Media

CBC Plans New Digital Service for Hamilton

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 03, 2011

According to a recent news release, the CBC plans to launch a digital station for Hamilton in the spring of 2012. This follows a commitment under the CBC's Everyone, Every Way strategic plan.

CBC spokesperson Chris Ball explains that the new service will be "more thana website. It will provide weather, local business information/listings and news (and more). At street level, you'll be able to know what's happening not just in your city, but in your neighbourhood, on your street."

News reporting will "cover a wide spectrum" of topics of local interest.

The site will have a dedicated Hamilton staff who will publish stories daily, seven days a week. Some stories will include audio/video segments, but the service will not run as a live-streamed 'broadcast'.

According to Ball, the CBC is looking to hire staff "with a connection to the city/region" and "there will also be ample opportunity for Hamiltonians to contribute. We want to collaborate with the community, asking them to contribute to our coverage through news tips, photos, video, commentary and conversation" around the issues.

Due to its proximity to Toronto, Hamilton is the largest city in Canada not to have its own CBC station, and our city has been at the top of CBC's expansion list for several years. However, in 2008 the Federal Government rejected a funding increase to pay for more local stations that was recommended by the Heritage Standing Committee.

You can sign up to stay updated on the CBC's Hamilton service.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted November 03, 2011 at 15:31:06

This seems to be the bare minimum service we could get, but I'm still happy to see it.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted November 03, 2011 at 15:37:07

Hamilton is the largest city in Canada not to have its own CBC station

Does Mississauga have one?

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By listen & read (anonymous) | Posted November 03, 2011 at 16:36:40

It'll be good if there's a contact posted soon for CBC Hamilton. Then we can send them hints of what media in Hamilton has been like--the lead letter in Wed. Nov.2 Spectator for instance (IMMIGRANTS??!! AAGHGH!! HELP us, Jason Kenney!! Never did no damn good, by yiminey, them foreigners) in a paper edited, whatever that means, by Pierre Berton's son, no less, and a history of "journalism" on CHML [the excellent breadth of hostsxx Sorry, commentators columnists, or something] and CHCH weather, traffic, and murders and break-ins around the world. Ah, yes, a different day comin around? Will RTH trolls try to smash CBC Hamilton? Will Larry the election loser still dismiss them Toronto media as foreners to Hamilton and unrelevant?

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By Uncle Deadly (anonymous) | Posted November 03, 2011 at 17:18:23

Five hires covering 15 wards. Verdict reserved.

This seems to be an agury of the future of the CBC: a cost-effective way of spreading their resources thin in smaller, individualized markets across the entire country without having to appease the CRTC. Makes the corporation less political, I would think, although relative market share is a great unknown. If they end up with a smaller audience than CH Morning Live I may have to floss with a shotgun.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted November 03, 2011 at 18:01:14

Hopefully the new staff at the CBC Hamilton digital station “with a connection to the city/region” are not recycled CHML, CHCH-TV or Cable 14 personalities and staff. Fresh local voices and ideas are needed to make this project worth doing.

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By Thoughts (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 10:25:07

It's a start I suppose but I'm very sorry to hear there won't be a "broadcast" component (on-line or on air)... Hamilton still deserves more.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 10:50:21

comment from banned user deleted

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By z jones (registered) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 11:54:30 in reply to Comment 71027

Ummmm.....CBC News is consistently the top rated Canadian TV news program with viewership ahead of CTV News, the most popular private news program.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2011 at 09:55:41 in reply to Comment 71032

comment from banned user deleted

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By Bumper Music (anonymous) | Posted November 05, 2011 at 22:45:08 in reply to Comment 71032

"CHCH’s 6 p.m. newscast often pulls in anywhere from 100,000 to 140,000 viewers per night in the Toronto-Hamilton extended market. Both the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts regularly beat out those from CBC, CP24 and Citytv. In fact, CHCH’s newscasts usually rank third, behind CTV and Global, and sometimes even outperform Global enough to land in second place."

http://www.thespec.com/news/business/article/620587--a-breath-of-fresh-airwaves-revives-fortunes-at-chch

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By Bumper Music (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 12:35:28 in reply to Comment 71032

Maybe measured as a national audience, but how does its local market share stack up against a hyper-local grassroots player like CityTV? I would guess that they might be different.

