By Harvey Oberfeld
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..