The Weekly Briefing

 

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

John Ashbridge

John Ashbridge’s legacy of support for Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation will carry on with the establishment of the John Ashbridge Memorial Fund, in memory of the late CKNW-AM Vancouver news anchor and Vancouver Canucks PA announcer. Ashbridge, who passed away June 5, served on the foundation’s board of directors from 2006-15, in addition to being an ambassador and volunteer. A special website for donations has been created at www.rchfoundation.com/ash. A private memorial for Ashbridge was held last Friday at the Vancouver Golf & Country Club where a few hundred friends and colleagues gathered to remember “Ash” including former broadcasters Brian Antonson, John McKitrick and Belle Puri; Canucks PA announcer Al Murdoch and former Canucks play-by-play guy Jim Robson.

The CRTC has returned an application for a new FM station in Lloydminster from Vista Radio, saying the market can’t sustain another radio station. The commission’s decision notes that revenues are decreasing in the market at a rate faster than the provincial average and have yet to recover even though the Alberta economy has rebounded.

Torres Media has received CRTC approval to launch new Classic Hits station CKOU-FM in Georgina, ON. The new station will operate on 93.7 with 26,000 watts. The commission rejected competing applications from My Broadcasting and Radio Markham York.

Durham Radio has been granted a broadcasting licence to operate a new commercial FM radio station serving Grimsby and Beamsville, ON, giving Durham a second commercial radio station in the Numeris Hamilton Central Area (Hamilton CTRL). Durham is proposing a Classic Hits/Oldies format targeting adults 25-64.

Newcap has received approval from the CRTC to acquire the assets of CKEC-FM and CKEZ-FM New Glasgow, NS from Hector Broadcasting. The transaction is expected to close after Stingray Digital Group acquires all of Newcap’s issued and outstanding shares, which is anticipated over the next three to six months.

CFWE-FM Edmonton is now rebroadcasting in Grande Prairie. The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society country music station is testing in the area at 105.7 FM on the dial at 100,000 watts erp. The coverage area for CFWE-FM and CJWE-FM Calgary now includes Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Cold Lake, Lac la Biche and Ft. McMurray, among other communities.

Rogers has been cleared to acquire CJCY-FM Medicine Hat from Clear Sky Radio for $4 million. The move is anticipated to leverage Rogers’ operating and marketing costs in the market, joining its existing rock station 105.3 FM (CKMH-FM).

CKWR-FM Kitchener, CKMN-FM Rimouski and Mont-Joli, Que., CHOC-FM Saint-Rémi, Que., and CKUN-FM Christian Island, ON have been granted short-term licence renewals until the end of this year. The CRTC has given the community radio stations temporary extensions due to non-compliance issues, including failure to file annual returns, inaccurate monitoring and issues surrounding implementation of the National Public Alerting System.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has found a breach of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics after Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch” containing the f-word was broadcast on the Crash & Mars morning show on NOW! Radio (CKNO-FM) Edmonton on Jan. 24. During the show, hosts mentioned an online video of a woman leaving her wedding to the song and then commented that their co-host was trying to edit out all the f-words before playing it. When they did play the song, all but two instances of the word were edited out. The hosts joked that they had 90 per cent succeeded and hopefully the audience would mistake the word for “rock.” The CBSC received a complaint from a listener who was primarily concerned about the use of the word “bitch” in the song.  The CBSC’s English-Language Panel noted its previous decision which found the word “bitch” was acceptable at any time of day, but given the failure to edit out all instances of the word “fuck,” the station breached the code. The panel also noted hosts had the opportunity to apologize, but instead chose to make light of the situation.

CBC Radio One can now be heard on the FM dial in Marathon, ON. The Radio One signal is now live at 107.5 mhz. Listeners can still tune in to 1090 AM.

Audience Insights has released a tease from early returns from its Canadian Podcast Listener 2018 survey which indicates weekly listening in Canada is up from 15 to 18 per cent over the last 10 months. Audience Insights promises to publish the full report this fall.

