Thursday, December 29, 2016

Glowing Globe profile of Bell's president of production and content

Media reporter James Bradshaw writes:
"Under his (Randy Lennox's) watch, Bell also overhauled its popular morning show, ending Canada AM's 43-year run and replacing it with Your Morning, which has a format that's less anchored to Bell's news arm and a friendlier venue for product placement."
The full story

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Giller Prize winner Joseph Boyden’s indigenous ancestry questioned

Sean Fine of the Globe writes the most balanced story on the Joseph Boyden controversy. Excerpt:
"Award-winning Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden is defending his right to identify as an indigenous person, after an aboriginal publication raised questions about his background and name-callers on Twitter labelled him a 'pretendian.'
"'I once said that, ‘A small part of me is Indigenous, but it is a huge part of who I am,' the Giller Prize-winning author wrote in a statement published on Twitter. 'This remains true to me to this day.… I do belong.'
"The statement came in response to a 2,700-word article probing his background, published two days earlier on the website of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. The article says Mr. Boyden’s indigenous heritage “has been an ever shifting, evolving thing. Over the years, Boyden has variously claimed his family’s roots extended to the Métis, Mi’kmaq, Ojibway and Nipmuc peoples.' The article does not reach firm conclusions, but says it is difficult to pinpoint where his aboriginal heritage began on either his mother’s or father’s sides of the family.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Bell Media drops O'Leary -- finally!

Bell Media has announced that potential Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary will no longer appear on the company’s financial television network BNN or CTV News, the NatPost reports.
The media conglomerate hired the businessman and reality TV star away from the CBC two years ago, and he has since served as a commentator on economic and political matters across its platforms. In recent months, O’Leary has been flirting with the prospect of running for the Conservative party’s top job, creating a potential conflict of interest for Bell Media news properties covering the leadership race.
Bell Media’s announcement came after O’Leary unveiled an “exploratory committee” and website Friday morning. The team backing O’Leary includes, among others, former Stephen Harper cabinet minister Marjory LeBreton and former premier of Ontario Mike Harris.
Full NatPost story

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hébert: Time changes coverage of Hill

Chantal Hebert writes:
"Once a staple of the holiday news season, the televised prime ministerial fireside chats are well on the way to joining the ghosts of Christmas past.
The CBC and Radio-Canada – among others – have opted out of the format, rightly concluding that the days when there was something special or, for that matter, newsworthy about deferentially serving up a prime minister to a festive nation had gone.
"So have the days when a government leader had to rely on a handful of major networks to reach a national audience. Interviews with the prime minister are a dime a dozen this December. On top of various year-end Parliament Hill interviews and a news conference, Trudeau has spent the past week on a year-end tour. At the end of last week, he was in Montreal taking questions from Radio-Canada viewers. This week he spent time in Vancouver and Calgary.
'There was a time when a contingent of Parliament Hill reporters would have tagged along. But trips outside the parliamentary precinct are so few now, as it is possible to catch Trudeau live in action from one’s computer at no cost to media organizations."

Thursday, December 22, 2016

NatPost columnist asks why Bell Media not cutting ties with Kevin O'Leary

Sean Craig writes in the National Post:
"Kevin O’Leary insists it’s only a matter of time before he makes his entry in the Conservative leadership race official, Bell Media says it will only end its on-air relationship with him if and when he formally enters the contest.
"The media company lured the businessman and reality television star away from the CBC in 2014, and he now appears frequently on its financial news network, BNN, as well as serving as a personal finance expert on CTV’s "The Marilyn Denis Show and contributing to Bell Media radio properties including 580 CFRA in Ottawa, CJAD 800 in Montreal and Newstalk 1010 in Toronto.
"O’Leary has frequently used those media appearances to make political pronouncements and to attack his potential political rivals, even while the company’s news properties are covering him and the Conservative leadership race."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Expect the unexpected in media says Susan Delacourt

Susan Delacourt writes in iPolitics (Excerpt):
". . . the looming prospect of Trump’s presidency is also generating some surprising side benefits for U.S. media — a record number of New York Times reporters at the White House, for instance, and a boost in new subscriptions for the Washington Post and Vanity Fair.
In Canada, there’s no such Trump effect — not yet, at any rate, and probably not on the near horizon. As Beatrice Britneff has been telling us in her iPolitics analysis of parliamentary press gallery membership data, Ottawa’s political reporting pool is shrinking, down to levels we haven’t seen since the 1990s.
Every few weeks, it seems, we in the gallery are invited to another going-away party.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Stephen Kinzer says U.S. misleading media about Syria

Stephen Kinzer writes in the Washington Post:
"Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.
"For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: 'Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.' Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it. . . .
"This does not fit with Washington’s narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a 'liberated zone' for three years but is now being pulled back into misery. . .
"We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.
"Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps of foreign correspondents. Much important news about the world now comes from reporters based in Washington."
Full story

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Alan Thicke dead at 69

Alan Thicke has died at the age of 69. He suffered the heart attack while he was playing hockey with his 19-year-old son Carter, entertainment website TMZ reported. Born in Kirkland Lake, Ont., Thicke wore many hats during his career, from hosting talk shows and writing for TV series and specials for comedians such as Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby, to composing the theme songs to The Wheel of Fortune, The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes.

The Vinyl Cafe's Stuart McLean suspends show to focus on cancer treatment

The Vinyl Cafe host and writer Stuart McLean is suspending his popular radio show to focus on his cancer treatment, CP reports.
In a post on his website, the bestselling author, journalist and humorist says that he had figured treatment would be "swift" when he was diagnosed with melanoma, a skin cancer, a year ago.
However, McLean says that his first round of immunotherapy treatment last winter was not completely successful, so he'll undergo another round in the new year.
"What can I say … things don't always go exactly as planned," he wrote.
Rather than air repeats of his program — which features stories, essays and music — McLean says he will instead step aside to make room for others to share their work.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Journalists seek asylum in Canada amid Turkish crackdown

The Star's Nicholas Keung reports:
"In March, shortly after the Turkish government took over Zaman, the country’s best-selling English daily, the paper’s political writer Arslan Ayan lost his job.
"In the days after a short-lived failed coup on July 15, more media outlets were shut down with more journalists arrested and jailed. Fearing repercussions from his critical writings of the regime, Ayan fled Istanbul to stay at his parents’ home in a small Turkish town.
"On August 1, he said, police came to the house and seized his books and computer. By the time his neighbours saw the return of the authorities the next day, Ayan had made it back to Istanbul to find a way out of Turkey.
"With a still-valid U.S. visa, he flew to New York on August 5 to join a contingent of Turkish journalists seeking protection abroad, and arrived Toronto via Montreal on October 10.
"Ayan is among at least 15 Turkish journalists who have fled to Canada in the last few months seeking asylum. Many have fled to Africa, to countries like Chad and Tanzania where visas are not required."

