This bewildering succession of media musical chairs is by no means over. In November, 2010 the CRTC awarded an English Category 2, specialty TV channel licence to Sun TV News, an unabashedly right-wing, all-news and opinion television channel modelled on the American Fox News. Sun TV News is owned and operated by Quebecor Media through two of its subsidiaries: TVA Group Inc. (51%) and Sun Media Corporation (49% ownership).
Dubbed “Fox News North,” Sun TV News initially had sought Category 1 status, guaranteeing access by all cable subscribers, but the CRTC is not considering new tier-one broadcast licences until October 2011, following the switch of Canadian TV to digital broadcasting. Sun TV has announced a number of high-profile hirings including former CBC journalist Krista Erickson, commentator and broadcaster Charles Adler, veteran journalist David Akin, radio broadcaster Brian Lilley, and right-wing columnist Ezra Levant. The new channel will launch spring 2011.
Prime minister Stephen Harper’s former communications director Kory Teneycke originally headed Sun TV, but his controversial link to the highest reaches of Canadian politics led to his resignation in September, 2010. Luc Lavoie, former Brian Mulroney spokesman and close associate of Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau, took the reins at Sun TV after Teneycke left.
In an October 22, 2010 speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Calgary, Péladeau welcomed the new appointees. “I am very pleased to have Krista and Ezra join the hard news, straight talk, Sun TV News team,” he said. “Along with Sun TV News host Charles Adler, Krista and Ezra all hail from Western Canada. With Sun TV News the West will be in,” he concluded.