Lori Dean and Heather Prescott

Dusty Discs Radio has launched online from BC’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in rare and unique hidden Canadian classics from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Founded by radio veterans Lori Dean and Heather Prescott, the station also features vintage commercials, TV show themes and archived interviews. Listen via DustyDiscsRadio.com or through the TuneIn and Simple Radio apps.

Jim Duce

Jim Duce is celebrating 45 years on air at CHAT 94.5 FM Medicine Hat. Duce joined what was then 1270 CHAT AM in 1973 and has been one-half of the morning show since 1974, in addition to acting as the public address announcer for Medicine Hat Tigers games. Duce’s anniversary was marked with a barbecue where donations were collected for the SPCA.

Les Lazaruk

Saskatoon Media Group has extended its contract as the official radio broadcast rights holder for the Saskatoon Blades for another four years, but is moving the broadcasts from 92.9 The Bull (CKBL-FM) to 98 Cool FM (CJMK-FM). Les Lazaruk will remain on as the team’s play-by-play announcer, entering his 25th season as the voice of the Blades. He’ll open the season in Swift Current on Sept. 21 calling his 1800th career game. Beginning this season, Lazaruk will also host a live, one-hour pre-game show prior to home games. Players and staff will also be featured every Thursday morning on 98 Cool FM.

Michael Dyck, Barclay Parneta, and Dan O’Connor

Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM) Vancouver has acquired the radio rights to the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Sportsnet 650 will broadcast all Giants games live, in addition to all 82 Vancouver Canucks games. Live game coverage will be complemented by regular appearances from the team’s head coach Michael Dyck and general manager Barclay Parneta on the station’s various shows, as well as weekly player profiles and features. Giants play-by-play announcer Dan O’Connor will call the games, beginning with the regular season opener on Sept. 21.

Dan Marshall

Dan Marshall, who has done play-by-play for the Nanaimo Clippers for nearly 11 seasons, has been honoured with the Bernie Pascall Media award by the BC Hockey Hall of Fame. The award is presented annually to a hockey personality who “demonstrates commitment and dedication to the promotion within the game of hockey.” Marshall, who is also the voice of the morning news on 106.9 The Wolf (CHWF-FM), was the play-by-play voice for the Penticton Vees for eight years before arriving in Nanaimo in 2007. Marshall has called more than 1,000 BCHL games and has two BCHL Broadcaster of the Year awards to his name.

TSN 1150 (CKOC-AM) Hamilton has extended its partnership with McMaster University as the Official Radio Partner of McMaster Marauder Athletics and Recreation. The new agreement includes complete coverage of the McMaster football season, beginning with the 2018 home opener when the Marauders face the Guelph Gryphons on Aug. 26. McMaster magazine show Talkin’ Mac, hosted by Ken Welch, will move to a bi-weekly schedule on Saturday mornings from 11 a.m. to noon ET. TSN 1150’s live coverage of McMaster men’s and women’s basketball will also continue in Jan. 2019.

On this week’s Broadcast Dialogue podcast, publisher Shawn Smith talks to Canadian country superstar Terri Clark. 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for the Medicine Hat, Alberta native…in addition to releasing a hit duet with Dallas Smith, and touring both solo and as part of the Chicks with Hits Tour with Suzy Bogguss and Pam Tillis, Clark is about to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Clark also continues to host the Country Gold with Terri Clark, heard on 145 stations in the U.S. and Canada.

