Quebecor Inc.’s (QBR.B-T36.720.100.27%) bid to create a new 24-hour news channel in Canada has taken another step toward the TV dial. On Friday, the federal broadcast regulator approved the license application for the Sun TV News Network.
The approval had been expected since last month, when the Montreal-based company adjusted its application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, to request a standard license for a specialty channel.
Snark aside, I’m looking forward to Sun’s launch: as a former ad exec I’m naturally fascinated by all media, and interested to see how the “conservative news” concept shakes out in Canada. I am now, as I was 6 months ago, unmoved by the panic-stricken anti-Sun hysteria that escalated over the summer. As a (very) occasional television viewer, I’m all for anything that adds diversity and choice to the line-up, and whether I personally find it an attractive option is irrelevant. I only control one television in Canada, the one that sits unobtrusively — and silently, for the most part — in a corner of my front room. I rule it with a cruel authoritarian’s iron hand and a hotrodded, high-powered remote, and all things that displease Your Highness are dispatched with a ruthless click!... BANG! DEAD TO ME! But TVs beyond my property line are outside my jurisdiction, which is as it should be.
And really, in spite of all the weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth, the feverish paranoia and furious fear-mongering, there’s little doubt that Sun will be just another bland, if blue-tinted, roadside attraction on the ever-expanding superhighway of cable TV pap and pablum. “Fox News North”? Not likely, says Sun’s Luc Lavoie:
“If we are ever even remotely as successful as Fox News has been so far, we will be delighted. As for the rest, I think it’s totally ridiculous,” he said.
I agree: a lot of sound and fury, signifying sweet fuck-all. But here’s something that signifies a lot more than sweet fuck-all, from Lavoie’s description of Sun TV’s editorial flavour and target audience skew:
Lavoie did agree that the station will be “populist, blue-collar, irreverent and if one wants to go that way, right wing.”
“Blue collar”…? Anyone remember when “blue collar” was a constituency of the left?