OK this is a little hard to explain but I’m going to take you on a journey through a corporate theory/hope of mine which could spell an actual, Canadian, CONSERVATIVE-FRIENDLY news channel à la Fox News Channel.
Now, everything would have to come together just right, but heck—that’s business—and far stranger things have happened.
The people involved would have to be smart, smart, smart,—à la Rupert Murdock, owner of Fox News Channel, and Roger Ailes who runs it, and they’d have to be as hopeful as I was for Canada. So that could be a deal-breaker.
So here it is:
A huge company called BCE owns Bell Globemedia, which owns the liberal Globe and Mail and the CTV network, including its all-news “Newsnet” channel and others (what I like to call “Liberal*Vision”).
BCE wants to sell its 68.5% stake in Bell Globemedia to its partner Woodbridge Co. Ltd.
Woodbridge is a private investment firm controlled by Canada’s wealthiest man, Kenneth Thomson. Thompson has offered $1.5-billion for BCE’s stake in Bell Globemedia.
BCE is afraid, however, that Thompson’s Woodbridge just wants to buy it so they can flip it—sell it quickly at a profit. That’s particularly true, they say, of the TV assets, because they’re peaking in value right now with popular shows and Olympic Games contracts. They’re specifically afraid of losing access to the content created by Bell Globemedia—if it’s sold to an unfriendly competitor.
But anyway, here’s where it gets interesting, in my mind:
The two likeliest buyers (assuming Thompson’s Woodbridge were to flip it) are Rogers Communications Inc. (the cable and media company), and Quebecor Inc.‘s media unit. My theory works especially well if Quebecor buys the TV assets.
Stay with me here.
Quebecor owns Sun Media Corporation. Sun Media publishes the Toronto Sun and Calgary Sun among others. Those newspapers are decidedly conservative, editorially speaking. For example, members of our columnist team Paul Jackson and Janet Jackson hail from the Calgary Sun. Salim Mansur writes for the Toronto Sun. Other Sun Media writers Michael Coren and Lydia Lovric are both occasional Guest Writers here, and I regularly point to the editorials of Greg Weston, Licia Corbella, and Lorrie Goldstein. Ezra Levant of the Western Standard, Link Byfield, and Ted Byfield also write for Sun Media papers. These are all great conservative columnists—in fact they’re nearly all of them in this country!
So my theory/hope is that Woodbridge buys BCE’s stake, flips it to Quebecor which then owns the TV assets, which then turns Liberal*Vision into Fair*and*Balanced*Vision, and most particularly turns the 24-hour “Newsnet” channel into a Fox-like news channel for Canadians.
Canadians would hear the conservative side! People would, you know, learn stuff! Svend Robinson would no longer be a regular guest on Mike Duffy’s “Countdown” show, in my version of this scenario. In fact Duffy would get a major buffy—a tune-up of mammoth proportions, as would virtually every single employee who wasn’t fired outright in order to start fresh with actual conservative-friendly folks.
Now this thing could all get hung up on BCE’s desire to maintain certain rights to Bell Globemedia content—for what reason they want that I do not know, except to stifle competition. But that could be worked out—maybe with more cash or with an attitude adjustment (such as “hey, why wouldn’t you folks at BCE want fair and balanced content for your Globe and Mail?”). And of course it could get hung up on a thousand other things.
Anyway that’s my theory/hope. It’s a real possibility!