The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

NumerisSpring 2018 Radio Diary survey did not include the Radio Central Markets of Saint John, NB; Kingston; Windsor; Regina; Saskatoon; Lethbridge; Red Deer; Kelowna; Kamloops and Prince George because achieving targeted sample levels has become more challenging. A memo to members says decreasing contact and cooperation from survey participants, coupled with decreasing household sizes and shrinking populations are creating low sample returns in some markets. Numeris says it’s working on a viable long term solution to produce sustainable sample results in time for the Fall 2018 Radio Diary survey.

The Tide (CHTD-FM), Acadia Broadcasting’s station in St. Stephen, NB, has been rebranded to 98.1 Charlotte FM “Your County Connection” and transitioned from a country format to Adult Contemporary, playing hits from today and yesterday. The station had operated as The Tide for the last 17 years.

Torres Media has rebranded the Ottawa Valley Mountain Man Music Festival as the Rebel 101.7 Real Rock Rebelfest. The festival, which has been running since 2015, will take place July 21-22 at Lansdowne Park. The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) Foundation will receive one dollar from every ticket sold. This year’s lineup and ticket information have yet to be announced.

Kristi Lee and Dan Misener

TPX, the Canadian podcast marketing and sales house, has announced two new partnerships to sell sponsorships for Canadian True Crime (Kristi Lee) and Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids (Dan Misener) in Canada. The partnerships mark TPX’s first Canadian signings to a growing roster of podcasts. Canadian True Crime is a critical hit, with The Bloodlust placing it in its list of 10 True Crime Podcasts Worth Your Time. Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids is a live onstage storytelling event that’s found success as both a podcast and a CBC Radio show since its premiere in 2007.

SIGN-OFFS:

Nick Michaels

Nick Michaels, 67, on May 26 of a sudden heart attack. Michaels started in radio while still in high school. After copywriting for AdGroup International in Montreal, he moved to Toronto in 1973 and became a sought-after voiceover actor. His national accounts included Molson’s, Kodak, Texaco, Kellogg’s, P&G and Toyota. When he moved to New York City in 1977, those campaigns expanded to Coca-Cola, General Motors, Coppertone, Maybelline and others. As a narrator, he appeared on a dozen episodes of National Geographic Explorer and Bud Greenspan TV documentary Barcelona ‘92: Sixteen Days Of Glory. He was the co-creator and original voiceover host of NBC show Friday Night Videos from 1983-86. In 1992, he became the voice of topical promotion for CNN television worldwide as well as TV stations WBBM-TV Chicago, WCBS-TV New York and WCCO-TV Minneapolis. His own company, American Voice Corporation, produced and syndicated his national radio program The Deep End with Nick Michaels and its spin-off Stories From The Deep End in the U.S. and New Zealand. Michaels had been based in Miami since the early 80s.

Rick Everett Baverstock

Rick Everett Baverstock, 52, on May 24. Born in Beausejour, MB, Baverstock’s interest in rock music started at a young age. He began playing music and DJ’ing on the family C.B. Radio, which prompted a few visits from government officials. He went on to pursue Broadcasting: Radio and TV Arts at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, working at CKPR-AM under the name of Rick Everett (The Doctor of Rock). From there, he worked as an on-air personality at CKX-AM Brandon, CHAB-AM Moose Jaw, CITI-FM Winnipeg, 100.3 The Q (CKKQ-FM) Victoria (where he was also PD), 92.9 KICK-FM (CKIC-FM) Winnipeg, and FAB 94.3 (CHIQ-FM) Winnipeg. In 2012, he became the senior producer and music director at NCI-FM (Native Communications Inc.) and Now Country FM (CIUR-FM).

David Longfield

David Longfield, 82, suddenly on May 21. Longfield worked in radio for 59 years, 54 of those years with the Corus Radio London stations as an account manager. Longfield’s passion for radio was reflected in the fact that he’s remembered as being the first one in the office every morning and servicing more active accounts than any other rep. He was also a great supporter of the London Knights OHL team.

Arvi Liimatainen

Arvi Liimatainen, 68, on May 19 of cancer. With a career spanning over four decades, Liimatainen held numerous roles over the years from studio tech to story editor, actor, broadcaster, producer and director. He’s best known for producing TV series Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, and Intelligence with Haddock Entertainment with more recent credits on The Romeo Section, Hiccups and Gracepoint. He also produced Anne Wheeler-directed films Bye Bye Blues and Cowboys Don’t Cry. His directing work included episodes of The Beachcombers, Jake and the Kid and Breaker High, in addition to CFRN-TV Edmonton productions 3 Blondes and a Brownie, Into The Fields and Down Came The Rain. He had multiple Gemini and Leo Awards to his name, in addition to a 2014 Canadian Screen Award for his directing work on TV movie Borealis. Liimatainen was a past  chair of the Banff World Media Festival and honorary lifetime director, was on board of the Alberta Media Production Industries Association, and was former director of the National Screen Institute.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

The Commissioner of Competition has ruled not to approve Corus Entertainment’s proposed sale of French-language specialty channels Historia and Séries+ to Bell Media. The two companies have agreed to terminate their Share Purchase Agreement.

