CanWest shares closed today at a record low of 23 cents and the company teetered on a crucial deadline to pay bond holders — or risk bankruptcy protection. The only two company news releases so far this week concern the
company’s sponsorship of spelling bees. As its fate hangs in the
balance CanWest declared, “Spelling Bee Winners to Eggs-plore Ottawa!” No new reports about its dire situation apparently on any of CanWest’s vast media holdings. Maybe some eggs need …

CanWest shares today closed at a record low of 23 cents on the TSX,
where the only two company news releases so far this week concern the
company’s sponsorship of spelling bees. As its fate hangs in the
balance CanWest declared, “Spelling Bee Winners to Eggs-plore Ottawa!” No new reports about its dire situation have, apparently, been posted by any of CanWest’s vast media holdings, at least according to a search for “Canwest Global Communications” of Canada.com, on the Financial Post, or on (perhaps more understandably) the corporate headquarters site.

…. meanwhile, away from CanWest turf:

“Clock is ticking on Canwest payment,” posted the Hollywood Reporter late Tuesday. An excerpt:

“Canadian
broadcaster Canwest Global Communications on Tuesday faced fresh
bankruptcy protection concerns as it ran up against a late-day deadline
to make a missed payment of $30.4 million to U.S. bond-holders.  A
spokesman for Winnipeg-based Canwest Global said word on whether the
broadcaster will make the interest payment on $761 million in senior
notes originally due March 15 was not anticipated until well into the
evening. Failure to make the payment will allow the U.S. bond-holders
to demand repayment of the $761 million principal.”

Then there’s this ray of light, or scandal, depending on how you see it:

“Ottawa considers ad boost to help broadcasters,” reported the Globe and Mail. An excerpt:


“Ottawa has a new option on the table for helping local TV stations
make it through the recession: buy more government ads. The idea, which
is under discussion at the cabinet’s powerful committee on priorities
and planning, is seen as a way to replace private advertising
revenue…”

Not so fast, say critics. Broadcaster Magazine reported that the Writers Guild of Canada opposes government support for the broadcasters. It quoted Maureen Parker, Executive Director:

“The
creative community has been living in a recessionary economy for the
last ten years as broadcasters have year by year spent less on quality
Canadian programming and more and more to buy U.S. shows. There was no
bailout for screenwriters, actors, producers and directors.”


Or journalists.

Not a whole lot of actual “journalism,” either. Maybe some eggs need cracking.

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