Four years ago I read on Twitter that I was out of a job.
Someone had leaked the news to a rival news agency that the Sun News Network was being shut down. It was a depressing way to learn it, though I imagine there was no good way. It was pretty sad, but frankly, no-one was surprised.
We had been euthanized by the CRTC. Our owner, Quebecor, had pumped, I don’t know, $50 million into us, on the expectation that we’d be treated the same way by the government regulator as the two existing all-news channels owned by CTV and CBC Newsworld.
But we weren’t.
Like I say, we all knew the end was coming. So I had been thinking a bit about possibilities of life after the Sun, and that day, when we were all commiserating, I invited some of my colleagues to come to my house to see if we could hammer out a plan to keep the momentum going online that we had on TV.
I knew our audience wasn’t huge — because of course the CRTC had ensured we were hard to find, hard to order, and in many cases, simply not available. But we had built up a loyal audience over the years, and I knew we had to catch them quickly to let them know we had a plan.
So we immediately put up a video, just to let people know we were working on it.
We started making videos, very home-made, almost all of them outside, and it was as cold four years ago as it is now. My old studio had cost more than a million bucks to build; it had huge robotic cameras that cost more than a quarter million bucks each. At Sun News, it was 200 people — including, for example, a make-up team!
Well, none of that at The Rebel — we used $2,000 hand-held video cameras, edited things on our laptops, and uploaded videos to YouTube. We knew we had to go ultra low cost to survive.
We became, and we still are, the largest YouTube news channel in Canada, measured by the number of our subscribers — we now have over 1.1 million. But YouTube has punished us, by cutting off ads to us — not just to us, but to all conservative news sites. But they haven’t banned us yet; and they in fact have sent us plaques commemorating our huge milestones.
We have now, actually, been operating the Rebel for longer than Sun News was on the air. We’ve published more than 11,000 videos and we upload around ten more every day.
TONIGHT I'll look back at our last four years, and how far we have come.
As we mark our fourth anniversary — and enter our fifth year — we do so stronger than we ever have been. And, if I may say so, more needed than ever. With Trudeau paying off the mainstream media with his slush fund, and social media companies censoring conservatives, our Rebel voice is needed, in Canada, and even around the world.
Thank you to our staff; thank you to our crowdfunding donors. Thank you to our on-air talent, who are routinely abused in public, either through mere slander, or, unfortunately, actually physical attacks — including David Menzies, just last week.
Thank you to everyone who believed in us.
And most of all — thank you, our viewers. You are the reason we do this.
And I hope we will continue to serve you for years to come.
Happy birthday to us — I promise you, we’ll keep fighting for freedom...
NEXT: Commentator Pardes Seleh joins me to talk about the scandals coming to the surface now that Democrat Amy Klobuchar has declared her run for the presidency in 2020.
It hasn't taken long for many of Klobuchar's former employees to come forward with strange and disturbing allegations about what kind of boss she was. Is this really someone we want running the United States?
FINALLY: Your messages to me!