The Weekly Briefing


The BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) conference is underway this week in Kelowna. Thursday evening marks the 71st Annual President’s Dinner & Awards Gala, sponsored by FACTOR. Hosted by Global BC’s Chris Gailus & Sophie Lui, the evening will include performances by Buckman Coe. Tuesday’s annual golf tournament at Kelowna Springs saw the team of Vista Radio’s Gary Russell and Corus Entertainment’s Bruce Shepherd and Rob Brimacombe come out on top.

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) will hear appeals from both Bell Media and the National Football League (NFL) on the CRTC Super Bowl simsub ban that allows U.S. channels to air American commercials in Canada during the game. The court’s website says it will consider whether the CRTC has jurisdiction to make and order dictating the content of a single program for distribution by cable and satellite providers under s. 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act. The court won’t expedite hearing of the appeal, which Bell had asked to be scheduled for the fall.

The Competition Bureau has launched a market study into the broadband sector that will look at ways to foster more competition leading to lower prices and more choice for Canadians. The deadline for interventions and requests for interviews is Aug. 31. The bureau plans to publish its final report in Spring 2019.

Julie Payette

Cogeco Media, CBC Edmonton, Global News, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and The Vancouver Sun are finalists for the 2017 Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will host the Michener Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall on June 12 where the winner will be announced and two Michener-Deacon Fellowships will be presented.

RTDNA Canada’s 2018 National Conference is approaching May 25-26 in Toronto. This year’s event will explore the value of journalism, as both a business and a profession, and how public trust can be regained. Conference panels include sessions looking at New Content Models, Managing Opinion, and The Future of Wire Services. Find the full agenda here.

Ronan Farrow

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) will honour Ronan Farrow with its Special Citation for his New Yorker investigation exposing sexual harassment and assault allegations against disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. The honour, awarded on a discretionary basis by the CJF, will be presented at the annual CJF Awards in Toronto at The Fairmont Royal York on June 14. Farrow will be celebrated alongside New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, previously announced to receive the CJF Special Citation, for their separate investigations into Weinstein and the worldwide impact of their stories.


Indie 88 (CIND-FM) Toronto is the winner of the inaugural Nielsen Cutting Edge Award at the 21st Annual Canadian Radio Music Awards (CRMA) on May 9 in Toronto. The award is presented to the station first to play the most Canadian songs that went on to reach the top 20 on the weekly Nielsen BDS format charts.

The Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards (CMBIA) were handed out May 10 at Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto. Régine Chassagne and Win Butler of Arcade Fire were on hand to receive the 2018 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award in recognition of the band’s humanitarian efforts. Paul Anka received the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, while Robert “TooTall” Wagenaar, Patti-Anne Tarlton, David Farrell and Jeff Craib were the 2018 inductees to the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame. Broadcast Industry award winners included:

Music Director (Major): Julie James, CHFI Toronto
Music Director (Secondary): (Tie) Sarah Christie, 105.3 Virgin Kitchener; Mark Cameron, FM 96 London.
Music Director (Small): Scott McGregor, 98.1 The Bridge Lethbridge       
On Air Talent (Major): Garner Andrews, Sonic 102.9 Edmonton
On Air Talent (Secondary): Biggs & Barr, HTZ FM St. Catharines
Program Director (Major): Christian Hall, X92.9 Calgary
Program Director (Secondary): Karen Steele, 105.3 Virgin Kitchener
Program Director (Small): Jeff Winskell, Sun 99.9 Kelowna
Promotion: Secret Boarding Pass, 102.1 the Edge Toronto
Station of the Year (Medium): FM 96 London
Station of the Year AC: 98.1 CHFI Toronto
Station of the Year CHR: 99.9 Virgin Toronto
Station of the Year Classic/Gold: Boom 97.3 Toronto
Station of the Year Country: Country 105 Calgary  
Station of the Year Multicultural: CHIN Toronto
Station of the Year News/Talk: 680 News Toronto
Station of the Year Rock: Indie88 Toronto
Station of the Year (Small): (Tie): K Rock 105.7 Kingston & Country 104 Woodstock

The On Air For Health Care Radiothon on May 11 raised $217,000 for a new cardiac telemetry unit at the Battlefords Union Hospital. The live 12-hour radio broadcast was simulcast on Jim Pattison Broadcast Group stations 1050 CJNB, Q98 (CJCQ-FM) and 93.3 The Rock (CJHD-FM) North Battleford.

Bolt FM (CHBO-FM) Humboldt, SK and Discover Humboldt helped raised $75,067 over four days during the Humboldt District Hospital Foundation Equip To Care Radiothon. Wrapping up on May 3, this was the fundraiser’s seventh year.

Gurvinder Singh Dhaliwal

Jaspal Atwal, the man at the centre of the controversy around Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India, has been charged with uttering threats against a BC radio host. Atwal is accused of threatening Gurvinder Singh Dhaliwal, who hosts a daily Punjabi-language talk show broadcast on Ethnic Internet Radio in Surrey, operated by Media Waves Communications. Atwal showed up at a reception during Trudeau’s state visit to India in February, despite his conviction for his involvement in a 1986 assassination attempt on an Indian cabinet minister on Vancouver Island.

