Will CanWest be Scooped on its Own Story?

Where are CanWest’s intrepid, investigative business reporters!

Something BIG has been happening to the company’s stocks …  they are becoming LITTLE. Some BIG story seems to be happening to the Company … but I have seen LITTLE about it in CanWest newspapers. 

What could be more embarrassing for a mega news media corporation than getting scooped on its own story by competitors … or worse yet: Bloggers!  YIKES!!!

But something does seem to be happening: on Tuesday, more than 1.4 million CanWest Global shares traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange … and the stock closed at a measly $3.06.  And this isn’t the first million-share-plus trading days lately.

Is someone or some corporate entity buying them all up … as the shares continue to slip and slide?

Hard to believe now that two years ago CanWest shares were trading (that means people … lots of people …  were BUYING them) at around $15 a piece.  But by June 2007, the stock had slipped … no, not slipped … plumetted to about $9.50.

And now, THOSE are the good old days!!! 

By the beginning of this year, CGS was trading at BELOW $6 a share. And now , it has closed at $3.06.

I can only imagine how CanWest’s own newspapers (including The National Post/Financial Post) would pursue the story if this was all happening to, say, Air Canada or Globe and Mail Corp.    I suspect ..and I hope … with great tenacity. 

But when I searched “Google News” for CanWest stock stories … heading the list were a June 14 piece in the Globe an Mail about CanWest woes; a June 11 Globe and Mail story on the CanWest slump; a June 5 Globe and Mail article on CanWest debt; and, WAIT FOR IT, a May 30 BLOG posting by business writer David Berman.

CanWest seems to be getting scooped about itself!

At first glance, this may not seem unusual .. what company’s employees would go public with their own firm’s woes, and expect to have a job the next day?

But NEWS is supposed to be different: editorial content, judgement should not be coloured by outside executive or business managers’ interference or any other considerations, like  self-serving public relations pap …    not if the newx organization wants to keep its credibility and  their readers.

So let’s assume CanWest’s crack reporters are labouring long hours on a blockbuster piece (or series?) on exactly what is going on right now with their company, with their stock, with their future.

And hopefully they will publish their findings in CanWest newspapers real soon … before we read about in a competitor’s rag .. or worse yet, on a BLOG!!!!  (LOL)

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15 Responses to Will CanWest be Scooped on its Own Story?

  1. BC Mary says:

    Dare we hope that CanWest is withering on the vine? They might as well, in my view.

    CanWest’s three big BC dailies have neglected their basic obligation to keep the public informed of the Basi Virk / BC Rail Case. The pig-farm murders, yes, a special feature day after day, month after month; but Canada’s 3rd largest railway, no.

    So bloggers have done their best to fill that gap. Mine is The Legislature Raids at http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/ … please drop in for a visit.

    Many significant B.C. topics are ignored or distorted, in my view. I’ve often wondered if it’s actually legal to use the power of the press this way.

    A prime example was the announcement, on the eve of the last provincial election, of a BCTF strike. It’s thought that enough voters panicked, to have changed the election results. After the Gordon Campbell government was re-elected, CanWest dailies came out with Oops, we were misinformed. Shrug. Sorry. Co-incidence? I don’t think so.

    Many thanks indeed, Harvey, for using your skills to provide a much-needed public service in bloggerdom, too.


  2. Gary E says:

    I can tell you one thing for sure Harvey. The Can West system is not covering the huge story about the give away of our Railway in BC. It is the Bloggers that are doing that job. As BC Mary says in this case, Can West seems to think there is ” nothing to see here folks. Move along”

    And I don’t think “trading” is the word for the canwest drop in share price. Sell off may be a better word. You need buyers to trade.

  3. Monty says:

    Bill Tieleman provides first rate coverage of the Basi/Virk/Basi trial online, in 24 hours, and provides a good perspective on that inflated-ego Bill Good’s show once a week. He doesn’t blow his own horn either.

  4. monty says:

    Just called the Vancouver Sun to ask why they haven’t run this story. Was told it has to come from the National Post, the flagship paper. Asked why they can’t run a scoop on this and was told they are “not allowed to.” Also called Global TV–young girl in news dep’t had no idea what I was talking about. Said she would check.
    This is how censored our news has become.

  5. Wayne says:

    Just maybe Gordo’s CannedWaste personal rag has seen the last, final death throws of being a patsy for evil, a just reward!
    We the people aren’t stupid.
    Now to get to the bottom of BC Railgate and all the Players!
    4.5 years? ENOUGH!

