The CRTC has approved the first commercial radio station for Assiniboia, SK, south of Moose Jaw, population 2,389. Former Saskatoon Media Group programming manager Steven Huber has been awarded a licence to operate a 20,000-watt country music FM at 98.1 MHz. Huber is proposing playing hits from the 90s, 2000s and today, in addition to roughly five hours a week of local news, weather, road information, and community events. The commission approved Huber’s application over objections from Golden West, Harvard and Rawlco, who submitted that the proposed station would have an undue negative impact on AM stations CHAB Moose Jaw, CKRM Regina and CJME Regina.
Netflix is making its first foray into radio, partnering with SiriusXM to launch a comedy channel that will draw from its existing stable of stand-up specials and talk shows. Anticipated to make its debut as early as January, Netflix will create a new outlet to handle radio distribution of its comedy programming as well as produce original content for the commercial-free channel.
SiriusXM and PGA of America have announced a five-year extension of their long-term broadcasting agreement. SiriusXM will continue to deliver live audio broadcasts of PGA of America events, including the PGA Championship and the 2020 Ryder Cup, to Canadian subscribers. SiriusXM and the PGA of America will also launch new weekly talk show PGA of America Radio, starting Aug. 8. Canadian subscribers can tune in on Sirius channel 208, XM channel 92.
Edison Research has released the results of its new study on podcasting, finding that while 64 per cent of Americans 18+ are familiar with the term, 80 per cent have never listened to a podcast. Just 17 per cent of Americans aged 18+ (48 million people) had listened to a podcast in the last week. 80 per cent of those surveyed didn’t think they had a podcast app on their phone, while 62 per cent were concerned about eating up their data. Read more here.
Westwood One commissioned Ipsos to look at the connection between online shopping habits and AM/FM tuning finding that radio had the highest conversion of awareness to purchase among 18-49 year olds. Westwood One conducted the study in conjunction with the 36-hour Amazon Prime Day sale on July 16-17, surveying 2,010 Americans 18+. Among those that recalled radio ads for Amazon Prime Day, 25 per cent made a purchase, compared to 26 per cent who recalled seeing ads online.
Jay Bedford, music director, PD and morning show host at New Country 103.5 (CKCH-FM) Sydney, NS, is marking 50 years in radio. Bedford, 68, grew up in Montreal and landed his first radio job at CKJL-AM St. Jerome, Que. while he was still in high school. On the way to pursuing business at St. F-X University in Antigonish, NS, Bedford ended up getting a job at local station CJFX-AM and dropped out of school to pursue radio full-time. With the exception of a few years in Alberta and Ontario, he’s been working in Cape Breton since 1971 and was instrumental in acquiring the license for New Country 103.5 and hiring its first staff in 2008.
On this week’s Broadcast Dialogue podcast, is the era of how we measure consumer habits using traditional age-based demographic stereotypes over?
Publisher Shawn Smith speaks with Vancouver speaker, author and former brand strategist David Allison whose fourth book, We Are All The Same Age Now, is about Valuegraphics: the idea that people’s values now override age in defining the target audience for any product, service or brand.
OMNI Television has announced the broadcast team for the Blue Jays: Pinoy Edition, which starts Sunday, Aug. 5. It includes host Mara Aquino, courtside reporter for the Philippine Basketball Association; colour commentator Mike Cruz, CEO of sports management company Crossover Sports Canada; and play-by-play announcer Charles de Torres. Games will air every Sunday on OMNI.2, OMNI BC, OMNI Alberta and OMNI Regional throughout the remainder of the regular season.
OMNI Television original series Second Jen returns for a second season, beginning Aug. 4. Inspired by real-life experiences, Season 2 of the scripted comedy following two second-generation millennials and their friends, promises to touch on hot-button topics like racism and sexism in the workplace. Joining Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan as season regulars are Nile Séguin (Alister, The Beaverton), Lily Gao (Karen, Blood and Water), and new cast member Lovell Adams-Gray (Marcus, Slasher).
The CRTC has delayed the hearing of applications for a national, multilingual multi-ethnic television service, that could potentially replace OMNI. The commission will now consider applications starting Nov. 26, instead of Oct 15.
One America News Network (OANN) and A Wealth of Entertainment (AWE) have announced a master distribution agreement with the Canadian Communication Systems Alliance, representing over 110 independent internet and TV providers across Canada. The conservative news and luxury entertainment-themed specialty channels, owned and operated by San Diego-based Herring Networks, received authorization for distribution in Canada earlier this year.
