The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Andy Oudman

CJBK-AM London talk host Andy Oudman has apologized on-air after several female politicians and advocacy groups accused him, in an open letter, of verbal abuse and harassment of women. Signed by three female city councillors, London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen and representatives of Anova, the London Abused Women’s Centre and Women and Politics, the group vowed to boycott Oudman’s afternoon talk show until parent company Bell Media “takes appropriate action to ensure women are treated with respect.” CJBK management says the company has spoken with Oudman at length, including a review of the station’s on-air code of conduct.

Corus London stations helped raise $100,207 for the London Children’s Hospital during last week’s Corus Radiothon. The fundraiser was broadcast on 980 CFPL (CFPL-AM), FM96 (CFPL-FM), Country 104 (CKDK-FM) and 103.1 Fresh radio (CFHK-FM). 

93.5 The Move (CFXJ-FM) Toronto is planning a one-day radio event on Toronto’s birthday dubbed The MADE IN TORONTO Takeover. On Mar. 6 from 6 a.m. to midnight ET, the station’s playlist will feature only artists from the Greater Toronto Area, including Drake, The Weeknd, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Tory Lanez, Daniel Caesar, Roy Wood$, Alessia Cara, Jessie Reyez, and others. Emerging artists can submit their music at 935themove.com to be considered for airplay during The MADE IN TORONTO Takeover.

Edison Research says its new study shows country radio listeners are are more likely to listen to AM/FM radio stations on a smart speaker device than the general population. Using a combination of studies performed for Country Radio Seminar and previous studies with NPR, Edison found 48 per cent of country fans with smart speakers had used them to listen to AM/FM radio in the week before they were contacted, higher than the 43 per cent of all listeners who used their smart speakers for broadcast radio. The study also found only 25 per cent of country smart speaker owners were aware of an AM/FM radio station that offers a smart speaker skill.

SiriusXM Canada has launched its SiriusXM’s Top of the Country music competition in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). The cross-Canada search will give participating acts a chance to play at Canada’s biggest country music festivals, industry mentorship programs, a SOCAN songwriting camp in Nashville, plus the grand prize of $25,000 and a SOCAN songwriting camp in Pender Island, BC. Canadian country solo artists and groups can register at siriusxm.ca/topcountry until midnight ET on Mar. 2.

SiriusXM Canada and Laugh Out Loud, the comedy brand and multi-platform network created by Kevin Hart and Lionsgate, have launched a new SiriusXM channel. Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio is on SiriusXM channel 96 and features Straight from The Hart, a talk show hosted by the comedian.

 

SIGN-OFFS:

John Valorzi

John Valorzi, 65, on Feb. 6. Valorzi joined The Canadian Press in 1980 as a temporary reporter-editor but was hired on full-time later that year. He moved to the business department in 1981.

In 1987, he became CP’s Washington correspondent and went on to roles as Ontario news editor in 1991, Halifax bureau chief in 1993 and Toronto business editor from 1996 until retirement in 2012.

Tina Louise Bomberry


Tina Louise Bomberry,
52, on Feb. 10. The Six Nations actress was best known for her role on CBC TV series North of 60. Bomberry played Rosie Deela on the seriesfor six seasons from 1992-97. Trained at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and Ryerson University, Bomberry’s career began with a walk-on role in the 1989 movie Where the Spirit Lives. Other screen credits included TV movies Medicine River, Song of Hiawatha, crime drama Blue Murder and the 2005 TV movie Shania, A Life in Eight Albums.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Christina Jennings

Shaftesbury CEO Christina Jennings will be honoured with the 2018 Canadian Film Centre Award for Creative Excellence. Jennings founded Shaftesbury, the company behind Murdoch Mysteries, and other television, film and web series, in 1987. Shaftesbury titles are sold in 120 countries. Jennings will receive her award on Mar. 21 at a reception in Los Angeles.

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, have announced the launch of BritBox in Canada. The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service offers what it bills as the largest collection of British TV available, including classics Doctor Who, Poirot and Keeping Up Appearances.

AMI is launching a new wellness-focused documentary series called Mind Set Go. The series follows eight Canadians as they tackle their obesity over a three-month wellness journey. Fitness experts Lowell and Julie Taylor (Amazing Race Canada), along with Canadian paralympians and athletes who have used a positive mindset to overcome their own barriers, provide insight to participants along the way. An Anaïd Production, Mind Set Go airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT starting Mar. 8 on AMI-tv.

Lionsgate reported revenue of $1.14 billion for the third quarter of 2018, net income attributable to shareholders of $193 million, operating income of $80 million, and free cash flow of $140 million in the quarter, while paying down $113 million of corporate debt. Net income and basic EPS include a one-time income tax benefit of $165 million reflecting the impact of the lower U.S. income tax rate under new tax laws. Revenue in the quarter increased 52 per cent  year-over-year, however due to Lionsgate’s acquisition of Starz, fiscal 2018 third quarter results are not directly comparable to prior reporting periods. Media Networks segment revenues increased 6 per cent to $382.9 million driven by higher over-the-top (OTT) revenue growth and revenues from worldwide digital media licensing arrangements. Motion Picture segment revenues increased 14 per cent to $539.1 million due to the strong box office performance of Wonder and continued strong international performances of La La Land and American Assassin

DHX Media Ltd. reported its second quarter and first six-month results for the period ended Dec. 31, 2017. Revenue for Q2 2018 grew by 55 per cent to $121.9 million, compared to Q2 2017, which included four per cent organic growth, and 51 per cent acquisitive growth mainly from Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake.  For H1 2018, revenue rose by 66 per cent to $220.6 million. For Q2 2018, adjusted EBITDA was as expected, at $32 million with net income reported at $7.4 million.  In H1 2018, adjusted EBITDA was $54.8 million and net income at $15.6 million.

