Canwest seeks to integrate TV and newspaper newsrooms

The embattled Canwest media giant is looking to be able to bring together its TV and newspaper news operations.

It has asked the broadcast regulator, the CRTC, to loosen restrictions on integrating its TV and newspaper newsrooms.

The rules were designed to maintain the diversity of editorial voices from news sources owned by a single company.

Canwest Global owns Canada’s biggest chain of 13 daily newspapers, including the two dailies in Vancouver, The Vancouver Sun, and Province.

It also has the Global TV and E! television networks, as well as a total of 21 specialty channels. On the web, it owns the canada.com website.

The company is in poor financial straits, having lost $33M in the quarter ending November 30, 2008, and carrying a huge debt burden.

The media giant has responded by cutting jobs and eliminating TV newscasts.

By seeking permission to be able to bring together its TV and print operations, Canwest would be following the trend in the industry towards integrated, multimedia newsrooms.

But this has raised concerns about the potential impact on local reporting, particularly at a time of job cuts across the media industry in Canada.

Post Author: Neil Black