Friday, October 19, 2012

Astral and CAJ Comments on CRTC Decision

After today's denial of the Bell and Astral merger by the CRTC, Astral and the CAJ made comments on the deal. CAJ came out and stated what they think, but Astral didn't do much of that, instead they stated what they know so far. More after the jump.

Astral Release

Astral Media Inc. notes the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's decision to refuse the acquisition of control of Astral by BCE Inc.

The parties are analyzing the CRTC decision and are assessing their alternatives. Astral has been informed by Bell that it will request that the federal Cabinet intervene in the CRTC's decision to reject Bell's acquisition of Astral.

CAJ Release

The Canadian Association of Journalists applauds the decision by Canada's broadcast regulator to deny a proposed acquisition of Astral Media by Bell Media.

In its decision and statement released Thursday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission denied BCE's request to purchase Astral's 84 radio stations and 20 pay and specialty television stations. The ensuing company would have held a dominant share of English-language broadcast channels and about a third of French-language channels, in addition to one of Canada's dominant digital satellite television distributors.

"After a recent history of approving mega-mergers within the broadcast media sector that only increased the consolidation of ownership and decreased the diversity of voices available to Canadians, we're pleased the CRTC has denied this request," CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. "We are best served by having a diverse, healthy, competitive domestic media market and this decision pushes the pendulum back in that direction."

The CAJ was not a participant in the public hearings held into the proposed acquisition held in Gatineau, Que., in September, but has a long history of advocating for the diversity of voices in Canada's media sector.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with hundreds of members across Canada. The CAJ's primary roles are public-interest advocacy and professional development for its members.

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