Western Manitoba loses local TV news as CKX closes

CKX Radio and TV studios

I was sad to read of the closure of CKX TV in Brandon, Manitoba last Friday.

In the late 1970s I was the afternoon drive announcer on CKX Radio, a 50,000 watt station covering Brandon and dozens of rural communities across southwestern Manitoba. I occasionally wandered into the TV studios to appear in car dealer ads or do a bit of voice-tracking for station breaks. I was amazed that – back then at least – the competing CTV and CBC television transmissions were run side-by-side from the same control room, apparently a sensible efficiency in such a small market.

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Charging for online news? ‘That horse has left the barn,’ says Globe & Mail

Phillip Crawley - Click to play video

News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch may be keen to build paywalls around his websites, but Canada’s Globe & Mail is not looking to charge for access to online news.

“I think that horse has left the barn,” Globe publisher Phillip Crawley tells the Canadian Marketing Association.

The Globe does, however, see a good business in continuing to charge for online financial information carried by its Globe Investor Gold website.

Watch the 5-minute interview by clicking on the image above.

Globe & Mail flattens structure, adds digital staff

Globe and Mail

J-Source has posted a memo from the Globe & Mail’s recently promoted Editor-in-Chief John Stackhouse outlining a reshuffle of senior managers.

There will be no deputy editor. Three masthead editors will take expanded responsibility for News and Sports (David Walmsley), Features (Jill Borra) and Business (Elena Cherney). Commentary and Custom Content remain under their current editors.

Executive Editor Neil Campbell remains in charge of Resources. Adrian Norris is Managing Editor – Presentation with responsibility for photos, graphics and design across all platforms.

As previously announced, Anjali Kapoor joins the Globe next week from Yahoo as Managing Editor – Digital, with Kenny Yum (from nationalpost.com) as editor of globeandmail.com.

In keeping with the digital expansion, Stackhouse announced that:

Two more positions will be added shortly to the core digital group – one to manage new projects across the site and our growing video capacity; the other to edit our content for a growing mobile platform.

Bloggers help Globe & Mail create Toronto hub

Globe and Mail Toronto Hub announcementOne of Canada’s two national newspapers, the Globe and Mail, is going after Toronto readers with help from local blog site Torontoist.

In an announcement on the Globe’s website late Friday night, Toronto editor Kelly Grant [pictured with the announcement] said the newspaper had created an online Toronto hub that would include material from Torontoist, in addition to features such as a Toronto traffic page incorporating Twitter feeds.

The Globe would also increase its city hall staff from two to four.

Torontoist editor David Topping described the agreement as a content-sharing partnership, but didn’t say whether Torontoist would publish Globe and Mail content in return.

The arrangement doesn’t appear to be content-sharing in the usual sense, but rather link-sharing. So far at least, if you click on a Torontoist story from the Globe and Mail site, the story opens on Torontoist, giving the blog site a nice traffic boost.

Is the NY Times social media editor social enough?

Jennifer Preston

No sooner does the New York Times announce the appointment of a social media editor than bloggers wonder aloud why she has had such a low profile in the social media universe thus far.

The credibility of Jennifer Preston [pictured] has been called into question by Ben Parr at Mashable and Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb, who say they found little evidence of her in the usual social media venues.

And Gawker figures it’s all part of a NY Times plot to clamp down on the use of social media by staffers, rather than foster more of it.

Among Ms Preston’s alleged anti-social behaviour: she kept her Twitter updates private until after her appointment to the new position. Her Twitter followership appears to be surging now, however.

The Times’ move comes several months after a Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail, appointed a “communities editor”. The paper chose its technology writer, Mathew Ingram, who was already a prominent blogger and avid user of social media.

– Hat tip: J-Source

Digital is focus for new editor at Globe & Mail

Click to watch John Stackhouse video

Yesterday’s executive changes at the Globe and Mail are being described as “part of a broader set of changes to expand the newspaper’s digital strategy.”

Few hints of what that might mean are being made public at this stage, but statements by publisher Phillip Crawley make it clear that he wants changes to happen quickly. And the man appointed to lead the paper’s newsroom says the paper could charge for its online news coverage.

As a result of the shakeup announced yesterday:

  • John Stackhouse [seen in the above video] becomes Editor-in-Chief, replacing Edward Greenspon, 52, who led the paper for seven years. Mr Stackhouse, 46, joined the paper 20 years ago, and has been editor of Report on Business since 2004.
  • Roger Dunbar, who has been Vice President of Digital and Business Development since joining the paper in 2004, becomes VP-Business Development and Marketing.
  • Angus Frame, 37, becomes VP-Digital. He was the editor of globeandmail.com for seven years before being named Group Director – Digital Media last year.

The changes were effective immediately.

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Rogers buys Citytv stations

Media and telecommunications giant Rogers Communications is buying the Citytv stations in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver from CTVglobemedia, which is in the process of buying them from CHUM Limited.

The sale comes just days after Canada’s broadcast regulator, citing rules against concentration of ownership, said CTVgm would have to sell the Citytv stations if it wanted CHUM. CTVgm’s media assets include the 21-station CTV television network and the Globe & Mail newspaper.

CTVgm had struck a deal to sell CHUM’s A-Channel television network to Rogers, but the regulator said that wasn’t good enough.

Rogers currently owns a number of specialty TV channels available over the air or by cable only. Its other interests include radio stations, magazines, mobile and landline phones, cable TV service and internet service.

CHUM Limited’s television operations comprise the five major-market Citytv stations, six small-market A-Channel stations, CKX-TV in Brandon and 21 specialty TV channels available on cable. It also operates 33 radio stations across Canada.

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CTV must sell Citytv, says regulator

From thestar.com:

OTTAWA – The federal broadcast regulator is allowing CTVglobemedia to buy broadcaster CHUM Ltd. but only if the broadcaster sells five Citytv stations, including its flagship operation in Toronto…

That’s one very big “but”.

CTVglobemedia, operator of the CTV television network, wanted to keep the Citytv stations included in the purchase of CHUM. It did, however, offer to sell CHUM’s A-Channel television stations to Rogers Communications if the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission approved the purchase of CHUM.

From thestar.com again:

In its announcement, the CRTC said the purchase would be “inconsistent” with the regulator’s policy for CTVglobemedia to operate more than one conventional television station in one language in a given market.

“The purpose of this policy is to maintain diversity of voices within the Canadian broadcasting system,” CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein said in a statement.

CTVglobemedia says it’s reviewing today’s CRTC decision.

Globe site even better after redesign

New globeandmail.com front page - Mary 23, 2007 

I’ve been an admirer of the globeandmail.com design ever since the site was revamped in February last year with a new look and Web 2.0 tools.

But the site’s front page got even better this week with the elimination of the vertical navigation column. Thank you G&M!

It’s not that I don’t like vertical nav. It’s just that when you already have three horizontal nav menus at the top of the page, things start to get pretty cluttered and confusing.

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