Mercer turns down job offer at proposed Sun TV News -

Mercer turns down job offer at proposed Sun TV News

Political satirist opts to stick with CBC


After proposing a “controversially Canadian” specialty news channel this week, Sun TV News made a play to make political satirist Rick Mercer part of its prime-time line-up. Mercer confirmed that he met with the newly hired Quebecor vice-president Kory Teneycke “a while ago,” and was offered a job with the proposed conservative news network. Seen as the crown jewel of Canadian content, the Rick Mercer Report has been eyed by rival broadcasters in the past. The show is privately produced and renewed by CBC on a year-to-year basis, allowing other networks to inquire about its availability. Now in its seventh season, the show averaged over one million viewers a week last season. But when it came down to it, Mercer said he’s happy with his relationship with CBC and will stay with the network. Mercer said although he was intrigued by the idea of starting a new network, he decided to “dance with the one that brung me,” borrowing a phrase from former prime minister Brian Mulroney. Mercer wished the new venture luck and called Teneycke “a smart fellow.” Sun TV News is planned to launch in January 2011, pending CRTC license approval.

Toronto Star

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Mercer turns down job offer at proposed Sun TV News

  1. At rare times R. Mercer is humourous, most of the time not. His 30 minute show should be moved to a station in Iran or N. Korea.
    I find him as boring as Jim Carrie, who's making a fortune with distorted faces. Didn't that slap-stick humour die with Abott & Costello? It should have.
    I hope Sun TV News can find real talent for a news programme that reviles left leaning CBC.

    • Ouch. Feeling a stung by Mercer's rejection there?

    • Hmmm??? slap stick huh??? you sound like you know your funny stuff there guy… Mercer is about as talented as it gets when it comes to balanced opinions keeping the left or right at bay. He shoots straight and even makes people laugh… amazing that the "left leaning" CBC would even consider him don't you think??? You're a funny guy bigbabybri maybe you should try your hand at SUN TV????

    • take your meds fool!

  2. I'd interpret this as an attempt to gain some credibility as a balanced news source in that it wasn't exclusively staffed by Conservative partisans.

    Regardless, I think we'll need a John Stewart figure to try to keep the news media honest (both left and right leaning) with regard to its excesses. That FOX News gets skewered the most frequently is largely a result that it plays fast and loose with journalistic standards and plays an overtly partisan role. One of their most memorable recent excesses is trying to pass of video footage of a previous Tea Party rally as live imagery, while marvelling at how many people were there. Only problem was that the actually rally was far smaller. I find it interesting that some people are so unconcerned with a newsmedia that has no compunction about lying to its viewers.

    • Fox news is just giving the viewers what they want – slanted news they already agree with. Whatever its journalistic merits, Fox News kills in terms of ratings, and the news is a business.

      Prime time cable news ratings
      Fox News: 2,284,000 viewers
      CNN: 454,000 viewers
      MSNBC: 857,000 viewers
      CNBC: 174,000
      HLN: 686,000


      PS: to be fair, we give the other stations a free ride. The Pew survey found viewers of right wing news programs (like O'Reilly or Limbaugh) are about as well-informed as others (although, interestingly, Daily Show viewers did especially well). Generally viewers of Fox News were not far off other news sources in terms of information levels, while infotainment news viewers did much better across the board.

      • that's because there's alot of stupid red neck americans that watch the drivel that is Glenn Beck, the guy is a virus and not the flu i feel crappy kind, but the herpes kind.

    • Right on, Andrew. No we are about to have our very own Conservative lopsided news farce 24/7. Will Harpo stop using taxpayer money to run his slander ads about the opposition once he has an entire network at his disposal?

  3. Rick Mercer isn't very funny, but I'm sure it would have helped Sun TV look a bit more credible since everyone is either praising them like a prophet or fearing them like satan.

  4. Why would a centrist news station about to take off even offer a job to a left leaning biassed comedian in the first place?

    • Because he's got more viewers than they do? Duh!

