iHeartMedia Inc. which owns 858 radio stations in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy so it can restructure its debt, striking more than $10 billion from its balance sheet. Liberty Media Corp. is proposing acquiring a 40 per cent stake in the company for 1.15 billion. The move will not affect Bell Media’s use of the iHeartRadio brand in Canada. Other radio executives say the bankruptcy does not reflect on the medium. Entercom CEO David Field wrote an open letter to staff saying “radio is strong and ‘iHeart and Cumulus went bankrupt because years ago prior management teams made ill-advised decisions to place too much debt on their companies. Period, full stop.” Field further stated that radio is currently the top reaching medium in the U.S. with Americans listening to 13x more radio than all streaming services combined (source: Edison Media Research – Share of Ear study).
The CRTC has denied Evanov Radio’s application to increase the power of low-power Toronto station CIRR-FM, while decreasing power of CIDC-FM Orangeville. ISED determined the application was technically unacceptable.
The CRTC has denied Sirius XM Canada’s proposal to create a new fund for its discretionary tangible benefits. Instead of directing $4.79 in discretionary tangible benefits to the Broadcast Participation Fund (BPF), Sirius proposed allocating $1 million to the BPF and the rest to the newly-created SiriusXM Amp’d Fund/Fond Survolté. The CRTC decision directs Sirius to pay $596,666 to the BPF over five years and contribute $1,596,667 to FACTOR and $1,596,667 to MUSICACTION, to be expended in equal amounts over seven consecutive broadcast years.
89.5 the Lake (CJRL-FM) Kenora is celebrating 80 years of broadcasting. The station launched on April 1, 1938 as CKCA-AM from studios located in the Tourist Hotel, which later became known as the Kenricia Hotel. In 1943, Kenora Broadcasting Company Limited changed the call letters to CJRL. The station was known as 1220 CJRL until 2004 when it was converted to 89.5 MIX-FM by Fawcett Broadcasting. On June 30, 2011, MIX-FM was rebranded as 89.5 the Lake to honour the community’s connection with Lake of the Woods. The station will mark the anniversary with an All 80’s Music Weekend, Mar. 31- Apr. 1, with community members, former announcers and employees providing on-air birthday greetings.
Pop 107.7 “The Classic You Want To Hear” is gaining attention in Cape Breton. Founded by Adam MacLean, 15, who hails from New Waterford, NS, the online station has already found sponsorship and done on location remotes. Find it at thepop1077.com.
106.7 Rock (CJRX-FM) Lethbridge has launched the Roots of Rock podcast hosted by Shawn Tompkins. The series traces the history and influences of featured bands and draws from content from Rogers Radio rock stations.
iHeartRadio Canada has announced the lineup for the annual iHeartRadio FanFest, taking place May 11 at REBEL Nightclub in Toronto. In conjunction with Canadian Music Week (CMW), iHeartRadio FanFest will feature performances from Allie X, Belly, DVBBS, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine (The Launch), French Montana, Marianas Trench, Ria Mae, Shawn Hook, and Tyler Shaw. Tickets go on sale Friday.
A U.S. study by Westwood One and Nielsen Catalina Solutions has found that radio advertising delivered $12 in sales for every $1 spent on advertising. The study calibrated consumer purchase data from 90 million households with retail sales data and Nielsen radio ratings data to understand the influence on consumer behaviour. Heavy category users were most responsive to radio ads, driving an eight per cent lift in sales. Conducted with people 18+, the research examined purchase habits after being exposed to radio versus no exposure at all.
CBC will launch Music Day On CBC on Mar. 25, an all-day celebration of Canadian music across all platforms leading up to the live broadcast of the 2018 JUNO Awards. Featuring special programming across television, radio and online, Music Day will become an annual event and is part of CBC Music’s JUNO 365 content, which will spotlight homegrown music year-round. Music Day will culminate with the first-ever live broadcast of the JUNO Awards in all time zones across the country, starting at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on CBC. In another first, the awards will also be broadcast on both CBC Radio networks and livestream globally at cbcmusic.ca/junos.
