Marie Slaight, daughter of broadcast mogul Allan Slaight, is calling for the board of directors of troubled Toronto non-profit station JAZZ.FM (CJRT-FM) to be dissolved. Slaight, 63, runs Australian arts production company Altaire Productions and Publications. In an Aug. 17 letter to the JAZZ.FM board, leaked to the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail, Slaight says the only solution to the station’s problems is to “dissolve the board in its entirety” following allegations of bullying and misconduct made in March by a group of 13 current and former employees relating to former station CEO and president Ross Porter. Responding to the Star’s story, Slaight said the sole intention of the letter was to raise the issues and hopefully work to resolve them. “The goal was to ensure that this unique, non-profit radio station continues to serve listeners with the playing of great jazz, promoting up-and-coming talent and serving the community through education and outreach programs,” reads the statement. Slaight donated $250,000 last year to name a studio at JAZZ.FM in her father’s honour.
Garvia Bailey, former host of JAZZ.FM morning show Good Morning Toronto, is suing the station for wrongful dismissal. In her statement of claim, Bailey seeks $420,000 in damages. Bailey hosted the show from 2014, up until this past April.
Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM) Ottawa has launched a “girl-power hour” shining the spotlight on female country artists. The Rogers’ station says the weeknight program will highlight current female country stars, as well as old favourites and interview clips.
CJ104 (CJSB-FM) Swan River, MB staff have begun downtown night patrols after an anonymous threat to burn the station down, preceded by a rash of break-ins and break-in attempts. A Facebook post says staff have been patrolling the area around the station’s vehicles due to “the lack of police presence in Swan River” with at least “one member who is licensed to carry firearms.” Station owner Bill Gade says he has instructed staff to “use lethal force if necessary” to protect themselves. Swan River RCMP became aware of the post on Aug. 24, and say promoting armed vigilante activity is not acceptable.
Fairchild Calgary TV and radio host Kumar Sharma says he was the victim of a swarming attack he believes is related to his coverage of the provincial nomination race in Calgary-Falconridge. Sharma, who hosts Politics 101 on FM 94.7 (CHKF-FM), says the attack happened on Aug. 19 as he was leaving an outdoor concert. Sharma alleges he was confronted by two men who he says are supporters of Hardyal Singh Happy Mann, a United Conservative Party nomination candidate. Calgary police are investigating. Mann, who has yet to be formally approved to run for the UCP, says he intends to start legal action against Sharma for defamation.
The Vancouver Canadians have inducted longtime SportsTalk host Dan Russell into the team’s broadcast hall of fame. Russell, 57, was the nightly voice of sports talk radio in Vancouver for nearly 30 years, most of that time on CKNW-AM Vancouver and affiliate stations throughout B.C. The longtime baseball devotee was honoured at a ceremony prior to last weekend’s game against the Boise Hawks.
The Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has delved into the podcast listening habits of anglophone Canadians, finding that 24 per cent have listened to a podcast in the past month – double the medium’s penetration in 2011. Those numbers are up from 20 per cent in the latter part of 2017, while just 12 per cent of French-speaking Canadians could say they’d recently listened to a podcast. Younger generations (18-37), affluent households and those who are university educated are more likely to appreciate the podcast medium. The data from the Podcasting Report comes primarily from the phone portion of MTM’s Spring 2018 survey.
CBC has unveiled its fall 2018 podcast slate of new and returning shows, highlighted by the fifth season of its hit true crime series Someone Knows Something, as well as a new offering featuring an 11-year-old host. Based on data from Sumo Logic, the public broadcaster says its 20 series, in genres ranging from human interest to audio fiction, are now downloaded 16 million times per month. Doubling down on its success in the true crime genre, new additions for fall include Uncover: Escaping NXIVM, an investigation into the controversial alleged cult and its leader Keith Raniere, including one woman’s journey to get out. Also new is Player’s Own Voice from CBC Sports, featuring intimate interviews with Canadian athletes. Returning favourites include The Secret Life of Canada, Other People’s Problems (Season 2), and Love Me (Season 3). Read more here.
LiveWire, Calgary’s newest online community news site, has launched an accompanying monthly radio show LiveWire-d in Calgary on University of Calgary campus station CJSW-FM. LiveWire founder Darren Krause, former editor of Metro Calgary, hosts. LiveWire also has plans to launch a new long-form podcast Sept. 4, hosted by Josh White, former advisor to Mayor Naheed Nenshi, featuring interviews with Calgary newsmakers.
The Vancouver Podcast Festival will make its debut Nov. 8-10 with three days of panels, workshops and live podcast presentations and tapings. Presented by DOXA, Vancouver’s non-profit Documentary Media Society, the theme of the inaugural event is “True Crime, True Justice.” In partnership with CBC Podcasts, the festival will bring some of its most popular offerings to Vancouver for the first time, including acclaimed series Someone Knows Something and Uncover: Escaping NXIVM, a new investigative podcast about the alleged cult. The festival will also collaborate with Kelly&Kelly, producers of hit shows This is That and This Sounds Serious, to present a one-night only improvised true crime podcast with some of the city’s most talented comedians.