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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CBS streaming is coming to Canada, potentially upending local broadcasters - 2017.08.08 DANIEL TENCER | HuffPost Canada As of next year, Canadians will be able to stream CBS TV shows directly from the internet, the start of a trend one expert says could completely upend Canadian TV broadcasters. CBS announced Monday that its streaming service, CBS All Access, is expanding internationally, starting with Canada in the first half of 2018. “CBS All Access is growing faster than we anticipated domestically, and now represents a whole new opportunity internationally as well,” CBS Corp. chairperson and CEO Leslie Moonves said in a statement. Launched in 2014, CBS All Access is a Netflix-like “over-the-top” streaming service that offers a catalogue of new and old CBS TV shows, as well as some original programming. The network is slated to air the new “Star Trek: Discovery,” currently in production. (That show will be available on Bell Media’s Space Channel in Canada.) Read the whole story at HuffPost Canada
Where are all the Canadian reality TV shows going? -   LISE LAREAU | Canadian Media Guild Bit by bit, reality and factual TV shows are disappearing for the upcoming season.  It appears to be happening quietly – even by stealth.   At least seven reality/unscripted TV shows have been either cancelled or put on ‘indefinite hiatus’ in the past two months.  More announcements are expected. The cancelled or ‘suspended’ shows include Big Brother Canada, Chopped Canada, You Gotta Eat Here, Timber Kings, Leave It to Bryan, and Income Property.   They are created by a variety of independent production companies and they all have one thing in common:  the shows were aired on channels owned by Corus. Corus defends its scheduling changes and cancellations, saying in a written response that shows “have reached their natural end after several seasons.” Lisa Godfrey, the VP of original content at Corus, writes that “in the case of Big Brother Canada and Real Housewives of Toronto, these series have not been cancelled, they are simply not on the schedule this coming broadcast year.” Godfrey notes a number of new series in production including The Baker Sisters, Bud Dynasty, Hunting Nazi Treasures (a co-pro with Britain’s channel 4), and Worst to First, a renovation show based [...]
Media unions, allies welcome CBC governance reform - Many years of advocating for a CBC board of directors that’s free of partisan political appointments has paid off for CWA Canada’s largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and its allies. Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly announced today the creation of an independent advisory committee, whose members are experts drawn from the media industry, to provide a list of qualified candidates the government can consider to fill vacant positions. The CMG, which represents most English-language staff at the public broadcaster, commended Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for keeping his election promise to ensure that the board and president will be chosen independently. Friends of Canadian Broadcasting have run numerous campaigns aimed at preserving the CBC, increasing its funding and getting politics out of its governance. Friends has occasionally joined forces with the CMG and other unions or advocacy groups to bring about changes at the CBC. CMG noted in a statement that it has “also called for a board that includes employee representatives chosen by CBC’s unions. Ensuring employee representation on boards is a practice that has proven invaluable in other sectors and other countries. “As journalists and media workers, we have a good sense of what is required to do [...]
Changing Workplaces Review Ontario could end labour law limbo for factual TV workers -   LISE LAREAU | Canadian Media Guild The signals are good.  Early reports indicate that the Ontario government’s Changing Workplaces Review will not be a waste of time and is poised to make change for thousands of precarious workers, including those who work in factual/reality TV and video production. The CBC is reporting that the review is now in the hands of the Wynne cabinet. Among the changes it will recommend are: Paid sick days for all employees; Ending some of the exemptions (loopholes) under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (no word yet if this will include the exemption given the entire film and television industry); Changing the classification of “independent contractors” to ensure that they get some protection by labour laws. The independent contractor classification has kept many workers in our industry, and others, unjustly excluded from legal protections, including paid overtime, holidays, robust safety rules and the right to unionize.  It’s the no-obligation, no-rules approach to employment. Last month, we saw just how alluring it is for producers to use the independent-contractor loophole against their own people. Blue Ant Media (producers of Cottage Life TV and several nature and wildlife programs) suddenly announced on April 27 that it was [...]
Merged Corus-Shaw workers vote to join Media Guild - There’s great news out of Corus Entertainment where a majority of 49 employees in three departments have chosen to join the Canadian Media Guild / CWA Canada. The Canada Industrial Relations Board today confirmed the result of voting that took place last week. The board had decided to conduct the vote in the wake of non-unionized Corus buying Shaw Media and the merger of the two workforces in the fall. Workers at Shaw were already members of the CMG. The employees, 17 of them formerly with Shaw, who work in television master control, broadcast technology and INR at Corus’s Toronto headquarters, will form a new bargaining unit. Kamala Rao, president of CMG, welcomed the new members and congratulated them for their “hard work and courage in organizing to collectively improve their working conditions and to have a greater say in their workplace.” She assured them that “our union will be positive both for workers and for Corus Entertainment, one of the country’s leading media companies.” Related 2017.02.01 | Setting the record straight at Corus Facebook | CMG @ Corus CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon congratulated the members and the CMG. “This is about workers having a say in their workplace [...]

Link to the full Broadcasting news archive on CWA Canada

Offsite Insight

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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