OTTAWA — The first journalist hired by Sun News Network says the startup’s demise was tied more to regulatory hurdles and shrinking resources than the size of Canada’s appetite for a conservative-minded TV channel.
Shortly after Sun News hit the lights for good today, Parliament Hill bureau chief David Akin said the outfit’s failure had more to do with the shifting plates on the media landscape it had pledged to shake up.
Sun News Network took to the airwaves nearly four years ago with a promise to counterbalance the left-leaning bias of traditional media — earning it the nickname “Fox News North.”
Akin says the network’s turning point came in 2013 when regulators refused its request to become a mandatory part of cable TV packages.
Carleton University journalism professor Christopher Waddell says losing that battle prevented Sun News from securing a critical base of funding for its operation.
Waddell also blames the channel’s failure on quality issues such as a shortage of video footage to accompany stories, due to the fact Sun News didn’t have many local stations providing images.
Waddell says he doesn’t believe the network’s aggressive approach or the political leanings of its commentators had anything to do with its downfall.