Sunday, January 7, 2007

The news in London waits only for supper

From "Life after Layoff" on A-Channel News:

[I]t's very important to develop job search skills and to develop a road map to help you get to where you want to go. The Goodwill Career Centre in London is one place to do so.
As one of our readers puts it, you won't find A-Channel's Health & Home host Jan Sims there 'cause she's not losing her job!

Back in the fall we posted an entry from the Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum, New PL Nepotism, about A-Channel's family-friendly broadcasting standards — at least, friendly to one family
A-Channel in London recently lost a great talent in Julie Simpson who prior to quitting was most recently hosting a “Health & Home” segment on the supper hour news. After she quit the full-time position was posted. Lo and behold, the job was awarded to Jan Sims. You might remember Jan as a replacement anchor at CFTO, she also did some work at CKVR. Then again, you might also recognize Jan as being the A-Channel News Director’s wife. That’s right, with 45 people about to lose their jobs and morale at an all-time low; the News Director actually hired his own wife.
The entry continued with the information that at the same time the News Director, Cal Johnstone, changed the job description so that Sims could pre-tape the segments, telling newsroom colleagues he wanted his wife home to make supper for him and their two kids.

The entry on the Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum no longer exists… and another reader passes along the story of why that happened. As it turns out, Frank magazine's on-line Remedial Media section (subscribers only) picked up the story as well, linking to the forum's entry, with the additional speculation that:
[t]he lame-o local station, recently purchased from CHUM by BCE, has been on full alert downsizing. BCE is obliged to divest stations in certain markets, so they are fluffing the bottom line in order to attract gullible buyers…
So what happened to the original forum entry? Remedial Media followed up the story:
When the story of the cheesy antics was posted by a London blogger, he [the forum entry's author] got phone calls from Johnstone and Don Mumford, A Channel GM, suggesting he remove the offending piece, or else. Before the post went into the ozone, Jeff McArthur at radio station The Hawk read it on air. A couple of days later, they were obliged to recite a retraction.

Thankfully, Jan's new schedule accommodates her part-time job, teaching students at Fanshawe College J-Skool. Presumably it's a journalism ethics course.
Apart from the nepotism, the city's other major media outlet, the London Free Press, is charting a similar course of downsizing of personnel as well as journalistic and editorial content and standards. Not much left to learn in London…


Anonymous said...

But the nepotism continues unabate and for years on end at the Freeps. Joe Matayas happily provided "analysis" on on the ward races during last campaign, and, of course, Matayas is Councillor Susan Eagle's betrothed now in Ward 9. Nothing like giving your wife the thumbs up. Go get 'em, honey. Moreover, Chip Martin a few years ago used to give wonderful reviews to his buddy's wife then in Ward 7, the same Rev. Mrs. Matayas. And recently, Megan Walker counted on the Freeps' unflinching support as hubby Morris Dalla Costa gave wink-wink and nudge-nudge to his colleagues Chip Martin Joe Belanger and Jonathan Sher. Can you say "bad Dianne Haskett."
All very cosy.

Anonymous said...

Didn't these guys just get a union. If so, what are the dues for?...Big layoffs and the boss hires his wife and the union can't do anything about it? Guess we now know who has the last laugh...and a job!