Why did CanWest not publish CP item?

The Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Regina Leader-Post and Vancouver Sun in Canada are controlled by CanWest Global located in Winnipeg.

It is my view that “owner chill” may have been at work again when the papers dutifully reported the April 14, 2006, announcement about CanWest’s move into Turkey with a few minor editing changes as follows:

“WINNIPEG -- CanWest Global Communications Corp. announced Friday that its subsidiary, CGS NZ TV Shareholdings (Netherlands), together with certain non-related entities, have completed the acquisition of four Turkish FM radio stations, Super FM, Metro FM, Joy FM and Joy Turk FM, from The Turkish Savings and Deposit Insurance Fund in a deal worth $61 million US.”

However, The Canadian Press (CP) wire service co-operative reported the item with the following lead paragraphs:

“TORONTO (CP) - A $61-million-US move into the Turkish radio market by CanWest Global Communications Corp. (TSX:CGS.SV) was viewed with skepticism Monday by some observers who said the company should focus on its Canadian assets.

“"They have problems in their domestic operations that they (should) address before investing aggressively elsewhere," said Marie Millien, a media analyst with Westwind Partners Inc.”

The CP report was published by CJAD Radio, in Montreal, The Toronto Star, The Winnipeg Free Press, The Calgary Sun and other non-CanWest news-media.

I did not find the CP item – reporting criticism of CanWest – in any CanWest news outlet, except The Gazette in Montreal which ran the item under the headline “Some skeptical about CanWest's Turkish radio moves.” A day late, but it was good news judgment.

Ask yourself why? Then ask CanWest CEO Leonard Asper at their HQ in Winnipeg.

The CanWest non-Gazette news editors were just being good little boys and girls. Rocking the wrong boat – as Bill Turpin in Halifax found out – can sink your career.