The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Roundhouse Radio (CIRH-FM) Vancouver went dark on May 6 with the station’s ownership group confirming that an offer has been received from an unnamed buyer to take over operation of the fledgling news/talk station. With the deal pending CRTC approval, the ownership group made the decision to cease broadcasting in the interim. The station employed about 30 people.

Alexa Petrenko and Bill Anderson

The New Classical FM (CFMZ-FM) Toronto has made some programming changes. Alexa Petrenko has taken over hosting weekend morning show Breakfast Classics from Bill Anderson. Petrenko will also continue to host Sunday Night at the Opera. Bill Anderson, broadcasting out of the station’s studio in Collingwood where he now resides, takes over Saturday midday staple Solid Gold Classics from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. He’ll also continue his popular weekday request show Bill’s Classical Jukebox.

The CRTC has issued broadcast licences for two new Christian radio stations. United Christian Broadcasters Media Canada has been approved to operate a specialty Christian music station in Regina at 107.9 MHz. Faith Baptist Church of Sydney, NS is looking at broadcasting Christian and interdenominational religious spoken word programming at 90.7 MHz.

Mark McKenzie, Doug Elliott, Wendy Duff, and Lisa Grossi

Mark McKenzie from 89X (CIMX-FM) Windsor and Doug Elliott from 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM) Toronto both walked away from the WorldWide Radio Summit Industry Awards in Hollywood with hardware. McKenzie won International Radio Personality of the Year, while Elliott took home the award for International Program Director/Controller Of The Year. Fellow Canadian Wendy Duff from CHFI-FM Toronto was nominated in the same category. Lisa Grossi of CHUM-FM Toronto and Jasmine Kota of Virgin Radio (CFBT-FM) Vancouver earned nominations for International Music Director of the Year, while Newcap Radio was nominated in the International Radio Group category.

Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, and The Reklaws

CISN 103.9 FM Edmonton and Country 105 (CKRY-FM) Calgary took off May 10 with two plane loads of fans for the 5th Annual Tennessee Takeover in Nashville. The weekend fan experience includes a private concert headlined by Dierks Bentley, as well as performances by Jordan Davis and Canadian up-and-comers The Reklaws.

Rogers’ Kitchener radio stations 570 News (CKGL-AM), CHYM-FM 96.7 and Country 106.7 (CIKZ-FM) supported the 13th Annual KidsAbility ‘Kids Can’t Wait’ Radiothon on May 4. The event raised a total of $167,515 to fund KidsAbility’s work with children and youth in the community who have special needs.

The 800 CHAB Family First Radio-thon raised $209,856 to support health care in Moose Jaw and surrounding area on May 3-4. This was the 12th year for the 36-hour live radio event with funds raised focused on buying new surgical equipment for the F.H. Wigmore Hospital.

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group stations 99.3 The Drive (CKDV-FM) and 101.3 The River (CKKN-FM) Prince George raised $62,096 for the Spirit of The North Healthcare Foundation on May 3. Spirit Day was part of an overall campaign to fund four ECHO ultrasound machines with 4D capabilities for better detection and diagnosis.

Dalhousie President Richard Florizone and Rob Steele

Rob Steele, president and CEO of Newcap Radio, is the new campaign chair for the Dalhousie University Performing Arts Campaign. The announcement was made at a private reception at the East Coast Music Awards in Halifax on Saturday night. The project will see the construction of a new addition to the Dalhousie Arts Centre, including state-of-the-art performance and rehearsal spaces, and new Costume Studies studios. The campaign will also support much-needed enhancements to the 45-year-old Arts Centre’s mechanical systems, including environmental upgrades. Steele, who is also founder of Steele Auto Group, was named Outstanding Individual Philanthropist of the Year in 2014 by the Nova Scotia Association of Fundraising Professionals for his involvement in various community efforts.

Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, Fearless Fred Kennedy, Jean-Marie Heimrath, and Seth Resler

Canadian Music Week’s Radio Interactive International Radio Summit is underway in Toronto. Highlights include Friday morning session When Broadcast Meets Podcast: A Love Story? featuring Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, director of Streaming and Podcasting, Corus Entertainment; 101.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM) Toronto announcer Fearless Fred Kennedy; Jean-Marie Heimrath, president & CEO of The Podcast Exchange and Seth Resler of Jacobs Media. BBC Radio 1’s head of music Chris Price also delivers a keynote Friday afternoon on Evolving Music Discovery. Find the full agenda here.

