I've been laid up all week with these damned gallstones and I've been watching more than my fair share of commercial television. Like most journos, I'm a news buff, so I always watch the afternoon news on CTV Ottawa.
It's been bad enough of late, having to put up with the commercials for Bell Fibe which run once a segment. I have Bell Fibe and I hate it. Hate it
As I've written in this space before, it cuts out leaving me staring at a blue screen saying the channel is not available. It does this all the time, especially when you're watching a gripping drama and come to the end. Then, all of a sudden, nothing.
If not for On Demand, I couldn't have told you how Dexter ended.
I've been tempted to ram the remote through the screen.
Anyway, I was absolutely shocked today to see that CTV will be running a segment promoting Bell Fibe for the next four Thursdays. In essence, without what should contain a "advertisement" crawler, it is an infomercial running in the newscast.
Some of the journalists who work there must be ready to barf. Bad enough most of the good ones have been packaged and replaced with hair extensions.
Okay, I realize that CTV Ottawa is a joke.
A lot of its content is local boosterism which is okay, but lately there has been more than enough stories under the banner "regional contact" which is basically a shill for cupcake shops, chip stands and businesses that are so small they used to be featured only in the local weeklies. Regional Contact is no longer the fine feature program that artfully told stories about creative artists working in the Ottawa Valley.
It was so popular that hundreds of viewers wrote in when CTV wanted it cancelled. I wonder whether anybody would send an email now.
Regional Contact has become one big informercial for businesses that are close enough to George Street for poor long-suffering Joel Haslam to take the bus.
Over at CTV Two it's worse. I've been told that businesses have to shell out $6,000 to be featured on that channel.
But this Bell blather is more than I can stomach. Maybe they'll do me a favor and make me upchuck and finally get rid of the gallstones once and for all. Hope springs eternal.
Look you bunch of corporate blue suits. I'm sorry you didn't get your local program levy. That was the CRTC's decision. Don't make us suffer.
If there isn't enough real advertisers to justify a full newscast, then cut the newscast down to a half hour. Don't punish intelligent viewers with this kind of drivel.
Max Keeping must be turning over in his bed.
Can't wait for the gallstones to pass.
Like Bell Fibe, I want to break free.