Friday, August 31, 2018

Angry donors pack Jazz.FM meeting amid corporate interest in deal with station

The Star's Donovan Vincent writes:
"Jazz.FM’s board of directors got an earful from the station’s donors Friday, many calling for the board to “dissolve” and for ex-CEO Ross Porter’s Saturday radio program to be pulled from the air.
After the tumultuous, packed annual general meeting, interim CEO Charles Cutts told the Star that three large, for-profit corporations have recently approached and expressed an interest in some sort of business relationship with the station."
Full story and all that jazz

CBC apologizes to NDP MP Christine Moore over relationship story

The CBC apologized to NDP MP Christine Moore on Thursday for failing to meet all of its editorial standards.
The network said in a story published on its website last May that Moore was the subject of allegations of sexual misconduct involving a former soldier.
CBC’s article was picked up by other media and the Quebec-based MP was then suspended from her caucus duties.
The CBC said in a statement Thursday that Moore was asked in May to respond to the allegations but requested more time, which the broadcaster acknowledged it did not provide but should have.  (CP)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Trump insider David Pecker leaving Postmedia board of directors

Donald Trump insider David Pecker is stepping down from the board of Canadian media giant Postmedia Network Canada Corp.
The company that owns several of Canada's biggest daily newspapers says Pecker tendered his resignation so that he can better focus on his other business interests.
The CEO of American Media Inc., publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer, was reported last week to have been granted immunity by U.S. federal prosecutors in return for information in their probe of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. (CP)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Barrie Dunsmore dead at 79

 Barrie Dunsmore, long-time diplomatic correspondent for ABC News, has died, the network reported. He was 79 and had been in ill-health for some time.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Why Canada’s reputation as a kids' TV production powerhouse is under threat

The Globe and Mail's Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes:
"Boat Rocker Media had a hit on its hands. The Next Step, a tween-targeted show about an elite dance troupe, drew the highest ratings the Family Channel had ever seen for a premiere at the time, with 574,500 people tuning in. Over five seasons, the Canadian-made series found an audience – in more than 120 countries, viewers were following the drama of a telegenic squad of teen dancers as they competed to win championships, formed friendships and rivalries, and pursued their dreams. The company drew in viewers to its YouTube channel as well, where it posted dance sequences regularly watched by tens of thousands online.
“'It built a global juggernaut,' said Jon Rutherford, president of rights at Toronto-based Boat Rocker.
"But by the sixth season, Boat Rocker’s financing in Canada was no longer enough to get production off the ground. DHX Media Ltd., which now owned the Family Channel, was still paying a fee to license the show, but 'their total financial contribution was much lower,' Mr. Rutherford said. So last summer, Boat Rocker turned to U.S. channel Universal Kids, seeing an opportunity to work out the first deal for the show with a major American TV broadcaster. In August, Boat Rocker announced that Universal Kids had acquired the rights to the first five seasons and would be a production partner on the sixth."
Full story -- long

Friday, August 24, 2018

Susan Delacourt to become Star's Ottawa bureau chief

Free-lance political columnist Susan Delacourt tweeted today that she is rejoining the Toronto Star to become its Ottawa bureau chief.

Robin Leach of "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous" dies at 76

Robin Leach, whose voice crystallized the opulent 1980s on TV's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," died Friday. He was 76.
Leach's family said through a public relations firm that he died in Las Vegas, where he made his home.
Leach had a stroke in November while on vacation in Mexico that led to a months-long recovery, much of which he spent at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio before returning to Las Vegas in June.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal, which ran Leach's columns before he became ill, said he suffered another stroke Monday.
"Champagne wishes and caviar dreams" was Leach's sign-off at the end of every episode of his syndicated show's decade-long run that began in 1984.
Full AP obit

Friday, August 17, 2018

Bell Media signs licensing deal with Vice, hoping to draw new subscribers

The Globe and Mail's Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes:
"In a bid to attract younger viewers to its TV channels and digital services, Bell Media Inc. has acquired the rights to a library of Vice Media programming as well as new shows airing on its U.S. network, Viceland – just months after Rogers Media Inc. ended its $100-million joint venture with Vice.
"Rogers ended its deal with the New York-based media company in January, taking Viceland off the air in Canada and transferring its interest in a Canadian production studio back to Vice. According to sources, the TV station was losing money, struggled with low ratings and did not meet targets for subscriber growth, even though it was carried by all major cable and satellite companies in Canada.
"Bell’s deal, announced Thursday, is structured differently: Rather than resurrecting the Viceland channel in Canada, Bell will become the exclusive broadcaster for Viceland programming on its own channels, including Much and MTV Canada, beginning this fall. Vice content will also appear on CraveTV, Bell’s subscription digital streaming service, and on the CTV Super Hub, a soon-to-be-launched streaming option that will require a log-in from TV subscribers for some of its programming (some will be available for free.) Vice programming will also appear on Bell’s mobile app, Snackable TV, which was unveiled this year to draw viewers looking for shorter videos on mobile devices. In addition to new programming, Bell will have the rights to more than 650 hours of previously produced content."
Full story

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rogers seeks buyer for magazine assets

The Globe a nd Mail's Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes:
"The Toronto-based telecommunications and media company is soliciting bids for a package of assets that includes eight of its digital and print magazine titles − Maclean’s, Canadian Business, MoneySense, Today’s Parent, Hello! Canada, Flare and Chatelaine’s French and English editions − as well as its custom-content group, which creates marketing content for brands such as in-house magazines. The company is seeking to sell all of the publishing assets in one deal, rather than breaking them up to sell individually, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
"Rogers has hired the investment-banking arm of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to manage the sale."
Full story

Friday, August 3, 2018

The day the Queen’s Park press corps fought back

TVO's Steve Paikin has taken on the Trump-like media relations practiced by Ontario's new premier Doug Ford.  An excerpt:
"Last week, when Premier Doug Ford and municipal affairs minister Steve Clark announced their plan to reduce the size of Toronto city council, Toronto Sun columnist (and former PC candidate) Sue-Ann Levy began trying to ask a question. She was unaware of the new protocol and seemed surprised that Ford and Clark had ignored her. After she attempted a third time, I informed her of the new rules. By then, however, the line behind the “official microphone” had become too long, and Levy missed out.
"The Tories have also taken another unprecedented step: they now end their news conferences by having a group of half a dozen twentysomethings clap, hoot, and holler on cue, which gives the politician making the announcement cover to exit stage right."
The full story
(Ford's contempt for the press (except for the Sun) is unbelievable. Good for Paikin!)

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