Radio & Podcast News – Stingray introduces new regional morning show in B.C. Interior

Stingray has introduced a new, live, regional morning show in the B.C. Interior that will be co-hosted by Casey Clarke. Clarke, who is known across the country for his syndicated country shows – The Casey Clarke Show and The Casey Clarke Country Countdown – has been morning show host and program director at Stingray’s Country 100.7 (CIGV-FM) Kelowna since 2013. As of June 24, Clarke is now heard mornings across Stingray’s stations in the Okanagan and Thompson Valley including Penticton and Keremeos (New Country 98.9), Princeton (New Country 98.1), Kamloops (New Country 103.1), and Kelowna (New Country 100.7). Clarke’s co-host is Dana Thompson, who has been co-hosting mornings on Evanov’s Hot Country 105 (CKHZ-FM) Halifax since 2015. Marissa Lyons also joins the show each morning with segments from Kamloops. Stingray made a similar move in January to syndicate morning shows across its Real Country and boom-branded stations in rural Alberta. While the changes have resulted in the re-introduction of the morning co-host role in Kelowna, one announcer in Kamloops is a casualty of the new format. Read more here.

The CRTC has renewed the licence for Montreal French-language community station CIBL-FM despite financial problems that led to the station laying off all of its staff in early 2018. The commission says the three-year, short term renewal will allow the station time to meet several areas of non-compliance, including spoken word programming quotas. The station says it intends to hire staff over the next year, which will allow it to further expand its programming. CIBL-FM has been around since 1980 and helped launch the careers of several well-known Quebec media personalities like Jean-Rene Dufort and Marie-France Bazzo.

The Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit has officially opened in Edmonton. Named for the longtime general manager of 630 CHED and spearheaded by the Jerry Forbes Centre Foundation, the centre will provide an affordable, collective workspace for 18 Edmonton not-for-profit organizations, including the 630 CHED Santas Anonymous program which Forbes established in 1956. The groups will be able to share expenses in the $12 million dollar, 93,000-square-foot warehouse, which has been 12 years in the making.

iHeartRadio Canada is now boasting more than 250,000 podcasts available to stream on the app and at iHeartRadio.ca, ranging from Bell Media Originals like The Jay and Dan Podcast to Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend and The Ron Burgundy Podcast. The app is also offering newly-added podcast charts, push notifications to alert users when new podcast episodes drop, and curated recommendations based on music, stations, and other podcasts you’re listening to. 

SiriusXM is offering a new “Essential” subscription package targeting listeners who want to access the satellite radio service from their mobile phone, tablet, desktop, or on connected devices like smart speakers, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, or Sony PlayStation. The new low cost, streaming-only package is being offered at $1 for the first three months and $8/month thereafter to meet demand from what SiriusXM terms the “growing universe of listeners streaming audio entertainment.” Up until now, SiriusXM has largely focused its marketing on the in-car audio experience. Subscribers to the Essential package will get SiriusXM’s full lineup of music programming, featuring 200+ channels, including the new Pandora NOW channel, which showcases the most popular and fastest-trending new music on Pandora – the largest streaming music provider in the U.S. which SiriusXM acquired earlier this year. The Essential package also features more than 100 recently added SiriusXM Xtra channels that offer the ability to skip songs. Read more here.

Lake 88.1 FM (CHLK-FM) Perth, ON held its first-ever Radiothon in May in support of the local hospitals in Perth, Smiths Falls, Almonte and Carleton Place, and Community Health Centres in Portland, Westport, Lanark and Merrickville. Lake 88 general manager Brian Perkin says the 12-hour live event raised $118,000 for local healthcare. 

Edison Research and NPR have released the latest Smart Audio Report which finds privacy concerns are getting in the way of more smart speaker ownership. Privacy concerns for those who don’t own a smart speaker are higher than they’ve ever been with 63% of those surveyed worried hackers could use smart speakers to access their home or personal information, up from 41% in 2017, while 55% say it bothers them that smart speakers are always listening, up from 38% in 2017. Fifty-five per cent of owners said they’re using their devices to listen to more audio, with many using the smart speaker in place of having TV on in the background while they do other things. The top 10 weekly requests noted were playing music (77%), getting the weather (75%), answering a general question (74%), followed by setting a timer or alarm or checking the time, which were tied at 53%. Listening to AM/FM radio came in at 37%. Read more here.

Ipsos has released a new research study commissioned by iHeartMedia“Day in the life Audio Journey” – that says consumer interest in audio is at an all-time high. Conducted in March, the in-depth multi-platform study explores daily audio usage and habits of Americans ranging from ages 13-64. It concludes that radio continues to reach more people than any other media both daily and weekly. On a weekly basis, broadcast radio reaches 85% of consumers, surpassing all other audio channels, including social media (68%) and live television (56%). The research also says that radio accounts for two times the daily listening of streaming services, reaching 69% of consumers compared to streaming music’s 34%.

On Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast highlights from the Numeris Town Hall at the recent Western Association of Broadcasters’ Conference. Those in attendance got to pose some hard questions about the incoming shift to year-round measurement to Numeris CEO Neil McEneaney; John Vavaroutsos, VP Member Services; and Courtney Heuvelmans, Member Services for Western Canada.


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