Deloitte Global’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions for 2019 forecast that radio revenue in the U.S. will hit $40 billion USD this year, an increase of one per cent over 2018. The report says radio is holding steady at 94 per cent reach, essentially unchanged from Spring 2001, with Canadian radio’s reach slightly lower at 86 per cent. An Aug. 2018 Deloitte Global study found that 70 per cent of radio listeners in Canada and the U.S. report tuning in every day or on most days, across all age groups. The report predicts that Radio’s global ad spend will be about six per cent this year, nine per cent in North America.
Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation, which broadcasts First Nations and Métis programming to more than 70 communities in Saskatchewan, is launching a new programming lineup Monday, Feb. 4. MBC Radio, including its flagship station CJLR-FM La Ronge, is getting a refresh exactly 34 years to the day of the first corporate broadcast back in 1985. Highlighted changes include Cree morning program Achimostuwin (Share Your Story with Me) from 6 -7 a.m. weekdays; Start Your Day with Tyler J – 7-11 a.m.; Cree Achimowin/Dene Honi (split feed) – 11-12 p.m.; North at Noon – 12-1pm; Midday with Riley – 1-5 p.m. and Saskatchewan at Night – 5-9 p.m. The programming is rounded out by late night Cree and Dene Connections Evening Show from 9 p.m.-midnight, Mon. to Thurs.
Corus Entertainment has added investigative podcast Russia Rising to its Curiouscast podcast network. The seven-part original series, led by Global News’ Jeff Semple, the network’s former Europe bureau chief, takes listeners inside Vladimir Putin’s Russia to unravel its evolution from tenuous ally to potential global threat. Semple returned to Toronto earlier this month and is now working as a senior network reporter.
The Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre Foundation Hope to Life Radiothon, presented by Maric Homes, last Friday exceeded its fundraising goal by nearly $10,000. Broadcast on Corus stations 680 CJOB and Power 97 (CKJR-FM), the radiothon raised a total of $184,120.56.
The Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) is launching its 9th call for applications under the Radiometres program. Radiometres is open to all campus and community radio stations holding a valid CRTC licence. Stations can request a maximum of $50,000 for a project aimed at improving locally-reflective music and spoken word programming, supporting skilled and sustainable volunteer participation, and facilitating diverse community participation. The deadline to submit an application is Mar. 8. Recipients will be announced in June 2019. The funds awarded through the Radiometres program come from Canada’s private broadcasters and aim to support Canadian content development. Find the program guidelines here.
The National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) wants all campus-based radio stations and established student media organizations designated as essential services, following a move by the Ontario government to allow post-secondary students to opt-out of non-essential tuition fees. The association issued a press release Wednesday, saying it is deeply concerned that the changes could result in significant loss of funding for 19 Ontario campus stations, dozens of student media organizations like campus newspapers, and other key student services. Read the full story here.
Ed Jurak, 75, on Jan. 26. Jurak started his broadcasting career in 1963 doing weekends and fill-in at CKLG Vancouver. He moved on to CHTK Prince Rupert, where he became program director in 1967. In the early 1970s, he returned to the Lower Mainland to work at Stoney Productions Recording Studio in North Vancouver. Jurak returned to radio in 1976, both on-air and behind the scenes, as an engineer at CHTK and then held a similar combined role at CKO-FM-4 Vancouver from 1983-89 and CKST Langley/Vancouver from 1991-2002. He retired from the engineering department at CHUM Radio Vancouver in 2004.
Tony Antonias, 89, on Jan. 25. The longtime copy chief and creative director at CKNW Vancouver, Antonias started with the station in 1955. He’s best known for writing the popular Woodward’s Department Store $1.49 Day jingle in 1958 which earned him an International Broadcasting Award from the Hollywood Advertising Club. In his private life, Antonias, who originally hailed from Australia, was an avid supporter of the arts in his adopted home community of New Westminster, BC and was involved in efforts to save the Columbia Theatre heritage building, among other projects.
John Himpe, 38, on Jan. 25 of a catastrophic brain aneurysm. Himpe started honing his broadcasting skills at age 16, while working in community cable in Yorkton, SK. He went on to study Broadcast News at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). From there, he worked as a reporter and anchor at CJFB-TV Swift Current, and then News Talk 980 CJME Regina, which led to a more than 10-year stint with Rawlco Radio that saw him become APD in Regina, then program director of news/talk and eventually morning show co-host. He did a short stint hosting afternoons with Harvard Broadcasting in Yorkton, before joining 770 CHQR Calgary as a reporter in Jan. 2017. Since April of last year, he’d been executive producing on the station’s talk show side.