Friday, December 9, 2016

John Badham dead at 79

John Badham, long-time sports announcer at Ottawa’s CFRA and CHEX radio in Peterborough, has died at age 79. He had been battling cancer for a number of years.
Ottawa Citizen obit

Susan Delacourt on the shrinking Ottawa press gallery

Susan Delacourt writes in the Star:
"What if they held a press conference on Parliament Hill and no one showed up?
"Actually, that’s always been a possibility, but the chances of it happening are a bit greater these days, with the dwindling ranks of reporters on the Hill.
"This week, we learned some hard numbers. According to an iPolitics analysis of data provided by the parliamentary press gallery, the number of accredited journalists on the Hill is the lowest it has been in 22 years.
Gallery membership this month stands at 318, a sharp decline from its peak of 377 journalists in 2002. And as the iPolitics report notes, you have to back to 1994 to find membership numbers as low as they are today.
"To put this in some context: the House of Commons has 43 more members of Parliament than it had 22 years ago, to reflect Canada’s growing population in those two decades. The press gallery, on the other hand, has been cut by about 15 per cent."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Revolution at The Washington Post - a must read!

Joey Marburger writes in the Columbia Journalism Review:
"Is it an underhanded compliment to be called the most innovative company in the newspaper business?
"The Washington Post will happily take it. In the three years since Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the Post for $250 million—now seen as a steal for one of the great brands in publishing—the Post has reinvented itself with digital speed. Its Web traffic has doubled since Bezos arrived, and it far outstrips The New York Times (and even BuzzFeed) in the number of online posts its reporters file every day. So successful has the Post become in the digital game that it now licenses its content management system to other news outlets, a business that could generate $100 million a year.
"It is a moment to savor for a once-iconic family business that has spent much of the last decade in retreat. When Bezos bought the Post in 2013, its news franchise had been decimated by Politico (which will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary); it had lost its editor; and its digital business had four years earlier joined the mothership from an office in Arlington.*
"Today, the office has the feel of a tech startup well-blessed by the VC gods. Video screens scrolling Web analytics hang above the newsroom. Reporters roam the place carrying laptops."

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tom Clark to leave Gobal and maybe retire?

"With mixed emotions, Global News is announcing that Tom Clark, chief political correspondent and host of The West Block will end his career in journalism on Jan. 1, 2017," Global says on its web page.
Before joining Global. Clark spent several decades at CFTO.
 “After 45 years it’s still fresh, the prospect of the next story still exciting. But I don’t want to stand in the way of a younger generation having that same remarkable life and opportunity," Global's web page quotes him as saying.

CBC asks for $400M more in funding to go ad-free

The CBC is asking for an increase of roughly $400 million in government funding to go ad-free on all platforms, the Star reports.
A proposal paper posted to the national broadcaster’s website outlines how the CBC/Radio-Canada wants to follow the example of the BBC, the United Kingdom’s national broadcaster, and be fully funded by the federal government instead of partially relying on ad revenue.
“The BBC offers a compelling example of how a strong, stable, well-funded public broadcaster can serve the interests of domestic audiences and diverse communities, support the global ambitions of its creative and cultural sectors, and provide a strong foundation for Britain’s creative economy,’ the paper says.
The CBC/Radio-Canada currently receives $1.215 billion in government funding, but to go ad-free, the paper proposes the amount go up to $1.633 billion, or a $418 million increase.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

FinPost reports layoffs at Huffington Post

The Huffington Post Canada, the media and news website owned by the Canadian subsidiary of AOL Inc., has laid off seven staff, including the only two journalists at its British Columbia bureau, two casual employees and one manager, according to sources who spoke to the Financial Post.
Last week, AOL announced plans to lay off 500 employees, or approximately five per cent of its workforce. AOL is itself a subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc, which bought it for US$4.4 billion last year.
“I am not going to comment on specific roles or people,” said Caroline Campbell, a spokesperson for AOL. “I can say AOL[‘s lay off announcement] did impact a small percentage of our global workforce.”

Friday, November 25, 2016

NatPost gearing up to go digital only - iPolitics

A memo circulated by the National Post’s editor-in-chief last week reveals that the Toronto newsroom is restructuring to become a “digital-only operation,” iPolitics reports.
“We are, of course, continuing to publish print products from this newsroom, but the amount of attention that it occupies will be isolated to a much smaller portion of this operation,” Anne Marie Owens wrote.
At a staff meeting on October 31, Owens told the newsroom there’s no schedule for cancelling the production of newspapers — but indicated that is on the horizon, according to sources present at the meeting.
Full story

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Postmedia executives receive $2.3-million in retention bonuses

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw writes:
"Amid another year of dramatic restructuring at Postmedia Network Canada Corp., the company’s five most senior executives were awarded nearly $2.3-million in retention bonuses.
"The payouts, which are outlined in company disclosures filed on Wednesday, are tied to a recent debt restructuring that wiped out more than $268-million (U.S.) in debt, thereby reducing the company’s interest payments by about $50-million (Canadian) each year.
"Canada’s largest newspaper chain has endured a trying 2016 fiscal year that saw the company merge competing newsrooms in major cities, cut hundreds of jobs, offer staff buyouts and close a printing plant in London, Ont. The filings show that the five executives were not awarded regular short-term incentives because they missed a consolidated operating-profit target of $125-million, recording just $82.3-million for the fiscal year."

Former CBC producers and execs calling for ad free CBC; submit poroposal to heritage minister

The blog Canadaland reports that a group of high-ranking former producers and executives at CBC, calling themselves Public Broadcasting in Canada for the 21st Century, have submitted a proposal to the Heritage Ministry, calling for an ad-free CBC.
The signees include Bernie Lucht, the former Executive Producer of the CBC Radio show Ideas, and Jeffrey Dvorkin, former Managing Editor and Chief Journalist for CBC Radio, and former ombudsman of NPR Radio. Dvorkin currently runs the University of Toronto’s Journalism department. They write:
It has become obvious to many that requiring our public broadcaster to apply the practices of the private sector to its civic and cultural mission has not resulted in the creation of a large body of distinctive, informative and inspiring social and cultural capital for Canadians. While French services and English Radio have fared better, it has turned CBC English television into what its own executives have described as a “publicly subsidized commercial network.” 

