chief of Yahoo, was named publisher and chief executive of the 135-year-old news organization. The move was announced Monday by Justin C. Dearborn, chief executive of Tronc, the parent company of The "Times and eight other daily newspapers.
Jim Kirk, 52, a veteran Chicago news executive, who was publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times until last week, was named interim executive editor of The Times.
"The two men replace Davan Maharaj, who served as both editor and publisher since March 2016. Maharaj was terminated Monday morning, along with three senior editors: Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, Deputy Managing Editor for Digital Megan Garvey and Assistant Managing Editor of Investigations Matt Doig.
"Levinsohn becomes The Times’ 17th publisher and the fifth in the last decade. He has spent more than 20 years in media — though never in newspapers. He said he’s excited to take on such an important assignment."

Friday, August 18, 2017

How ‘bold’ will Mélanie Joly’s broadcasting policy be? Globe column

The Globe and Mail's Konrad Yakabuski writes:
I"n 21 months as Canada's Heritage Minister, Mélanie Joly has become known for saying as little as possible in as many words as possible. She always seems to be playing for time, despite insisting that she's hard at work crafting a Canadian cultural policy revolution for the digital age.
"Ms. Joly will have one last chance to reverse that impression when, next month, she finally unveils her plan to help Canada's struggling private broadcasters stay afloat all while answering calls from local creators for more funding to help them produce domestic programming.
"'It is important to have a strong cultural sector in the country,' Ms. Joly said this week in a typically empty statement. 'We have to be bold.'"
The full column

Bloomberg TV Canada ends in-house shows and cuts 22 jobs

Bloomberg TV Canada is eliminating its two original in-house Canadian business programs, including its marquee evening interview show, in a move that sees more than 20 people lose their jobs, the Globe and Mail reports.
The about-turn for Bloomberg TV Canada comes roughly 19 months after the station's high-profile roll-out that saw it snag anchors such as Amanda Lang, formerly of the CBC, and Pat Kiernan, a well-known Canadian-born but New York-based TV personality.
Twenty-two people involved in making two in-house shows will lose their jobs as a result.
Full story

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ottawa asks CRTC to reconsider rulings on investment in Canadian content

The Globe's Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes:
"In a rare move, Ottawa has referred a number of TV licence renewals back to the federal broadcast regulator, asking it to reconsider how the licences affect investments in Canadian TV production.
"The decision comes in response to appeals from creative groups and others who raised concerns that the regulator's decisions would decrease some of the broadcasters' spending requirements for original Canadian programs."
Full story

Friday, August 11, 2017

Chronicle Herald workers ratify deal that will see layoffs and wage cuts

Newsroom employees at the Halifax Chronicle Herald voted 94 per cent in favour of a new eight-year deal, which union president Ingrid Bulmer described as a “relief” for members who have spent 18 months on the picket line.
Of the roughly 60 reporters, photographers, editors and support staff that walked off the job in January 2016, 25 will return to work next week, 26 are laid off, one is moving to Herald’s newly-acquired Cape Breton Post newspaper and the rest quit during the protracted strike.
Chronicle Herald president and CEO Mark Lever said the company was pleased the union accepted the offer.
The deal, which will increase the employees' work week from 35 hours to 37.5 hours, was reached Saturday following two days of mediation. (Globe and CBC)


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CBS All Access plan to launch in Canada next year

The subscription platform behind the upcoming original series Star Trek: Discovery and The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight says it’s looking to expand into new markets, CP reports.
The first stop will be Canada in the first half of 2018.
Last year, Bell Media announced it had acquired the exclusive rights to Star Trek: Discovery in Canada, which would have its debut episode air on CTV before being broadcast on Space and Z. It was also announced the show would later be available to stream on CraveTV.
It’s unclear if those plans will change, or if Star Trek: Discovery will be available on CBS All Access in Canada.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Man apologizes after kissing female Radio-Canada reporter on live TV without her consent

A man who kissed a Radio-Canada reporter on the cheek without her consent during a live broadcast last Friday has apologized for his actions. the Globe reports.  Journalist Valerie-Micaela Bain also said late Monday that she wouldn’t file a criminal complaint after she received the unwanted embrace from a concert-goer as she went live from Montreal’s Osheaga music festival last Friday. Startled, she shoved him away and yelled at him before calmly continuing her report.
She later posted photos and video of the man to Facebook in an effort to track him down.Bain took to social media again Monday evening, publishing an apology she received from the man — a father of two who said he was ashamed and regretted the unwanted gesture..

