Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Kory's statement has posted Kory Teneycke's full resignation statement.

It reads:

Good morning:

Just over a year ago, I departed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Office to work for Quebecor Media.

My role was to work on developing a business plan to convert the current Sun TV station into a cable all news network.

After months of developing our business plan the boards of QMI and TVA gave the green light and I assumed effective control of the project, as well as responsibility for the National Bureau for Sun Media.

The core of our business case was to fill a void in the market by presenting a new type of news channel.

To create a channel that would reflect the long established brand of the Sun newspaper chain - populist, irreverent, and with a conservative editorial stance.

It was, and continues to be, my belief that this project will bring additional competition and diversity to the media landscape, and give Canadian television news a long overdue shakeup.

An ambitious plan, and a controversial one.

A plan that should be supported by all those who believe a diversity of media voices broadens debate and helps strengthen our democracy.

Since the announcement of Sun TV News, the channel has both courted, and attracted, a great deal of controversy. Some good and some bad.

Like anyone launching a new product in the marketplace, I have deliberately taken shots at the market incumbents -- bluntly pointing out what we view as their inadequacies -- and by doing so define what our place in the market would be.

A channel that is "Controversially Canadian" that offers "hard news" during the day and "straight talk" opinion shows at night.

Over the summer, this controversy has gotten out of hand. It has morphed from one of market differentiation to something more vicious and vitriolic. And yes, at times I have contributed to the debasing of the debate myself.

More recently this has led to a number serious accusations and conspiracy theories, that have been repeated so often they have taken on the aura of fact, including:

That Sun TV News is seeking to tax Canadians with a "Must Carry" designation (this has never been the case).

Accusations of improper political interference in the arms length regulatory process for our television license,

Nefarious plots with foreign news corporations, and

The overt politicization of our news gathering process for partisan gain.

My past political involvement and close association with this government have led to me being a central figure in most of these accusations -- regardless of their lack of merit.

The perception problems associated with such a quick move from active politics to overseeing a bureau covering the government you just worked for, are obvious, and have caused a great deal of discomfort for many of you in the media.

As the saying goes, perception can be reality.

And when over 80 thousand people sign a petition saying our intent is to propagate hate, you know these perceptions have moved into the realm of reality.

While most of these criticisms are not based in fact, it has become increasingly clear that my continued involvement in the project will only serve to further inflame these issues and misconceptions about what Sun TV News aspires to offer Canadians.

If this continues, as I believe it will, it could deeply harm the public perception of the channel before it even goes to air, and may even put at risk our license application itself.

Therefore; I am here to announce that yesterday afternoon I offered my resignation to Quebecor Media.

This was not an easy decision, but I believe the right one. The right decision for Quebecor, the right decision for me, and the right decision for the project.

It is my hope my departure will hit the reset button, lower the temperature, and allow a more rational debate over the television license for Sun TV News to occur. One not tainted by politics and controversies of the past months.

Part of leading a team is knowing when your presence is a detriment to its success.

While I am intensely passionate about this project, it has never been about a political crusade, or about me. Rather it is about filling a void in the market by offering a new choice, and a new voice to Canadians.

I will continue to be a strong believer in Sun TV News, and a strong believer in Quebecor Media. My hope is this channel will get a license and Canadians will tune in with an open mind.

The project will continue and I encourage you to watch for the event in Winnipeg later today.

Let me close by thanking Pierre Karl Peladeau for his friendship and support and willingness to bring this project forward. I would also like to acknowledge the talented management and journalists at Sun Media and TVA, in whom I have every confidence. I know they will make this project a success.

Thank you very much.


  1. ....and now let's all get back to covering Victoria's Secret because, in Kory's world, this probably isn't newsworthy

  2. Even it what should be a fairly straightforward press release, Teneycke can't get it quite right.
    The petition was not about Baby Fox spreading hate — though that would probably be one of its functions if it followed the example of Papa Fox south of the border.
    The petition was about abuse of process and Baby Fox's attempt to have viewers forced to pay for Baby Fox's spot on the cable universe. In other words, Peladeau is trying to take a money-losing entity — SunTV — and force Canadians into making it a profitable venture.
    SunTv is incapable of playing with the bog boys on a level playing field, so now it asks Canadians to subsidize its operations.

  3. It's always sad to see such a pillar of the industry leave.
    The news business is a sadder place to be today.

  4. I agree. The place just hasn't been the same since Lew left ...

  5. I'd ask how many millions of dollars PKP has pissed away on this TV venture, including replacing a competent Ottawa bureau with higher-paid haircuts who write at a fourth-grade level but look good on TV, but I guess we'll find out two weeks before Christmas when there will be another company-wide round of cost-cutting newsroom layoffs to compensate for it.

  6. Teneyke at least showed something that too many of us are afraid or too tired to show anymore - passion.

    That lack of passion is pandemic in the Canadian news industry.

  7. I seem to remember there being a lot of passion in the newsrooms before Sun Media bought them, slashed expenses to the bone, laid off two-thirds of the staff, outsourced the editing and pagination and generally treated employees with only slightly more contempt than they treat readers. Where'd the passion go? Probably the same place the investigative journalism went.

  8. Actually, lack of passion is just a pandemic at 333.

  9. @Anonymous 11:24am said...
    Teneyke at least showed something that too many of us are afraid or too tired to show anymore - passion. That lack of passion is pandemic in the Canadian news industry.

    Passion for slanting news?
    Passion for doing what Stephen Harper tells him?

    That isn't journalistic passion.

    It may be passion, but it's not a passion any serious news person will embrace.

  10. @ Anonymous 12:48am

    Since journalists are human and not computers even the most "serious news person" slants the news one way or another, regardless of how conscientious he/she is. While we strive to be subjective, objectivity slips into even the most "serious news person"'s copy.

    Journalists also do what they are told (just as you accuse Tory Kory of doing) - especially if they want to keep their jobs.

    Whether or not serious or even not-so-serious news persons retain their passion working in that environment (all to familiar these days), varies from individual to individual.

  11. I slipped something into my comment above, to show how human we can be. I am surprised no one has caught it yet.

  12. "... to familiar" (sic)?

  13. It was caught right after you filed your post. Trying to destroy someone's argument on the basis of a typo is rather juvenile; trying to claim it wasn't a typo, but a trap, is another matter best left undiscussed.

  14. @Anonymous at 11:43

    Never mind the typo in "to familiar," you did more than that ... you swapped "subjectivity" and "objectivity." Deliberate or a Freudian slip?