Bell Media has laid off 17 staffers following the cancellation of Daily Planet on Discovery Canada and Innerspace on Space. Innerspace had run for nine seasons, while Daily Planet has been on air for 23 years, dating back to the Discovery Channel’s launch in 1995. Bell Media says due to increasing production costs and declining revenue, it can no longer continue production.

Mark Little, Andrew Bush, and Cynthia Dale

CBC has announced 17 new series and 36 renewals as part of its 2018-19 slate. New CBC original Canadian series include comedy Cavendish, from Picnicface comedy troupe founders Mark Little and Andrew Bush, along with Garry Campbell (Kim’s Convenience); drama Coroner, based on the book series by M.R. Hall; legal drama Diggstown, set in a Dartmouth, NS, legal aid office – the first original Canadian drama series featuring a black female lead character; family drama Northern Rescue; and the revival of Street Legal which picks up 25 years later with Olivia Novak (Cynthia Dale), now a named partner at a major Bay Street law firm.

Rachel Bilson, Eddie Cibrian, Amy Poehler, and Nick Offerman

CTV has released its summer 2018 schedule anchored by Season 6 of The Amazing Race Canada, beginning July 3. The lineup includes new detective drama Take Two, starring Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian; DIY competition series Making It with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, and Season 2 of Jennifer Lopez’s World of Dance. Corner Gas Animated and original mystery-crime drama Carter, starring Jerry O’Connell, also make their network debut.

CTV confirmed Tuesday it was removing episodes of Roseanne from its platforms after the series was abruptly cancelled by ABC. The network’s move followed a Twitter comment from the comedienne referring to former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett as looking like the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” Roseanne later apologized. ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey denounced the comment as “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”

Derek Harvie

DHX Television’s Family Channel, Universal Kids and Six Eleven Media have started production on new live-action series Greenfields. Created by Derek Harvie, the half-hour, single camera comedy follows 12-year-old Max and an eclectic group of friends as they navigate the highs and lows of running a startup. The 20-episode order is being filmed in Toronto, with the series scheduled to debut on Family Channel (Canada) and Universal Kids (U.S.) this fall.

Karen Walton

Karen Walton is the recipient of the 5th annual Nell Shipman Award. The Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee (TAWC) created the award to honour a female-identifying producer, writer, showrunner, mentor or programmer who has advanced gender equity in the Canadian film and television industry. Walton is a film writing graduate of the Canadian Film Centre and a recent Showrunner in Residence for the CFC’s Bell Media Prime Time TV program. She is best known as the writer of the cult horror classic Ginger Snaps, with her TV credits including episodes of Orphan Black and Queer as Folk. In 2007, she founded Facebook group inkcanada – Canadian Screenwriters & Their Sketchy Friends, dedicated to fostering open exchanges between Canada’s professional storytellers and those who aspire to tell their own stories.

Amir Kahnamouee

Amir Kahnamouee has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Daryl Duke Prize, an award created to support up-and-coming Canadian film and television writers, for his screenplay Port of Call. The prize comes with a $25,000 award. Set in Montreal where Amir was born, Port of Call is inspired by the real life experiences of his uncle who immigrated to Canada with his family to seek a better life around the time of the revolution in Iran. The Daryl Duke Foundation announced the launch of the prize in 2016 to honour the memory of the late Emmy Award-winning Canadian film and television creator from Vancouver. Among his credits was the acclaimed series Thorn Birds.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Dennis Choquette, Robyn Doolittle, Laura Blenkinsop, and Michael Pereira

The 2018 Digital Publishing Awards, recognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian digital publications, were handed out May 29 in Toronto. The National Media Awards Foundation presented Gold and Silver awards in 23 categories. Gold winning publications HuffPost Québec, ICI Radio-Canada Première, The Deep and The Sprawl all captured their first DPAs this year. The Globe and Mail’s “Unfounded” investigation – led by Dennis Choquette, Robyn Doolittle, Laura Blenkinsop, Jeremy Agius, and Michael Pereira – won Gold in both Best Digital Editorial Package and Best News Coverage, while Hakai Magazine and Air Canada enRoute also took home multiple awards. Global News (globalnews.ca) was a two-time winner: “Canada’s #ToxicSecret” was the Gold winner in the Best Social Storytelling category, while “Fire Watch: B.C. Wildfire Coverage” was the Silver winner for Best News Coverage. View the full list of winners here.

