Bryan Hall celebrated 65 years in broadcasting on Wednesday. “Hallsy” was celebrated at an Edmonton Broadcasters Club luncheon with 170 guests in attendance. Mayor Don Iveson also issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 17 “Bryan Hall Day” in Edmonton. The longtime sportscaster and play-by-play announcer started his career at CKUA Edmonton in 1953 in news and hosting Saturday jazz show Music for Moderns. He started filling in covering sports and by 1955 was working full-time at CHED 1080. He would go on work at CHUM 1050 Toronto, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Argonauts, before returning to Edmonton. After years with CJCA, including hosting the city’s first open line sports talk show, Hall returned to CHED in 1993 as sports director.
Radio Cité 97,9 (CFED-FM), Edmonton’s new Francophone community radio station, officially launched Oct. 5. The 113-watt station launched with almost $700,000 in grants including $400,000 from Western Economic Diversification, $296,000 from Canadian Heritage and over $46,000 from the Community Radio Fund of Canada. About 65 per cent of the station’s programming is French-language music.
The CRTC has approved Cogeco’s application to purchase RNC Media French-language commercial radio stations CHPR-FM Hawkesbury, ON; CFGT-FM Alma, CKXO-FM Chibougamau; CHVD-FM Dolbeau; CJLA-FM Lachute, CJGO-FM La Sarre and its transmitter CJGO-FM-1 Rouyn-Noranda; CHRL-FM Roberval, CHOA-FM Rouyn-Noranda and its transmitters CHOA-FM-1 Val-D’or and CHOA-FM-2 La Sarre; CKYK-FM Saguenay and its transmitter CKYK-FM-1 Alma and CHGO-FM Val-D’or, Quebec. Cogeco will acquire the stations’ assets for $18,500,000. The applicant has proposed a value of the transaction of $19,736,958, which includes the site leases. Proposed tangible benefits amount to $1,184,217 or six per cent of the value of the transaction.
Lift & Co. has opened voting for the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Awards, including Best Cannabis Podcast and Best Cannabis YouTuber. Former Calgary radio personality Chris Foord (Q107/CJAY 92) is nominated in both categories for The Cannabis Show, which took best podcast honours last year. Also nominated for best podcast are Canadian Cannabis Update, Expert Joints, Legalized and The Pace Radio Show. In addition to The Cannabis Show, top Youtuber nominees include Hart Steinfeld, Valerie Connelly and Peter Nolan-Smith of ‘the bis, Urban Remo and Scottrades, which focuses on Canadian cannabis stocks. Voting is open until Oct. 26.
Bob Irving called his 800th Winnipeg Blue Bombers game on Saturday. Irving, 68, joined the CFL team’s radio broadcasts, shortly after being hired at 680 CJOB Winnipeg, during the 1974 CFL season. He recently celebrated his 45th anniversary with the station.
iHeartRadio Canada has announced the first slate of performers for the 2018 iHeartRadio Canada Jingle Ball, taking place Sunday, Dec. 2 at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. Now in its third year, the holiday spectacle kicks off at 7 p.m. ET sharp with performances from: The Chainsmokers, Khalid, Dua Lipa, Alessia Cara, bülow, Loud Luxury, Lauv, Max, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, Delaney Jane, and Tyler Shaw. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets to the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball go on sale to the general public Friday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. ET at TicketMaster.ca.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has released the first episode of its six-episode podcast series Now & Next. The podcast will explore the digital transformation of the media and entertainment industry. Produced by CMF and hosted by digital media researcher Leora Kornfeld, former host of 1990s CBC network program Realtime, the podcast’s first guest is Mark Swierszcz, operations lead at the Toronto YouTube Space.
Roy Luckow, 90, on Oct. 13. Luckow joined CBC Vancouver in 1953 and was one of the first cameraman in the new medium at CBUT. Over the next 34 years, he did a variety of studio and location cinematography work in drama, variety, current affairs and documentaries. He was director of photography on numerous episodes of The Beachcombers and The Nature of Things. Luckow retired from the CBC in 1987.
