Sun News Network: the Right stuff

Yesterday, some unsuspecting late-afternoon channel surfers were likely puzzled by the sudden appearance of the Sun News Network on their screens. It sprang into action at 5 p.m. (after a half-hour preview), just in time to greet 9-to-5ers, still angry from their long commutes home and primed for the pundits’ right-leaning rants.

The long-term ratings of the network will spell out its success with Canadian viewers, but how is the rest of Canada’s media reacting to the new small-C conservative contenders?

  • Over at Toronto Standard, Chris Randle live-blogged the network’s launch, and was generally unimpressed. Highlight: “5:05 pm: It appears that commercial breaks will feature inspirational quotes about Freedom. Is 5 o’clock too early to start drinking?”
  • Up to its usual tricks, the CBC aims for “objectivity,” and instead of telling readers what to think of SNN, its short, factual article on the launch is followed by a poll, asking readers whether they plan to watch. The results, as of today: 55.44% Yes; 40.52% No; 4.04% Maybe.
  • And, in an opinion piece for the National Post, Scott Stinson argues that the launch was a bit much, with the network coming off as a “complete braggart.” But Stinson also shows some hope for Sun News programming: “By the dinner hour in the east, Sun News was into its second program, The Daily Brief with David Akin, a veteran Parliament Hill reporter and columnist. He led with a story on health care. It was fine. Normal, even. This was good: The further the network gets from that opening, the better.”

Stinson also points out that not many news networks experience an online campaign to bring them down before they launch, which SNN did. The network also lost one of its key anchors — who claimed the show she was to host was “not a good fit” — just days before the launch. It faces an uphill battle, if the reaction on Twitter is any indication (read some of our favourite #SunTV tweets below). But given the success of Fox News in the U.S., which offers a similar style of news, SNN might just find its audience after all.

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 10:07 am by editor · · Tagged with: , ,

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