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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Unexpected events and continuous news channels

    At 12:19:28am on Wednesday Oct 10th 2012, there was a 4.5 magnitude earthquake centred near Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu, and the whole Montreal island felt it, as well as northern parts of Vermont.

    First instinct was to turn on the TV and look for what happened. Since no conventional or news channel was mentionning what was happening, well, going out on the balcony and look around if an accident happened. Nothing.

    A look around at the medias at the time it happened,
    - CTV Montreal was airing "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart"
    - Global Montreal was airing "The Talk"
    - CBC Montreal was airing "Coronation Street"
    - SRC Montreal was airing "Alors on jase!" (talk-show rerun)
    - TVA Montreal was airing a movie
    - V Montreal was airing live game/infomercial "L'instant gagnant"

    On the specialty side, CTV News Network, RDI and LCN were on pre-taped clockwheel news, still at 1am (40 minutes after it happened).
    None of which bothered adding a scroll at the bottom of the screen or put a live anchor on the air. CBC News Network phoned reporter Leah Hendry for a live report at 1am, who probably went back to bed after that.

    In the aftermath, it's even more embarassing...
    - During the live game/infomercial on V from Budapest, Hungary, when the host taking over at around 1:30am mentionned the earthquake. That was the only french-language mention it.
    - On the english side, only Metro14 have a somewhat morning show from Channel Zero studios, but they were the first english-language media to mention it.

    On the radio side,
    - CJAD was airing syndicated "Coast to Coast AM", had pre-taped road closures updates and top-of-the-hour news, but nothing live.
    - Most commercial radios were on live club music mode.
    - Radio-Canada/CBC Radio didn't bother.
    - TSN Radio 690 was live, and started talking about the earthquake, putting the sports aside for the moment.
    - CHMP 98.5 (french) was also live and talked about the earthquake.

    On the other hand, just opening Twitter or Facebook and you already knew it was an earthquake.
    Details on Fagstein's blog :

    OK, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake is not the end of the world, but it brings good questions :
    - Is there ANYONE in the news department at those stations doing the night shift ? If so, where were they ?
    - Since local CBC, CTV and Global stations are remotely controlled from their respective automated video server at Toronto headquarters, who didn't felt it and weren't feeling a bit concerned, there was no decision-making person available to even suggest to at least give a minimal information in a bottom-screen scroll to that small money-losing market station. If an similar or inferior earthquake was felt in Toronto, you can bet nationwide network programming would have been interrupted, from Sydney to Vancouver.
    - I can understand why are our specialty 24-hours-a-day-news-channel are on a pre-tape at night, but there should be at least one person able to modify the damn news ticker for anything happening overnight!

    At long term, we can see the consequences of cost-cutting measures from big companies. It just gets worse.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I was awake when it happened. Scared the hell out of me. I can only imagine a much stronger quake!

    My first reflex was to check outside if a train has derailed or if there was an accident on a house nearby but I saw nothign or no one.

    I then turned to the various news sites on the web, nothing. I then found the site from the govt that registered the quake so it confirmed to me what I suspected.

    Turned on the TV, tuned in to RDI, CTv, Global and the likes, nothing.

    I can understand it may take a while to figure what has happened and what to do with it (go live vs barker) but I was really disapointed to see NOTHING!

    I remember seeing testing on WVNY a few years ago of an emergency broadcast system. I also saw it during really bad wheather (big red barker at the bottom of the screen). Do Canada has a emergency broadcast system like the US one? I've never saw any indication we have one but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist...

    NExt time though, I know I'll tune in to TSN Radio 690 first!
    Randi Dertzo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toronto, Ontario
    all the people at TV station were on Twitter too no doubt , looking for the story

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    A 7.7 Earthquake occured nearby Haida Gwaii, west of British-Columbia at 8:04pm PT, which could lead in tsunami for a huge area including Prince Rupert.

    Following Twitter feed, only CBC News Network and CTV News Channel leads warnings at 1am ET. All other networks had already shut down the newsroom.
    Last edited by InMontreal; 10-28-2012 at 03:06 PM.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Im really surprised that Global BC didn't cover things longer. Out of all the stations in BC they tend to be on top of stuff like this compared to CTV and CBC.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I am also surprised that Global BC did not air extended coverage of the earthquake/tsunami. CBC BC was excellent with Ian Hanomansing at the helm. CTV BC was pretty good; they had Jina You and called in Mike Killeen, however they ended up simulcasting KITV for the most part when the tsunami threat moved to Hawaii.



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