Tag Archives: Canwest Global Communications

Two-Hour Morning Newscast Coming to Winnipeg TV

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) cleared the way for Shaw Communications to purchase Canwest’s television and cable assets on Friday.

The $2 billion deal has been in the works for months, ever since Canwest filed for bankruptcy protection last October.

Shaw will acquire 11 of Global TV’s stations and specialty cable channels, including HGTV, Showcase, History Television, TVtropoplis and the Food Network.

The Calgary-based company will also produce new two-hour morning newscasts in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

Other highlights of the transaction include the conversion of 67 analog transmitters to digital in smaller markets, and the installation of a satellite or receiver dish free of charge to viewers who can no longer view over-the-air signals.

Shaw’s proposal also includes the purchase of more drama, documentary and comedy programs from independent producers, and the investment in new media content that will support news programming and programs of national interest.

The company will spend roughly $180 million over the next seven years to implement its plans.

The federal broadcast regulator approved the deal on the same day Shaw’s CEO, Jim Shaw, announced he would be stepping down. The reigns of the company will be given to Jim’s younger brother, Bradley Shaw, on January 13, 2011. Jim served as CEO for the last 12 years and will remain on the board of directors.

— With files from a news release

Shaw to Canwest: Let Us Help You

Debt-ridden Canwest Global Communications Corp. is set for a clean slate after Shaw Communications stepped up Friday.

Shaw says it would own a controlling stake in the company — 20% of Canwest’s equity and 80% of its voting stock when all the papers are signed. The Calgary-based cable giant is willing to spend $65-million on the deal.

Winnipeg-based Canwest owes billions to creditors and says the deal with Shaw would help with that. In October 2009, Canwest filed for bankruptcy protection.

Earlier this week, Canwest said Gail and David Asper would resign from the company’s board of directors. Leonard Asper stills heads up the company, which owns Global TV, a number of specialty channels and several newspapers. The proposed deal with Shaw would only see the television division be taken over.

CBC Puts Free Press into Group with Debt-Ridden Canwest

CBC Puts Free Press into Group with Debt-Ridden Canwest

It didn’t stay up for long, but Thursday afternoon a story running on the CBC News website had the Winnipeg Free Press included in a list of Canwest-owned newspapers.

The article also mentioned something called the Edmonton Free Press, which no one seems to have heard of before. The story in question was about The National Post possibly shutting down today without a new ownership structure.

Eventually they fixed the mistake and all was well again in the world.

Silly CBC …

CBC News Error - Winnipeg Free Press

Canwest Staff Need Pension, Severance Protection: Union

By Tyler Sutherland

Canwest Global TowerThe union representing employees across Canada at Canwest Global Communications is making sure pensions and severance payments remain untouched. The call comes after the Winnipeg-based company filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday to stave off creditors seeking billions in debt from the broadcaster.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworks Union of Canada says, “Thousands have already lost their jobs, and there has been no wage increase for years. Though management salaries have been excessive — $49 million to eight people from 2001 to 2008, while during that same period over 1,000 Canwest employees lost their jobs.” Leonard Asper didn’t mention any of that in his video on the Canwest website Tuesday.

The union wants the federal government to step up to prevent the collapse of Canwest, and in turn, the loss of jobs.

“Yet another major company has filed for bankruptcy protection under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s watch,” adds CEP President Dave Coles. “It’s time for this government to stop congratulating itself and to take action to prevent more working people from falling victim to this recession,” said Coles.

CEP represents more than 25,000 newspaper and broadcast employees across Canada, including workers at Global TV.

Canwest Closing Two TV Stations by August 31

By Brian Schultz

Canwest Communications GroupCanwest Global Communications Corp. announced Wednesday that it would be closing down two of its local conventional TV stations by the end of August.

The affected stations include CHEK-TV in Victoria and CHCA-TV in Red Deer. In total, 80 jobs will be lost.

Both stations were running under the E! brand and had been under review by the broadcaster since February.

Earlier this year, Canwest announced the sale of CHCH-TV in Hamilton and CJNT-TV in Montreal.

Big Screen for an Even Bigger Game

Big Screen for an Even Bigger Game

Canwest Place - Manitoba Moose

Manitoba Moose fans gathered in the courtyard of Canwest Place on Friday evening to watch Game 6 of the Calder Cup final on the giant screen. Unfortunately, all the fan support in the world couldn’t seal the deal for our hometown team as the Hershey Bears took the series 4-1.

Canwest Place - Manitoba Moose

ChrisD.ca photos

Canwest Gets Third Lifeline with Lenders

Canwest Communications GroupCanwest Global Communications has reached a deal with its lenders to extend talks until April 21. Hopefully the third time is a charm for the Winnipeg-based broadcaster, as two previous deadlines have come and gone.

The media company owes CAN $3.9 billion as it continues to dig itself out from under declining ad revenues.

Canwest shares remained unchanged at closing time Tuesday at 29 cents a share on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Last month, Canwest gave a stay of execution to its five E! branded channels until the end of the summer after previously threatening to shut them down if it couldn’t find a buyer this spring.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Canadian Media Could Get a Bailout

CTV - Canwest - QuebecorBetween CTVglobemedia, Canwest and the Quebecor, Canada’s private media outlets have been sinking deeper financially with each passing day. On Wednesday, the Harper government said it would consider helping troubled private TV broadcasters, including looser regulations and tax changes.

Heritage Minister James Moore specifically singled out Canwest Global in an interview with The Canadian Press, saying the government is looking to help them out of teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

All three companies have been lobbying Ottawa for a while to provide help. Canwest hired a former senior adviser to Harper to help with its lobbying efforts.

Industry and government sources say discussions are going on at the highest levels on how to help avoid the closure of more local stations due to the tough economic times.

As for the publicly-funded CBC, the government said last week it would not be providing additional funding to them.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Bomb Threat Evacuates Canwest Place

Canwest PlaceCanwest Place — the 33-storey office building at the corner of Portage Avenue and Main Street — was evacuated this morning at around 10:15 a.m.

Authorities cite a bomb threat in the form of a letter for the evacuation. No word on which business inside the building was the subject of the threat.

Canwest Place is the home to Global Television and several other businesses.

According to the Free Press, the evacuation was orderly and calm.

In June 2007, a similar threat (also in a letter) forced the evacuation of CTV Winnipeg’s Graham Avenue office.

The threat turned out to be a hoax and staff were allowed back in the building a few hours later.