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Goldfinger
Nov 12, 2007, 3:29 PM
Hamilton key to new CanWest tack
GRANT ROBERTSON

Globe and Mail Update

November 11, 2007 at 10:42 PM EST

When CanWest Global Communications Corp. bought into the newspaper industry in 2000, an easily ignored piece of the deal was a small operation in Hamilton that produced prepackaged sports statistics, television listings and weather for the papers involved.

Now called CanWest Editorial Services (CES), the 11-year-old business has grown since then to 20 full-time employees and several more part-time staff. It also sells such content to dozens of papers across Canada and the United States, which prefer to buy the data rather than spend to produce it themselves.

But the Hamilton operation is now being given a larger role inside CanWest, rankling some of the company's newsrooms, which have been faced with job cuts and buyouts over the past two weeks.

As Winnipeg-based CanWest looks to cut newspaper costs and shift more resources to producing news for the Internet, a larger number of news pages from its 10 city papers will be produced at the CES offices in coming months.

Several of CanWest's papers – which include the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Journal and Vancouver Sun – will have portions of their national and international news pages assembled there, along with auto and travel sections.

The new strategy has caused a string of job cuts and buyouts, which have trickled out paper by paper in the past two weeks. Taken in full, the reductions could total between 80 to 100 jobs, marking one of the larger cutbacks the industry has seen of late, next to 120 layoffs at Quebecor Inc.'s Sun Media chain last year.

CanWest officials say the company is waiting to see how many editorial employees accept buyouts at some papers to determine the total number of layoffs.

Jamie Pitblado, vice-president of promotions and community investment at CanWest's two Vancouver papers, the Sun and the Province, said the decision will allow CanWest to invest more resources in its Internet-based news operations, which could include adding positions on its websites. “I think we're seeing a transition from a newspaper to a news-gathering organization. By moving some of this work out of here [to Hamilton], it will provide us with an opportunity to focus more energy and resources on driving local content, both online and in the paper.”

Focusing on the Web has become the mantra of media operations as online audiences multiply. CanWest wants to staff its Web properties around-the-clock, or at least 18 hours a day, at most papers. One official cited a massive residential fire in Edmonton this summer that began overnight. The event caused a surge in traffic on the Edmonton Journal's website in the early morning, but the online story was delayed due to staffing, the official said.

The impact of CanWest's move on its newspaper operations is significant though.

The restructuring will see 20 to 30 positions bought out in Vancouver, while as many as 10 positions are being eliminated in Calgary through layoffs. About 15 positions could be affected at the Montreal Gazette's 155-person newsroom, with similar numbers expected in Ottawa and Edmonton. The Victoria Times Colonist, a smaller newsroom with roughly 80 people, may not be affected as much.

In terms of dollars, the Montreal paper is faced with buyouts worth roughly $2-million from a total newsroom budget of about $12-million, according to the guild representing editorial employees.

Peter Murdoch, vice-president of media for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, which represents the two Vancouver newsrooms, said he isn't confident that shifting layout and headline writing on national news pages to Hamilton is good for local papers. “This centralization is just slowly eroding local coverage in a whole variety of ways.”

CanWest has been reducing costs throughout its operations. It cut 200 jobs from its television business this year, shifting production work in smaller markets to larger cities where camera work on newscasts can be done by remote. In all, the reductions in print and television could reach 300 jobs at the company, Mr. Murdoch said. “That's a significant amount that's going to show up on their bottom line.”

CanWest disagrees with Mr. Murdoch's suggestion that the company is centralizing its news production. Unlike Quebecor's Sun Media chain, which last year began producing news pages that run in all of its tabloids across the country, Mr. Pitblado said the Hamilton-produced pages will be different for each market. “The decision-making on content and all of that will remain with the newspapers.”

SteelTown
Nov 12, 2007, 9:10 PM
Where's the CanWest newspaper operation in Hamilton? The CHCH building? The Spec is owned by Torstar.

raisethehammer
Nov 12, 2007, 9:17 PM
I would assume the Spec building?? no idea though.
soon enough all of these media outlets will be owned by one person or company. Hamilton could use another couple papers, half dozen radio stations and another TV station (all owned by different people!).

