TV, Eh? Industry Update: Canada AM, CRTC, Short Film Face Off, and more

Canada AM will not die…for now

On February 2, 2012, Medium Close Up blogger Howard Bernstein mentioned a rumour that CTV’s national news morning show, Canada AM, will be cancelled. The local CTV Morning Live format currently graces CTV stations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg. In addition, CTV Morning Live airs on CTV Two Ottawa, and CTV Two Atlantic in Halifax.

On February 14, 2012, CTV News Senior Communications Manager Emily Young Lee tells me that Canada AM will remain on CTV News Channel, as well as CTV stations in Ontario, Quebec, and “Eastern Canada.” According to Lee, there are currently no plans for cancellation.

A Vancouver edition of Canada AM was floated on January 28, 2008, and cancelled on June 6, 2008. Canada AM was still seen on western CTV stations, until CTV Morning Live‘s 2011 installation. Canada AM has been a CTV fixture since September 11, 1972.

Corus earns Harmony licence from CRTC

On February 14, 2012 (Valentine’s Day! cute), Corus Entertainment received CRTC approval to launch Harmony. The digital cable service is “devoted to romance, love and relationships,” so…yeah. A Corus channel aimed at women. Rare.

A rumour, floated by, is that either Hallmark Channel Canada or ABC Spark will launch under the Harmony licence. This isn’t uncommon in Canadian television – TV Land Canada was originally Retro Channel, while Nickelodeon Canada airs under the YTV OneWorld licence.

McMaster gets wealth of Canadian archival material

Terry O’Reilly, co-founder of advertising production company Pirate Radio and Television, recently donated 50,000 items of archival material to McMaster University. The archive becomes part of Mills Memorial Library’s research collections department.

The archival material dates from 1981-2007. Said material includes television and radio commercial scripts, and final commercials. The Hamilton Spectator‘s article makes note of Molson Canadian’s 2000 “The Rant” commercial, in which Jeff Douglas touts his Canadian nationalism.

Terry O’Reilly currently hosts CBC Radio marketing show Under the Influence. His previous CBC Radio shows, O’Reilly on Advertising (2004-05) and The Age of Persuasion (2006-11), focus mainly on advertising.

GlassBOX News approved by CRTC

Hot on the heels of GlassBOX Horror, CRTC approved GlassBOX News on February 16, 2012.

GlassBOX News is a specialty Category C service, which means it’s part of a partially unprotected cable format. With this move, GlassBOX News attempts to compete in the same arena as Sun News Network, CBC News Network, and CTV News Channel.

CBC wants your films for the Short Film Face Off

CBC’s Short Film Face Off needs entries. Short Film Face Off is in its fifth year, its second as a national contest. As CBC puts it:

Films must be under 12 minutes in length, must have been completed in the past two years, and must not have been broadcast on network television. We are looking for comedies and dramas. Music videos and documentaries are not suitable for this program. Directors must be available for tapings at CBC Halifax from May 15 to 18, 2012.

Interested parties should visit this link.

Last year’s competition aired on Saturday nights, during the summer of 2011. I assume 2012’s competition serves the same purpose: filler for a weak night, in the dregs of a summer schedule. The Short Film Face Off page looks slapped together, which isn’t a good sign. The list of regional e-mail addresses is an even worse sign. Short Film Face Off is a good idea, badly executed.

Odds and sods

Global likes to big up its Canadian coverage of American awards phenomena. I’m sure Whitney Houston’s death has nothing to do with ET Canada‘s higher-than-average ratings. Also: the usual “haha, we beat CTV,” as if red carpet recaps will be remembered 24 hours after they happen.

The CRTC extends Bell ExpressVu and Shaw Direct’s satellite broadcasting licences, from March 1, 2012 to August 31, 2012. This is an administrative renewal; the licences were administratively renewed from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011, and from September 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012.