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Tentative deal reached in Halifax Chronicle Herald strike

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald and the union representing the paper's striking newsroom workers have reached a tentative agreement in their 18-month-old labour dispute, CP reports. The Saltwire Network, which owns the Herald, and the Halifax Typographical Union said in a joint statement Saturday that a deal was reached after two days of mediation. The employees still must vote on whether to accept the agreement. The terms of the deal have not been released.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang, Ian Hanomansing to host The National

The CBC web page reports:
Four CBC journalists will share anchor duties as the network revamps The National to offer an expanded digital focus along with more insight and analysis on the day's news, the public broadcaster announced today.
Senior correspondent Adrienne Arsenault, Power & Politics host Rosemary Barton, Vancouver local news host Andrew Chang and News Network anchor Ian Hanomansing were named hosts for the program that will debut in November.
Arsenault and Hanomansing will host from Toronto, Barton will be in Ottawa and Chang will continue to be based in Vancouver.
With multiple hosts, the four will all still be able to take turns reporting in the field. Barton, Hanomansing and Chang will stop hosting their current shows sometime in the coming months.
Full story

Monday, July 31, 2017

John Doyle: Who will anchor CBC's The National? Machinations abound

John Doyle writes:
"Oh, just quit telling me that nobody cares who anchors the national news on TV. Just quit it. Diligent journalistic labour – reading the mail and listening to people who stop me on the street – tells me you are wrong.
Which brings us to the announcement last Thursday, about Wendy Mesley’s upcoming TV show. That was interesting.
"Early in 2018, CBC says, Mesley will host a live Sunday morning show that 'will focus on the intersection of media, technology and politics.' Which sounds a lot like Undercurrents, a media-heavy series Mesley anchored for five years and that ended in 2001. Like that series, any new excursion into media analysis in Canada will be a challenge. CBC is big media here and, generally, thin-skinned about criticism. Good luck with that."

Friday, July 28, 2017

New York Times tops profit estimates as digital subscriptions soar

The New York Times Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as the newspaper publisher signed up more digital subscribers, making up for falling print sales, Reuters reports.
The company said it had 2.3 million paid digital-only subscriptions at the end of the second quarter ended June 25, soaring 63.4 per cent from a year earlier.
The Times has tried to boost digital revenue by offering discounts to attract paying subscribers to its online edition as well as to non-news offerings such as daily crossword puzzles and cooking recipes.
The company said it had 2.3 million paid digital-only subscriptions at the end of the second quarter ended June 25, soaring 63.4 per cent from a year earlier.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The clock may have just run out on the White House press corps

Jennifer Palmieri, who served as White House communications director from 2013 to 2015 and was communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, writes in the Washington Post.
"When I was White House communications director for President Barack Obama I would warn the White House press corps that they were living on borrowed time.
"At the Obama White House, we often chose to go outside regular channels to communicate with the American public. Still, we respected the institutional importance of the press corps and the importance of engaging with journalists dedicated to covering the president day in and day out.
"But in a digital age, with the proliferation of communication platforms, the media was eventually going to need a better answer for why 50 or so reporters deserved daily access to the White House — access not available to other outlets and the general public.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Guelph's post-Mercury blues: How an Ontario city is coping without its local newspaper

A year and a half after its daily paper stopped printing, Guelph has become a living laboratory for the loss of traditional local media – a rising risk in communities across Canada, the Globe and Mail says. Reporter Simon Houpt explores what Guelphites have lost, and who's trying to fill the void.
The story -- Warning: It's long!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The end of anchors?

