New name, direction for TQS

Remstar rebrands ailing network as 'V' - steering it towards entertainment. Mario Dumont to host political affairs show.

The black sheep of Quebec TV is no longer. The TQS network, which Remstar Diffusion rescued from bankruptcy and has been revamping for the last year, has changed its name and its logo to a black ‘V.’ The new logo is meant to reflect the French-language network’s new entertainment focus: vedettes (stars), vitesse (speed), voyages (trips), and vice ou verite (truth or vice). Remstar announced this week that its old name and logo – le mouton noir (black sheep) – was hitting the scrap heap. The network’s new slogan is: Laissez-vous divertir, (let yourself be entertained).

V will launch 30 new shows Aug. 31, including the political affairs show Dumont 360, to be hosted by the ex-leader of Quebec’s l’Action démocratique party, Mario Dumont. Last spring, Remstar caused an uproar across Quebec when it said it would close news services in Montreal and rural Quebec and lay off more than 270 employees in the name of financial recovery. Quebec’s National Assembly adopted a unanimous motion calling on the federal government to demand that the CRTC maintain the news operations at TQS. But in a controversial decision last summer the CRTC allowed Remstar to buy the flailing network and replace local newscasts with shows that mix news, commentary and public opinion, given that the network was in such dire financial straits.

The federal regulator will revisit Remstar’s news programming commitments during a public hearing that will be held in spring 2011.

From Playback Daily