City-TV (and all its affiliates across the country, including all the "A-Channel" stations) and Fan 590 are owned by Rogers Communications, which also owns 680 News (an all-news radio station). Rogers also owns Rogers Sportsnet, which shows Blue Jays games; Rogers also owns the team, and the building they play in. (He was nice enough to rename it "Rogers Centre" from "SkyDome," which was a name that some kid submitted in a contest back in the late '80s to name the stadium.) Rogers also supplies cable-TV service to everyone in Toronto who has it, not to mention the community-access channel that occupies Channel 10.
So, conceivably, you could have this situation:
- you go to the Rogers Centre to watch the Rogers Blue Jays
- your mom watches the same game at home on Rogers Sportsnet
- on the JumboTron at the end of the game, they show you the Rogers 680 News traffic report
- on the drive home, you listen to the Rogers Fan 590 postgame call-in show
- once home, you turn on your TV which is connected to Rogers Cable
- you watch highlights of the game on Rogers City-TV
- Ted Rogers personally tucks you in bed
But let's say you have an important matter of public interest, and one company owns a whole whack of media outlets, all masquerading as separate entities. ("Wow, I heard that Stephen Harper is a great PM from 680 News, Fan 590, and City-TV! He must be doing a great job.") As a result, one editorial board's set of opinions get spread all over the place, and other voices don't get heard as a result.
This phenomenon began in the US in the '90s, with the relaxation of ownership rules for different media outlets in the same market. Nowadays, the CRTC doesn't give a rat's ass how much stuff one company owns, so long as the CanCon rules are followed.** I say, we should all give a rat's ass.
* Yeah, I realize I'm a huge baseball fan. But Noam Chomsky's point is well-taken here: "Sports are pushed as to distract us from asking questions about the real issues."
** I pulled out of my driveway this morning and was flipping around the dial... when who should I hear but Triumph. Fuck yeah!