Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:
- The changes resulting from the latest round of buyouts and layoffs at Postmedia are starting to trickle out. Long-time theatre critic Liz Nicholls is leaving the Journal. Her last day is December 2 and she is reportedly starting her own theatre review website called 12thnight.ca in the near future. Also leaving is music writer Sandra Sperounes who called taking the buyout “the toughest decision” she’s ever had to make. She doesn’t know what’s next but thanked Edmonton’s music scene. Both departures leave major gaps in the Journal’s local arts coverage. On top of that, Arts & Life editor Keri Sweetman has confirmed to me that she too will be leaving, at the end of January.
- CBC Edmonton’s Janice Johnston let me know that she has heard through her contacts of 7 departures plus 2 vacancies that won’t be filled at the Journal/Sun/Postmedia (I’ll update when I have confirmed who they are). And she said “after subscribing to the Journal for 30 plus years we are going to cancel our subscription.”
- UPDATE: Barb Wilkinson has confirmed her last day at Postmedia will be January 31. I can also confirm that Gary Lamphier will be leaving, his last day is December 9. He told me he is “sad to go” but feels “fortunate to have worked with so many great people for so long.”
- A petition was launched last week to “save Edmonton Journal’s arts coverage”. It currently has 561 supporters with a goal of 1,000.
- As mentioned last week, Postmedia’s local editor-in-chief Mark Iype announced changes to the Journal. He spent some time answering questions in the comments on that story and on Twitter. He confirmed that flyers “are incredibly popular”, said “our standards for journalistic objectivity have never changed”, and on local book coverage clarified that “it is not being eliminated, but it will look different”. In response to a question about local news, he said “Our focus will remain local. And we will do our best to cover the city to the best of our ability.”
- After a lengthy battle with cancer, Dave Valentine passed away on November 26. He was “a beauty of a guy” tweeted Ryan Jespersen. A GoFundMe page has been setup to support Dave’s wife Dawn and their four children this holiday season. You can make a contribution until December 4.
- Friday was Marion Warnica’s last day at CBC Edmonton. She’s off to Toronto to be CBC’s hourly newsreader. Best of luck!
- Paul Brown is leaving 100.3 The Bear to head to Hollywood. Will he be missed? You be the judge! Yukon Jack joked about Paul’s departure on the November 25 episode of his big yap show too. Paul will stay with the show until the end of December.
- Candice Ryan is going to start co-hosting at CFWE on December 12. Congrats!
- Get to know Dave Sutherland, one of the contributors and City Ambassadors at Skyrise Edmonton. He was also on CBC’s Edmonton AM this morning to talk about the expanding website. (Full disclosure, Dave and I work together at Questionmark.)
- Marty Forbes takes time in his latest column to thank the Edmonton Sun, Capital FM, and many other media folks for their support of the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree and other worthy holiday causes.
- In case you missed it: Ryan Jespersen interviewed Bob Cole on his show last week.
- Here are the latest blog and podcast roundups from Seen and Heard in Edmonton.
- The Alberta Legislature press gallery is marking its 100th anniversary this year, but the number of Edmonton based-journalists there now number fewer than ten. Is the increase in public relations and government creating their own stories to blame?
- Wednesday is the deadline to apply for the St. Albert Gazette’s full-time photo journalist position.
- The Journal has made its rules for commenting easier to see in one page (it looks like a new article, but Mark pointed out to me that the rules themselves are not new).
- This tweet cracked me up. Who knew the CFL commissioner was so witty!
And here is some slightly less local media stuff:
- CBC unveiled its plan for the future today. The organization is looking for $318 million in funding to go ad-free plus another $100 million for “additional funding of new investments to face consumer and technology disruption.” Their plan says the investment per Canadian would increase from $34 per year to $46 per year.
- Even though more people continue to be forced out of Postmedia, the executives at the top are earning millions in retention bonuses.
- Global News has announced that chief political correspondent Tom Clark will retire on January 1, 2017. “During his 40-plus year tenure, he has interviewed every prime minister since Lester B. Pearson and covered every federal election campaign since 1974.”
- Vox interviewed Brooke Binkowski, managing editor of Snopes.com, about the future of news and the problem of fake news.
- Dozens of news organizations uncritically repeated Trump’s claim that millions of Americans voted illegally, which isn’t true. In his battle with the media, Trump continues to win.
So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!