Ontario court sides with Bell in dispute over VMedia streaming service

The Globe and Mail's media reporter James Bradshaw writes:
"An Ontario court has barred upstart television provider VMedia Inc. from streaming a basic set of live TV channels online, but left the door open for the federal broadcast regulator to decide otherwise.
"VMedia, a Toronto-based startup, launched an app in September that offers a package of basic channels delivered through the Roku media player, instead of a traditional cable box.
"The service was advertised as a new, low-cost way for viewers to get channels such as CTV, CBC or Omni.
"But Bell Media, a division of communications giant BCE Inc. that owns the CTV networks, took issue with the app, arguing it was “a clear copyright violation” and should be shut down. VMedia refused, insisting it was allowed to retransmit the over-the-air signals free of charge under the Copyright Act.
"Both sides asked the courts to decide the matter, which could have wider implications for broadcasting technology at a time when increasing numbers of viewers are ditching traditional TV in favour of online services such as Netflix and CraveTV."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Donald Trump’s media summit was a ‘f—ing firing squad’

Donald Trump scolded media big shots during an off-the-record Trump Tower sitdown on Monday, sources told The New York Post.
“It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.
A second source confirmed the fireworks.
Full story

Friday, November 18, 2016

Alison Smith hosts new foreign affairs show on CPAC

CPAC's release says: "Premiering this Sunday, CPAC’s new foreign affairs program helps you understand Canada’s role in the world – and how the world sees us.
Sundays at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT and 8pm ET / 5pm PT.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Shomi shutdown under fire by CRTC chief

CP reports that the head of Canada's broadcast regulator blasted Rogers and Shaw for shutting down its video streaming service, Shomi — a platform he sees as the future of content.
It was a “shock” to hear the companies were throwing in the towel on the platform so soon after it launched, said CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais in prepared remarks for a speech in Ottawa on Wednesday at the annual conference of the Canadian chapter of the International Institute of Communications.
“I have to wonder if they are too used to receiving rents from subscribers every month in a protected ecosystem, rather than rolling up their sleeves in order to build a business without regulatory intervention and protection,” he said in his prepared remarks.
Blais said the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has been watching the development of streaming services, like Shomi and CraveTV, with some interest since they entered the market.
He called such services “the future of content” in his prepared remarks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ottawa pressed to curb CBC’s growing digital presence

The Globe and Mail's Daniel Leblanc reports:
"Private media companies are decrying the CBC’s growing presence on the Internet and in the digital advertising market, calling on Ottawa to rein in the Crown corporation in order to salvage the production of local news and investigative journalism across the country.
"At hearings of the Canadian Heritage committee of the House of Commons, the CBC is increasingly described as a great disruptor of the media landscape, with its recent budget increase of $675-million over five years coming as losses are growing and newsrooms are closing in the private sector.
"The attacks place the public broadcaster in the same category as foreign Internet giants such as Google and Facebook, which many say are eating into advertising budgets of publishers and broadcasters in Canada while contributing little to the creation of Canadian content.
"The CBC is specifically facing criticism over the expansion of its presence on the Internet, including the recent creation of an opinion section on its website with columns and op-eds that are in direct competition with several newspapers."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mike Bullard charged with criminal harassment

 Mike Bullard has been charged with criminal harassment in connection with the alleged stalking of a television reporter he had dated, the Star reports.
The five charges — criminal harassment, obstruction of justice and breaching conditions to stay away from the woman — were laid in three batches between September and November. The first set of charges led to Bullard losing his job at Bell Media. The former standup comedian and television talk show personality has been host of Beyond the Mic With Mike Bullard on Newstalk 1010 since 2010.
In an interview Monday, Bullard said the charges stem from “a bad breakup” and it is “a very personal thing between me and her.” Bullard is due in court Wednesday to receive additional disclosure from the Crown attorney assigned to the case.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Canadian abandoning cable TV in record numbers

The lure of a $25 basic TV package has not helped stem the tide of Canadians cancelling their cable subscriptions. And critics believe the added pick-and-pay channel options coming next month may not help much either, the CBC's Sophia Harris reports.
Canadians continued to cut the cord in record numbers following the launch of the CRTC-mandated basic TV plans on March 1.
This is according to Mario Mota, with Boon Dog Professional Services, an Ottawa-based research and consulting firm. Mota crunched subscriber numbers for Canada's seven major publicly traded TV providers, including Bell, Rogers, Telus and Shaw.
He found they lost a combined total of 98,476 TV customers in their first two fiscal quarters during the period of March through September.
That's a loss of 13 per cent more customers than the same period in 2015.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump bucks protocol on press access

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump is keeping Americans in the dark about his earliest conversations and decisions as president-elect, bucking a long-standing practice intended to ensure the public has a watchful eye on its new leader.
Trump on Thursday refused to allow journalists to travel with him to Washington for his historic first meetings with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders. The Republican's top advisers rebuffed news organizations' requests for a small "pool" of journalists to trail him as he attended the meetings.
The decision was part of an opaque pattern in Trump's moves since his victory Tuesday. He was entirely out of sight on Wednesday. His aides said he was huddled with advisers at his offices in New York. His team has not put out a daily schedule, or offered any detailed updates on how he has spent his time. They have not acknowledged phone calls or other contact with world leaders.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Erin Davis announces retirement after nearly 30 years as CHFI host

Longtime CHFI morning host Erin Davis announced Wednesday she was signing off the air after a nearly 28-year radio career, the Star's Sammy Hudes reports.
Davis was joined in-studio by her husband Rob as she delivered a tearful on-air message to thank listeners and her “Rogers family.”
“Our hearts are full of sadness and gratitude, of hope and even of some excitement,” said Davis. “There are a lot of reasons to go and to stay and I want you to know the hardest part of leaving is not sharing every morning with you, the friends that I’ve never met and the many that I have, the people that have been so good, so very good to our little family over the years.”
Davis’ final show will take place Dec. 15, broadcast live from Casa Loma.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The war against the media will go on past the U.S, election, John Doyle writes

The Globe and Mail's John Doyle writes:
"You’re nuts if you think it’s over, this U.S. presidential election. What it has sown will be reaped. Apart entirely from the possible ramifications of Donald Trump braying about a rigged election, there is the matter of his poisonous position on the media.
"The vitriol unleashed by Trump has been going on for so long that it’s easy to forget how uniquely vicious it is. There was some shock and dismay last week when Trump called out NBC’s Katy Tur at a rally, claiming she failed to report the size of the crowd. Here’s a reminder – 10 months earlier Trump tweeted that Tur “should be fired for dishonest reporting,” and in August of 2015 Trump was singling out Univision TV reporter Jorge "Ramos for derision at public events. The sheer volume of his attacks on the media mean that the attacks will echo long after Tuesday’s vote is counted.
"According to pundit Darrell Delamaide writing for MarketWatch, a financial information website that’s a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co., blatant bias against Donald Trump may hasten the end of mainstream media. The gist of the argument, a common one, is that 'getting Clinton elected is something of a collaborative effort' for the traditional media."

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Rolling Stone guilty of libel in campus rape story

A federal jury on Friday found Rolling Stone magazine liable of defaming a University of Virginia administrator by publishing a story it later retracted about an alleged gang rape at the school, Reuters reports.The decision followed a three-week trial in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the administrator, Nicole Eramo, sued the magazine, owner Wenner Media and reporter Sabrina Erdely for $7.9 million. The jury returns on Monday to determine damages in the case.
Erdely was found liable of actual malice, a key element in libel law, in six statements in the November 2014 story, "A Rape on Campus." Rolling Stone and Wenner Media were each found liable of actual malice in three statements, according to court documents.
To prove defamation, it must be shown that a media organisation published what it knew to be false, or did so with reckless disregard for the truth.
The magazine had reported that a female student identified only as "Jackie" was raped at a university fraternity in 2012. The story sparked a national debate about sexual assault on U.S. campuses.

