The Weekly Briefing


Mick Kern and Brett Innis

SiriusXM Canada will broadcast every Canadian Football League (CFL) regular season and playoff game starting June 14 when the Edmonton Eskimos take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Winnipeg. French broadcasts of all Montréal Alouettes and Ottawa Redblacks games will also be offered to subscribers. Every game will be available live on Canada Talks (ch. 167), while French-language broadcasts can be heard on Influence Franco (ch. 174). Subscribers can also access Inside the CFL on Canada Talks (ch. 167), hosted by Mick Kern and Brett Innis, which will premiere with a special season preview on June 14 at 7 p.m. ET. The weekly show will then air Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and On Demand.

John Gracie, Hal Bruce, Makayla Lynn, and Reeny Smith

CIOE 97.5 FM Lower Sackville, NS says it’s increasing its weekly on-air exposure of East Coast music from 65 hours to 97.5 hours. The community station celebrated its third year on-air on June 3 by hosting an East Coast Music Showcase featuring John Gracie, Hal Bruce, Makayla Lynn, JJ Roots, Reeny Smith and others at Halifax’s Spatz Theatre.

Slaight Music has donated $25,000 to the Music Heals Music Therapy Motorcycle Ride. In partnership with Bikers for Autism, the event raises funds and awareness of the healing power of music with a focus on programs for patients on the autism spectrum. Registration for this year’s ride on Aug. 25 is now open. Motorcyclists will embark from Burnaby, BC and travel the Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish and Pemberton. To sign up or learn more visit

Chuck McCoy

Chuck McCoy is out of hospital after suffering a massive heart attack at his home in Phoenix on June 5. The media consultant and former Rogers Radio exec tells Broadcast Dialogue his rehab and recovery is going well.

TPX (The Podcast Exchange) and WNYC Studios have announced a new partnership to sell its inventory in Canada. WNYC Studios is the producer of award-winning podcasts, including Radiolab, 2 Dope Queens, The New Yorker Radio Hour and Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin.


John Skelly

John Skelly, 89, peacefully on June 8.  Skelly spent several years in the family farming business with the Skelly Tomato Cannery in      Kamloops before taking a job as an all-night Saturday DJ, in addition to sales, at CJCA Edmonton in 1957. In 1959 he bought CKYL Peace River, then CKNL Fort St. John. He went on to found Radio NL (CHNL-AM) Kamloops and served as its president and GM from 1970 to 1982. Skelly’s Sunday Showcase radio show allowed him to indulge in his love of jazz, swing and big band music and play homage to his idol Frank Sinatra. Before retirement in the late 90s, Skelly spent eight years in real estate sales and served as an alderman on Kamloops City Council from 1984-88. Among the accomplishments he was proud of while on council was helping bring Sunday shopping to Kamloops.

Don Cameron

Don Cameron, 82, on June 7 after a brief illness. Best known as the longtime voice of the Kitchener Rangers, Cameron was born to a family of 17 in Summerside, P.E.I. He got his start covering local senior hockey team the Summerside Aces for CJRW in 1956. He then moved to CKTB St. Catharines, where he covered the Jr. A Teepees. Cameron arrived in Kitchener in 1958 as sports director for CKCR and later CKKW, covering the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen. The Ontario Hockey League Rangers franchise landed in Kitchener in 1963 and Cameron went on to call 4,000 games and two Memorial Cup titles on 570 News (CKGL-AM), before he retired in 2015 after half a century in the press box. Referred to as “The Legend” or “Cammy” by fans, he continued to return for the odd game. His final call was last season’s 4-3 overtime win for the Rangers against Sault Ste. Marie in Game 6 of the OHL’s western conference final.

Menno Friesen

Menno H. Friesen, 72, on June 9. Friesen worked for Golden West Broadcasting, based out of Altona, MB, for nearly 30 years and played a vital role in the company’s growth. He retired in 2010 as VP of Sales and Marketing. Friesen was involved in many community causes, including the local sports scene. He was part of the Altona Maroons organization of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League as a both a player and member of the team executive. He was also involved in fundraising for seniors housing and one of the driving forces behind the construction of a new community ball park.

