The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Cogeco has pulled Michael Jackson from its radio station playlists, including Montreal stations Rythme FM (CFGL-FM), 96.9 CKOI-FM and The Beat 92.6 (CKBE-FM), following the airing of controversial HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. The two-part documentary, which made its television premiere Sunday and Monday night, features two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused by the pop star as children. “We are attentive to the comments of our listeners, and the documentary released on Sunday evening created reactions,” said Christine Dicaire, Cogeco’s director of marketing and communications, in an emailed statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “We prefer to observe the situation by removing the songs from our stations, for the time being.” Thus far, no other Canadian media networks have followed Cogeco’s lead. Cogeco owns a total of 23 radio stations in Quebec and Ontario. Read the full story here.

Ben Kowalewicz and Julie Nesrallah

Billy Talent frontman Ben Kowalewicz and CBC Music’s Julie Nesrallah will co-host the JUNO Gala Dinner and Awards, presented by SOCAN, on Mar. 16. The event will be live streamed starting at 6 p.m. ET on cbcmusic.ca/junos, CBC Gem and CBC Music’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. This year’s special achievement award recipients will be among those recognized, including David Foster, Humanitarian of the Year; Duff Roman, winner of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award; and Kim Hastings, 2019 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year. The evening will also feature live performances from 2019 JUNO Award nominees Dizzy, Donovan Woods, Exco Levi, Hubert Lenoir, and 2018/19 Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class winners Port Cities.

Flow 93-5 (CFXJ-FM) Toronto hosted its Second Annual All Day Made in Toronto Takeover on Wednesday, coinciding with Toronto’s 185th birthday. The first annual Made in Toronto Takeover made history with more than 2,000 song submissions and 234 Toronto artists played between 6 a.m. and midnight. That spawned the Daily Made In Toronto Takeover, which airs Sunday through Thursday from 11 p.m. to midnight, hosted by Ricochet.

The CRTC has posted upwards of 130 radio licence renewal applications, in addition to several specialty and pay-per-view television channels. With some exceptions, most have at least one apparent instance of non-compliance.

 

 

SiriusXM Canada has debuted more than 100 new Xtra channels, many a mash up of existing offerings, including three new 80s channels – 80s on 8 Top 100, 80s on 8 Workout and 80s on 8 Party. A Discovery category also features new channels from the tastemaking programmers behind SiriusXM Hits 1, The Highway, Alt Nation, and The Heat. Available exclusively to SiriusXM All Access and SiriusXM Premier Streaming subscribers – as well as trialers – the Xtra channels also feature skip-ahead functionality.

Nancy Hixt

Crime Beat, a new series from Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast podcast network, takes listeners on a journey inside some of Alberta’s most high-profile cases. Hosted by Global Calgary crime reporter Nancy Hixt, the podcast premiered Mar. 5, with the first episode exploring the 2011 death of six-year-old Meika Jordan.

Ace Burpee

Virgin Radio (CKMM-FM) Winnipeg host Ace Burpee will host new series Tailor and the Jets for Bell MTS’ Fibe TV1, starting Mar. 14, featuring Ace engaging with Winnipeg Jets players during their personal suit fittings at Vittorio Rossi Clothiers. The series promises stories from players touching on everything from personal style to life on the road. Fibe TV subscribers will have on-demand access to a new episode of Tailor and the Jets each week.

Erin Davis

Erin Davis’ book Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss and Reclaiming Joy has been well-received, sitting at the #3 spot in Canadian non-fiction on the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star bestseller lists. It’s now on backorder through Amazon.ca until April. Released on Feb. 26, the book takes the reader through the former CHFI Toronto host’s  grieving process after the sudden death of her daughter Lauren, 24, a former CFRA Ottawa news anchor. It also includes many anecdotes from Davis’ broadcasting career.

Jack 92.9 (CFLT-FM) Halifax morning show personalities Griff & Caroline raised $20,400 for the Nova Scotia SPCA on Mar. 1. Their Gimme Shelter campaign saw the duo spend 13 hours “locked in for love” behind a makeshift cage at Dartmouth’s Mic Mac Mall.