SteelTown
Nov 12, 2007, 9:34 PM
Now why would Torstar (the Spec) allow CanWest employees to work in their building? ha

Curious to know where these CanWest employees work at.

flar
Nov 12, 2007, 9:38 PM
With only 20-30 employees and everything done on computers, they wouldn't need a very big office. It could be anywhere.

SteelTown
Nov 12, 2007, 9:47 PM
Which is crazy having 20-30 employees at Hamilton doing all of CanWest newspaper coverage for national, international, auto and travel news.

What's even crazier is that all camera operations at CHCH such as, News at 6, Noon, etc is done by a remote at Toronto. No more cameramen.

flar
Nov 12, 2007, 9:59 PM
Practically all news is pulled from the wire, they don't need to do much.

the dude
Nov 13, 2007, 1:24 AM
^which explains the insanely wretched reportage we enjoy from nearly every media outlet today.

coalminecanary
Nov 13, 2007, 6:12 PM
lot's of hilarious media related rants on hamilton craigslist lately:
http://hamilton.craigslist.ca/rnr/

raisethehammer
Nov 13, 2007, 6:27 PM
I'm now fully understanding why I have had no desire to follow North American media in recent years and am about to give up on the Spec.
Brutal.
There's much I hate about the internet, but international media and independent media is a saviour.
I saw a billboard the other day for CHtv. the background was all these goofy computer-generated images. hilarious.

fastcarsfreedom
Nov 13, 2007, 6:52 PM
Only in this Forum would something as positive as work being moved TO Hamilton be spun into a negative.

BTW--last I knew this CanWest pagination operation being discussed was still being operated out of 44 Frid (The Spec). Our local paper The Windsor Star lists that address as a contact for TV listing insert TV Times. Though Torstar owns the building, this is a holdover from The Spec's days as a key Southam News property. It may have moved, or may plan to move, but if so I'm thinking that it's a recent switch.

raisethehammer
Nov 13, 2007, 10:03 PM
Only in this Forum would something as positive as work being moved TO Hamilton be spun into a negative.

BTW--last I knew this CanWest pagination operation being discussed was still being operated out of 44 Frid (The Spec). Our local paper The Windsor Star lists that address as a contact for TV listing insert TV Times. Though Torstar owns the building, this is a holdover from The Spec's days as a key Southam News property. It may have moved, or may plan to move, but if so I'm thinking that it's a recent switch.

you're from Windsor???

markbarbera
Nov 13, 2007, 10:52 PM
I saw a billboard the other day for CHtv. the background was all these goofy computer-generated images. hilarious.

How did you know it was for CHtv? They have dropped the call letters (and any reference to Hamilton) in all their billboard advertising in Toronto. There, it is simply known as Canada's E! network. No reference to CH or Hamilton.

CRTC can't be blind to their lack of local identity. Adding an extra half-hour of Lori DeAngelis making a fool of herself at an hour where viewership is at its lowest is not what I would describe as enhancing local television coverage. Yet they get away with it. Talk about a toothless watchdog...

flar
Nov 13, 2007, 11:03 PM
you're from Windsor???

He's from Hamilton but lives in Windsor

raisethehammer
Nov 14, 2007, 3:57 AM
How did you know it was for CHtv? They have dropped the call letters (and any reference to Hamilton) in all their billboard advertising in Toronto. There, it is simply known as Canada's E! network. No reference to CH or Hamilton.

CRTC can't be blind to their lack of local identity. Adding an extra half-hour of Lori DeAngelis making a fool of herself at an hour where viewership is at its lowest is not what I would describe as enhancing local television coverage. Yet they get away with it. Talk about a toothless watchdog...

it was for CHCH news. I guess the newscast advertises their own show to highlight the 'local content'.

fastcarsfreedom
Nov 14, 2007, 3:57 AM
Thanks Flar, for paying attention to my posts for the past 2 years. For the record I was born and raised in the Hamilton area (gasp!...in the exurbs) and now live in Tecumseh, Ontario, which is a (gasp!) suburb of Windsor.

fastcarsfreedom
Nov 14, 2007, 4:02 AM
So you don't like the type of local content CHCH-TV has added...that's really what you're saying. Back in the so-called "good old" days CHCH had an hour of news at dinner time and 30 minutes at 11pm...and that's it. No noon, no morning...90 minutes of news and hours of sitcoms and serial dramas bought from the U.S.