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group is acquiring Montreal and San Francisco-based visual effects (VFX) company Atomic Fiction. Atomic Fiction will join Method Studios, Deluxe’s global VFX brand, as part of its strategy to deepen the company’s talent base and take on bigger and more challenging VFX projects for feature film, TV and advertising. Founded in 2010, some of Atomic Fiction’s standout projects include Robert Zemeckis collaborations The Walk, Allied, Flight, and the upcoming Welcome to Marwen, as well as Star Trek Beyond, Deadpool, and Ghost in the Shell. Montreal will become a flagship studio for Method as part of a global strategy that also includes expansion in Pune, India. Atomic Fiction co-founder Ryan Tudhope will continue to lead the Montreal team as executive creative director, while co-founder Kevin Baillie will take on the new role of creative director and Sr. Visual Effects supervisor. All of Atomic’s 300 full-time and freelance employees are expected to join Method Studios when the transaction closes.
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and CFC Media Lab have announced that VR experience Made This Way: Redefining Masculinity has been selected to screen in the Venice Virtual Reality program at the 75th Venice International Film Festival. A co-production of CFC Media Lab and Cinehackers, with additional support from Depthkit and the National Film Board (NFB), the 18-minute experience was made by artist/photographer Irem Harnak and writer/filmmaker Elli Raynai. It blends an installation of large-scale photographic portraits with volumetric VR testimonials from Elijah Miley, a circus performer and belly dancer training to be a firefighter and raising a family in Toronto; and Devyn Farries, a New York-based, non-binary comic book illustrator who creates comics about the everyday lives of queer people of colour.
Much Studios has partnered with longtime Much Studios creators Jae and Trey Richards of 4YE to produce eight-part comedy web series Judge Tyco. The series is based on the 4YE’s popular recurring character Tyco, best known for the T-Dot Goon Scrap DVD skits and follow-up video which featured a cameo by Drake. The Brampton-born, Toronto-based comedy duo have been creating stand-out content, amassing an audience of more than 1 million YouTube subscribers and more than 90 million lifetime views.
The 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs have announced that Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina will make her live broadcast hosting debut at the Aug. 26 awards show. The actress, writer, and rapper joins confirmed talent Halsey, Shawn Mendes and Tyra Banks. Mendes and Drake lead the award nominations, with voting now open for the six Fan Fave categories, including Fan Fave Artist, Fan Fave Video, and Fan Fave Much Creator at CTV.ca/MMVA.
TSN has announced its broadcast schedule for the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, starting Aug. 6. The under-18 tournament, held this year in Edmonton and Red Deer, runs through Aug. 11 with the gold medal matchup at 9 p.m. ET on TSN2. TSN and TSN Direct subscribers can enjoy live coverage on TSN, TSN.ca, and the TSN app. Find the broadcast schedule here.
CraveTV has announced that production is underway on an all-new season of Letterkenny. The half-hour comedy will feature new guest stars Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead) and Jonathan Torrens (Trailer Park Boys) this season. Currently in production in Sudbury, ON, and set to debut later this year, Jacob Tierney returns to direct the six new episodes while also reprising his role as Christian leader, Glen.
Casual, the Golden Globe-nominated comedy series from Canadian filmmaker Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), has returned to CraveTV for its fourth and final season. All eight episodes of Season 4 dropped at once on Tuesday, while Seasons 1-3 continue to stream on the service.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) kicked off its national tour in Halifax on Monday, soliciting feedback from members on how the federal government can best update legislation to support domestic TV, movie and digital content production. The coast-to-coast consultation is in response to the federal review of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts. Sessions are scheduled to take place over the next four weeks in St. John’s, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa.
Global News has debuted new online series #LivinginColour on its YouTube channel. Hosted by Farah Nasser, the long-form panel discussions will explore the day-to-day experiences of people of colour, examining the impact race and ethnicity have on their relationship to the rest of the world in the context of mental health, online dating, LGTBQ2S, and stereotypes.
CBC Sports will offer live coverage of the 2018 Canadian Little League Baseball Championship in Mirabel, Que., Aug. 2–11. CBC Sports will livestream each game from the seven-team tournament at cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports app, with the semifinal and final games to be broadcast on CBC. Radio-Canada Sports will offer live-streaming coverage of the semifinal and final games at Radio-Canada.ca/sports. CBC Sports’ Matt Cullen will provide play-by-play, with colour commentary from former Montreal Expos broadcaster Tom Valcke. Devin Heroux will join the broadcast team as reporter for the semifinal and final games. CBC Sports will also livestream a Challenger Baseball game on Aug. 10, a program that allows kids with cognitive or physical limitations to participate in the game.