James (Jim/Kiwi) Macdonald

James Macdonald, 87, on May 29. After working briefly at the Shell Oil Company, Macdonald was hired by CHWK Radio Chilliwack, writing commercials and playing piano “live” at noon. He worked his way into the newsroom and got a scoop in Dec. 1956, when acting on a tip, he reported that fuselage wreckage from the Trans-Canada Air Lines crash had been discovered by a mountaineer on Mt. Slesse, near Chilliwack. He was promptly hired away by CKWX-AM. After covering the crime beat and working as a city hall reporter, Macdonald became a talk show host and interviewer known for his ability to use the pregnant pause to get his guests to open up. He went on to become a familiar face on Channel 8. Macdonald eventually returned to Chilliwack and co- founded the Answer Cabaret with Bill Wosk. After selling the business, he became a food and beverage executive with the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel for 14 years. Later, he was manager of the Lougheed Hotel in Vancouver and opened the Suites at Conference Plaza. Macdonald had been retired to Ladner, BC since 2000.

Victor Hayes

Victor Hayes, 70, on May 23. Hayes was a veteran journalist who worked as a wire service editor with the Canadian Press and Broadcast News from 1978-88. He went on to teach public relations at Humber and Seneca Colleges after working as the director of public affairs for the Canada Chinese Business Council.

Gary Bell

Gary Bell, on June 4 after a battle with cancer. Bell aka “Spaceman” was the longtime host of “A View From Space,” his long-running Saturday night conspiracy show that aired on Talk Radio AM 640 (CFMJ-AM) Toronto. Corus Entertainment pulled the show in November after Bell delved into material that Corus deemed anti-semitic. Bell’s show ran Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. during the NHL season, and from 8 p.m. to midnight in the off-season. He was also known for his on-air work at CFTR-AM Toronto where he worked as a late night jock from the late 1970s to the early 90s. Prior to CFTR, Bell was at CKGM-AM Montreal.

Walter Hartwig, 88, on June 7 in Kelowna. Hartwig was the longtime director of photography at CFRN-TV Edmonton, dating back to the darkroom era. He joined CFRN in the late 1950s.


Matthew Conrod, Leslie Horton, Dallas Flexhaug, and Jordan Witzel

Global News Morning Calgary is expanding its digital presence. Matthew Conrod is the program’s new online social host providing the television audience with updates from the digital space, while reporting the daily news on the station’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook platforms. The show’s team also includes full-time anchor Dallas Flexhaug; meteorologist Jordan Witzel, who takes on new duties as co-anchor; and Leslie Horton, whose role expands to ensure important community events are featured across platforms, while evolving her traffic coverage.

Jeffrey Latimer, Randy Lennox, Ryan Reynolds, and Bryan Adams

CTV has announced a multi-year partnership with Canada’s Walk of Fame to become the official and exclusive broadcaster of the awards. Brokered by Canada’s Walk of Fame CEO Jeffrey Latimer and Bell Media president Randy Lennox, the partnership comes ahead of the event’s 20th anniversary milestone this December. This year’s awards show will include 2018 inductees and those inducted since the Walk of Fame was founded in 1998. Past inductees include Ryan Reynolds, Bryan Adams, Pamela Anderson, Jeanne Beker, Jim Carrey, Kim Cattrall, Michael J. Fox, and others. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

Télévision française de l’Ontario (TFO), Ontario’s only French public broadcaster, has cut programs and laid off 37 workers, including 11 Unifor members. The cuts include camera operators, editors, switcher directors, archivists, a purchaser, production assistant, props, and marketing staff represented by Unifor, as well as journalists and non-union staff. The broadcaster, which is owned by an Ontario Crown corporation relies heavily on funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Education, and says it has not seen an increase in the last two years despite rising operating costs and declining cable revenues. The news comes as Unifor tries to negotiate a new collective agreement for the 80 technical staff at TFO.

Bell Media will rebrand four of its leading entertainment specialty channels as CTV properties. Space, Bravo, Comedy and Gusto will become CTV Sci-Fi, CTV Drama, CTV Comedy and CTV Life. They will be joined by CTV Movies and CTV Vault, two new ad-supported VOD services, in a new CTV digital super-hub featuring all seven services. Debuting “in front of the wall” on the new CTV digital platform, CTV Movies and CTV Vault will each offer thousands of hours of content, refreshed weekly, all flowing from a new partnership with Sony Pictures Television. The CTV super-hub will be available on connected devices everywhere, including the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple and Android TV, Xbox One and Samsung smart TVs.

Mark Little and Andrew Bush

CBC has greenlit Cavendish, a new primetime half-hour original comedy series set to premiere in winter 2019. Cavendish will be the first Temple Street series to be represented internationally by Boat Rocker’s distribution arm Boat Rocker Rights. Cavendish is created by executive producers and comedians Andrew Bush and Mark Little, along with Garry Campbell. The eight-episode series is Temple Street’s first comedy series with CBC, and follows the company’s previous one-hour dramas X Company and Being Erica for the public broadcaster.

