If Sun TV execs care about Canadian broadcasting standards, they might be relieved by a supportive CBSC ruling on the infamous Margie Gillis interview – although some argue the council didn’t apply the right code. The ruling follows the ‘new Canadians’ scandal, which at its low point erupted into a Twitter-spat between Ezra Levant and Jennifer Ditchburn.

Promising hard-nosed news coverage, Quebecor’s Sun Media television operation began making headlines well before its 2010 CRTC approval and April 2011 launch. Commentators noted the station appeared to arrive at the CRTC hearings under the wing of the Harper government. There was a dust-up over a petition. Then fate placed the successful application alongside a long-delayed review of Canada’s truth in broadcasting requirements. The optics and resulting public backlash put the review on ice.


A few months after launching, Sun Media withdrew from the Ontario Press Council. The company was back in the news in November 2011, when Quebecor’s CKXT-TV license was revoked for piggy-backing Sun TV coverage into the free cable realm. Meanwhile, the network delivered on promised controversial news coverage, much of it focused on gaining access to information about the CBC, sparking a Twitter-spat over salary disclosure. To its credit, Sun Media polished its reputation with a very public turn-down of a fake photo of Michael Ignatieff – although it turns out Sun TV’s staff are themselves no strangers to Photoshop.

If the first days of 2012 are any indication, the network that brought you the Jack Layton massage story and "CBC porn" will doubtless continue to make as much news as it reports.

Patricia W. Elliott is a magazine journalist and assistant professor at the School of Journalism, University of Regina. You can visit her at patriciaelliott.ca.