Tyler Bieber, 29, and Brody Hinz, 18, on Apr. 6, near Tisdale, SK. Tyler Bieber joined Golden West Broadcasting in his hometown of Humboldt in 2015. This was his first season as the play-by-play voice for Humboldt Broncos broadcasts on 107.5 Bolt FM (CHBO-FM). Accomplished for an amateur sports journalist with no formal training, Bieber was also a contributor to CFL.ca and ran his own website over the years – cfldaily.ca and @CFLDaily on Twitter.
A passionate volunteer, he was also vice-president of the Humboldt touch football league, involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor and gave his time as a local basketball and football coach. Aspiring radio assistant, Brody Hinz, 18, who had recently joined Golden West and was being mentored by Bieber, acted as statistician and colour commentator for the team. Both were traveling with the Broncos on Apr. 6 en route to Nipawin and were among 15 people killed in the tragedy.
Jim Nielsen, 79, on Apr. 4 in New Westminster, BC. Nielsen’s broadcasting career started as a staff announcer at CJVI Victoria in 1959. A year later, he joined CJOR Vancouver reading mornings news with stints to follow as a talk show host and news director at CFUN Vancouver and CFAX Victoria. In 1975, he was elected as the MLA for Richmond and won two successive elections, serving as Minister of the Environment, Minister of Consumer & Corporate Affairs, Minister of Health, Minister of Social Services and Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Board of BC. Following his political career, he was a public speaker, newspaper columnist and eventually returned to talk radio at CKST Vancouver. He spent his later years living in Langley.
Ray Renning, 82, on Mar. 28 in Maple Ridge, BC. Renning was CBC Vancouver’s senior electronics maintenance technician for many years. He eventually started his own electronics/television design company and was also a video electronics design engineer for Viscount Video Systems.
Christopher Cunnington, 42, on Mar. 23. After graduating from the Journalism program at BCIT, Cunnington worked with CKVU-TV, CTV Vancouver and News 1130 (CKWX-AM). In 2016, he suffered a devastating stroke which he never fully recovered from.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) says comments made by radio personality André Arthur during the program 100% Normandeau on BLVD 102.1 (CFEL-FM) Quebec City on Mar. 27, 2017 breached the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics. Appearing as a commentator on the show, Arthur suggested that cyclists who ride in winter should be hit. The CBSC received 1,112 complaints about the broadcast, alleging Arthur had incited listeners to commit violent acts against cyclists. Arthur apologized for his remarks the next day. The CBSC’s French-Language Panel acknowledged Arthur’s “provocative style,” but noted there was no immediate counterpoint to his remarks.
The 12th annual Corus Caring Hearts Radiothon raised $105,554 on Apr. 5 for the Cornwall Community Hospital. Broadcast for 13 hours on boom 101.9 (CJSS-FM) and 104.5 Fresh Radio (CFLG-FM), money raised this year will go toward a waterproof fetal monitoring system and bedside cardiac monitors for patients in the critical care unit. This year’s theme was “Hearts, Young and Old”.
McCully, co-host of The Beach Breakfast with McCully & Mariane at 97.7 The Beach (CHGB-FM) Wasaga Beach, has wrapped up #MarchMadness4SO (March Madness 4 Special Olympics) in which he pledged to exercise every day and eat clean all 31 days of March. Listeners made pledges in support of Special Olympians in South Georgian Bay, and got to choose McCully’s workouts with no idea considered too crazy. McCully exercised in gyms, trained with the Wasaga Beach Fire Department, jumped in the frigid waters of Georgian Bay and even raced completely naked down Highway 26. In all, $1,500 was raised, one $25 donation at a time.
Bob Ridley recently celebrated his 50th year with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group in Medicine Hat. A Western Hockey League (WHL) play-by-play legend, Ridley has called over 3,800 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers over 48 seasons, missing only one game. He started with CHAT Radio on Apr. 3, 1968. Over his career, Bob has been honoured with awards from the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, WHL, and the RTDNA, among others.