Bottom line is that successive ownership from Maclean Hunter to WIC to CanWest have each added greater local news content.

BTW, from a business perspective, why would CHCH-TV use local branding in Toronto where they are obviously competing for a completely different audience? Would you prefer a reversion to ONTV when much of the local news content was Toronto-specific in an effort to better compete there?

SteelTown
Nov 14, 2007, 12:36 PM
Did you know that CH Morning Live is one of the highest rated morning shows in Canada? That's why it was extended early recently.

raisethehammer
Nov 14, 2007, 2:57 PM
Did you know that CH Morning Live is one of the highest rated morning shows in Canada? That's why it was extended early recently.

wow. they've obviously tapped into a good demographic. Certainly not my cup of tea. I haven't watched that show in a few years. Granted, I haven't watched much of any TV in years other than sports, TVO and CBC.

DC83
Nov 14, 2007, 6:55 PM
to be honest, CH Morning Live is the only CHCH program I CAN stand (minus Lori DeAngelis).
I tend to keep my TV to the weather network in the AM while getting ready, but one can only stand that channel for so long b4 switching. So I'll put it to CH Morning Live.
At least Morning Live doesn't air those stupid pirated US news stories... unless they have started to recently... I have no idea. I tend to watch less than 20 mins of it if I AM watching it.

raisethehammer
Nov 15, 2007, 2:46 PM
wow! I just came back from Honda...I had to get my car serviced and was waiting in the wait area. They had CH morning live on.
I sat there for about 6-10 minutes and all they yapped about was the 'world's sexiest man' and 'sexiest couple' etc....it was bruuuutal!

I finally grabbed a newspaper and moved further away from the TV so I didn't have to listen to them. And yes, as I suspected from the billboards I've seen around town, the background set was horrible.
Let's hope that's the last time I stumble into a room with that channel on for another 5 years.

SteelTown
Nov 15, 2007, 3:12 PM
Woman love topics like that on CH, woman also happen to like suburbs to raise a family and woman also happen to LOVE big box stores as well. So really you should be working a crusade against woman! haha

raisethehammer
Nov 15, 2007, 4:33 PM
Woman love topics like that on CH, woman also happen to like suburbs to raise a family and woman also happen to LOVE big box stores as well. So really you should be working a crusade against woman! haha

haha...no way bro! I'm not crazy.
I'll stick with keeping my TV off.

the dude
Nov 15, 2007, 5:04 PM
.

markbarbera
Nov 15, 2007, 8:33 PM
So you don't like the type of local content CHCH-TV has added...that's really what you're saying. Back in the so-called "good old" days CHCH had an hour of news at dinner time and 30 minutes at 11pm...and that's it. No noon, no morning...90 minutes of news and hours of sitcoms and serial dramas bought from the U.S.

Bottom line is that successive ownership from Maclean Hunter to WIC to CanWest have each added greater local news content.

BTW, from a business perspective, why would CHCH-TV use local branding in Toronto where they are obviously competing for a completely different audience? Would you prefer a reversion to ONTV when much of the local news content was Toronto-specific in an effort to better compete there?

You are confusing more news programming with local news coverage. Quantity does not equate with quality. Next time you tune into one of these 'news' programs on CH - er, sorry, E!Canada, then count the number of local stories and clock the number of minutes devoted to local news coverage. For print media (theSpec), use the same method with word counts for columns devoted to local news vs. the generic Metroland news items filling the rest of the pages.

The days of CHCH may have had less news programming, but the quality of content was far superior to today. There was a much larger local content, with a real local news team covering Hamilton and area. These days most stories are picked up from foreign newsreel mills. Ditto for so-called local radio stations such as CHML, which doesn't even do a local news broadcast past the 6:00 hour - reverts to a generic national news feed to get it through the night.

