Wednesday, August 17, 2005

We Get Sacks And Sacks Of Letters

Well actually we get a couple of emails, which I should have dealt with sooner but the past few days have been nothing like routine. Just as an example, tonight I had to help babysit my nephew who is with his dad for a week while his mom is taking a trip. You have no idea how many times a two and a half year old who is ticked off because Dad is off playing ball and hasn't taken little Brian with him (because it was too cold and too wet and Brian wants to be physically close to Dad not just watching him at a distance) can watch a Thomas the Tank Engine video between screaming and whimpering. Well actually parents can but if the rest of us knew, we'd probably give up sex as a bad idea. Suffice it to say that I know pretty much all of the lines from James And The Red Balloon and the song that is in it. But I'm supposed to be talking about a couple of interesting emails.

First, Tony Figueroa sent me a link to a Hollywood Reporter article on the CBC lockout. Trust me, I'm aware of it. CBC and the Canadian Media Guild, which represents most of the on air and technical personnel at the CBC have been engaged in an "ongoing labour dispute" since 12:01 on Monday. This is having an effect on Radio and TV programming. There have been a lot of reruns on the main TV network, and the National News has been replaced with newscasts from BBC World. where it has had an impact has been on live reporting from sporting events such as the Canada Games and potentially coverage of CFL Football. Where it gets scary is when the news reports speak of the potential impact on NHL broadcasts, given that hockey doesn't come back until October. The Canadian Media Guild is fighting a CBC plan to increase the percentage of CBC employees who are on short term contracts. Currently about 30% of employees are described as "non-permanent" but management points out that 25% of the total work force (about 83% of the existing non-permanent work force) are in fact temporary employees, working as replacements for workers on sick leave or on special assignment. The Corporation wants to review new positions as they become vacant and determine if the jobs can moved to a short term basis. The CMG regards such a process as an attempt to turn the CBC into "MacDonalds" by making virtually all positions short term.

I missed the deadline on an email from Bryce Zabel. He wanted me to promote a poll he was running on his blog, dealing with the "Outstanding Drama Series" for the Emmys. Unfortunately I was a bit too busy to check my GMail account for a couple of days. As some of you may know, Bryce was the Chairman of the TV Academy from 2001-2003, so if nothing else he knows about Emmy polling. Sorry about that Bryce, I thought I had more time.

Finally there's an email from Jim and Tanya Ryno who are publicizing their desire to be on Fear Factor using a blog to promote their campaign to get cast on the show. Tanya is a freelance producer who used to work for Saturday Night Live who has a movie - Coney Island Baby which has just been released on DVD. This is what they wrote "We are using a blog to try and up our chances of getting cast on NBC's hit show, Fear Factor. We have already been auditioned and called back. They are fully aware that we are doing this. So this site, therefore, is an experiment. How much influence can we generate from the blogosphere and fans of the show? Will we succeed in getting the casting directors to make their final decision based on our support?" Frankly I doubt that having this blog will get them on Fear Factor, but I've never been one to speak out against self promotion, particularly when I regularly kick their butts on Blog Explosion's Battle of the Blogs. But I will help them promote their blog - Fear Factor's Million Dollar Couple - even though I won't be voting for them. I can't stand Fear Factor and haven't watched it since the second season. Now if it were The Amazing Race they wanted to be on I'd be all over it. If I can't be on the show (because I'm a Canadian) I'd be happy to think that someone I supported was.

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