Wondery, an industry leader in podcast content focused on mobile users, has officially signed deals to monetize content throughout the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. In Canada, Wondery is teaming with TPX (The Podcast Exchange), saying the partnership with the podcast-native ad sales rep will allow it to benefit from TPX’s advanced metrics and geo-targeting to maximize a new Canadian audience.
SiriusXM Canada has announced the return of its SiriusXM Top Comic competition in search of Canada’s best in comedy. New this year, the grand prize winner will receive international exposure with a guaranteed spot to perform at JFL Sydney in Australia, in addition to JFL42 (Toronto), JFL NorthWest (Vancouver), Just For Laughs Montreal and inclusion in a JFL TV taping airing on a Bell property network. The Grand Prize winner will also receive $25,000 from SiriusXM; and for the first time in the competition, the two runners-up will also receive cash prizes of $2,500 each. Canadian comics can register at www.siriusxm.ca/topcomic, until Apr. 27, where they will be able to submit a video of their best material.
Super Channel One (SC1) and Super Channel Two (SC2) will be rebranded as Super Channel Fuse and Super Channel Heart & Home, starting June 4. They’ll join existing channels, Super Channel Vault and GINX Esports TV Canada, to form a newly-branded suite of channels, under the Super Channel Entertainment Network flag. Details of the rebrand, including what the company says will be a fresh new on-air and online look, will be unveiled later this spring.
The CW has acquired Manitoba-produced legal drama Burden of Truth for its summer original-programming slate. Starring Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) as a big-city lawyer who returns to her hometown, the 10-part serial drama is produced by ICF Films, eOne, and Eagle Vision. Licensed to Hulu for second window rights in the U.S., a second season has already been commissioned by the CBC.
Super Channel has commissioned a second season of PURE from Two East Productions and Cineflix, after it was dropped by CBC after its first season. The six-part Super Channel Original Production will tell the continuing story of Noah and Anna Funk, Mennonites trying to protect their family and preserve their faith while battling drug trafficking within their community. The second season is scheduled to begin production in Nova Scotia later this spring and anticipated to premiere on Super Channel in early 2019. Created and written by Michael Amo (The Listener), with Ken Girotti (Orphan Black, Vikings) as the series director, they’ll also serve as executive producers for the second season, along with Brett Burlock, Peter Emerson and David MacLeod (Call Me Fitz, Haven). Cineflix Rights retains exclusive worldwide distribution rights to PURE.
Bell Media’s The Harold Greenberg Fund, in partnership with Creative BC, has announced The Harold Greenberg Fund’s BC Shorts Program, a new short film finance initiative. The program is designed to finance short films from BC filmmaking teams, showcase new creative visions and further the careers of writers, producers, and directors as they move towards feature filmmaking. Three recipients will receive $20,000 each to create short, impactful standalone films. The deadline for applications June 1.
The CRTC has rejected Unifor’s complaint against Rogers’ move to contract out its OMNI Regional Chinese language newscasts to competitor Fairchild TV. Unifor locals 723M and 830M, which represent employees at OMNI in Vancouver and Toronto, along with The Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, and Urban Alliance on Race Relations argued contracting out the newscasts violated Rogers condition of license. The CRTC ruled Rogers’ condition of license to “produce the news” does not prevent it from subcontracting to a rival licensee.
The Comedy Network says the series premiere of Corner Gas Animated is now the highest-rated debut in its history. Preliminary Numeris data confirms that 360,300 viewers have watched the Apr. 2 debut episode “Bone Dry.” With final playback data still to come, the premiere surpasses that of Anger Management, which previously was the top-rated series debut on Comedy, dating back to 2012. In addition to setting a record for Comedy, Corner Gas Animated was the #1 entertainment specialty program on Apr. 2 among all key demos (A18-34, A18-49, and A25-54).
The TVO Short Doc Contest 2018 is calling all Ontarians to enter their short documentaries by July 15. The theme for this year’s contest is DIY Docs, and encourages residents to submit their video stories and share their perspective on a subject they feel passionate about. No previous documentary making experience is required. Participants are invited to enter original short documentaries up to 4 minutes, 45 seconds in length.
