The Weekly Briefing

 

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Amanda Lang

BNN Bloomberg has announced the launch of BNN Bloomberg Radio, which Bell Media is billing as Canada’s first business news radio station. Launching Apr. 30 on what’s now TSN Radio 1410 (CFTE-AM) Vancouver, the station will feature a simulcast of BNN Bloomberg’s linear television broadcast and in-depth, live, long-form, specialty programming. Bell says TSN Radio 1040 (CKST-AM) Vancouver will retain its all-sports format and expand its live radio broadcast schedule to feature content previously delivered by TSN 1410. BNN Bloomberg Radio will be available for live streaming across the country through the iHeartRadio Canada app. Additionally, Bell Media Radio will integrate reports from BNN Bloomberg Radio into its news/talk stations across Canada, led by The Takeaway with Amanda Lang, a daily radio update on the most significant business news of the day.

Darren Dreger, Darren Pang, Rob Faulds, and Chris Cuthbert

Darren Dreger, Darren Pang, Rob Faulds, Chris Cuthbert, Gord Miller, Dave Randorf, Joey Kenward, Dean Brown, John Bartlett and Peter Loubardias are among the broadcast names who have volunteered to call Humboldt Broncos games in the wake of the crash that claimed the life of the team’s play-by-play announcer Tyler Bieber. Les Lazaruk, play-by-play voice for the Saskatoon Blades, issued a call on Twitter on Apr. 12 saying he’d like to honour Bieber’s memory by calling a game when the team resumes play for the 2018-19 season, encouraging 57 other broadcasters to do the same. That call was quickly responded to by a score of big names.

TSN 1150 (CKOC-AM) and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have announced two new weekly shows and new addition to the broadcast team for the upcoming 2018 CFL season. TSN 1150 is set to launch The Most Interesting Man In Football with June Jones and The ‘X’ Factor with Lesley Stewart, beginning in mid-May. Former Ti-Cats receiver and two-time Grey Cup champion Mike Morreale is also heading to the broadcast booth as primary analyst for the station’s Tiger-Cats coverage.

Terry David Mulligan, Jana Lynne White, Janice Ungaro & Cory Ashworth, and Jody Vance

Roundhouse Radio 98.3 (CIRH-FM) Vancouver is set to shut down on Apr. 30 after a 30-month run. The independent talk station officially launched in Oct. 2015. At launch, its on-air lineup featured former Much Music hosts Terry David Mulligan and Jana Lynne White with the current lineup including Janice Ungaro and Cory Ashworth, Jody Vance and Gene Valaitis. The station employs about 30 people. CEO and program director Don Shafer tells Broadcast Dialogue, the station is urgently seeking investors or a buyer.

Andrew Lawton

Andrew Lawton, former host at AM980 News (CFPL-AM) London, has declared his intention to seek the Ontario Progressive Conservative nomination in London West. Lawton, who was laid off from his hosting gig last month, declared his intention to run in a video posted to Facebook last Wednesday.

SiriusXM Canada is the exclusive radio broadcaster of live performances and interviews from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the fourth consecutive year. SiriusXM’s Coachella Radio, the limited-run channel broadcasting on channel 29 through Apr. 25, is providing continuous coverage of the festival with live performances, artist interviews, Coachella news and happenings. Select performances are also airing on other SiriusXM channels including Alt Nation, The Spectrum, SiriusXMU, Hip Hop Nation, The Heat and more. SiriusXM was the first radio broadcaster to broadcast Coachella live in 2015.

iHeartRadio Canada is the official radio partner of Boots and Hearts, Canada’s largest country music festival. As part of the partnership, iHeartRadio has launched Boots and Hearts Radio, featuring artists playing at the 2018 festival, including Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Dallas Smith and others. Anchored by Sophie Moroz and Jeff Hopper, hosts of the iHeartRadio New Country Countdown, Boots and Hearts Radio is available on the iHeartRadio app.

