CRTC preserves media concentration in Canada



    TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - The CRTC has blown a chance to address Canada's
highly concentrated media landscape. With its decision today on media
ownership, the regulator is allowing Canada's three dominant media companies
to control an enormous amount of what Canadians see on TV, hear on the radio
and read in their daily newspapers.
    "The CRTC is preserving the current unacceptable levels of concentration
and is not even adopting meaningful measures to stop it from getting worse,"
says Lise Lareau, president of the Canadian Media Guild. "By their own
admission, they are legalizing the status quo since they admit that their new
rules are not being contravened anywhere in Canada."
    The Canadian Media Guild has raised the alarm on media concentration
across the country and particularly in cities such as Vancouver and Victoria,
where one company - Canwest - owns two regional TV stations and three daily
newspapers. The CMG urged a ban on the same company owning both a daily
newspaper and TV station in the same city/region.
    Thousands of Canadians wrote to the CRTC in advance of the diversity of
voices hearing to urge new rules that would change the existing landscape.
They expressed concern about the existing quality of their local and national
media.
    "The inaction on media concentration follows closely the CRTC's approval
of the sale of Alliance Atlantis to CanWest and U.S. investment bank Goldman
Sachs," Lareau adds. "There is a clear trend toward giving media companies and
their shareholders what they want, regardless of the views of Canadian
audiences. Canadians and federal politicians should not stop pressing for real
measures to limit concentration of media ownership."





For further information:

For further information: CMG national president Lise Lareau at (cell)
(416) 524-5473; or Karen Wirsig, CMG communications co-ordinator, at (416)
591-5333; Visit www.cmg.ca

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Canadian Media Guild

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