Yesterday, we read the news that the Quebec-based billionaire Pierre Karl Péladeau is planning to launch a 24-hour cable channel modeled on the right-of-centre U.S. network, Fox News. For months, apparently, Mr. Péladeau’s Quebecor Inc.—Sun Media’s parent organization—has been putting together plans for a channel that will target viewers with the same conservative leanings as those that have made Fox News the political force it has become in the United States.
Kory Teneycke, who served as director of communications to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008 and 2009, has been appointed vice-president of business development at Quebecor Media Inc. and is expected to lead the new project. An application for a licence was submitted to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission last week and, reportedly, a formal announcement on the venture is “imminent.”
This cannot come too soon for me. The state of unprofessional journalism at the CBC and CTV cable news networks is dismal. These uncompromisingly left-wing organizations have lost their ability to deliver news, especially political news, in a straightforward and balanced manner. CTV’s Power Play with host Tom Clark no longer even tries to be balanced, preferring his daily hour-long anti-conservative gabfests.
CBC is, at least, trying to be more balanced these days—perhaps because it has been roundly criticized for its anti-Tory bias. Evan Solomon on Power & Politics was all over the Grits last evening with the Warren Kinsella/Liberal-NDP merger story, while Tom Clark virtually ignored it.
Today, the Globe and Mail is reporting that David Akin has just resigned as National Affairs Correspondent with Canwest and is poised to join Sun Media as the Ottawa bureau chief and be a television host. The expectation is that Mr. Akin will be a part of Kory Teneycke’s new cable news network. If this is so, then it is terrific news for those who want to hear about our politics from a centre-right perspective.
According to the Globe and Mail’s Ottawa Notebook, “Mr. Akin—reached by the Globe through Twitter and email—wouldn’t confirm exactly what his new role would be, saying instead that Quebecor, the owner of Sun Media, would [be] saying something ‘shortly’.”
The last time CBC had an acceptable political news and interview program was on June 19, 2009 when Don Newman made his final “Politics” broadcast. And the last informative and entertaining political broadcast on CTV came about six months later, when Mike Duffy Live went off the year.
If the Globe and Mail is correct, and we’re about to get a “Fox News of the North” cable news channel, that’s good news all round, I’d say.