Shaw backs out of deal on small stations

As predicted in this space a few months ago, the Shaw move to buy for $1 each small CTV stations in Windsor, Wingham and Brandon has fallen through. I noted it was just a cheap stunt for the benefit of the CRTC to argue that CTV/Global over-the-air stations don’t need fee-for-carriage and can be profitable without it. I suspect the bean counters at Shaw finally argued economic sense to senior management, and convinced them that buying money losing stations in an ad depression is a guaranteed money-loser. Interesting that the story comes out on a holiday and that Shaw management, in the manner of titans of industry who screw up everywhere, are unavailable for comment. Keep after them boys, to explain what happened to this. Meanwhile, CanWest sold its smaller stations in Montreal and Hamilton to something called Channel Zero, which has a radical approach to profitability: change the format to something they can afford, to wit all news during the day and movies at night. This will be good for news in those communities.

Globe and Mail, July 1 2009

Burying the news on the front page

Well, the Harper government did it again, trying to bury a bad news story by putting it out after five on a Friday afternoon. All this type of unprofessional nonsense does is fly a red flag in front of the media bull, and predictably, a story that otherwise would have ended up somewhere on the inside (not that many people really care whether the national portrait gallery is in Ottawa or Edmonton) is on the front page of the national edition of the Globe and Mail.

Globe and Mail, November 8 2008

Another attempt to bury bad news fails

Today it’s the B.C. gov’t that gets raked over the coals for trying to bury news, instead of just address it. The Globe’s Gary Mason provides very cogent arguments for why this tactic always fails. This is prompting a new file: Burying the News.

Globe and Mail, August 19 2008

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