The CKNW Orphans’ Fund has been rebranded as the CKNW Kids’ Fund after 73 years. The Vancouver station started the charity in 1944 to buy gifts for kids at a local orphanage. It’s since expanded its mandate to fund programs and other services for vulnerable kids living with physical, mental and social challenges in B.C.

Radio-Canada has announced that Carleton University’s MacOdrum Library in Ottawa will preserve the public broadcaster’s entire collection of 113,000 commercial music scores comprising 46,000 titles. Radio-Canada will retain long-term usage rights to meet its production needs. Radio-Canada is also on the verge of signing an agreement with Library and Archives Canada for the preservation of 4,000 handwritten scores in its possession. In the meantime, the broadcaster has issued a call for interest to cultural or educational institutions willing and able to acquire, maintain and showcase its vinyl record collection comprised of 119,000 unique titles, including approximately 83,000 33 RPM, 23,000 45 RPM and 10,000 78 RPM records. The deadline for expressions of interest is May 24. 

On this week’s Broadcast Dialogue podcast, publisher Shawn Smith talks to Fred Vail of Treasure Isle Recorders Inc.


Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder, 69, on May 13. Born in Yellowknife, Kidder made her film debut in 1968 in short film The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar. Her first major feature was in 1969 comedy Gaily, Gaily, starring Beau Bridges. She appeared on a number of CBC TV drama series including guest appearances on Wojeck, Adventures in Rainbow Country and McQueen, going on to co-star in James Garner western Nichols on NBC in 1971-72. She eventually relocated to Los Angeles and was cast opposite Gene Wilder in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970); Brian De Palma’s Sisters (1973); slasher film Black Christmas (1974), for which she won a Canadian Film Award for Best Actress; The Gravy Train (1974); A Quiet Day in Belfast (1974); The Great Waldo Pepper (1975); The Reincarnation of Peter Proud and 92 in the Shade (1975). In 1978, she was cast as Lois Lane in Superman, which would become her most-famous role. In recent years, she appeared on Robson Arms, Brothers & Sisters, and Smallville, among other TV and film credits. Her final film was 2017’s The Neighborhood, a Canadian drama written and directed by Frank D’Angelo.

Kevin Tierney

Kevin Tierney, 67, on May 12, after a three-year battle with cancer. Tierney is best-known for his 2006 bilingual hit Bon Cop, Bad Cop, a comical exploration of the relationship between French and English-speaking Canadians. The film stands as the top-grossing Canadian movie of all time. As a producer, screenwriter, and director, the Montrealer’s credits also included the Gemini-nominated Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story, Gemini Award-winning One Dead Indian, The Trotsky, and French Immersion. Tierney also served as head of the Cinémathèque québécoise’s board of directors, as vice-chair of cinema for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and received a producer’s award from the Canadian Film and Television Production Association in 2009.


Blue Ant Media, CBC/Radio-Canada, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Groupe V Média, TVO, Groupe Média TFO, OUTtv, Télé-Québec and TV5/Unis TV have filed a complaint with the CRTC against the Bell Fund with respect to the guidelines for its new TV Program. Set to start releasing funds on June 4, the coalition says the rules for eligibility only became public on Apr. 10. They’re asking for an expedited process saying the TV Program does not meet the requirement that Certified Independent Production Funds “shall establish an effective and efficient process to ensure applications for funding of productions are appraised objectively and absent of actual or perceived conflicts of interest.” In addition, the coalition says the current composition of the Bell Fund’s board of directors does not meet the requirement that “at least two thirds of the board members must be independent.”

The CRTC has approved an application from Ethnic Channels Group Limited to add A Wealth of Entertainment to the list of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution. The American, 24-hour general interest lifestyle and entertainment channel features programming on exotic travel, outrageous cars, amazing homes and more.

DHX Media has reported its Q3 and nine-month results for Fiscal 2018, ended Mar. 31. Revenue for Q3 2018 grew by 49 per cent to $116.5 million, over Q3 2017, which included 3 per cent organic growth, and 46 per cent acquisitive growth largely from Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake.  For the nine months of Fiscal 2018, revenue was up 60 per cent to $337 million. Subsequent to the quarter-end, DHX has sold 49 per cent of its 80 per cent stake in Peanuts to Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. DHX says the transaction will build on the strength of Sony’s long-term relationship representing Peanuts in Japan, its largest market outside the U.S.

DHX Television’s Family Channel and Aircraft Pictures in association with American Greetings Entertainment have announced that principal photography has begun on its Holly Hobbie live-action series. The new tween drama, based on the American Greetings character first introduced in 1967, is being filmed in Toronto and Hamilton this month. The series makes its debut with 10 episodes in the U.S. exclusively on Hulu this fall, followed by its Canadian debut on Family Channel. Universal Kids (U.S.) has also purchased the linear rights for the series following its first window run on Hulu.