William Baldwin, Amalia Williamson, Spencer MacPherson, and Taylor Thorne

Don Carmody Television has begun production in and around Parry Sound, ON on the new CBC and Netflix family adventure series Northern Rescue. The series follows John West (William Baldwin), who uproots his three children from the big city to return to his hometown to take command of the local Search & Rescue service after the death of his wife. New cast members include Amalia Williamson (Level 16) as Maddie West, John’s 16-year-old daughter;  Spencer MacPherson (DeGrassi: Next Class) as Scout West, John’s 14-year-old son, and Taylor Thorne (Odd Squad) as Taylor West, John’s 10-year-old daughter.

The Quebecor Fund board of directors has announced the Canadian production companies that will receive funding in the 36th round of the fund’s Television Production Assistance Program. More than $2.1 million is being dispersed, including nearly $700,000 to Galafilm Productions inc., ToonDraw Animation inc. and Attraction Images inc. The three selected productions will air on CBC, CBC News Network, Documentary Channel (CBC), ICI Radio-Canada, ICI Explora (SRC), RDI (SRC), YOOPA (TVA Group) and V Télé (Groupe V Média). Under Support for the Creation of Intellectual Property, more than $1.4 million is being granted to six projects from Productions Squeeze inc., Productions KOTV inc., Média Ranch TV inc., Productions Déferlantes inc., and Anémone Films inc. The broadcasters investing in the development of the projects are Télé-Québec, TVA, Canal D (Bell Media) and Société Radio-Canada.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) was among the winners at the 2018 Rockie Awards at the Banff World Media Festival. Its series Employable Me, produced by Thomas Howe Associates, received the Lifestyle Program Award in the Arts and Entertainment category. The docu-series follows job seekers determined to prove that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. Other Canadian winners included Still Standing (CBC/Frantic Films), Giver (Sinking Ship Entertainment), and Travelers (Peacock Alley/Corus Entertainment) which took home the Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content. Find the full list of winners here.

Michelle Dube and Ken Shaw

CTV News says it’s coverage of the Ontario Provincial Election drew an average audience of 840,000 preliminary overnight viewers who tuned in to CTV News’ election results special Election 2018 on CTV and CTV News Channel from 9 p.m. – 11:35 p.m. ET. Anchored by CTV Toronto’s Ken Shaw and Michelle Dube, the special was watched by 3.8 million unique Canadian viewers. Audiences peaked at 1.2 million viewers at 9:44 p.m. ET, after the Ontario PC Party had secured a majority government. In the Toronto market, CP24 delivered the second-most-watched election special, behind CTV News, attracting an average audience of 210,000 viewers from 8 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. ET.

Kate Beirness and Henry Burris

TSN has announced its CFL ON TSN broadcast schedule, including live coverage of all 81 regular season games, all four divisional playoff matchups, and the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. Live coverage of every CFL game is available to stream and on demand for TSN and TSN Direct subscribers via and the TSN app. RDS will deliver French-language coverage of 45 regular season CFL games, including all 18 Montreal Alouettes games, plus the playoffs. Kate Beirness is the new host of Thursday Night Football which is getting a new look, including musical performances. Two-time Grey Cup MVP Henry Burris is also joining the Thursday panel.


TSN Direct and RDS Direct have been introduced as digital subscription options to access TSN, including the network’s five feeds, on-demand content, and bonus streams of major sporting events, and French-language content from RDS, RDS2 and RDS INFO. TSN Direct and RDS Direct are available for $24.99/month with no contract. The TSN GO and RDS GO apps have been rebranded the TSN and RDS apps. Current TSN and RDS subscribers can continue to access content through the apps or and

Torstar daily newspapers and websites across the country are now publishing a limited sample of articles from The Wall Street Journal. In addition, the Toronto Star will launch Star Business Journal, a new initiative with both print and online editions featuring articles on business, the economy, technology and markets from The Wall Street Journal. WSJ content will be rolled out to the chain’s other news sites and papers including The Hamilton Spectator, Waterloo Region Record, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune, Peterborough Examiner and StarMetro urban news sources in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax and Toronto.

Avi Federgreen

Indiecan Entertainment has launched Jewish Films on Demand (JVOD), an online platform to connect audiences with quality Jewish audiovisual content. Idealized by producer Avi Federgreen, JVOD has partnered with companies like Israel-based GoToFilms to host an eclectic mix of features, documentaries and short films. The transactional VOD platform sees customers acquire or rent each film rather than pay for a subscription.

