Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fox News North: TV El Cheapo

From Fagstein, who read through the CRTC application back in September:

But while their goal is to replicate Fox News, I think the more likely scenario is that Sun TV News will be an experiment in cheap newsgathering that will quickly become a laughing stock because of its horribly small budget. According to the CRTC application, the channel plans to have a budget of about $25 million, of which $15 million would go to programming and technical costs. Though it's hard to directly compare this to CBC and CTV, since they take advantage of their local stations and national newscasts (I'm trying hard not to use the word "synergies" here), it's still very little money. We're looking at a staff of maybe 100 people, including journalists, anchors, producers and technicians, advertising salespeople, marketers, etc. Anyone who thinks he can run a national news network on that kind of budget is probably kidding himself.

The feared scenario, that they'll spend little money on news budget and focus all their efforts on opinion, makes more sense considering how little they have to spend. But even then, the big-name blowhards come at a high price, and a $25 million total budget isn't enough to get a Canadian Glenn Beck on the air if you want anything more than a webcam and laptop in front of him.

The post is a bit dated--Teneycke was still in charge--but presumably the financial details haven't changed much. In any case, evidence that FNN will be running a Walmart-grade operation hasn't been difficult to come by.

Also, its interesting to note that SunTV explicitly compares itself to Fox in its CRTC application:

The most comparable channel to STN is located in the USA, Fox News. Both channels’ strategy is to focus hard news and commentary that raise public debates and reactions on different topics. Fox News has been USA’s most watched All News channel for years and still is. In 2008-2009, Fox News’s audience was as high as CNN’s and MSNBC’s combined. Fox News does not have extensive distribution in Canada. Therefore, this represents a true opportunity for STN.

Anyway, I'm out most of today so this may be all you get out of me.



1 comment:

The Mound of Sound said...

A hundred people wouldn't be enough to staff a top-40 radio station. That's a joke.