SIGN-OFFS

Harry Gulkin

Harry Gulkin, 90, on July 23 of pneumonia. The Montreal film and theatre producer, arts director and project manager was best known for producing 1975 drama Lies My Father Told Me, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay and won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. After a stint in the merchant marines during WWII, he worked for communist weekly the Canadian Tribune and then in marketing for the Steinberg supermarket chain, before deciding on a career in film. He went on to produce Two Solitudes (1978), Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1978) and Bayo (1985). From 1983-87, he was director of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, followed by 20 years as a project manager with Quebec film funding agency Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC). He also served as president and chair of the Canadian Film Institute and vice-president of Cinémathèque québécoise. In 2008, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television presented Gulkin with a special Genie Award recognizing his work to build a stronger and more vibrant film community. The National Film Board produced a documentary on his life Harry Gulkin: Red Dawn on Main Street (2004). Gulkin was revealed as the biological father of actress/filmmaker Sarah Polley in her 2012 documentary Stories We Tell.

Dane Gibson

Dane Gibson, 49, on July 15, of cancer. Gibson started covering northern First Nations communities in 2001, producing a daily newscast for CKLB-FM Yellowknife and creating the program Ends of the Earth. In 2005, he became executive director of the Native Communications Society which operates the non-profit station. Gibson left the north in 2011 and moved to Gabriola Island, BC with his family. Most recently, he’d been working in communications with Vancouver Island University.

John Dukelow

John Dukelow, 75, on July 14. Known to friends, family and co-workers as ”The Duke,” Dukelow’s broadcasting career spanned several decades. In 1980, he and Evanov president Bill Evanov became shareholders in and took over management of FM 108 (CING-FM) Hamilton. Initially they launched a 50s and 60s format, later rebranding in 1991 as “Canada’s First Dance Music Station.” Dukelow was GSM at CING-FM up until 1995 when Evanov purchased Z103.5 (CIDC-FM) Orangeville, and he joined the Sales and Marketing team there. Dukelow remained active with the company right up until his passing.

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn, 60, unexpectedly on July 5. Dorn worked for more than three decades at CBC-TV Toronto as a video producer and editor, remembered for bringing equal passion to documentaries and breaking news alike. He devoted much of his spare time to working on his own film and photography projects. Dorn’s late father was CBC Toronto designer and artist Rudi Dorn.

Fred Hodson

Fred Hodson, 76, on July 5. Hodson worked for more than 20 years at CFRN-TV Edmonton as a producer/director on both in-house programming and commercials. He left the station in 1977 and went on to found post-production facility Video Pack, which was eventually acquired by ITV (now Global Edmonton) and became part of the Studio Post and Transfer operation. Hodson also served as the original webmaster for the Edmonton Broadcasters Club. A celebration of life is planned for Aug. 12 in Agassiz, BC.

James “Jim” Wallace, 77, on July 4 at Leduc Community Hospital. Wallace began his more than 50-year career in television in his hometown of Regina at CKCK-TV. He went on to be hired as head of the lighting department at ITV Edmonton prior to the station’s sign-on in Sept. 1974 and with his team of lighting professionals worked on the long running series of ITV concerts with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and on SCTV during the years it was produced in Edmonton. His career also included stops at CFCN Calgary and BCTV Vancouver. Following his retirement, he continued to provide lighting expertise on commercial shoots, feature film and documentary productions in Alberta and beyond.

John Caswell

Monsignor John Caswell, 83, on July 1. Caswell was behind the television broadcasts that brought weekly mass to thousands of Catholics across northeastern Ontario. He created, produced and directed the weekly television program Mass for Shut-Ins which aired on CTV. While Caswell retired as Pastor of Sudbury’s Christ the King Parish in 2006, he remained part of the television program up until 2012.