CNN gets big boost in Canada from election coverage

CP reports that CNN has seen ratings soar in Canada in the run up to the presidential election. For the final presidential debate on Oct. 19, CNN saw its share of Canadian viewers climb above the 1.5 million mark in overnight estimates. Broken down into half-hour periods, CNN pulled an estimated 1.2, 1.3, 1.5 and 1.1 million viewers between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET.
That dwarfs the overnight estimates registered by CBC News Network, which drew 428,000, 400,000, 300,000 and 194,000 on the same day and times. Further behind was CTV News Channel, clocking in at 112,000, 117,000, 125,000 and 108,000 estimated viewers.
Only a Major League Baseball playoff game between Toronto and Cleveland on Sportsnet (2.7 million) and an episode of “Survivor” on Global (1.6 million) beat CNN in Canada on that night.
About a year ago, on an average October weeknight, CNN trailed the two Canadian news outlets.
On Oct 27, 2015, CNN drew about 45,000 viewers in Canada, compared to 272,000 for CBC News Network and 64,000 for CTV News Channel.
CNN is also on a roll in the United States. For the first time in 15 years, CNN has beaten Fox News in key metrics (available on fewer cable and satellite packages, Fox News ratings are negligible in Canada) and has topped MSNBC for 28 straight months. It also just enjoyed its most-watched month in 11 years.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Superbowl ruling will cost Bell one-third of advertising revenue writes the Globe's Susan Krashinsky

The Globe and Mail's Susan Krashinsky writes:
"The decision by Canada’s federal broadcast regulator to bring U.S. Super Bowl commercials to all Canadian televisions in February will erase at least one-third of Bell’s advertising revenue for the big game, according to sources. . . .
"Bell has been selling Super Bowl ads under the assumption that its leave to appeal would also include a stay, which would maintain the signal-swapping in 2017. That did not happen, and Bell will now revise its agreements with advertisers, since it is highly unlikely the appeal will move quickly enough to be resolved before February. That means Bell will see a significant drop in the money it makes off big game ads next year."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Torstar posts profit, ad revenue declines continue

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw reports:
"Growing revenue from digital ventures propelled Torstar Corp. to a razor-thin profit in the third quarter, though the downward trend in advertising returns continued unabated.
"The boost to the newspaper publisher’s bottom line came largely from the company’s 56-per-cent stake in VerticalScope, a company that operates hundreds of online forums catering to niche interests, and which drove a 32-per cent increase in revenue for the company’s digital ventures segment.
"Across the company, which publishes newspapers including the Toronto Star and the free Metro dailies, digital revenue was up 17.9 per cent, excluding the impact of closing digital marketing firm Olive Media in 2015. But revenue from print advertising, which remains a much larger source of revenue, fell sharply again, down 16.1 per cent from a year earlier."

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

UN offers The Rebel press accreditation for climate conference after environment minister’s intervention

The United Nations has bowed to pressure from Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and three Canadian journalist advocacy groups, offering The Rebel — the right-wing news and opinion platform published by political commentator Ezra Levant — media accreditation at next week’s Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Morocco, the Financial Post reports.
Earlier this month, the UNFCCC rejected an application by The Rebel to send three journalists to cover the conference, which takes place from November 7 to 18, on the grounds that “advocacy media outlets do not qualify for accreditation.”
In an e-mail sent Monday, a representative of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat informed the media outlet that it could offer two slots to cover COP22.
The UNFCC explicitly cited letters it received from Environment Canada, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CFJE), PEN Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) as motivation for the reversal of its decision.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Montreal police spied on La Presse journalist Patrick Lagacé

Montreal’s police force is under fire after revelations that investigators spied on a newspaper columnist in order to find out which of its members was leaking information to the media, the Star's Alan Woods reports..
Internal affairs investigators with the Montreal police were able to get a series of warrants that allowed them to see who was calling or being called by journalist Patrick Lagacé.
Some of the warrants also allowed investigators to remotely activate the GPS on his iPhone, meaning his movements could be followed in real time.
It is case so blatant that it has unified normally warring political parties, been denounced by the mayor of Montreal and even sparked a critical tweet from famed American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who knows a thing or two about electronic surveillance.

CRTC to review differential pricing practices on Internet service

The Globe and Mail's Christine Dobby reports:
"Canada’s telecom regulator will take a close look at its policy on net neutrality as a public hearing begins this week on Internet pricing practices that allow access to certain content for “free” but charge customers regular rates for other data usage.
"The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) kicks off a five-day hearing on Monday at its Gatineau, Que., headquarters, tackling the topic of “differential pricing,” which is when an Internet provider charges one price for customers to access some content and a different price to download or stream other content.
"The proceeding was spurred by multiple complaints over Videotron Ltd.’s Unlimited Music program, which lets subscribers to the Quebec company’s premium wireless plans stream select music services such as Spotify and Google Music without any impact on their monthly data bucket."

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Twitter cuts staff, kills off Vine app amid pressure to grow

Twitter, seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money, is cutting about 9 percent of its employees worldwide. the Associated Press reports.
It is also killing off Vine, a mobile video app where people share short video clips that play in a loop. While beloved by users and a pioneer in its own right, Vine, which launched in 2013, never took off with the masses and has lost its luster as of late.
Twitter has failed to keep pace with rivals Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram and in recent months, rumors abounded that it would be acquired. In a conference call with analysts on Thursday, CEO Jack Dorsey quickly brushed aside what he called "recent market speculation." He said the company is committed to growing long-term shareholder value, and that he doesn't plan to comment "any further on this topic."
Shares of Twitter, which have tumbled 27 percent in the past month as possible suitors have wandered away, rose 34 cents, or 2 percent, to $17.63 in afternoon trading on Thursday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Former director of HR sues CBC, alleging senior management conspired to fire her

The Financial Post reports that a former human resources executive for the CBC has filed a wrongful dismissal suit against the broadcaster, alleging that senior HR staff conspired to fire her while she was on medical leave and that CEO Hubert Lacroix breached his duties in refusing to review the matter, according to court documents.
The suit is one of at least four pending cases against the CBC alleging wrongful dismissal, and reveals allegations of infighting in the HR department in the months following the revelations that several women had publicly accused former CBC star Jian Ghomeshi of sexual abuse and inappropriate workplace behaviour.
Serena Thadani-Anthony served as Executive Director of HR from January 2015 to December 2015 in an interim capacity, after her predecessor Todd Spencer was fired in the wake of the Ghomeshi scandal. She previously served as senior director of HR.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Corus profit plummets in fourth quarter

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw reports that Corus Entertainment Inc. saw its fourth-quarter profit wiped out by a soft advertising market and the continuing cost of merging Shaw Media assets acquired earlier this year into the business.
The results represent the first full quarter with contributions from the media properties Corus bought from Shaw Communications in a $2.65-billion deal earlier this year, and offer a mix of worrisome and hopeful signs.

