The Weekly Briefing


The CRTC has renewed the licenses of eight Newcap Radio stations through 2024. The stations include CIXF-FM Brooks, AB; CFCW-AM Camrose, AB; CKDQ-AM Drumheller, AB; CFXH-FM Hinton, AB; CIZZ-FM Red Deer; CIGM-FM Sudbury; CILV-FM Ottawa; CJYQ-AM St. John’s, NL.

The CRTC has denied an application for a new transmitter in Scarborough, ON to rebroadcast York University campus radio station VIBE 105.5 (CHRY-FM) Downsview, ON. The application was made on the basis of better serving the eastern part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), however the commission found complaints about signal degradation from Pickering, Scarborough, Brampton and Mississauga fall outside the station’s service contours and reliable reception should not be expected in those cities.

The CRTC has approved an application from Peace River Broadcasting to operate an English-language FM commercial radio station to replace CKYL-AM Peace River, AB and its rebroadcasting transmitter CKYL-FM-1. The new FM station will operate at 94.9 MHz at 62,000 watts and will maintain the hot country music format currently offered on the AM station, targeting adults 18 to 54.

Eternacom has received CRTC approval for new FM rebroadcasting transmitters in Iroquois Falls, Sault Ste. Marie, Englehart, New Liskeard, Sundridge and Spring Bay, ON to rebroadcast Christian music specialty station CJTK-FM Sudbury. The transmitters must be operational before June 19, 2019.

Eric Boyko

Stingray Digital Group has unveiled plans to double its workforce over the next five years. Best known for its commercial-free music streaming service Stingray Music, the public company is focused on international growth, including the continued acquisition of rival services. The company plans to hire 400 new employees by 2022, adding to its existing workforce of 350. Founded by entrepreneur Eric Boyko in 2007, Stingray is based in Montreal’s old quarter with the company planning to double the size of its headquarters to 60,000 square feet.

CFUR-FM Prince George, the campus radio station at the University of Northern British Columbia, is offering free summer classes to youth ages 12-17 until July 28. This is the second year for the summer radio academy sessions, which give kids a taste of reporting, production, editing and podcasting. Fifty-thousand dollars in funding from the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) has made this year’s classes free of charge.

Coleman Hell, Tyler Shaw, The Strumbellas, and Billy Talent

Coleman Hell, Tyler Shaw, The Strumbellas, Billy Talent, Donovan Woods, and SonReal were among those who received 2017 SOCAN Awards on June 19, for most-performed songs, inclusive of broadcast and streaming. The teams behind global hits One Dance by Drake and Starboy by Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye were each honoured with Pop Music Awards. SOCAN will award Francophone music creators and publishers at a gala in Montréal in October.

Matt Galloway

CBC Radio Toronto Metro Morning host Matt Galloway returned to his alma mater York University on June 19 to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. Galloway graduated from York in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and began his career in radio at campus station  CHRY-FM.

Ross Porter

JAZZ.FM91 Toronto has won Gold, Silver and Bronze at the 2017 New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs Awards. The programs recognized include Sunday morning live music program The Sound of Jazz (Gold); Saturday morning’s Music To Listen To Jazz By with Ross Porter (Silver); and special Live to Air Tribute Concert to Leonard Cohen.

GoldenWest Radio’s CHVN-FM Winnipeg wrapped up two-day radiothon A Place to Grow last Friday in support of Camp Arnes. CHVN helped raise $40,500, enough money to send 1,620 kids to camp this summer.

iHeartRadio Canada is bringing a live music event to Vancouver with the inaugural, two-day iHeartRadio Beach Ball, Sept. 3-4 at the PNE Amphitheatre. The event will coincide with the annual Fair at the PNE and feature Alessia Cara, Scott Helman, Virginia to Vegas, Blondie, Serena Ryder and Train, among other acts.


Dave “The Maz” Mazmanian

Dave ‘The Maz’ Mazmanian, died June 17, at Toronto Western Hospital, following a stroke. Mazmanian started his broadcasting career in Chicago in the late 1960s, including WCFL-AM, before coming to Canada in 1970 where he was hired by Alan Waters at 1050 CHUM-AM Toronto. He went on to work for Capital-EMI, Harry Hinde Productions and Daffodil Records, before returning to radio and helping launch Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto.





