Bill Evanov, president and chief executive officer of Evanov Radio Group (ERG), is celebrating 50 years in broadcasting. Evanov, whose stations now number 18 in four provinces, spent his first 10 years in radio working in sales at Johnny Lombardi’s ethnic station, CHIN Toronto. Later, he became sales manager and eventually took on overall administration. He went on to operate CING-FM Burlington where he turned a money-losing operation into a station with over 800,000 weekly listeners. His first acquisition for what would become ERG was CKMW Brampton, now CIAO Toronto. In 2011, Evanov was presented with the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award.
CBC/Radio-Canada’s Board of Directors has selected the Broccolini group to build the new Maison de Radio-Canada in Montreal and Groupe Mach to purchase the western part of the large property currently occupied by the public broadcaster’s facilities. Located at the corner of René-Lévesque Blvd and Papineau Ave., the site revitalization plan calls for green spaces and rooftops, a four-storey atrium, eco-friendly water and energy management and preservation of the Radio-Canada tower, to be converted for new use. The transactions are still subject to Treasury Board approval. Construction is forecast to start next September and be complete by early 2020.
The CRTC has approved licensing of two new ethnic radio stations to serve Surrey and Vancouver. Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. has been cleared to operate a new ethnic commercial AM radio station to serve Vancouver. The CRTC also approved Akash Broadcasting Inc. for a new ethnic commercial specialty FM radio station to serve Surrey. Further, the CRTC will allow South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for ethnic commercial specialty station CKYE-FM Vancouver by adding an FM rebroadcasting transmitter in Surrey.
Submissions for the 52nd Annual Crystals Radio Awards open Dec. 5. The 2017 awards, recognizing agency advertising, copywriting, station imaging and production, will take place April 19 at TIFF Bell LightBox and will be hosted by Alan Cross.
Judy Maddren has been honoured with a Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division) by Governor General David Johnston. The former CBC Radio announcer was recognized for the charity readings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, she started organizing in 1989, raising funds for food banks, shelters and other community organizations. Maddren joined the CBC in 1972 and from 1993 to 2009 hosted national morning newscast World Report. She’s now retired to Stratford, ON.
CBC Information Morning Moncton kicked off the 16th annual Tree of Hope radiothon on Nov. 25, raising $186,814 for cancer research before passing the baton to ICI Radio-Canada Première hosts Amélie Gosselin and Samuel Chiasson. A total of $1,505,365 was raised by the end of the 10-hour broadcast. The funds will support the work of the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont Hospital Foundation.
The CRTC has given notice it will hold a hearing Feb. 17 to consider three license applications. KCVI Educational Radio Station Inc.’s low power community station CKVI-FM Kingston wishes power increase; Radio 1540 Limited has applied to operate a commercial ethnic specialty FM radio station in Toronto; Gimaa Giigidoowin Communications has applied for a change in the ownership and control of CHYF-FM M’Chigeeng, following acquisition of its assets in January. Deadline for interventions and comments is Jan. 16.
Jukasa Radio 93.5 FM (CJKS-FM) Oshweken, ON officially launched Oct. 27 after starting broadcasts from Six Nations on Feb. 22. Jukasa plays a mix of Top 40, Hip Hop and R&B. The station is operated by not-for-profit Arrow Radio Inc. and has about a dozen employees, roughly half from Six Nations.
The CRTC has issued a notice of consultation on the request to change the ownership structure by Sirius XM Canada Holdings Inc. The proposed transaction would result in the licensee ceasing to be a publicly traded corporation. Under the proposed reorganization, a new Canadian corporation would be capitalized by Obelysk Media Inc. (33.5%) and Slaight Communications Inc. (33.5%), being the two continuing Canadian shareholders, and by Sirius XM Radio Inc. (SXM-US – 33%). The proposed transaction purchase price would be set at about $236.4 million. Deadline for interventions is Jan. 9.
An average of 3.9 million viewers tuned in to The 104th Grey Cup on TSN with another 254,000 watching the French-language broadcast on RDS, according to preliminary data from Numeris. Nationwide, the average audience for the game grew 15 per cent among male viewers aged 18-34, and grew four per cent among male viewers 18-49. Live streaming audiences on TSN Digital platforms marked an increase of 35 per cent compared to last year.
Ginella Massa made history last week when she became the first Canadian woman to anchor a mainstream television newscast while wearing a hijab. The 29-year-old was asked to fill in on the anchor desk for CITY Toronto’s CityNews 11 p.m. broadcast last week. Massa started her career as a television reporter in 2015 at CTV News Kitchener, moving to CityNews earlier this year.