The Shaw Rocket Fund has announced the September launch of a new kids’ digital safety program to help Canadian producers ensure a safe environment for kids when creating digital experiences. The Rocket Online Safety Program will ensure all Canadian digital content receiving Rocket Fund investment be certified based on established online safety and/or privacy standards through the kidSAFE Seal Program, an independent safety certification service designed for child-friendly websites and technologies. Online game sites, educational services, virtual worlds, social networks, mobile apps, tablet devices, connected toys, and other similar online and interactive services will be eligible for this program. Rocket Fund will finance 100 per cent of the cost of kidSAFE Seal Certification over the first year of the program and provide up to 75 per cent of the cost of certification required in foreign regions for programs the fund has invested in.

Nielsen Music Canada’s latest survey has found that seven in 10 Canadians report streaming music using Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play or similar platforms. For the first time, the annual Canada Music 360 survey has delved into how people are accessing music in the age of the digital playlist. About 98 per cent of teens, ages 13 to 17, are playlist adopters, about two per cent more than those 18-34. However, Nielsen also found that radio is still the strongest influencer when it comes to launching new music to Canadian audiences. About 66 per cent of those surveyed said they discover new music via radio versus 43 per cent through streaming services. The online survey of 1,500 adults 13+ was conducted between Mar. 29 and Apr. 10.

The Media Technology Monitor’s (MTM) latest survey indicates 35 per cent of English-speaking internet users in Canada own four screens: computers, smartphones, tablets and internet-connected televisions, unchanged from 2016. Those with four screens ended up spending more time each week watching video online (11.1 hours), online listening (9.5 hours), and more time online banking, social networking, consuming news and making internet video calls. However, the report also found that English-speaking Canadians are still using Smart TVs to watch the majority of their television content. Forum Research conducted the survey of 4,156 Anglophone Canadians between Sept. 27 and Dec. 8.

DAZN Canada has inked a two-year agreement with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), and a four-year agreement with the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that gives DAZN members access to tournaments LIVE and on-demand. DAZN Canada’s two-year agreement with PCB, WICB and SLC entails broadcasting all three boards’ Twenty-20, Test cricket, and One Day International matches. The four-year agreement with ECB will bring 19 international matches, all England home matches, Country T20 competitions, Women’s T20 Leagues matches, and other ECB hosted matches and tournaments.


The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) held its 2018 WAB Gold Medal Awards Gala on June 7 at the Fairmont Banff Springs.

2018 WAB Gold Medal Awards for Community Service:

(Under 150,000 Market)
Fabmar Communications100 CJVR & CK750 Melfort
Melfort Hospital Radiothon

(Market 150,000 and Over)
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group – QX104 Winnipeg
Slo-Pitch 4 A Wish

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group – CHAT TV Medicine Hat
Different Is Good

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group – larongeNOW
Voice for the North

2018 WAB Leader of Tomorrow:
Bradley Karp, Rogers Media – Country 93.3 Fort McMurray

2018 WAB Hall of Fame Inductees:
Joanne Johnson, Newcap Radio – XL 103 Calgary (Retired)
Bob Layton, Corus Entertainment – 630 CHED Edmonton

The WAB also recognized new Broadcast Order of Achievement recipients celebrating 25 years of achievement in Canadian broadcasting. Recognized in this year’s Quarter Century Club: Doug Anderson (Golden West), Bob Brown (Golden West), Dan Fisico (Corus), Bryn James (Pattison), Tim Morris (Pattison), Darrell Novakovski (Golden West), Heidi Rasmussen (Pattison), Henry Sawatzky (Golden West), Kevin Watson (Pattison), Brent Young (Pattison) and Jim Zaiachkowski (Fabmar).

Thursday evening’s awards gala capped the 84th Annual WAB Conference. If there was an underlying theme this year, it’s that the broadcasting sector is continuing to be called upon to innovate to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour. From opening presenter David Allison, whose Valuegraphics methodology argues that values now trump age demographics, to the Numeris presentation outlining the recruitment challenges that led to no Spring 2018 measurement in six TV and 10 radio markets (blamed in part on the transition to mobile phones and transient workforce populations), the message was that the way business is being done today has to change. That was balanced by affirmation from CBC host Terry O’Reilly that radio is still the ultimate medium to tell stories and ignite emotion, while CRTC vice-chair Caroline Simard gave a nod to prairie stations for their ability to connect with audiences in times of crisis and catastrophe. As Simard put it “I’m confident that Canada’s broadcast industry will meet digital challenges the same way it met similar challenges in the past: each group fulfills its role and all groups cooperate strategically.”