Sherryl Woods

Super Channel has acquired the exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to Season 3 of the Hallmark original series Chesapeake Shores from Daniel L Paulson Distribution. The 10-episode third season, currently in production on Vancouver Island, and based on the bestselling novels of the same name by Sherryl Woods, will premiere in Summer 2018 on Super Channel Heart & Home and will also be available on Super Channel On Demand. Chesapeake Shores will join When Calls the Heart (Seasons 1-5) as one of the pillar series for Super Channel Heart & Home (currently SC 2), slated to launch June 4.

Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Gillian Anderson, and Kristin Chenoweth

Super Channel has announced that the eight-episode first season of American Gods, produced by FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) and adapted from Neil Gaiman’s best selling fantasy novel, will make its Canadian broadcast premiere on June 20 on Super Channel Fuse, SC 1’s new rebrand effective June 4. The cast of American Gods includes Ricky Whittle (The 100, Austenland) as Shadow Moon; Ian McShane (Deadwood, Ray Donovan) as Mr. Wednesday; Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, Legend) as Laura Moon; Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall) as Media; Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies, Wicked) as Easter; and Cloris Leachman (Malcom in The Middle, Raising Hope) as Zorya Vechernyaya.

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

CTV will become the exclusive Canadian broadcast partner of the upcoming, yet untitled, SCTV reunion special for Netflix that’s set to debut in 2019. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the special brings together Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis. Under the partnership, Netflix will premiere the special globally, with the exception of Canada, where it will premiere on CTV. Following the CTV airing, the special will be available exclusively on Netflix worldwide. This past Sunday, the original cast members gathered in front of a live audience at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre for “An Afternoon With SCTV” taping moderated by Jimmy Kimmel.

Jesse Jones

Corus Entertainment has launched The Drive, a multi-platform content partnership between OLG and Global Toronto’s The Morning Show. Hosted by Jesse Jones, founder of lifestyle marketing agency TEN81, the segment follows Jones as he drives across Ontario picking up everyday Ontarians and serves as their chauffeur for their daily commute. During the three-minute segments, he and his passengers discuss a wide variety of human-interest topics, from technology to dating and relationships. The Drive airs every Thursday on Global’s The Morning Show, in addition to Corus Radio stations across Ontario, and

Farah Nasser and Steve Paikin

Global’s Farah Nasser and TVO’s Steve Paikin will moderate the Ontario provincial leaders debate on May 27. Televised from the CBC Broadcast Centre in downtown Toronto, the debate will air on Global, CTV, CBC, TVO,

Cogeco’s Independent Production Fund will distribute $2.3 million across 15 projects in latest round of funding. A total of seven English-language projects and eight French-language projects received production financing. View the list of successful productions here.

Massey Whiteknife, Iceis Rain, Neil Grahn, and Kelly McClughan

Great Pacific Media’s new eight-episode docuseries Queen of the Oil Patch is set to premiere on APTN on June 5. The series follows openly gay, Indigenous entrepreneur Massey Whiteknife, who has built a million-dollar empire in Fort McMurray. His second spirit is Iceis Rain, a critically-acclaimed recording artist, nominated for a 2014 Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Award. Produced by Métis director Neil Grahn, Kelly McClughan, and Mark Miller, the series was developed by Kah-Kitowak Films in partnership with APTN.

Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Blue Ant Media has greenlit a new lifestyle series reuniting designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan for its Cottage Life channel. Great Canadian Cottages will be produced by Architect Films and starts production next month.



Alejandro Álvarez Cadilla, Sarah Murphy-Dyson, Zarrin Darnell-Martin, and Amy Cunningham

CBC Arts has debuted eight-part digital series Off Kilter. The mockumentary follows ballet choreographer Milton Frank as he attempts to remake himself “into the critically-acclaimed jerk he never got to be in the 90s.” Played by series creator and co-writer Alejandro Álvarez Cadilla (Le Trak, Deep Sleep), the series also stars Sarah Murphy-Dyson (Working Moms, Reign), Zarrin Darnell-Martin (Room, Spotlight), stand-up comic Amy Cunningham, and dancers from The National Ballet of Canada. The series is available to stream via as well as on the CBC TV app, and starting June 12 on

Ryan Sidhoo

The NFB has released its first online docuseries True North. Ryan Sidhoo’s nine-part docuseries takes an intimate look at the rise of Toronto basketball through the stories of five young athletes. The series is available to watch on NFB’s YouTube channel.

YouTube has launched new music charts in 44 countries in what’s seen as a run-up to a music-driven subscription service. The YouTube Trending chart will be updated multiple times a day based on the most-viewed new music on the platform. The Top Songs chart will calculate combined weekly views including those of the official music video, use in user-generated content and lyric videos. The Top Music Video chart will also be updated weekly.

Stingray has been selected to develop and market a companion singing app for The Voice. The Montreal-based company is an established leader in karaoke and interactive app development. The Voice app is set to launch this December.