CBC Music Festival returns to RBC Echo Beach in Toronto for its sixth year on May 26. The largest, all-Canadian music festival will include headliner July Talk, along with A Tribe Called Red, Charlotte Day Wilson, The Rural Alberta Advantage and Northern Touch All-Stars, among others. CBC Music Festival will stream the event live on cbcmusic.ca and via CBC Music’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
Benztown has announced its seventh annual Iron Imager Contest. Audio producers from around the world are invited to compete for the title of World’s Best Imager. Deadline for submissions is Monday, April 2 at 12 p.m. PT. Radio imaging, production, and programming pros aged 18 and older can apply here.
Mike MacDonald, 62, on Mar. 17 from heart complications. A veteran of Canadian stand up, MacDonald was a regular on the Just for Laughs stage, starring in his own CBC/Showtime specials Mike MacDonald, On Target, My House! My Rules and Happy As I Can Be. MacDonald hosted both the Gemini Awards and the Just For Laughs 10th Anniversary Special for the CBC. He also starred in short-lived CBC sitcom Mosquito Lake in 1989-90. Over the years, he also made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Arsenio Hall. Diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2011, MacDonald moved back to Ottawa from Glendale, CA, where he underwent a successful liver transplant. Despite struggling with memory loss and depression following the surgery, he went on to perform several hundred stand up shows.
Barrie Clark, 86, on Mar. 16, after a short battle with cancer. Clark got his start in broadcasting at CKOV Kelowna in 1949. From there he did stints at CHEX Peterborough, CJOR Vancouver, Reuters News Agency in London and then hosted various talk and television programming at CKLG, CKWX, CHAN-TV and CBUT Vancouver throughout the 1950s and early 60s. In 1963, he was elected as the city councillor for North Vancouver and three years later to the B.C. legislature, serving in the ministry of the Attorney General as the province’s first Rentalsman from 1973-76. Clark returned to talk radio in the late 70s, as a host on CKNW from 1977-86 and then at CJOR Vancouver and CKOV Kelowna. He re-entered politics in 1999, holding a city council seat in Kelowna until 2008.
The CRTC is seeking comments on Bell’s proposed acquisition of French-language television channels Historia and Séries+ from Corus. The proposed sale price is $202 million, with Bell requesting an exception to funnel 82.8 per cent of tangible benefits from the sale into its French-language production funds. The deadline for comment is Apr. 19.
The CRTC has approved the acquisition of GameTV by Remuda Media Inc. for $6.5 million. Anthem Sports & Entertainment, owned by former Canwest CEO Leonard Asper, purchased the channel in 2016.
CHCH-TV Hamilton will premiere new weekly half-hour program andPOP, starting Mar. 22. Based on Canadian video pop culture site andPOP.com, the show is produced by the creative team behind The Watchlist, led by producer Vithiya Murugadas and hosted by Brigitte Truong, host of the Cineplex VIP Pre Show. andPOP will cover the latest media and pop culture trends with episodes available online and on demand at andPOP.com.
The Canadian Society of Cinematographers (CSC) has released the list of nominees for the 61st Annual CSC Awards. Find this year’s nominees and special honourees here. The awards gala will take place Apr. 14 in Toronto.
