Rogers Radio has launched the Frequency Podcast Network and new original podcast series The Big Story. Available weekdays at 6 a.m. ET, The Big Story breaks down one critical story every day in 15 minutes. Hosted by Jordan Heath-Rawlings, director of Digital Radio & Audio for Rogers Media, topics will range from politics and entertainment, to sports, technology and human interest. Heath-Rawlings will be joined by a rotating roster of journalists from Rogers Media brands Maclean’s, MoneySense, Today’s Parent, Chatelaine, CityNews and Rogers Radio. Rogers intends to establish the network as a “home-base” for its podcasting content including Sportsnet offerings A Swing and a Belt with Dan Shulman and 31 Thoughts: The Podcast with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek.
Bell Media Radio has “refreshed” CHUM 104.5 Toronto. The live, on-air transformation from 104.5 CHUM FM to CHUM 104.5, was accompanied by a float in Toronto’s Pride Parade on June 24 featuring the station’s on-air hosts. Rob Farina, head of Radio Content, Strategy and iHeartRadio, says the move brings a “new energy to the CHUM brand…while continuing to deliver the pre-eminent pop music and programming [listeners] love.”
Ashiana Khan, morning show host and CEO of Surrey, BC-based Indian internet radio station Media Waves Communications, believes she was the victim of a drive-by shooting on June 23 because of her outspoken views on gang violence. Vancouver Police are investigating the 11 p.m. report of shots fired in the 17600 block of Fraser Highway. Khan was also one of the organizers of the “Wake Up” anti-gang violence rally at Surrey City Hall earlier this month following the death of two teens.
Esther Enkin has delivered her final report as CBC English Ombudsman. The annual report for 2017-18 finds that the office received 4,069 comments, complaints and expressions of concern. Of the roughly 3,185 within mandate, 877 were sent to programmers for response. Of the 81 reviews completed as of Mar. 31, Enkin found violation of policy or some room for improvement in 15 cases. CBC’s coverage of the Gerald Stanley murder trial elicited the most complaints with Enkin writing that there was a belief that CBC News deliberately downplayed the actions of Colten Boushie and his companions. Enkin writes: “If anything, the depth of mistrust, anger and fragmentation has deepened. The epithet of fake news is still pervasive…this is no longer a question of journalistic ethics; it is a question of views of the world rooted in identity politics and an intolerance of any alternative views…the amount of racist, nativist and misogynist correspondence is definitely on the rise. The challenge for me and for the journalists is to continue to address those Canadians who are not extreme and who feel their perspective and worldview is not being given proper consideration. There is a need to address the complexities and perplexities of modern life, a need to cut through the social media noise and provide Canadians with context and information to help them navigate this increasingly hostile environment.”
CBC/Radio-Canada French services ombudsman Guy Gendron received 1,297 complaints during the 2017–18 year. Of that number, 977 complaints concerned news content with 108 concerning the same news story: the suspension of actor Gilbert Sicotte by the Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Montréal following allegations of psychological harassment. Gendron referred 359 complaints to CBC/Radio-Canada French Services for reply, and in 20 cases the complainants remained dissatisfied. In five cases, a review found in favour of the complainant, either fully or partly. Gendron notes that a growing number of listeners and viewers contacting the office are concerned with the gradual, ongoing deterioration in the quality of French at Radio-Canada. The main complaints have to do with poor vocabulary, borrowing of terms from English, and overall laxity when it comes to respecting the elementary rules of grammar, both in general programming and newscasts. He also writes that television viewers have begun noticing the increased use of graphics containing the English names of Canadian public institutions (e.g., Bank of Canada, Supreme Court of Canada, National Gallery of Canada, Canada Revenue Agency) to illustrate news stories despite the fact they all have official designations in French.
The National Campus and Community Radio Association handed out 21 Community Radio Awards in broadcast and online during its annual conference in Fredericton, June 6-10. CJRU-AM Toronto won the Community Engagement award for its #ChangeTheWorld national radio marathon which put the experiences of youth at the forefront. New music programming awards went to CJSW-FM Calgary for Unprocessed, which focuses on breaking down the barriers to classical music and A World of Chant from CFUZ-FM Penticton, which takes listeners on an audio journey from culture to culture. The Volunteer of the Year award was given to Ben Lai at CITR-FM Vancouver for over 24 years of volunteer service. Gunargie O’Sullivan was this year’s inductee into the Community Radio Hall of Legends, recognized for her work bridging the gap between community radio stations and their indigenous communities, both within Vancouver and at the national level.
Rogers’ Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM) Ottawa flipped to Shania 101.1 for the day on June 25 in honour of Shania Twain playing the nation’s capital. Starting at 6 a.m., every piece of station imaging was changed to reflect its new name…from news, traffic and weather intros to station IDs and splitters. In addition to playing Shania every hour, the station aired a 6 p.m. Up Close & Personal with Shania, followed by 100 per cent Shania tunes before and after the concert, up until midnight.
Vista Radio stations 94.3 The Goat (CIRX-FM) Prince George, Country 97 (CJCI-FM) Prince George, and Valley Country AM (CIVH-AM) Vanderhoof, BC helped raise $60,419 on June 20-21 during the 2018 Variety BC Radiothon. Over the 14 years the radiothon has been held, more than $800,000 has been raised.
CFAM Altona, MB raised $860 to help offset the cost of running summer programs at the local Youth for Christ drop-in centre through a vinyl record sale. The sale was held during the Golden West Broadcasting station’s First Day of Summer BBQ on June 21.
SiriusXM Canada is launching limited run channel Dave Matthews Band Radio on July 2. Broadcast on channel 3, Dave Matthews Band Radio will feature music from the band’s extensive career, live and demo tracks, and musical influences, in addition to the DMB Friday Night Concert Series – four live concerts to air on Friday nights in July.