Friday, December 02, 2005

The incestuous tale of Canadian media

The Canadian media world just got a lot more incestuous...
In a Canadian media mega-deal, Torstar Corp. is buying a 20 per cent stake in Bell Globemedia, whose holdings include the CTV television network and the Globe and Mail.
The purchase is part of a four-party deal in which BCE Inc. is selling 48.5 per cent of Bell Globemedia for a gain of $1.3 billion in cash.
Torstar and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will each pay $283 million for a 20 per cent stake, while Woodbridge will pay $120 million to raise its Globemedia holding to 40 per cent from 31.5 per cent, after the deal, pending various approvals.
BCE, which also owns Bell Canada, the country’s biggest phone company, said Friday it will retain a 20 per cent stake in Bell Globemedia.

Let's see here.
One company holds:
(A) the largest telephone company in Canada;
(B) the largest commercial television network in Canada;
(C) the largest national newspaper in Canada.
Now, the largest metropolitan newspaper in Canada has a piece of that action.
Let's take this one step farther, shall we?
A vice-president of this company is running the Liberal Party's campaign in Ontario:
Meanwhile, a lobbyist for a communications company told Ontario Liberal MPs at their caucus meeting yesterday to expect a negative campaign both from the opposition and the news media.
Charles Bird is a lobbyist for Bell Globemedia (owner of The Globe and Mail and CTV) and is the Ontario campaign chairman for the federal Liberals. He told Ontario MPs the electorate is "very volatile" and warned that "it's going to be a very negative campaign.
"However, he vowed that Liberals will not be deterred.
"We will give as good as we get," he told MPs, according to an insider.
If that's not enough, it gets even better.
Charles Bird, as Vice-President, Government Affairs, is responsible for Bell Globemedia's government relations efforts relating to federal policy development.
Prior to joining Bell Globemedia in February 2004, Bird was Senior Consultant at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, an Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm, where he served a range of private-sector clients.
Prior to joining Earnscliffe in February of 2000, Bird was Policy Advisor to the Hon. Ralph Goodale in his previous capacities as Minister of Natural Resources (1997-2000) and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (1993-1997).
Earnscliffe. Isn't that Paul Martin Jr.'s pet outfit, the one that somehow was magically excluded from any investigation in the Gomery Commission?
Are the crooks running the media in Canada?
The question is begged.

Hat tip to the Cyber Menace.