DAZN has secured exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in Canada, starting this summer. The three-year deal means TSN will no longer air the games unless DAZN strikes a secondary agreement with the network for terrestrial broadcast rights.

The Tyee will publish a multi-part series exploring new voting systems in advance of BC’s referendum on proportional representation thanks to The Merv Adey Fellowship. A resident of southern Vancouver Island, Adey ran political and media watchdog site BCVeritas.com, up until his death last August. Fellow blogger Norman Farrell of In-sights.ca led the legacy project. A committee of Tyee staff, Adey’s family and funders will award the $3,000 fellowship.

Bell Media has entered into an agreement with Montréal-based WatchMojo whereby it will be the exclusive representative for WatchMojo’s advertising sales in Canada. Launched in 2005, WatchMojo is a video content producer and syndicator, and one of the largest channels on YouTube with content focused on pop culture, music, TV, film, video games and reviews. The video powerhouse has 25 million subscribers globally, and 100 million unique monthly viewers who watch each video for an average of six minutes on YouTube.

GENERAL:

RTDNA Canada has handed out its 2018 National and Network Awards. On the Network side, The Trina McQueen Award for best TV News Information Program went to CTV W5, while CBC’s The National took home the Bert Cannings Award for best TV Newscast. CBC News The World At Six won the Byron MacGregor Award for best Radio Newscast. National Awards in those categories went to CBC Vancouver for best Radio Newscast (large market), while Global Calgary took the award for best TV Newscast (large market). CTV Regina won best TV News Information Program for Indigenous Circle.

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology is shifting the focus of its statutory review of the Copyright Act to the radio, film, music and TV sectors. The committee is encouraging Canadians to submit briefs on the topic of copyright and music, as well as copyright and television, film and radio, as early as possible. Briefs must not exceed 2,000 words and can be sent to indu@parl.gc.ca.

Ipsos and RTDNA Canada have conducted a new online survey that shows trust in the media fell four per cent in the past year. The survey of 1,000 Canadians, conducted May 16-21, found 65 per cent of Canadians asked had lost trust in the media compared to 69 per cent of those surveyed in 2017. 79 per cent of respondents said they were still likely to believe the media over government, while 53 per cent consider media coverage of Canadian political leaders fair. The number of Canadians turning to online media for news is up two points to 42 per cent, as is the number using newspaper websites (37 per cent). Just 51 per cent of those asked said they watched television news (down from 58 per cent in 2017). News radio (41 per cent) and talk radio (29 per cent) gained listeners, up one and four points respectively.

Arthur Kent, Don Martin, and Kristine Robidoux

The National Post has now been ordered to pay $450,000 in costs for a defamatory 2008 column on former NBC foreign correspondent Arthur Kent. The Alberta Court of Appeal has increased the cost award with the courts previously ordering the paper to pay Kent  $200,000 in damages and $250,000 in costs. The article, by former columnist Don Martin (now host of Power Play with Don Martin on CTV News Channel), carried the headline “Alberta’s Scud Stud A ‘Dud’ On The Campaign Trail” and was critical of the Calgary-based journalist’s bid for a seat in the Alberta legislature. The Post failed to speak to Kent prior to publication. It was later revealed Martin’s source was Kristine Robidoux, legal counsel to the Kent campaign.

Leyland Cecco, Anna Cunningham, Shannon Gormley, and Sarah Lawrynuik

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma has handed out five Forum Freelance Fund (FFF) bursaries for hostile environment training. The 2018 winners, chosen by an independent international jury, are: Leyland Cecco, a freelance reporter and photographer from Toronto who started his career in Egypt during the Arab Spring; Anna Cunningham, freelancing from Nigeria for CBC, BBC, The Toronto Star, and Elle Canada; Shannon Gormley, from Brentwood Bay, B.C., a freelance reporter and columnist for The Ottawa Citizen; Sarah Lawrynuik, a former CBC producer now freelancing in Antibes, France, from which she covers the Middle East; and Sabrina Myre, a former Radio-Canada journalist from Quebec, who is now a Jerusalem-based freelancer. 

The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) 84th Annual Conference takes place at the Fairmont Banff Springs from June 6-7. Registration is still open. For further details on the golf tournament, and speakers lineup featuring Arlene Dickinson, visit wab.ca.