Mike Bullard, Cynthia Mulligan, Avery Haines

Mike Bullard has pleaded guilty to making annoying phone calls to ex-girlfriend and CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan, in addition to twice breaching conditions of his release. A judge has accepted a joint submission for a conditional discharge and six months probation, which means the former standup comedian, 60, won’t have a criminal record. Bullard, the former host of Beyond the Mic with Mike Bullard on NewsTalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto, was fired by Bell Media in 2016 following the allegations. Read Mulligan’s victim impact statement, as posted by friend and City reporter Avery Haines, here.

Howie Mandel

Bell Media and Groupe CH are joining ICM Partners and Howie Mandel in the acquisition of Groupe Juste pour rire, which produces Montréal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival and numerous TV and live productions. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. has been launched as a resource for members of the Canadian Creative Industries to prevent harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence. In addition to the new industry-wide Code of Conduct, the website houses a list of code signatories and their contact information, additional resources including downloadable, printable versions of the code (in both English and French), and updates from two working groups on their progress. The Education, Training and Awareness Committee is producing multi-level, industry-wide education and training programs, while the Reporting Committee is creating safer and more effective reporting mechanisms.

The Government of Canada is investing $12.6 million to bring access to high-speed or faster Internet to 30 rural communities and up to 163 institutions in Saskatchewan. Of the $21.6 million being invested, $12.6 million will come from the federal Connect to Innovate program and $9 million provided by the applicants. SaskTel will receive $6.63 million to provide 16 rural communities (Admiral, Abbey, Brock, Cabri, Climax, Denzil, Eston, Gull Lake, Kelvington, Kipling, Kyle, Milestone, Netherhill, Richmound, Southey and Vibank) and up to 129 institutions with new or increased capacity to access high-speed Internet; while FlexNetworks will receive $5.95 million to service 14 communities (Balone Beach, Berard Beach, Blumenheim, Blumenthal, Crystal Springs,Domremy Beach, Greenfeld, Hagen, Gruenthal, Neuhorst, Nikorick Beach, Riversedge, Tway and Wakaw Lake) and up to 34 institutions.

ENVI, a new community-owned high speed internet provider, has launched in the Town of Newmarket, ON. ENVI is a standalone subsidiary of Newmarket Hydro Holdings Inc. (NHHI) and Tay Hydro Inc. (THI). Initially, Envi will focus on providing service to the business sector. Newmarket has been working on a broadband strategy since 2014 as a key pillar of its Economic Development Strategy.

The Eastern Ontario Regional Broadband Network (EORN) is currently seeking applications from the public to serve on its board of directors. Qualified candidates with public or private sector expertise in finance, law, and/or technology are being sought to fill an immediate short-term vacancy with an option to renew for a two-year term in Jan. 2019. Those interested in this volunteer position should visit

Stingray Digital Group is reporting net income of nearly $4.7 million in Q4, up from $4.6 million in the same period last year. The Montreal-based company says profit amounted to eight cents per share, down from nine cents a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter ended Mar. 31 was $33 million, up 24.7 per cent from a year earlier, primarily due to several acquisitions including Yokee Music Limited, Qello Concerts, Satellite Music Australia PTY Ltd. and SBA Music PTY Ltd., combined with organic growth of SVOD services in the U.S. Subsequent to the quarter, Stingray announced plans to acquire Newcap Radio parent Newfoundland Capital Corporation Ltd.

The Globe and Mail has won the 2017 Michener Award for its series Unfounded, a massive investigation into the systematic mismanagement of sexual assault cases by Canadian police forces. The revelations led to the reopening of more than 400 sexual assault cases, changes in police policy and practices, and $100 million to combat gender-based violence. Michener Citations of Merit were also presented to CBC Edmonton, Cogeco Media, Global News, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, and Vancouver Sun. The Michener Award annually recognizes outstanding and unbiased public service in journalism. Read more here.

Driving Television and TSN’s Motoring TV are among those who’ll take part in the 7th annual EcoRun, hosted by The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). This year’s event will be held June 21 in New Brunswick with 20 reporters from across Canada participating in the fuel-efficient driving event which showcases the latest eco-friendly vehicles.


Rick Neumann

Dejero is working with its Latin-American (LATAM) channel partners to support broadcasters from the region, such as Viacom and ESPN, in their coverage of the FIFA World Cup taking place in Russia from June 14 to July 15. The Waterloo-based cloud solutions provider has seen a steady stream of new partners, including Protelecom Mexico, Tekchile Chile, WatchApp Argentina and Planatel Brazil. Dejero has been strengthening its presence in the region with the addition of a dedicated director of sales for Latin America, Rick Neumann, who will be working with channel partners to bring the company’s video transport and connectivity solutions to Latin American broadcasters and content producers.