Local TV news coverage more important than station finances: CRTC chairman

The head of the country’s broadcast regulator says TV stations have a responsibility to produce local news, even if it hurts their bottom line, CP reports.
Jean Pierre Blais is telling a Commons committee that financial profits aren’t everything – the marketplace of ideas and information is equally important.
The chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission made the remarks in front of the heritage committee studying the future of local media.

Blais says that while digital platforms offer an alternative source of coverage, they don’t have the funding and expertise in gathering information possessed by professional TV news outlets.
The chairman also laments that a “disturbing number of television stations” have cut staff, centralized operations and reduced the length of their newscasts.

Postmedia reports wider loss, plans more job cuts

Postmedia Network Canada Corp. said Thursday that it plans to reduce its salary costs by 20 per cent through voluntary staff buyouts, adding that layoffs are possible if its target isn’t met, as the media company announced its net loss for its most recent quarter nearly doubled.
The company says staff have until Nov. 8 to apply for the buyouts. The cuts will come from all levels and operations in the company.
Postmedia announced the cost-cutting measure as it reported a fourth-quarter loss of $99.4-million or 35 cents per diluted share. That compared with a loss of $54.1-million or 19 cents per diluted share for the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter ended Aug. 21 totalled $198.7-million, down from $230.2-million.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Broadcast legend Irv Weinstein has Lou Gehrig's disease

The Buffalor News reports that legendary WKBW-TV (Channel 7) news anchor Irv Weinstein has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, the progressive neurodegenerative disease more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
In a telephone interview Friday, the 86-year-old Weinstein said from the assisted living apartment in Mission Viejo, Calif., that he shares with his wife Elaine that he was diagnosed a few weeks ago.
The diagnosis came after months of tests taken after he had problems keeping his balance and fell 10 or 11 times.
“I went to several neurologists and took every test they could give and this process took a couple of months and by simply eliminating all the possibilities they gave me a diagnosis of ALS,” explained Weinstein.
(Weinstein had a significant audience in Toronto. People enjoyed his tabloid style delivery - ED).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

BuzzFeed will team up with Twitter on U.S. election night

The Huffington Post reports that BuzzFeed and Twitter are teaming up for a U.S.  Election Night broadcast streamed exclusively on the social media platform. “We’re going to be doing this live from inside the platform that is the beating heart of the election,” Smith told The Huffington Post.
Twitter, which has been a second screen for viewers of major sports and politics events on television, is increasingly providing live video within its platform.
Full story

Monday, October 10, 2016

Interesting article about how The New York Times is adapting to the digital age

Ken Doctor writes in the Nieman newsletter (except):
Just within the last year, the Times literally reinvented itself on mobile with a model-setting news app, well suited to take advantage of all the attention smartphones drive. With more than 55 percent of its digital audience now coming from mobile, it seems to have left the disappointing desktop era behind, with its own website still a less-than-satisfying representation of the printed Times. But its 2016 progress must only serve as prologue, as CEO Mark Thompson has laid out a fast march to 2020, including the doubling of most things digital. With Times readers now supplying nearly $6 of every $10 in Times revenue, the company’s bond with its audience gains even greater importance. And that makes Dean Baquet’s strategic editorial leadership all the more essential.
The whole article

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Windsor Star editor-in-chief Marty Beneteau is retiring

Marty Beneteau, a former Windsor Star reporter who rose through the ranks to become the paper’s editor-in-chief, publisher and regional vice-president at parent company Postmedia, will retire Oct. 14.
Beneteau, 58, started his journalism career at the Sault Star in 1979 and moved to the Windsor Star in 1980 as a junior reporter.

Federal government OK's tax credit for TV talk shows

The federal government has quietly moved to make talk shows eligible for a lucrative tax credit, the CBC reports.
While her office can't say how much the retroactive tax credit will cost Canadian taxpayers, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly is praising it as a move that will create jobs.
"Talk shows are important platforms for our local talent and give a voice to Canadian diversity. This genre provides a platform to discuss current issues and promote Canadian arts and culture," Joly said in a statement emailed to CBC News. "Opening the tax credits to the talk show genre will certainly stimulate job creation in the sector."
Full CBC story

Friday, October 7, 2016

Thomson Reuters to expand in Canada with new technology hub

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw reports:
"Thomson Reuters Corp. is undertaking a major expansion to its Canadian operation with a plan to build a technology hub that will add 400 high-tech jobs in downtown Toronto over the next two years.
The blueprints for the news and information giant’s new Toronto Technology Centre, to be unveiled Friday, will increase its Canadian head count by a third in the short term. The company expects to add 1,500 jobs in the longer term, mostly by hiring from the local market."

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dutch photographer Oerlemans killed in Libya

Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans has been shot dead by a sniper in Sirte, Libya, according to a report on Sunday on the website of the Belgian newspaper he had been working for, Reuters reports.
Knack said it had been informed of Oerlemans' killing by the journalist with whom he was on assignment. The paper did not say when Oerlemans had been killed, but said he had been wearing a bullet proof vest.
Oerlemans had been reporting on fighting between government and Islamic State troops.
In 2012 Oerlemans was briefly kidnapped by Islamic radicals in Syria, along with Briton John Cantlie, but both were rescued by the Free Syrian Army.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Maclean's goes to monthly print edition as Rogers thrashes some of its titles

Rogers Media says it is overhauling its magazine division by eliminating some print editions, shifting to more digital content and selling off some publications, the CBC reports.
The company said Friday that the magazines Flare, Sportsnet, MoneySense and Canadian Business will go exclusively digital starting in January. Their content will be available on the web and through apps.
Four other titles will keep their print editions, but reduce their frequency.
Beginning in January, Maclean's will go from a weekly publication to a monthly, with new content posted digitally each week. Chatelaine and Today's Parent will produce print editions six times per year, instead of a dozen.
Full CBC story

Canadian media ‘crisis’ puts democracy at risk, says Torstar chair John Honderich

Bruce Campion-Smith writes:
"Canadian media are facing a “crisis” as market forces shrink newsrooms, leaving fewer journalists to report the news vital to a vibrant democracy, the chair of Torstar warns.
John Honderich, chair of the board of Torstar, had blunt words Thursday for MPs studying the state of media in Canada.
“'My message to you is a simple one: there is a crisis of declining good journalism across Canada and at this point we only see the situation getting worse,' Honderich told MPs on the Canadian Heritage committee.
He said newspapers across the country have cut their ranks of journalists, resulting in diminished political and community coverage and less investigative journalism."