CBC has partnered with Don Carmody Television (DCTV) to develop a scripted adaptation of the 2018 Canada Reads-winning book Forgiveness, written by Mark Sakamoto. Rob King, who wrote and directed 2017 International Emmy Award-nominated historical drama Tokyo Trial for Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) and Netflix, has been attached to write the screen-based adaptation of Forgiveness. Poet and novelist Joy Kogawa, along with Mark Sakamoto, have both boarded the production as creative consultants.
Kathy Le, reporter and anchor at CTV News Calgary, is the recipient of a Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award. A 2011 graduate of NAIT’s Radio and Televison Arts program, Le was promoted to weekend anchor in Sept. 2017 after joining CTV Calgary in 2012.
Audience Insights research finds Canadians are less likely to engage with brands on Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. An early April survey of 1,510 Canadians, aged 18+, found that about three per cent of users familiar with the story had taken steps to delete their account, while nearly two-thirds who remain active say they will be less likely to click on sponsored posts or ads. Facebook users aged 55+ are more likely than younger users to be cautious. The findings are based on an online survey conducted Apr. 4-5. A summary report can be downloaded here.
SnackableTV, Bell Media’s short-form video app, has commissioned its first interactive content. JOKEOFF is a new original series that pits comedians against each other in the ultimate stand-up competition. Produced in association with Just For Laughs, which serves as production partner, JOKEOFF features match-ups like Kevin Hart and Joan Rivers, Debra DiGiovanni and Gilbert Gottfried, and Jay Pharaoh and Kevin James, as they go head-to-head in daily match-ups with material curated from the Just For Laughs archives. The short-form, bracket-style elimination series allows viewers to vote for their favourite jokes with the winning comic moving on to the next round, until one is declared the winner.
The Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA), in partnership with Ipsos, have unveiled the Top 10 Most Influential Brands in Canada. Conducted in 17 countries, the 2017 Most Influential Brands study evaluates 100+ brands in each country and ranks their influence. This year Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and YouTube hold the top six spots, with Netflix coming in eighth – its first time in the top 10. The Weather Network placed 12th overall, first among Canadian-owned brands in the Ipsos’ study, rising three spots from last year.
CTV News, BNN, and TSN news stories are now available via the Google Assistant on phones and smart speakers like Google Home. The Google Assistant provides audio updates to users when prompted by voice commands like “Hey Google, listen to CTV News”, or “Hey Google, what’s the latest news from TSN?”
RTDNA Canada will recognize Rick Cluff, Hudson Mack and Wayne Williams as recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the West Region on Apr. 21. Cluff hosted CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition in Vancouver from Sept. 1997 until his retirement in December. His career with CBC began in Ontario in 1976 as a sports commentator and reporter. Hudson Mack is best known as the face of television news on Vancouver Island, including nearly two decades as anchor and assistant news director at CHEK-TV. Wayne Williams, former senior director of news programming for CBC British Columbia, retired in January after more than 35 years in news.
Paul Bliss, the former CTV News reporter accused of sexual misconduct back in 2006, is suing the broadcaster, parent company Bell, and his accuser Bridget Brown. Bliss, who was initially suspended in January and fired last month, alleges Brown defamed him, with CTV then publishing and broadcasting the defamatory statements in its coverage. Bliss is seeking $7.5 million in damages.
J-Source wants to undertake an ambitious survey of newsrooms, journalism faculty, and other journalism workplaces across Canada to find out what strides women, transgender and gender diverse journalists have made. J-Source will hire a reporting fellow to undertake the survey, aimed at providing an industry benchmark to improve hiring practices and measure progress. The deadline for applications is Apr. 20.
Radio-Canada is launching a call for interest as it divests itself of its vinyl records, musical scores, sets and props, ahead of its 2020 move to the new Maison de Radio-Canada. There are 119,000 unique non-digitized vinyl records, 113,000 commercial musical scores, 7,000 pieces of furniture, 34,000 accessories, 12,000 tablecloths and draperies, and 1,100 wigs.
