U.S. magazine covers Sun TV debate

A proposed conservative television network that has touched off online protests and a war of words between Ottawa and a Canadian literary luminary is now starting to make a splash south of the border.

TORONTO — A proposed conservative television network that has touched off online protests and a war of words between Ottawa and a Canadian literary luminary is now starting to make a splash south of the border.

U.S.-based entertainment trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter has joined the ranks of media outlets covering the controversy over a bid to introduce a new all-news network to Canadian airwaves.

Quebecor Media’s efforts to launch Sun TV News have touched off heated debates across the country. Proponents envision a fast-paced, edgy news network with the capacity to shake up the news landscape long ruled by CBC and CTV. Detractors, however, have dubbed it “Fox News North” and say they fear it will serve as little more than a mainstream-media mouthpiece for the Conservative government.

Coverage of the debate found its way to the pages of the Sept. 3 edition of the Reporter, which has been covering entertainment-related news for 80 years.

The story detailed a Twitter offensive against the channel launched days earlier by author Margaret Atwood, who issued a flurry of tweets denouncing the proposed network while urging others to follow her lead and sign a petition called “Stop Fox News North.”

The Reporter briefly touch upon the regulatory battle Quebecor and the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission. The broadcast regulator denied the company’s bid to obtain a “category 1 licence” that would see Sun TV included as a mandatory channel in basic cable packages alongside news channels from CBC and CTV.