Here's the problem, folks: Toronto is the fifth largest TV market on the continent. and for the purposes of advertising reach and media penetration, Hamilton is lumped in with it. The Toronto-Hamilton Designated Market Area is the largest in Canada.

The most recent BBM numbers seem to suggest that CTV is indeed a monster.

http://bbm.ca/_documents/top_30_tv_programs_english/2011/nat10172011.pdf

In terms of Toronto radio, the most recent BBM numbers suggest that Toronto's six biggest radio market shares are held by CHFI (12.2%), CHUM-FM (9.2%), CBC Radio One (8.4%), Boom 97.3 (8.3%), 680 News (7.7%) and Q107 (7.6%).

http://bbm.ca/_documents/radio_market_ratings/september_8_2011/top_line_radio_reports_-_toronto_09-08-2011.pdf

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By TnT (registered) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 14:27:45

Perhaps just an outlet in Hamilton that shares some of the time from the Toronto broadcast. As an avid listener of CBC when I borrow my wives car (mine doesn’t have FM) I think they are the class of the broadcast world. Surpassing BBC even with their quality and commitment to arts, music and Canadian flavour. Only TVO has more indy credit IMHO.

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By Bumper Music (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 14:47:07 in reply to Comment 71038

Tucked into the CBC schedule this fall are programs to celebrate CBC’s 75 birthday. That’s the thing to note, I think. CBC has been with us for three-quarters of a century and in that time one of its primary achievements has been support, funding and showcasing of Canadian artists of all stripes. No more. Now it supports cover versions of tunes from classic-rock radio. In 75 years it has morphed from a cultural institution to a glorified karaoke club.

Who knows what aspects of the past CBC will choose to celebrate. But I am reminded of one CBC moment. In November, 1994, CBC aired a prime-time special, Salute to Dancers for Life. The dancers in the special – Karen Kain, Veronica Tennant, Evelyn Hart, La La La Human Steps, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens and the Danny Grossman Dance Company – represented the very best and most innovative in Canada. As a TV spectacle, it was magical and moving.

It was the first tine I saw Margie Gillis perform. She did a solo work, Torn Roots, Broken Branches, to the music of Sinead O'Connor's I Am Stretched on Your Grave. It was a gut-wrenching, visual and tactile threnody for friends who have died. The combination of elements – the dance, the music and a blood-red background – was provocative and profoundly effective on TV.

You know, Battle of the Blades and Cover Me Canada are tinpot TV things. Flibbertigibbet fare. CBC is entitled to air both and good luck to it. And yet: Is that all there is? CBC is choosing past-it NHL’ers, Don Cherry and Nicole Appleton over the like of Margie Gillis. Just a sliver of space for art would be nice.

Over on Sun News, Krista Erickson mocks what she doesn’t understand and resents paying for. At CBC the position is to simply ignore art and artists such as Margie Gillis. But, as we are constantly reminded, we all pay for the CBC. In so doing, why are we paying for a broadcaster that seems to see Canada defined by hockey and classic-rock radio? That’s not all that we are and if we’re going to be flabbergasted by Sun News, surely we should be flabbergasted too by the CBC? A fair question, I insist.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/television/john-doyle/cbc-television-from-arts-champion-to-glorified-karaoke-club/article2056554/

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2011 at 01:05:01 in reply to Comment 71039

Although I agree that CBC t.v. is in the dumps, as far as original programming is concerned, (Battle of the Blades=Yuck!) & it seems obsessed with covering all sports, any time, any place, But..
I wonder if Bumper & I are listening to the same CBC radio?
I'm still hearing new Canadian & local artists on CBC. I'm still hearing people like Emm Gryner who are international artists now. I'm still getting information on new Canadian writers on CBC radio.
I think that CBC radio is doing it's job as Public Radio in Canada. It's telling stories by & about Canadians.
I'm glad that we have at least some CBC radio coverage here, even if I do not have digital radio.
Maybe they will put (some of) the Hamilton programming up on their web site?

