The Weekly Briefing


Matt DeBeurs, Jacqueline Sweeney, and Chris Scheetz

CISN-FM Edmonton morning show crew Chris Scheetz, Jacqueline Sweeney and Matt DeBeurs were named On-Air Personalities Of The Year (Large Market) at the 2017 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards in Saskatoon on Sept. 10. Casey Clarke and Roo Phelps took home the Medium/Small Market award for New Country 100.7 (CIGV-FM) Kelowna. CKRY-FM Calgary and CHCQ-FM Belleville claimed the Radio Station Of The Year awards, with CHCQ-FM music director Paul Ferguson also claiming Music Director Of The Year (Small Market). Amanda Kingsland of CKBY-FM Ottawa won the Large Market honour. On the music side, Brett Kissel was the night’s big winner, with awards for both Male Artist Of The Year and Video Of The Year for I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair. Dean Brody won the Apple Music Fans’ Choice Award, while Meaghan Patrick claimed the SiriusXM Rising Star Award. View the complete list of winners here

Rickey Smiley

Winners of the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards were announced Sept. 7 in Austin. Rickey Smiley, host of this year’s awards show, was named Network/Syndicated Personality Of The Year, while Funkmaster Flex of WQHT-FM New York won Major Market Personality Of The Year. KSHE-FM St. Louis, MO was named Rock Station Of The Year. Find the full list of winners here.

The CTRC has approved an application by Native radio station CFWE-FM Edmonton to expand its services into Grande Prairie with a new FM transmitter. The new transmitter will rebroadcast CFWE’s current signal and will operate at 105.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) is inviting creative teams from member stations to create and produce a 30 second spot, either reminding listeners of the benefits of listening to radio OR demonstrating to businesses the benefits of radio advertising. The best of both ads will be played across Ontario, with the winners featured at the OAB Conference Awards Luncheon on Nov. 9 and rewarded with $500. Completed ads can be submitted by email to by Sept. 22.


Gretta Chambers

Gretta Chambers, 90, on Sept. 9. The first female chancellor of McGill University and a regular contributor to news programs and newspapers in Montreal in both official languages, Chambers started as a researcher and host on CBC Radio program The Province In Print from 1966 to 1980, a weekly program about Quebec events. She also wrote a weekly column for the Montreal Gazette from the late 1970s until 2002, and was host of weekly public affairs show The Editors on CFCF 12 from 1977 to 1980. She served as Chancellor of McGill from 1991 to 1999. Chambers was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1994, a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2000, and an Officer of the Ordre National du Québec in 1993.

David Graham

David R. Graham, 80, on Sept. 2, in Toronto. After finishing Harvard Business School, Graham applied for cable tv licenses in cities across Canada and with his partner, Jim Meekison, formed Cablecasting Limited, which became Canada’s fifth largest cable TV company serving cities in western Canada and rural Ontario. Cablecasting’s holdings included Greater Winnipeg Cablevision, Calgary Cable TV/FM, Thames Cablevision, Allview Cable Service, Graham Cable, and Lakeshore Community Television. Graham later acquired cable tv franchises for metropolitan Atlanta and Los Angeles. Graham sold his business interests to Shaw Communications Inc. in 1992. He had been living in London, England since 1980.

Katherine Kennedy Housser

Katherine Kennedy Housser, 70, on Sept. 10. Originally from Port Alberni, BC, Housser landed at CBC Radio and TV in St. John’s, NL in 1975 after studying at McGill University. Housser remained with CBC as a journalist and network news producer until her retirement in 2008. She returned to school at age 60, receiving her Masters in English Language and Literature from Memorial University.

Cal George

Cal George, 96, on July 23, in Penticton. George started his career at CHWK Chilliwack in 1942, moving to CKWX-AM Vancouver the same year, first as an operator and then announcer. He remained with the station until 1967, much of that time as midday host and is remembered for co-hosting the Neighbour Nina homemakers show with Nina Anthony, a popular casino giveaway show which offered cash prizes, and the Red White and Blue phone quiz weekday afternoons. George moved to CKOK-AM Penticton around 1970 when he was offered the morning show. He stayed with the station until his retirement in 1985.


Jill Golick

Canadian screenwriters and producers have agreed to extend the current agreement governing English-language screenwriting in Canada. The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and the Association Québécoise de la Production Médiatique (AQPM) have ratified an 18-month extension to the Independent Production Agreement (IPA), which will come into effect Jan. 1. It maintains the current terms, with a one per cent script fee increase in 2018, and now expires on June 30, 2019. In a press release, WGC president Jill Golick says between contentious CRTC decisions and the Canadian Content in a Digital World policy review, industry uncertainty makes it a less than ideal time for labour negotiations.

