Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fox News North: News On The Cheap?

At The Toronto Sun Family Blog, they notice things:

Repeats after 9 p.m.? Does that mean no coverage of breaking news throughout the night?

Sounds like Toronto Sun news deadlines.


Will Sun News have the manpower and the budget to go live after 9 p.m. to provide coverage of major breaking news?

And Chris Selley, he notices things too:

Production values are also going to be key. Whatever else you might think of CBC News, it puts on a slick show. And the aesthetics behind an impossibly terrible promotional video released yesterday on aren't going to come close to cutting it.

And of course everyone's seen how they bungled their own launch by mis-spelling the name of star investigative reporter Brian Lilley in about eight different places on their website.

And, actually, Chris Selley says something else that's interesting:

There's a huge amount of valuable tonal real estate between CTV/CBC and the in-your-face Fox News model that kinder, gentler Canadians love to hate.

...because I think just the opposite: the ideological space SunTV to work in is quite limited. If they just going to be Conservative, then that's CTV. The only way to distinguish themselves is to embrace teh crazy (hire Ezra). But to do that risks alienating everyone else.

Sun TV therefore has the same problem as the CPoC; they are hamstrung between pleasing the true believers and pissing off the remainder of the country; that's why the government's poll numbers have kept within such a narrow range the past couple of years. That's why Sun TV's audience will be inherently limited.


Rotterdam said...

I believe in the free exchange of ideas.
I hope left-wing media does as well.
Comments from the likes of Don Newman:

“the absolute last thing this country needs.”
tell me otherwise.

Is the left afraid?

Terrence said...

I dunno, BCL.

I can't remember where I heard it, but apparently a large chunk of the audience for some right wing media in the U.S. (Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, as I recall) is made up of liberals.

From my experience while in the US, lots of people find being infuriated entertaining. They watch Glenn Beck and shout at the TV. They don't want Glenn Beck or his followers to have any political power, but they find his gibbering fits entrancing.

Why couldn't a similar dynamic work here in Canada? If it's provocative enough, couldn't it pull in a greater audience share (i.e. beyond core Conservative supporters)?

The absolute worst would be if Sun TV turned out to be Tory TV. Then it really would be fit only for Conservative supporters. But then it wouldn't really be the equivalent of Fox News, either.

Reality Bites said...

Terrence I've certainly known people who enjoy being infuriated, or feel they need to keep tabs on the opposition (see above your post, for example).

But by and large, the Sun brand is not the most successful. Even in markets like Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary, where the competition is also right-wing, they have less than half the circulation of their rival.

BCL has made appearances on the right-wing Michael Coren show on over-the-air FREE TV. Perhaps he could enlighten us - BCL, of your the people you know in real life, how many were aware the show and station even exist?

Still, it's important to remember that with high enough subscriber fees it really doesn't matter if anyone's watching or not.

Terrence said...


You're right about the Sun brand. I was kind of disappointed to see that Fox News North would be sharing that brand.

And the mendacious form of faint-hearted populism found in the Canadian Sun newspapers wouldn't exactly result in provocative TV. It's simply not "edgy" enough (compared, for example, to the UK version of the Sun, or the New York Post.)


bigcitylib said...


I've met exactly one person who saw me on that show. Most folks know who Coren is, and know of the station itself in a general sort of way. But I don't know anybody that actually watches it regularly.


I suppose some people will watch tv in that manner. I make a point of reading all sorts of stuff I disagree with. But I can't think its a whole lot of people. With Fox, its not just that I don't agree with the talking heads, its just that I don't think they're very entertaining.

Terrence said...

I just realized that Rupert Murdoch is what is missing from Sun TV (he's behind the UK Sun, Fox News, and the New York Post -- all my examples.)

No wonder I had a dream about him once! It was horrible!

I see your point, BCL. It may be that Canadians in general are less into in-your-face confrontation than Americans.

Myself, I do find people like Beck and O'Reilly entertaining, but in a weird, "Aren't Americans exotic?" kind of way. That obviously won't be a long-term selling point for Sun TV.

Reality Bites said...

Canada - making right-wing extremism boring since 2011

Polyorchnid Octopunch said...

Well, Rotterdam, if the FNN engages in the kind of eliminationist rhetoric coming out of a lot of the folks both on and who watch Fox in the US (perfecting jews, Liberal Hunting Permit), it's not going to be doing us (more specifically, the terms of our political discourse) any favours, that's for sure.

Open contempt is a very hard place to climb out of when you need to talk to a community.

Gene Rayburn said...

No Rotterdam, people are afraid of more Grey Power commercials.

Loosen the tinfoil Rotterdam. You havent had a good comment since 2006.

Tof KW said...

Terrence said...
"Myself, I do find people like Beck and O'Reilly entertaining, but in a weird, "Aren't Americans exotic?" kind of way. That obviously won't be a long-term selling point for Sun TV."

We'll see what goes down when SUNNews hires a Beck-wannabe. Should be fun to see the mental gymnastics required to go from Ignatieff's Russian heritage - to the LPC being communists bent on creating gulags for conservatives. Or even better; "Iggy wrote books, you know who else wrote a book? Hitler!!!"