The News Forum is now available on Bell platforms across the country, a new right-of-centre news channel with a mandate “to provide viewers with politically balanced domestic and international perspectives, inclusive of a conservative counterbalance for the current media landscape.”
The channel’s schedule includes shows like Boom or Bust, hosted by former Conservative health minister Tony Clement; Canadian Justice, with Niagara area lawyer and pastor K.R. Davidson, looking at polarizing constitutional freedom cases; and Counterpoint with Tanya Granic Allen which “welcomes leaders from government and the private sector to the table for conversations on fundamental Canadian rights and freedoms – where all sides are presented, respected and discussed.” Granic Allen was a 2018 Ontario PC candidate in Mississauga Centre until she was dumped by the party for comments on gay marriage and sex education.
Former YesTV and CTV Community Channel host Sheldon Neil and Nima Rajan, who was previously with Global Thunder Bay, also anchor Canadian and world news roundup, Forum Daily.
At the helm of The News Forum is CEO Tore Stautland, founder of St. Catharines, ON-based Trillenium Media Group (TMG Inc.). Stautland was previously involved in the programming of ZoomerMedia-owned JoyTV and FaithTV.
In a message on The News Forum website, Stautland says the news channel is “a media platform where fresh ideas are explored and innovative solutions are sought out in regard to challenges facing our nation today. We believe that information must be presented with integrity, and in a manner which is helpful to Canadians when forming their opinions. We want to balance all sides of an issue with the complexity that it deserves and encourage viewers to think for themselves while watching engaging programs (without political restriction), so that they can make informed decisions.”
“If our commonly understood democratic freedoms are to be protected, Canadians need a renewed commitment to celebrate true diversity and multiculturalism by how we move the conversation forward, and how we engage with each other to make Canada better for all and not just some,” Stautland continues. “We would like to encourage Canadians to take the time to deliberate between different viewpoints and stances, with the hope that reason, healthy compromise, and progress will prevail.”
The channel is partnering with Markham-based Nextologies to provide The News Forum’s signal and delivery to television providers across Canada. It’s also struck a deal with Ethnic Channels Group to handle advertising sales and distribution.
Canada’s last conservative specialty news channel, the Quebecor-owned Sun News Network – a partnership between Sun Media and TVA Group – had a four-year run chronically plagued by low viewership. Launched in 2011, while the channel was carried by most major cable and satellite providers, it was included in cable tiers only subscribed to by about 40% of Canadian households. It made an unsuccessful bid for mandatory carriage in 2013 and went dark in Feb. 2015.
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