    • You think Sun TV is going to be a centrist news station? Wow… your whole take on the political spectrum must be out of whack, you probably think the Tea Party are simply a right wing group, and not fascists like they would have been classified not so many years ago.

      • You would probably be more credible in accusing others of hyperbole if you avoided calling quasi-libertarian political movements fascist. There are many ways in which the tea party is misguided and silly (and its supporters certainly are radical), but its modus operandi is the reduction of the power of the state.

    • Les now that's funny ! where you mention SUN TV being centrist – that's in the same line as Mercer's humour….

    • i've watched him on 22 minutes and a bit on his own show, i wouldn't call him biased, he will make fun of whoever is in power, he was quite hard on the liberals back in the day ..but yes, if i were to guess, i would say he is more inclined to be a liberal and probably not an ndper

  5. Congrats Rick and knowing when to say No. If this new station ends up anything like Fox, it will be a propaganda, vitriolic conduit of the extreme right. In essence Fox News isn't really a news station, but more one of entertainment, and a warped brand at that. The job of news networks are to report news in an objective manner. They shouldn't be left, they shouldn't be right; quite simply put T.V. networks should be fair and balanced(the total opposite of Fox). I would say the CBC is the only station who comes close in this country because it is a public broadcaster. CTV is definitely right wing and is in bed with the current governing party (Mike Duffy was just one example), and this new station could well be worse. The educated and intelligent part of a country's population can filter news networks from a variety of sources and have a general understanding of what is true. The problem is most people aren't intelligent enough and don't have sufficient critical thinking skills to do this and will often take one source as absolute truth. Congrats Rick on turning down the new opportunity. It would have sacrificed your credibility!

    • ''left-wingism'' is Canadian heritage? Wow… That should put an end to the debate then eh!

    • Peter Mansbridge and BC Premier Campbell both were called in front of the Bilderberg group in Spain just last week, oh ya those two are about as left wing as they come.
      Campbells orders, retain control of the energy coast (Lekstrom plan) at all cost.
      Mansbridge orders, ignore the NDP boost the Conservative or Liberals (twin sisters of the same mother) at all cost.

    • Excellent comment, Canuck Guy. Too bad there aren't any real journalists left in the news media today. Just talking heads and prepared story readers. No one delves in and gets all the facts. They just tell the story the way the politicos or police want it told.

    • Interesting, you think most people aren't intelligent and don't have critical thinking skills. So how do you feel about them voting?

  6. I just hope they don't breathe life into certain Canadian political satire groups that should stay dead (namely the Air Farce). Mercer is okay, but nobody has come close to surpassing the Double Exposure Radio show (unfortunately, they blew chunks as a tv show).

    • Four on the Floor, baby. I am eagerly anticipating the return of Mr. Canoehead.

  7. With the coming of Fox style R/W Christian entertainment, one can almost hear the ratchet sound of Harper and his disciples efforts to move Canada to the Fundamentalist Christian right.

  8. The whole shtick of this type of "comedy" is to yell the last part of your comment.

    Example: Harper is the greatest politician in the world, JUST ASK HIM!!! ba da boom……boring

  9. Rick Mercer wants to keep his government job at the CBC, it keeps him in line for Governor General.

    • I dunno, if Harper is appointing the GG, I think Mercer would be better of over at Faux News.

  10. Rick Mercer is sooo not funny.

    • Obviously you haven't watched the show because you miss it's focus completely. You must be from Ontario.

  11. I find Rick Mercer pretty fair and balanced but I suspect the reason he turned the offer down was that the CBC does indeed offer more stability for his show.

  12. Well in any case it will be interesting to see what happens if this thing actually get's off of the ground.

  13. I'm with you, Two Yen. Why would Mercer turn down a stable gig to work for a TV station that could go bankrupt in a year?

    The reality is, however well Faux News does in the US, Canada isn't that right wing. I recall seeing stats somewhere once that put the religious right population in the US at about 50% and in Canada at about 17%. That's going to be a pretty specialized TV channel if it's going to survive at all.