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FYI

Media Beat, Dec. 06, 2023: Canada's Media Business Is In 'Crisis'

The media business is in crisis. New sources of funds are coming, but newsrooms are getting hit and hit hard.

Media Beat, Dec. 06, 2023: Canada's Media Business Is In 'Crisis'
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Quebec minister prepares aid plan for 'media crisis'

Local news in Quebec is on the firing line.


At Quebecor, close to 800 people have been pink-slipped across its media holdings since the start of 2023 and plans to cease in-house production of entertainment content and restructure its news division after reporting a $13M loss for its Broadcasting segment, up from $1.6M a year ago.

Earlier this month, Les Coops de l'information announced it would cease print editions of weekly newspapers in Trois-Rivières, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Granby at year’s end, and the CBC has announced a plan to remedy a $125M budget shortfall that will affect as many as 300 positions in the province.

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This all comes after an earlier announcement from Bell Canada saying its news operations incur $40M in annual losses and ongoing restructuring at Postmedia’s weekly and daily newspapers fleet.

Facing this avalanche of bad news, the Canadian Press is reporting that Quebec Culture and Communication Minister Mathieu Lacombe is preparing a "temporary media assistance plan" with Ottawa to address the ballooning media crisis. According to the wire service, his government was already funding the print media and is now on Ottawa to provide more assistance to the TV and radio media under its authority.”

While the punishing effect of digital media is killing off newspapers (Metroland Media terminating 605 employees without severance pay, including 200 journalists), linear TV and traditional broadcast radio audience numbers are tumbling and with it, the ad dollars that support these services. Internet usage has spiralled, but the online ad dollars generated lag in comparison to older analogue services that still support newsrooms.

Google’s recent settlement with the Canadian government, investing $100M in annual financial support to newspapers, broadcasters, and digital news outlets, sounds like a lot, but it represents just under 1.5 percent of its digital ad business in Canada. It’s also small change considering that the newspaper industry alone brought in $2 billion in revenues in 2022, as per NiemanLab.

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CRTC should look into regulating Meta when the Online News Act comes into effect, St-Onge says

The Globe and Mailreports that the Heritage minister says the CRTC should look at regulating Meta platforms when the Online News Act comes into force, as users have found loopholes to share news on Facebook and Instagram, even as the tech giant has said it isn’t interested in paying fees to media outlets and discontinued news feeds from inside our borders.

The GG Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2023

The National Gallery of Canada live-streams the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2023 exhibition at 5 p.m. CST today (Dec. 7). Among this year’s winners is Vancouver filmmaker Nettie Wild, whose focus has been on creating award-winning docs that highlight marginalized groups and the discrimination that they face. In the video below, she explains her story, her motivations and what filmmaking means to her.

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Rock

The Beaches Bring "Blame Brett" to 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

The Toronto quartet brought their viral single into their late night TV debut.

Following the viral success of "Blame Brett" in 2023, The Beaches have made their late night TV debut, performing their naming-and-blaming single on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Though the Toronto band has been together for a decade, winning a 2018 Juno for Breakthrough Artist following their debut album, last yearmarked a watershed moment for the quartet. They traded their heavier rock sound for sleek new wave guitar tones and took back control of their career, deciding to release their new album, Blame My Ex, independently. (They co-wrote the album with Canadian artist and songwriter Lowell, who also has a credit on Beyoncé's newest hit.)

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