The Weekly Briefing

SIGN-OFFS:

Gary Lawrence Miles

Gary Lawrence Miles, 77, after a brief bout with cancer. In a career spanning over five decades, Miles began in radio as an announcer and then moved into sales. He worked his way up the ranks to become GM at several stations. Later, he served as VP at Selkirk Radio and then VP for Rogers Radio stations in Western Canada. Miles was promoted to CEO of the Rogers Radio Division and served in that capacity from 2002 to 2007, overseeing 46 stations, and was also a director of Vista Radio over recent years. He served on many boards and associations including as president of the Radio Bureau of Canada where he introduced the first standardized radio sales training program. He was also a past chair and board member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, Western Association of Broadcasters, Manitoba Association of Broadcasters and Numeris (formerly, the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement). Gary Miles retired in 2008 to consult internationally for the Canadian Traffic Network, Global Traffic Network, Golden West Broadcasting, JACK fm brand, SparkNet Communications, and media outlets in France, Singapore, India, Germany, Peru, the U.S. and the UK. He was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2006.

Patrice Lemée, the senior manager of transmission projects with CBC/Radio-Canada from 1999 to 2008 before starting Quebec-based CommSpec Canada Inc.. specializing in small and large-scale radio and television project management.

Denis Grondin

Denis Grondin, 66, of an apparent heart attack hours after recording his weekly show for Radio VM. Grondin, a 47-year radio veteran, began his career in 1970 at CKVL-FM Montreal, moving on to stints at CHOM-AM, CKOI-FM and CHMP-FMl. Grondin worked on-air and in programming over the years, a rare position for a Francophone to hold on an English-speaking station.

 

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Susan Marjetti

Susan Marjetti is the winner of the 2017 Rosalie award which annually recognizes a woman who has blazed new trails in radio. Marjetti was appointed executive director of CBC Radio and Audio in June 2015 and has been with the public broadcaster in various roles over the past three decades, including serving as senior managing director of CBC Toronto and the Ontario Region. The Rosalie award, to be presented during Canadian Music Week, was inspired by the legendary Rosalie Trombley who, between 1967 and 1984, was one of the most powerful women in North American radio as music director of the legendary Big 8 (CKLW-AM) Windsor.

Mix 107.9 Station and General Sales Manager Mary Ann Kostiuk and Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation Board Chair Margaret-Wade

The fourth annual Care from the Heart Day radiothon, hosted by Mix 107.9 (CKFT-FM) Fort Saskatchewan raised $25,600 for the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation on Mar. 9, double last year’s amount. The focus of this year’s fundraising effort was on supporting women’s health initiatives at the hospital.

Newcap has asked the CRTC for the removal of a condition of licence for LG 104.3 (CHLG-FM) Vancouver that requires the station to play 15% Category 3 (special Interest music). Newcap says the potential audience for the genre is limited and Category 3 selections have alienated listeners, thus affecting the station’s market share and revenue. LG 104.3 has operated at a loss since its 2009 launch initially with a Triple A format. It converted to Classic Hits in 2015.

Newfoundland Capital Corporation, the parent of Newcap Radio, says revenue for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, was $47 million, a $1.5 million or three per cent increase over the fourth quarter of 2015. Annual revenue of $169.5 million was $4.9 million or three per cent higher than last year. Growth was primarily related to higher revenue at the Toronto and Ottawa operations, as a result of strong listener ratings in those markets. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the fourth quarter of $16.7 million was $2.2 million or 15 per cent higher than the same period last year as a result of higher revenue and reduced operating costs in the broadcasting segment. The company also recognized a recovery of $0.5 million in operating expenses as a result of reduced copyright fees.

Bell Media’s TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) Vancouver will no longer broadcast Vancouver Canucks games. Rogers has acquired the rights with a new five-year agreement which will see Sportsnet deliver Canucks broadcasts on Rogers Radio beginning with the 2017/18 NHL season. TSN 1040 obtained the radio broadcast rights 11 years ago from Corus-owned CKNW NewsTalk 980.

