Cross Media Ownership and Democratic Practice in Canada published by the University of Alberta Press (April 2012) is first in-depth analysis of major French- and English-Canadian news companies to show the impact of cross-media ownership on the diversity of new content. Surprisingly, the study lays to rest fears over content convergence of newspaper and television network ownership by Canadian media giants Canwest Global, CTVglobemedia, and Quebecor. Content-sharing between newspaper and television properties of these giant companies did not occur. This leads the authors to examine why, and to assess problems that mass media in Canada will likely face in the coming years, particularly as newsrooms strive to adapt to new media and the online environment.
Contributors Walter Soderlund (University of Windsor), Colette Brin (Université Laval), Lydia Miljan (University of Windsor), and Kai Hildebrandt (University of Windsor) began their studies for the book in 2007. By the time the book was ready for publication, the three organizations that had formed a central part of their study, CanWest Global, BCE and Quebecor, had gone through “seismic changes.” CanWest Global sought bankruptcy protection and in May 2010 sold it TV assets to Shaw Communications and its newpaper properties including the Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald and the National Post to a consortium lead by Paul Godfrey (former president of the Toronto Sun and Chairman of Metro Toronto to name a few of his credits) who formed the Post Media Network. In September 2010, BCE purchased CTV to rebrand as CTVglobemedia and then rebrand again as Bell Media shortly thereafter. And, in April 2011 Quebecor launched a national all news channel Sun TV.
So while the authors were not able to prove their hypothesis that the convergence of newspapers and tv stations lilkely resulted in similar (if not duplicate) content on both platforms, they did prove that the media landscape in Canada and around the world does not stand still long enough to pigeon hole it for any length of time.
And the seismic changes continue. Since the publication of the book this past April, Post Media Network announced another round of layoffs at the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal. Additionally, they announced that as June 15, 2012 their printed TV Times would cease publication and that as of July 1, 2012 neither paper will print Sunday editions.