Radio and Podcast News In Brief – List of Canadian networks opting to drop “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” grows

Bell, Rogers, Stingray, and CBC are among the Canadian networks opting not to add “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to holiday playlists this year. The classic duet had become a source of annual debate for the last few years over its predatory overtones. News emerged last week that Star 102 (WDOK-FM) Cleveland had pulled the song from its 24/7 Christmas music format in response to listener complaints. Other stations have since announced they’re following suit. Bell Media told Broadcast Dialogue that the song wasn’t scheduled across the network this year, while Stingray left the decision to play the tune up to individual program directors before deciding to pull it altogether. A spokesperson for Corus Radio said some of its stations are still playing the song in limited rotation. Read more here.

Roger Ashby

City of Toronto Mayor John Tory proclaimed Dec. 5 Roger Ashby Day. Wednesday marked Ashby’s retirement from CHUM Radio after five decades on Toronto airwaves. Watch highlights of Ashby’s retirement broadcast from Toronto’s Sheraton Grand Central Ballroom here. Bell Media president Randy Lennox announced that Ashby will return with his own curated stream on iHeartRadio Canada in the near future. Details are still to come.

Jon McComb celebrated 35 years with Corus NewsTalk station CKNW-AM Vancouver on Dec. 1. McComb landed at CKNW in 1983 after starting his career at age 17, spinning records at a station in Tucson, AZ where he attended high school. For the last five years, he’s been helming the CKNW morning show with co-host Niki Reitmayer. McComb’s former The World Today co-host Philip Till made a surprise visit to the NW studios to mark the occasion.

The CRTC has approved new Golden West Broadcasting station 91.5 FM Cochrane, AB, which will replace the Air 106.1 FM (CFIT-FM) Airdrie retransmitter. The station will offer a hybrid Country music format targeting adults aged 25-54, playing songs from the “80’s, 90’s and today.” The station will broadcast 126 hours of local programming each broadcast week, including almost 20 hours of spoken word programming devoted to local news and information, weather, sports, features and farm reports.

The CRTC won’t renew the licence for French-language community station CHOC-FM St-Rémi, Quebec, since it ceased operation in August after filing for bankruptcy. The commission is inviting interested parties to submit applications for new radio stations to serve the community.

The CRTC has denied an application from LS telcom Limited, on behalf of Aujourd’hui l’Espoir, for a new French-language Christian music radio station in Lachute, Quebec that would have used the same frequency as Indigenous community station CKHQ-FM Kanesatake. While the proposed station was committed to devoting 80 per cent of its broadcast week to local programming, it would not have offered news.

CKWR 98.5 FM Kitchener has had its broadcast licence renewed until 2020. The community station, which has a history of noncompliance, was under scrutiny for late implementation of the National Public Alerting System; insufficient Canadian content; and failure to submit annual returns from 2013 to 2017.

Glenn Knight

JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM) Toronto is facing a third lawsuit. Glenn Knight has filed suit against the non-profit station, claiming damages of $25,000 for breach of contract; aggravated mental distress, and/or punitive damages. Knight worked at the station for six years, most recently in a term position as program director, which ended in August. The suit follows a $420,000 wrongful-dismissal claim by former morning host Garvia Bailey, in addition to separate legal action led by a group set on overhauling the board of the registered charity. SaveJazz.FM is asking the courts to help it obtain the email addresses of approximately 2,200 donor-members so it can lobby them to have new appointees elected to the JAZZ.FM board of directors.

The annual Tree of Hope/l’Arbre de l’espoir radiothon on CBC/Radio-Canada Moncton raised more than $1.8 million on Nov. 30. Funds raised this year will support the the Dr. Léon-Richard Oncology Centre, which receives over 60,000 patient visits each year; satellite units in Edmundston, Campbellton, Bathurst and Caraquet; and the Mgr. Henri-Cormier Lodge, where over 1,800 patients stay for free each year, in addition to cancer research and healthy lifestyle promotion.

The CFOS Sun Times Christmas Fund Broadcast on Dec. 2 from Owen Sound’s Roxy Theatre raised over $19,619, with donations still coming in. It was the event’s 79th year.

