George Soros may sue Fox News North player

Sun Media column wrote about his opposition to Sun TV News

TORONTO -- Fox News North hasn't got to air, and yet is already the top story in the local media.

For all the wrong reasons.

Kory Teneycke, chosen by Quebecor Media to launch Sun TV News as a right wing all-news channel modeled on Fox News to the south, this week quit because, as he put it, his continued involvement would only "inflame" process leading up to its launch.

Now billionaire financier George Soros is threatening to sue the Sun Media Chain, a part owner of the upstart Sun TV News channel.

Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Vachon, told the Globe and Mail newspaper Friday that Soros was upset by a recent Sun Media newspaper column that connected his opposition to Sun TV News to his experience as an Hungarian Jew during the Second World War.

"It made false, defamatory and offensive statements and as a result Mr. Soros has notified the relevant parties of his intent to sue," Vachon said.

"What is of concern in the article are the false assertions that Mr. (Ezra) Levant makes regarding George Soros's conduct as a 13-year-old child in Nazi-occupied Hungary," he added.

Soros has also been drawn into the Sun TV News debate as, an activist group he funds, saw a recent online petition against the conservative news channel receiving a Canadian broadcast license be tampered with under murky circumstances.

A host of Canadian newspaper columnists on Sept. 1 received emails thanking them for signing the "Stop Fox News North" petition, when each insists they did not.

The allegation is that, in addition to fraudulently adding the names of columnists, comical names like Snuffleupagus and Dwight Schrute also ended up on the petition.

Teneycke's resignation this week was in part prompted by allegations that he penned a column in the Sun Media newspapers complaining of the comical names before they were listed on the left-wing website's petition. insists the names were added from the same online IP address.

All of which has left a cloud over the future of Sun TV News.

The CRTC, Canada's broadcast regulator, will hold hearings on application for a TV license on Nov. 19, ahead of a scheduled Jan. 1, 2011 launch date for Sun TV News.

Quebecor Media earlier failed with a bid to secure a must-carry license for Sun TV News.

The Montreal-based broadcaster has now asked the CRTC to guarantee market access for the all-news channel, otherwise it does not believe it can survive in competition with incumbent all-news channels.