David Craig, 77, on Oct. 9. Craig was raised in Woodstock, N.B. where CJCJ-AM opened in his final year of high school. He started at the station in 1959 as a farm editor, DJ, newsman and even swept the floors. He enrolled in the Ryerson Radio and Television Arts Program and upon graduation worked in Smiths Falls, Fredericton, Saint John and Sydney where he also hosted “Saturday Dance Party,” set up the first TV newsroom at CJCB, and played trumpet and percussion in various militia bands. From there, he worked in Sault Ste. Marie and Hamilton which led him to CFRB-AM Toronto in 1967. He was the station’s Queen’s Park bureau chief for one year before settling into a 22-year stretch as the morning news editor. After CFRB, Craig took a year off to do public relations for the Anglican Church of Canada and then became morning man and news director at CKSL-AM London. He later did a stint at CJEZ-FM and went on to become the first news director at 680 News (CFTR-AM) Toronto. Over the years there were also stops at Classical 96FM, CHUC and Star FM in Cobourg. He also hosted “The Band Show” at CJRU-AM Oakville where he played big band and concert band music from his extensive collections. In the 1980s and 90s he taught Broadcast Journalism and Radio Production Theory at Ryerson University and Broadcast Internet Reporting at Seneca College. Most recently, he worked as a weekend announcer for CBC before deciding at age 68 it was time to retire. Craig’s assertion was that the attraction of news is “the constant adventure of life” it provides. He was honoured with an RTNDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 in the Central Region.
Bob Gilchrist, 79, on Oct. 7, suddenly of a heart attack. Gilchrist worked for several decades in television, starting at The Australian Broadcasting Co., and then the CTV network and CFTO-TV Toronto, retiring as an ENG editor at CBC Toronto. He worked freelance in the 1980s, working in the camera and electrical department on shows like Jim Henson’s Muppets, SCTV, and 20 Minute Workout, to name a few.
Netflix stock closed up nearly 17 per cent Tuesday after the streaming giant beat earnings estimates, revealing it added almost seven million net subscribers in Q3. Posting its third-quarter earnings report, the company said its broad slate of original programming helped drive a solid quarter of growth with streaming revenue increasing 36 per cent year over year and global membership surpassing 130 million paid and 137 million total. The company reported revenue of $4 billion, on target with estimates. Netflix added 6.96 million subscribers, with 1.09 million of those domestic and international subscriber additions of 5.87 million. The company is predicting it will add 9.4 million total net subscribers in the coming quarter. Netflix shares closed up 16.73 per cent Monday to $388.87 USD, up more than 80 per cent for the year as consumers continue to abandon traditional TV providers.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and 14 other TV and film trade associations from around the world have formed the Global Creative Alliance (GCA), a new partnership to encourage more effective international collaboration between producers and increase opportunities for co-productions. Trade bodies from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, France, India, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, the U.S. and the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a reception in Cannes on Oct. 14. As part of the MOU, all parties commit to using best efforts to share information such as market intelligence and will endeavour to arrange delegations to share best practices and enable producers to foster new creative relationships. Each party will also act as an administrator for the Production Platform, an online networking tool available to TV companies worldwide that allows registered users to pitch ideas for international collaboration.
Blue Ant Media has announced its acquiring Toronto-based production company Saloon Media. Saloon Media’s Michael Kot (CEO), Steve Gamester (Executive Producer), Paul Kilback (Executive Producer) and Betty Orr (Head of Production) will join Blue Ant Media’s Global Production unit. Specializing in factual television and digital content, Saloon Media launched in 2013 with recent credits including Mummies Alive for HISTORY (Canada), Smithsonian Channel (U.S.) and Yesterday (UK); and 10-part broadcast and web series Tornado Hunters for CMT. Read more here.
Quebecor Content and French-Canadian producer and distributor Media Ranch are teaming up to launch a format incubator programme. Horsepower will be based at new Media Ranch premises in Montreal and aims to develop the next generation of French-Canadian format creators. The first intake of between six and eight participants will happen in January with the program running until June. Shortlisted candidates will benefit from ongoing development, editorial support and mentorship with producer and distributor Sophie Ferron, Media Ranch’s president. The winning project will receive an investment from Quebecor Content to produce a proof-of-concept episode, which will be produced and distributed by Media Ranch on the international market. The submission process opens Nov. 10.