CBC announced Monday that it has ended the collection of both profit participation and retransmission royalties on all projects pre-licensed from Canadian independent producers, regardless of its level of investment. A statement says the move is the result of ongoing efforts by CBC and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) to ensure business terms better reflect the needs of creators and producers, balanced with the needs of the public broadcaster. CBC will apply the change retroactively to all deals signed after April 1, 2017.

CBC Sports has renewed its agreement with Spruce Meadows through the 2020 season that will see the network continue to offer coverage of The National, The North American and The Masters – part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – over the next three years. In addition, CBC Sports will continue to provide broadcast and live-streaming coverage of the three other events – CHIO Aachen, CHI Geneva and The Dutch Masters.

Deanne Foley, Rosemary House, Danishka Esterhazy, and Marie Clements

The CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund, in support of underrepresented, experienced filmmakers, has selected the next three feature films for funding: An Audience Of Chairs  from Deanne Foley and Rosemary House, an unflinching look at a woman’s struggle with mental illness; Level 16 by Danishka Esterhazy, a sci-fi thriller that uncovers the dark side of the beauty business; and Red Snow by Marie Clements, an epic international love story following a Gwich’in soldier in Afghanistan. All three films are also financially supported by Telefilm Canada.

Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland will receive an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Nov. 11. Over Sutherland’s six-decade career, he’s already earned two Golden Globes, an Emmy Award, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and an officer of the Order of Canada distinction. The 82-year-old actor was born in Saint John, N.B., but spent his teen years in Bridgewater, NS, working part-time at CKBW-AM Bridgewater, before leaving for university in Toronto to study drama

Joe Cornish

Double Negative has announced it will be opening a new studio in Montréal. Due to open in early 2018, it will be the visual effects company’s sixth international facility, joining its network of studios in London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Mumbai and Chennai, India. The Academy Award-winning company’s recent VFX credits include Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, Wonder Woman and The Mummy. The first film to be completed at the new Montréal studio will be The Kid Who Would Be King for director Joe Cornish, Twentieth Century Fox, Working Title and Big Talk.

Dave Hodge

TSN’s The Reporters has relaunched with a new half-hour format at 9 a.m. ET Sundays on TSN2. Broadcast live from the TSN 1050 (CHUM-AM) studio in Toronto, the show is simulcast on TSN 1200 (CFGO-AM) Ottawa and TSN 690 (CKGM-AM) Montreal, and available the same morning on TSN 1260 (CFRN-AM) Edmonton, TSN 1150 (CKOC-AM) Hamilton, TSN 1290 (CFRW-AM) Winnipeg and TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) Vancouver. Hosted by Dave Hodge with panellists Steve Simmons and Bruce Arthur, the previous iteration of the show premiered on TSN in Oct. 2002 on Sunday mornings, before moving to a Monday timeslot in Jan. 2016.

Patric Laprade

WWE and TVA Sports have announced a multi-year agreement to televise a weekly, one-hour edition of WWE’s flagship program Raw, in French, beginning Oct. 18. It will be called by Patric Laprade, joined on commentary by Kevin Raphael.

CHCH-TV Hamilton has picked up five seasons of Netflix series House Of Cards in a first for a conventional broadcaster in North America. The channel will air two episodes back-to-back each week. The CHCH fall schedule also includes FX series’ The Americans, Sleepy Hollow, Empire and The Strain.

Esther Enkin

CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin has sounded off on the bounds of good taste after a complaint about a film review on CBC Ottawa’s All in a Day. In reviewing Australian film Hounds of Love earlier this year, there was talk of rape, torture and violence, which the complainant found inappropriate to be broadcast at a time children might be listening. The review began with a warning, however the complainant also objected to the tone used by the reviewer and the host, Alan Neal as “light hearted.” Enkin says the language used and the framing of the review, while unsettling for some listeners, did not violate the journalistic standards of CBC.

Luc Déry, Kim McCraw, Kristy Neville, and Matt Code

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has announced the winners of the 2017 Indiescreen Awards. Kim McCraw and Luc Déry (micro_scope) received the CMPA Indiescreen Award in the Established Producer category for their collective body of work, including Incendies (2010), Monsieur Lazhar (2011) and A Worthy Companion, debuting in the TIFF Discovery Program. Kristy Neville and Matt Code (Wildling Pictures) received the CMPA Indiescreen Award in the Emerging Producer category, recognizing their early-career accomplishments, including first feature film Mary Goes Round, also premiering at TIFF.

Nanci MacLean

Bell Media Studios and Motion Content Group, GroupM’s global content investment and rights management company, have struck a strategic development and production partnership that will create new original programming for international markets. The initiative will be led by Nanci MacLean, VP and head of Bell Media Studios and Tony Moulsdale, director of programming for Motion Content Group.

