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Canadian Business mag (owned by Rogers) had a good article on the Shaw\Canwest deal. Jim Shaw doesn't sound like he's terribly interested in CanCon.
One point the writer brought up in the article: will Canwest's support of Save Local TV and the carriage fee discussion now change?
I say No. I suspect it doesn't matter to Shaw Inc at this point. Having a foothold in both worlds protects them from these type of battles in the future. Either way, I doubt cable rates will be going down.
Things get sticky in the Shaw deal. Watch out - Goldman Sachs tends to get it's own way:
CRTC fee for carriage decision comes down this afternoon.
Buck has been passed to the Federal Court of Appeals.
Yep, the CRTC ducks out.
I laughed out loud when I read the CRTC decision on their website this afternoon. The first scene that ran through my mind was the two sides sitting down to negotiate. It's CTV\CBC vs cable-sats at this point, right? That leaves Shaw winning no matter what (pending confirmation of the sale). Am I reading things wrong?
I'm going to have to read the decision again. I thought I noticed a local to local negotiating clause....?
What do you think, Timebandit?
I only had an email update from Playback magazine this aft -- haven't had time to read much on it yet. The blond guy's shooting overseas, so the office and the wild girls are up to me to manage...
I don't know about Canwest... They're not bought just yet, and I'm unclear on whether they will weigh in or not. I did notice that Rogers had a reaction, but didn't see mention of Shaw. Will look closer later on.
As It Happens had a CBC upper mangement type on tonight. He, representing the Ceeb's position apparently, was very against the decision. He suggested this could be the death of public broadcasting. I got to the interview late during an exchange about the CBC withholding its signal from the cable\sats.
Anyhow, lots to shake out on this.
Back on topic. Goldman Sachs, essentially, is challenging the sale of most of Canwest to Shaw. Otherwise, from what I understand, it's a done deal.
CRTC has taken CBC out of the picture - as a public broadcaster, choosing to give up their low-on-the-dial status or pull their programming goes against their mandate, so they cannot take advantage of fee for carriage. Which sucks, because they pay as much (or slightly more sometimes) for their programming as the other networks.
Yeah, GS is challenging Shaw, and that's going to make it a drawn-out process, but might actually keep Shaw quiet about fee for carriage until that all shakes out. Specualtively on my part, though. I could be wrong and frequently am. ;)
Canwest sells newspapers to creditor group for $1.1B
"Canwest Global Communications said Monday it has approved the sale of its newspapers to a group led by National Post president Paul Godfrey in a deal worth $1.1 billion.
"Canwest owns and operates daily newspapers across Canada, as well as more than 20 community newspapers, online operations and other publications. The buyer of Canwest Limited Partnership is a group of the insolvent company's creditors, who are paying $950 million in cash as part of the deal.
"Godfrey is the former CEO of Sun Media ... "
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/05/10/canwest-newspapers-sold.html#ixzz0nZqtYsRV
And Godfrey told CBC radio this morning that 2009 was the best year ever of the 11 years in which National Post lost money (It came closest to breaking even) . He's counting on electronic publishing and having to charge less for ads on a medium that does not have to buy paper and ink or pay delivery people.
In a way, it's fitting that Godfrey should buy the Global papers. In the current economic climate, newspapers may become like second-tier pro sports franchises. The owners will be wealthy men who don't mind absorbing reasonable yearly losses in return for the opportunity of playing Steinbrenner, meddling with decisions best left to professionals, and cutting a dashing figure at cocktail parties. ('Cause let's face it, the publisher of a free suburban weekly is a more glamorous figure than the writer of any blog.) And those of us who still believe in newspapers will be on our knees every morning praying that they may live long and prosper. As a Ti-Cats fan, I'm familiar with the process.
At least Godfrey appears to think that papers still have a place on the media scene and isn't, at least for public consumption, treating them as assets to be stripped. I'm not saying I'd sponsor the old reptile at the Teeterville Legion, but I'm willing to give him a chance. Shame it's only snap-jawed old badgers of reaction like him and Murdoch who will still give print a fair shake.
Folks whose newsrooms also turn out editorials on behalf of the corporate world are most likely to find sustainable corporate funding.
To clarify, Paul Godfrey, who hasn't run a newspaper in some 16 years, is fronting a group made up of the folks who were the bondholders of the old company. Godfrey might have a token amount invested but it is the distress funds that have the power. This group's intent is to flip it as soon as possible. With $1.1 billion in debt this company still has serious issues to overcome.