The CRTC has approved the installation of a new over-the-air TV transmitter in Îles-de-la-Madeleine, the first digital transmitter on the island. With no local television station currently serving the island, CHAU-DT Carleton-sur-Mer, an affiliate of the TVA network, says it will make local television news produced in Gaspé and Acadia available and plans to offer local news content to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine community. Local community radio station CFIM-FM Cap-aux-Meules argued that the transmitter would threaten the viability of its community radio station and that its advertising revenue would plummet, however the CRTC dismissed that concern.
Sportsnet is expanding its SN NOW+ service which now offers a top tier package lifting regional blackout restrictions for every NHL game that is exclusive to Sportsnet. SN NOW+ is available as a direct-to-consumer service for $27.99/month. The basic SN NOW tier continues to provide a direct feed of what is available on Sportsnet’s television channels, including the Sportsnet regional channels (Sportsnet Ontario, East, West and Pacific), Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet 360, including all national NHL games, in-market games for Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Raptors, Blue Jays, WWE and more. SN NOW is now offered at a reduced price of $19.99/month for direct-to-consumer customers and remains available at no additional cost for Sportsnet cable, satellite and IPTV subscribers.
Shaftesbury, Pope Productions, and Citytv have started production in St. John’s, NL on new drama series REX (working title). Centred on the partnership between a police detective and his hardworking dog, REX stars John Reardon (Van Helsing, Continuum), Mayko Nguyen (Killjoys, Fahrenheit 451), and Enrico Colantoni (Bad Blood, Flashpoint). The eight-episode, hour-long series is based on the long-running, international hit Rex, a Cop’s Best Friend which has aired in 125 countries for 18 seasons.
Nelvana Enterprises, the global licensing and merchandising arm of Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, has announced a partnership with UK-based Vivid Toy Group for global licensing rights (excluding toys) to UniVersus. Nelvana will produce original digital media content for the brand, beginning with an order of 20 shorts based on the upcoming line of toys, and will hold global distribution rights. The toys and digital shorts are slated to launch in fall 2019. UniVersus features a host of collectible alien characters, each one trapped in its own sand-filled pod that has plummeted to Earth. It’s up to kids to help free the aliens by decrypting the secret code, unlocking them from their hyper-sleep.
Whoopi Goldberg and Canadian-born actress Alison Pill (Vice, Three Tall Women, The Newsroom) helm the voice cast for Nelvana’s upcoming animated short film The Most Magnificent Thing. Based on Ashley Spires’ bestselling picture book of the same name, published by Corus’ Kids Can Press in 2014, Goldberg stars as the film’s narrator, with a cast rounded out by Pill as “mom”, Lilly Bartlam (Total Drama Island, Dot.) as “the determined girl”, and Tony Daniels (Atomic Puppet, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) as her canine best friend. The Most Magnificent Thing is currently wrapping production and is set to debut at various to-be-announced film festivals in early 2019.
DHX Media and Mattel report that new animated children’s series Polly Pocket has been picked up by 16 broadcasters internationally. Based on the Mattel toy brand, the new series premiered in Canada in July, on DHX Media’s own Family Channel and Family Jr, and will roll-out globally throughout late 2018 and into 2019. Additional broadcasters set to air Polly Pocket include Sony Pictures Television’s POP channel (UK); RTL Telekids (Netherlands); Kidzone TV (Baltics); Lagardère’s Gulli and TiJi (France), Gulli AFRICA (22 African-French speaking countries) and Gulli Girl (Russia); teleTOON+ (Poland); AMC Minimax (Eastern Europe); vtmkzoom (Belgium); Canal Panda (Portugal); Turner (Italy, Middle East, Turkey and Greece); Star Channel (Greece); kidZ (Israel); SABC (South Africa); and Discovery Kids (Latin America).
Discovery all-new original Canadian series Vintage Tech Hunters debuts with back-to-back episodes beginning Nov. 5. Viewers are invited to join technophile co-hosts Bohus Blahut and Shaun Hatton as they scour liquidation sales and backcountry antique auctions to uncover “rare, weird and nostalgic” tech. Produced by Crooked Horse Productions (a division of Boat Rocker Studios), the 14-part series follows the duo as they turn up a slew of throwback collectibles, including the world’s first talking pinball machine, a Robert the Robot, Minox B Spy Camera, Speak ‘n Spell toy, and an Apple I computer.