Filmatique, the New York-based video streaming platform championing international cinema, has expanded to Canada. Launched in 2016, the OTT service releases one film every week, with films available to subscribers for six months following their release. The Canadian service will run $4.95 USD/month, with a one-month free trial. The first 1,000 users to sign up in Canada will get 25 per cent discount for the first three months, using code FLMTQCANADA.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa, have signed an agreement to establish a dedicated incentive for the codevelopment of audiovisual projects between Canadian and South African producers. Meantime, CMF and NZ On Air have announced the renewal of their partnership, now in its fourth year, to encourage the coproduction of digital media content between Canadian and New Zealand creators.

The CRTC has approved Canadian distribution of six new international TV channels, following applications by Ethnic Channels Group Limited. The channels include U.S.-based FashionBox and FunboxUHD and four offerings originating from Poland, including Polish-language Kino Polska International and English-language Gametoon Box. Multi-language Filmbox Arthouse features international independent cinema.

ONLINE/DIGITAL: says about one million Anglophones and Francophones, who used the Canoe sites between 1996 and 2008, have had their data breached. The free news and entertainment portal operated by MediaQMI Inc. and owned by Sun Media Corp., says the breach was discovered on Sept. 2 and while no financial information was involved, data like names, email addresses, mailing addresses and telephone numbers was. says it’s making efforts to find and contact users who may be affected.

Warner Music Canada has released a digital Mixtape Playlist Generator to mark its 50th anniversary. Using a base of 2000+ songs associated with the label over the past 50 years, music fans can put together personalized 20-song playlists on Spotify, based on genre, era and popularity. As part of celebrations of the company’s legacy as the first international territory in the Warner Music Group, the label has also released Covered In Gold 5.0: Side A, 14 Canadian songs released by Warner since 1967, covered by its artists. Covered In Gold 5.0: Side B will be released digitally later this month.

ideon media has been named the exclusive Canadian advertising partner for SheKnows Media, which owns and operates,, and Toronto-based ideon specializes in custom content programs and video production.



Ian Scott

Ian Scott has begun his term as CRTC chair and introduced himself to the public last week via a statement posted to the commission site. Scott touches on balancing consumer demand for high-speed Internet access, Canadian content, affordability and choice with allowing the communications industry a reasonable return on investment.

The Canadian Paralympic Broadcast Media Consortium has won the 2017 Paralympic Media Award in the broadcast category for its coverage of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The prize is awarded by the International Paralympic Committee to the TV or radio broadcaster that presented the highest quality and most dynamic coverage of Rio 2016. Consortium media partners included CBC/Radio-Canada, Sportsnet, Yahoo! Sports, AMI, SendtoNews, Videogami and Facebook Canada. The consortium provided over 1,200 hours of coverage to an audience of over 10.2 million, representing a 208 per cent increase over London 2012.

Paul Hunter, Gloria Macarenko, and Stephen Quinn

Finalists have been named for the 2017 Jack Webster Awards, with category winners to be announced at the 31st annual Jack Webster Awards dinner on Oct. 12 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. CBC’s Washington Correspondent Paul Hunter is the featured speaker, while CBC personalities Gloria Macarenko, host of BC Almanac, and Stephen Quinn, host of On The Coast, take on emcee duties. The 2017 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to The Vancouver Sun’s Kim Bolan. You can view the full list of finalists here.

The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Prairie Equity Scholarship deadline is Oct. 6. The scholarship is aimed at broadcast students from the Prairie provinces who are from groups underrepresented in the broadcast industry, namely women, Aboriginals, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. Applicants can access an application package through the website of any Pattison station on the Prairies, or through their post-secondary broadcast program.

Rogers has expanded wireless service and made network improvements in Abbotsford, BC around the Highstreet Shopping Centre on Mount Lehman Road. In addition, Rogers has turned on 700 MHz spectrum in the area, providing better coverage in hard to reach places like basements, elevators and buildings with thick concrete walls. The investment is one of several new Rogers wireless sites recently announced in British Columbia, including improvements for commuters on the SkyTrain in Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Kelowna.


XAPPmedia and SoCast have launched a new partnership to integrate XAPPmedia on SoCast’s digital platform for radio. This will enable radio stations on the SoCast platform to utilize voice-activation functions to engage with their audiences on devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. The company cites Edison Research data estimating that 75 per cent of American homes will have a smart speaker by 2020. That’s up from just seven per cent at the end of 2016.

Sheridan College and its industry partners have announced the full commercialization of SirtNet, a first-of-its-kind in Canada, fibre optic based collaboration network for the Ontario screen industries. SirtNet was developed as an applied research project by Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), in response to the Ontario screen industry’s need for a secure network that would allow production and postproduction teams to collaborate remotely from the start to finish of a film or television series. SirtNet now connects multiple Toronto studios and has been used in the production of more than four television series, including The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings, along with numerous feature films.