Network Media Group Inc. and Network Entertainment have partnered with GATHR to launch a Theatrical On Demand release for the feature documentary I Am MLK Jr., allowing audiences to screen the film in movie theaters across the U.S. Following the Apr. 4 television broadcast on Paramount Network and simulcast on BET, marking the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, the release on the GATHR Theatrical On Demand platform will allow individuals to host screenings of the feature-length documentary.

Stynger

REBEL 101.7 Ottawa’s Real Rock Search Finals saw local band Stynger take the $5,000 cash prize after People’s Choice Voting. Crowned before a large, enthusiastic crowd at the Algonquin Commons Theatre, the event saw eight playdown nights hosted by Moose McGuire’s Pub & Grill from Feb. through March. REBEL 101.7 is owned and operated by Torres Media Ottawa.

 

SIGN-OFFS:

Art Bell

Art Bell, 72, on Apr. 13, at his home in Pahrump, NV. Bell served in the U.S. Air Force as a medic during the Vietnam War, operating a pirate radio station at Amarillo Air Force Base in his free time. After leaving military service, he worked as a disc jockey at KSBK, the only non-military English-language station in Japan. While there, he set a Guinness World Record by staying on-air for 116 hours and 15 minutes, raising funds in the process to charter a plane to Vietnam and rescue 130 orphans stranded in Saigon at the war’s end. After returning to the U.S., Bell worked for KIDD-AM Monterey, KMST-TV, and KDWN Las Vegas where he was offered an overnight time slot in 1978. The show, which initially focused on politics, was renamed Coast to Coast AM and moved to Bell’s home studio in Pahrump in 1988. The five-hour marathon featuring all things conspiracy theory, paranormal and life beyond planet earth, peaked in the 1990s when the show reached as many as 15 million listeners a week, and was heard on more than 500 stations. Bell semi-retired in 2003, continuing to host Coast to Coast on weekends and as a guest host through 2010. He also hosted classic episodes of the program, heard on some stations under the name Somewhere in Time. While he briefly returned with a new online offering called Midnight in the Desert in 2015, he formally retired later that year citing security concerns at his home.

Ed Ylanen

Ed Ylanen, 55, on Apr. 9 in Toronto after a brief illness. Born in Vancouver, Ylanen worked at radio stations across the country and was part of the senior management teams at multi-ethnic stations CJVB-AM Vancouver and CHIN Radio Toronto. He ended his career with Giant FM (CIXL-FM) and Country 89 (CKYY-FM) in Welland, ON.

Caroline Bakuska

Caroline Bakuska, 84, on Apr. 6. Bakuska spent most of her career in the accounting department with CKY Winnipeg, starting at CKY Radio in 1960 before moving over to the television side in 1962. In a senior accounting position, Bakuska generously shared her wealth of experience with management, staff and especially new accounting team members. After working with CKY for 49 years, she retired in 1999, regularly visiting the station until her health declined.

 

 

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Peter Mansbridge

Peter Mansbridge, longtime anchor of CBC’s The National, will receive The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual CJF Awards on June 14 in Toronto. Mansbridge joins a distinguished group of CJF Lifetime Achievement Award winners with past recipients including Jean Pelletier, Lloyd Robertson, Jack Sigvaldason, Lise Bissonnette, Joe Schlesinger, Sally Armstrong, Knowlton Nash, June Callwood, and Peter Gzowski, among others.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) says an episode of Star Trek: Discovery broadcast on Space on Oct. 15, 2017 breached the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics and Violence Code. The episode contained two instances of the f-word, as well as numerous scenes of violence including one that showed a Klingon ripping out the heart of a pilot, graphic beatings and torture of prisoners. The CBSC’s English-Language Panel maintains neither the f-word nor the graphic violence should have been aired prior to 9 p.m. Despite the fact that Space rates the program 14+, there was also no classification displayed during the episode which breached Article 4.0 of the CAB Violence Code.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) says a news report about a fatal motorcycle crash that aired on CHEK-TV Victoria on Sept. 11, 2017, breached the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code by not providing a warning before broadcasting footage of the crash. During its 5 p.m. CHEK News broadcast, the station aired footage captured by a security camera, which showed the accident from a distance and was then repeated in slow motion. Two viewers complained it was inappropriate to show footage of an accident in which a person died, especially without prior warning to viewers. The CBSC’s English-Language Panel concluded that CHEK was justified in showing the footage, but it should have been preceded with a warning. The panel also concluded that CHEK did not violate the privacy article of the Radio Television Digital News Association’s Code of Journalistic Ethics because the report would not have allowed viewers to identify the motorcycle driver.