Lionsgate has signed a new long-term output deal with China’s largest online video platform iQIYI. The agreement covers subscription (SVOD), transactional (TVOD) and advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) rights for films streaming on iQIYI’s platform in China, which has over half a billion users. iQIYI will have streaming and broadcast rights in China to Lionsgate theatrical titles covered by the agreement and will promote them on its platform.
Netflix has told Canadian Heritage’s public consultation on homegrown content in a digital world, it shouldn’t be regulated due to its substantial investments in Canada. In a submission last week, the streaming company made the argument, saying it’s commissioned millions in original programming to be produced in Canada. CBC-TV is among those partnering with Netflix to simultaneously air upcoming series Anne and mini-series Alias Grace internationally, allowing CBC to boost production budgets. Other Netflix Canadian co-commissions include Travelers, Frontier and Degrassi: Next Class.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has outlined its vision for the future of Canadian content in a digital world. Its submission to Canadian Heritage consultations outlined 12 recommendations including updated policy ensuring all services and platforms benefitting from being part of the Canadian system also contribute to its success, like Over-The-Top (OTT) services and Internet Services Providers (ISPs); relief from the heavy administrative burden faced by producers, through reduced duplication between Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, and the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office; and an expanded definition of Canadian content that includes points for adaptation of a bestselling Canadian novel, as well as tax credit incentives to maximize the use of Canadian creative talent.
CBC/Radio-Canada has shared its contribution to the government’s public consultation on the future of Canadian content in a digital world, recommending removing advertising from its airwaves. The public broadcaster says that would allow it to focus squarely on the cultural impact of its mandate and free up ad revenue to help private media companies transition to a digital environment. In turn, it recommends increasing per person funding to CBC/Radio-Canada to $46, an increase of $12 per Canadian or $400 million annually.
Breakthrough Entertainment’s Anne of Green Gables and DHX Media’s Kate & Mim-Mim and Slugterra are the winners of the 11th annual Shaw Rocket Prize for the best in screen-based kids and youth programming. Each was awarded a $25,000 prize. Since 2004, the Rocket Fund has handed out $550,000 in prize money.
Eastlink is billing its new TV Channel Exchange feature as a first in North America. Subscribers to the Essentials Plus or Maestro bundle can now swap out channels they don’t watch or want in their TV lineup, choosing from over 150 selections. Eastlink’s TV Channel Exchange launched in Halifax, Sudbury and Alberta this week, with other markets across Canada to come online early in 2017.
Based on the popularity of The Bachelorette Canada, Sunwing is offering a Beyond The Rose package, giving fans of the W Network show the chance to follow in Jasmine Lorimer’s footsteps in Varadero, Cuba where the two-part finale was shot.
Kelly Boyd, in Edmonton, after health struggles during his final years. A longtime general manager with CJOK/CKYX Fort McMurray, Boyd retired in Dec. 2006 during the ownership transition of the stations from OK Radio Group to Rogers Media. He is remembered as a highly professional and passionate broadcaster who clearly believed in the connection between running a radio station and being truly connected to the community.
Russell Oughtred, 69, died suddenly at his home in Vancouver Nov. 26. Russell got his start in radio news in Medicine Hat, AB, then moved into television at the CTV Lethbridge bureau. He later moved to CTV Calgary, where he spent most of the 1980s, before going to CBC Calgary. Russell loved the art of visual storytelling and was a master in the use of natural sound and moving pictures. He had been living in Vancouver since the mid 1990s.
David Valentine, 52, on Nov. 26 in Edmonton after a lengthy fight with cancer. Born in Swift Current, SK, David started his broadcasting career in 1987 as an announcer and operator at QR77 (CHQR-AM) in Calgary. In 1990, he moved into television, working as a VTR operator at RDTV Red Deer. He went on to A Channel Edmonton (now City) in 1997 where he worked in operations until 2015. Valentine was also involved with Big Valley Jamboree as a member of the production crew from 2010-2015 with Habit Productions. A GoFundMe page set up for Valentine’s family is just shy of its $20K fundraising goal.
Conservative Party leadership candidates took aim at the country’s public broadcaster last week with Kellie Leitch pitching a plan to scrap the CBC entirely. A day after rival Maxime Bernier called for fundamental reforms including barring CBC/Radio-Canada from selling advertising and capping public funding at $1 billion, Leitch said those won’t go far enough. She says an uneven media landscape has been created by the CBC both consuming ad revenue and having its operations underwritten by the taxpayer.
