Canada's Sun News Network, Deemed "Fox News North," Shuts Down

Courtesy of Quebecor Media
Julie Tremblay

The TV news channel went off the air Friday.

Canada's red-blooded conservative news channel Sun News Network, dubbed "Fox News North" by liberal critics, has gone off the air. The Friday closure followed the 24/7 news channel failing to secure a new buyer or a regulatory lifeline

"The closure is regrettable for the Canadian broadcasting system, which is losing a distinctively Canadian voice in the national news space and also, most importantly, for all the Sun News employees, who are losing their jobs," Julie Tremblay, president and CEO of Sun Media Corp., said in a statement after the TV channel stopped broadcasting at 5 a.m. Friday morning.

Quebecor Media launched Sun News in 2011 as a right-wing antidote to existing all-news channels at the rival CBC and CTV with an apparent liberal bias. But the failing TV channel, for all its conservative chest-thumping, failed to secure mandatory cable carriage from the CRTC to avoid full-on market competition.

That followed a media furor over Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper in March 2009 meeting in New York City with Rupert Murdoch and Fox News boss Roger Ailes as he sought a regulatory greenlight for Sun News to launch into every Canadian home.

Instead, the CRTC forced Sun News to compete in the open market for cable and satellite TV slots like other upstart TV services. Sun News also failed in the all-news channel arena, as Canadians looking for a conservative take turned to CNN, Fox News, CNBC and other American channels widely reaching into Canadian homes.