On Thursday, March 26, the chairman of the CRTC (the Canadian broadcast regulator), Jean-Pierre Blais, announced the so-called “pick-and pay” policy that will give consumers more freedom to choose cable and satellite TV channels. It was expected that this decision would be bad for the bottom line at BCE, the parent company of Bell Media.
Mr. Blais was promptly interviewed on BNN, a Bell-Media-owned business news station. Kevin Crull (pictured here), then president of Bell Media, which also owns CTV, was enraged by the decision and called in Wendy Freeman, who was in charge of CTV News. He told her Mr. Blais was not to appear on CTV News.
CTV journalists considered this interference a serious matter and decided that complying with such an order would be a breach of journalistic ethics, which demand resistance to interference of this nature. After intense internal debate, they defied the order.
Last Thursday, Kevin Crull was forced to apologize and lost his job, effective immediately.
Sources: The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star