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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Krista Erickson quits as host of Canada Live

The Sun News Network’s anchor of Canada Live is reported to have left the conservative network’s daytime show. According to The Globe and Mail, “Krista Erickson quit her slot on the news network’s ‘flagship daytime show’ Canada Live late last week and moved to London.”

I’ve not been a fan myself, though it’s interesting that Ms. Erickson seems to have quit just as the network awaits news that might stem their mounting financial losses. Apparently, Sun News has asked that the CRTC grant it “mandatory carriage,” meaning it would be part of the Canada-wide basic cable package. The Globe and Mail reports that the CRTC has said “it will hold a hearing into the matter on April 23.”

The Globe writes, “With traditional pricing mark-ups, that would likely translate to $4 a year per consumer.” This would contribute about $18-million a year towards staunching the haemorrhaging from losses that have already, reportedly, reached $17-million a year at Sun News.

Ms. Erickson—it seemed to me—was always too quick to condemn organisations which depend on government assistance, and joined in the chorus of boos as Sun News’ on-air hosts criticized government-subsidized rival, CBC, when she herself worked at the CBC for years—no bellyaching about government subsidies then. I’m no fan of government subsidies, but nor am I a fan of cynical hypocrisy.

She was also super-strident in her conservatism while at Sun News, yet showed bias towards the Liberals while covering the Mulroney-Schreiber hearings for the CBC in 2008. Readers may remember that Ms. Erickson was accused back then of feeding questions to Liberal Member of Parliament Pablo Rodriguez. She was cleared by the CBC ombudsman of any charge of bias, but the incident left me with a bad taste.

Sun News Network has been a great disappointment to me. The daytime schedule compares poorly to the weak competition from CBC and CTV news networks. And, all too often, instead of reasoned conservative argument and commentary, we are offered one-sided rants hour after hour in the evenings. To be fair, though, Sun Media’s National Bureau Chief, David Akin, has a show that’s well worth watching. As to weekends, day or night the network is barely watchable.

Sun News sorely needs a top-notch Sunday morning political show (a version of US-based The McLaughlin Group would do nicely, or even a Canada-based Meet the Press or Face the Nation). We need competition to go up against CTV’s flagrantly left-biased Question Period. We also need a week-day, late-afternoon entry as direct competition to CBC’s anti-Harper Power & Politics and CTV News Channel’s dreary Power Play. I’d also like to see something with a format like CBC’s weekly At Issue, an excellent panel discussion show.

Currently, I have to look to US-based Fox News when I want to get the conservative slant on current issues.

15 comments :

  1. I'll take SUN News any day of the week over FOX, as their mandate to be fair, balanced and unafraid went out of the window a long time ago. I'll take Levant, Lilley, Adler and Coren any day of the week over the tired has-beens at FOX- O'Reilly, Van Sustern and Shep Smith.

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  2. I agree with anonymous above totally. American commenters on U.S. sites have hailed Sun News Network as their new preference over Fox. Canadians will overwhelmingly benefit from all SNN programs and all the above real journalists mentioned above. We needed them long time ago over the CBC and CTV.

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  3. I think you are being a little hard on Sun News, although I agree they need to expand their repertoire somewhat. Both CBC and CTV are available on essentially 'free' channels from 2 - 13, and their all news channels are available on all basic cable packages, under channel 50. This is grandfathered in, as they were there years before the Sun, but it offers them a tremendous advantage over the Sun. The fact the Sun has any viewers at all under these circumstances means they are hitting a chord with Canadians.
    It is not a subsidy to add another channel to what is regularly available (the wires, signal and everything else are in place; no additional costs are incurred by the carrier). It is a definite regulatory obstacle to growth or survival, excluding the Sun from potential viewers.
    It would be similar to you getting a permit to open a restaurant but you were only allowed to serve meals to legged customers after they pay extra to rent a chair.