One more point - the additional morning news coverage is not about bringing more local coverage or expanding on a successful program. It's about shifting the CRTC-required Canadian content hours to a non-primetime slot so they can air more U.S. programming in the primetime slots. Not exactly quality programming either, things like "E! News" and "So you think you're smarter than a fifth grader". CH is being downgraded to a small-time specialty cable channel aired on a low-frequency broadcast channel, with much of the local production jobs gone or on the way out of the city. This is something to be excited about?

markbarbera
Nov 15, 2007, 8:51 PM
BTW, from a business perspective, why would CHCH-TV use local branding in Toronto where they are obviously competing for a completely different audience?

CRTC granted the licence for CHCH-TV11 with the mandate that the channel was a VHF broadcast channel whose function is to meet the broadcast requirements for the Greater Hamilton Area demographics. It took great pains to stipulate it was to serve Hamilton-area viewers, and not Toronto viewers.

The real question is, given this mandate, why is CanWest advertising outside the geographic boundaries stipulated by CRTC when its broadcast licence for CHCH was granted?

raisethehammer
Nov 15, 2007, 9:46 PM
QUOTE: This is something to be excited about?

No, but don't dare say that on here unless you want to read another 2 pages of rants and tirades. This forum is apparently open only to those who adore Hamilton's wonderful media and their fabulous programming.

fastcarsfreedom
Nov 15, 2007, 11:13 PM
Please, in all seriousness, do not attempt to say that your beliefs and those who share your viewpoints are somehow being excluded here. On the contrary, your viewpoints are overwhelmingly represented here--because a few people happen to present dissenting opinions does not give you the right to play your "oppression" card. Seriously, I'm not sure whether that's an attempt at spin, or just an insult to common sense. There are plenty of people here who share your viewpoints and opinions, and I can't think of a time that you've ever let anyone forget that fact.

BCTed
Nov 16, 2007, 2:46 AM
Please, in all seriousness, do not attempt to say that your beliefs and those who share your viewpoints are somehow being excluded here. On the contrary, your viewpoints are overwhelmingly represented here--because a few people happen to present dissenting opinions does not give you the right to play your "oppression" card. Seriously, I'm not sure whether that's an attempt at spin, or just an insult to common sense. There are plenty of people here who share your viewpoints and opinions, and I can't think of a time that you've ever let anyone forget that fact.

I completely agree. raisethehammer has tried to quiet me more than once for presenting nothing other than opinions, either mine or those of others. He has also done a wonderfully terrible job of paraphrasing me using comments and sentiments that I have never made.

He has all of the answers and can identify "idiots" and "morons" from a mile away, even when he is hardly an expert about the subject matter being discussed --- e.g., he can design parking lots better than people who have spent years learning and practising their craft. He would also hire a walking catastrophe like Harry Stinson to run the city of Hamilton and would truncate the city so that it would include nothing other than the maybe five square kilometres that make up the downtown area.

the dude
Nov 16, 2007, 3:17 AM
^come on now. this is absolute silliness. contribute something of value, something positive or get off the pot. pathetic.

raisethehammer
Nov 16, 2007, 4:17 AM
QUOTE: He has all of the answers and can identify "idiots" and "morons" from a mile away

Surprisingly, it's easy around here.:)

markbarbera
Nov 17, 2007, 1:32 PM
he can design parking lots better than people who have spent years learning and practising their craft.

Parking lot design a craft?!? Now that's rich.

Do you design parking lots yourself? Just curious how you determined that the parking lots we see scattered downtown (making the city look like hockey player's grin) are the result of people who have spent years practicing this 'craft'. Do they have a professional designation? Certified Parking Lot Designer?

I see no evidence of skill or craftmanship at all. Most downtown lots are nothing more than the foundation of a demolished building filled with ashphalt and a recycled photomat kiosk plunked down by the entry ramp. Unless I am missing out on an artist's subtle presentation of irony in the form of anarchy by design... in which case I stand corrected.

raisethehammer
Nov 17, 2007, 8:52 PM
Parking lot design a craft?!? Now that's rich.