Future History, a documentary series (13 x .30) celebrating the reclamation of Indigenous knowledge, will premiere on APTN next month. Actress Jennifer Podemski, president of Redcloud Studios Inc., co-produces and directs. Following Anishinaabe hosts Sarain Fox and Kris Nahrgang as they venture into their community to gain understanding, the series debuts Nov. 13 at 7:30 pm ET on APTN East & HD and 7:30 pm MT on APTN West.
Sportsnet says its inaugural #IceSurfing Twitter broadcast of the NHL season captured a total audience of 649,000 viewers during its three-hour Oct. 9 premiere. The network says #IceSurfing attracted 503,000 unique visitors – 200,000 more than its pilot episode last season. The weekly Tuesday evening broadcast is hosted by Jeff Marek and Jason York, featuring contributors like Steve Dangle and Stan Nieradka with segments like ‘Stat of the Day.’
CBC/Radio-Canada will hold its first-ever national bilingual Hackathon Feb. 1-3, which will challenge programmers to enhance the personalization of the public broadcaster’s digital platforms. Sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft, the friendly tech competition is open to all Canadian residents, either on-site at the CBC Broadcast Centre Toronto or Maison de Radio-Canada in Montreal, or remotely online. Working in teams of three to five people, participants are tasked with developing a functional web or mobile prototype that uses personalization techniques to generate engagement between Canadians and CBC/Radio-Canada’s digital platforms. Hackathon guidelines suggest the prototype could, for example, generate news stories according to user interests, make content recommendations or personalize layout. Interested amateur, professional and student programmers, designers and other digitally-inclined Canadians have until Friday, Nov. 30 to register their team’s application at cbc.ca/hackathon. Read more here.
CRTC-commissioned public opinion research finds that 40 per cent of Canadians surveyed by IPSOS reported having experienced sales practices by telecommunications companies in Canada that they consider to be aggressive or misleading. The commission published the results ahead of its week-long public hearing on the issue, starting Oct. 22. Canada’s largest telecommunications carriers will appear before a full commission panel, as will public advocacy groups, senior advocacy groups and other stakeholders. Canadians are invited to participate throughout the hearing via Twitter using the hashtag #CRTCforum. Tweets using the hashtag which comply with the CRTC’s Rules of Engagement and which are posted between Oct. 22 (starting at 9 a.m. EDT) and the end of hearing will be added to the public record and considered for the CRTC’s report to government on the matter. Read the full story here.
Faith Goldy has had her complaint against Bell Media thrown out by an Ontario Superior Court judge. The Toronto mayoral candidate and conservative commentator was seeking an injunction that would have compelled the broadcaster to play her 30-second ads on its CP24 television station ahead of the Oct. 22 municipal election. Judge Peter Cavanagh, who heard Monday’s emergency motion, said in his written decision Tuesday that the matter is under the “exclusive jurisdiction” of the CRTC and while the court could grant an injunction in a “truly dire emergency even where a statutory tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction” he declined to exercise that jurisdiction in this case. Goldy’s counsel, constitutional and civil rights attorney Clayton Ruby, had argued that Ontario Superior Court should hear the matter because of its urgency. In his decision, Cavanagh states that with Goldy polling at approximately six per cent according to her counsel, it’s unlikely the outcome of the application would “have any realistic impact on the outcome of the election.” Earlier in the week, Goldy revealed that Rogers Media had also refused her ads after initially agreeing to a contract. Read the full story here.
The Competition Bureau has launched public consultations to better understand what influences consumer choice when buying internet services. The bureau is asking Canadians to fill out a short online survey as part of its latest market study, undertaken in May. Ultimately, the bureau says it’s aiming to find out if internet regulations could be smarter and more effective, as well as ensure that it’s focusing on the issues around internet service that matter most to consumers. The bureau anticipates publishing the study no later than June. Read more here.
Rogers Media employees at The Shopping Channel have accepted a new four-year collective agreement that includes wage increases, upgrades, improved benefits and job security. Unifor Local 79-M represents 90 employees in broadcasting operations who will see annual wage increases retroactive to June 2018 of 1.5, 2.0, 2.0 and 2.5 per cent. Showroom clerks, studio camera operators, photographers, general operators and technical directors, who make up 50 per cent of the bargaining unit, will also earn special upgrades. The new agreement includes language that clarifies that layoff, bumping and recall goes by seniority with no management discretion. Other gains include doubling severance pay to two weeks per year of service, capped at 52 weeks, improved contracting out language, and new jurisdictional language prohibiting non-union personnel from performing union work. Regular part time and casual workers who average 20 hours weekly will be eligible for benefits, and night shift and work on day off premiums are improved. The employer has also agreed to contribute to Unifor’s paid education leave.
