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CTV Runs First Class Series … But Global Still Rules the Roost

September 17th, 2010 · 15 Comments

Kudos to Jim Beatty of CTV News.  For the first time in a long time, I really enjoyed a “series” broadcast on a local 6 p.m. televison newscast.

Beatty’s Pipe Dreams, a  three-part look this week at the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline between Edmonton and Kitimat,  was clear,  interesting and featured some great pictures. It was a very well done analysis of the massive project’s size … a twin pipeline 1,172 km long through some pristine wilderness and its potential impact on the environment as well as its job-creating and energy bolstering potential.

In my view it was much fairer than what I felt was a slanted anti-Enbridge series done by the CBC a couple of months ago.

It sure was a welcome relief from the usual mayhem-orientated “news” or travelogue puff pieces we so often see on our evening news these days.  Hopefully there will be many more such series on all local newscasts this coming Fall and Winter seasons.

And speaking of the local station newscasts …  I have some new ratings figures my blog readers may find of interest.

Global still rules the roost … in a huge way.

In the first two weeks of September, Global’s 6 p.m. Newshour averaged close to 300,000 viewers each night; CTV at six, I’m told, averaged 69,000;  and, CBC at 6 p.m. only 23,000… a distant third and apparently no boost at all from last Fall.  (Although interstingly, CBC at 5 p.m is up 5,000 viewers to 18,000. Hmm.)

Another set of figures I’ve been shown, for Tuesday, Sept. 14, in SHARE   terms used in the industry are as follows:

( The difference between rating and share is that a rating reflects the percentage of the total population of televisions tuned to a particular program while share reflects the percentage of televisions actually in use.)

At 5 p.m. … Global pulls in a 2.1 SHARE ; CTV a 1.0; and CBC .o2

At 6 p.m. Global a still whopping 5.8 SHARE;  CTV 1.9; and CBC  .o2

Quite clearly, despite all those anchor-focussed newspaper ads we’ve been seeing lately, it’s hard to break viewing habits.

I must say I personally don’t watch the 6 o’clock news consistently anymore … unless there’s some hot political topic or world happening I’m interested in. I just  don’t find much of what passes for news now relevant to my life.

But that CTV series actually had me tuning in … eager to see the next episode.

Let’s hope there will be more like that on all the B.C. news stations  … dealing with PROVINCE-WIDE ISSUES … not just health handouts, travelogues or very localized community issues, irrelevant to most viewers.

If you do it … we WILL watch.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia · Media

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 J.S. // Sep 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I also rarely watch so called “local news” anymore, because the shows are grindingly boring.

    I missed Mr. Beatty’s item, because I never watch CTV. But if you say it was good, then it was.

    Perhaps it’s my age, or mind-set, but I would like to see one block set aside for a real live TV debate on an issue of the day, some sparks in other words.

    That’s it, not enough sparks!

    The over-riding reason why local news seems filled with too much dross, MVAs and such, has mainly to do with its budget. It’s all about the money.

    How much is it worth to invest MORE money in a local ‘cast? As far as I’m concerned, management will draw in more viewers the more diverse the program is. Like bees to honey.

    A well-informed electorate is an effective tool against demagogs and all the other parasties, zombies and fly-by-nighters who are always trying to fleece us for their always very special world-improving causes.

    Mixing up good solid info with the graphics that are available today, amazing stuff can be produced locally that will be eye-candy to the masses, and bags of mind-protein, to boot.

    Fairness and balance is at the base of a “good” newscast. That means both the political and cultural right and left be given equal time with a dispassionate news “presenter” as the BBC calls those folks, at the helm (news bunnies should be sacked forthwith).

    Ah the good old BEEB. I watch it all the time. CNN is for sewer rats.

    (Response: The CTV series can be acessed on CTV.Ca going to their BC station and clicking on Pipe Dream. As for the Beeb ..we disagree; I think it is terrific and much better resources and reporting on world news than any u.S. network or CBC. … except on Afghanistan and the Mid East. The BBC International Service, I believe has been taken over by very far left pro-Islamic editorial producers etc. They seem to concentrate on Afghanistan virtually ONLY on the problems, the failures, the mistakes , corruption, support for the Taliban etc and very, very seldom find anything positive to report vis a vis growing democratic and terrific econmoic progress, education for women, a huge reduction in beheadings etc. And on the Middle East, I don’t think they’re capable of doing ANY stories about the Israeli/Palestinan dispute without taking a shot at Israel and just mouthing the “line” from the P.A., Hamas etc. But that’s another blog entirely BBC and take a look at how the BBC has consistently and still marginalizes the Israelis.. h.o)

  • 2 BC Mary // Sep 18, 2010 at 12:56 am


    Let’s hope there will be more like that on all the B.C. news stations … dealing with PROVINCE-WIDE ISSUES …

    Harvey, why don’t the big news stations carry some reports on the incredible testimony coming out of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial?