Do you design parking lots yourself? Just curious how you determined that the parking lots we see scattered downtown (making the city look like hockey player's grin) are the result of people who have spent years practicing this 'craft'. Do they have a professional designation? Certified Parking Lot Designer?

I see no evidence of skill or craftmanship at all. Most downtown lots are nothing more than the foundation of a demolished building filled with ashphalt and a recycled photomat kiosk plunked down by the entry ramp. Unless I am missing out on an artist's subtle presentation of irony in the form of anarchy by design... in which case I stand corrected.


haha...too funny. I missed that sentence the first time around. I was laughing too much after the 'idiots and morons' that I didn't read any further.
Gee whiz. If people are artfully designing these lots, I really need to get a new job.
If I remember correctly, it didn't look that hard in Seinfeld when Kramer re-striped the road. I'm guessing he didn't go to line-painting school before that episode.

DC83
Nov 17, 2007, 8:58 PM
I see no evidence of skill or craftmanship at all. Most downtown lots are nothing more than the foundation of a demolished building filled with ashphalt and a recycled photomat kiosk plunked down by the entry ramp. Unless I am missing out on an artist's subtle presentation of irony in the form of anarchy by design... in which case I stand corrected.

It's crazy what some ppl will use for fill: previous building's foundation, cars, people (we are in Hamilton afterall)... I grntee if we dug up every lot downtown, we could go on a treasure hunt (for crappy treasure).

sooooo ya, I hardly think throwing everything and anything into a hole to cover it up with ashphalt and paint some lines around is a "craft" of any sort!

BCTed
Nov 18, 2007, 3:26 AM
Parking lot design a craft?!? Now that's rich.

Do you design parking lots yourself? Just curious how you determined that the parking lots we see scattered downtown (making the city look like hockey player's grin) are the result of people who have spent years practicing this 'craft'. Do they have a professional designation? Certified Parking Lot Designer?

I see no evidence of skill or craftmanship at all. Most downtown lots are nothing more than the foundation of a demolished building filled with ashphalt and a recycled photomat kiosk plunked down by the entry ramp. Unless I am missing out on an artist's subtle presentation of irony in the form of anarchy by design... in which case I stand corrected.


The example I had in my head when I made the parking lot comment was raisethehammer's criticism of the new Centre Mall site layout:


Link: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=3162328&postcount=22

haha...classic line!
I need to get a job as an 'architect' or whatever these people are called. I assume they make good money whipping stuff like this together.

Perhaps I should have used the term "shopping centre site layouts" rather than "parking lots", but all the same --- PARKING LOTS ARE NOT EASY TO DESIGN. There are a ton of things that you have to consider when putting together a lot and it is not like anyone can come in off the street and do these things:

- consideration/forecasting of traffic flow
- spacing
- turning radii and proper angling
- grading and drainage setup
- lighting coverage
- legal considerations
- landscaping
- etc., etc.

There are probably tons of other considerations that I do not know about --- I am certainly no parking lot expert. Throw "parking lot layouts" or "parking lot design" into Google and you will see just how much skill and effort this stuff takes.

Let me say it in uppercase letters once again: NONE OF THIS STUFF IS EASY. If you think it is, then you need a serious reality check.

Let's look at the previously and recently proposed Centre Mall layouts, much of which are parking (courtesy of SteelTown):

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y217/dahammer/centremall-2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v174/Appster/centre1.jpg

Do you really think you could design these lots? Can you even name off the top of your head the type of software that is used to create the diagrams that illustrate the designs?

BCTed
Nov 18, 2007, 3:29 AM
haha...too funny. I missed that sentence the first time around. I was laughing too much after the 'idiots and morons' that I didn't read any further.
Gee whiz. If people are artfully designing these lots, I really need to get a new job.
If I remember correctly, it didn't look that hard in Seinfeld when Kramer re-striped the road. I'm guessing he didn't go to line-painting school before that episode.

I am glad that you think it is funny.