Maureen Holloway

Rosalie Award nominations are open, recognizing Canadian women who have blazed new trails in radio. Rosalie Award recipients are selected based on career success, leadership qualities, entrepreneurial spirit, spirit of generosity and mentorship. Last year’s recipient was radio personality Maureen Holloway. Link to the nomination form here.

The Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Award in Honour of Steve Young, recognizing outstanding young broadcasters, is open for nominations until Mar. 11. Awarded at Canadian Music Week in May, the winning recipient’s travel, accommodation and registration are covered. Anyone working in the industry can nominate any worthy broadcaster so long as they are under the age of 30 as of Apr. 19, 2019; work on-air or in programming, promotion, production or creative; are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant; and have made a significant, documented contribution to the community they serve, the radio industry or their craft. Click here to access the submission form.

Numeris has released the latest PPM radio ratings for Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, covering the 13-week period from Nov. 26, 2018 to Feb. 24, 2019. Here’s a look at the five PPM markets, courtesy Broadcast Dialogue contributor David Bray of Bray & Partners Communications.

SIGN-OFFS:

Darren “Dude” O’Donnell

Darren “Dude” O’Donnell, 48, on Feb. 28, of cancer. A member of the C103 (CJMO-FM) Moncton crew for the last few years, O’Donnell lost a six-year battle to cancer on Thursday. O’Donnell, who grew up in Fredericton, studied broadcasting at NBCC Woodstock. He moved to Moncton in the early 1990s and earned the nickname “Dude” while working in the local bar and restaurant scene. He eventually started volunteering as the co-host of “Pirate Radio” on C103, which led to more work on other dayparts, even during his cancer treatments. O’Donnell, who just on-air the weekend before he died, succumbed to a bout of sudden onset pneumonia at Moncton Hospital on Feb. 28, with his family and friends by his side.

Sandra Faire

Sandra Faire, on Feb. 27. Faire, initially was a producer with CBC Television, where she created and produced a number of variety programs including The Joyce Davidson Show, Video Hits and Comics! She founded her own production company, SFA Productions Inc., in 1997. SFA went on to produce numerous series and specials, primarily for CTV and The Comedy Network, including The Rankin Family Reunion (2008), Rita MacNeil’s Celtic Celebration(1998), Amanda Marshall (1997), and more than a dozen original comedy specials. Faire also produced Canadian comedy showcase Comedy Now!, which aired for 15 seasons, and Comics Inc., on which she served as executive producer, showrunner, story editor and contributing writer. In 2008, SFA Productions produced the first season of reality competition series So You Think You Can Dance Canada, which earned a Gemini Award for Best Variety Program or Series. In 2000, SFA incorporated its own distribution company, Leopard Distribution Inc., which facilitated the sale of Comedy Now! to Comedy Central in the U.S., and Comedy Inc. to Spike TV. Many of SFA’s musical specials were also sold to PBS. Along with her husband, Ivan Fecan, executive chair and producer, Thunderbird Entertainment, and former CEO of the CTV network, the couple were known for their philanthropic activities, particularly in arts and medicine. Their causes included the National Ballet of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, York University and Toronto General Hospital.