H.G. Watson writes on the J-Sourse web page:
"If you watched the early evening newscast on CityNews in Toronto recently, you might have noticed someone missing — the anchor.
"That’s because since 2015, CityNews has been experimenting with cutting out the middleman during their early evening newscasts. At 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. there are now no anchors to be found. Instead, reporters are running the show, throwing to each other’s stories from the field and in the studio. It’s a model that CityNews is looking to export as they expand to five new markets in the next year.
"Dave Budge, Rogers Media’s vice president of news and information for television told J-Source that the new anchorless newscast model emphasizes the work journalists are doing in the field. 'What we’ve found is the audience trusts and responds to those working reporters even more profoundly than they do to an anchor who is in a studio who is doing little more than reading introductions to those reporters’ stories,'” he said.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

John Doyle: Now a huge obsession — who will anchor CBC’s The National?

The Globe and Mail's John Doyle writes:
"Andrew Chang was only a few minutes into anchoring The National on CBC the other evening when readers were onto me with opinions: “He seems very nice.” And, “He seems agitated.”
"In homes and cottages and, probably, at Tim Hortons across Canada, the post-Mansbridge future of The National is being discussed with vim and vigour. Or so it seems.
"Recently, I wrote about the mail I’d received, unprompted, on the matter, calling it a “small obsession” in Canada. And I invited more feedback. Well, it was a deluge. This thing is big and getting bigger."

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Veteran telecom and broadcast executive Ian Scott named CRTC chairman

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly has announced Ian Scott as the new chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, iPolitics reports.
Scott, who starts his five-year term on Sept. 5, was most recently executive director of government and regulatory affairs at Telesat Canada. He has also held executive roles at Telus (TSX:T), Call-Net Enterprises and the Canadian Cable Television Association.
Scott replaces Jean-Pierre Blais, who did not reapply for the job when his term came to an end earlier this year.
Joly also announced Caroline Simard as vice-chairwoman (Broadcasting) and Christianne Laizner as interim vice-chairwoman (Telecommunications).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lawyer skips court for CP24 interview; apologizes to judge

After an emotional apology for skipping a sentencing hearing to do interviews for CP24, lawyer and frequent media commentator Ari Goldkind avoided being cited for contempt of court by a Toronto judge on Monday morning, the Star's Alyshah Hasham reports.
Addressing Superior Court Justice Michael Dambrot, Goldkind admitted to making a “very poor decision” and said his failure to attend court was not just “inconvenient or disruptive but disrespectful to (the judge) personally and to the court as an institution.”
Goldkind’s lawyer Scott Hutchinson told the court that on June 7, Goldkind was “offered a professional opportunity from a media outlet” and attempted to reschedule the June 8 sentencing hearing to accommodate it.

Financial Post take on the Chronicle Herald situation

The Financial Post writes:
"From his office window, Mark Lever has a view of Halifax’s picturesque Northwest Arm, an Atlantic Ocean inlet dotted with small boats and bordered by some of the city’s glitziest houses.
"His view also includes a smattering of pickets on the sidewalk below, including one man standing next to a flag calling for a boycott of the Chronicle Herald, the flagship news organization within Lever’s growing publishing business.
"The Herald’s unionized newsroom workers have been on strike since January 2016. On July 13, the Nova Scotia government announced that an Industrial Inquiry Commission will attempt to push the two sides to an agreement through mediation.
“'After 18 months with no resolution, it is clear this is an exceptional circumstance that needs action,' Derek Mombourquette, the province’s acting labour minister, said in a statement.
Full story

Friday, July 14, 2017

Nova Scotia Government to mediate Halifax Chronicle Herald strike

The Nova Scotia’s government is stepping in to try to put an end to an acrimonious 18-month labour dispute at Atlantic Canada’s oldest and largest independently owned newspaper, the Globe's Susan Krashinsky Robertson reports.
On Thursday, the province’s Department of Labour and Advanced Education announced an unusual move, launching an “Industrial Inquiry Commission” that will impose mediation between the Halifax Chronicle Herald and its striking employees beginning on Aug. 4.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