Tiffany Ferguson, Denise Donlon, Barbara Williams, and Susan Marjetti

Tiffany Ferguson, executive director of Women in Music Canada, has pulled out of CMW panel discussion The Future Is Female: Leading Women Tackle #MeToo, #TimesUp and Equality in the Workplace. A statement says the organization’s board feels the panel should include more diverse voices. Presented by the Radio Trailblazers, which supports women in radio, the May 10 event features producer/host Denise Donlon, Corus Entertainment COO Barbara Williams, CBC’s executive director of radio Susan Marjetti, Rogers Radio senior VP Julie Adam, Jackie Dean, CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and Christa Dickenson, president and CEO of Interactive Ontario.

On this week’s Broadcast Dialogue podcast, publisher Shawn Smith talks to Mike Boon host of popular podcast Toronto Mike’d. For almost six years Mike has been inviting many big radio personalities to his home studio for a long form conversation. From Roger Ashby to Erin Davis to Maureen Holloway to Matt Galloway.

Bell Media radio stations across New Brunswick have teamed up to deliver the New Brunswick Flood Relief Radiothon on May 10 in support of the Canadian Red Cross. The radiothon will air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. AT on 106.9 Capital FM (CIBX-FM) Fredericton, KHJ (CKHJ-AM) Fredericton, 105.3 The Fox (CFXY-FM) Fredericton, 104.9 MAX FM (CKBC-FM) Bathurst, K93 (CIKX-FM) Grand Falls and CJ104 (CJCJ-FM) Woodstock. Funds raised will support immediate and long-term relief, recovery, and future preparedness, with a strong focus on the more than 1,000 people displaced from their homes.

SIGN-OFFS:

Keven Drews

Keven Drews, 45, on May 2, after a 15-year fight with multiple myeloma. Before joining the Vancouver bureau of the Canadian Press in 2011, Drews worked at Vancouver Island community newspapers the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News, Alberni Valley Times and Nanaimo Daily News, eventually starting his own online news outlet, The Westcoaster, which built a reputation for breaking stories. Drews was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003 and underwent a stem cell transplant as well as multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. Through those treatments, he continued to report and completed an MFA in creative non-fiction at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.

Liz Hughes

Liz Hughes, 67, on May 4, of complications due to breast cancer. Hailing from the small, rural town of Ormstown, Quebec, Hughes moved west at 19 and started working as a print reporter, first in Campbell River and then Victoria, before she was recruited by CBC Vancouver. Hughes played an instrumental role in helping bring shows like Canada Now to life and acted as executive producer on current affairs programs Pacific Report and Monitor. One of the first internal consultants at the CBC, she was involved in helping implement mobile first strategy at the public broadcaster before her retirement in 2014. After retirement, Hughes served as a board member with Farm Radio International, a non-profit that works to deliver radio to Africa.

Wayne J. McLean, 73, on Apr. 30. McLean was just 15 when he started broadcasting to anyone who would listen from atop the A & W drive-in in Windsor-Walkerville using a homemade transmitter. He started operating the Sunday ethnic programs on CJSP Leamington and worked on-air for a year at CFOS Owen Sound, before returning to CJSP as an afternoon jock. He went on to make a name for himself, mostly in talk radio, at stations including CFPL London, CFRB Toronto, CKWW and AM 800 (CKLW-AM) Windsor, among others in Sarnia, Ottawa, Kitchener and Hamilton. Few of his radio fans knew that McLean was also an ordained Baptist minister. With his wife Sandra, he formed The Gospel Meeting, which operated in Windsor from 1972-77. McLean applied all of the principles of Top 40 radio to produce Sunday School sessions that attracted school buses full of young people to each gathering. He went on to take his talk show skills with him to a cable TV program in Kitchener. He also taught Communications at the University of Windsor and Film Studies at Walkerville Collegiate and Windsor Library. In the final 10 years of his life, he operated a global film script consultancy with clients all over the world.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

CBC/Radio-Canada French Services, Groupe V Média (V), Bell Media (Canal Vie, Canal D, Z and VRAK),TV5 Québec Canada (TV5 and Unis TV) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) have announced agreement to enrich the content offering of the ICI TOU.TV EXTRA platform. With a view to increasing the supply of French-language programming in the digital TV market, the agreement sees a broad range of content from those media outlets made available on ICI TOU.TV EXTRA, including fiction, docu-reality, magazine and documentary programming, totalling nearly 700 additional hours of television. The content offering is set to grow over time. ICI TOU.TV, launched in 2010, and is one of the leading French-language digital video-on-demand platforms in Canada.