The Dave & Jay Show launched online July 28 featuring former CHQR-AM Calgary/Corus Radio network talk host Dave Rutherford and Jay Hill, former Conservative MP for Prince George-Peace River. In their first video blog posted to Facebook, the duo promise to tackle the issues facing Canadians and Albertans, squarely taking aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Deezer has undertaken a survey that finds the average person reaches “musical paralysis” around age 28, ceasing to seek out new music. The online survey of 5,000 adults in Brazil, France, Germany, the UK and U.S., found that musical discovery peaks at age 25 with average listening of 10 new songs per week. The majority of those surveyed said they wished they could discover more new music, citing work schedules, child care and overwhelming music choice. The streaming service released the survey as it promotes its Flow “personal soundtrack” feature, which mixes listener favourites with new music recommendations.
CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin is strongly urging CBC management to find other columnists to write about protests at the Gaza-Israel border after finding that an opinion piece by Neil Macdonald did not meet CBC standards. The complainant objected to Macdonald’s strong defense of the position taken by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, protesting the shooting of a Palestinian journalist during border confrontations. Enkin says while the article itself did not violate CBC journalistic policy, there continues to be an imbalance in the range of views available in the Opinion section on the contentious issue which violates policy.
CTV Atlantic is the target of a complaint filed with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) by Halifax activist Masuma Khan, who alleges the false narrative of a June 30 story and resulting social media fallout have led to death threats against her. The complaint surrounds a news item from reporter Ron Shaw focusing on a U.S. Marine Corp Band who were in Halifax’s Parade Square for a photo-op as a small group of protesters was setting up for an anti-Trump rally protesting the separation of children and families at the U.S. border. Shaw sent out two erroneous Tweets, one of which stated the Marines were “going to play an outdoor show…but refugee issue protesters chased them away.” The story became further distorted by online group Ontario Proud who falsely claimed the protesters attacked the Marines.
Rogers has announced its improved wireless service in a number of markets across the country as it boosts and densifies its network with small cells and macro sites. Working with Ericsson as part of its multi-year national network plan, Rogers has made network enhancements in the Lundy Village area of Brampton; Port Dover, ON; the Harbour Landing neighbourhood of Regina; Medicine Hat, AB, and Qualicum Beach, BC.
Xplornet has unveiled new wireless brand Xplore Mobile in Manitoba, ahead of its official service launch this fall. Xplornet president and CEO Allison Lenehan says customer consultation revealed a shared desire to bring a sense of fairness to the province’s wireless marketplace. Manitoba’s fourth wireless carrier, Xplore Mobile will launch with six retail locations in Brandon and Winnipeg, operating on an established 4G LTE network.
Bell MTS is expanding its all-fibre broadband network in the fast-growing City of Winkler, MB. Fully funded by Bell MTS, the network expansion includes more than 50 kilometres of new fibre installation both underground and on utility poles. The first new customer connections are expected later this summer.
CBS News Radio programming is now available Canada-wide including on-the-hour and bottom-of-the-hour newscasts, anchored and unanchored coverage of special events and one-on-one interview access to the network’s top correspondents. Also available to stations are short-form features like Ask Dr. Phil, The Doctors Orders, Eye on Tech, Eye on the White House, and original long-form programs including the CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, and Weekend Roundup. CBS News Radio is being distributed in Canada by Momentum Media Networks.
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Rex Tasker, 85, on July 24, at his home in Musquodoboit Harbour, NS.
A student of the London Film School, Tasker arrived in Canada in 1958 to work with the National Film Board, based in Montreal. For the first 12 years, he was a picture editor, researcher, writer, director and producer, earning multiple honours for his work, including an Oscar nomination for “Helicopter Canada” in addition to awards for “Fields of Sacrifice,” “Steeltown,” “The White Ship” and “The Oshawa Kid.” He also worked on the Challenge for Change project in Thunder Bay to establish community video production, and taught film at Stanford University, New York University, the University of Toledo, and Florida State University. In 1973, he moved to Nova Scotia to set up the NFB’s Atlantic Centre with nearly 100 films produced under his tenure as head of the studio. Tasker retired from the NFB in 1992. Of his many accolades, he was awarded the John Grierson Genie Award for “contribution to Canadian Film in the spirit and tradition of John Grierson” in 1980. In 1982, the Atlantic Film Festival dubbed its best documentary film award, the “Rex Tasker Award.” In retirement, Tasker worked on small, one-man productions tackling subjects like a successful fishing cooperative in Belize, and the history of Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, where he lived for more than 40 years.