Julie Tremblay, president & CEO of TVA Group, has commented on the CBC/Radio-Canada submission suggesting the public broadcaster wants to have its cake and eat it too by taking on less financial risk with no limit on its ability to compete with private broadcasters. Tremblay is calling for CBC/Radio-Canada’s mandate to be reviewed and clarified. Taking inspiration from the BBC, TVA believes the public broadcaster should be required to carry “distinctive” programming that services geographically and demographically diverse audiences. TVA also wants CBC’s mandate to consider the impact of its actions on other members of Canada’s broadcasting ecosystem and be held accountable to meet certain guidelines.
RTDNA Canada has issued a call for its Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service and continued excellence during the course of a more than 30-year career in journalism or news management. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 31. The nomination form is here.
The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications (CCTS) has released its annual report for 2015/2016, with wireless billing complaints once again topping the list. There were a total of 15,761 complaints, but that number has been reduced dramatically which CCTS attributes to a desire by service providers to keep their numbers low. Rogers leads the way with complaints falling by 52.5 per cent year over year.
The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund has completed its second round of grants, approving $667,000 in funding to six new projects designed to improve accessibility to broadcast media for Canadians with disabilities. Among the organizations receiving funding is the Canadian Hearing Society, which will research and develop practical recommendations on making emergency broadcasting accessible for deaf and hard of hearing consumers.
The late Don Chevrier was inducted into the Football Reporters of Canada Hall of Fame last Sunday. TSN broadcaster Chris Cuthbert presented the induction plaque to Chevrier’s son Jeff at the annual FRC breakfast. Chevrier had a remarkable 52-year career doing play-by-play and covering numerous Olympics, the Kentucky Derby and heavyweight title fights for networks including CBC, CTV, ABC, NBC and ESPN. He called his first Grey Cup game in 1969, doing Canadian Football League radio and TV broadcasts for four decades. Chevrier also called the very first Toronto Blue Jays game and was the longtime host of ABC Radio’s World of Sports show. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 69.
Yahoo Canada has released its Year In Review, highlighting the top news stories, personalities and topics that captured Canadians’ attention this year. Politics dominated the top news searches of 2016 with Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau and Hillary Clinton the most searched news topics, followed by the Fort McMurray fire. Overall top searches were led by the Canadian dollar, followed by the NHL and Toronto Blue Jays. Prince, Gord Downie & The Tragically Hip, Celine Dion and Taylor Swift were the most searched celebrities.
DHX Media and Ipsos have unveiled results from a survey of 2,700 parents in the US, Canada and UK to illuminate how children age 0-12 consume entertainment content and brands. The survey found kids have embraced mobile on-demand viewing and that tablets are their preferred screen. In the households surveyed, 72 per cent of children’s daily viewing is from streaming services such as YouTube or Netflix, while 40 per cent of kids use smartphones to consume their content. The survey also found that YouTube is the most popular streaming platform among respondents, followed closely by Netflix.
CBC says it’s creating a more civil user experience on cbc.ca by leveraging a tool called Civility Solution from Toronto-based Viafoura. The user experience management tool offers email verification, display name, avatar moderation, and user muting. CBC says it has been able to increase the number of ‘real’ people engaging in ‘real’ conversations, reduce the number of trolls, spammers and bots, and improve the quality of interactions and discourse on the site.
Momentum Media Networks and SparkNetworks are merging their syndicated programs, services and tools. The merger is effective Jan. 1 and will see Pat Bohn, president of SparkNetworks, consult Momentum on syndication, content development, and marketing opportunities. Vancouver-based Momentum offers media marketing and content creation services. The company also owns Broadcast Dialogue. Read the release here.
Triton Digital has announced Western Media Group (WMG) will exclusively operate Triton’s programmatic audio advertising exchange, a2x, in Canada. The partnership will enable advertisers and agencies throughout Canada to buy digital audio advertising programmatically and scale their campaigns across any number of Canadian and international publishers through a single exchange.
Montreal-based Accedian has won two leading industry awards for its SkyLIGHT platform, the communication industry’s first virtualized network performance assurance solution. SkyLIGHT was chosen by the judges of the 2016 Fierce Innovation Awards as the winning entry for the “Network Test and Measurement” category. In addition, Accedian won the “Best Test & Measurement Award” in the annual 5G & LTE America Awards at the 5G North America conference last month in Dallas, Texas.