Evanov Toronto stations Z103.5 (CIDC-FM), Jewel 88.5 (CKDX-FM), 103.9 Proud FM (CIRR-FM), and AM530 Multicultural Radio (CIAO-AM) have launched a campaign to Feed The GTA’s Hungry This Christmas. The stations will be gathering donations, packing food and delivering Christmas meals to the doorsteps of over 500 families in need.

C100 (CIOO-FM) Halifax’s annual Toy Drive will broadcast live Dec. 6-7 from local Cineplex locations, collecting new, unwrapped toys and financial donations in support of The Salvation Army. The C100 Toy Drive is a 20-year tradition.

Global News Radio 770 CHQR is hosting its annual Pledge Day radiothon Dec. 7 in support of the Calgary Children’s Foundation. From 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., listeners are encouraged to phone in or drop by the 770 CHQR studio to donate funds to local children’s charities. Corus sister station Q107 (CFGQ-FM) is also hosting the Q107 Gift Drive. Until Dec. 21, unwrapped gifts for all ages, especially 12 and up, are being accepted at the Q107 studios or any Bowest Appliance location. Global Calgary will turn its parking lot into a giant TV set on Dec. 12, broadcasting live from 6-9 a.m., collecting gifts and donations for the Magic of Christmas charity which, from its humble beginning 35 years ago, has grown to become a volunteer family of 1,100 Santas and elves who are sent out on Christmas Eve to visit over 500 families, and bring cheer to over 4,500 people in hospitals and other institutions.

Westwood One has commissioned research showing that women prefer hearing female voices in AM/FM radio ads. Four separate studies of 284 radio ads indicated women should have more of a starring role in audio creative. A random sample of the 100 top AM/FM radio advertisers on Oct. 11, 2018 found men voiced 72 per cent of the spots, with just 28 per cent voiced by women. The Advertising Benchmark Index (ABX) confirms the finding with their own 2018 study of 115 AM/FM radio ads. The results showed that both men and women preferred female voices in radio creative. Women responded more favourably to female voices by 14 per cent, while men responded more to the female-voiced radio ads by five per cent.

Apple is out with its Best Podcasts of 2018. Making the Canadian chart were: semi-prose; Home Cooked; TIFF Long Take (TIFF); Escaping NXIVM (CBC); The Big Story (Frequency Podcast Network); Sidenote (ASAPScience); Personal Best (CBC); Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo (CBC); Chosen Family (Phi Centre); Earth Rangers (Gen-Z Media); Thunder Bay (Canadland); and History of 1995 (Kathy Kenzora). Escaping NXIVM also made the list of Top 25 Most Downloaded Podcasts That Launched This Year, along with ICI Radio-Canada’s Grand écart. Four Canadian entries made the list of Top 25 Most Downloaded Podcasts Ever: The Current from CBC Radio (Highlights), Global News Podcast, Q: The Podcast from CBC Radio, and Radio-Canada’s Aujourd’hui l’histoire.

The Cannabis Show took home the award for Top Cannabis Podcast for the second year in a row at the Canadian Cannabis Awards (CCAs) Nov. 29 in Toronto. Hosted by former Calgary radio personality Chris Foord (Q107/CJAY 92), The Cannabis Show also claimed the honour of Top Cannabis Youtuber. Canadian Cannabis Update, hosted by Michael Pederson (whose day job is managing Calgary’s RED FM) and Legalized from public affairs and research firm Navigator, were runners up in the Top Podcast category.

The Coast, Halifax’s independent alt-weekly, has wrapped its podcasting experiment, releasing the 25th episode of its 25 For 25 podcast celebrating the publication’s 25th anniversary. The year-by-year audio archive delves into the stories that shaped Halifax over the past quarter-century, hosted by editors Jacob Boon and Tara Thorne. Their final guest is CTV Atlantic veteran anchor Steve Murphy who explores topics from the value of local news to whether or not he once took a helicopter to a family reunion.

Benztown has announced it will release the fifth annual Benztown 50 list of the top 50 voiceover artists in the U.S. and Canada. The Benztown 50 list is based on several criteria, including number of radio station affiliates, station size and market. Benztown has partnered with P1 Media Group to compile and analyze industry data to develop the list which will be released to the industry in early Feb. 2019. Voice talent can apply for the Benztown 50 from now through Dec. 21 at benztown.com/50.


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