J.J. Richards

J.J. Richards, 88, on June 30 in Rancho Mirage, CA. Richards began his career as a teenage disc jockey in Brandon, MB in 1948 before moving on to CKUA Edmonton, CBC and CHUM Toronto, and later CKDA/CFMS-FM Victoria, CFUN (CFTE-AM) Vancouver and CHQM-FM Vancouver. He worked as a news reader, foreign correspondent, news director and talk show host up until his retirement in 2000. Retiring to Rancho Mirage, CA, Richards hosted and produced Palm Springs Street Talk for nine years. Richards received the RTDNA Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) will embark on a cross-country consultation this fall to gather stakeholder feedback. Focus groups will take place in 18 cities where stakeholders will have an opportunity to consider how significant shifts in content consumption habits, rapidly-evolving market conditions, as well as policy and regulatory changes will impact the CMF’s funding programs, particularly in light of the government’s Creative Canada Policy Framework and the recently-launched review of the Telecommunications and Broadcasting Acts. The focus groups kick off in Moncton, NB on Sept. 10 and conclude in Whitehorse on Oct. 25. The CMF will also conduct a series of working groups to delve into specific, program-related topics.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB), the body responsible for film funding and media business development in the German states of Berlin and Brandenburg, have announced a two-year renewal of their incentive for codevelopment and coproduction of digital media projects between Canadian and German producers. The total amount of funding available has been increased to $450,000, with the maximum contribution for each project $300,000. Qualifying projects must be created for digital platforms and can be a game, web series, multiplatform content, augmented reality or virtual reality experience. A delegation of Berlin and Brandenburg producers and developers will visit Toronto and Montréal from Sept. 24-28. Click here to access the fund guidelines.

The CRTC has approved an application by WOW! Unlimited Networks to acquire Comedy Gold from Bell Media for $6.8 million. WOW! Networks has been granted a new broadcast license, rebranding the discretionary service to cater to children’s and youth programming.

Telefilm Canada is streamlining its Export Assistance and International Marketing – Participation in International Festivals and Events programs. Going forward only projects that have received production funding from Telefilm and whose overall budgets stand at $2.5M or less will be eligible for the Export Assistance Program. The maximum amount of funding per project has been increased to $90,000. Telefilm funding will match the minimum amount guaranteed by the foreign distributor.

DHX Media has closed the sale of a minority stake in Peanuts to Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. (SMEJ). SMEJ has indirectly purchased 49 per cent of DHX Media’s 80 per cent interest in Peanuts for $235.6 million CDN in cash. DHX Media now owns 41 per cent of Peanuts, SMEJ owns 39 per cent, and the Charles M. Schulz family retain their 20 per cent interest. DHX Media and SMEJ have also completed their agreement to extend the duration of the current Licensing and Syndication Agency agreement with SMEJ’s consumer products division, Sony Creative Products Inc. in Japan, where its grown the Peanuts business by over 200 per cent as its agent since 2010.

Kristin Kreuk

ICF Films, Eagle Vision and Entertainment One (eOne) have announced that cameras are rolling in Winnipeg on Season 2 of CBC original drama series Burden of Truth (8×60). Following big city lawyer Joanna Chang (Kristin Kreuk), Burden of Truth will continue production until mid-September and premiere on CBC in winter 2019. Season 1 made its U.S. premiere on July 25 on The CW and is now streaming at cbc.ca/watch and on the CBC TV app.

J.J. Abrams and Stephen King

Space, together with CraveTV, has acquired much-anticipated psychological-horror series Castle Rock from executive producer J.J. Abrams and based on characters and settings by Stephen King. The 10-episode, one-hour series launched July 25 with a three-episode premiere event. Subsequent episodes roll out on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET, beginning Aug. 1. Inspired by the Stephen King universe, Castle Rock is an original story that intertwines characters and themes from King’s best-loved works.

Peacock Alley Entertainment has signed a deal with Sky Vision, the production and distribution arm of Sky, for the distribution rights to Season 2 of A User’s Guide to Cheating Death. The 6 x 60-second series, hosted by Edmonton-based science geek Timothy Caulfield, debunks myths around healthcare fads by examining the scientific facts behind the trends. A User’s Guide to Cheating Death airs on Vision TV in Canada and has been sold in 67 countries, including SBS Australia, TV New Zealand, Telefonica in Spain, DR in Denmark, BBC Worldwide, UR Sweden, TVB Hong Kong, S+ Portugal, Ananey in Israel and AMC in Central Europe.

