Bell Media President Kevin Crull has apologised after attempting to interfere with CTV's news coverage.
Crull attempted to interfere with CTV News' coverage of a regulatory change by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to unbundle packages offered by cable and satellite operators.
Crull's attempt at intervening came after Jean-Pierre Blais, the chairman of the CRTC appeared on Business News Network. It is understood that Crull demanded that CTV New president, Wendy Freeman, kept Blais off Bell Media's networks. Only the CTV Evening News with Lisa LaFlamme aired footage of Blais subsequently, after the show's senior editors decided that it was essential as part of the news story.
Crull said in a statement; "CTV News is Canada’s leading news organization because of its longstanding commitment to the highest levels of journalistic integrity. With that reality in mind, I would like to explain events around discussion of last week’s CRTC decisions on CTV and other Bell Media news channels.
"I reached out to the CTV News leadership team to let them know I felt the focus on the CRTC itself by CTV and other Canadian news organizations would be better placed on a broad and necessary discussion of the impacts of the CRTC’s decisions on consumers, our team members, and our business.
"It was wrong of me to be anything but absolutely clear that editorial control always rests with the news team. I have apologized to the team directly for this mistake. Indeed their strong and straightforward reaction to my intrusion only heightens my appreciation of their independence, integrity and professionalism. It is crucial to note that CTV’s coverage of the CRTC’s decisions was fair, balanced and extensive, and stands up in comparison to coverage of the issue by any Canadian news organization.
"In short, I’ve re-learned a valuable lesson from the best news team in the business."