James Hendricks, on Jan. 21. After attending Humber College, Hendricks got his start in broadcasting covering municipal affairs for Rogers TV in Toronto. He moved on to Shaw’s NowTV after a year and then landed in Ottawa in 1998. He was a reporter and anchor for eight years with The New RO and A-Channel, before getting caught up in station downsizing in 2006. He pivoted to Rogers TV where he hosted and produced news magazine “Talk Ottawa” and served as a political analyst and special events anchor until 2014. He was also an on-air contributor to the short-lived Sun New Network.
Sandra Oh continued her winning streak Sunday night, picking up a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for Killing Eve. The honour is the Ottawa native’s third this awards season for her role as MI5 operator Eve Polastri in the BBC America thriller, also claiming a Critics’ Choice Television Award and a Golden Globe. Oh’s fourth win and sixth SAG nomination, she’s previously been recognized for her work on Grey’s Anatomy and as part of the ensemble cast of the 2004 feature film Sideways.
The GLAAD Media Awards, which recognize fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, have nominated several Canadian series. Schitt’s Creek is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series; Wyonna Earp for Outstanding Drama Series; while Anne With an E received a nod in the Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category. Canadian-American political commentator and host Samantha Bee is nominated for Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode for “Trans Rights Under Attack” Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Additionally, several productions that use Canada as their primary filming location are nominees including Vancouver-shot Deadpool 2 (Outstanding Film – Wide Release) and the CW’s Supergirl (Outstanding Drama Series). Shadowhunters and The Handmaid’s Tale, which are filmed in the Toronto area, are also nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. The GLAAD Media Awards will be handed out in March at ceremonies in L.A. and New York.
The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has announced that Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will headline its BANFF Summit Series. Kicking off the festival’s 40th edition, taking place June 9-12 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, the BANFF Summit Series will celebrate four decades of media leaders and breakthrough creators. Katzenberg will kick off the festival on Sunday, June 9, speaking in a fireside conversation format. Katzenberg is currently co-founder and managing partner of WndrCo, a holding company that invests in, acquires, develops and operates consumer technology businesses for the long term. He is also founder and chairman of new mobile viewing platform Quibi. Read the full story here.
Shopify will launch a TV and film content development and production house called Shopify Studios, which will develop, produce and finance projects for both streaming platforms and traditional networks. Much of its initial content will be entrepreneur-driven docuseries with deals already inked with Anonymous Content, Spoke Studios and Saville Productions. Shopify Studios will be headquartered in Toronto, but also operate in New York and Los Angeles.
Gusto TV will be the first food channel offered to viewers of STIRR, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s new free, ad-supported streaming service. STIRR went live in mid-January, available for iOS and Android, on Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, Roku and the web, offering a mix of local and national channels, a video-on-demand (VOD) library, and a localized channel featuring programming based on a user’s location.
CBC has announced that The Great Canadian Baking Show will return for a third season (8×60) as the public broadcaster kicks off a nationwide search for Canada’s best amateur bakers. Interested home bakers can apply online for the chance to participate in the upcoming season. Based on the hit British format and produced by Proper Television, Season 3 will begin production in Toronto this summer and will air on CBC and stream on CBC Gem in the fall. Season 2 of the show was CBC’s most-watched factual entertainment series during the 2017/18 broadcast season and reached 1.4 million viewers in Canada each week.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has joined CWA Canada’s Fairness in Factual TV campaign, aimed at improving working conditions and organizing workers in factual/reality television. IATSE, North America’s largest entertainment union, brings significant clout to the now five-year old effort, joining CWA and its biggest local, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG). The union says independent contractors and employees often work side by side in the factual TV industry and misclassification is common, which robs workers of their legal rights, such as overtime and vacation pay. The issue is at the heart of a $35-million dollar class action lawsuit, filed in October, on behalf of hundreds of reality and factual TV workers who have worked at Cineflix Canada, which produces TV shows like Property Brothers and Mayday. Read the full story here.
Numeris data confirms that the Season 3 premiere of Discovery’s original series Heavy Rescue: 401 increased its audience by 28 per cent over the Season 2 debut, with more than 481,000 viewers. The debut episode was also the most-watched entertainment specialty program of the day among the A25-54 demo with 253,000 viewers. Discovery has confirmed that production is underway on a fourth season, with crews currently filming in locations across Ontario. The fourth season is scheduled to premiere on Discovery in 2020. Produced by Thunderbird Entertainment Group, the series tells the stories of heavy recovery tow truck drivers working Ontario’s 400 series highways.
Bell Media’s CTV, CTV2 and TSN will simulcast Super Bowl LIII Sunday, Feb. 3, beginning at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Super Bowl Sunday programming, begins at noon ET/9 a.m. PT on CTV. Immediately following the conclusion of CBS programming, a special edition of SC WITH JAY AND DAN Presented By Tim Hortons will air live on CTV and TSN.
