"Fox News North" channel set to launch in Canada

Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:43pm EDT
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By David Ljunggren and Euan Rocha

OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) - In a bid to shake up Canadian broadcasting, media company Quebecor Inc says it will launch a 24-hour conservative news and comment channel that many observers are already dubbing "Fox News North".

Quebecor said on Tuesday it has applied for a three-year license for the proposed English-language Sun TV News channel and if successful, would start broadcasting on January 1, 2011.

Quebecor Chief Executive Pierre Karl Peladeau said Sun TV News would provide much-needed competition for all-news channels operated by public broadcaster Canadian Broadcasting Corp and by CTV, part owned by telecoms giant BCE Inc and newspaper publisher Torstar Corp.

"Far too many Canadians are tuning out completely or changing their dials to American all-news channels ... It's not good for Canadian democracy and it's not good for Canada itself," Peladeau told a news conference in Toronto.

"Quebecor sees an untapped market opportunity in English Canadian TV news ... It is time to shake up the current players of the Canadian broadcasting system."

Quebecor owns the right-wing Sun chain of tabloid newspapers. In French-speaking Quebec, it owns the Journal de Montreal paper, TVA television and the LCN all-news channel.

The launch of Sun TV News will certainly please the governing Conservative Party, which complains regularly about what it sees as biased reporting by the CBC. It will be run by Kory Teneycke, former chief spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"We're taking on the mainstream media. We're taking on smug, condescending, often irrelevant journalism, we're taking on political correctness," said Teneycke, promising a mix of hard news reporting and opinion journalism.   Continued...

<p>Pierre Karl Peladeau, president and CEO of Quebecor Inc. announces his companies' investment in the creation of a new English specialty channel called 'Sun TV News' through a partnership between his subsidiaries TVA Group and Sun Media Corporation during a news conference in Toronto June 15, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Cassese</p>