The Weekly Briefing


Ruby Carr

Ruby Carr of Newcap Vancouver is this year’s Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year, in memory of radio programmer Steve Young. A prominent member of the Ruby, Leslie and Scooter morning show on Z-95 (CKZZ-FM), Carr moved to Vancouver from Halifax in 2014, and has quickly established herself, devoting personal time to charitable endeavours in support of mental health initiatives at BC Women’s Hospital, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the BCSPCA. Carr will be recognised during the Industry Award dinner on May 10 and presented with her award at the Radio Talent session. Lauren Hunter of SONiC 102.9 (CHDI-FM) Edmonton and Jax Irwin of KiSS 92.5 (CKIS-FM) Toronto were runner ups this year.

CJFX/XFM Antigonish, NS marked its 75th anniversary on Mar. 25. The station held an open house on Mar. 23 with on-air announcers Paul Van, Gerard MacDonald, Joe Chesal, GM and longtime Inside Sports host Ken Farrell and former on-air personalities Ray ‘Mac’ MacDonald and Freeman Roach in attendance, among others. CJFX began broadcasting on Mar. 25, 1943, and continued on-air at 580 AM for 60 years. The variety station was a pioneer in broadcasting educational programming and live music in its early years. The 98.9 FM signal first went on the air in 1998 to correct coverage issues and rebroadcast the AM programming. In 2003, CJFX made 98.9 FM its main signal. 

KiSS 100.5 (CHUR-FM) North Bay host Kevin Oschefski was on air for 29 hours during this year’s Rotary4Kids Radiothon. Wrapping up on Mar. 29, the event raised over $71,000. This was the 16th year the Rotary Club of North Bay has organized the fundraiser in partnership with the Nipissing Association for Disabled Youth.

MajikBus Entertainment is releasing several rare, long-unavailable albums under license from CBC/Radio-Canada. Diving into the CBC vault, the first three releases in the Transcription Records Series feature Judy Singh, the Emile Normand Sextet and Perth County Conspiracy. They’re available at the MajikBus store on PledgeMusic. MajikBus is promising more vinyl and box set releases anthologizing the depth of material from the CBC archives, featuring Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane and more.

Irving Azoff

SiriusXM has debuted a new talk show from Irving Azoff, music dealmaker and talent manager to some of the biggest names in the record industry, called Unmanageable. Featured on the VOLUME channel, the show features conversation on everything from ticket prices to technology, artists’ rights and the current state of live and recorded music. Unmanageable debuted this week with special guests Jon Bon Jovi, director Judd Apatow and CAA’s head of music Rob Light.


Bev Munro

Bev Munro, 89, on Apr. 4. Munro’s career started at CKX Brandon, MB as a country music disc jockey. He eventually landed at CFCW-AM Camrose where he spent 30 years behind the microphone. As morning host, he started the popular Mystery Artist Request Line and his famous knee-slapper jokes. In 1959, Munro was named Mr. DJ USA, along with Ralph Emery at WSM Nashville, an honour that no other Canadian DJ has earned. In his spare time, Munro played local dances and shows with his band, eventually scoring a recording contract with Capitol Records. His first hit was Hello Operator, followed by other popular songs for R. Harlan Smith, Chris Nielsen, Hank Smith and Bill Hersh. Munro also spent a lot of time on the road with the road over the years as an MC with the Alberta Country Music Legends.

Leslie John Fuller

Leslie John Fuller, 94, on Mar. 9. Fuller trained with the J. Arthur Rank organization in England prior to moving to Canada and joining CBC Vancouver in the 1950s. Fuller’s career with the public broadcaster as a film editor lasted nearly 30 years.  



Nanci MacLean

Bell Media Studios is acquiring a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios, in partnership with Comweb Studio Holdings, Castlepoint and the City of Toronto. The deal sees Bell acquire a majority stake in the 33.5 acre (13.5 hectares) facility in Toronto’s Port Lands, including one of the largest sound stages in North America. Nanci MacLean, VP and head of Bell Media Studios, will oversee operations at Pinewood Toronto Studios. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DHX Brands, the brand management and consumer products arm of DHX Media, has announced the new Teletubbies series has been picked up by South Korea’s leading public broadcaster KBS. The deal comes on the heels of broadcast and consumer products deals for Teletubbies in China, where the series is seen on popular streaming services iQIYI, Youku, Tencent and others.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that airing a commercial for the horror movie Annabelle: Creation before 9 p.m. did not breach the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code. The viewer complaint, referencing airing of the commercial on TSN at 7:30 p.m. MT in Aug. 2017, surrounded the ad’s appropriateness for broadcast during family programming. The 30-second trailer contained images of a creepy-looking doll, a young girl’s wheelchair being pushed by an unseen figure, objects flying around a room, and a nun being thrown into a wall by a unseen force. The CBSC’s English-Language Panel agreed that the ad was intense and frightening, but found it did not contain the level of gore or graphic-ness that would make it intended exclusively for adults.  

Derik Murray

Network Media Group and Network Entertainment have acquired exclusive rights to produce a feature documentary on the life and legacy of legendary pop-funk-rock star Sylvester Stewart, better known as Sly Stone. The film is the latest from Network Entertainment’s Derik Murray, who is behind a slate of feature docs including I Am MLK Jr. on the Paramount Network on Apr. 4 and the recently announced I Am Paul Walker, also for the Paramount Network. UTA will sell domestic and international rights to the film.