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Video streaming service Shomi to shut down

Shomi announced Monday it was shutting down at the end of November, two years after the video-on-demand service launched amid hopes of thriving in a hyper-competitive market, CP reports.
“The business climate and online video marketplace have changed markedly in the last few years,” David Asch, senior vice-president and general manager for Shomi, said in a brief statement.
“Combined with the fact that the business is more challenging to operate than we expected, we’ve decided to wind down our operations.”

Monday, September 26, 2016

Why Facebook is public enemy number one for newspapers, and journalism

Roy Greenslade writes in The Guardian:
"Facebook has emerged as newspapers’ public enemy number one. Hardly a day passes in which there is no negative article about the social media website that is luring away “our” readers and advertisers.
In the past couple of weeks, there has been something of an overload of criticism on a range of topics.
"There was the blocking of the image of a girl fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam. It generated outrage from, among others, Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg in the Guardian, Jane Fae in the Daily Telegraph and Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times (an excellent piece).
"Facebook’s tax affairs have come under the microscope. Questions were raised about Facebook’s attack on ad-blocking software (as if that isn’t in the interest of every news outlet). And there have been plenty of critical articles about Facebook’s news feeds, notably its “trending topics” feature."
The whole story

Margarte Wente didn't appease Nefoundland with her apology

From the CBC web page:
More than a decade after hostile remarks about Newfoundland and Labrador, Margaret Wente's apology did not fall on deaf ears this weekend.
The often-contentious Globe and Mail columnist visited Newfoundland last month, and wrote a follow-up to an inflammatory column from 2005 when she called the province a "vast and scenic welfare ghetto," full of "ingrates on pogey."
On Saturday, she wrote, "I got them all wrong, and I'm sorry."
While Wente's name was being disparaged across social media in Newfoundland and Labrador over the weekend, Joan Penney went about her business at her saltbox house in Little Seldom.
Penney, who hosted Wente, her husband and friends during their stay on Fogo Island, had no indication her guest was a columnist, or intended to write about their conversations over dinner.
"We had no idea who she was. She introduced herself as — hang on, let me check here," she said, flipping through the pages of her guestbook. "Peggy MacLeod."
The full tale

(Hey people, give Ms Wente a break! She apologized.)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

CBC Radio's Ron Solway dead at 84

Ron Solloway, a long-time CBC writer and arts producer, has died at age 84 in Vancouver. He was the founding producer of The Royal Canadian Air Farce, and in his 20 years as head of CBC Radio Drama and Literature and CBC Radio Variety, he oversaw the creation of shows such as Goldrush, Touch the Earth, Jazz Radio-Canada, Brave New Waves, The Vicki Gabereau Show, Anybody Home?, the Frantics and the CBC Literary Competition.
.Death announcement in the Globe and Mail

Friday, September 23, 2016

BBC loves Canada

"Starting today, we're expanding our coverage of Canada on the BBC News website," the BBC website states..
"We've built a small team of journalists in Toronto, led by news editor Jessica Murphy, to report on the issues and themes that are driving Canadian news and current affairs.
"We are also improving the way we show off our reporting about Canada.
Canadian users will see a new section on the front page of the site which highlights the best and latest material about Canada.
"Today, for example, Canadian users can read a story about the Canadian accent and watch Britons confused about the coming of Tim Hortons.
"Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet's emotional reunion with a Syrian refugee girl illustrates the BBC's global reach and how we hope to explain Canada's place in the world.
"And Red River Women, an investigation into unsolved murders of Aboriginal women and girls, is an example of the BBC's very best in-depth and multi-media storytelling."

Monday, September 19, 2016

CBC's Terry Milewski retires

He announced on Twitter: "Small news: I gotta go. After 38 years at CBC, I'm retiring. Still gonna show up often on air and online, so not going cold turkey but..."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Walrus fiction editor quits over magazine’s push for ‘family-friendly’ stories

Nick Giovannetti writes in the Globe and Mail:
"One of Canada’s foremost magazines is embroiled in a battle over whether serious literature tackling serious subjects should also be family-friendly, leading to the resignation of The Walrus’s fiction editor and charges that politeness has gone too far at the publication.
"Nick Mount, the magazine’s fiction editor and an English professor at the University of Toronto, announced by e-mail on Friday morning that he had resigned after The Walrus’s management expressed “obscenity concerns” about publishing the words “crap” and “orgasm” in a work of fiction planned for an upcoming issue.
“'The publisher has decided that the magazine wants more family-friendly fiction,' he said in the e-mail, which went to a list of past contributors, including Margaret Atwood. 'There’s just not enough fiction in Canada that is both good and family-friendly. So I can’t be of much help to the magazine any more.'”

Friday, September 16, 2016

"Headlines my father told me" -- Judith Timson.

Judith Timson's touching musings about her dad, Ray Timson, on the CBC web page:
'My father died well before the age of Twitter. But Dad always spoke in tweets. He called them headlines: 'Race riots, Birmingham, firehoses, tragedy,' was Dad's brisk summation of a tumultuous chapter of the American civil rights movement. 'A dark night for Canada's finest,' telegraphed his outrage over a deadly loggers strike in Newfoundland. 'Bobby's down' came sideways out of his mouth as he hung up the phone after hearing about the mortal shooting of Robert F. Kennedy, brother to the already felled president. From a young age, I took this as normal parental discourse.
The story

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gallup poll: Public confidence in American media falls to all-time low

Politico reports that the American public’s trust in the media in 2016 has fallen to its lowest point since at least 1972, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.
Thirty-two percent of the respondents in Gallup’s most recent national poll said that they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the mass media, an eight percentage-point drop compared to 2015. It’s the lowest point in Gallup’s polling history, which began asking respondents whether they had trust and confidence in the media in 1972.
Public trust in the media fell among respondents who identified as Democrats, Republicans and independents, but the decline in trust in the media was most pronounced among Republicans, whose confidence in the media dropped from 32 percent in 2015 to 14 percent in 2016.
“This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years,” according to the poll.
The drop in media trust and confidence was also apparent among both young and old respondents, according to the study. 2016 is the first time in 15 years that confidence in the media among Americans 50 and older fell below 40 percent.
The whole story

Friday, September 9, 2016

How the iPhone is killing the traditional camera

Om Malik writes in the New Yorker:
"Camera companies, like traditional phone manufacturers, dismissed the iPhone as a toy when it launched, in 2007. Nokia thought that the iPhone used inferior technology; the camera makers thought that it took lousy pictures. Neither thought that they had anything to worry about. Of course, neither anticipated the value of having a computer in your pocket, and what the camera folks, especially, didn’t anticipate was that, as the photographer Chase Jarvis puts it, the best camera is the one that’s with you. . . .
"There are now nearly a billion smartphones worldwide capturing selfies, birthday smiles, breakfast sandwiches, Tuscan villages, and cats. In the past, such photos were taken by a point-and-shoot camera. Even today, the interchangeable-lens cameras and high-end cameras have their fans, so demand for these monsters still exists. But for how long?"
The whole story

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Globe and Mail offering buyouts

The Globe and Mail has offered voluntary buyouts to 40 of its approximately 650 staff in a bid to "right-size" its business, the Hamilton Spec reports.
Publisher and chief executive Philip Crawley said the newspaper expects to know how many volunteers will take the severance packages by early October.
Crawley said the reason for doing this is to "right-size the business as it adjusts to market forces."
He said the offer is open to all managers and staff, union and non-union, and that those leaving voluntarily or involuntarily will be gone by the end of November.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Frank Mag in hot water again!