Arnab Goswami

Republic TV, India’s English-language news channel startup, has announced its programming will be aired in Canada on Asian Television Network (ATN). Republic TV shows include The Debate and Nation Wants to Know, hosted by the channel’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, in addition to lighter fare like R. Glitz, which showcases the latest news from Bollywood.

Robert Herring Sr.

The CRTC has authorized the One America News Network (OAN) for distribution in Canada, based on a request from Ethnic Channels Group Limited. Based in San Diego, the 24-hour news service is owned by millionaire Robert Herring Sr., and is known for its pro-Trump and Republican sympathies.

Telefilm Canada is investing close to $13 million in 10 French-language feature films from Quebec. View a synopsis of the projects here.

Unifor, the union representing journalists and media workers at Rogers’ OMNI TV stations in Vancouver and Toronto, is asking the CRTC to impose stringent conditions on any new multi-language news licensee. Rogers is one of eight applicants vying for the multi-ethnic television news service. Unifor is calling on the CRTC to impose a fair wage policy as a condition of licence and bar the winning applicant from contracting out to cheaper labour providers. Unifor continues to decry Rogers’ move to farm out production of its Chinese language newscasts to Fairchild Media which it says has created an editorial monopoly on Chinese-language news in Canada. The CRTC deadline for public interventions is May 17.

Mike Cosentino

Bell Media has moved up the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs to Sunday, Aug. 26. Mike Cosentino, president, Content and Programming, says the new date will establish the event as a “marquee, end-of-summer party” that will create a new back-to-school tradition for music fans. The event will once again see CTV, Much and iHeartRadio join forces to broadcast the legendary Queen & John street party, across Bell Media’s platforms.

Blue Ant Media has new carriage deals for Love Nature 4K, its family-friendly wildlife and nature channel, across Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Myanmar. They include First Media, leading broadband internet service and Pay TV provider, in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea-based Pay TV provider Digicel Play. In Myanmar, the channel will be featured on Canal+ Myanmar FG, a national pay TV service that operates in partnership with local media player Forever.

Carlo Rota, Bram Morrison, Sharon Hampson, and Ron MacLean

CBC, 3Bird Media and Entertainment One (eOne) have announced new factual entertainment series Back In Time For Dinner (6×60) will premiere June 14 on CBC. Hosted by Carlo Rota (Great Canadian Food Show, Little Mosque on the Prairie, 24) and based on the Warner Bros. format of the same name, the social experiment takes a Canadian family on a whirlwind trip back in time as they eat their way through six decades of Canadian life. Starting in the 1940s and landing in the 1990s, the Mississauga home of the Campus family will become a virtual time machine as it’s transformed into a new decade each week. Guest stars include Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison of Canadian music trio Sharon, Lois and Bram; Hockey Night In Canada host Ron MacLean, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod of Body Break and TV personality Jeanne Beker.

CTV has announced that casting for Season 2 of reality competition series The Launch is now open. Production is set to begin in Toronto this fall for the 2018/19 season. The deadline for submissions is June 11 at 11:59 PM ET. For casting details and updates, including instructions on how to apply, fans can visit CTV.ca/TheLaunch or the CTV Facebook page.  

Corus Entertainment-owned Nelvana has secured exclusive Canadian broadcast and licensing rights to Sesame Street. The company has struck a partnership with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind the children’s program. Nelvana will exclusively broadcast Sesame Street and Sesame Studios’ content in Canada on Corus specialty channel Treehouse and across the network’s non-linear platforms. Nelvana will also represent Sesame Street within the Canadian licensed consumer products community.

Corus Entertainment has renewed eight Canadian series including HGTV Canada’s Backyard Builds, Love It or List It Vancouver, Property Brothers, Property Brothers: Buying and Selling, $ave My Reno and Worst to First; Food Network Canada’s Carnival Eats; and Global Television’s Border Security: America’s Front Line. The renewals follow Corus Studios’ MIPTV greenlight announcement of three new original Canadian series slated for launch in 2018/2019.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

GroupM has released its new State of Digital report looking at consumer media consumption and advertising investment trends worldwide. GroupM tabulated consumer time spent with each media format, globally, predicting time spent with online media will overtake time spent with linear TV for the first time in 2018. Online will have a 38 per cent share, TV 37 per cent, with the balance spread primarily across print and radio. 

