Shaw Sale of Global TV to Corus NOT Good NEWS! : Oberfeld





By Harvey Oberfeld

Keeping It Real…

Thursday January the 14th, 2016


Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse for my old alma mater … Shaw Media is selling Global TV off to another media giant … Corus.

El cheapo Corus????

Now stay calm … little will actually change suggest the corporate media pundits/optimists.

After all, the Shaw family, which controls Shaw also controls the largest block of Corus shares … so their hope is viewers (and those who work at Global)  won’t notice much.

That’s worrisome for two reasons: it pre-supposes their current news products/outputs are good enough, which they clearly are not; and it suggests Corus has a goods record of handling/managing quality news/programming, which in my opinion,  is simply not true.

Just look at the actual record of both Global TV and Corus in Vancouver …

Global TV’s Newshour ratings/audience have reportedly dropped about 200,000 a night,   from their peak under the Griffiths family ownership/management, to under the ownership/management by WIC, CanWest and then Shaw.  And yet, it  now being considered “optimistic” to HOPE  not much will change for the worse with the latest new owner, Corus,  … since the Shaws control that company too.

Don’t bet on it.

Has anyone failed to notice what Corus did to CKNW!

The once Top Dog’s decades-long grip on FIRST place in Vancouver’s A.M. radio ratings is only a memory. The last ratings I saw (Aug 31-Nov. 29,2015) placed them THIRD … and that’s better from even worse ratings scores the station suffered earlier in the year and in 2014.

Since Corus took over NW in 2000,  there has been a lot of bloodletting: restructuring, cost cutting.

Their once-first-class news operation is now is a shadow of what it used to be; their talk shows are (except for Drex) are …. just boring; and the key Morning Show, with host Jon McComb, although certainly improved with time …  frankly still can’t hold a candle to the GOLDEN days of performance (and no doubt revenues) under Frosty Forst.

And remember how NW scored with  sports?

From Wikipedia: “CKNW lost the BC Lions CFL broadcast rights to Team 1040 in 2004. The station had broadcast the games continuously since 1985. In 2006, CKNW lost the rights to broadcast Vancouver Canucks games to Team 1040 after broadcasting every one of the club’s games since 1970. The loss of the Canucks games may have resulted in the station losing nearly a third of their cumulative audience in the Fall ratings of 2006.

Sure doesn’t give me a lot to be “optimistic” over for the future of Global TV …. especially the news.

And, by the way, the sale of Global’s assets brought Shaw $2.65 BILLION …. or  (unless some Shaw executive wants to provide me better figures) …   $600 million MORE than the Globe and Mail said they paid to acquire the company in 2010.

Let’s hope the CRTC pays attention to those numbers later this month, when all the corporate management types will shed crocodile tears about how tough things are in the media…. and try to justify even MORE cuts and providing even LESS service to Canadians..

Harv Oberfeld




  1. I’ve had to stop watching the Global Edmonton newshour because their feature reporters are so darned ugly ahd have names that are unpronounceable in English. You would think that these reporters would be culturally sensitive enough (and career-smart enough) to choose stage names that people could remember. But no. My 52 inch screen enhances every nook and cranny on these reporters’ faces. I’ve switched to CTV. Their reporters are good looking and use makeup.

  2. Three years ago I decided that my subscription to Shaw Cable was not good value for the $75.00 per month it cost me, and I ‘cut the cord’. For about 60 of my 72 years I had listened to CKNW. Now they are garbage radio and I quit listening several years ago. The promise of $25.00 per month of basic cable, to me, is still a waste and I will not re-subscribe. This past Christmas, my son bought us a new flat screen TV, and hooked us up to Netflix which provides us with the occasional movie (and other programming we can stream) via Telus. Toronto destroyed west coast TV and radio and now I don’t give a damn about what they do anymore.

  3. I saw an article about the sale where they hope to save $40-$50 million in costs. That sounds like 500 more jobs if you ask me. Local TV is a shadow of itself.

  4. Don’t recognize NW and Global is just about as pathetic to watch. Why do women think they have to yell to make an impression? They think because they change the readers every story it’ll grab your attention. It’s irritating! My gawd it’s a race to the bottom.. I can’t imagine why anybody would advertise any longer. It’s boring and hard to pronounce names so can’t remember any of course they don’t keep them long enough anymore so why bother trying. It’s a sad commentary on radio these days. They’ll never learn. But the past is usually a good teacher.

  5. As a two-time employee of Corus-run radio stations, I can attest to their management incompetence. I saw it up close. They are infamous within and without the industry for being cheapskates, a trait of Shaw family-controlled companies. To me, CKNW is now unlistenable as are Global TV News programs. When SHAW snapped up Global a few years ago it was likely always the intention to make it a Corus company because SHAW had no idea how to run a TV network. (Just take a peek at SHAW community TV.) Corus will no doubt make an amateurish attempt to improve the product, but its track record is dismal.


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