Quebecor, a Montreal based communications company chaired by former PM Brian Mulroney, is set to launch the Sun TV News Network on April 18, 2011. The conservative all-news channel is hoping to replicate the success of the Fox News Network in the US, News Corporation property owned by a Rupert Murdoch.
Sun News will go beyond the headlines and to cover the full range of stories that impact our society, our democracy and our economy – using a format that has attracted viewers in Quebec, the United States and further abroad.
Why Sun News? Here’s an excerpt from their website:
Canada’s Future Home for Hard News and Straight Talk
It’s time for a change.
Canada needs a stronger, better, bolder news and information network. One that matches hard-hitting, fast, investigative news with insightful, colourful, and clear commentary. One that keeps us informed minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, with the most trusted names in journalism. One that replaces the same old talking heads with more voices, new voices.
Canada is calling out for a news leader we can be proud of. It’s time for a new choice, a new voice, a new genre, a new Information & Analysis specialty service for Canadians.
Hard News and Straight TalkSun News will go beyond the headlines and to cover the full range of stories that impact our society, our democracy and our economy – using a format that has attracted viewers in Quebec, the United States and further abroad.
All news specialty services play a vital role in keeping Canadians well informed on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis and ensuring that news coverage is both broad and deep. However, being well informed means more than being exposed to dry news.
Led by trusted journalists like David Akin and Brian Lilley, Sun News will offer Canadians “Hard News” by day: live reporting and real-time conversations with journalists covering breaking news. Headlines will be analysed, commented upon and discussed at length in an intelligent exchange to open further debate. Daytime news segments will cover a broad range of political, economic and lifestyle stories that matter to Canadians both rural and urban.
In the evenings, “Straight Talk” programs will feature hosts and guests that deliver strong opinions and analysis of stories that are important to Canadians that day. “Straight Talk” opinion journalism at night will be clear, intelligent and engaging – featuring a broader array of television personalities and signature hosts who will challenge viewers to think – and decide – for themselves.
New Voices, New Views.
Sun News will serve to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the political, social, cultural and economic fabric of Canada, with a schedule offering a wide range of programs that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas and values by displaying Canadian talent as well as by offering information and analysis concerning Canada and other countries from a Canadian point of view. Sun TV Channel will reflect the circumstances and aspirations of Canadian men and women, including equal rights, the linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society and the special place of aboriginal peoples within that society.
Sun News will provide balanced information with a reasonable opportunity for the public to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public concern, information that will be drawn from local, regional, national and international sources.
The 24 hour news channel was set to launch in January but, according to the Canadian Press, had to be postponed due to start up challenges and resignations of a number of members from its Ottawa bureau and the sudden resignation of Kory Teneycke, its chief spokesperson.
According to the Wikipedia listing:
Sun News’ schedule will be modeled after Quebecor’s French language news channel, Le Canal Nouvelles, featuring news reportage during the daytime hours from 6AM to 5PM nd analysis and commentary programmes at night. The network will have a general on-air attitude that its founding executives claim will be lively, “unapologetically patriotic,” and “less politically correct” in comparison to the established CTV News Channel and CBC News Network as well as Toronto-based CP24. No specific programming for Sun News has been revealed outside of a September 2010 announcement that longtime radio personality Charles Adler will host a primetime discussion programme.
Sun News will also take a populist, conservative-leaning approach that will mirror the namesake Sun chain of Quebecor-owned tabloid newspapers; that, and its employment of conservative commentators and operatives (including the two men who have headed the project since its inception, first Kory Teneycke and later Luc Lavoie), have led media reports, pundits, and critics to bill the network as “Fox News North.” Sun News management has openly bristled at the comparisons, saying that they only intend Sun News to mimic the Sun chain’s “irreverent” and “provocative” approach and offer a “range of [political] opinion. Indeed, Sun News will rely in part on newsgathering resources from the Sun chain and other Quebecor-owned newspapers; it will also rely on an international content agreement with CNN.
Background on Key Sun TV Network Personnel (as taken from the Sun TV Network’s website):
Kory Teneycke – VP Development for Quebecor (and Chief Spokesperson)
Kory Teneycke is the former Communications Director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper from July 2008 and June 2010 and before that for Preston Manning and Mark Harris, former Ontario Premier before landing at Quebecor. In the summer of 2010, Teneycke made claims on his Twitter account that people were fraudulently opposing the new channel to the CRTC in an online petition by setting up fake accounts with names like Homer Simpson and the like. Investigations narrowed the submissions down to an IP address used by Teneycke. Teneycke stepped down in September 2011 because, according to him, things had “gotten out of hand.” CBC announced Teneycke’s return to Quebecor as the VP of Development on January 5, 2011. He is now back at the helm of the Sun TV Network.