Twitter Canada is helping Canadians stay closer to the upcoming June 7 Ontario provincial election. On Monday, Twitter launched its first ever custom emoji for an Ontario election. Users can Tweet #OntarioVotes, #onelxn or #onpoli in order to unlock the emoji. Twitter is also livestreaming several election events, including this past Monday’s Laidlaw Foundation Youth Town Hall, in partnership with TVO’s The Agenda, and #CityVote: The Debate, partnering with Rogers and CityNews.

The Globe and Mail has re-opened comments on its web stories, but is limiting commenting to its subscribers. The move is an effort to reduce the number of trolls across the site under the guise of new moderator The Coral Project. Non-subscribers can still read and sort comments, but are no longer able to write comments of their own or engage with comments from other readers. Non-subscribers can still engage with the Globe via Facebook and Twitter.

GENERAL:

Raj Shoan

Raj Shoan, former CRTC commissioner for Ontario, has had his application for a judicial review of his termination by the regulator, dismissed by a Federal Court of Appeal judge. After review of the original decision, Justice James Russell found there were grounds to reasonably fire Shoan. Shoan’s lawyer says his client is exploring options for appeal. Shoan had been seeking that his initial 2016 termination be set set aside and his reinstatement for an additional term.

Quebecor has entered into an agreement to repurchase all of the share capital of Quebecor Media still held by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The agreement provides that Quebecor and Quebecor Media purchase 17,628,911 shares, representing an 18.47 per cent stake in Quebecor Media. The agreed upon value is $1.690 billion.

Quebecor Inc. has reported its consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2018, announcing a 100 per cent increase in its quarterly dividend. Quebecor reported first quarter revenues of $1.01 billion, up $5.2 million (0.5%) from the first quarter of 2017. The company’s Telecommunications segment grew revenues by $18.4 million (2.3%) and its adjusted operating income by $26.6 million (6.9%) in the first quarter. Videotron significantly increased its revenues from mobile telephony ($14.7 million or 13.2%), Internet access ($11.1 million or 4.4%) and the Club illico OTT video service ($2.1 million or 23.3%).

TVA Group recorded a net loss attributable to shareholders in the amount of $5 million or $0.12 per share in the first quarter of 2018, compared with a net loss attributable to shareholders of $8 million or $0.19 per share in the same quarter of 2017. First quarter operating highlights include $2,406,000 adjusted operating income in the Broadcasting & Production segment, representing a favourable variance of $1,749,000 mainly due to a 67.6 per cent decrease in TVA Sports channel’s adjusted operating loss and a five per cent increase in the adjusted operating income of the other specialty services, despite a decrease in TVA Network’s adjusted operating income. TVA Network’s market share held steady at 24.1 per cent, despite the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics airing on Radio‑Canada. Prise 2 posted strong growth with a 1.0 percentage point jump in its market share while LCN was up 0.2 points to 4.4 per cent.

BCE Inc.’s Q1 2018 net earnings increased 3.1 per cent to $709 million with net earnings attributable to common shareholders up 3.0 per cent to $661 million, or $0.73 per common share; adjusted net earnings of $719 million were 2.3 per cent higher, generating adjusted EPS of $0.80. Net customer additions totaled 101,707 in postpaid wireless, Internet and IPTV, up 39.0 per cent over last year. Wireless postpaid net additions of 68,487, were up 91.4 per cent, driving revenue 10.1 higher.

The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) has released a controversial report suggesting that criticism of wireless pricing in Canada is unfair. The 2018 edition of The State of Competition in Canada’s Telecommunications Industry says while critics of wireless prices in Canada regularly claim they are among the highest in the world, such comparisons are simplistic and misleading and don’t take into account speed or quality of networks.

Bernard St-Laurent, James Stewart, and Brian Thomas

Bernard St-Laurent, James Stewart and Brian Thomas are this year’s RTDNA Canada Lifetime Achievement Award winners in the Central Region. Up until his retirement in 2015, St-Laurent was CBC’s senior political analyst in Quebec after a long career as a reporter and host. James Stewart has been cameraman at Global News Toronto for 40 years. Brian Thomas is a radio veteran and former news director and manager of news and public affairs for CHUM Toronto.

