Television for the dead: the ultimate demographic

Both the Globe and National Post reported yesterday a new channel approved by the CRTC: an all-obituary channel from Quebec. Who would watch this? I thought the 24-hour fishing channel was the height of narrowcasting absurdity. It would be like hanging out a funeral home to take notes as to how different people do funerals. And CRTC has time on its hands to do this while over the air broadcasters are going broke and cutting back programming: our tax dollars at work.

Sun/Quebecor media to leave CP

Canadian Press, which is desperately seeking a new business model/ownership after CanWest bailed out a few years ago, is facing another crisis, as Pierre Karl Peladeau gave notice that it will leave CP next year. The story, from CP, notes that Peladeau is imploring its staff that times are tough and people need to be mindful of costs, much as the Aspers did a while ago with their staff. I’ve always predicted that the Sun chain would die before the former Southam chain (which would prosper from the Sun’s collapse gaining monopoly rights in most media markets). The Sun would at least go under and die; CanWest would likely go bankrupt and seek protection under new management. Grim days ahead for newspaper readers.

Canadian Press/Canoe, March 12 2009

CanWest’s new strategy: “We’ll just PR our way out of this.”

President Richard Nixon, in talking with his closest aide, H.R. (Bob) Haldeman, had this to say of the ongoing Watergate crisis: “Don’t worry, Bob. We’ll just PR our way out of this. ” A year later, Bob was in jail, along with a dozen other Nixon aides, on charges relating to perjury, breakin, bribery, blackmailing and generally behaving like a lunatic. And Richard Nixon was in such disgrace he had to resign the presidency before being impeached.

This all came to mind when I came across this story yesterday from CanWest (link below). Basically, their PR department is putting out the line that everything’s just jake at CanWest, but it’s their rivals at CTV that are in trouble (in fact, they’re both in trouble: CTV is laying off its Canada AM staff, and CanWest continues to buy time from its creditors.) Kind of sad when you’re reduced to interviewing your own PR staff to try to convince the world (and those pesky creditors) that you’re really solvent (when in fact you’re not.)
CanWest news service, March 11 2009


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