Bob Cole

Bob Cole, 84, won’t be calling any NHL play-off games for the first time in five decades. The legendary play-by-play announcer tells the Toronto Sun, the decision to sideline him this year wasn’t mutual and that Rogers has decided to go with other broadcast teams. The Toronto-Boston series is being called by Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson for Sportsnet/CBC; Paul Romanuk and Garry Galley are anchoring the Winnipeg-Minnesota series; Rick Ball and Greg Millen are calling Pittsburgh-Philadelphia; while Dave Randorf and Louie DeBrusk will are the voices behind the Vegas-Los Angeles series.

Murray Westgate

Murray Westgate, one of the original Hockey Night in Canada pitchmen has celebrated his 100th birthday. Dressed as an Esso station attendant, Westgate would do live, 90-second commercials and would introduce the Hot Stove League panel, which actually sat around a wood stove. He also would sign off the broadcasts at the end of the night. Westgate was a fixture on HNIC between 1952 and 1968.

The CRTC is accepting comments until May 17 on the eight applications its received to add a national, multilingual multi-ethnic channel to the basic television package. Applicants include Bell Media, Rogers Media, Independent Community Television Montreal (ICTV-MTL), Ethnic Channels Group Limited, Corriere Canadese, and the Telelatino Network in partnership with Asian Television Network International.

Jamie Orchard, Dawna Friesen, and Karen Macdonald

Global Montreal has split its local evening newscast into two half-hour blocks with Global National in between. For the last three years, Global News has offered Montreal viewers a 90-minute package of local, national and international news from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The evening news lineup now features Global News at 5:30 with Jamie Orchard, followed by Global National with Dawna Friesen at 6 p.m. Orchard then returns at 6:30 p.m. with another half-hour news update. News director Karen Macdonald says it’s an opportunity for commuters to watch the top local daily news stories at a later time.

Allarco Entertainment, the Edmonton-headquartered owner of SuperChannel, has successfully emerged from creditor protection, after being issued its Certificate of Plan Completion from the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta on Apr. 5. The company sought creditor protection in May 2016 under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to facilitate restructuring and refinancing of its business operations.  

Felix & Paul Studios has been granted a repayable loan of $350,000 from the Quebec Economic Development Program to acquire computer equipment to meet its production and post-production needs. The Montreal-based studio has been a pioneer in cinematic VR, with the production of content for Oculus Rift headsets, Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream. Once complete, the project will have created 18 jobs.

Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh

Bravo has acquired BBC America and Sid Gentle Films’ thriller Killing Eve from distributor AMC Studios, to air exclusively in Canada on Bravo this summer. Starring Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) and Jodie Comer (My Mad Fat Diary), the suspenseful cat-and-mouse drama centres around a psychopathic contract killer (Comer) and the MI5 operative (Oh) tasked with tracking her down. The eight-episode first season debuted on BBC America to rave reviews, securing a second season order. Killing Eve will stream exclusively on CraveTV following its broadcast run on Bravo.

Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, and Catherine O’Hara

Netflix has announced that Martin Scorsese will direct an untitled Netflix original comedy special that will include reuniting former SCTV co-stars Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Dave Thomas in front of a live audience. An Afternoon with SCTV, moderated by Jimmy Kimmel, will be filmed at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre on May 13, to be included in the special. SCTV originally aired for six seasons between 1976 and 1984.