Mike Webber

Michael Webber, 51, on Feb. 26, after a battle with brain cancer. The longtime vice-president of Legal for Rogers Communications, Webber is best known as the legal architect behind several key deals including Rogers’ 12-year, $5.2-billion licensing deal with the NHL in 2013 – the largest media rights deal in league history – encompassing broadcast rights across all technology platforms and languages. At the time, the precedent-setting agreement was called “transformational” by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Webber also helmed the 2012 Bell and Rogers joint ownership arrangement to purchase a 75 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) from the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, and Rogers acquisition of Score Media Inc. for $167 million that same year. He was named Dealmaker of the Year in 2014 at the Canadian General Counsel Awards. A graduate of St. Andrew’s College, Queen’s University and Western, where he finished his law degree in 1993, Webber joined Rogers in April 2001 as an in-house lawyer after leaving corporate law firm Blakes, Cassels and Graydon. Webber was the first associate assigned to the growing Rogers Media division, managing the legal affairs of the company’s radio, television, and digital assets, in addition to publishing and sports entertainment.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Jeopardy host Alex Trebek revealed Wednesday that he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In a video posted to Jeopardy’s YouTube channel, the Sudbury, ON native says while the prognosis is normally not encouraging, “I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working, and with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. Truth told, I have to, because under the terms of my contract I have to host Jeopardy for three more years.” Trebek, 78, has helmed Jeopardy since 1984 and hosted more than 7,000 episodes of the enduring quiz show, holding the Guinness World Record for “the most gameshow episodes hosted by the same presenter (same program).” Trebek started his broadcasting career at the CBC in 1961, working nights while finishing a philosophy degree at the University of Ottawa. His first turn as a host was on the show Music Hop in 1963. He went on to host high school quiz show Reach for the Top, a weekly skating program, and Canadian game show Strategy, before moving to the U.S. in 1973. Read the full story here.

Corus Entertainment is launching a 24-hour Adult Swim channel in Canada. Beginning Apr. 1, ACTION will undergo a complete rebrand to become Adult Swim. The new channel will mirror its U.S. counterpart, featuring Adult Swim original series Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories, and The Eric Andre Show, in addition to animated hits Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, and American Dad. Adult Swim programming previously airing on the Cartoon Network and under the TELETOON at Night programming block, will shift to the new channel. Both Cartoon Network and TELETOON’s schedules will shift focus to round-the-clock, family-friendly content for all ages. Since Turner’s launch of Adult Swim in the U.S. in 2001, it’s become the #1 network with adults 18-34 and held that position for 14 years.

ACTRA-produced, award-winning short film Reel Women Seen has been released on ACTRA National’s YouTube channel ahead of International Women’s Day 2019 this Friday, for use as an advocacy tool. The eight-minute film highlights some of the gender inequalities in Canadian film and television and stars a host of Canadian actresses, including Jennifer Podemski (Cardinal, Hard Rock Medical), Gabrielle Rose (A Dog’s Purpose, Maudie), Kristin Lehman (Altered Carbon, The Killing) and Saara Chaudry (The Breadwinner, Holly Hobbie), among others. Directed by Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1) and written by Elvira Kurt (Baroness Von Sketch Show), Real Women Seen is a comedic look at the reality of under-representation, female stereotypes and ageism within the industry, supported by stats from ACTRA’s most recent Women In View report. Among the inequities highlighted, the film points to 29 Canadian television series earmarked for the highest level of public funding. Just 17 of those series hired female directors. That translates to 14 women directors out of 84, and just 33 female-directed episodes of a total of 293. When you take film and television into account, combined, only 22 per cent of Canadian screenwriters are women, and 17 per cent of directors. Read the full story here.

Noreen Golfman

Noreen Golfman has been named the 2019 ACTRA National Woman of the Year. ACTRA bestows the honour annually on a member who excels in both artistic and advocacy achievements, and who uses her passion to support ACTRA members and women within the audiovisual industry as a whole. Golfman is vice-chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, co-chair of Business and Arts Newfoundland Labrador and chair of the board of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. She is also the founding director and chair of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF). Read the full story here.

Sandra Oh, Colm Feore, Rick Mercer, and Lorraine Pintal

Sandra Oh, Colm Feore, Rick Mercer, and Lorraine Pintal, are among this year’s 2019 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards recipients. Oh, who is just coming off a Golden Globe win for her role in BBC America drama Killing Eve, is the winner of the 2019 National Arts Centre Award; Colm Feore (The Umbrella Academy, 24, House of Cards) will be honoured with the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award – Film; comedian Rick Mercer receives the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award for Broadcasting; and Quebec actress Lorraine Pintal, artistic director of Montreal’s Theatre du Nouveau Monde, will be recognized with the Artistic Achievement Award – Theatre.