Women In Film and Television Vancouver’s (WIFT-V) From Our Dark Side genre concept contest has announced the winners of its fifth annual competition, which this year explore the mutability of identity, monsters, aliens, ghosts and vampires. This year’s finalists are: 50 by Mary Cross, Guelph, ON; Fire Lookout by Caitlin Vanstone, Vancouver, BC; Flesh by Kaye MacDonald, Verdun, QC; Hotel Ghost by Melanie Butler, Sooke, BC; and Tick by Ashlea Wessel, Toronto, ON. They receive a cash prize as well as a six-month incubator program designed to take their projects to the next stage of development. A highlight of the program is full accreditation to the Frontières International Co-Production Market in Montreal where the winners will pitch their projects to national and international industry professionals as part of Frontières’ new initiative “Created By Women.” Prior to pitching at Frontières, the winners attend the 2019 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival in March where they will have workshops and consultations with genre creators, producers, story editors and a digital marketing strategist.
Civilized, the Cannabis media and lifestyle brand with operations in both Canada and the U.S., has struck a partnership with Toronto’s Insight Productions to develop cannabis-inspired programming. The partnership will see new content produced for both broadcast and digital platforms, including “programming that champions and explores modern cannabis culture” from docuseries, cooking and science, to business series. Insight’s Tanya Low, VP of Development, is overseeing the creative for the prodco, known for producing hit series like Amazing Race Canada, Top Chef Canada, Big Brother Canada and other shows in the reality/factual realm. Derek Riedle, Civilized’s publisher, will oversee creative direction for Civilized. Read the full story here.
Apple is set to debut its Apple News app in Canada this week, which curates news based on a user’s interests. The Canadian Press reports that it will initially launch with English and French content from CBC/Radio Canada, La Presse, CTV News, the Toronto Star, Hockey News, the Walrus and Global News. CBC’s content has been on the app and available to users in the U.S., Australia and the UK, since 2017.
Canadian Journalism Innovators, a new journalist-driven initiative supporting media innovation, was announced at last weekend’s DemocracyXChange. Canadian Journalism Innovators is a collaboration of media outlets focused on tackling three of the biggest challenges facing the journalism industry: a lack of money, innovation and diversity. The group, which includes The Deep, The Narwhal, The Discourse and Taproot Edmonton, is focused on building new audience-funded business models that support quality journalism. The Vancouver Foundation has made an initial investment in the initiative.
The Logic holds its official launch party in Toronto on Mar. 4, where CEO and editor-in-chief David Skok and his team will be grilled by Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda. The online subscription outlet, focused on the innovation economy and its impact on business, policy and culture, soft-launched in June.
Daze Magazine, a new Edmonton-based publication started by a group of former editors of Vue Weekly, which stopped publishing in November, has launched a Kickstarter campaign as they seek out alternative revenue streams in the fight for scarce ad dollars. Focused on Edmonton’s arts and culture scene, the Daze website soft-launched earlier this month.
CBC/Radio-Canada will hold its second annual Hackathon event in Montreal, Toronto and online, the weekend of Feb. 1-3. The programming marathon, to be emceed by Matthieu Dugal in Montreal and Nora Young in Toronto, features 16 teams made up of 76 programmers, designers and other digital experts selected from 416 entrants. The competitors mission is to present a functional prototype that uses personalization techniques to generate engagement between Canadians and CBC/Radio-Canada’s digital platforms. Five winning teams will be awarded prizes, including the top prize to the project with the best personalized content or digital product.
WildBrain will exclusively manage content on YouTube for German toy brand PLAYMOBIL. Under the two-year agreement, the DHX subsidiary will manage a library of 15 short animated videos, which will stream on a range of PLAYMOBIL channels launched on the WildBrain network in multiple languages, including German, English, Spanish and Portuguese. PLAYMOBIL is the latest in a string of international toy brands, including The Irish Fairy Door Company, Kuroba, Hairdorables, Beyblades, Smooshy Mushy, and Tulipop, who have appointed WildBrain to help grow their brands internationally through YouTube content. WildBrain’s branded YouTube network now features more than 145,000 videos for over 600 kids’ brands in up to 22 languages.
Netflix says it shouldn’t be obligated to contribute to Canadian content funds, arguing that Canada is better served by market competition than the regulation of foreign OTT services. The digital giant’s submission to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel also said it’s on track to “significantly exceed” its five-year, $500-million commitment to fund original content produced in Canada. Meantime, BCE’s submission to the panel calls for foreign OTT services, making in excess of $300M in Canada or more than $1B globally, to hand over 20 per cent of their Canadian revenues to the Canada Media Fund (CMF) annually. Bell’s submission also stipulates that foreign OTT services shouldn’t be allowed to acquire exclusive Canadian OTT rights to programming made with CMF money.
