Bell Media has announced a streamlining of its executive team as Wade Oosterman assumed operational leadership of the division this week following the departure of President Randy Lennox. Mike Cosentino, President of Content and Programming; Tracey Pearce, President of Distribution and Pay; Corrie Coe, SVP of Original Programming; Nanci MacLean, VP of Bell Media Studios; Scott Henderson, VP of Communications; and Kevin Goldstein, VP of Regulatory Affairs, are among those caught up in the restructuring. Bell Media’s new executive structure reportedly sees Karine Moses, upped from President, Bell Media Québec and Bell Vice Chair, Québec to SVP, Content Development & News, focused on both French and English-language content. Dave Daigle, VP, Radio & Local TV, will take on MacLean’s duties at Bell Media Studios, while Justin Stockman, VP Brand Partnerships and Client Strategy, moves into the role of VP of Content & Programming for English-language television. Read more here.
Bob Layton has retired after 50 years in radio and 49 years with 630 CHED Edmonton. Layton’s career started in 1969 at CKNL Fort. St. John, BC. He was hired by CHED 15 months later, initially as a writer for Frank Robertson. He went on to become news director for CHED, CISN Country, iNews880 (CHQT-AM) and Chuck @ 92.5 (CKNG-FM) in 1995. An award-winning editorialist, Layton received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the RTDNA in 2010 and was inducted into the Western Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 2018.
Paul Edmonds will lead play-by-play coverage of the Winnipeg Jets’ 2020-21 NHL season on 680 CJOB Winnipeg, joined in the booth by Jamie Thomas of JetsTV, former national sports anchor and Western Hockey League colour analyst. In addition to carrying all Jets games live, CJOB will also air pre- and post-game shows hosted by Kelly Moore, who’ll be joined on game nights by a rotating panel of former NHLers including Jordy Douglas, Ted Irvine, Grant Clitsome and Derek Meech, in addition to former Canadian Women’s Olympic Team and Brandon Wheat Kings Coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk. Game night coverage will also include a media panel featuring analysis from Winnipeg Sun Sports editor Ted Wyman, Sun Sports reporter Scott Billeck, Murat Ates of The Athletic and Sean Reynolds of Sportsnet. A new 30-minute weekday noon show focused on the Jets will feature broadcaster and CJOB hockey analyst Leah Hextall.
Brandon Gonez has left Bell Media to launch his own news and entertainment show on YouTube. Since 2016, Gonez had worked with CTV in both Barrie and Toronto and for the last two years had been a reporter and anchor with CP24. The Brandon Gonez Show is set to make its online premiere Jan. 17 backed by sponsors Moët Hennessy, Uber, and Seneca College.
Alan Habbick has retired from CBC News after 32 years. Habbick started his career with the public broadcaster as a city hall and general assignment reporter in Winnipeg in 1988, before moving into producing. He went on to act as the project lead on the launch of Corus/CBC joint venture Country Canada in 2001, also serving over the years as the senior producer of Venture, the CBC News Business Unit, CBC News Morning, and CBC’s Washington Bureau. For the last decade, Habbick had been the Executive Producer at CBC News Toronto.
Matt Rutherford (aka Seth Armstrong) has joined the recently rebranded Virgin Radio (CIDR-FM) Windsor in the afternoon drive time slot. Rutherford was most recently with the My 92.1 (CHMX-FM) Regina morning show (now Play 92) and part of company-wide layoffs at Harvard Broadcasting in late June.
Hannah Witherbee, who was most recently hosting middays on Edmonton’s Play 107 (CKPW-FM), also joins Virgin Radio (CIDR-FM) Windsor as part of the station’s new morning show. Witherbee has previously been on-air with the Virgin brand in both Halifax and Edmonton. Jay Stevens, afternoon host, APD, and music director at 97.5 Virgin Radio (CIQM-FM) London will voicetrack middays.
