Shaw TV reverses decision on council broadcasts
Shaw TV has done an about-face and will continue live broadcasts of Burnaby city council meetings.
Earlier this month, Shaw wrote to Burnaby city hall saying it would stop broadcasting live effective Oct. 15 and instead, it would show pre-recorded council meetings late on Mondays or at noon on Tuesdays.
The reason given in the letter was "to effectively manage our scheduling conflicts and to ensure that council coverage is not pre-empted."
Burnaby council was not pleased and accused Shaw of increasingly commercializing what is, under its CRTC mandate, supposed to be a channel dedicated to the community.
A few days later, Shaw TV emailed Burnaby's city clerk's office advising that it had changed its mind and would be keeping its broadcast schedule as is.
"Our local Shaw TV teams are completely committed to working with the municipalities and we’ll be continuing to find broadcast times that work for them," said Lindsay Krzepkowski, the Calgary-based manager of media relations for Shaw Communications Inc., in an email to the NewsLeader.
"Local programming is part of our mandate to the community and Shaw TV regularly broadcasts meetings from 19 different municipalities throughout the Lower Mainland, along with three school boards. In addition to Shaw TV, most municipalities live-stream their council meetings so there are options for Shaw TV viewers."
Coun. Nick Volkow, who initially raised the issue at the Sept. 17 council meeting, said this week that Shaw made the right decision.
"It's the only decision, I think, they could've made," Volkow said in an interview.
"I think it was an ill-thought-out plan to begin with. I don't think they understood the importance that ... citizens put on being able to watch and get the immediacy of decisions that are taken.
"I'm glad they, as I say, took a sober second look at their decision and thought better of it."