Around The Dial: Broadcast News Today

News about media and the regulatory environment both inside and beyond Canada's borders.

Included in the latest edition of Fagstein’s Media News Digest:

  • More organizational changes at CBC News.

  • Jean-François Lisée thinks Radio-Canada wants Quebecers to think they’re racist. Or something.

  • The Journal de Saint-Lambert was ordered to pay the former mayor $130,000 for defamatory articles against him, driven by the man who is now the new mayor.

  • At the CRTC

  • The commission was busy this week hearing applications for new aboriginal radio stations in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. There were some tense moments discussing how the federal government deals with indigenous people and an acknowledgement from the chair that there are no aboriginal members at the CRTC. (It’s the government that has failed to appoint any.) Transcripts are here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.

  • TV

  • Quebec’s budget announced this week includes an additional $10 million over five years ($2 million a year) for Télé-Québec.

  • Channel Zero, which owns CHCH television in Hamilton, has announced a $1-million settlement with former employees who were laid off as the company that employs them was forced into bankruptcy. Because the deal was reached with the union, the actual former employees who would be getting money didn’t get to vote on the settlement, which gives them less than they would have been entitled to as severance under their collective agreement.

  • After some people expressed worries that The Handmaid’s Tale, a Hulu series based on a Margaret Atwood novel, wouldn’t be available in Canada, and after repeated promises from Atwood that there would be a way to see it here, Bell Media finally announced that it has acquired the Canadian rights to the show and will air it on Bravo. It will add the show to its Crave TV library after the Bravo run is complete.

  • Radio

  • Quebec City radio host André Arthur is facing another libel lawsuit. Meanwhile, he’s also being criticized for suggesting it’s okay to run over cyclists during winter.

  • Print

  • Quebec’s budget has a $36-million gift to the local newspaper industry. Two-thirds of that will go to vaguely described programs meant to help written news outlets. The other third will subsidize a fund that newspapers pay into to compensate municipalities that have to recycle their products. A coalition of newspapers that called for government assistance says this isn’t enough.

  • Last Friday was bad news day at the Vancouver Sun and Province. J-Source compiled “so I’ve been laid off” tweets from the staff there.

  • Nominees for the Magazine Grands Prix, the breakaway competitor to the National Magazine Awards, have been announced

  • Postmedia rolled out a new national brand campaign: “Built on trust”, featuring full-page front-page ads in 10 daily broadsheets.

  • Online

  • Brendan Kelly profiles Montreal-based video creator WatchMojo

  • CBC Montreal is starting up a new podcast, Montreapolis, hosted by Steve Rukavina

  • Obituaries

  • Janine Sutto, Quebec actress (so important to its cultural scene there are even some obits in English)

After layoffs at local news stations, CTV union calls on government to help media industry: Unifor spokesman Howard Law said in a statement that more cuts are expected at CTV stations across Canada and the federal government should move quickly to review the industry, which it promised to do in the federal budget released last week.

Quebec budget contains help for newspapers: Tuesday’s provincial budget included $36 million to help struggling print media make the transition to a digital product.

Corus Radio, Global News team up with Longo’s for April Foods Day: The Global News team in Toronto, along with AM 640, Q107 and 102.1 The Edge are joining forces with Longo Brothers Fruit Markets to launch a food drive on April Fools’ Day to remind the public that hunger and poverty are no joke.

For Google, the AI talent race leads straight to Canada: The Canadian connection is hardly coincidental: Universities in Toronto and Montreal have played a big role in the rise of deep learning, a collection of AI techniques that allows machines to learn tasks by analyzing large amounts of data. As deep learning remakes the likes of Google and Microsoft, Canada has become a hotbed for new talent.

Wanna protect your online privacy? Open a tab and make some noise: Internet Noise acts like a browser extension but is really just a website that auto-opens tabs based on random Google searches.

Trump to sign broadband privacy repeal: The repeal is seen as a win for telecommunications companies, who argued that the regulations were onerous, especially in light of the fact that internet companies like Google, Twitter and others have free rein to collect similar types of data.

Verto Industries releases a music streaming ranker: Data places Apple Music on top but there are some big ‘buts’ about the methodology and the results.

Fair Play Fair Pay Act returns to Congress: Stations with annual revenue of less than $1M would get a break with a flat rate of $500 per year and non-commercial stations would pay a flat $100 per year for the performance royalty. News-talk and religious stations would pay no performance royalties under the new proposal.

Spotify gaining on Pandora: By focusing on music discovery, Spotify has been credited with much of the erosion as users become more sophisticated in the way they use streaming platforms

Listen In: A Conversation on the Evolution of Pay TV: In the latest episode of ‘Behind the Numbers’ podcast, analysts Paul Verna and Gerard Broussard discuss what audience fragmentation means for the TV industry and whether internet-delivered live programming represents a fundamental challenge to the traditional broadcast model. Listen to the podcast

Friends of the CBC’s Ian Morrison meets the PM: The pubcaster advocate recently visited 24 Sussex Drive to give Justin a bobble-head and, more importantly, impress on the need for a CBC free from political interference and partisan appointments. You can endorse the message here.






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