NASCAR and SiriusXM Canada have extended their broadcasting agreement through 2022 for live broadcasts of every NASCAR National Series race. SiriusXM will also carry daily NASCAR talk and interviews on its NASCAR Radio channel.

iHeartRadio Canada’s talent line-up for iHeartRadio Fest during Canadian Music Week in Toronto will include performances by hip hop artist Big Sean, UK singer-songwriter James Arthur, Canadian reggae-pop artists MAGIC!, Toronto indie-rock group The Strumbellas, pop artist Massari, singer-songwriter Scott Helman, and performers Alyssa Reid, Mia Martina and Michelle Treacy.  

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Xavier Dolan

Space series Orphan Black and Montreal director Xavier Dolan’s French-language drama It’s Only the End of the World were the big winners at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards. Orphan Black took home nine trophies, including Best Dramatic Series and the Best Lead Actress in a Dramatic Role honour for star Tatiana Maslany. Maslany also won best actress for her role in The Other Half. Crave TV original series Letterkenny won Best Comedy Series while The Tragically Hip took home the award for Best Performance in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program for The Tragically Hip – A National Celebration. You can read a complete list of winners here.

Manitoba’s film and television industry has seen a 20 per cent increase in revenue year over year. On Screen Manitoba says revenues exceeded projections, rising to $120 million with less than a month left in the fiscal year. The growth is being attributed to a favourable Canadian dollar for American productions, generous provincial tax credits and a supportive local arts community.

Bryan Adams

Canadian rock icon Bryan Adams and comedian Russell Peters will co-host CTV’s broadcast of the 2017 JUNO Awards April 2. Previously announced host Michael Buble stepped down to focus on his family. The show airs live from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on CTV and CTV GO.

Karine Vanasse

Canadian actress Karine Vanasse has been named an ambassador of The Talent Fund, a private donation fund that supports Canada’s emerging film talent. Vanasse, who stars in the CTV crime series Cardinal, will help with the Talent Fund’s fundraising initiatives by raising the profile of Canada’s next generation of directors, writers, producers and actors. The Talent Fund draws on the financial support of private companies such as Bell Media and Corus Entertainment, as well as individual donors.

TVA Sports will be the official French-language broadcaster of the International Ski Federation’s Cross-Country World Cup Finals in Quebec City. The culmination of the 2016-2017 season will be held March 17-19 on the Plains of Abraham.

William Shatner

A new feature documentary exploring how Star Trek has affected science and space exploration debuts on The Movie Network March 19. Commissioned by Bell Media and hosted by William Shatner, the doc includes interviews with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, David Suzuki, Whoopi Goldberg and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, among others. The film will be available on demand and on TMN GO, following its television premiere.

Apple is set to premiere its first reality TV series Planet of the Apps which will see a pool of app developers compete for up to $10 million U.S. in venture capital and featured placement in the Apple App Store. Described as Shark Tank meets The Voice, the show’s mentor-judges include Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, will.i.am, and Gary Vaynerchuk. The show will be distributed through Apple Music.

ONLINE CHANNELS:

Esther Enkin

CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin has found a complaint from J.D. Irving Limited’s legal counsel about the Twitter activity of CBC New Brunswick provincial affairs reporter Jacques Poitras to be unfounded but cites the need for vigilance. The complaint was about a perceived conflict of interest in the reporter using both a CBC Twitter account and one used to promote his books – one of which is about the Irvings. While Irving asked that Poitras stop tweeting and be banned from covering any Irving-related stories, the ombudsman found the reporter’s work fell well within the bounds of balance and analysis. Enkin did say, however, that the question of a perceived conflict of interest is more complicated. She suggests CBC News management revisit protocols to minimize the risk of any perception of conflict.