    I can’t think of another news item of more immediate interest to the citizens of B.C.

    (Response: Because there are no cameras allowed in the courtroom. And TV court coverage with some reporter just standing there yapping or using print on screens to say what was said makes for awful television. But the trial is getting very good and substantial newspaper coverage ..and you should be lauding them for that. Bet you’re surprised! 🙂 I’m sure enjoying reading it and will probably blog about it soon. h.o)

  • 3 Henri Paul // Sep 18, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Me thinks not as many people are tuning in on the TV news these days. Maybe its time your source also provide stats of those who get their news from the net.

    (Response: Actually, I don’t have the records but it did seem to me that the actual numbers were down, compared to a few years back.. especially when you consider population growth in the Lower Mainland. But the “shares” still show Global way , way ahead of the competiton. As for my source … at a local tv station … they get their figures from people who agree to have all their vieweing choices electronically monitored. I dont think there’s too many in the blogoshpere who would agree to that. So tracking the numbers would be a most difficult task …if possible at all ..and cost a million dollars or more to do and then collate. How much would like to contribute? 🙂 h.o.

  • 4 a . j . // Sep 18, 2010 at 5:22 am

    that Chris Gailus(sp?) news hour piece about him traveling BC was brutal to say the least. Not very newsworthy (imo)..

    (Response: I don’t think it did anythnig to enhance his image as a serious journalist..especially after I blogged that Victoria tourism backers reported before the series began, the government had sealed a $650,000 deal with Global for Gailus and other on air personalities to promote BC spots. The station denied there was a link…saying the advertising contract was totally separate..but I sense not too many people bought that explanation. h.)

  • 5 Gordon // Sep 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    That Jim Beatty piece was verygood and in is still available on their website

  • 6 kootcoot // Sep 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    And TV court coverage with some reporter just standing there yapping or using print on screens to say what was said makes for awful television.

    Then they certainly missed out on some good television when they SUPPRESSED the inferno in Prince George a few years back when according to the MSM a “minor” switching accident happened in the “rail yard.”

    Actually, a locomotive and cars being operated remotely (out of sight of a goof with a joystick) between the CN yard and the old BC Rail yard de-railed, poured toxic stuff into the river, exploded and almost burned down Prince George – it ain’t everyday you see water bombers in residential and urban areas trying to subdue five story high flames. The footage could have been on the Six O’Clock Snooze – but of course wasn’t – maybe some Pickton stuff was more important – hey Harv, cameras weren’t allowed in that courtroom either as I recall – but all local MSM beat that dog to death daily – even having a daily feature in the Sun while the court was in recess.

    However excepting some local outlets, according to Global, CBC and the Canned Waste drones, nothing much happened, except for a couple cars bumping in the switching yard. Of course in the aftermath of the Ledge Raids etc. nobody on side with the PAB wanted to air news that emphasized how CN, mostly thanks to cost cutting and the use of Prairie Rated rolling stock and locomotives was enjoying 3 to 4 de-railments PER WEEK, some of them causing fatalities to humans and wildlife.

    The BC Rail trial is ignored on Glow Ball TeeVee news as much as possible because it doesn’t make the LIEberals look very good……..and for all practical purposes Glow Ball and CTV may as well be part of the Public Affairs Bureau (which itself should be illegal). Of course with no PAB, my traffic at the House of Infamy would suffer a real decline. It doesn’t seem proper that I should have to pay my visitors through my tax dollars though, somehow!

  • 7 SB // Sep 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I have not watched any Network news in years not interested in pure fluff and campbell ass kissing which is what most of it is i have similar opinion of CKNW its actually a sad thing to consider when my generation who grew up trusting people like you Harv or Webster and so on to actually report and do so with some intergrity not so anymore .
    The people i know in 40’s age range dont watch most know its a bunch of bunk both in print and TV .