APTN is bringing back 1990s Canadian TV drama North of 60. The network will start airing the entire six seasons starting Feb. 19, after receiving numerous letters over the years from the show’s fans, in addition to a change.org petition with 1,500 signatures lobbying to bring the show back to the small screen. Created and produced by Barbara Samuels and Wayne Grigsby, North of 60 stars Tina Keeper, Tom Jackson, Tracey Cook and Gordon Tootoosis, among others.

Videotron has reached a last-minute deal with AMC to keep the channel in its lineup. Videotron announced Friday it’s reached a new deal with the cable channel, which is home to popular original series like The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul. Videotron will offer AMC on free preview until Feb. 28.

City TV and OMNI Television workers, represented by Unifor in Toronto, have voted 84 per cent to ratify a new tentative agreement with Rogers Media. The three-year agreement covers 288 media workers, including camera operators, hosts, reporters, editors, production assistants, writers, switchers and other production crew. It offers a two per cent wage increase retroactive to Nov. 1, 2017, 1.75 per cent in each of the next two years, and additional two per cent wage increases in 2020 and 2021.

CBC has ordered a second season of culinary competition The Great Canadian Baking Show. Bakers can apply online for a chance to participate in the upcoming season. Based on the hit British format and produced by Proper Television, Season 2 begins production in Toronto in summer 2018 and will air on CBC in the fall.

 

Jinny Harris

Jonny Harris of CBC’s Still Standing and Murdoch Mysteries and Emma Hunter of The Comedy Network’s The Beaverton and CBC’s Mr. D, will co-host the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala live on CBC on Mar. 11. The Canadian Academy and CBC also announced Insight Production Company, as their production partner for the broadcast.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has received a $1.9 million grant from the Knight Foundation to research the future of television news. The grant will fund initiatives aimed at ensuring TV news outlets remain competitive in broadcast and digital storytelling.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

The Supreme Court will not order CBC to unpublish a story from its website after the public broadcaster was charged with criminal contempt of court for refusing to do so. The case centered around publication of the photo of a 14-year-old homicide victim, whose identity was later placed under a publication ban after a man was charged in her death. The ruling has been hailed as a victory for freedom of expression, as well as online publishers.

Facebook lost daily users for the first time ever in the U.S. and Canada, with its daily active user base falling for the first time ever in the fourth quarter to 184 million from 185 million in the previous quarter. Overall, Facebook’s daily active user audience was up 32 million people in the fourth quarter,  the smallest quarter-over-quarter increase in two years.

The Canada Media Fund is investing $3.5 million in 16 web series. Part of its Web Series Pilot Program to develop linear content for online consumption, nine of the series are in English and seven in French. View a list of the projects here.

GENERAL:

 

The CRTC has dismissed a complaint by Ebox against Bell Media, but says Bell does have an obligation to offer its television channels to distributors at commercially reasonable terms. In its complaint, Ebox alleged that Bell Media was providing its programming to Videotron, Shaw, Rogers and Cogeco in the service areas where Ebox was preparing to launch, while refusing to provide its services to Ebox. Read the full decision here.

BCE Inc. announced a 5.2 per cent common share dividend increase to $3.02 per year, following results for Q4 and full-year 2017. BCE reported net earnings of $617 million and adjusted net earnings of $684 million, up 2.5 per cent. Bell welcomed more than 1.26 million new broadband wireless, TV and Internet customers in 2017, and 235,000 in the fourth quarter. BCE also wrote down the value of some Bell Media specialty TV channels and radio stations by $82 million, which was attributed to ongoing audience decline and a soft advertising market.

Canadian Music Week (CMW) and Friends of Steve Young will once again salute Steve with the Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Award in Honour of Steve Young. This is the 10th annual award recognizing Canada’s outstanding young broadcasters. Anyone in the industry can nominate any worthy broadcaster that meets the award criteria. Deadline for entries is Mar. 12 at midnight ET.

The National Association of Broadcasters is launching Broadcast Innovation Stories, a new campaign to highlight cutting-edge technological advancements in the broadcast television and radio industries. The campaign features 10 video profiles focusing on people in the broadcasting industry working on innovative technologies that provide programming to viewers and listeners in unique ways. The first video in the series on KING-TV Seattle’s production of the first virtual reality mini-documentary in local news, is available here.

Pierre Péladeau

Quebecor founder Pierre Péladeau’s name will grace the amphitheatre at the Fondation du centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montreal after a $15 million donation to the foundation’s Donnons-nous le meilleur de la santé capital fundraising campaign. The landmark donation is the largest philanthropic commitment made since the foundation was created in 1998.

NAIT Radio and Television program alumni are being asked to touch base with NAIT’s Alumni Office as the RTA program gets set to celebrate its 50th anniversary. A 50-year reunion is set to take place May 12 in Edmonton. From 1968 to 2018, NAIT’s RTA program has boasted over 2,000 graduates.