    Wayne

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    1. I get your point, Wayne, but it's the quality of their programming I find lacking. No doubt they have a tough row to hoe, but they need, at least, one outstanding program to get me to watch. BTW, CTV news network is above channel 50 here in Burlington, it's channel 70.

      Russ

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    2. What news are you watching Russ.If you think anything you are watching is quality you probably are watching the Kardashians.Sun news is all we have in Canada that tells us the TRUTH..Or do you know what the truth is RUSS.And for your info Russ the Sun News is all quality.

      Delete
    3. CTV News is channel 61 in Toronto and neither CTV News nor CBC Newsworld have mandatory coverage across the entire country.

      But why even compare against them? SNN is barely a news network. It is an opinions network with some news programming thrown in to give the call-in telephone operators a bit of a break. It is essentially an AM Radio station with TV cameras, in terms of content, style, focus and quality.

      You can call the other networks biased if you want - it's obviously false, but each their own - but each program is not one person's rant and most involve a multiple points of view, including deliberately opposing points of view. That let's viewers make up their own mind. Is there a single show on Fox, er, Sun News that regularly has MPs or commenters from all sides to discuss the issues, let alone in prime time???

      You can argue that Canadians are more left or more right, but I would argue that Canadians are more moderate and fair and apolitical. We want to be informed about issues, not told how to think.

      And we're smart enough (most of us) to know there is more than one side to every issue.

      More than anything else, that's why Sun News is failing so miserably.

      Delete
  4. From what I gather a while back is that Kristy vacationing in Europe (england) met a British soldier and that they keep in contact with each other. so I am not surprised that she quit and most probably will marry the guy and live in England.
    You never know, SNN might re-hire her to do business for them in England.


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    1. Thanks, Jen. That's news to me. Her Facebook page shows her as, "Foreign television correspondent based in London, U.K."

      Cheers,
      Russ

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  5. Point being, CTV and CBC have their 'National News' programs as well as many of their newsmagazines on many regular channels; SNN lacks that access. Most people never have an opportunity to see anything from SNN.

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  6. Let's make sure we all support the application by Sun News for mandatory distribution on analog and digital basic service in Canada. You can send your vote to the CRTC through a website on Sun... by filling in that you are in favour of Sun's request above. Let's spread the word... we "NEED' to keep sun on the air... and after that, we will work to improve... but we must keep it... or the Conservative movement in Canada will be lost with the likes of the left leaning Media Party and the likes of Question Period, Power Play and Evan soloman show - what ever you call it. Wouldn't watch it if he paid me - he is so liberal bias...

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  7. I am not sure what Sun News daytime programs you are watching but I completely disagree with you.

    Much as you find it offensive, individuals like Levant have been the reason that details of issues such as the 'other side' of the Theresa Spence fiasco have been covered in the MSM.

    Cheers. SOR

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    1. Anon Jan 22 at 12:00PM,

      You're putting words in my mouth. I did not say I found "individuals like Levant," "offensive". I don't find much of the Sun News' shows interesting or entertaining, but they do not particularly offend me.

      I like to hear all sides of each story not just the left or the right side. I get mainly one side on the CBC and mainly only one side on Sun News…pity.

      Cheers,
      Russ

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    2. You certainly don,t know what in hell your listening too then Russ.Sun news tells both sides and CBC one side..IT IS THE TRUTH THAT YOU CANNOT recognize because you have been brainwashed by CBC into thinking their BS is the truth.

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  8. Funny you want to watch news to get the conservative slant. News, by its very nature, is supposed to have no bias. What you really want is opinion shows, which makes it odd you claim to not like SUN since all of their garbage is opinion or their spin on a real story.

    Some day conservatives may begin to accept facts.

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  9. Back to Krista Erickson. My take is that she saw herself as a pariah within the Canadian Broadcast Industry. That combined with the possiblity she might not have a job soon should SUN NEWS TV fold, she chose to leave the country. I wish her well with this fresh start.

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