Broadcasting

Radio, television and internet broadcasting is a critical element of Canadian culture and a key player in the country’s news industry.

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Richard Zussman Union fights firing of CBC political reporter over book deal - CWA Canada and its largest Local are going to bat for member Richard Zussman, who was fired by the CBC for allegedly breaching rules governing activities outside of work. The Canadian Media Guild (CMG ), which represents thousands of employees at the public broadcaster, has taken the case to arbitration and is seeking a ruling from labour mediator Vince Ready. Zussman, 34, who was the B.C. provincial affairs reporter, based in Victoria, has co-authored a book about the defeat of Christy Clark’s Liberal government and the rise to power of NDP Premier John Horgan. It is to be published this spring. CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said in a statement that Zussman’s employment “was not terminated simply for co-authoring a book.” He said the decision was “based on the findings of a third-party investigation,” which determined that the reporter had violated CBC’s code of conduct, conflict-of-interest rules and the collective agreement with the CMG. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon called it a “baffling overreaction by CBC management.” “Why on Earth would they fire a political journalist for writing a book about politics?” O’Hanlon asked. “They’ve somehow managed the perplexing feat of turning good press into bad press.” “The union remains solidly behind Richard Zussman and [...]
Corus Entertainment Union accuses Corus of punishing newly unionized workers - BEATRICE BRITNEFF | iPolitics [~] The union representing a new group of unionized employees at Corus Entertainment has filed a complaint with the federal labour board, alleging the media company has broken labour laws by scaling back employees’ benefits immediately after they voted in favour of unionizing — and before a new collective agreement could be negotiated. In its March complaint to the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Canadian Media Guild – a local of media union CWA Canada – alleges Corus penalized the group of 48 workers for voting in favour of unionizing “in an effort to turn employees against the union” and “intimidated individual employees for expressing their views on unionization.” The Guild claims Corus — which provides specialty TV channels and owns Global News and nearly 40 radio stations in Canada — has engaged in “unfair labour practices,” including reducing employees’ vision care benefits, revoking the employees’ parking passes and terminating their ability to contribute to a group RRSP. Sean FitzPatrick, legal counsel for the Guild, said the union had been negotiating with Corus until recently, when the two sides reached an impasse over wages and benefits. The union has now created a webpage to draw attention [...]
Corus workers take case for fair deal to public - CWA Canada members trying to bargain a new collective agreement with Corus Entertainment are taking their case for a fair deal to the public with a letter-writing campaign. Workers in television operations at the Toronto-based company voted early this year to join the Canadian Media Guild (Local 30213) after Corus purchased and absorbed Shaw Media, where the CMG already represented employees. Those new CMG members have been trying to negotiate a collective agreement with the company since March. Corus illegally took away benefits and reduced pension contributions after the TV workers voted to join the union. Corus refuses to address a $10,500 wage gap between people doing similar work. Further, the company is offering an increase of only 1.0 per cent and a deal that would expire in six months. The bargaining team said in a statement that Corus, which became a media empire as a result of the $2.65-billion deal, “is only pretending to negotiate (and is) capable of closing the wage gap. They need to stop punishing us for having joined a union and start treating us fairly.” CMG has launched a campaign to encourage members of the public to send letters to Corus Entertainment CEO Doug Murphy [...]
CMG encouraged by Trudeau government’s vision for CBC - The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) is encouraged by Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly’s recognition of the foundational and central role of CBC/Radio-Canada in the country’s media and cultural system. In her announcement today, the minister acknowledged that, “Never before has a public broadcaster been so needed, so vital, to so many.” She committed to “strengthen[ing] the mandate of our public broadcaster ” and noted that, “The CBC carries a huge public responsibility. Canadians’ expectations for it are fiercely high. They ought to be.” CMG, CWA Canada’s largest Local, which represents thousands of employees at the CBC as well as at APTN, welcomes this commitment to strengthen and rebuild the national public broadcaster. With regard to the announced mandate review, we will be following developments closely and look forward to participating. For this review to be meaningful, a broad range of stakeholders and supporters of CBC/Radio-Canada need to be engaged and involved. When it comes to reopening the Broadcasting Act, our union believes key components of the Act need to be secured, including those pertaining to the special role of CBC/Radio‐Canada; the protection CBC/Radio‐Canada’s independence; support for Canadian content; mandatory carriage of Indigenous and community media; the value of local news as a [...]
CBC poster How the CBC Can Save News in Canada - 2017.08.29 PETER MENZIES | Troy Media Sometime in the not-too-distant future, the nation’s largest media chain is expected to fail, taking many of the nation’s once proud but now emaciated major daily newspapers to the grave with it. Postmedia and others have already issued appeals to the federal government, just as television broadcasters have, with more success, lobbied the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for relief for close to a decade now. The debate over whether their demise is suicide by incompetence or murder by technology no longer matters. And while some, such as columnist Andrew Coyne, still insist that journalists should never be compromised by the subtle fealty induced by government subsidy, principles are unlikely to survive the industry’s poverty. There is a strong argument — one reinforced by the problematic nature of Postmedia’s structure — in favour of letting nature take its course. But governments don’t do that when you’re too big to fail. So if something is to be done, here’s the solution. Read the whole story at The Tyee

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Offsite Insight

17.11.01 Media Matters – Trump’s secret weapon for 2020 keeps quietly gathering steam
17.06.20 Globe and Mail – Trudeau government to revise CBC’s board selection process
17.04.18 Michael Geist – Canada’s analog broadcasting policy makes no sense in a digital world
17.03.07 iPolitics – CBC News announces new organizational structure
17.02.25 Globe and Mail – Quality isn’t enough: Canadian arts content needs government support
17.02.17 Globe and Mail – Péladeau back at Quebecor helm
17.02.10 Globe and Mail – Fuss over American Super Bowl ads ignores reality of Internet TV
17.01.31 Financial Post – Bell Media cites CRTC Super Bowl ad policy as a factor in latest round of layoffs

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