Jonny Jazzno will be joining the Play 107 Edmonton team as Music Director and Midday Host, starting Jan. 11. Jazzno was most recently APD and on-air at C95 (CFMC-FM) and Rock 102 (CJDJ-FM) Saskatoon. Prior to that, he was PD at Virgin Radio (CFMG-FM) Edmonton.
Rick Howe, longtime talk host at Rogers’ News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) Halifax, has announced he’s taking an extended leave from the show to deal with a health issue that will require surgery and a six to eight week recovery. Former station host Jordi Morgan will start filling in for Howe, starting Monday.
Sheldon MacLeod, former afternoon talk host at News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) Halifax – who was part of layoffs at Rogers Sports & Media in November – is joining the SaltWire Network as a multimedia journalist and producer.
Britt Ralph, Promotions Coordinator at Q107 (CILQ-FM) and Sugar Beach Sessions coordinator for 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM), has left Corus Entertainment for a new opportunity with Snap’d Inc. as Manager of Strategic Relationships and Event Development. Ralph first joined the Q107 promo team in 2009, while still a student at Humber College. She went on to hold various roles with AM640 (CFMJ-AM), including producing Toronto Maple Leafs broadcasts as dad Jim Ralph colour commentated. Over her time with Corus, Ralph also served as assistant producer of Derringer in the Morning and filled-in as Toronto sales coordinator.
Darryl Mabley, the longtime voice of the KOOL FM (CKMB-FM) Barrie afternoon drive show, is hanging up his headphones to pursue joining the Ontario Provincial Police. Mabley had been with the station since 2012 and in radio for the last 16 years. He’s also served as the PA announcer for the OHL Barrie Colts.
Andy James, one half of the Andy & TJ Morning Show on the former EZ Rock (CILK-FM) Kelowna, is a casualty of the radio station’s rebrand to the new MOVE Radio format. A married couple, Andy & TJ had been hosting the morning show together since 2003. TJ will return to the station in a new role following treatment for breast cancer, while former afternoon host Stephen Keppler moves into the morning time slot.
Chris Pollard, who has worked with CKDR Dryden in various roles for the last 23 years, has left Acadia Broadcasting to join the Municipality of Sioux Lookout as IT & Communications Coordinator. Pollard first joined CKDR in 1997 and has held roles from evening announcer and webmaster to creative director.
Saron Fanel is returning to CTV News Ottawa in February after two years working with CTV Saskatoon as a VJ, anchor and producer. Fanel was previously a community reporter for CTV Ottawa in 2017, prior to her move to Saskatchewan.
Max Wark has parted ways with CTV Kitchener after more than nine years with the station. Wark started as a VJ, producer, and writer in 2011 and most recently had been the co-anchor and co-producer of CTV News at 5.
Some personal news — it’s been fun. It’s time to let someone else ask the questions in 2021. pic.twitter.com/1owJtizNaX
— Max Wark (@MaxWarkCTV) December 17, 2020
Janelle Blakley is leaving Global Regina to join CTV Regina as a digital content producer. A 2018 University of Regina Masters of Journalism graduate, Blakley had been a writer and producer for Global since late 2019.
George Affleck has joined CKNW Vancouver as a freelance fill-in host. Affleck, the founder and president of Curve Communications Group, is also the co-host of Orca Media political podcast UnSpun, alongside veteran broadcaster Jody Vance.
Ian Mendes has joined The Athletic where he’ll be covering the Ottawa Senators and NHL. Mendes was most recently co-host of The Drive on TSN Radio 1200 (CFGO-AM) Ottawa and covered the Senators for TSN.ca. Prior to moving into radio in 2013, Mendes was a host with Sportsnet and before that worked in the Sens front office.
Emilie Nicolas is Canadaland’s new French language media correspondent. A columnist with Le Devoir, Nicolas is also an educator and consultant on public policy, equity, human rights, race and gender issues, and a regular contributor to CBC’s Power & Politics and Let’s Go as well as CTV’s PowerPlay.