Boat Rocker Media has made an undisclosed financial investment in L.A.-based talent management and production company Untitled Entertainment. Financial details weren’t disclosed. Untitled will continue to operate under its own senior leadership team. The move is the latest in a series of Boat Rocker acquisitions, including Matador Content, Fremantle’s Kids & Family division, and majority ownership in Insight Productions, which is behind The Amazing Race Canada, and other Canadian franchises of popular reality shows.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group is reporting what it’s calling a “transformational” second quarter ended Dec. 31. During the quarter, the company strengthened its balance sheet by raising $15M in new equity capital and completed a listing on the TSX Venture Exchange. At quarter’s end, the company had over $20M in cash. During the quarter, a record 17 TV series were in various stages of production. Consolidated revenue for Q2 2019 was $11.6M, compared to $52.2M in Q2 2018. The majority of the decrease was related to the company’s decision to not renew its multi season service agreement to produce Man in the High Castle. While the series generated significant revenues, Thunderbird says profit margins were small and management decided to redirect resources to the creation of owned IP programming and other core operations. Adjusted EBITDA was $1.4 million and $5.6 million, compared to $3.7 million and $8.9 million for the comparative periods of fiscal 2018, a decrease of $2.3 million and $3.3 million respectively.

TVA Group recorded net income attributable to shareholders in the amount of $9 million or $0.21 per share in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with net income attributable to shareholders of $9.2 million or $0.21 per share in the same quarter of 2017. For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, adjusted EBITDA was $50,383,000, compared with $66,381,000 in the previous year, a 24.1 per cent decrease. There was a 34.9 per cent unfavourable variance in adjusted EBITDA in the Broadcasting & Production segment and an 18.1 per cent decrease in the Magazines segment, due mainly to lower advertising revenues. The Film Production & Audiovisual Services segment grew its adjusted EBITDA by 3.1 per cent, mainly as a result of higher volume of activities and the increased profitability of soundstage and equipment rental and postproduction, partially offset by reduced activity in visual effects.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Shaw Rocket Fund (SRF) have struck a new partnership to fund the production of Canadian digital animated series for young audiences that encourage the use of new technology. The CMF-SRF Kids Digital Animated Series Program will have a total budget of $3.3 million. It will fund 75 per cent of a project’s eligible costs to a maximum of $525,000, with the CMF contributing two-thirds of funding and Shaw Rocket Fund providing one-third of the funds. Read more here.

Chris Glover

CBC reporter Chris Glover has written about last week’s incident in a Toronto comedy club that saw actor Boyd Banks, a stranger to Glover, kiss and lick his neck while doing a live hit. “I decided to go to police because I know this shouldn’t happen to anyone else,” writes Glover, who said he could hear the shame in Banks’ voice when he apologized in an interview with CBC Toronto. “I hope this embarrassment serves as a lesson to others to think before they act. I know I was at a comedy event, and he thought at the time it was a joke, but nothing about this is funny.”

One Caribbean Television is now available to Bell Fibe TV subscribers on Channel 2481 in Canada. Apart from weather coverage, One Caribbean carries news, sports, travel, lifestyle and entertainment programming, along with Caribbean carnival coverage. The launch of the channel, which is on preview until early April, comes with a new slate of programs, including Secrets of the Caribbean (travel), Island Eats (lifestyle), Prime Time Caribbean (news) and Rhythm & Buzz (entertainment).

HGTV Canada kicks off its Spring lineup on Mar. 11, including new seasons of Property Brothers, Backyard Builds, Sarah Off The Grid, Love It or List It Vancouver, and Masters of Flip. Starting Sunday, Apr. 7, Bryan and Sarah Baeumler take viewers on a Bahamian adventure in new Canadian original series Island of Bryan.

