From cuts at the CBC to an averted strike at The Globe and Mail and a Canadian journalist imprisoned in Egypt for seven years, a lot happened while J-Source was on summer hiatus. Here’s a recap of all the major news you might have missed.

Photo courtesy of Michelle-Andrea Girouard

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

From cuts at the CBC to an averted strike at The Globe and Mail and a Canadian journalist imprisoned in Egypt for seven years, a lot happened while J-Source was on summer hiatus. Here’s a recap of all the major news you might have missed.

CBC to cut as many as 1,500 jobs by 2020

The public broadcaster plans to cut as much as one-fifth of its staff by 2020, The Globe and Mail’s media reporter James Bradshaw reported. The CBC will move resources from its TV and radio divisions towards creating mobile-friendly content, scale back newscasts from 90 minutes to as little as 30 minutes and cut between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs. It’s also considering selling some of its real estate.

Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy sentenced for 7 years in Egypt

Mohamed Fahmy and two of his Al Jazeera colleagues were sentenced to seven years of imprisonment in Egypt. Prosecutors said the men conspired with the Muslim Brotherhood, considered a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government, to spread false news. Family members of all three journalists said they would appeal the decision.


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Union, Globe and Mail avoid strike

The Globe and Mail and the union representing its staff reached a deal in the final hour of negotiations, the Canadian Press reported. Unifor said the details of the agreement could not be provided until it’s ratified by union members, however, several journalists tweeted that the controversial proposal to make editorial staff work on advertorial copy has been dropped.

The Grid shuts down

Toronto weekly magazine The Grid shut down after three years, Masthead reported. The Torstar publication won Society of News Design’s best-designed newspaper in the world for three consecutive years but could not maintain its advertising revenue. The magazine launched in 2011, succeeding Eye Weekly, and published 162 issues. The Globe reported The Grid had 22 staff, 12 of them in editorial, and that most were let go from Star Media Group.

Kevin Newman Live shut down after 7 months on air

Bell Media cancelled Kevin Newman Live after just seven months on air, Huffington Post reported. The current affairs show, which aired nightly on CTV News Channel, incorporated social media and attempted to present television news in more digital-friendly way. The network provided no reason for the cancellation.

Kirk LaPointe running for Vancouver mayor

Former Vancouver Sun editor Kirk LaPointe is running for Vancouver mayor as a Non-Partisan Association candidate, the CBC reported. LaPointe, who spent much of his career as a journalist and held senior positions at CBC, CTV and the Vancouver Sun, is a political novice.

Shaw Media plans to launch national all-news channel

Shaw Media hopes to launch a national news TV channel called Global News 1. The Canadian Press reported that Shaw has submitted a proposal to the CRTC and, if approved, cable companies would have to offer their customers the option of subscribing it. The channel would not, however, be mandatory to carry. Recently, Shaw laid off 55 staff who worked with Global News in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Halifax and Toronto.

Metro shuts down free print editions in Saskatoon, Regina and London

Star Media Group shut down the free print editions of the Metro newspapers in Saskatoon, Regina and London, Ont. The Canadian Press reported 25 editorial, sales and administrative jobs were lost across the three locations. Meanwhile, the Globe reported that Star Media Group eliminated the role of president and publisher of Metro English Canada. Bill McDonald, who held that role since 2010, will stay on only for the transition to bring the Metro papers closer to the parent company operationally. Sandy MacLeod will take over as COO for print and Ali Rahnema, currently vice-president digital, will become COO for digital for both the Toronto Star and Metro newspapers.

Postmedia posts net loss of $20 million in third quarter

Postmedia Network reported a net loss of $20.6 million for the third quarter, the Globe reported. The company also said it will roll out its new four-platform redesign strategy over the next year, starting with The Gazette, in Montreal, and the Calgary Herald this fall. 

Wilf Dinnick joins Al Jazeera as executive producer of online news

Wilf Dinnick, the former CEO of now-defunct OpenFile, joined Al Jazeera as executive producer of online news in June. Prior to that, Dinnick worked with Bell Media to create video content for Bell Fibe’s video on-demand channel.

Dean Beeby retires from the Canadian Press

Dean Beeby, the Ottawa deputy bureau chief at the Canadian Press, is retiring from CP. Acting editor-in-chief Andrew Lundy told J-Source in an email that “post-retirement, he will be working with us a day a week on Access to Info requests and working with CBC in Ottawa.”

Shauna Rempel is the new tech editor of the Toronto Star

Shauna Rempel, previously the social media editor of the Toronto Star, tweeted she is the new technology editor for the newspaper.

Three journalists laid off at Vancouver’s CKNW

Three long-time journalists were laid at Vancouver’s CKNW radio station, The Georgia Straight reported. CKNW newscasters Tom Mark and Terry Bell and sportscaster Stu Walters were let go following a report that the radio station’s parent company saw a sharp drop in profits in the first two quarters of this fiscal year.

Allan Thompson seeks federal Liberal nomination

Former Toronto Star reporter and Carleton University journalism professor Allan Thompson is seeking a federal Liberal nomination. The Star reported Thompson, who is currently on sabbatical from Carleton, will seek nomination in the Ontario riding of Huron-Bruce.

ScribbleLive acquires CoveritLive

Toronto-based live-blogging platform ScribbleLive bought its rival CoveritLive. Following the acquisition, ScribbleLive now has more than 1,500 customers, including all three of America’s top news networks and more than half of North America’s most-read newspapers, the Globe reported.

TC Media invests in Telegram printing plant

TC Media said it is making a “significant investment” in the printing plant of The Telegram in St. John’s. This retrofit, it said, will improve the quality and colour of The Telegram and its other weekly papers. The upgrade will be completed later this year, the company said in a press release.

If we missed any other Canadian media news, please email tips to associate editor Tamara Baluja at tbaluja@j-source.ca.  


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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.