Lisa Godfrey

You Gotta Eat Here! has been cancelled by Food Network Canada after five seasons. Lisa Godfrey, VP of Original Content for Corus Entertainment says the show has reached its “natural end.” Produced by Lone Eagle Entertainment, You Gotta Eat Here! was hosted by comedian John Catucci. The show joins HGTV Canada’s Timber Kings, Leave It to Bryan and Income Property as projects not renewed heading into the 2017-18 season.

A Tribe Called Red

A Tribe Called Red and Drake were the big winners at the 2017 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards. In its inaugural year partnering with Twitter, 12 awards were handed out via the social media platform during the live iHeartRadio MMVA Pre-Game, hosted by Much Digital Studios creators Alayna Fender, Dan Rodo, Marlon Palmer and Michael Rizzi. You can find the full list of winners here.

Star Trek: Discovery makes its Canadian broadcast premiere simultaneously on CTV and Space, Sept. 24. The 15-episode season will roll out in two chapters, with the first eight episodes running through Nov. 5 and the second chapter resuming in January. The series will stream exclusively in Canada on CraveTV. Star Trek: Discovery features a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology of the original series.

The National Film Board’s new three-year plan entitled Redefining the NFB’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples was launched on Tuesday. It calls for cross-cultural staff training, an increase in the number of Indigenous employees from two to 16 by 2025, and a commitment to spend 15 per cent of its production budget on Indigenous content.

Nearly 1 million viewers tuned in to Episode 8 of Bravo’s The Handmaid’s Tale on June 11. Now the most-watched, new program on Canadian entertainment specialty TV, the Toronto-shot series continues to recruit viewers as Numeris final data confirms an average of 794,000 viewers to date. The dystopian drama concludes its first season Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

The Quebecor Fund has named the Canadian production companies that will receive funding in the 34th-round of the Main Television Production Assistance Program (MPAP) following Apr. 3 submissions. Of the $2.8M to be disbursed, $1.8M has been granted to Attraction Images Productions IV Inc., Echo Media Charlie Inc., La Voix Télévision Inc. (Productions Déferlantes Inc.), Tshinanu Inc., Production Lustitia Inc., Les Productions Carpediem (Snowsnaps) inc., and Les Productions Passez Go III Inc. The seven selected productions will air on ICI Radio-Canada, TVO, TFO, Knowledge Network, TVA, APTN, Bell Media (Z Télé, RDS) and Corus (French Télétoon, English Teletoon and Treehouse). Under the TV format and concept development component, four projects have been selected to receive $990,912 in funding. The producers are Entourage Télévision Inc., Groupe PVP Inc., Productions Pixcom Inc. and Le Grand jeu Inc., with the support of broadcasters TVA, ICI Radio-Canada and Bell Media (Canal D).


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has categorically rejected a recommendation from Liberal members of the Commons heritage committee that Ottawa impose a five per cent tax on broadband Internet services. The report, 15 months in the making, included 20 recommendations aimed at helping the media industry adapt to shifting consumer habits. The committee argues a levy on broadband services would create a more level playing field because the tax is already applied to satellite and cable TV, however Trudeau dismissed it as another tax on the middle class. The report also called for CBC to eliminate digital advertising; a tax credit compensating print outlets for digital investment; and tax deductions for digital advertising on Canadian-owned platforms.

The CRTC has extended the deadline to Aug. 4 for Videotron to terminate its Unlimited Music plan, offering music streaming without impacting data usage. The commission had originally set a deadline of July 19, following its April ruling on differential pricing, preventing exempting certain content from data caps. Videotron had requested an allowance to grandfather contracts currently in place and alternately a revised compliance deadline of Jan. 31, 2018.

National Post and Financial Post have launched new websites, to be followed by mobile apps later this month to enhance the digital experience for readers and advertisers. As in the past eight years, National Post moves to a Tuesday to Saturday print publication through the summer months, and this year will continue that schedule beyond the summer, eliminating the Monday print edition as of July. New this summer is the introduction of a Monday ePaper edition, which will start publishing July 3.