Trey Anthony, the creator of the ‘Da Kink in My Hair’ TV series, adapted from her award-winning play, has been hired as a Development Producer by Bell Media Studios to help develop unscripted content. Anthony, who has also written for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and The Comedy Network, will work with the Bell team as part of an ongoing partnership with Motion Content Group.
Liquid Media Group Ltd. has appointed Ronald Thomson as its CEO to drive the growth of its evolving business. As President of global business development firm Cameron Thomson Group Ltd., Thomson has been building successful media/entertainment and tech companies for more than two decades from its offices in Toronto, London, Lake Como, Los Angeles and Taipei.
Xplornet Communications Inc. has announced the appointment of James Moore and Lynn Loewen to its Board of Directors. Moore, a Member of Parliament for 15 years, served as Min. of Industry, Min. of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and as Secretary of State for the 2010 Olympics and Asia-Pacific Gateway. He’s currently a Senior Business Advisor at Dentons and a Public Policy Advisor with global public relations firm Edelman. Loewen is the former President of Minogue Medical Inc., the former President of Expertech Network Installation Inc., and has held key financial leadership positions with Bell Canada Enterprises and Air Canada Jazz.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Bell Media has rebranded 10 of its iHeartRadio Canada stations, adding MOVE Radio to its lineup of national radio brands. The stations making the branding flip to the Adult Contemporary/Hot AC format include:
- Vancouver’s MOVE 103.5 (CHQM-FM), formerly QMFM
- Ottawa’s MOVE 100 (CJMJ-FM), formerly MAJIC 100
- Halifax’s MOVE 100 (CIOO-FM), formerly C100
- Brockville’s MOVE 104.9 (CFJR-FM), formerly JR FM
- Fredericton’s MOVE 106.9 (CIBX-FM), formerly Capital FM
- Kelowna’s MOVE 101.5 (CILK-FM), formerly EZ Rock
- Kingston’s MOVE 98.3 (CFLY-FM), formerly FLY FM
- St. Catharine’s MOVE 105.7 (CHRE-FM), formerly EZ Rock
- Penticton’s MOVE 97.1 (CJMG-FM), formerly SUN FM
- Peterborough’s MOVE 99.7 (CKPT-FM), formerly Energy 99.7
Each station will retain a local morning show. For most of the stations under the MOVE umbrella, middays will be voicetracked from adjacent markets. In Ottawa, Halifax, Fredericton, and Peterborough for example, CHUM 104.5 Toronto personality Ashley Greco will helm middays. Ryan Seacrest’s syndicated show will air across the MOVE brand evenings with Seacrest to also host an exclusive “MOVE Radio AT40” countdown on weekends. Read more here.
The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group has completed its acquisition of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd. and its associated radio station licence (and related assets) for Q101 (CKMQ-FM) Merritt, BC, following CRTC approval. In awarding approval, the commission granted Pattison an exception to the Common Ownership Policy, permitting it to own and control three FM presences in the Merritt market, subject to certain conditions of licence. Pattison says the current local programming team will all be offered employment and continue to produce distinct programming for the Merritt marketplace. With the transfer of ownership, Leo Baggio of Kamloops will oversee the operation as General Manager in addition to his duties in Kamloops. The acquisition grows Pattison’s radio footprint to 45 FM and three AM radio stations in Western Canada, along with 17 online news portals, three conventional television stations and one outdoor video signage division.
AM 740/Zoomer Radio (CFZM-AM) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week. The Toronto station launched Jan. 8, 2001 with the first song played Frank Sinatra and Celine Dion’s ‘All the Way.’ Originally licensed to broadcaster Michael Caine, the station was sold to Moses Znaimer in 2008 with its dedication to serving the 45+ audience a good fit with his existing media portfolio which already included New Classical FM (CFMZ-FM) and Zoomer Magazine, among other properties. He successfully applied for a rebroadcaster at 96.7 FM in 2015. Znaimer made a special appearance this past Sunday on a 20th anniversary edition of Vintage Favourites, speaking with host Gene Stevens on a variety of subjects, including the value of radio when times are tough.
