The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.
Gerry Noble, president and CEO of the Global Television Network, will be leaving the network, following the expiry of his current contract on August 31 to "pursue opportunities outside the company." He began his career at Global Television in Toronto in 1985, and has managed television operations for the company in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. For the next several months, he will be a special advisor to Rick Camilleri, COO. Camilleri was given the direct responsibility for executive management of CanWest’s Canadian television, newspaper, interactive and other media operations. As well, Robert Calvert was appointed senior VP of operations, and John Burgis was named executive VP of business services and finance for the company’s Canadian media operations. Other movements at CanWest include the retirement of Don Babick, currently president of CanWest Publications Inc. He retires effective April 30. Babick also becomes a special advisor to Camilleri for the next several months. As well, Steve Wyatt becomes editor-in-chief of Global Television Network. Based at Global’s Vancouver television news centre, he will be responsible for the overall news brand for Global Television News and for Global National. Anchor Peter Kent has been appointed deputy editor of Global Television News. The personnel changes follow an official announcement earlier this month that Israel (Izzy) Asper was retiring as executive chair of CanWest Global Communications Corp. Asper retains his position as chair of the board.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which is studying the broadcasting system, had intended to go to London, England; Washington DC; and to host a three-day retreat at Meech Lake to put together its report. But the committee’s request for financing for the travel was turned down by the Budget Sub Committee on December 5. Thus, further to the article entitled "Heritage committee looking at relevance of Britain’s Communications Bill to Canada" in the Dec. 13, 2002 issue of CCR, committee members will examine the legislation in paper form only. Members will not be traveling to England to question Parliamentarians there on the British bill (CCR, Dec. 13/02).
Stornoway Communications filed a Cabinet appeal earlier this month asking the government to order the CRTC to have another look at its licence renewal decision for the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC). Stornoway contends that the changes granted make the cable-owned Parliamentary channel competitive with its Category 1 digital specialty TV channel ichannel, in contradiction of CRTC policy.
Vision TV was awarded a 2-cent wholesale rate increase in a contentious CRTC decision last week, which caused three commissioners to write dissents (Broadcasting Decision 2003-23). The decision means that cable and satellite television subscribers will be paying more for the multi-faith specialty channel since it is part of basic packages.
Cable and satellite television service rates are on the rise in Canada even as the market for TV subscribers is as competitive as ever. A number of providers have increased pricing in recent months or plan to soon as they strive to increase revenue to shore up their balance sheets.
As Craig Wireless International Inc. increases its stake in wireless cable operator Look Communications Inc., the state of the rollout of its own wireless cable system in British Columbia remains a mystery. Craig had until Dec. 31, 2002 to launch in the province, after applying for and receiving two extensions from the CRTC in the past couple of years (CCR, Aug. 15/02). CRTC sources tell Canadian Communications Reports that Craig has not applied for a further extension, and that president and CEO Boyd Craig had indicated in a phone message that the service had launched. But commission sources add that Craig also mentioned that there would be no regular customer service available until "all details" had been worked out.
The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) is worried that a new pro-public broadcasting advocacy organization officially launched last week is a pawn in an ongoing battle with another union representing a different segment of Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) employees. The new organization, called Our Public Airwaves, is being financially supported by the Canadian Media Guild, which is affiliated with the U.S.-based union Communications Workers of America (CWA).