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Crazy like a Fox: is a former Harper communications director building a conservative cable news channel?

The media is all over Kory Teneycke this week, reporting that he is ditching his role as right-wing pundit at the CBC to become vice-president of development for Quebecor. Why does anyone care? Well, because before his post at the CBC, Teneycke was one of Stephen Harper’s many directors of communications. That, combined with Quebecor’s application for a CRTC license for an all-news channel, has media types speculating that the company’s CEO, Pierre-Karl Peladeau, is trying to bring the Fox News formula to Canada: brash, barking, right-wing news and punditry, but with more snow in the weather updates.

The Globe and Mail digs in:

Mirroring the format of both Fox TV and MSNBC in the U.S., the envisioned Canadian station would offer straightforward reporting but also conservative-minded opinion shows—a mix of programming that would be clearly separated rather than blended.

Ezra Levant, a conservative author and activist, is being seriously considered as a host for one of the new station’s anchor opinion shows, sources say. Mr. Levant and Mr. Teneycke have worked together as far back as the 1996 Winds of Change conference, a precursor to the unite-the-right movement that merged the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties.

Levant says he hasn’t signed any contracts with anyone yet, but if Quebecor wants to bring the full Fox to this side of the border, there are some questions that need answering. First, who will be Canada’s Bill O’Reilly? Peter Kent has the conservative and TV cred, but we can’t imagine him screaming, “Fuck it, we’ll do it live!” at a producer. And who will fill Glenn Beck’s shoes? What Canadian can possibly mix teary patriotism with paranoid chalkboard scribblings?

NDP MP Charlie Angus says this network could get into legal troubles, because Canadian law still requires broadcasters to present a balanced view. Now, if only Quebecor had connections with the Canadian government.

• Quebecor eyes Fox News-style TV for Canada [Globe and Mail]
• Harper’s Former Spokesman Leading Charge For Fox News-style Channel In Canada [CityNews]
• Fox News North? Former Harper spokesman joins QMI bid for all-news network [Toronto Star]