Amazon Music has inked a deal to acquire podcast producer and publisher Wondery in a deal estimated to be worth more than $300 million. Amazon Music, which launched podcasts last September, said in an announcement that it hopes the acquisition will help accelerate “the growth and evolution of podcasts by bringing creators, hosts, and immersive experiences to even more listeners across the globe, just as we do with music. This is a pivotal moment to expand the Amazon Music offering beyond music as listener habits evolve. Our commitment to podcasts, our focus on high quality audio with the Amazon Music HD tier, and our recent partnership with Twitch to bring live streaming into the app, make Amazon Music a premiere destination for creators.” CEO Hernan Lopez will step down from his position to focus on his Hernan Lopez Family Foundation, with Wondery COO Jen Sargent to take over day-to-day operations.
Netflix has started rolling out an audio-only update for the Android version of its app that allows users to turn video off and use a playback bar that features speed adjustments, among other features. Netflix already offers audio description for select series and movies.
Apostrophe Podcast Company drops new podcast Alone Together on Jan. 11, an exploration of loneliness through time, history, art, science and culture. The series is hosted by Peg Fong, Vancouver correspondent for The Economist and a former reporter for The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.
Stingray Business has concluded a deal to provide curated streaming music services for ClubCom, a division of Zoom Media, a leading provider of digital entertainment and marketing networks within the fitness industry. The new partnership seeks to deliver an immersive experience for members of fitness centres across Canada and the U.S. ClubCom services more than 4,000 health clubs across North America.
Canadian Music Week (CMW) has announced dates for a planned virtual offering of its industry conference and music festival. The virtual edition of the festival is set for May 17-21, while the concurrent radio and music industry conferences are slated to take place May 18-21. CMW says more information on speakers, panels and registration info will be released soon.
LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill speaks with BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) Performer of Tomorrow award winner Vanessa Newman of Stingray’s Z95.3 (CKZZ-FM) Vancouver. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
boom 97.3’s (CHBM-FM) Stu Jeffries $1000 Make-A-Wish Minute in support of Make-A-Wish Toronto & Central Ontario exceeded this year’s goal, raising over $365,000 between Nov. 30 and Dec. 23. Running Monday to Friday at 6:45 a.m., 7:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., every dollar won during play of Make-A-Wish Minute is matched by boom and donated back to Make-A-Wish. In the five years boom has running the campaign, it’s now raised over $1 million.
Larry Green, 80, on Jan. 2. Green grew up in Toronto’s multicultural Kensington Market area, studying and playing music as a jazz saxophonist in his early years. Friend Del Mott, a host at CBC, helped Green land his first radio job at CHVC Niagara Falls. Stops in Guelph, Vancouver, Penticton, Winnipeg, and Toronto followed with Green eventually hired to host afternoon drive at CHUM-FM where he was also appointed creative director for the CHUM group. Green eventually made the leap into television, hosting a music show on CITY-TV and co-hosting national CBC-TV children’s show After Four, with Jan Tennant. He later moved into the music business as marketing director for GRT Records, and then National Promotion Manager for WEA Music (Warner Bros. Elektra and Atlantic Records). Green went on to host jazz programs for CFNY-FM, JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM), and CBC Radio, as well as an online show on theiceberg.com. He also did a stint in program management with Telemedia. In addition to teaching in the Humber College Broadcasting Program, he created a Learning Annex offering called “Putting Your Voice To Work,” designed to teach techniques for developing voice talent for commercials, animation and announcing.
Wilma Pelly, 83, on Dec. 28 in Calgary. Hailing from Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Pelly’s acting career started when she answered an ad in the newspaper for extras for Haruki Kadokawa period samurai film Heaven and Earth, which was partially shot on location in Calgary in 1989. She went on to appear as Elsie Tsa Che on North of 60 for six seasons and a number of subsequent TV movies. A recurring role on the series Mixed Blessings followed in addition to playing the Native American House Keeper in the second season of Fargo (2014), outliving dozens of other characters. Her last starring role was in Rueben Martell film “Don’t Say Its Name” which is currently in post-production.