The Convergence Research Group says Canadians spent $872 million on OTT subscriptions in 2017, a 29 per cent increase compared to 2016. The Battle for the Canadian Couch Potato: OTT, TV, Online predicts OTT revenue will grow to $1.11 billion this year, and could reach $1.58 billion by 2020.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Google’s request to reconsider a Canadian court order forcing it to delist websites from search results worldwide will stand, despite an American court ruling that it’s unenforceable in the U.S. The order to have Google remove Datalink Technology Gateway Inc. products from its global search engines, was in response to an infringement complaint from Equustek Solutions Inc.

Rogers has announced a multi-year network plan that includes working with Ericsson to rollout its Gigabit LTE network. The company says it will boost and densify its network with small cells and macro sites across the country. Working with Ericsson, Rogers says it will trial 5G in Toronto and Ottawa, in addition to select cities over the next year.

GENERAL:

Lynn Burry and Terry Seguin

Lynn Burry and Terry Seguin have been named as the RTDNA Canada’s Lifetime Achievement Award inductees this year in the East Region. Burry began her career at CJYQ-AM St. John’s, NL before becoming the NTV Evening Newshour senior producer and co-host. Seguin has been with CBC New Brunswick since 1985 as former host of the supper-hour newscast and Information Morning Fredericton.

Don Connolly

Don Connolly, who recently retired after 42 years hosting CBC Information Morning Halifax, is among the inaugural inductees into the new Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will be officially launched at the Atlantic Journalism Awards gala dinner and awards show on Apr. 28 in Halifax. Read more here.

Jasmine Kabatay and Ntawnis Piapot

Jasmine Kabatay and Ntawnis Piapot are the recipients of this year’s CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships, which allow two early-career Indigenous journalists to explore issues of interest while being hosted by CBC News for one month at its Indigenous Centre in Winnipeg. Piapot, a Nehiyaw Iskwew from the Piapot Cree Nation in southern Saskatchewan, is completing a master’s in journalism at the University of Regina. For her fellowship, she will explore how journalism schools in Canada are implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action to incorporate Indigenous studies into their programs. Kabatay is an Anishinaabe freelance journalist from Seine River First Nation in northwestern Ontario and a Toronto-based columnist with StarMetro. She’ll explore the relevance of the status card, given misconceptions surrounding its usage. The CJF Awards take place June 14 in Toronto.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and the Facebook Journalism Project  have announced the finalists for the inaugural CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award. Promoting news literacy, the award carries a $10,000 prize. The finalists are: The Canadian Press, for its twice-monthly “Baloney Meter” initiative, which explores on a true-or-false basis the answers to public policy questions; Radio-Canada, for an initiative by weekly program Corde sensible designed to meet misinformation and false stories on social media; and the Toronto Star, for its Trust Project, a newspaper-wide initiative to enhance reader trust, including a weekly feature. The winner will be announced at the CJF Awards on June 14.

NAB 2018 – THE BUSINESS IS THE FUTURE

By Laurie Kennedy

The tagline for NAB 2018 is The M.E.T. Effect, signalling a theme that covers Media, Entertainment, and Technology, much more than just broadcasting. The conference sessions provided a sense of what’s happening from a business perspective, an outlook to the future, and a sense of what technology might be the next disruptor.

The biggest disruptors to the industry came a decade ago when Apple introduced the iPhone and Netflix launched its online streaming service. Nokia and Blackberry had been the leaders in mobile up to that point. The iPhone delivered a game changing user experience, including video streaming. This was the beginning of the streaming evolution and massive disruption to the broadcasting and cable industries, forever changing how and where we view video.

