The controversial head of development for Sun TV has resigned.
My past political involvement and close association with this government have led to me being a central figure in most of these accusations — regardless of their lack of merit.
The perception problems associated with such a quick move from active politics to overseeing a bureau covering the government you just worked for, are obvious, and have caused a great deal of discomfort for many of you in the media.
As the saying goes, perception can be reality.
Kory Teneycke, a brash and obnoxious front man for Quebecor’s planned network made his exit announcement on Parlament Hill today after getting the proposed network a firestorm of publicity this summer. How many Directors of Development for media companies make announcements from the Hill? Text of his brief resignation speech here.
I can’t speak for the CRTC, but that line made me take note, for one very simple reason: the petition itself isn’t actually online, which means it’s not possible to view the names of any of the signatories. It was the autoreply that tipped me — and others — off to our unwitting inclusion on the list; the only ones who would know that Snuffaluffagus, for instance, was also a victim of the signature spammer would be the petition maintainers at Avaaz, or Snuffy himself.
Avaaz’s Executive Director Ricken Patel (a Canadian) says the RCMP were asked yesterday to launch a criminal investigation.
Teneycke’s resignation was sudden and unexpected, and followed Avaaz’s request to the RCMP yesterday for a criminal investigation into the sabotage of our petition. This event only reinforces the need for a full police inquiry.
This isn’t over. Canadians are not just concerned about a Prime Minister’s former spin doctor, they’re concerned about a channel that backs the Prime Minister’s political agenda, asking for special government favours to fund its launch.
Teneycke has also deleted his Twitter account. When he resigned the PMO in July 2009, he said he did so to ‘spend more time with his family’. He joined Quebecor June 9, 2010.
CTV reports that US billionaire George Soros is suing thinking of suing Sun TV News**, Margaret Atwood, a subject of a Teneycke Toronto Sun column is threatening to sue over this:
Canada Family Action Coalition has spoken up in the US religious right market. Canada’s religious right’s Brian Rushfeldt is quite happy to carry Conservative Party water on an issue which has nothing to do with faith. Rushfeldt told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow:
“If I was ever to come down to the United States and do the same thing, somebody would run me out of your country because it’s totally unacceptable for that kind of meddling,” suggests Brian Rushfeldt, executive director of Canada Family Action (CFA).”That’s what this is.”
He adds that even though the new channel will not be nearly as conservative-friendly as America’s Fox News, it will give Canadians a new choice that is different from what is available now.
“The four major outlets are all left-wing, very liberal; and, in fact, over and over we see them spinning the stories the way they want without reporting the true facts,” he explains. “Therefore, we definitely need another outlet in this nation.”
So Rushfeldt hopes the Canadian body that issues broadcast licenses will completely ignore the Soros-led petition since it comes from a questionable foreign group that is trying to interfere in Canada’s internal affairs.
Sun TV News is seeking a Category 2 licence from the CRTC after an application for must carry status was rejected. Sun TV will be back before the CRTC in November. It makes sense to me that Sun TV executives would fight for ‘must carry’ or ‘mandatory access”
( being offered as a choice in at least one channel package. Sun TV needs preferential treatment, it wouldn’t survive entry into the marketplace because the consumer demand just isn’t there. Canadians may not be too keen on watching talk radio on their televisions. ( That having been said, Charles Adler was added to the Sun stable today.) Those that are can pay for the package it comes in, there is enough category 1 stations on the menu. Sun TV Facebook has 1600 followers. That’s not high market demand. Sun TV should get a licence (but not a mandatory carry). Let the venture rise or fall on it’s merits. It’s had a noisy build-up, that noise does not create demand. SunTV News Channel Facebook page has a mere 1620 members.
Teneycke made news, became the story and has left unanswered questions, a call for a criminal investigation, a lawsuit and potential lawsuit behind his 4 month employment. Not good for a potential news station, the Quebecor decision to open the exit door for him was a wise one.
He has been replaced by former Mulroney aide (1993-2007) and Quebecor executive Luc Lavoie.
Update: Sun Media has printed an retraction and apology to George Soros.