Network Media Group and Network Entertainment reported record revenues of $5.3 million for Fiscal 2017, and EBITDA of $549,616. Company CEO Derik Murray says while a net loss of $323,163 was posted, it was the result of a number of non-cash items such as stock-based compensation, amortization and interest on debt.  

CBC and Warner Bros. International Television Production have announced the return of the Format Incubator for a third round. Through Apr. 23, Canadian producers are invited to submit ideas for original primetime unscripted formats with strong Canadian and international appeal. Full submission details are available at Chosen formats will benefit from development and creative editorial support, and an expedited distribution process to bring their concept to the international market.

CBC Sports has entered into a sub-licensing agreement with DAZN Canada to provide Canadian broadcast coverage of the upcoming XXI Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, Apr. 4-15. CBC will have live coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and highlights of key events and performances by Canada’s athletes and para-athletes, from Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville. DAZN Canada will stream more than 400 hours of live event coverage, exclusively on its platform. All CBC broadcasts will be simultaneously live-streamed at and via the CBC Sports app.

Lloyd Robertson and Steve Anthony

Lloyd Robertson was on his way to CP24 on Mar. 29 to say goodbye to Breakfast Television host Steve Anthony when he got into a crash on the Don Valley Parkway. The former CTV News senior anchor later gave CP24 an interview from the scene, in which he reported details of the crash in his good-humoured, unflappable style. Watch the clip here.



Torstar Corporation is launching a major national expansion with a reinvention of its Metro urban commuter papers and more robust digital offerings. Torstar says it will hire 20 new reporters to join existing Metro newsrooms in western Canada. Effective Apr. 10, the free Metro free dailys will be rebranded as StarMetro Vancouver, StarMetro Calgary, StarMetro Edmonton, StarMetro Toronto and StarMetro Halifax. Torstar says it’s also significantly expanding its digital offerings in the five cities, with a focus on local news and investigative pieces in a “seamless print-to-digital experience.”

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has published a poll that finds the right to access news outweighs personal reputation considerations when it comes to online news stories. The Maru/Matchbox survey of more than 1,500 people found that 74 per cent believe broadly that Canadians’ right to access news overrides the right to remove accurate and lawful stories that have a negative impact on a person’s reputation. A more specific question involved removing a story if an individual is concerned about an accurate news story affecting his/her personal reputation. In that case, public opinion was more polarized: 58 per cent believed a search engine should not be required to remove it, while 42 per cent believed it should.

Spotify has gone public, predicting it will end 2018 with as many as 96 million paid subscribers, up from 71 million last year. The music streaming service also has its sights set on boosting revenue to $6.6 billion, with its pitch to investors that with growth, it will be able to leverage better terms with the big music labels.

Pier-Luc Funk and Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse

Groupe Média TFO, ICI Radio-Canada Télé and Frima Originals have premiered Canadian comic book hero Jon Le Bon. Adapted for television and digital platforms, the series follows the successful comic by author Alex A. The famous James Bond-inspired secret agent will now be featured on TFO and the TFLIX TFO YouTube channel for 10 90-second episodes. Voicing the wacky character is famous comedian Pier-Luc Funk, alongside Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse in the role of espionage expert Bulle.


Shaw Communications is among those lauding the new 600 MHz wireless spectrum auction framework announcement by Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Scheduled for March 2019, the auction of the airwaves that carry cellular signals, will set aside 43 per cent of spectrum for regional competitors and potential new market entrants.

The CRTC says wireless service providers will be required to participate in the National Public Alerting System (NPAS) and distribute wireless public alert messages on their LTE networks as of Apr. 6. Nationwide testing will start in early May to help Canadians distinguish the alerts from regular text messages. By Apr. 2019, all mobile devices sold are expected to be alert-capable.

Richard Branson

Virgin Mobile Canada has opened submissions for the first-ever Canadian edition of the global Pitch to Rich contest, giving aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to win a meeting with Richard Branson and $10,000 toward their business idea. Until Apr. 24, Canadians can submit a short elevator pitch for their mobile-related business idea by visiting Branson will be part of the team who will review the submissions and hand-pick the grand prize winner to be announced May 1.

APTN, CBC News Edmonton and CBC’s The National are among those with multiple nominations heading into the Canadian Association of Journalists’ 2017 CAJ Awards. The recipients in each category will be announced May 5 at the CAJ Awards gala and conference banquet in Toronto. Find the full list of nominees here.

Ad Standards is out with its 2017 Ad Complaints Report Year in Review. Consumers submitted 1,808 complaints, of which 1,172 complaints met the criteria for acceptance under the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. They included: complaints in which no specific advertisement was identified; complaints about advertisements that were no longer current; complaints about foreign advertising or political or election advertising; and complaints about advertisements that did not meet the Code definition of advertising. In 2017, 575 complaints were further investigated. Of those, 173 complaints were upheld. You can read the full report here.

The 2018 Canadian ISP Summit, presented by the Canadian Network Operators Consortium (CNOC) has issued a call for content in keeping with the theme of this year’s theme Beyond Connectivity. Set for Nov. 5-7 in Toronto, the conference will explore how service providers can meet an evolving consumer focus away from connectivity. More information is available here. All proposals must be submitted by July 1.


NLogic, the leading provider of software, data and consumer insight to the broadcast and advertising industry in Canada, has launched a new website focused on inspiring stories, unique approaches, and new developments in audience data. The rebuild includes enhanced content, case studies, client testimonials, new product promo videos and featured data analysis reports.