Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: September 03, 2020

Bruce Allen: The Name Trump

Bruce Allen: Turning down the CFL

Rogers offers to buy Cogeco — what it means

Thursday, we learned Canada’s already concentrated telecom/media industry could soon become even more concentrated: Rogers has teamed up with American cable company Altice USA to make an unsolicited $10.3-billion offer for all of Cogeco’s assets. As part of the deal, Altice would take over Cogeco’s U.S. assets (Atlantic Broadband) and Rogers would take over the Canadian assets (Cogeco Connexion and Cogeco Media) for a net purchase price of $4.9 billion.

Rogers already owns a significant part of the two companies that make up Cogeco, via subordinate voting shares (41% of Cogeco Inc. and 33% of Cogeco Communications).

But both companies are controlled by the Audet family — Henri Audet founded the company more than 60 years ago — and the family has announced that it will not support the bid. Meanwhile, Quebec premier François Legault says he will do whatever is in his power to prevent Quebec from losing another corporate headquarters. But it’s unclear what powers he would have in this case. – Steve Faguy, Fagstein blog

Cogeco: Connected to the World

Dozens of local radio stations to vanish across England

Dozens of towns and cities across England will lose their own distinctive local radio stations later this year, after the commercial group Bauer announced plans to fold almost 50 regional outlets into a national radio network.

Stations such as York’s Minster FM and the West Midlands’ Signal 107 will lose their identities and be rebranded under the Greatest Hits Radio name from September.

Rather than producing their own shows, the stations will largely carry syndicated programmes made in London featuring national presenters playing classic pop music. – Jim Waterson, The Guardian

From Kingmaker to ‘Autocrat’: How game makers went to war with Apple

Epic’s lawsuit against Apple has exposed the tensions between Apple and companies in the games business, the most lucrative category in the App Store. While the conflicts have intensified, the tensions were years in the making. – Nick Wingfield & Alex Heath, The Information

Apple more valuable than the entire FTSE 100

The valuation of US tech giant Apple has continued to surge, surpassing the entire value of all the members of the UK's top share index.

Apple's shares rose 4% on Tuesday, valuing it at $2.3 trillion (£1.7tn), compared to the £1.5tn value of all the companies in the FTSE 100.

Apple shares fell back on Wednesday, but remained ahead of the London index at the close of trading on Wednesday. – BBC News

Cheng Lei: Why has an Australian TV anchor been detained by China?

To millions of viewers, Cheng Lei was the face of China's state-run English news service, tasked with delivering the tightly-scripted "China story" around the world.

The respected business journalist - an Australian citizen based in Beijing - was a polished presenter on CGTN (China Global Television Network), and had been growing her brand with a light-hearted cooking show on the state media channel.

But last month Ms Cheng suddenly disappeared from screens and ceased all contact with friends and family. Her profile and interviews were wiped from CGTN's website. – Frances Mao, BBC News

On Monday, the Australian government revealed that the 45-year-old journalist had been detained by Chinese authorities, held under "residential surveillance" in an unknown location.

Appeals court finds NSA's bulk phone data collection was unlawful

The collection program was first revealed to the public in 2013 by journalists who received a document leak from Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor. Snowden also revealed several other programs in which the NSA and agencies in cooperating countries tapped into the backbone of the internet in the name of foreign surveillance. The NSA news outraged privacy advocates and US citizens whose data was caught up in the dragnet. It also prompted US tech companies to distance themselves from government spy agencies in an effort to reassure customers that their data was secure. – Corinne Reichert & Laura Hautala, CNET

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