  6. GerwingR says:

    Good of you to punch out a few lines on this Harvey as a general interest story. The re org of 05 seems to have gone south. Certainly this picture tells a story.

  7. RossK says:


    Someone at the VSun actually told you that they are “not allowed to” cover this story?

    That is bizarre in the extreme.

    Then again, I believe that this chain does have mandated National Editorials does it not?


  8. monty says:

    Ross K
    I called the Sun and asked for a business reporter. Did not catch the name of the young man I spoke with BUT he actually did say “we are not allowed to” when asked about scooping the National on this story. The biggest idiot at the Sun is Kirk LaP….When the paper ran a detailed listing of all the names and pending charges against the APC group I sent him a complaint about invasion of privacy. He claimed he knows all about ethics and such as he wrote the CAJ (Canadian Association of Journalism) rules. He may be delusional–hard to say. My point was these were only charges & not proven. I guess it’s anything goes to sell a paper.

  9. bob says:

    If you have spent any time at all on a CGS website you will see how far from reality the owners/managers are… and how much money they are missing out on.

    I am a ‘news junkie’ and I spend more time than I care to admit surfing the internets. I regularly visit corporate media sites, as well as blogs and independent media sites headquartered all over the world. CGS does not seem to realize that there is more than one source of information, nor do they seem to get the fact that adding a random pop-up ad onto a page is not the best way to generate revenue from their sites.

    CGS is also losing eyeballs due to the Faux Noise inspired use of fair and balanced reporting. Even the dullest observer quickly clues into the fact that CGS is only serving off the right side of the plate and that taints the whole experience.

    On the other hand: The sharp decline in CGS stock price does give its owners ammunition when attacking the CBC – ‘the CBC is publicly funded and is hurting our business’.

    With a market cap of only about $305m CGS looks to be a perfect target for a tech savvy hedge fund.

  10. Pingback: Harvey Oberfeld Keeps It Real « Price Tags

  11. the waif says:

    What to believe, eh?

    My favourite recent example of Canwest’s continuing downhill slide was coverage of the SEVERED FOOT story, which ran on the front page of both the Sun and Province.

    Whatever happened to newspapers checking the facts before publishing?

    Thankfully, there might be some kind of debate taking place behind closed doors, as evidenced by the fact that they Vancouver Sun’s ‘foot’ story had no byline.

    Somebody suspected the truth. That’ a good sign.
    Give that gal a promotion, and fire her editor.

  12. Wayne says:

    The only time I read the CannedWaste rags is over a java at my fav caffeen spot and then only if there isn’t any other choice!
    I cancelled my rag subscripion some 9 yrs ago.
    I believe we will not miss CW in the least

  13. SharingIsGood says:

    I love your new blog, Harvey, and I look forward to more of the same sort of clean unbiased reporting. I have been monitoring CWG for years and have never found it to be balanced. IMO, they seem to save any negative commentary about the BC Liberals for Friday’s papers and the Friday evening news. Both the papers and the TV news tend to place these stories deep in the paper or past the first half hour. Even when publishing bad news about the Liberals, CWG seems to be attempting to make it a non-newsworthy item. They seem to publish it only so someone doesn’t cry foul. CTV is the same.

  14. BC Mary says:

    It’s amazing how effectively news can be changed by NOT publishing it … if you catch my drift. It was news to me, until I read it here, that CanWest is so heavily in debt. So I googled a bit.

    First, under the CBC headline: DBRS places CanWest debt under review, with default warning

    Last Updated: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 | 5:22 PM ET

    CBC News

    Dominion Bond Rating Service has placed CanWest Global Communications Corp.’s debt-issuing subsidiary under review with negative implications.

    DBRS issued the warning on Tuesday “due to weakness in more of the company’s operating segments, which may lead to a breach in the company’s financial covenants.”

    Wow. Then from The Globe and Mail:


    Close: $2.33, down 20¢
    Saturday, July 05, 2008, page B2


    CanWest Global Communications Corp. has $3.9-billion in debt. An incorrect figure was published yesterday.

    Almost $4 billion in debt.

  15. worker says:

    I have worked for a Canwest TV station for several years and can say from experience that they have never put value on their people.

    Their focus has always been (carrying on day to day business with less people). I am sure the directors sit down every month and look for new ways to trim employees. Not a good philosphy in a business where you are only as good as your people.
    I can also state with confidence that average salary of the tv reporters in Saskatchewan hover around 35k/year, possibly less. You be the judge of how much journalism experience you will buy with that.

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