Local reports that the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service is proceeding with a charge against a writer for Frank Magazine, alleging he violated a publication ban in the case of a police officer's murder. Andrew Douglas, who is Frank's managing editor, pleaded not guilty and was ordered to return to court Sept. 20 for a trial date to be set.
The whole story

It’s about time: We’ve put up with Mansbridge and his pompous ilk for too long - John Doyle

The Globe's John Doyle not being nice to PeterMansbridge:
"In the matter of Peter Mansbridge stepping down from CBC’s The National, this might seem ungracious and harsh, but it’s about bloody time.
Mansbridge has spent 28 years as anchor and chief correspondent for CBC Television’s flagship newscast and that’s a very, very long time for anyone to be in a position of on-air authority in the TV business, a business that has changed so much. The traditional anchor position, which Mansbridge embodies in every scintilla in his on-air persona, is outdated and, essentially, redundant."

Monday, September 5, 2016

Peter Mansbridge to step down from The National next year

Peter Mansbridge has announced he is retiring as anchor of The National.
Mansbridge, 68, has announced that he's planning to step down next summer, after anchoring special Canada Day coverage on July 1.
"As someone who believes strongly in public broadcasting, leaving the CBC's flagship will not be easy," Mansbridge told viewers Monday night. "But what's important is that The National of the future will continue to reflect our world, our country and our people."
Mansbridge's  career has spanned nearly five decades, including 28 years at the helm of the desk as anchor chief correspondent.
CBC story

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Good-bye Speed Graphic, Rolleiflex and Nikon! Welcome the iPhone

Photographer Michael Christopher Brown was 32 when he went to Libya in February of 2011, just as the Arab Spring was dissolving into war. A broken camera forced him to document the conflict with his iPhone, and the pictures he made with his phone’s camera over the next several months form the foundation of Libyan Sugar Twin Palms, his first photography book.
Vanity Fair interview

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Excellent Michele Mandel column about the spate of publication bans

The Sun's Michele Mandel writes:
"There was absolutely no good reason to ban the identities of the three victims of alleged crossbow killer Brett Ryan.
"But that’s what happened last Friday when the Crown arbitrarily sought a discretionary publication ban at Ryan’s first court appearance. The media would not be permitted to name the woman and two men allegedly killed by Brett Ryan; the public wasn’t allowed to know that the 35-year-old former bank robber stands accused of murdering his mother and two brothers.
Why? The Scarborough prosecutor didn’t even bother to give anyone a reason. And just like that, a blanket pub ban was imposed."
The full column

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TIME Inc.'s chief content officer plans to take down "silos"

As the newly appointed chief content officer of Time Inc., Alan Murray, 61, will be the boss of the editors of its more than 20 magazines at a time when the publishing giant is hemorrhaging print ad sales and cutting back on staffing. His primary job will be to better orchestrate the efforts of its online and print publications, while paying close attention to digital revenue. His boss, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp, has told investors that Murray has been tasked “to grow audiences in every format and on every platform, with particular emphasis on mobile, social and video." (From FORTUNE)
The whole story

The Globe's John Doyle finds CRTC decision "truly appalling"

 John Doyke writes:
" . . .the decision is truly appalling. It suits a commercial industry that is already heavily protected, arrogant and uncaring about investing in a medium from which it profits vastly. Second, the CRTC decision comes, suspiciously, without the usual public and industry debate. It looks like a major favour being done for outlets who want to dodge responsibility. Third, it arrives when a Liberal government, one that loudly proclaims its support of Canadian culture, is in power.
"While the CRTC is at arm’s-length from the government, something blatantly ridiculous and hypocritical is unfolding. The 'Mandate Letter' from the Prime Minister to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said this: 'As Minister of Canadian Heritage, your overarching goal will be to implement our government’s plan to strengthen our cultural and creative industries. Our cultural sector is an enormous source of strength to the Canadian economy. Canada’s stories, shaped by our immense diversity, deserve to be celebrated and shared with the world.' The CRTC decision is a cynical 'yeah, right’ to that mandate."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Elizabeth Renzetti on keeping news photogs out of Tragically Hip concert

The Globe and Mail's Elizabeth Renzetti writes about keeping news photogs out of the Tragically Hip concert. Excerpt:
"The Canadian Press wire service would not distribute the handout photos of the show to its customers, citing editorial independence. As CP’s editor-in-chief Stephen Meurice wrote, 'Photos are an integral part of news coverage. They tell a story and have just as much impact as words do. … Our trained journalists decide what to shoot, what to write and what we will make available to our clients. The subjects of our stories and photos do not get to make those decisions.'”

Friday, August 26, 2016

John Doyle: CTV’s Your Morning is an exercise in harebrained inanity

John Doyle, the master wordsmith, writes:
Here’s a new entry in the annals of inanity on Canadian TV – Your Morning.
The daily three-hour show, launched this week as a replacement for the long, long-standing Canada AM, is in its early days. Finding its feet. Trying to get it right. Trying to be engaging.
It’s a tough task, this engaging thing. Getting people hooked on your version of the morning experience and prepping for the day ahead is not easily done. There are existing models, mind you. Turn on most commercial radio in the morning and you’re listening to a bunch of people laughing hysterically at one another’s lame witticisms and, in general, being obnoxious. That’s why a lot of those shows have the word “zoo” in the title.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The New York Times announces plans to expand to Canada

CP reports that The New York Times plans to expand to Canada.
Danielle Rhoades Ha, the company's vice-president of communications, said in an email that the paper is actively assessing how to further extend its reach to readers in Canada and Australia in the coming months.Rhoades Ha said the company has deployed people to both countries to recruit journalists and lay the groundwork for local newsrooms.
She said the company is not discussing further details at the moment. The Times already has a Canadian correspondent, Ian Austen.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Nick Ut, AP photographer who captured iconic image of Vietnamese girl, retires

L.A. Times story:
Nick Ut stood on a road in a village just outside of Saigon when he spotted the girl — naked, scorched by American napalm and screaming as she ran. He raised his camera and snapped the photo that changed his life.
Almost a half century later, Ut is driving east of Los Angeles International Airport, past the Forum in Inglewood where he once photographed Lakers games during the “Showtime” era. He has lived in L.A. for more of his life than in his native Vietnam. He knows its streets so well he never uses a GPS or maps.
L.A.Times story

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The New York Tines public editor on the paper's Facebook venture

The New York Times public editor, Liz Spayd, has misgivings about her paper's venture into Facebook. Excerpts:
"It's been just over four months since The New York Times started producing live video for Facebook, but already the scoreboard is flashing. A few earned gold medals. Several others finished strong. And a lot should never have made the team. . .
"What I hope is that The Times pauses to regroup, returning with a rigor that more sharply defines the exceptional and rejects the second-rate. After all, the world has a glut of bad video and not enough of the kind The Times is capable of producing."
Link to the whole story

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why journalist Arthur Kent spent 8 years fighting column on his political candidacy.

