They are pealing back the Christmas wrappings on the Rogers deal for Shaw Communications. We held little hope for these hearings at the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) this week but what little is learned is appreciated. After all, a $26 billion deal can hold many secrets and ‘oopses.’
The first ‘oops’ is the potential loss of more television news room capability across Canada. It seems that Rogers is enthused about its limited news rooms and not likely to merge the two networks ability to cover Canadian news and events of importance to Canadians. The $13 million that Shaw recently put into Global’s news rooms could be just a bit more profit to Rogers.
Not that Global is that that much better at running news rooms. The three news programs at 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30 pm from the Toronto hub for the Ontario Global is a guarantee of three times the repetition. That does not include the public affairs programs that are promoted continuously and are just more repetitive use of news clips.
Mind you, City News, as promoted by owner, Rogers, reminds me of CP24 (the CTV news channel) on the cheap.
But then the thought of Rogers becoming the majority owner of the Canadian Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) leaves me cold. If any other channel decided a public event needed at least three cameras to cover the event properly, you could always count on Ted Rogers’ people showing up with a single camera.
And the first time I saw a television studio set up by the Rogers organization, I could not believe how they had cut the personnel and equipment costs. They had a fixed camera set for just the wide shots and a camera switcher that must have been made in someone’s garage. When I found that the director had to also operate the switcher while calling for the shots, I should have gone home.
But then Ted Rogers was a pioneer and we used to go out of our way to assist those people. They were helping build this country. It is too bad their heirs seem to just be in it for the money.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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