Andrew Lundy, senior producer at, is interviewed via instant messaging on the Tea Makers blog.

It’s an interesting chat, once you get past the fact that Lundy is being interviewed by a blogger who claims to work for the CBC but won’t reveal his/her identity [just like most everyone who adds comments to the blog].

Having adopted the name of a former CBC President, Alphonse Ouimet, the blogger then begins the interview by questioning whether it’s really Andrew Lundy on the line. Surreal.

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CTV must sell Citytv, says regulator


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 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.

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Afghan radio boss murdered

From Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders today voiced deep shock at the murder overnight of Zakia Zaki, a leading figure among Afghanistan’s independent journalists.

Two armed men broke into the family home of the head of radio Sada-e-Sulh (Peace Radio) in Jabalussaraj, in the northern province of Parwan, and gunned her down in front of her two-year-old son, firing seven bullets before fleeing. Zakia Zaki, who was 35, had run the radio since it was founded in 2001 and was also head of a local school.

She had received several death threats after openly criticising warlords and the Taliban.

“Whether this savage act was linked to her work as a journalist or her civic responsibilities, it is vital that those who responsible for this murder should be quickly identified and punished,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “We urge President Hamid Karzai to commit all the necessary resources to ensure a successful outcome to the investigation and to leave no stone unturned.”

An investigation has been opened but no particular lead was being given priority.

“The head of Sada-e-Sulh had received several threats and her struggle for freedom of expression and women’s liberation were exemplary,” the organisation said.

Zakia Zaki liked to refer to Sada-e-Sulh as “a community home for the residents, the only place where they dare to express themselves freely”. It is the only independent radio in Parwan province and broadcasts mainly on issues such as human rights, education and women’s rights…

…In an interview with a Reporters Without Borders’ delegation which visited Afghanistan in 2002, Zaki said she had received death threats from several Mujahideen chiefs.

Local leaders of the Jamiat-e-islami had banned her from interviewing women in the street for her broadcasts.

A portrait of the journalist was included in a documentary called “If I stand up”, co-produced by Unesco, on International Women’s Day in March 2005 as one of four eminent women journalists in Afghan society…

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Never too old for rock ‘n’ roll – taking the CHUM tour

More than 300 people waited to tour the studios of Top-40 icon CHUM radio in Toronto. Picture / Neil Sanderson  

The scene was a genuine blast from the past — at least 300 people packing the sidewalk at 1 o’clock this afternoon in front of legendary Toronto radio station CHUM. From the front door at 1331 Yonge St, the queue stretched a half block north before disappearing around the corner and along Rosehill Ave.

But instead of hoping for a glimpse of Elvis or the Beatles, this crowd of seriously over 40s just wanted to see the station that introduced rock ‘n’ roll to Canadian radio. [All right, maybe some of those lined up had hopes the King might be somewhere in the building. After all, CHUM is still playing the same songs as in its heyday, even if we now have to call them “oldies”.]

The CHUM studios were an unlikely addition to this weekend’s list of Doors Open Toronto buildings. The former book bindery hardly exudes architectural charm. But with the station now celebrating its 50th anniversary playing rock’n’roll, the owners decided to open the doors for a limited three-hour span today only. And CHUM proved it could still pull a crowd.

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Canadian TV ad limit to be abolished

The Canadian Radio Television Commission will remove limits on the amount of advertising that conventional TV stations can broadcast during prime time (7pm-11pm).

  • The current limit is 12 minutes of advertising per hour.
  • It will rise to 14 minutes on September 1.
  • It will rise to 15 minutes on September 1 next year.
  • There will be no limit, beginning September 1, 2009.

The CRTC also announced yesterday that it would not approve a proposal by conventional TV broadcasters for a user fee payable by TV viewers who get their signals via cable or satellite.

The networks had said they needed the additional revenue to make up for loss of advertising due to audience fragmentation, and to offset the cost of upgrading their systems to HDTV – a change that must be completed by August 31, 2011.

Here’s the CRTC announcement. Details and discussion at Canadian Journalist.

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Departing head wants ‘new challenge’

Sue Gardner has commented on her reasons for resigning as head of, saying she’s looking for a “new challenge”.

Staff were told on Tuesday that Gardner would be leaving the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on June 1, after almost 17 years in various CBC roles.

I emailed her to ask why, and she responded as follows:

…I’ve done what I personally wanted to do at CBC.CA.

  • I wanted to launch the arts & entertainment section, which is done and terrific.
  • I wanted to get the redesign done, which happened last June.
  • I wanted to get the advertising expansion completed.
  • I wanted to make sure we got the technology section up and running, as well as Consumer Life.

Plus some other bits and pieces; all done now.

So the upshot is, you reach a point where you’ve achieved your own goals. There’s lots of work that remains to be done, and the CBC has terrific people who will do it. But for me, I decided it’s time to seek out some new challenge. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to take the summer off, then come the fall, I’ll start thinking seriously about what’s next.

There are similar comments from Gardner on Tod Maffin’s official CBC blog.

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Setback for CTV-CHUM deal

The Canadian Radio Television Commission has blocked the proposed sale by television network CTV of up to three CITY-TV stations.

CTV doesn’t yet own the stations — in Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton — but would pick them up as part of its purchase of radio and television broadcaster CHUM Limited

That deal is pending approval from the CRTC, and CTV had hoped it would become more palatable to the regulator if the CITY stations were taken out of the package.

The full story has just been posted at

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