See other articles about Kory Teneycke:
David Akin – Ottawa Bureau Chief and Show Host
David Akin has had a 25-year career in both print and television. At CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson, Mr. Akin received a Gemini Award for his reporting. While working for The Globe and Mail, Mr. Akin received a National Newspaper Award citation of merit. He was also a member of the inaugural staff of National Post. Most recently, Mr. Akin was the National Affairs Correspondent for Canwest News Service. In addition to his work in traditional media platforms, Mr. Akin has also been a pioneer in digital platforms. A blogger for almost a decade, Mr. Akin’s On The Hill is one of the Top 15 most-read political blogs in the country and, last year, Mr. Akin was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Ottawa” by the Hill Times.
Brian Lilley – Senior Parliamentary Correspondent
Brian Lilley is a veteran broadcaster having spent the last decade in major market radio across Canada. In addition to work in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, Brian has spent the last five years as Ottawa Bureau Chief for Canada’s largest private radio broadcaster.
While working with heritage news/talk radio stations like Newstalk 1010 in Toronto and CJAD in Montreal, Brian has brought Canadian politics to the ears of millions of listeners across Canada. His time in Ottawa has also been marked by original news stories, off-beat analysis and one on one interviews with all major party leaders including the Prime Minister. According to the Toronto Sun http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/03/08/17542206.html , his show called “Byline,” an hour-long prime-time program, will shed light on stories across the country that matter to Canadians, not just political junkies in Ottawa. Byline, will be produced in Ottawa, will touch base daily with many of Sun Media’s newspapers across the country to get the inside scoop on the important stories of the day.
Tobias Fisher – National News Editor
Tobias Fisher is a 28-year veteran of television news, working as a network producer and reporter for Global, CTV and most recently CBC. Over that period, Fisher has covered Parliament Hill for 17 years, dating back to the Repatriation Debate and the Meech Lake Accord. He has produced campaign coverage for five federal elections. He also has been posted to bureaus in Toronto, Calgary and Washington, where he covered American politics for six years. While in Washington, he covered the 1994 U.S. invasion of Haiti, the Oklahoma City bombing and the trials of the Clinton administration, including the Monica Lewinski scandal. Fisher returned to Canada in 2000 to become CTV’s Calgary bureau chief covering Alberta and Saskatchewan. In August 2002, Fisher returned to Ottawa to join CBC News as the assignment editor for the Parliament Hill bureau. Fisher is the son of the late Doug Fisher, former dean of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and a Sun political columnist for more than 30 years. Parliamentary assignment editor Tobias Fisher has worked in television news since 1982, as a reporter, producer and assignment editor.
According to the CBC website in March 2011, before the announcement of his move to the Sun TV Network, Fisher “started his career as a local reporter with CJOH TV in Ottawa, covering municipal and federal politics. He moved to Global News in 1988, where he was the Ottawa bureau manager, and then senior producer in the features unit in Toronto. In 1992, Tobias joined CTV News as the Toronto bureau manager, moving to Washington in 1994, where he was a CTV producer and correspondent for six years”.
Self professed “conservative activist” Ezra Levant and radio talk show guru Charles Adler will also be hosting prime time shows on the network. Manitoba born Krista Erickson, CBC’s Parliamentary bureau correspondent since 2006, has also signed on.
In addition to the connection between Kory Teneycke and Alberta’s Preston Manning, Ezra Levant,
and Charles Adler the station also shares a connection to Alberta. According to a report on by Bryn Weese, reporter for Quebecor’s QMI, the graphics, logos and animation have been designed by Calgary-based White Iron Digital. White Iron designed not only the logos and show openings, but other visual elements like teasers, stings, bumpers, and transitions, that help bring a news channel to life.
On the Sun TV website they are inviting people to submit ideas for other personalities. Also on their website and on various media job posting sites they are advertising for a Reporter/Sub Anchor for its Calgary station.
The new network will operate out of CKXT, an existing over-the-air Sun TV station in Toronto and is scheduled to launch on April 18, 2011.