Kym Geddes

Kym Geddes is the recipient of the RTDNA Canada 2018 Distinguished Service Award. The first female news director at NewsTalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto, Geddes 25-year career has taken her to B101 FM Barrie (formerly CKBB AM 950), CKOC-AM Hamilton, Q107 (CILQ-FM), and CHUM-FM Toronto. She’s also shared her knowledge as a journalism instructor at Seneca and Humber Colleges. Geddes will be recognized at the President’s Reception on May 25 during the 2018 National Conference.

Kenneth Jackson, Amar Parmar, Erica Johnson, and James Roberts

CBC News and APTN are among the outlets who picked up multiple awards from the Canadian Association of Journalists for their investigative journalism efforts in 2017. The awards were presented at the conclusion of the 2018 CAJ conference. Kenneth Jackson of APTN National News was recognized in the Daily Excellence category for his investigation into the deaths of First Nations girls in Ontario group homes. In the Scoop category, Erica Johnson, James Roberts, Amar Parmar, Dave Pizer and Karen Burgess from CBC News Go Public won for their work on The Big Bank Upsell. Find the full list of winners here.

Marie-Maude Denis

The Canadian Association of Journalists recognized Radio-Canada investigative reporter Marie-Maude Denis with the CAJ Charles Bury Award at its annual awards gala on May 5. The award is given under circumstances of exceptional merit to those people or organizations that have made a significant contribution to Canadian journalism. Denis is one of Quebec’s most prominent investigative journalists, and her reporting on corruption in Quebec’s construction industry helped to force the Charbonneau Commission of inquiry and several top political officials, including two Montreal mayors. Years after that groundbreaking work into corruption, a Quebec judge is attempting to force Denis to reveal confidential sources from her investigation. She has refused to comply, and press-freedom groups across Canada have joined Radio-Canada in standing up for Denis’s constitutionally protected right to press freedom.

Jamuna Galay-Tamang

APTN and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) have announced Jamuna Galay-Tamang as the 2018 Aboriginal Investigative Journalism Fellow. Galay-Tamang is of Dene-Metis and Nepali heritage and has joined the team at APTN Investigates in Winnipeg for a 12-week paid placement. Galay-Tamang pitched an investigative project looking at the challenges of providing potable water to Indigenous communities only accessible by air or winter roads. APTN will provide logistical and editorial support for her to complete her work, with the goal of producing an episode to air later this year.

Justin Brake, Mike De Souza, Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell

The Independent, a Newfoundland-based digital site, is the winner of the 20th Press Freedom Award. Hosted by the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the award honours the journalist or media organization that has done the most for press freedom in the preceding year. Former Independent correspondent Justin Brake, who is now with APTN, is believed to be the only journalist to ever face both civil and criminal charges in Canada for reporting on an issue of public importance – in this case the impact of the Muskrat Hydroelectric project on Indigenous people. Honorable mentions go to Mike De Souza (National Observer) and to Charles Rusnell, Jennie Russell and Gary Cunliffe of CBC Edmonton. De Souza’s relentless reporting on the National Energy Board included revelations the pipeline regulator hired private investigators to find out who leaked information to him. The CBC Edmonton team is being recognized for its investigative series on Pure North, the private alternative-health foundation of wealthy Calgary oilman Allan Markin, and his attempts to embed the controversial wellness program in Alberta’s health system. They have continued to publish stories while facing a defamation suit.

Western Academy Broadcasting College in Saskatoon has created the Tyler Bieber Memorial Scholarship. Scholarships totalling $10,000 will be awarded annually to a variety of applicants who best represent the qualities demonstrated by Bieber, in memory of the sports announcer killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy. The scholarship was unveiled by Sportsnet’s Daren Millard, director of Western Academy Broadcasting College Don Scott, and Wray Morrison of 650 CKOM Saskatoon.

Global News Toronto hosts its third annual Greater Toronto Day on May 16, joining forces with Toronto-based Corus Radio stations 102.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM), Q107 (CILQ-FM) and Global News Radio 640 (CFMJ-AM). Greater Toronto Day encourages residents to perform small acts of kindness and share them on social media with the hashtag #GreaterTorontoDay. Coverage of Greater Toronto Day will air in a special Global News at 5:30 & 6 p.m. on May 16, with additional coverage featured on Global News’ The Morning Show, News at Noon and Global News at 11 p.m., as well as on radio and Globalnews.ca.