The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.
With this edition, Canadian Communications Reports begins anew. We've increased our publishing frequency, enhanced our look, and improved the editorial section. The closure of Evert Communications Ltd in January led to the suspension of this publication and its affiliated newsletters.
Shaw Cablesystems has appointed two new board members, Willard (Bill) Yuill, chair and CEO of Monarch Group; and Bradley Shaw, a VP of the company. Shaw joined Shaw Cablesystems in 1985 and has held a range of senior management positions with the company in Alberta and B.C. Shaw is now VP operations for British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. Monarch operates 12 radio stations, two TV stations and cable TV systems in 26 communities in Western Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Shaw releases second-quarter results
Shaw Communications Inc says its second-quarter profit more than doubled to $71.7 million as a result of asset sales. On March 27, the company reported net earnings were 33 cents a share, compared with $30.7 million or 14 cents a share a year earlier. For the first six months of fiscal 2000, profit rose to $111.6 million from $22 million. Net income in the quarter ending Feb.29 included after-tax gains of about $68.5 million from the sale of its FiberLink unit to GT Group Telecom Inc.
The launch of new channels has once again boosted overall revenues for the specialty television sector, particularly those targeted at young Canadians. According to the statistical and financial summaries for pay and specialty channels released by the CRTC, the industry reported pre-tax profits of $126.7 million on revenues of $1 billion in 1999, an increase of 111.1 per cent. Fifty companies reported, up three from the 1998 figures. The new players are MuchMore Music, CTV Sports Net and TreeHouse.
The collapse of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle hasn't hindered Canada in its attempt to negotiate a comprehensive and multilateral trade treaty for culture. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Heritage minister Sheila Copps have been meeting with their counterparts from the Americas, Europe and other regions to drum up support for a made-in-Canada idea that would include – rather than exempt – cultural industries in any future trade agreements. There are even signs that the U.S. is willing to discuss the issue.
Quebecor Inc's hostile takeover bid of Groupe Vidéotron ltée reinforces a belief within Quebec's nationalist government that control of communications infrastructure should be kept inside the province, a prominent member of Quebec's independence movement says.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp is considering renting or selling much of its broadcast infrastructure to raise money for programming. President Robert Rabinovitch recently told the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage that the CBC is conducting an internal review of its holdings, with an eye to shedding its transmission system and some buildings.
Telus goes for poison pill just in case of takeovers
BCT.Telus Communications Inc of Burnaby BC has adopted a poison pill for shareholders, even though the company admits it is not expecting a takeover bid. The board has already approved the plan. The proposal must still get regulatory approval and be voted on by shareholders at the May 3 annual meeting.