The CRTC has denied an application by TELUS to amend its regional broadcasting licences in British Columbia and Alberta by deleting six licensed areas. The decision says TELUS has not met the exemption criteria for Prince George, Terrace, Vernon, Penticton, and Fort McMurray, saying in general that TELUS is not distributing on-demand community programming in a way that meets the dual objectives of citizen access and community reflection set out in the Community Television Policy. Among the commission’s concerns was VICE Media’s involvement with production of a program and related virtual reality project entitled Fort McMurray Post-Fire (VICE) + VR. “In the Commission’s view, TELUS has not established that this production should be considered community programming as defined in the Regulations.” As such, the commission ruled TELUS does not meet criterion for Fort McMurray in demonstrating that it spent five per cent of its revenues on community programming in that community in the 2016-2017 broadcast year.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has issued a call for nominations for its Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating a Canadian journalist whose career demonstrates dedication to the craft. The deadline is Feb. 22. Nominees will be considered based on their body of journalistic work during his/her career; contribution to society through impactful journalism; and recognition and respect from peers and community. Individuals who have worked in any field of journalism are eligible for consideration. Last year’s recipient was longtime CBC News chief correspondent and The National anchor Peter Mansbridge. The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and former governor general, has joined the jury. The winner will be presented at the CJF Awards in Toronto on June 13.
The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) has issued its call for nominations for the 2019 Gold Medal Awards celebrating broadcasting excellence in the Prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Awards are available in the following categories: Gold Medal Award for Community Service, Gold Medal Award for Digital Innovation, Leader of Tomorrow and Hall of Fame. Awards criteria and the online nomination form is available here. Nominations are open to member stations of the WAB. The deadline for submissions is Mar. 29. Awards will be presented at the WAB President’s Dinner & Gold Medal Awards Gala on June 6 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
Every year the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project (CMCRP) puts out a series of reports on the state of Canada’s telecom, internet, and media industries. On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Dwayne Winseck, professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, who also leads the CMCRP, on the latest Growth of the Network Media Economy report, and among other things why he’s calling for the resignation of CRTC chair Ian Scott.
VITEC, a worldwide leader in advanced video encoding and streaming solutions, has acquired T-21 Technologies, a provider of OTT streaming media solutions for media operations, broadcasters, and content owners. Kevin Ancelin, founder and CEO of T-21 Technologies, will join VITEC as vice president of worldwide broadcast sales.
Futuri Media has launched POST Video, a major enhancement to POST, its podcasting and on-demand audio platform. Every station using POST now has the option to automatically turn on-demand audio into video segments, using fully-licensed video footage from major entertainment, sports, and lifestyle events as visuals. POST Video, an optional feature available to all POST partners, was specifically designed to maximize ROI on station audio content making it easy to use as the foundation of multimedia content. Along with the addition of POST Video, POST has also undergone a complete redesign of its user interface, which is rolling out to all partners in the coming weeks. The new UI is optimized for easy management of original podcast content in addition to broadcast content, and features a new 24/7 transcription option for stations looking for an always-on log of their content.
ReelWorld has launched new imaging service RED Hits in Canada & worldwide. Described as “a comprehensive updating Hit Music imaging service” offering music beds, sound design and production elements for CHR, Hot AC and Pop radio stations, RED Hits’ director is Ron Tarrant, former Howard Stern Show sound designer. RED Hits is available for barter in Canada through Orbyt Media and via Premiere Networks in the U.S.
The RØDECaster Pro audio mixer for podcasters is adding a multitrack recording option in a new firmware update. Available to download in February, the upgrade includes a more user-friendly interface and channel selection and can be activated via the Advanced settings in the Hardware section of the RØDECaster Pro’s touchscreen interface.
Cobalt Digital’s new 9904-UDX-4K up/down/cross converter and image processor for openGear® frames is now shipping. Already installed in a select group of trucks and studio facilities, the dual-slot card provides an ideal hardware platform for Technicolor High Dynamic Range Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) software. This enables the use of current SDR infrastructure, reducing the need for new camera purchases and other capital expenditures to produce HDR footage. The 9904-UDX-4K provides clean and accurate SDR-to-HDR and HDR-to-SDR conversion. Using the Technicolor conversion process (SL-HDR technology) generates a single layer video stream to distribute SDR with dynamic metadata, allowing for inverse conversion back to the original HDR. When a network service provider transmits the SDR feed, it will automatically deliver a full HDR experience to compatible TVs and set-top boxes.
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