CBC Sweeps, CTV News Shut Out of Early Canadian Screen Awards Prize-Giving
TORONTO – Former CTV chief news anchor Lloyd Robertson received a standing ovation Wednesday night as he arrived on a Toronto stage to present a trophy at the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards.
Then Robertson, now a W5 host on CTV, lost out to CBC broadcaster David Suzuki in the best news information show interviewer competition.
So the night went for CTV’s news division as it was shut out of major news category awards that were mostly won by rival CBC.
That included CBC News: The National, the pubcaster’s flagship evening newscast, winning for best national newscast and best national reportage during pre-telecast prize-giving.
CTV News boycotted the former Geminis, Canada’s TV awards, citing a pro-CBC bias.
Then CTV News reloaded and got behind the refreshed CSAs, which combine the former Geminis and Genies, Canada’s cinema awards, into one annual awards show.
The hope was CTV News' support for the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, which organizes the CSAs, as it revamps the judging process would support the industry and translate into recognition at the winners' podium.
It didn’t, as the CBC emerged as the big news winner, picking up Screenies for best breaking news coverage, best local reportage and best news information series for the fifth estate.
Being left out in the cold didn’t sit well with Scott Henderson, vp of communications at CTV-parent Bell Media, who also sits on the board at the Academy. “We were surprised that following a renewal process at the Academy, not one single award was won by our news division,” he said Thursday in a statement.
Henderson questioned the Screenies’ snub after CTV News dominated the peer-voted Radio and Television Digital News Association Awards in 2012. “So it seems strange that this same recognition remains elusive from Academy voters,” he added.
Academy chairman Martin Katz, who is leading a root-and-branch overhaul of the Canadian kudosfest, said popular films and TV shows being snubbed by category judges is common with all awards shows.
"Avengers was the highest-grossing American film last year, but was not included among Oscar contenders," Katz, who produces David Cronenberg's films, said.
He conceded CTV's news output is "consistently among the most-watched in the country" and applauded Bell Media for supporting the Academy as it looks to align prize-giving with how Canadians consume homegrown films and TV shows.
"It is an ongoing process, and we acknowledge it's not completed yet," Katz added.
A bypassed CTV did toast sister channel TSN as it won Screenies for its coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, including best sports analysis.
CTV’s drought should end Sunday night when the biggest profile Screenies are handed out in Toronto as part of a two-hour newscast to air on the CBC.