Robert Whyte, 80, on Dec. 21. Whyte’s career as a news cameraman and photographer started at CKVR-TV Barrie, before he landed a job with the CBC. His work would take him from covering former Canadian Prime Ministers John Diefenbaker and Pierre Trudeau to documenting events in Vietnam, the Middle East, the Arctic and Africa, among other destinations.
Jo-Ann Silverstein, 81, on Dec. 21 after a battle with cancer. A trailblazer for women in radio sales, Silverstein was a single mother and working as a Registered Nurse, before being recruited into radio sales. She went on to account executive roles with CKO, CFGM, CJCL, CKEY, and later CFRB where she went on to an award-winning 25-year career with the station. She semi-retired in 2009 and worked with Spike Advertising. She’d been independently consulting since 2015. Silverstein was honoured with the Radio Trailblazers’ Rosalie Award during Canadian Music Week in 2016.
Grant Hudson (Jim Reese), 76, on Dec. 16, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Reese, who grew up in Hagerstown, MD, landed his first radio job at age 15 at one of his father’s stations. He took the on-air name of Grant Hudson in 1971 upon joining the CKLW Windsor newsroom. Having only decided on using “Hudson” as his last name, the news director of the day, Byron MacGregor, yelled “Try using Brent” just as Reese went in to read the news. Having misheard him, Grant Hudson was born. He left CKLW in 1982 to serve as program director at WNOE New Orleans, before returning to Detroit and CBS. Among other stops, Reese also worked as a host on WVAM Altoona, PA; WNBC New York; WOWO Fort Wayne, IN; WFLA Tampa Bay; and WSRQ Sarasota. He was also co-owner for a time of WJRB Bradenton, FL and WTZR Virginia Beach.
Loran Fevens, 76, on Dec. 7. Fevens joined the staff at CJLS Yarmouth, NS in 1963 as an announcer and news reporter, moving over to CKEN Kentville in 1964. He spent 11 years in the Annapolis Valley, also producing recorded music for local acts as a sideline. In 1974, he joined CHTN Charlottetown, PEI at station launch. He stayed there until 1982 when he moved into an audio/video production role with Veterans Affairs Canada, but didn’t leave radio behind, also co-hosting classical music program “Osborg’s Choice” with Dr. Bernd Osborg. Later renamed “The Music Box” after Osborg’s retirement, the program aired on several community stations in Canada and the U.S. from 1984-2010. Fevens retired from Veterans Affairs and returned to Yarmouth in 2002, starting syndicated program “Sentimental Journey” – a radio show featuring music from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The show aired for 17 years on more than 20 radio stations across Canada and the U.S.
TV & FILM:
Telefilm Canada executive director Carolle Brabant and producer and writer Lisa Meeches are among the new Members named to the Order of Canada. Brabant has been with Telefilm since 1990 and at the helm of the organization since 2010, the first woman to hold the position. Meeches, who hails from Manitoba’s Long Plain First Nation, is the founder of Eagle Vision Inc. She started her career in the mid-1980s with Winnipeg-based Native Media Network and went on to work as a reporter with Craig Broadcasting in both Manitoba and Alberta. Among the award-winning productions she’s been behind are Burden of Truth, Ice Road Truckers, true crime series Taken, and Canada’s longest-running Indigenous series, The Sharing Circle, in addition to feature films Capote, Walk All Over Me and Lovesick. Read more here.
Telefilm has been informed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy – the committee’s initial pick to represent Canada in the International Feature Film race – does not meet the Academy’s eligibility requirements due to the amount of English dialogue in the film. The film will now be submitted for consideration in the Best Picture and general entry categories for the 93rd Academy Awards. Telefilm says French-language feature 14 Days 12 Nights by director Jean-Philippe Duval and producer Antonello Cozzolino will now represent Canada. The film stars Anne Dorval as a woman who travels to Vietnam to meet her adopted daughter’s biological mother.