A FUTURE VISION

Nokia’s Anthony Burkland presented the company’s vision for 2025, which focuses on significant evolution of the screen user experience (UX) and personalization. Nokia’s “Any Vision” theme is comprised of three pillars: Any Surface, Any Show, and Any One.

ANY SURFACE (screen experience) — Moving away from a fixed device and onto a wall, window, table, appliance, or car windscreen, surfaces will deliver a pervasive experience everywhere. (e.g. connected cars, buses, trains, etc.)

ANY SHOW (personalization) — Content will be timeless and not served on a timeline. “Live” will still be on-demand, but not appointment driven via a linear stream. Content will be well curated and unbound with discovery personalized to the user based on their profile data. This will create more relevant monetization opportunities.

ANY ONE (openness) — Openness requires an end-to-end IP delivery platform and open systems (a world away from traditional linear channels). This will drive a faster and broader consumer experience.  The experience must be immersive and bring the consumer into the content, whether a show or ads.

Anthony’s final remarks; you need to be prepared to innovate!

WHERE ARE WE TODAY

There are still differing camps in terms of the vision, technology, and business models of the future. Many are still very much invested and evolving traditional models and technology. Regardless of the platform, the following topics were consistent throughout the sessions:

  • Storytelling and Content Production
  • Consumer Personalization and Experience
  • Content Curation and Discovery

STORYTELLING

During the opening session, Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, discussed the future of dynamic and limitless storytelling with Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television.

Beggs said new project pitches and deals are tailored to the platform they are selling. Traditionally, a new show would start with a pilot and proceed to a series with the storyline evolving as episodes were produced. Today, especially on the streaming platforms like Netflix, the storyline and characters are developed for an entire season with an eye to future seasons. While it requires a lot more work upfront, the return is increased staying power. Many broadcasters are getting out of the pilot business and going straight to series in order to maximize the R&D money.

Beggs also mentioned that storylines are developed based on potential long-term return and whether they will be international distributed or syndicated. They are also getting into new entrepreneurial deals with small streamers where partial ownership is possible. The budget per episode for some TV series, such as The Crown, can equal those of feature films and this trend will continue. Beggs also believes there will be more competition in reality and sports.

CONSUMER FOCUSED BUSINESS MODELS

In the past, “Content was King.” Now the “Consumer is King” with key drivers being personalization and user experience. Existing broadcast practices need to be re-invented. The Linear Model (scheduled programming) and operational systems are problematic in supporting today’s needs.

In the Traditional Linear Model, processes and systems are driven from a program schedule, based on day and time, with programming and advertising content played from a broadcast log to the masses (one-to-many). The consumer is nowhere to be seen in the traditional operations environment, except as a reference at a demographic level, within aggregated research data to support the advertising currency (e.g. Reach, CPR, CPM) and monetization. This currency value is still an art today, as the research data is based on samples and estimates.

Though there are a variety of business models out there now (cable, over-the-air, and internet), it is believed the long-term model, regardless of platform, will be On Demand. However, the concept of linear playlists, whether personalized or generic will continue to exist.

The emerging Personalized Model is based on the idea that the consumer will find the content they want, through search or recommendation. This drives the need for content libraries to contain solid metadata (curation) in order to facilitate effective search and discovery. To enable this personalization the industry will need detailed consumer profiling. This will include a wide range of consumer data, including but not limited to demographic, psychographic, general preferences, location, transactional, and historical purchases or content consumption. Personalization is achieved based on the depth and breadth of the data collected, as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence which will help offer effective recommendations for shows and relevant advertising to the consumer.

The Personalized Model is based on a two-way communication with the consumer, allowing the tracking of the data. The ‘who watched what, when, where, and on what’ data produces science, not art, which supports the analysis and monetization (value) of show content and advertising. Traditional systems and processes do not support this methodology, so they must be replaced.