    (Response: I’m glad I was able to retire early ..and when I wanted to. Someone I know who still works at a tv station once told me he had become “a whore” …well paid whore …but whore nevertheless, doing stuff he would never have had to do just a few years ago: like puff stories affiliated to advertising; “community” pieces promoting projects by organizations they used to cover with a much more critical eye; sharing footage REGULARLY with “the competiton”; pumping up “network” promos, even taking away news resources to do so etc. It’s good to be retired. h.o.)

  • 8 D.G.B. // Sep 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I’m finding Global BC (BCTV) is more and more doing “special interest” stories catering to special interests, disguised as news. Last week after it was reported in across-Canada news that 59% of Canadians are only a pay-check away from disaster due to high levels of personal debt, that the OECD was concerned as well, and the low interest rates are contributing to all this , AND there is a real estate bubble – BCTV ran a CREB-based story, with particular realtors in Vancouver that certain properties better get “snapped up soon” because it’s becoming a sellers market again, and “you’ll lose out” if you don’t get into the market “now”. – This counter to the nation-wide study on debt and real estate speculation, as tied with interest rates.

  • 9 J.S. // Sep 18, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I actually agree with ALL of your bloggie doggies on this issue! How is this possible? What happened? Anyway? Well said, one and all.

    Something I missed in my previous contribution on this this topic were the ratings results in the Vancouver/BC market.

    I faintly remember the good old days, before the likes of your blog rolled into Dodge, that BCTV had half a million viewers during Tony Parsons “Reign of Reasonableness” decades.

    The other networks had fabulously squalid numbers, by comparison, especially the highly-publicly financed BC brigade of the Red Army (CBC). Its excuse, for low ratings, was that they were just trying to change the world and that private TV stations in the interior didn’t have to carry the whole supper hour newscast. They could either cherry pick items, for their local lineups, or else broadcast chunksof the Vancouver feed and cut to breaks at will. But that was then.

    Now, the numbers are even more horrendous and the taxpayer is still footing the bloody bill!

    As it stands, Tony Parson, on board the good ship CBC Vancouver, cannot boost its ratings; Chris Gailus, a nice chap to be sure, just doesn’t fit what we oldsters are used to seeing in the way of anchors aboard the battle cruiser BCTV.

    Local other networks remain in their respecitve ratings swamps, going the way of all dinosaurs, but only much quicker.

    Even CKNW doesn’t quite what it used to have, either in programming formats or the news, especially the news. The reporters all seem, to cookie-cutterish. Am I wrong? They all sound the same!

    Now the opinion makers, and news creators, reside on a zillion different blog sites that ordinary types can prepackage for delivery to their local email sites. Talk about fractions of audience sizes!

    In other words, the day of domination by the large broadcast networks, private and public, is over in Western industrialized nations’ markets. All of them.

    This is an amazing technological breakthrough just as the short-lived American Empire, and all of its acolytes and handmaidens, prepare for their “sunset” in history as the Chinese Communist Party so quaintly uttered just a few days ago! No won ton soup for you! And no kidding.

    In sum, in the old days of “metro Vancouver radio” etc., the newsies were a weird and wonderful lot. Real personalities, some more acceptable than others. Weren’t they, Harvey?

    We move on.

    (Response: Yes, there used to be lot more “characters” on air .. and the public loved most of them. I always thought CTV, when they decided to make a big push to take on BCTV, should have gone after me, Daley, McCardle types rather than Good and Martin. It’s the STORIES and the REPORTERS that draw people, not the anchors, as Bill, Pamela and Tony … and the big shots who poured so much money into getting them … have found out.
    As for the ratings numbers, I recall figures higher than 650,000 viewers for BCTV, but I believe that was province-wide, while the figs I was able to get for my piece are for Lower Mainland only. h.o)

  • 10 Lynn // Sep 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    The fluff stuff aside, you never believe an owner or a saleman/woman when they tell you sales are good when everyone around you is broke!
    In the case of the the real estate agent, they are simply trying to drum up excitement. Usually it is easy to get the sheeple moving towards the cash register, but these are no regular times.