The National Film Board (NFB) has pulled Michelle Latimer’s The Inconvenient Indian from all upcoming festivals, including the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, following questions about her claims of Indigenous identity. NFB says after engaging with those who appear in the film, the NFB’s Indigenous Advisory Group and industry partners, 90th Parallel Productions and producer Jesse Wente have decided to withdraw Inconvenient Indian from active distribution. NFB says over the coming months, it will continue to dialogue with Indigenous communities to explore an accountable path forward for the film. In the meantime, Latimer has resigned from Season 2 of CBC supernatural drama Trickster. “I have listened to my community and feel that stepping away from the production is the appropriate course of action. I stand by who I am and by my family’s history, but I also understand what is being asked of me. I recognize my responsibility to be accountable to the community and my fellow artists, and that is why I have made this decision,” wrote Latimer in a Facebook post.
ACTRA Toronto has named Jani Lauzon as its 2021 Award of Excellence recipient. Lauzon is a Métis multi-disciplinary artist, award-winning screen and stage actress, as well as a JUNO-nominated singer-songwriter, a Gemini Award-winning puppeteer, and a director and filmmaker. She is currently an Associate Director of the Acting Program at National Theatre School.
Telefilm Canada has announced that the audiovisual co-production treaty between Canada and Ukraine, signed on July 2, 2019, is now in effect as of Jan. 1. Ukraine is Canada’s 58th co-production partner country. For more information, including guidelines and eligibility, visit Telefilm’s International Treaties webpage.
Boat Rocker Media has retired its Temple Street Productions banner, folding the prodco into Boat Rocker Studios, Scripted. The move sees Temple Street SVP Kerry Appleyard gain the new title of SVP, Creative Affairs. Jessica Shadlock, formerly Temple’s Development Manager, is now Senior Manager, Creative Affairs. Boat Rocker’s Platform One Media content studio, based in L.A., has also been rebranded under the Boat Rocker Studios, Scripted umbrella.
Loomi Animation is the new Quebec-based animation studio from Ken Faier and Steve Couture. It will focus on original animated content for Faier and Couture’s kids IP incubator Epic Storyworlds, in addition to other projects. Louis Leclerc, former executive director of Pixel Québec, is the studio’s new director, with Guylaine Robidoux and Daniel Belleville of Montreal’s ToonDraw consulting.
Tyson Hepburn, the co-creator and executive producer of Rust Valley Restorers and The Dog Dudes, among other docuseries, has launched a new Vancouver-based production company focused on the development and production of factual, unscripted content with Holly Brace-Lavoie on board as Head of Development. Currently working on ramping up their development slate, Tyson Media is seeking unique unscripted series ideas through the company’s call for submissions that will close on Jan. 15. The winning entry will receive $10,000 in resources and support to develop their idea. Tyson Media is currently in development on two new projects: an eight-part series about the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) in Richmond, BC, and an occupational-series about the new gold rush in the Caribou Gold Fields.
Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) organizers have announced Vancouver-based filmmaker Kim Albright as the 2020 winner of two major WIDC awards: the CBC Films WIDC Talent Development Award worth $10,000 cash, and the WIDC Feature Film Award valued at up to $200,000 in in-kind services and rentals for her feature film directorial debut, With Love and a Major Organ. Set in a technologically advanced but antiseptic world where people go to extreme lengths to avoid the messiness of their emotions, With Love and a Major Organ is a cautionary tale about thirty-something Anabel who is determined to follow the sometimes off beat of her own heart. Based on Julia Lederer’s play of the same name, Albright and Lederer began developing the screenplay adaptation during Albright’s 2018 Canadian Film Centre residency. The film will be produced by Madeleine Davis with executive producers Lori Lozinski (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open) and WIDC’s Carol Whiteman.