Sesame Workshop and Nelvana are set to debut original animated series Esme & Roy on Treehouse in Canada and HBO in the U.S. on Aug. 18. Sesame Workshop’s first new animated program in more than a decade promotes “learning through play” and mindfulness, aimed at children ages four to six.

Bell Media has introduced 30-second commercial SuperPods, designed and placed to align with the narrative of the programs in which they appear. Featuring one advertiser per break, the custom creative promises a more seamless and engaging experience between the commercial content and program. Bell Media’s first SuperPod launched in partnership with Chevrolet during the premiere of The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition, promoting Chevrolet’s Twitter contest #TheChevroletRace.

Bryan Baeumler and Al Huberts

HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler has partnered with Ontario entrepreneur Al Huberts to launch board game Build-iT With Bryan Step By Step on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The goal of the game is to be the first “builder” to complete construction of a house without going bankrupt. Through Aug. 4, backers have the chance to secure their copy of the game by clicking this link or searching Build-iT With Bryan Step By Step on Kickstarter.

Grant Hardy, Anthony McLachlan, Victoria Nolan, and Laura Bain

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is rolling out a series of original documentaries set to air Friday evenings, beginning July 27. The series starts with Have Cane, Will Travel with Vancouver community reporter Grant Hardy exploring travel with wheelchair, guide dog and cane users. AMI Goes to Camp (Aug. 10) follows AMI-tv community presenters Anthony McLachlan, Victoria Nolan, Laura Bain, Grant Hardy, Shelby Travers and Alex Smyth as they spend a few days revisiting their childhoods at Lake Joe, the CNIB’s camp in Ontario’s Muskoka region. Find the full schedule here.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Nielsen Music’s Midyear Report indicates on-demand audio and video streaming grew a combined 48.7 per cent in Canada in the first six months of the year. Total album audio consumption continues to surge with overall album audio consumption increasing 18.1 per cent to 27 million units, up from 23 million during the same period in 2017. The increased activity helped offset continued declines in album sales, which were down 17.1 per cent to 6.7 million units and digital song sales, which slipped 21.8 per cent to 24.9 million units.

The Roku Channel has launched in Canada on Roku players and Roku TVs. The channel features a free, rotating selection of movies and TV shows. Among the publishers participating at launch are American Classics/Hatch Farm Studios, FilmRise and Total Content Digital with others expected to be added over time.

Instagram is rolling out IGTV globally, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from Instagram creators. While Instagram videos are still limited to one minute, those on IGTV can be up to an hour long. The social platform is now a global community of one billion.

Ashley McKenzie and Hugh Gibson

Mubi, the highly-curated, U.S.-based streaming service, is currently offering its “Canada’s Next Generation” series featuring au courant Canadian filmmakers. Among the films included are Ashley McKenzie’s Cape Breton-set addiction drama Werewolf and Hugh Gibson documentary The Stairs. Audiences have just 30 days to watch a film before it’s replaced by another selection.

The CRTC has fined Datablocks and Sunlight Media $100,000 and $150,00, respectively, for allegedly aiding in the installation of malware through the distribution of online advertising. An enforcement first under Canada’s anti-spam laws, Sunlight Media allegedly violated the law by accepting unverified, anonymous clients who used their services to distribute malware, while Datablocks provided Sunlight Media’s clients with the necessary infrastructure and software to compete in real-time for the placement of their ads, which contained malware. Neither Datablocks nor Sunlight had written contracts in place with their clients that would bind them to comply with Canada’s anti-spam law, monitoring measures in place, or written corporate compliance policies. After being alerted in 2015 by cybersecurity researchers, and the CRTC in 2016, neither company implemented basic safeguards.

Facebook Canada, in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) and Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit (IUT), is opening Inuktut for translation so that the community can help translate Facebook into their language. Inuktut speakers can access the Translate Facebook app to offer a proposed translation for the strings of words and phrases that make up the Facebook interface. The launch of Facebook in Inuktut is slated for 2019. Facebook is now available in more than 100 languages and used by over one billion people in languages other than English.