Ashley Callingbull

Facebook Messenger has teamed up with notable Canadians from across the country to launch a series of Canada 150 art for the new Messenger camera. Designed to embody Canadian heritage, personality and national pride, collaborators include the first First Nations Mrs. Universe, Ashley Callingbull of Alberta, and Olympic mogul skiers the Dufour-Lapointe sisters from Quebec. From “My Ocean Playground” to “Tansi” which means ‘hello’ in Cree to “Sorry, it’s raining again,” each frame features a phrase that represents a different part of Canada.

Eastlink has expanded its Gigabit Internet availability to more communities across Canada, as part of its continued investment in its core fibre-based Internet service. Eastlink’s expansion of Gig Internet, which has been available in certain parts of NS and PEI since 2015, brings the service to the communities of Guysborough, NS, Port Hawkesbury, NS, Kirkland Lake, ON, Picton, ON, and Oliver, BC.

TVO has received international recognition with a 2017 International Serious Play Award for mPower, creative online games that teach fundamental K-6 math skills. TVO mPower was a Silver Medalist in the worldwide competition. Launched earlier this year, the games are now in the hands of over 46,000 K-6 students, and are available free to teachers throughout Ontario. The games use digital technology that adapts to each learner to help kids develop STEM skills while learning about the province’s communities and environment.


RTDNA has announced the winners of the 2017 national Edward R. Murrow Awards, recognizing outstanding work produced by radio, television and digital news organizations around the world. Among the Canadian outlets to be recognized at the awards in NYC on Oct. 9 are: 660 News (CFFR-AM) Calgary for Continuing Coverage of the Fort McMurray wildfire; Global News for Excellence in Innovation Multi-Market Content; and CTV News for Excellence in Sound Favela Violins.

Mélanie Joly

Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, has announced the creation of an independent committee to recommend qualified candidates to the CBC/Radio-Canada Board of Directors. The non-partisan committee, to be chaired by 45-year broadcasting veteran Tom Clark, is made up of experts in broadcasting and digital technology, and representatives of cultural sectors from across Canada. Prem Gill (BC); Carolyn Warren (Alberta); Janelle Wookey (Manitoba); Colm Feore, O.C. (Ontario); Marc Beaudet (Quebec); Monique Savoie (Quebec); Alanis Obomsawin, O.C., G.O.Q., C.A.L.Q. (Quebec); and Éric Larocque (New Brunswick) are also on the committee.

Jean-Pierre Blais

Outgoing CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais addressed staff for the last time on June 16, reflecting on his five years helming the regulator and the commission’s achievements under his leadership. Blais reiterated why he didn’t re-apply for the post, saying “I’ve done what I set out to do five years ago: to put the CRTC back on the path of building trust with Canadians and developing a world-class communication system with Canadians at its centre.” You can read his full speech here.

The CRTC is eliminating phone unlocking charges as of Dec. 1. All wireless customers will have the right to have their cellphones and other mobile devices unlocked free of charge upon request. In addition, all newly purchased devices must be provided unlocked. As well, updates to the trial period will allow customers who are unhappy to cancel their contract within 15 days and return their device in near-new condition at no cost, as long as they have used less than half their monthly usage limits. The CRTC also clarified certain rules around data overage and data roaming charges.

Mirko Bibic

Mirko Bibic, chief legal and regulatory officer and executive VP of Corporate Development for BCE Inc. and Bell Canada has been named Canadian General Counsel of the Year for 2017. Bibic joined Bell in 2004 as senior VP, Regulatory and has played a key role in the company’s broadband leadership strategy. The Canadian General Counsel Awards, presented by the National Post and ZSA Legal Recruitment, were announced June 15 in Toronto.

Michener Citations of Merit were presented by Canada’s Governor General David Johnston to The Toronto Star, CBC and Radio-Canada for joint submission The Panama Papers, the journalistic collaboration uncovering a sprawling network of offshore tax havens. The Canada Revenue Agency has since initiated 122 audits and dozens of criminal investigations dealing with individuals identified through the Panama Papers leak. You can read more about the 2016 Michener Award honours here.

Peter Mansbridge

CBC has unveiled its cross-platform Canada 150 programming for July 1. It includes a CBC News Special Presentation: Canada 2017 with Peter Mansbridge, Canada Day 150! From Coast To Coast To Coast, hosted by Rick Mercer, and special content and news coverage on CBC, CBC News Network, CBC Radio and