 

Big Brother Canada returns to Global for a seventh season on Mar. 6. Among the 14 new houseguests is former Edmonton radio host Chelsea Bird, 30, who was part of layoffs at Virgin Radio Edmonton (CFMG-FM) last November; Toronto poet and DJ Maki; and former WHL goalie Damien Ketlo, who played with the Regina Pats, Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Colorado Eagles, among other teams.

APTN’s CAUTION: May Contain Nuts will launch its fifth season on Mar. 8 with six virtual reality (VR) sketches featuring well-known characters and worlds from the popular sketch comedy series. Dylan Pearce, an experienced 3D VR director, worked with Mosaic Entertainment and CAUTION’s writing team to create the interactive fan experience. Three of the VR sketches will be exclusively available on aptn.ca/vr. As part of the launch, APTN and select Indigenous radio stations are distributing VR goggles to fans. The sketches will also be available in 360-degrees on the CautionTV YouTube channel.

Super Channel will premiere the second season of Canadian Mennonite drug drama, Pure, on May 28, on Super Channel Fuse. Each episode will also be available on Super Channel On Demand, the day following its linear broadcast premiere. The six-episode sophomore season of the Super Channel original production, which was shot on location in Nova Scotia, stars Canadians Ryan Robbins (Arrow, The Killing) and Alex Paxton-Beesley (The Strain, Murdoch Mysteries), with Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother, American Pie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) joining the cast as a recurring guest star.

Super Channel has acquired the UK comedy series, Damned, from Lionsgate. The six-episode first season will premiere Mar. 27 on Super Channel Fuse, followed by the six-episode second season, which will premiere May 8. Each half-hour episode of Damned will also be available on Super Channel On Demand, the day following its linear broadcast premiere. Starring Jo Brand (Getting On) and Alan Davies (Bob & Rose, Jonathan Creek), Damned is a dark comedy series based around the lives of two jaded social workers.

Citytv is introducing new, original series Hudson & Rex and The Murders to Monday nights, beginning Mar. 25. Hudson & Rex, produced by Shaftesbury and Pope Productions Ltd., in association with Citytv and Beta Film, is a 16-part police-procedural set in St. John’s, NL. The series follows the partnership between Major Crimes detective Charlie Hudson (John Reardon) and his partner, Rex, a German Shepherd. The Murders, produced by Muse Entertainment, in association with Citytv, and distributed internationally by APC and NBCUniversal, is an eight-part police drama, set in Vancouver. Created by Canadian showrunner Damon Vignale, The Murders features an episodic case of the week that follows Kate Jameson (Jessica Lucas), a rookie homicide detective searching for redemption in her work after her negligence causes a tragedy. Full episodes will be available on Citytv.com next day, post-broadcast, as well as on Rogers on Demand and the Citytv App for iOS, Android, and fourth-generation Apple TV.

Accessible Media Inc.’s (AMI) newest series What Happened to Holly Bartlett, debuts Thursday, Mar. 28, at 9 p.m. ET on AMI-tv. Bartlett, a 31-year-old Dalhousie University grad student who was blind, was found unconscious under the MacKay Bridge in Halifax early one morning in March 2010. She died in hospital the next day from blunt force trauma and hypothermia. While local authorities determined Holly’s death was accidental, there remain unanswered questions about how she may have died. Each of the six episodes, hosted by orientation and mobility specialist Peter Parsons, include interviews with family and friends, computer animation and dramatic recreations, to explore the various theories about what may have happened. Companion podcast What Happened to Holly Bartlett, hosted by journalist Maggie Rahr, will be available on Apple iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher and other podcast apps immediately following each new television episode. The series can be watched post-broadcast on demand at AMI.ca or via the AMI-tv app.

Eastlink Community TV will premiere documentary Somebeachsomewhere: Horse of a Lifetime on Sunday, Mar. 10. Often referred to as the “Wayne Gretzky of harness racing,” Somebeachsomewhere was raised and trained in Truro, NS and is the most-decorated champion horse associated with Atlantic Canada. Somebeachsomewhere died on Jan. 15, 2018 and became the first non-human inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame this past November.

The Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) is launching a fellowship that will award five mid-level B.C. writers with full registration, flights, and accommodation to attend the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, May 4-5 Screenwriters are invited to apply by Mar. 31.

 

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Google is banning political advertising on its platforms ahead of the federal election and incoming ad transparency rules. Bill C-76, which passed in December, is set to come into force in June and will require online platforms to keep a registry of political and partisan ads they publish, directly or indirectly. Not doing so could lead to fines and possible jail time. Google plans to modify its ad policies and block advertisers from running ads that fall under the C-76 definitions. C-76 requirements will apply to all online publishers, including broadcast news outlets, apps, games and other platforms. A study from the Canadian Media Concentration Project estimates Google accounted for 48 per cent of all internet advertising in Canada in 2016. Facebook was a distant second at 24 per cent.

Facebook allegedly influenced Canadian officials into granting data privacy concessions using the promise of a data centre and job creation, according to a Mar. 2 scoop by Computer Weekly and The Observer. A leaked internal Facebook memo notes: “Sheryl [Sandberg] took a firm approach and outlined that a decision on the data center was imminent. She emphasized that if we could not get comfort from the Canadian government on the jurisdiction issue, we had other options.” Former Industry Min. Christian Paradis later supplied the agreement by the end of the day. The documents also recount how Facebook officials crashed a Canadian reception at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos and distracted an aide to gain access to other members of cabinet and their mobile numbers. According to the notes, Facebook similarly aggressively lobbied officials in Malaysia and across Europe, including former UK chancellor George Osborne.

CTV has given JANN a digital premiere, ahead of its Mar. 20 television broadcast debut. The network pre-released the premiere episode this week to CTV.ca, YouTube, Crave, Brave.ca, TheComedyNetwork.ca, MUCH.com and MTV.ca. Canadians can also now stream the premiere on iTunes or with Crave on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, and on CTV On Demand (set top box). CTV is also releasing digital extras for the series. In addition to bonus content on CTV.ca and SnackableTV, the network’s @CTV social accounts will roll out a series of exclusive video features throughout the season, including behind-the-scenes blooper reels, outtakes, and a feature with Jann Arden titled PB&J (PEANUT BUTTER & JANN), where Jann answers  questions about her new series while eating spoonfuls of peanut butter. CTV.ca will also feature sneak peek clips weekly.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has released its Year-End Report for 2018, which finds that music streaming revenue increased 30 per cent last year to $7.4 billion. Streaming accounted for 75 per cent of all revenue, the first time it’s passed the halfway mark. Paid subscriptions remained the biggest driver of increased revenue for the American music industry at $4.7 billion, up 33 per cent over 2017. The report also notes that combined, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and TIDAL, among other streaming services, reached 50 million U.S. subscribers. Revenue from ad-supported streaming services like YouTube and Vevo, grew 15 per cent to $760 million. The digital download medium continued to decline, with permanent downloads dropping 25 per cent to $500 million. Recorded music revenue rose 12 per cent to $9.8 billion. For the first time since 1986, CD sales brought in less than a billion dollars, falling 34 per cent to $698 million. Vinyl sales on the other hand, jumped eight per cent to $419 million, their highest volume since 1988.

GENERAL:

Navdeep Bains

The CRTC is launching a review of the mobile wireless market to determine whether further action is required to improve choice and affordability for Canadians. As part of that review, the commission issued a call for comments Thursday afternoon on its “preliminary view” that mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) should have mandated access to the networks of the national wireless providers (Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus) until they are able to establish themselves in the market. That stand is a departure from the CRTC’s long held position that MVNOs shouldn’t have mandated access, and comes just days after Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Min. Navdeep Bains proposed a change of course for the commission putting Canadian consumers and competition first. The review will also look ahead to the future of mobile wireless services in Canada and, in particular, at whether regulatory measures are needed to facilitate the deployment of 5G network infrastructure. Read more here.