CTV is airing special Songs & Stories: Jann Arden, in celebration of the release of the Canadian crooners latest album These Are The Days. Arden sits down with The Social’s Marci Ien for a personal one-on-one interview, airing Mar. 24 at 8 p.m. ET/MT on CTV, CTV.ca and CTV GO. An encore presentation of the special airs Mar. 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
Facebook is under investigation by Canada’s privacy watchdog following allegations that user data was obtained and manipulated by a company working on U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign. Daniel Therrien says his office has opened a formal investigation of Cambridge Analytica and whether the personal information of Facebook users in Canada was affected. The investigation will also look at whether Facebook is complying with Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin has addressed the right to be forgotten in the digital age after a request from a Calgary man to have a 2015 feature story on him removed. Enkin says CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices only allow for removal of a story under exceptional circumstances: “Our published content is a matter of public record. To change the content of previously published material alters that record. Altering the record could undermine our credibility and the public’s trust in our journalism.” Enkin says there can be exceptions where there are legal or personal safety considerations to the person named.
CBC News has launched Beyond 94, an immersive and interactive project on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. The website measures progress of the TRC’s 94 calls, highlighting residential school survivor stories, resources and examples of how Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians can work together towards the path of reconciliation. CBC is also hosting a series of public forums over the next week in Regina, Winnipeg and Yellowknife.
The Canadian Association of Journalists has condemned the actions of the Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau after the Mar. 13 arrest of Radio-Canada reporter Antoine Trépanier for alleged criminal harassment. Trépanier was arrested after the subject of a story he approached for comment filed a police complaint. He was released on a promise to appear in court and not contact the complainant. CAJ president Nick Taylor-Vaisey calls the arrest “troubling” in that Trepanier was just practicing responsible journalism. As of press time, the Crown was still reviewing whether to lay charges in the case.
Arrow Technology Group, Buried Glass, Beacon Broadband, Cardston County and Rigstar Communications are among the organizations receiving federal funding to bring 39 Alberta communities online or give them access to faster internet. Of the $22.5 million dollar investment in Alberta, $17.1 million will come from the Connect to Innovate program.
Ericsson, Ciena Canada, Thales Canada, IBM Canada, and CGI, along with Prompt, CEFRIO and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), are partnering to lay the groundwork for the first fifth generation wireless, abbreviated 5G, pre-commercial network platform in Canada. The $400 million dollar ENCQOR (Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Québec and Ontario for Research and Innovation) partnership is also receiving funding from the federal and provincial governments of Quebec and Ontario. Some of the money will go toward developing research centres in both provinces where small and medium enterprises, industry, government and academia can share work and office space, do research, and have access to 5G network infrastructure to develop new 5G-related products, processes and services.
Michel Bissonnette, executive vice-president, Radio-Canada has written an open letter affirming that the francophone arm of the public broadcaster is still relevant in the digital age. Bissonnette says ICI TOU.TV will continue to expand its content offering with a goal to becoming the benchmark for French-language video in Canada. Bissonnette writes “It is in our collective interest – we at Bell, Quebecor, Groupe V Média, Télé-Québec and Radio-Canada – to pool our strengths if we are to compete with the major international players and ensure that francophones continue to recognize their voices, their stories and themselves in the content they consume. Safeguarding our language and culture is our shared responsibility.”
The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) has set a deadline of Apr. 6 for its awards nominations. Nominations are open for the Gold Medal Award in Community Service for Radio, Television & Digital, Leader of Tomorrow and Broadcast Hall of Fame. Details on criteria for each award category is available at wab.ca.
Edison Research and Triton Digital’s first-ever Infinite Dial Canada webinar will take place on Apr. 4th, at 2 p.m. ET. The company is extending the methodology used in its long-running American study of consumer behaviors around media and technology to Canada. Trends measured include streaming media, radio, mobile media consumption, podcasting, and smart speakers. The webinar will be hosted by Tom Webster, Edison’s senior VP. Register here.
Broadcast Dialogue is proud to be the Media Sponsor of The Great Canadian Suite which is making its return at the Las Vegas National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show. Canadian attendees are invited to meet and mingle with us Monday evening April 9th (opening day) 6 p.m. – 9p.m.at the Flamingo Las Vegas. Limited tickets are available here. For sponsorship of the Great Canadian Suite and Broadcast Dialogue’s pre-, on-site-, and post-NAB coverage, go here.