Bell Media and REEL CANADA have launched Reel Opportunities, focused on educating and supporting youth exploring careers in the Canadian media industry. Created to reach youth in underserved communities, the program aims to foster excitement and awareness about the many opportunities in film and television, with the goal of creating a new generation of diverse media professionals. Reel Opportunities is set to deliver 150 free interactive networking workshops for 4,000 youth across Canada through schools and other youth-oriented programs beginning this month. Teachers and youth leaders are encouraged to reach out and become involved by contacting email@example.com.
The Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) has announced that its new Story Department Internship, an initiative to help writers in British Columbia committed to a career in scripted television, is now open for submissions. The internship is designed for writers already working in the film and television industry, and emerging writers seeking a focused professional development opportunity. Reimagined from the previous CMPA/Creative BC internship to include both production and development room roles, writer/interns may seek opportunities within productions or development rooms to be eligible to apply for the program. Full eligibility and submission details can be found here. PSP will host an info session Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. PT. RSVP here.
HGTV Canada has announced its new winter premieres, including five brand-new series. Joining the lineup is the latest Corus Studios Original Rock Solid Builds (10×60) which travels to the shores of Newfoundland as builder Randy Spracklin and his crew complete challenging construction projects amidst harsh weather and rugged terrain. Carpenter Ty Pennington makes his HGTV Canada debut with Ty Breaker (8×60) helping families find the best property to suit their needs. Home renovation star Nicole Curtis (Rehab Addict) shares her skills with overwhelmed DIY-ers to help them restore their own historic homes in Rehab Addict Rescue (8×60), while in Self-Made Mansions (8×60), lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly guides new millionaires on luxe real estate hunts.
TVO Original series Political Blind Date returns for a fourth season Tuesday, Jan. 19. Produced by Open Door Co. and Nomad Films, in association with TVO, this season shines a spotlight on hotly-debated issues facing all Canadians in a pre- and post-COVID 19 world: hospital capacity, the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, the safety of Great Lakes water, threats to migrant labourers, religious symbols in Quebec public spaces, and protection of Ontario’s green spaces. Each episode brings politicians with different points of view together on a “date” to bring to life opposing perspectives.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
APTN streaming service, APTN lumi, is now available in Canada via Apple TV and the Apple TV app, as well as select Samsung, LG, Sony and VIZIO smart TVs, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, and PlayStation and Xbox consoles. APTN lumi offers Indigenous programs and movies in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages. Customers can sign up for a seven-day free trial and subscribe to the APTN lumi Channel on Apple TV for $4.99/month.
PressReader will now feature Condé Nast media titles on the digital newspaper and magazine platform, including Vogue, Wired, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, Bon Appetit, Allure, Architectural Digest, and Condé Nast Traveler. The titles will also be accessible through PressReader’s travel and hospitality brand partners like Cathay Pacific and Marriott Hotels as part of an enhanced contactless experience while maintaining the safety of their guests.
The National Media Awards Foundation has announced the category lineup and the call for entries for the 6th annual Digital Publishing Awards. Following industry feedback and guidance from its advisory committee, the foundation has updated the judging criteria for creator-awarded categories and expanded the Best Podcast category into two specialized categories. It’s also introduced new category, Best Virtual Event. The call for entries is open now until Jan. 29. The deadline to nominate someone for the Emerging Excellence Award or the Digital Publishing Leadership Award is March 2.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
The CRTC has denied a request to delay CBC’s licence renewal proceeding as the federal government considers Bill C-10. Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) President Reynolds Mastin had asked the commission to consider postponing this month’s hearing for a period of two years “because of significant developments related to the Canadian broadcasting industry’s current policy and legislative environment, particularly with respect to the consideration of Bill C-10 by Parliament.”
The CRTC says it’s “dissatisfied” after requesting additional information from the CBC related to the diversity of those working in key production roles on in-house English- and French-language programming. In its reply, CBC did not provide any of the requested information, citing confidentiality concerns as well as the voluntary nature of employee disclosure. The commission has indicated it intends to question the corporation on these issues at the Jan. 11 public hearing.
Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a report looking at cell phone ownership and usage. Key findings include that 93% of Anglophones who own a cell phone have a smartphone while only 7% of cell phone owners are still using the older style flip phone. MTM found that virtually all of those between the ages of 18-34 have a cell phone. More than half of Anglophone smartphone owners have an iPhone, followed by the Samsung (30%), while both affluent Anglophones and Francohpones are more likely to own an iPhone. The report also noted a decline in cell phone use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bell has announced “new milestones” to appease service providers requesting access to aerial infrastructures in Québec. Bell says service providers will now be able to conduct their own structural surveys and carry out work as soon as their own engineers have confirmed safety standards have been met, followed by inspections by Bell personnel to ensure full standards compliance. The company says the changes will accelerate access to thousands of poles throughout the province more quickly and expects to sign agreements with service providers as early as January. Bell has also announced its intention to improve communications through a dedicated technical and decision-making resource person, as well as a toll-free 1-800 line.
Bell Let’s Talk Day is set for Jan. 28. Bell Media will feature special mental health content in English and French across its TV, radio and digital properties as part of this year’s campaign, including a special episode of CTV’s Etalk featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, who will speak candidly about her mental health. A full day of programming will include a primetime CTV Bell Let’s Talk Day feature, and a Noovo primetime special “La semaine des 4 Julie“ will focus on mental health. Bell will be announcing new funding for mental health projects across the country this month as well as the launch of the 2021 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, its $2 million annual program that provides grants up to $25,000 for local and grassroots mental health initiatives. Bell Let’s Talk will also announce more recipients of the new Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund, which supports the mental health and well-being of BIPOC communities.
Crosslake Fibre has been selected by Hexatronic Cables & Interconnect Systems AB of Sweden to supply the high-fibre-count submarine fibre optic cable for its new submarine cable project being developed across the English Channel. The unrepeatered, 150 km submarine fibre-optic cable system across the English Channel will connect Slough, UK and Paris, France with dark fibre. The project has a Ready-For-Service (RFS) date in Q4 of this year.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is now accepting entries for the 2020 CAJ Awards program, featuring Canada’s top investigative journalism award, the Don McGillivray Award. The deadline for entries is Jan. 18. Learn more here.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is inviting journalists to submit their outstanding nursing and health-care reporting for its annual Media Awards competition. Stories published or broadcast in Ontario in 2020 will be judged by a committee of journalists and nurses selected by RNAO. Previous winners have included CBC’s The National, Global News, Ottawa Citizen, as well as smaller media outlets like The Manitoulin Expositor and Arnprior Chronicle-Guide. Nominations must be received via the online submission form no later than Feb. 26.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
ADVERTORIAL: Tieline is now shipping its new Gateway multichannel IP audio codec, delivering the highest density DSP-based IP codec in just 1RU. Designed following wide-ranging customer surveys, Gateway can reliably transport multiple channels of mono or stereo audio across public internet and any QoS-enabled IP network, including T1 and T3 connections and private WANs with MPLS. It can stream up to 16 IP audio channels with support for AES67, ST 2110-30, AES3 and analog I/O as standard. Read more here.
SMPTE, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, has announced that Hans Hoffmann, Head of Media Fundamentals and Production at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), has been elected by the SMPTE membership to serve as President for the 2021-22 term. He formerly served as SMPTE executive vice-president. Hoffmann was the 2020 winner of FKTG’s Richard Theile Medal for outstanding services in television technology, recognizing his services in the development of HDTV and UHDTV television systems and his significant contribution to international standardization committees. The SMPTE Executive Committee for the 2021-22 term will include Hoffmann, Patricia Keighley as EVP, and Patrick Griffis as SMPTE Past President. Bruce Devlin will continue on as Standards Vice President, and John Ferder will continue as secretary/treasurer. Newly-added officers include Michael Zink as Education Vice-President, Renard Jenkins as Membership Vice-President, and Paul Stechly as Finance VP. Sylvain Marcotte of Grass Valley will serve as second term representing Canada on the SMPTE Regional Governors.