  • 11 Linda // Sep 19, 2010 at 1:12 am

    I quit buying newspapers, out of Vancouver and Victoria long ago. Good honest journalism, seems to be of the past. There is just too much bias, you can’t miss it, so the discouragement, I feel just doesn’t go away. I find, some TV stations, are the same way. If newspapers write any bad press about Campbell, they will get no government ads. Same with anyone opposing Campbell, they soon find themselves, out of a job. Campbell will not abide any honesty, about him. They lie or cover up for him, or else. We have seen his, spite, hate and malice many times, towards everyone who, refused to lie for him. Campbell, very much reminds me of Hitler, Hitlers propaganda minister, controlled all of the media. Hansen, threatened Bateman, so Bateman retracted his truthful statement, and lied instead. No doubt, Campbell ordered Hansen to threaten Bateman. We have seen, this sort of threat, more than once. Campbell, Hansen and the BC Liberals, are the most revolting, corrupt government, in the history of Canada. Campbell and Hansen, thought nothing of their, lies, deceit and cheating to win. The BC Railroad, wasn’t for sale either. Since Campbell, has stolen this province blind, it will take 50-60 years, to dig our way, out of the bottomless pit of, this corrupt mess of Campbell and Hansen have made.

    (Response: “Threaten” is a pretty strong word and I have seen no EVIDENCE that Bateman was threatened. I’m sure, in politics, they leaned on him and pressured him … but threatened? We shouldn’t throw words like that around unless we can back it up with proof. Can you? And Campbell ordered Hansen to threaten Hansen. Rubbish! There’s enough legitimate stuff we can dump on these guys …we shouldn’t have to resort to accusations that likely could not be backed up in court. Unless you have evidence? h.o)

  • 12 lynn // Sep 19, 2010 at 1:54 am

    “And TV court coverage with some reporter just standing there yapping or using print on screens to say what was said makes for awful television.”

    Gee, didn’t seem to stop them when there was
    that big kerfuffle over a little sundeck!

    Can’t agree, Harvey, some of the most riveting press coverage over the years, here and in the US, in the world, has been when real reporters actually cover trials of public interest.

    (Response: What made that little deck problem reportable was that a PREMIER was involved directly, and had his home visited by police. Same with VanderZalm’s case. Basi and Virk don’t rank up that high. I agree it’s a terrific story ..and it should be covered somewhat…but until we get the right to have cameras in courts, it still makes better newspaper copy than television viewing. h.o)

  • 13 Henri Paul // Sep 19, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Henri Paul // Sep 18, 2010 at 3:18 am
    h.o.Response How much would like to contribute?
    Going by what you told a.j.// Sep 18, 2010 at 5:22 am ,the government had sealed a $650,000 deal with Global for Gailus and other on air personalities to promote BC spots, it would appear I have unknowingly already contributed to the cause. 🙂

    (Response: Very good! 🙂 You certainly have contributed to some cause, but I don’t think it will go for the project you have in mind. h.o)

  • 14 lynn // Sep 19, 2010 at 2:34 am

    “What made that little deck problem reportable was that a PREMIER was involved directly, and had his home visited by police. Same with VanderZalm’s case. Basi and Virk don’t rank up that high. I agree it’s a terrific story ..and it should be covered somewhat”

    And when Glen Clark’s home was “visited’ by police, somehow the media serendipitously appeared to record the whole event for posterity.

    Sorry, Harvey, but for those of us who have closely followed the BBV/BC Rail trial, “terrific” in any context would not be the choice of word to describe this story. It makes me sad that you do not recognize the deep implications of this trial to the future of our province.

    (Response: Yes…the appearance of the cameras sure looked to me like a tipoff. As for “the deep implications of this trial to the future of our province” I think it has deeper implications for the Liberals (again) but whatever the outcome of the trial … even if a couple of players go to jail… the deal will not be undone and nothing on the ground, or should I say the rails, will change. h.o.)

  • 15 lynn // Sep 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Harvey, my last post on this ….but I would suggest that the deep implications go straight to the heart of democracy, to the rapidly deteriorating state of democratic governance in this province.

    If, what was sold to the public as “not a sale ” of railway but a 990 year lease (Haha!) has actually been recklessly and intentionally made irretrievable, well, some some would call that criminal.

    Some would call it business as usual.

    But if I was an investigative reporter, and I am not, and if I could choose one major story to cover at this critical time in our province, it would be this one. I think the public deserves to know the Pandora’s Box it has been gifted with.

    What has happened to in-depth political reportage in this province? I mean, if you like endless car chases, accidents and the Bacon boys, tune in.

    Do you remember when our MLA’s were met by a band of eager reporters with many questions after a day’s debate at the BC legislature?…. and it was actually a highlight of the evening news?

    (Response: You are quite right..the tv news is a shadow of what it used to be. And I do remember fondly when more reporters covered the leislature and with a lot more zeal than I observe now. I agree the BCR Rail story is a big story… and I find the newspapers are doing a good job of covering it. TV not so much … but for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the archaic rule that keeps cameras out of our courts. h.o)