Social Science One has been unveiled as the name of the independent research commission, first announced in April, that will use Facebook data to analyze the role of social media on elections and democracy. Academics can now apply for access and funding to study the first Facebook data set. The group plans to eventually facilitate academic study of other questions with Facebook data and other types of proprietary data from different companies and industries.

GENERAL:

Jim Pattison, Andrea Martin, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg

Jim Pattison, founder of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, is among the Canadians who’ll receive a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame later this year. Inductions will be held at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto on Dec. 1, and are set to air on CTV. SCTV alum Andrea Martin, actor Seth Rogen and writing/producing partner Evan Goldberg; figure skating duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir; astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield; singer-songwriters Leonard Cohen and Andy Kim; and Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of Médecins Sans Frontières are also set to be recognized.

Numeris is launching a Video Audience Measurement (VAM) solution that will measure audience viewing habits across linear and digital platforms and devices. Partnering with Kantar Media and ComScore, Numeris plans to begin recruiting the panel this fall with initial analyses of the data to begin in Spring 2019.

CBC/Radio-Canada says it increased its diverse hiring to 27.8 per cent between 2014 and 2018, with women making up 48.9 per cent of staff currently employed across the network – six per cent higher than the national average. As part of measures to develop a more diversified workforce, the public broadcaster has updated its online career section Working With Us to include details on employee initiatives and memberships with business networks (ex. IndigenousLink, Catalyst, SenseAbility) to foster greater inclusiveness. CBC/Radio-Canada will publish its 2018-2021 Diversity and Inclusion Plan this fall.

Robert Holiday and Ken Shaw

Robert Holiday and Ken Shaw have been elected to the Canadian News Hall of Fame for 2018. Holiday spent 50 years in radio news, working in stations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec, including 16 years teaching at the Humber College School of Media Studies before retiring in 2006. Shaw started his broadcasting career at Baton Broadcasting in 1972, joined CTV Toronto as a reporter in 1979 and has been co-anchoring CTV News programs since 2001. They’ll be honoured at a gala banquet at The National Club in Toronto on Nov. 20.

Vividata has partnered with Kantar on the release of the Trust in News study which shows radio is still the most trusted source of news (82 per cent). The study also looks at Canadians’ willingness to pay for news, and finds that while 65 per cent of news audiences feel they can access everything they want for free, there is a direct relationship between how trustworthy a source is and the public’s willingness to pay for it. Adults under age 55, make up 59 per cent of those paying for online news, while one in four adults aged 18-34 pay for online news. Other findings from Trust in News include: 65 per cent use a mobile device or tablet to access news; 38 per cent of Canadians used Facebook for news in the past week, while 16 per cent used YouTube. Based on a representative sample of 2,000 Canadians, the Trust in News study was fielded in April 2018.

The CRTC is inviting Canadians to share their personal experiences with misleading or aggressive sales practices used by the big telecom companies. Until Aug. 30, Canadians can participate by filling out an online form; writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa K1A ON2; sending a fax to (819) 994-0218, or using the secure My CRTC Account. Current and former employees of telecommunications service providers are also encouraged to share their experiences and can apply for confidentiality as needed. Canadians can also share their views through a public opinion survey, to be announced at a later date. Additionally, the commission will conduct focus groups across the country and hold a public hearing, starting Oct. 22. The consultation arises from the government’s request that the CRTC submit a report on the use of aggressive sales tactics and their impact on consumers, as well as potential solutions to strengthen existing consumer protections.

