Boo to you CTV!!

CTV declines CBC offer to simulcast Thursday’s prime-time tsunami benefit
TORONTO (CP) – While expressing appreciation to the CBC, CTV says it is turning down the public broadcaster’s offer to simulcast Canada for Asia, the Thursday night prime-time fundraiser for tsunami victims.
“We must nonetheless decline the opportunity to be involved,” said CTV president Rick Brace in an open letter to CBC-TV executive vice-president Richard Stursberg. “In part, our decision is based on the short notice.”
CHUM Television initially said its stations had completed their own fundraising effort last week which raised nearly $4 million, and that they will lend editorial support and news coverage only. But in a decision late Monday, CHUM announced that its MuchMoreMusic and MTV Canada specialty channels would carry the feed. Corus Entertainment also said its country music station CMT will participate.
Global TV had no decision to announce.
The simulcast invitation was issued at a Friday afternoon news conference by Senator Jerry Grafstein, one of the organizers of Canada for Asia who said if private radio and TV broadcasters agreed to the simulcast, all Canadians would be reached in what he called “a golden and sterling moment.”
The audio portion will be carried on CBC Radio 1 and the signal will reach Canadian troops in Kabul via Canadian Forces radio and TV.
But a CTV spokesman indicated that the complexities of carrying the CBC network feed were also a factor in their decision to decline. The CBC plans to air the three-hour special from Toronto live to the Maritimes from 6 to 9 p.m. ET, delaying it an hour for each subsequent time zone.
Brace also noted that CTV was “very active” in formulating its own plans, which include Canada Cares, a daylong initiative that will air across the various CTV Media platforms all day Tuesday, as well as The Concert for Tsunami Relief, live from Vancouver on Jan. 29 in collaboration with Nettwerk Productions. Some celebrities, including Rick Mercer and the Barenaked Ladies, will appear on both broadcast specials, although CTV emphasizes that unlike the CBC telecast, theirs is not a telethon but rather artists thanking Canadians for the generosity they’ve already demonstrated in donating to various relief agencies.
“We applaud the efforts of the entire broadcasting community for their contribution to this great cause,” Brace added. “We wish you the very best in your efforts to make Canada for Asia the tremendous success we know it will be.”
Fred Nicolaidis, the creative head of CBC-TV Variety, who is hastily assembling the Thursday extravaganza, said the network is devoting its cross-country facilities to the program and that a simulcast would be an opportunity to reach all Canadians from coast to coast to coast in prime time.
“It’s going to be packed full of tremendous talent and tremendous statements and tremendous comments,” he vowed about a lineup that is to include Tom Cochrane, Blue Rodeo, Rush, Bryan Adams, Anne Murray, Jann Arden, Bruce Cockburn and even Celine Dion. Non musical personalities so far include Mike Myers, Kids in the Hall, Wayne Gretzky, Andrea Martin, David Suzuki and Alex Trebek.
Nicolaidis said there would be a minimum of pre-taped segments, indicating Dion’s contribution from the stage of her Las Vegas show will likely have to be recorded for logistical reasons.
Meanwhile, CTV’s Canada Cares plan Tuesday is designed to not only examine the tsunami disaster on air but to encourage more fundraising by relief agencies.
It begins on Canada AM, which will examine not only how donations are being used but what the long-term needs of the affected region will be. CTV News at Noon will offer in-depth correspondent reports including customized items on how each region in Canada has been affected.
In the afternoon, two back-to-back episodes of Vicki Gabereau will include interviews with Canadian tsunami survivors, a science expert from Simon Fraser University and with organizers of the planned telecast of the Vancouver concert.
In the evening, E-Talk Daily will look at celebrity involvement in relief efforts. On the Discovery Channel, The Daily Planet will explore the science behind the tsunami and its impact on drinkable water and on the local coral life.
Finally, Canada Cares will be wrapped up on regional supper-hour newscasts and on CTV News with Lloyd Robertson.
Also, Global’s Hamilton-based CH Television plans a day-long fundraiser Tuesday, beginning with CH Morning and continuing through to the channel’s 11 o’clock news.