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.