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By Bumper Music (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2011 at 10:48:46 in reply to Comment 71077

I like the CBC well enough, but my fondness is tinted by nostalgia. That commentary was just to suggest that the mothership is uneven in the way it executes its mandate. CBC's great for news, but its ratings tent pole is HNIC, and they live for the Olympics.

If you were to compare all BBC programming with all CBC programming, I would imagine they might each excel in their way. BBC has certainly turned more than its share of great cultural material, to say nothing of reflecting that country's own culture.

I wish that Hamilton was getting radio, even digital-only radio, but this seems to be for the moment at least a hyper-local website that you can access on your smart phone, which will doubtless add to the media mix albeit with in-built challenges for broad listenership.

As an entirely new experiment for the CBC, I'm interested to see what comes of it, but I'm not expecting it to turn the city on its ear. My guess is that this initiative aims to satisfy its mandate and squelch political liabilities, thereby bulletproofing its funding feed. And with Harper at the helm, unserved western markets may be more top-of-mind.

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By Bumper Music (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2011 at 10:50:26 in reply to Comment 71090

* "broad listenership" = "broad readership". Got caught up in the radio theme.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted November 04, 2011 at 17:17:55

They've posted for an Executive Producer for the Hamilton outlet.

https://cbc.taleo.net/careersection/2/jo...

Job description is missing one line:

  • Serve as a "boss" for the Mayor's Chief of Staff to complain to

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By Fidelipac (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 17:26:03 in reply to Comment 71045

Ooh.... "continuing contract position"!

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted November 04, 2011 at 19:51:26 in reply to Comment 71046

The CBC budget is year to year right now, makes sense that everything in Hamilton will be contract positions.

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By CHCHanges (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2011 at 13:10:06

Hamilton deserves a local TV station since CH has fled the local coverage it promised us and returned to ONtv, live from anywhere but the Hammer.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2011 at 01:07:38 in reply to Comment 71070

Agreed CHCHanges!!
I get more coverage of Hamilton news stories on CTV than CH.

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By Bumper Music (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2011 at 13:27:42

A new Borrell Associates survey seems to back the logic of this play, finding that:

• "61% said they expected their online advertising to grow this year. The second-highest category was TV, with 31% saying they expected it to grow. Newspapers and Yellow Pages were the largest targets for cuts, with 32% of respondents saying they expected to trim those print budgets."

• "47% of respondents said they planned to increase their social marketing expenditures — the largest response for any digital category pegged for growth. For mobile, 37% said they were likely to increase that budget."

http://www.tvnewscheck.com/article/2011/11/03/55204/stations-can-turn-digital-dimes-into-dollars

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By Bumper Music (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2011 at 14:06:10

Although...

"Unemployment rising, savings disappearing and pensions evaporating. Pawn shops thriving and food banks begging for donations to help feed the poor. I get it. Nobody’s laughing right now. Too many things to fret about.

Except in the TV racket. You think they’re fretting in the TV racket? Ha bloody ha.

Recently the CRTC released figures about the commercial Canadian TV racket showing that its operating revenues in broadcasting came to $2.15-billion in 2010. That’s an increase of 9 per cent from 2009. As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) improved significantly from a deficit of $116.6-million in 2009 to a profit of $11.5 million in 2010. Yes, peaches, you read correctly, things are going fine in the TV biz."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/television/john-doyle/what-recession-profits-greed-and-gifting-thrive-in-tv-land/article2226343/

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2011 at 20:47:01

I thought Rogers was all there was to Canadian "important" television "programming". Gag, gag, gag...

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