Bell wants local news requirements waived. Here’s what that could mean


by Kieran Leavitt

June 23, 2023

A new ask from Bell, if granted by the CRTC, would see many local news requirements for its broadcast stations dropped.

BCE Inc. has asked that local news requirements set out under federal broadcasting rules be eliminated for the company’s stations across the country, calling into question the future of its local coverage.

In an application to the CRTC filed June 14, Bell Media requested that the telecommunications regulator drop requirements for spending on local news and regarding the number of hours per week that stations are required to broadcast locally-reflective news in major and smaller markets.

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  1. Oh my! Now where will I get my cute puppy videos and a crash repeated 16 times – I saw it the first time! Wont be missed at all

  2. I don’t like seeing the loss of competition. Global has the market in Vancouver. If anyone should be reducing its local news presence, it should be the state broadcaster.

  3. Steve said: “If anyone should be reducing its local news presence, it should be the state broadcaster.”

    With respect, I beg to differ. It’s only been about four months since Corus/Global let a bunch of people go. The way things are developing, CBC may soon be the only viable broadcast news service left in this country. Everyone else is being stripped to the bone. Amputation will follow if Bell Media has its way.

    If nothing else, the Muthercorp provides jobs for journalists. Overseas bureaus. National reporters across Canada. Stringers in smaller centers. And their local reporters are doing good work. They’re breaking stuff. The Deena Hinshaw hiring/not hiring/firing kerfuffle in Alberta is a recent example. We need more CBC News, not less (not to mention a TV Supper show that properly presents it … but that’s a different issue.)

  4. I think what Steve was trying to say is that the CBC suppertime news has had consistently low ratings compared to those of the private broadcasters and that it has been a surprise that the programs are still on the air.

  5. “. . . on the air”

    Funny you should mention that. Years ago, I worked for a radio manager in Saskatoon who was different. Periodically my phone would ring and I’d be invited to his office, newscast script in hand. I knew I was in for long but enlightening 20 minutes. We would listen to that show. “Here’s how you should have read that … and here’s why.” I left that station a much better broadcaster because Roy Currie made it his mission to actively train his people to improve their performing skills. His favorite saying ended with “. . . and none of it is worth a fiddler’s fart until you get it on the air.”

    And therein lies the CBC’s problem. Getting it on the air. And why much of their good journalism goes unwatched in this market. The Edmonton supper show is downright dreadful, from the concept, whatever that may be, on out. And then they turn around and play it again.

    It is to weep. And then hit the remote.


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