Bell Media has partnered with campaign management platform Influicity. As the exclusive Canadian broadcaster with access to the platform, the partnership aims to match clients with social influencers from a centralized marketplace to develop impactful marketing campaigns.

Canadian companies won’t be joining the U.S. in releasing big corporate news to Twitter and Facebook first. The Canadian Securities Administrators has issued new guidelines for social media usage, telling companies they must continue to initially report material information with traditional press releases. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is allowing companies to report key information first through social media as long as investors are alerted to which platform will be used.

The federal government has received a series of recommendations on how to make Canada a global hub for the emerging digital platform known as blockchain which is being billed as the foundation of the second generation of the Internet. The report, funded in part by the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, was put together by high-tech think tank Tapscott Group. Blockchain, which works off the technology at the heart of digital currency bitcoin, offers a digital ledger or bulletin board where information can be shared on a secure, transparent network. It’s potential is seen in reducing costs for businesses and consumers because it doesn’t depend on information being managed by middle men.

Rogers has introduced Social Media Security by Rogers, a cloud-based solution promising better protection for business-related social media accounts. The company says the cyber-security measure includes tools to safeguard profiles, backed by a strategic relationship with ZeroFOX, a North American leader in monitoring social media and digital channels for security threats and business risks.

GENERAL:

Postmedia has announced 54 layoffs at the Vancouver Sun and The Province by early April after another 38 staff opted to take voluntary buyouts. The layoffs are part of cost-cutting plans that look to reduce salary costs across the chain by 20%. Postmedia is also significantly reducing benefits, including retiree benefits for those who retire on or after Aug. 31, 2017, access to counselling through an employment assistance program, and top-ups on maternity and parental leave, effective Aug. 31.

The CRTC is wading back into the dispute between Bell Canada and the City of Hamilton over interpretation of its municipal access agreement, setting out the carrier’s access to highways and other public places. The commission has issued a call for comments on whether or not Bell Canada should be required to provide the city with the vertical coordinates for its underground facilities as part of the pre-design process, and if so, in what form those vertical coordinates should be. The CRTC has previously tried to resolve the dispute, both in Jan. 2015 and Feb. 2016. Comments are due by April 10.

Journalists from CBC Radio’s The Current and the Ottawa Citizen are among the big winners of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario annual media awards. Both news outlets garnered two awards in the competition, which celebrates outstanding journalism that shines a spotlight on nursing, health and health-care issues. Winners also include journalists from Global News, CTV, CBC Marketplace and Metroland Media. You can view the full list here.

The 12th annual Ontario Association of Broadcasters’ Career Day was held March 6 at Corus Entertainment in Toronto. Fifty broadcast professionals volunteered to talk with 366 students from 12 post-secondary broadcast schools at the event. This year’s panel discussion Future You: Planning for Your Career in Media included 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) personality Alan Cross, Francis D’Souza, senior manager of editorial, CityNews; Jeff Vidler, president, Audience Insights; and Bianca Williamson, director of people, Corus Entertainment. Andrew Mauro from Loyalist College was awarded the 2017 Michael Monty Scholarship.

The Forum Freelance Fund (FFF) has opened its 2017 competition for bursaries to help freelance journalists attend hostile environment training. The FFF bursary competition is run annually by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, an educational charity concerned with the physical and mental well-being of journalists. Worth $2,500 each, the bursaries are sponsored by CBC News and supported by Radio-Canada, CNW Group and individual donors, while the Forum in general, is supported by The Globe and Mail. Applications close on April 15.

Humber College journalism instructor and former Global TV reporter/producer Gregory Dennis is facing child pornography charges. Toronto Police arrested Dennis, 59, on Monday after executing a search warrant at an east end home. Dennis worked at Global TV from 1990 to 2004, before moving into a communications role with the Ontario government. The Toronto Star reports the accused was bailed out by his wife Robin Smythe, a former Global reporter herself, who is now an executive producer of CBC Radio’s As It Happens.