News reporting or press release reading?

On CKNW’s August 22 afternoon news, Marcella Bernardo reported this about Verizon, the American cell provider that may offer service in Canada,

“Last year’s [Verizon] revenues of 116 billion dollars were more than double the combined profits of Rogers, Bell and Telus.”

Had Ms. Bernardo been comparing like for like — profits for profits, that is — she would have reported,

“Last year’s Verizon profits of 2.2 billion dollars were about one third of the combined profits of Rogers, Bell and Telus, even though Verizon’s revenues were almost three times larger than the combined revenues of Canada’s big 3 communication companies.”

It’s no surprise that major cell service suppliers are campaigning against an American competitor coming here. The dominant Canadian players love things the way they are and, to convince us that all is well, they’re running a PR campaign. They’re advertising that Canadian cell rates are lower than rates of American suppliers selected for comparison. Guess who made the selections?

Bell Canada profited almost $4B on revenues near $20B, a handsome 20%. Verizon earned $2.4B on revenues near $111B, a much less handsome 2%. Despite Bell’s rate of return, its business units in BC have been laying off staff and utilizing unpaid interns in operations. One Bell radio station in Vancouver promised in its license renewal to:

a. Provide a commitment to a minimum level of local programming to be broadcast in each broadcast week: 00 hours 00 mins.

Bell is happy to offer round-the-clock sports radio shows by looping content from American networks Fox and ESPN. That helps Bell stay wildly profitable. However, Bell, along with Rogers and Telus, thinks that Canadian content should be mandatory when it comes to provision of cellular service in this country.

Marcella Bernardo’s report today was worded to suggest that Canadian providers are disadvantaged compared to Verizon. In fact, they’re collectively more profitable and they enjoy returns on revenue substantially more than does the American company.

I’d wager that CKNW was simply reading from a press release supplied by the public relations group that is organizing opposition to competition in Canada’s cell phone industry.

Categories: CKNW

11 replies »

  1. I fully expect these types of quarrels in countries that are saturated with corporate members that only step up to the political-plate when they feel hard-done by.


  2. Thanks, Norm. BTW, what was the remuneration the three CEOs of the CDN telcos over the … Let's be generous.. the last 3 years? How many jobs did these 3 slugs farm out overseas via call centres and turn regular employees into contract employees? This is the campaign the TWU SHOULD BE RUNNING, not the whining that they are! Grow a pair brothers and sisters!


  3. Norm, the exact reason that I no longer pay any attention to the MSM. They are all just talking heads and put journalism to shame.


  4. CKNW on the news(3:00 pm to 3:30 pm August 22nd)…Reported 500 Telus workers protested in front of James Moore MP office today….???…Telus spokesperson was asked if they were being paid to protest, to which she responded..”No, the workers were protesting on their own free will”..snip..

    There was not one follow question about these 500 protesting Telus workers, who, from where, were they working today, was it their day off,

    Wow, you mean Telus had 500 workers available on a Thursday afternoon in the middle of summer who had the day off????


  5. CKNW you say, that is Lord Ha – Ha's radio station – Radio Berlin circa 1940. All the news that they are paid to broadcast.


  6. I'm betting the majority of people were not paying close enough attention or have the wherewithal to critically analyze the offending statement and identify the faulty logic. All they'll take away is Verizon = bad.

    This is a microcosm of society as a whole. I fear for our society if it can be manipulated so easily.


  7. I fully welcome competition from Verizon. Currently, the cell phone plans are simply a way of picking our pockets.

    There must be an opportunity here, or Verizon wouldn't bother coming.


  8. CKNW has not had “A News Reporter” since Garrett retired. They (and every other News Room in The City) have News Repeaters. Their Staff seem to also lack any fact checking skills, the same mistake read @ 0630 is still being repeated @ 1830


  9. I don't blame news reporters, I blame management that eliminates resources, squeezes budgets and dictates what can be covered and what must be ignored.

    Corus Radio cannot maintain its high level of profitability and pay people to report news that offends governments and large industrial and commercial operations. Greed ranks beyond service to the community.

    It was not so under the Griffith family ownership but it is under the Shaw family. They built their fortune on government regulated business and know how to serve those who master the regulators.



  10. Canada has some of the highest telephone rates on the planet. The old arguement from the telcos that the reason we pay such high rates due to the size of our country and the massive infrastructure investment. No longer applies.
    I welcome ANY new competition in the telco industry in Canada however …..I suspect that Verizon isnt considering setting up business here for our benefit. They are merely salivating at the telco rates us sheeple are forced to pay.
    Get rid of the CRTC.
    They have done nothing for the Canadian consumer since their inception. Canadian content on tv. What a joke.


  11. Watching globull last night, not for long though. Your last sentence Norm, fits globull to a T. I'll change this:

    I'd wager that CKNW was simply reading from a press release supplied by the public relations group that is organizing opposition to competition in Canada's cell phone industry.


    I'd wager that global was simply reading from a press release supplied by the public relations group that is organizing support for Enbridge,LNG and the ITA Group.

    Global News? No, just another junk station, or a televised National Enquirer pretending to be a news station.

    It's gotten so disgusting trying to listen to “real” news instead of the bs being broadcast. Guess it's time for netflix or something along that line.


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