Sun News Network says Conservative senator Mike Duffy did not lobby the CRTC on its behalf for mandatory carriage, the National Post reported.
“He’s not doing anything for us, formally or informally,” Teneycke told the Post. “I don’t know how much more explicit I can be than that.”
CTV News reported on Thursday that their parliamentary correspondent Rob Fife heard from a “well-placed source” that Duffy attempted to influence the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s upcoming decision.
“You know people at the CRTC,” said the insider quoting Duffy to Fife. “This is an important decision on Sun Media. They have to play with the team and support Sun Media’s request.”
Earlier this month, Sun News Network made its final pitch to the broadcast regulator for mandatory carriage. “Such lobbying, however, wouldn’t do much for Sun News, which has said repeatedly it doesn’t plan to file an appeal should the CRTC reject their application because it financially wouldn’t be able to stay afloat,” the Post reported. The network lost $13.4 million in 2011, and $18.5 million in 2012, about 50 per cent more than its original budget estimate when it applied for the channel's licence in 2010.
Duffy resigned from the Conservative caucus.
Meanwhile, CRTC commissioner Marc Patrone has moved to Sun News, the Chronicle Herald reported Friday. Patrone was a longtime television reporter for CTV in Halifax. His five-year term ended March 18 and he began as Sun News Network director of news operations for Western Canada, the newspaper reported.
“Obviously, there is a perception of conflict vis-a-vis our application. We are very cognizant of that,” said Sun News vice-president Kory Teneycke in an interview Friday with the Chronicle Herald.
Teneycke said the federal conflict of interest commissioner approved the hiring, the Herald reported. The newspaper also quoted Teneycke saying that Patrone “will have nothing to do with the regulatory side of Sun News and no involvement with the mandatory carriage application.”