Monique Lafontaine, Ontario commissioner for the CRTC, will be the Keynote Luncheon speaker at this year’s OAB Connection ‘18 conference set for Nov. 8 at the Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel. More info on this year’s speakers is available on the OAB website.
Rogers’ 2013 NHL media deal is subject of a new book by The Globe and Mail sports writer David Shoalts. Hockey Fight in Canada: The Big Media Faceoff delves into the 12-year, $5.2 billion dollar agreement which marked the first time a professional sports league had sold all of its broadcast rights to one company. Shoalts also looks at some of the company’s missteps including replacing Hockey Night In Canada host Ron Maclean with George Stroumbouloupoulous.
Anne-France Goldwater has won a lawsuit against Quebec’s V network over uncompensated rebroadcast and early cancellation of her TV show L’Arbitre. The broadcaster and producer of the show have been ordered to pay Goldwater over $600,000 in damages. While a clause in Goldwater’s contract didn’t allow rebroadcast on another channel other than V, the show was re-aired on MusiMax. Goldwater demanded $1,000 in damages for each episode, plus the $432,000 that would have been received for Season 8 of L’Arbitre, which was ultimately not produced.
Momentum Media Marketing is making Vancouver-based marketing expert and best-selling author David Allison’s “Valuegraphics” available to the broadcast industry. Using data based on 75,000 in depth surveys, Valuegraphics is the new science of shared human values that delves into what audiences really want and what messages will motivate them. Allison’s recently-released book We Are All the Same Age Now explores how moving on from demographic stereotypes can help organizations make more strategic, values-based decisions with the help of big data. For more info on how Valuegraphics can help achieve results in the broadcast sector, contact MMM president Shawn Smith at email@example.com.
Stingray’s commercial services division Stingray Business is poised to expand into the European market with the acquisition of DJ-Matic, a provider of in-store media solutions (music, video, digital signage) for businesses with clients in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. Launched in 2000, DJ-Matic serves clients in a range of industries including bars and pubs, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and fitness centers. Under the terms of the agreement, Stingray will fully own and operate DJ-Matic with the continued direction of the company’s current leadership team. Stingray says the acquisition supports its business plan and growth strategy by giving Stingray Business a solid foothold in Europe and a share in the local demand for curated, commercially-licenced entertainment services. Stingray Business, already a leader in the Canadian background music market with clients in 78,000 locations, has been on a growth streak signing contracts over the last 12 months with Mexico’s Farmacias del Ahorro, entered the Australian market with the acquisitions of SBA Music and SMA Entertainment, and acquired Novramedia, a Toronto-based design, development, and digital media solutions company.
Vividata, a Toronto-based provider of media market analytics and consumer research, is partnering with New York audience-based social media measurement company Shareablee Inc. The partnership establishes Shareablee’s largest presence to-date in the Canadian market, and gives Vividata’s network access to its social metrics, including custom reporting tools and Monetization Suite advertiser-publisher dashboards. Vividata says the agreement capitalizes on Canada’s surging social media landscape with overall major social network content and actions growing at a rate of 15 per cent since 2017 and Instagram per-post average engagement rising 25 per cent during the same period. Shareablee will work closely with the Vividata team to support the needs of the Canadian market through their Toronto based representative, Alex Castro.
QYOU Media, the Canadian-based curator of premium “best-of-the-web” video for multiscreen distribution, has announced a major marketing agreement with FansUnite Entertainment Inc., a blockchain-based sports betting company, around its flagship eSports platform “Heads Up Daily” (HUD). The sponsorship agreement will see FansUnite sponsor HUD’s daily highlights segment, weekly player vs. player segment, and accompanying social media activations. Founded and created by industry veterans from Lionsgate, MTV, and CinemaNow, QYOU’s millennial-focused products including linear television networks, genre-based series, mobile apps, and video-on-demand formats reach customers on six continents. Distribution partners include Vodafone, 21st Century Fox, Liberty Global, Showmax, iflix, Jio, SuperChannel and Tata Sky.
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