Fools laugh at knowledge and reject wisdom.

raisethehammer
Nov 18, 2007, 4:44 AM
lol...you remind me of Cliff from Cheers - the 'King of Useless Information'. (minus the sense of humour, of course)

BCTed
Nov 18, 2007, 1:08 PM
lol...you remind me of Cliff from Cheers - the 'King of Useless Information'. (minus the sense of humour, of course)

You use the sense of humour thing as a deflection mechanism when you realize that you do not have much other recourse. It is as if you feel you can decide flip the forum's mood switch from serious to fun at your whim.

I detect very little humour in most of your own posts --- you seem quite serious in most of them. Either way, I do not openly mock or laugh at anything you write (what I do do is try to present reasoned counter-arguments), no matter how ridiculous it may be. And believe me, a very good chunk of what you write is very ridiculous.

Anyway, the_dude is right. This is silly. Plus I have about three dozen parking lots to design by noon.

raisethehammer
Nov 18, 2007, 1:42 PM
better get to it then....
yea, I should apologize for all the ridiculous things I've said. Like the time I said there were no trucks on York or Main Streets, or the time......

BCTed
Nov 18, 2007, 1:48 PM
better get to it then....
yea, I should apologize for all the ridiculous things I've said. Like the time I said there were no trucks on York or Main Streets, or the time......

You keep hanging onto your little completely misparaphrased truck nugget if it helps you get through the day.

raisethehammer
Nov 18, 2007, 1:54 PM
so, how much do I owe you for this enlightening psychology session?
It's been real doc.

markbarbera
Nov 18, 2007, 2:18 PM
Do you really think you could design these lots? Can you even name off the top of your head the type of software that is used to create the diagrams that illustrate the designs?

Off the top of my head, judging by the fontstyle and the style of the drawing lines, I'd have to say that the drawings were created by AutoCAD and rendered to PFD format for their online presentation. But don't take my word for it, I am not a certified parking lot designer.

I am sure someone worked hard on the plan for the Centre Mall site. However, hard work does not always lead to the best results.

The biggest critisism I have for the Centre Mall layout is that it is basically the same design as suburban power centre format without any significant modification to make it fit properly in an urban environment. There is no consideration given for pedestrian traffic. The design is to accomodate automobile traffic almost exclusively, to a much higher degree than the previous incarnation of the Centre Mall.

Traffic patterns drawing people to the centre will now almost exclusively be personal automobile traffic. This is a serious flaw in design. The immediate catchement area for the Centre Mall site, i.e. the people living around it, are being discouraged from walking to and within the site to do their shopping. Furthermore, more personal automobile traffic will be taxing the limited road infrastructure feeding into the shopping centre. The presence of so many drive-throughs will increase idling and deteriorate air quality in a neighbourhood already suffering from poor air quality.

The complete lack of consideration for pedestrian traffic to and within the site has excluded an entire demographic from shopping at the centre. Obviously, the building developers are putting all their business hopes in the suburban shopper driving to and from the site. This shows a serious lack of insight in design and demographics. It will drive away the current core demographic of shoppers on a gamble that a completely different demographic will replace them in greater numbers, a demographic more likely to drive away from the urban core to do their shopping.

Why not design a site that retains the original demographic while attracting new demographics? That of course would require creative design instead of simply squeezing an off-the-shelf design into a site that dosn't really suit it.


Perhaps I should have used the term "shopping centre site layouts" rather than "parking lots", but all the same --- PARKING LOTS ARE NOT EASY TO DESIGN. There are a ton of things that you have to consider when putting together a lot and it is not like anyone can come in off the street and do these things:

- consideration/forecasting of traffic flow
- spacing
- turning radii and proper angling
- grading and drainage setup
- lighting coverage
- legal considerations
- landscaping
- etc., etc.

I notice no reference to pedestrains in your list of considerations, unless you feel they fit into the 'etc., etc.' category. This is an excellent summary of what is wrong with this design, and those like it. Pedestrians are relegated to the 'etc. etc.' level of consideration.

Anyway, this is way off topic for a thread talking about CanWest's 'contribution' to Hamilton. Further discussion should move to the Centre Mall thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=140357).

flar
Nov 19, 2007, 4:43 PM
The Canwest office shares a one storey building with Score Media on Main West beside Wendy's and Fortino's. I just noticed the sign "Canwest Editorial Services" today (I go by there all the time but might have missed it before).