SaskTel is expanding its maxTV Stream to 19 more communities including Alsask, Annaheim, Beauval, Cole Bay, Dorintosh, Eatonia, Flaxcombe, Humboldt, Ituna, Kelliher, Kindersley, Lake Lenore, Lestock, Loon Lake, Marengo, Meadow Lake, Middle Lake, Muenster, and Unity. The next-gen platform, which combines the best of traditional television with the latest over-the-top (OTT) content from Netflix and YouTube, has been rolled out to nearly 120 communities over the last six months. The company’s goal is to be in more than 350 communities by 2020.

CommTech East Awards nominations are open. The second annual event recognizes outstanding businesses, organizations, individuals and volunteers, within the Canadian ICT Industry. Nominees must be a Canadian citizen, resident, business or organization. Nominations are due by Mar. 21, with the awards gala taking place at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Apr. 15. Find more info here.

CBC has released financial results for the third quarter ended Dec. 31. Revenue in the quarter declined 1.9 per cent to 137.261M, compared to 139.852M year-over-year. Ad sales on ICI Radio-Canada television remaining strong, in addition to higher rental revenue from third parties. That was offset by lower CBC ad revenue and the continued drop in subscribers on specialty television across the business. Expenses decreased by 0.8 per cent this quarter to $454.7M, compared to $458.2M for the period the year previous. The savings was mostly driven by lower TV programming costs due to airing less original content in the Fall schedule, partly offset by continued investment in digital content and initiatives.

Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa, executive editor, CEO and co-founder of Philippine news site Rappler.com and an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, will receive the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s Tribute honour, which recognizes a journalist who has made an impact on the international stage. Ressa will receive the honour at the CJF Awards on June 13 at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Ressa, a former CNN bureau chief in Manila and Jakarta, has been targeted, jailed and then released on bail, following coverage and criticism of the Philippine government and attempts to silence the free press. She was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, among four other persecuted journalists.

The European Union Delegation to Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) have opened applications for the 2019 edition of the European Union-Canada Young Journalist Fellowship. Since 2001, the fellowship has been recognizing young, Canadian journalistic talent by awarding an all-expenses paid, week-long study tour to three students or young reporters. The experience includes visiting EU institutions, the Canadian Mission to the EU, and media outlets in Brussels. Winners also attend the daily European Commission press briefing. In order to be eligible, participants must be actively enrolled in a Canadian university/post-secondary institution or active in the field of journalism, be between ages 18-30, and be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The deadline for applications is May 6. Find more info here.

SUPPLY LINES:

Saban Capital has abandoned merger plans with Panavision and Toronto-headquartered production house Sim Video International. First announced last September, the $622 million deal would have seen Panavision and Sim become Saban subsidiaries, publicly traded on the NASDAQ. Sim CEO James Haggarty cited stock market volatility, and delays related to the U.S. government shutdown, as contributors to dissolution of the deal.

Blackmagic Design has launched new products: the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is a second generation URSA Mini Pro camera featuring fully-redesigned electronics and a new Super 35mm 4.6K image sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range, supporting high frame rate shooting at up to 300 frames per second. The URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 can capture Blackmagic RAW images in both film and extended video modes, giving it range for high end feature films, television shows, commercials, as well as broadcast news, studio and even live multi-camera production. DeckLink Quad HDMI Recorder is a high performance 8-lane Generation 3 PCIe capture card that can transfer data at rates up to 32Gb per second. Featuring four independent HDMI 2.0b input connections for multi-channel capture, DeckLink Quad HDMI Recorder can capture four different streams of video at up to 60 frames per second. Watch Blackmagic Design’s founder & CEO, Grant Petty, give an overview of the announcements here.

The Cast podcast app has launched Intelligent Noise Reduction as a feature in its Editor for all users, regardless of the plan they’re on. The feature minimizes background noise from lights, fans, and air conditioners that might have been inadvertently “baked in” to your audio track.

 


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