More media carnage: two Montreal AM stations shut down

Well, AM has been in touch ever since FM produced a higher quality sound, which meant most of the music migrated to that frequency, leaving AM to all news/sports/talk show formats. I didn’t know till the National Post told me (some value to newspapers still, providing more information in a less timely manner than their broadcast colleagues) that one of the stations shut down was the first radio station in Canada, dating back to Marconi. Worth reading for that alone.

National Post,  January 29 2010


Ad buyers echo Canwest motto: don’t break the papers up

Yeah, it may be easier for ad agencies to place an ad in all Canwest newspapers by only going to one source, but on the other hand, so what? After all, if a client says to an agency “I want to place an ad in every daily newspaper in the country”, they will gladly do so and for a handsome fee. So make em work, I say, and break up the Canwest chain and return to the Southam model: local newspapers locally managed.

Calgary Herald, Jan. 28 2010

The argument for buying online news

The Globe’s Leah McLaren, who I rarely read since I’m not a fashionista (we should all just wear Mao clothes and be done with it) nevertheless put together a very cogent argument for buying what used to be for free: newspaper news online.  I will be doing the same when the NY Times starts charging for online content. After all, what value does any news have if it’s free?

Globe and Mail, January 23 2010

CITY TV whacks local news

CITY TV has five stations, all of which except Toronto are losing their noon, five p.m., six p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, essentially leaving the morning show to do local news. And Rogers has the gall to state “We strongly believe in local television and we’re strongly committed to local television.” Oh yeah? Then why are you cutting local content? Some practitioners are so focused on staying on message they forget that the message doesn’t make sense. 60 jobs will be lost in all.

Globe and Mail, January 20 2010

Canwest papers: break em up and let local values thrive

Many stories on an effort to buy just three CanWest dailies: Toronto (aka The “National” Post), Ottawa and Montreal, as well as rumors of Alberta’s sovereign wealth fund wanting to buy the two Alberta dailies, and Jimmy (The Ax) Pattison buying the BC dailies. CanWest (why does it even have a voice in this?) is saying it wants to sell the papers as a block to build on those wonderful synergies that have resulted in bankruptcy. I say break em up, get out of the national/monopolistic mode, and go back to the Southam model: local papers run as independent entities reflecting local values, with some sharing of news/features when it makes sense. This might be a golden opportunity for Canadian newspapers to reflect their local characteristics, not the national ones directed from Winnipeg (why, for example, should two pages of the business section of my local CanWest paper, the Leader Post, be a goddamn reprint from the previous day’s Financial Post?) And they wonder why people aren’t reading them.

Toronto Star, January 18 2010

Newspapers drive blogs; newspapers disappearing. What next?

A Pew report notes that, in a study done in one week in Baltimore last year, newspapers (including weekly and specialty) continue to drive news coverage in all media, including blogs. The study refers to “the echo chamber of the Web”, in which most of that which is posted is uncommented on linkage.

Meanwhile, another study from Harris shows that 77 per cent of Americans won’t pay to read newspapers on the web. With traditional circulation falling, what happens to the blogosphere when the source of all news, the much-maligned newspaper, goes under?

Pew, January 11 2010

Harris, January 13 2010

Banks to Asper: we’re in charge now

I guess he still has an office somewhere and thinks he’s in charge of something, but Scotiabank straightened him out: the lenders are in charge and are going to get their money back regardless of Leonard Asper’s opinion. The Globe gleefully reported an exchange between the bank and Mr. Asper today on the front page of the Report on Business today. Give the Black Knight credit for spunk, but the truth is the old management is done.

Globe and Mail, January 11 2010