In June, former NBC News war correspondent Arthur Kent, who unsuccessfully ran for office in Canada in 2008, won his libel lawsuit against the Canadian newspaper company Postmedia. The suit centered on a 2008 column by Don Martin published in the Calgary Herald and the National Post, both newspapers owned by Postmedia, that Kent says ruined his attempt at a political career.
Full story in iMediaEthics

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Long-time CFTO reporter Bill Rogers has died at age 64

Bill Rodgers
Television veteran Bill (Rodgers) Kittelberg, has died Thursday in Ottawa of an apparent heart attack. He was a former CFTO / CTV Parliamentary correspondent and former president of  the Parliamentary Press Gallery. He was 64. His death was confirmed by his daughter Lori.
 Funeral arrangements:
Beechwood, Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services
280 Beechwood Avenue, P.O. Box 7025, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1M 1K5
Thursday, 25 Aug 2016 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Link to obituary and funeral details

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

John McLaughlin, TV pundit and Nixon speechwriter, dead at 89

The McLaughlin Group Facebook page reported the news. "Earlier this morning, a beloved friend and mentor, Dr. John McLaughlin, passed away peacefully at the age of 89," the statement read. "As a former Jesuit priest, teacher, pundit and news host, John touched many lives. For 34 years, The McLaughlin Group informed millions of Americans. Now he has said bye bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in Heaven. He will always be remembered." The page said it would post information about memorial services when it becomes available.The McLaughlin Group premiered in April 1982, according to The Associated Press, creating a platform for heated political discussion between the host and a panel that recently featured journalist Tom Rogan, Nixon advisor and presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, columnist Clarence Page and MSNBC contributor Eleanor Clift. "The acquisition of knowledge need not be like listening to the Gregorian chant," the host once said.
The whole Rolling Stone story

Long time CTV VTR operator Wayne Marshall

Wayne Marshall has died at age 65.
Death notice

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mike Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, dissects his defence strategy

Excellent story by the Globe and Mail's Gloria Galloway:
The man who successfully defended Mike Duffy in criminal court says he went to the media nine months before his client was charged in an effort to control the narrative and to stop those in the Senate who he says were driving the message that there was a scandal to be uncovered.
Donald Bayne admits his attempt to change the public characterization of Mr. Duffy was less than successful.
One of the big lessons coming out of the lengthy case was that “when the media develop the story line, that’s a ship, like a cruise liner, that’s very hard to turn around,” Mr. Bayne told fellow lawyers on Sunday morning at a meeting of the Canadian Bar Association. “And the story line of Duffy from Day One was ‘corrupt, greedy, fat, easily cartooned man.’”

Shad leaves CBC Radio’s Q

Shadrach Kabango a.k.a. Shad, is stepping down as host of the CBC Radio show Q, the broadcaster announced Monday.
His last day as host will be Tuesday, CBC said in a statement that also named his replacement as Tom Power.
Kabango was hired as the permanent host of Q in April 2015 following a search to replace the show’s previous host, Jian Ghomeshi. But critics thought his delivery and interview-skills were lukewarm, and the show’s ratings were lackluster.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Obit for the obits

Bruce Weber of the New York Times writes:
No sense in burying the lede. This week, after more than eight years of lively habitation in one of journalism’s more obscure corners, I’m making a final egress, passing on. Starting after Friday’s deadline (ha!) I am an ex-obit writer.
Here’s my legacy. A thousand salutes to the departed, something like that. Age range 11 to 104. Cops and criminals, actors and athletes, scientists and judges, politicians and other poobahs. Famous, infamous or as obscure as the rest of us except for one instance of memorable distinction. A man with a mountain named for him, another who hijacked a plane. A woman who changed infant care for the better, another who shot a ballplayer. High achievers who died after long and fruitful lives (Yogi Berra, Ruby Dee, E. L. Doctorow) or whose unanticipated demise (Grete Waitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Carr) demanded furiously quick reporting and writing — and attention on the front page.
Full story

The slow fade of the newspaper trade

Interesting Alan Freeman take on the newspaper biz in iPolitics:
Once again, another smart idea to save the news business has turned out to be not so smart after all.
Torstar Corp., the publisher of The Toronto Star, announced this week that it was eviscerating the dedicated team set up for its tablet edition — after having spent something like $35 million to launch the product over the past two years. It’s laying off 52 employees, most of them attached to the tablet edition.
Full story

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Interesting but long story about Justin Trudeau's use of photos

From the Saturday Globe and Mail:
"The camera loves Justin Trudeau – and he knows it. Eric Andrew-Gee job-shadows Adam Scotti, the photographer charged with capturing every move of a Prime Minister well aware that, in the age of social media, a flattering picture may be worth far more than a thousand words"
The story -- It's long

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tory attack ads targeting shirtless Trudeau removed after photographer issues cease and desist letter

The federal Conservative Party has removed the now famous photo of a shirtless Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a Tofino wedding, after the photographer served the party a cease and desist order for illegally using her photos as part of a social media campaign, the National Post reports.
Marnie Recker claims the ads, which appeared on the Conservative Party’s social media platforms earlier this month, disrespect her work. She claims the party illegally stole and altered the copyrighted image and used it to attack the Liberal Party. The photo was posted Aug. 8 with a caption that reads, “Canada lost 110,000 jobs recently. And the Prime Minister is still on vacation.”
Recker hired a lawyer, who served the party a cease and desist letter on Tuesday. The images have since been removed.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

NOW magazine could face lockout by end of August

NOW magazine could face a lockout or strike by the end of this month, says the union representing employees at the Toronto weekly, the Star's Lisa Wr9ight writes..
A no-board report was issued Wednesday at the request of company management, which puts the alternative magazine in a legal strike or lockout position after 17 days.
Unifor 87-M, which represents 52 full- and part-time staff at Now, says it is concerned the company has escalated ongoing contract negotiations by requesting the report from the province, which starts the clock ticking on a possible company lockout or union strike by Saturday, Aug. 27.
The two sides have been at the bargaining table since last December. In recent months, the company has tried to re-bargain items already settled and added new concessions, throwing talks into disarray, said Jonathan Goldsbie, a staff writer at Now and chair of its bargaining unit.

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