Raj Shoan, former CRTC commissioner for Ontario, has had his application for a judicial review of his termination by the regulator, dismissed by a Federal Court of Appeal judge. After review of the original decision, Justice James Russell found there were grounds to reasonably fire Shoan. Shoan’s lawyer says his client is exploring options for appeal. Shoan had been seeking that his initial 2016 termination be set set aside and his reinstatement for an additional term.
Quebecor has entered into an agreement to repurchase all of the share capital of Quebecor Media still held by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The agreement provides that Quebecor and Quebecor Media purchase 17,628,911 shares, representing an 18.47 per cent stake in Quebecor Media. The agreed upon value is $1.690 billion.
Quebecor Inc. has reported its consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2018, announcing a 100 per cent increase in its quarterly dividend. Quebecor reported first quarter revenues of $1.01 billion, up $5.2 million (0.5%) from the first quarter of 2017. The company’s Telecommunications segment grew revenues by $18.4 million (2.3%) and its adjusted operating income by $26.6 million (6.9%) in the first quarter. Videotron significantly increased its revenues from mobile telephony ($14.7 million or 13.2%), Internet access ($11.1 million or 4.4%) and the Club illico OTT video service ($2.1 million or 23.3%).
TVA Group recorded a net loss attributable to shareholders in the amount of $5 million or $0.12 per share in the first quarter of 2018, compared with a net loss attributable to shareholders of $8 million or $0.19 per share in the same quarter of 2017. First quarter operating highlights include $2,406,000 adjusted operating income in the Broadcasting & Production segment, representing a favourable variance of $1,749,000 mainly due to a 67.6 per cent decrease in TVA Sports channel’s adjusted operating loss and a five per cent increase in the adjusted operating income of the other specialty services, despite a decrease in TVA Network’s adjusted operating income. TVA Network’s market share held steady at 24.1 per cent, despite the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics airing on Radio‑Canada. Prise 2 posted strong growth with a 1.0 percentage point jump in its market share while LCN was up 0.2 points to 4.4 per cent.
BCE Inc.’s Q1 2018 net earnings increased 3.1 per cent to $709 million with net earnings attributable to common shareholders up 3.0 per cent to $661 million, or $0.73 per common share; adjusted net earnings of $719 million were 2.3 per cent higher, generating adjusted EPS of $0.80. Net customer additions totaled 101,707 in postpaid wireless, Internet and IPTV, up 39.0 per cent over last year. Wireless postpaid net additions of 68,487, were up 91.4 per cent, driving revenue 10.1 higher.
The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) has released a controversial report suggesting that criticism of wireless pricing in Canada is unfair. The 2018 edition of The State of Competition in Canada’s Telecommunications Industry says while critics of wireless prices in Canada regularly claim they are among the highest in the world, such comparisons are simplistic and misleading and don’t take into account speed or quality of networks.
Bernard St-Laurent, James Stewart and Brian Thomas are this year’s RTDNA Canada Lifetime Achievement Award winners in the Central Region. Up until his retirement in 2015, St-Laurent was CBC’s senior political analyst in Quebec after a long career as a reporter and host. James Stewart has been cameraman at Global News Toronto for 40 years. Brian Thomas is a radio veteran and former news director and manager of news and public affairs for CHUM Toronto.
Kym Geddes is the recipient of the RTDNA Canada 2018 Distinguished Service Award. The first female news director at NewsTalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto, Geddes 25-year career has taken her to B101 FM Barrie (formerly CKBB AM 950), CKOC-AM Hamilton, Q107 (CILQ-FM), and CHUM-FM Toronto. She’s also shared her knowledge as a journalism instructor at Seneca and Humber Colleges. Geddes will be recognized at the President’s Reception on May 25 during the 2018 National Conference.
CBC News and APTN are among the outlets who picked up multiple awards from the Canadian Association of Journalists for their investigative journalism efforts in 2017. The awards were presented at the conclusion of the 2018 CAJ conference. Kenneth Jackson of APTN National News was recognized in the Daily Excellence category for his investigation into the deaths of First Nations girls in Ontario group homes. In the Scoop category, Erica Johnson, James Roberts, Amar Parmar, Dave Pizer and Karen Burgess from CBC News Go Public won for their work on The Big Bank Upsell. Find the full list of winners here.
The Canadian Association of Journalists recognized Radio-Canada investigative reporter Marie-Maude Denis with the CAJ Charles Bury Award at its annual awards gala on May 5. The award is given under circumstances of exceptional merit to those people or organizations that have made a significant contribution to Canadian journalism. Denis is one of Quebec’s most prominent investigative journalists, and her reporting on corruption in Quebec’s construction industry helped to force the Charbonneau Commission of inquiry and several top political officials, including two Montreal mayors. Years after that groundbreaking work into corruption, a Quebec judge is attempting to force Denis to reveal confidential sources from her investigation. She has refused to comply, and press-freedom groups across Canada have joined Radio-Canada in standing up for Denis’s constitutionally protected right to press freedom.
APTN and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) have announced Jamuna Galay-Tamang as the 2018 Aboriginal Investigative Journalism Fellow. Galay-Tamang is of Dene-Metis and Nepali heritage and has joined the team at APTN Investigates in Winnipeg for a 12-week paid placement. Galay-Tamang pitched an investigative project looking at the challenges of providing potable water to Indigenous communities only accessible by air or winter roads. APTN will provide logistical and editorial support for her to complete her work, with the goal of producing an episode to air later this year.
The Independent, a Newfoundland-based digital site, is the winner of the 20th Press Freedom Award. Hosted by the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the award honours the journalist or media organization that has done the most for press freedom in the preceding year. Former Independent correspondent Justin Brake, who is now with APTN, is believed to be the only journalist to ever face both civil and criminal charges in Canada for reporting on an issue of public importance – in this case the impact of the Muskrat Hydroelectric project on Indigenous people. Honorable mentions go to Mike De Souza (National Observer) and to Charles Rusnell, Jennie Russell and Gary Cunliffe of CBC Edmonton. De Souza’s relentless reporting on the National Energy Board included revelations the pipeline regulator hired private investigators to find out who leaked information to him. The CBC Edmonton team is being recognized for its investigative series on Pure North, the private alternative-health foundation of wealthy Calgary oilman Allan Markin, and his attempts to embed the controversial wellness program in Alberta’s health system. They have continued to publish stories while facing a defamation suit.
Western Academy Broadcasting College in Saskatoon has created the Tyler Bieber Memorial Scholarship. Scholarships totalling $10,000 will be awarded annually to a variety of applicants who best represent the qualities demonstrated by Bieber, in memory of the sports announcer killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy. The scholarship was unveiled by Sportsnet’s Daren Millard, director of Western Academy Broadcasting College Don Scott, and Wray Morrison of 650 CKOM Saskatoon.
Global News Toronto hosts its third annual Greater Toronto Day on May 16, joining forces with Toronto-based Corus Radio stations 102.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM), Q107 (CILQ-FM) and Global News Radio 640 (CFMJ-AM). Greater Toronto Day encourages residents to perform small acts of kindness and share them on social media with the hashtag #GreaterTorontoDay. Coverage of Greater Toronto Day will air in a special Global News at 5:30 & 6 p.m. on May 16, with additional coverage featured on Global News’ The Morning Show, News at Noon and Global News at 11 p.m., as well as on radio and Globalnews.ca.