The work of directors like Pierre Mercure will be kept in CBC’s new Montreal digs, while the public broadcaster is in discussion with Library and Archives Canada to find a place for 4,000 handwritten scores, some dating back to 1908. Find more here.
Wendy Metcalfe, editor-in-chief/director of content at Brunswick News in Saint John, NB, and Martine Blanchard, host of L’heure de pointe Acadie on Radio-Canada Acadie in Moncton, will MC this year’s Atlantic Journalism Awards. The gold and silver awards will be presented on Apr. 28 at the Halifax Harbourfront Marriott Hotel. Finalists can be viewed online at www.AJAs.ca. Professional development workshops and a panel about the future of journalism in Atlantic Canada will be offered during the day.
Bell’s all-fibre optic network is now on in Toronto. The $1.5 billion Toronto fibre project is part of a reinvention of its network footprint with Bell fibre to the premises (FTTP) service now delivering Internet access speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) with symmetrical upload and downloads. Bell says speeds will increase to at least 5 Gbps next year and ultimately to 40 Gbps and beyond in future. Bell began the Toronto project in 2015, working closely with the City and Toronto Hydro. The build consists of more than 10,000 kilometres of new fibre installed to date on approximately 90,000 Bell and Toronto Hydro poles and underground via more than 10,000 manhole access points, as well as technological enhancements to 27 Bell central offices throughout the city.
The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) says in its mid-year report that it has had to add staff to deal with an uptick in complaints. The CCTS says it accepted 6,849 complaints between Aug. 2017 and Jan. 2018, a 73 per cent increase year-over-year. The commission credits, in part, recent media coverage surrounding telecom complaints for the increase. Bell retains top spot as the most complained-about telecom service provider, making up just over 33 per cent of accepted complaints. Complaints about Rogers made up just over 10 per cent of all complaints, while Telus was the target of 7.5 per cent of all complaints. Complaints about misleading or undisclosed contract terms from cel phone customers were most common, followed by incorrect charges and poor quality of service.
The City of Morden, MB has announced a utility-like fixed wireless internet service called Morenet, that will provide community-wide, ultra-high speed, free internet. Promising download speeds starting at 100mbps, Morenet will have no ongoing monthly fee after an initial hookup cost of $400. The service will be available in some neighbourhoods, starting May 1.
Gap Wireless, a leading distributor of products and services for the mobile broadband and wireless markets, is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Structure, Tower and Antenna Council (STAC) conference and exhibition. STAC 2018 will be held in Calgary Apr. 17-18. A non-profit council of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, the council is dedicated to ensuring that communications antennas in Canada are constructed with top consideration for worker safety.
NAB Show 2018 – The Great Canadian Suite:
The Las Vegas NAB Show 2018 kicked off in fine style Monday evening April 9th as more than 500 Canadian attendees gathered poolside at the Flamingo Hotel to usher in a new era for the Great Canadian Suite. Created by Applied Electronics for more than 50 years ago, the legendary event was resurrected after a 2-year hiatus by Glynn EvansandJames Musselman of Stonehenge Digital, Terry Martindale and Amy Lee, and a who’s who of industry supporters, including media sponsor Broadcast Dialogue. Plans for 2019 are already underway.
More than $15,000 in prizes were also given away to celebrate the event.
Great Canadian Suite 2018 Raffle Winners
Prize: Cine X Tools 1-year license
Winner: John Zarecki
Prize: Media Composer perpetual license
Winner: Nic Amaya
Presented by Serena Harris, AVID
Prize: Slider One Pro
Winner: Alexandru Titu
Sponsor: Media Concierge
Prize: $1000 services
Winner: Gary Shumyla
Prize: Nanuk 935 (x2)
Winner: Shaughna Boara, Justin Power
Prize: Pro Tools perpetual license
Winner: Ryan Bauer
Presented by Serena Harris, AVID
Sponsor: Edit Sessions
Prize: Apple AirPods
Winner: Chris Newell
Prize: $100 movie passes
Winner: Matthew Broughton