CBS News forms partnership with BBC, replacing Sky

Reuters reports that the CBS News division has signed a new editorial and newsgathering partnership with BBC News to share video, editorial content and other resources across the globe.
For CBS, the BBC deal replaces a previous arrangement it had with Sky, which is being acquired by 21st Century Fox, pending regulatory approval. For BBC News, CBS replaces a deal it had with Walt Disney Co's ABC.
The partnership will enable both news organizations to strengthen coverage of complex international situations such as the crisis in Syria and Iraq, said David Rhodes, president of CBS News.
The deal also gives BBC more resources to cover the United States, particularly the Donald Trump presidency, in which there was a lot of international interest, he said.

Monday, July 10, 2017

John Doyle keeps getting mail on Mansbridge's successor

"However, the fact that readers are speculating about The National is good news for CBC. It’s not as if nobody cares. The flow of suggestions about The National also comes simultaneous with the 2017 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, which covers Canada as well as several other countries.
"The report finds that Canadians surveyed still view traditional media as the most trustworthy news source. About 70 per cent get some of their news from TV. Many Canadians get their news online, but that means the online offshoots of TV channels, plus newspapers and magazines.
"A summary of the report says, 'Canadians are concerned about unreliable information and fake news, especially since the U.S. election campaign where such content was widely circulated. But their level of trust in the media remains relatively strong in comparison to other countries.'”

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Racism, sexism — and a press conference gone horribly wrong: Martin Patriquin

An excellent piece by Martin Patriquin about what not to do at a news conference. Excerpt:
"On June 29, Jocelyn Wabano-Iahtail and her group, Wabi’s Village: A Community of Hearts, did exactly this. (booked the Charles Lynch press theatre) An activist from Attawapiskat First Nation Reserve in northern Ontario, Wabano-Iahtail had booked the room to speak about her group’s frustration over the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Inquiry.
"Slow, disorganized and beset by departures of key staff, the MMIW inquiry is a worthy target — particularly because it served as one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s main wedge issues in the election campaign against Stephen Harper. Wabano-Iahtail could have made a compelling case that, for all his talk, Trudeau’s devotion to the cause was like the Haida tattoo on his left bicep — barely skin deep.
Instead, Wabano-Iahtail resorted to sexist and racist comments to get her point across."
Full story

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Globe's John Doyle strikes the right note on Mansbridge

Excerpt from Doyle's column:
"Kudos to Mansbridge for never complaining that I referred to him as 'Pastor Mansbridge' for years. It can’t be easy to be constantly teased. We all extrapolate from the time we spend watching someone in Mansbridge’s role on TV and what we extrapolate from Mansbridge and his career comes down to individual response, not necessarily what the news anchor or broadcaster wants."
The column

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday morning, a man called the Toronto Star saying he was “at a breaking point.” It was clear this was unlike any other call into the newsroom.

A bizarre happening at the Toronto Star:
"It began with what seemed like any other tip called in to the Toronto Star’s 24-hour news desk.
"But the man on the line — his voice steady, at times upset but never once raised — would soon reveal he had made a desperate move.
"He was 'at a breaking point.' He needed to be listened to. This is what it would take, he said.
"Over the phone, a woman’s desperate screams could be heard — 'I have family!' she cried.
"It was clear this was unlike any other call into the newsroom."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Torstar to lay off 30 employees as it shutters Star Touch app July 31

The Toronto Star is laying off 30 employees as it shutters its Star Touch tablet app — a multi-million dollar bet on bringing in younger readership that failed to meet management expectations, CP reports.
Twenty-nine full-time employees and one part-timer have been notified that they will lose their jobs, said Toronto Star spokesman Bob Hepburn. Some of those employees will continue to work for a while longer and some may be able to stay with the company if they choose to act on a bumping provision contained in their contracts, he said.
The tablet-only app will be replaced by one for smartphones as well as tablets, Hepburn said. The so-called universal app will be available to readers before the end of July, while the Star Touch's latest edition will run on July 31.
Torstar launched the app in September 2015 and invested more than $20 million in the venture.

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