Data provides a path to define new currencies (ways to measure performance). Allison Metcalf, general manager for TV with LiveRamp, says advertisers want a true ROI (return on investment) and the ability for optimization of campaigns in flight (not post). The challenge with a new currency is crating a clear understanding of value and that both sides are getting a good deal.  This is often done through measurement history, which will need to be established with a new currency (benchmarks for comparison).

TECHNOLOGY ENABLERS

The key technology trends discussed across the NAB 2018 sessions were:

  • TERRESTRIAL (OTA/over the air) – ASTC 3.0 broadcast standard (NextGen TV)
    • UHD, 4K, geo-targeting, supports TV, radio, emergency, and more
    • Two-way applications, broadcasting with interactivity and personalization
    • Traditional ATSC 1.0 TV standard only 1-way (no return path)
  • WIRELESS – 5G, Enhanced Mobile Broadband
    • 10x less latency, less impact of urban density
    • Will support 100x more users than 4G
  • INTERNET – Next Generation Broadband
    • Cloud computing, storage, edge cloud services
  • ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
    • Big data, machine learning
    • Consumer personalization / targeting – Show content, advertising
    • Cognitive video editing – Audio, visual, textual, external, environmental recognition and analyses
  • AUGMENTED REALITY (AR), VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)
    • Compelling immersive experiences, remote gaming, e-sports, smart production, and more
    • Virtual sets, green screen
    • Modular elements – 3D layers, animations, graphics

TRAIL BLAZING

Just some examples of those already blazing the trails to the future:

  • TFO (Toronto), Eric Minoli, using gaming technology (Epic Games, Unreal Games Engine, based in Turkey) and a 3D production team to produce French children’s TV programming. Provincial election (June 2018) coverage will use gaming engine.
  • NHK (Japan), Yuko Yamanouchi, invested in “AI Driven Smart Production”, social media/data analysis, image analysis/recognition, speech recognition, automated commentaries and audio descriptions for the visually impaired, character-generated (CG) based sign language for the hearing impaired. Auto-generated sign language using for weather; research ongoing for sports.
  • Cincinnati Bell (US), Emily Schierberg, looking at Android TV to expand their existing linear cable service and offer linear OTT, using existing linear back-end.
  • DNA (largest pay TV operator in Finland), Ville Partenan, using Android TV, can bundle with their existing broadband offering, better access to consumer usage data and broader audience.
  • South Korea, in May 2017 launched the world’s first commercial terrestrial (OTA) UHD broadcasting services using ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV). In 2018, the three major broadcasters (KBS, MCB, SBS) launched the latest version with interactive home portal service (TIVIVA2.0), more to come including, mobile HD, advanced emergency alerting, dynamic linkage, targeted advertising, over next few years. Plan to offer terrestrial 4K UHD across the country by 2021.
  • Pearle TV (US), Anne Schelle, believes in ATSC 3.0, trials underway in Phoenix, will continue to roll-out in other markets over the next few years.
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group (US), building out ATSC 3.0 in Washington, Dallas, and Las Vegas.
  • QURATE Retail Group, Sean Bunner, eight retail brands (e.g. QVC, HSN, zulily), looking into ATSC 3.0 to help with TV experience, and interactivity for shopping (direct to consumer).
  • Cleveland, Ohio Test Station, NAB and CTA offering ATSC 3.0 test facility.
  • The AWARN Alliance (US) – Geo targeted public service, advanced emergency alerting system, based on the NEXTGEN TV standard, ATSC 3.0; OTA delivery to an unlimited enabled TVs, connected cars, handheld devices. AWARN.org

MOST USED BUZZ WORD @ NAB 2018

Ubiquitous (yoo-bik-wi-tuh s)  adjective

… present, appearing, or found everywhere, especially at the same time.

Ubiquitous services, available where-ever you go on any device or surface.  

Synonyms = pervasive, universal, worldwide, global, omnipresent

Laurie Kennedy
Principal Consultant at Sapphire Leadership, Inc.
Toronto, ON
E: LSKennedy@sapphireleader.com
P: 416-918-4161.