Distinct Infrastructure Group Inc. (DIG) has signed on to a joint venture with Clear Sky Connections Inc. (CSC) and Broadband Communications North Inc. (BCN) to bring high speed internet to Northern Manitoba First Nations. Clear Sky Indigenous Network was formed to submit a proposal to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for the design, engineering, construction and maintenance of the proposed Manitoba Backbone Network. Under the agreement, DIG and its wholly owned subsidiary Crown Utilities will design and engineer the project in conjunction with Manitoba Hydro, and perform all construction, maintenance and testing work between Manitoba Hydro’s fibre backbone and the 28 communities to be served. CSC will act as the project developer, while BCN will be the internet service provider, and undertake ‘last mile’ construction and connection to individual customers. The project is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, and be completed in Dec. 2021.

Rogers is growing its Moncton, NB call centre with the addition of 215 new jobs. The new hires will bring Rogers’ staff contingent in the area to more than 1,000, including call centre agents, sales reps, technicians and corporate positions.

Lucky Mobile, Bell’s low-cost, prepaid mobile service, is now available in all provinces. The service has arrived in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, following its late 2017 rollout in Ontario, Alberta, BC, and later Manitoba and Saskatchewan in March. Lucky Mobile offers nationwide talk and text plans starting at $10/month. Lucky says it plans to launch an app later this year that will offer customers talk and text over Wi-Fi outside of their monthly plans.

Shaw Cable workers in Metro Vancouver have voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action. The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1944 says job security, wages and charging employees for work devices are among the issues to be resolved despite intervention from a federal conciliator. The Local represents about 500 Shaw employees in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and 10,000 workers in the telecommunications sector across the country.

Kate Beirness

Kate Beirness hosted the second annual Her Mark summit on July 14 aimed at empowering the next generation of Canadian female leaders. The TSN Sportscentre anchor is the founder of the one-day event, sponsored by TSN, MLSE and Under Armour, which was attended by 200 female high school students from across the country who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their schools and communities.

James Cridland, Paul Kaye, Valerie Geller and Mark Kassof

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) annual fall conference Connection ‘18 will be held Nov. 8 at the Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel. While the agenda is still being finalized, this year’s event will feature radio futurologist James Cridland; Rogers Radio VP of Talent & Product Development Paul Kaye; international broadcast consultant Valerie Geller and strategic radio researcher Mark Kassof.

SUPPLY LINES:

Powergold music scheduling software is now available in Canada for barter from Momentum Media Networks. The move is a first for music scheduling. Michael Olstrom is the contact.

Dejero has formed a technology partnership with Canadian-based small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) industry experts Draganfly Innovations Inc. The collaboration sees Draganfly’s Commander UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) quadcopter bundled together with the Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter—providing real-time video transport from the air. The collaboration will enable broadcasters to integrate live video captured with UAVs into their newsgathering, sports and event coverage, and video production for television and online audiences.

Tyler Everitt and Christine Scanlon

Pippin Technical Service Ltd., is under new ownership with employees Tyler Everitt and Christine Scanlon becoming president/CEO and CFO respectively. Company founder Al Pippin has retired. The Saskatoon-based equipment supplier and systems integrator has been serving the broadcast industry since 1984. Pippin’s full range of services will continue to be offered including studio, RF, STL, IT/Computer, telephony, automation, captioning, networked audio, audio processing, and full installation, service and support.

Larche Communications has acquired creative, digital-first agency Tyger Shark. The Barrie, ON-based media company has been building its digital division, divesting itself earlier this year of four radio stations including 104.1 The Dock (CICZ-FM) Midland and KICX 106 (CICX-FM) Orillia.

AdsWizz is the latest company to launch a Podcast Platform Partnership Program. AdsWizz is integrating its audio monetization suite to allow its initial slate of partners to offer targeted, programmatic buying on their podcast content. The initial wave of Premier AdsWizz Podcast Platform Partners include podcast hosting companies Libsyn, Blubrry, and StreamGuys; Voxnest, the company behind Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio, that develops podcast audio content management solutions for publishers and media; and EmpireStreaming, an audio-centric CDN and Saas Management platform for live and on-demand content.