Does CTV News have a bias against Westjet?

Old Oct 31, 18, 9:32 am
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Does CTV News have a bias against Westjet?

I was interested to read two separate news stories which appear on ctvnews.ca today.

The first story deals with Air Canada’s Q3 financial results, noting that profits for the third quarter of 2018 (at $645m) are down from those of the previous year ($1.72b). This reflects a drop of 37.5 percent. The headline states “Air Canada Q3 Profit Down”

The second story reports on Westjet’s Q3 results. Westjet reported 2018 profits of $45.9m, down from profits of $135.9m for Q3 2017. This reflects a drop of 33.7 percent. The headline states “Westjet Profits Take Massive Plunge”

Both airlines saw year-over-year profits for the quarter decline. Air Canada's profits declined more than Westjet's did. So why does Westjet get the sensational headline?

Does CTV News have a bias here?
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Old Oct 31, 18, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by Symmetre View Post
I was interested to read two separate news stories which appear on ctvnews.ca today.

The first story deals with Air Canada’s Q3 financial results, noting that profits for the third quarter of 2018 (at $645m) are down from those of the previous year ($1.72b). This reflects a drop of 37.5 percent. The headline states “Air Canada Q3 Profit Down”

The second story reports on Westjet’s Q3 results. Westjet reported 2018 profits of $45.9m, down from profits of $135.9m for Q3 2017. This reflects a drop of 33.7 percent. The headline states “Westjet Profits Take Massive Plunge”

Both airlines saw year-over-year profits for the quarter decline. Air Canada's profits declined more than Westjet's did. So why does Westjet get the sensational headline?

Does CTV News have a bias here?
If your numbers are correct - your calculations are not.

AC profit of $645M vs $1.72B is a drop of 37.5% as you say.
WestJet profit of $45.9M vs $135.9 is a drop of 66.2%.

So, yes, WestJet profits dropped quite substantially more than AC's.
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Old Oct 31, 18, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
If your numbers are correct - your calculations are not.

AC profit of $645M vs $1.72B is a drop of 37.5% as you say.
WestJet profit of $45.9M vs $135.9 is a drop of 66.2%.

So, yes, WestJet profits dropped quite substantially more than AC's.
If you are going to criticize the maths then get it right yourself...

S/he made the same error on both, calculating this year as a percentage of last year's. To get the yoy percentage fall then it would be 1- this calculated number.

The point still stands (although I think OP is reading too much into it)
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Old Oct 31, 18, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by ajeleonard View Post
If you are going to criticize the maths then get it right yourself...

S/he made the same error on both, calculating this year as a percentage of last year's. To get the yoy percentage fall then it would be 1- this calculated number.

The point still stands (although I think OP is reading too much into it)
Air Canada drop in profit is (1720-645)/1720 = 0.625 (62.5%)
WestJet drop in profit is (135.9-45.9)/135.9 = 0.662 (66.2%)
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Old Oct 31, 18, 12:42 pm
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Fair enough, guilty as charged and I'll readily admit math was never my strong suit. But while my calculation was off, my numbers and aerobod's essentially say the same thing - the difference between AC's drop and Westjet's drop was somewhere around four percent. It doesn't seem enough of a difference to warrant one being a "massive plunge" and another being a rather uneventful "profit down."

Not reading anything into it ... I just don't understand what makes one a catastrophe and the other a footnote.

Last edited by Symmetre; Oct 31, 18 at 12:43 pm Reason: btw, thanks for the math lesson!
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Old Oct 31, 18, 12:53 pm
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The other interesting footnote for Air Canada is the $293m sale of the E190s increased their Q3 profitability. That being said they still had better margins than WestJet, although Q3 is normally their best quarter by far.
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Old Oct 31, 18, 1:46 pm
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Are they articles written by the same reporter? Are the reporters as bad at math as many FTer's?

As the famous quote says, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
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Old Oct 31, 18, 3:13 pm
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I've heard talking heads refer to a 1-2% drop in the stock market as a "plunge."
Along with other fear mongering adjectives.

Besides, CBC already has a hate on for AC. Therefore CTV gets the spoils.
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Old Oct 31, 18, 3:21 pm
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One headline does not make a bias.
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Old Oct 31, 18, 5:21 pm
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[QUOTE=robsaw;30377568]If your numbers are correct - your calculations are not.

AC profit of $645M vs $1.72B is a drop of 37.5% as you say.
WestJet profit of $45.9M vs $135.9 is a drop of 66.2%.

So, yes, WestJet profits dropped quite substantially more than AC's.[/QUOTE

The CTV news report is just bad. First, they reported AC operating profit in US$ and everything else’s in CDN $. Also, AC 2017 3Q operating profit was not $1.72 B, but $965m. So, just looking at the numbers, Westjet did take a major hit compared to AC.
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Old Oct 31, 18, 8:45 pm
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“Air Canada Q3 Profit Down” is a statement of fact.

“Westjet Profits Take Massive Plunge” is a statement of fact slanted by editorializing.

One is objective reporting, the other is reporting in which the reporter's objectivity has been compromised.
But keep in mind that authors of news reports and authors of headlines are not necessarily the same person. One is trying to report the news. The other is trying to sell the news.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
“Air Canada Q3 Profit Down” is a statement of fact.

“Westjet Profits Take Massive Plunge” is a statement of fact slanted by editorializing.

I would say they are both a statement of fact.

Air Canada’s 3Q profit dropped to $876m from $965m

Westjet 3Q profit dropped to &45.9m from $135.9
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Old Nov 1, 18, 9:58 am
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OP asks an interesting question because for years the perception has always been a media bias exists against Canada's largest airline while WS has enjoyed relatively little critical commentary.

I don't think on this one article a blanket media bias can be construed but that's merely MHO.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by ajeleonard View Post
If you are going to criticize the maths then get it right yourself...

S/he made the same error on both, calculating this year as a percentage of last year's. To get the yoy percentage fall then it would be 1- this calculated number.

The point still stands (although I think OP is reading too much into it)
Oh !!!!

Butter-fingers on the calculator keypad. My apologies.

Actually, I think there are more interesting trends apart from the last Q3 comparison.

Westjet had a rare loss in Q2 that has been reversed but still some distance away from their typical good Q3 performance.

AC also had a challenging Q3 compared to what is typically a good quarter for them.

Real question is where will AC end up the year compared to Westjet given that Q4 is typically weaker and has often produced a loss for AC but some profits at Westjet. What are their forecasts for the year?

Last edited by robsaw; Nov 1, 18 at 10:12 am Reason: More comments
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Old Nov 3, 18, 11:19 am
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At least more people are questioning the motives of the presstitutes in the MSM.I would interpret it as a slight towards WS myself and I am not a WS fanboy either. That's just how I read it.

Of course there is bias.....in almost every article they write.
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