— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 24, 2023
John Garrett, who has been a Vancouver Canucks colour commentator on Sportsnet Pacific since 2002, is stepping away from that role at the end of this season, but will continue to be involved with the network. The former NHL’er will call his last Canucks’ game April 13. Garrett, 71, previously worked for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, including as the lead colour commentator on Edmonton Oilers’ television broadcasts, before leaving to join Sportsnet in 1998.
“I knew from jump that all good things must come to an end, but that doesn’t make this any less bittersweet.”@tim_micallef with an announcement on the future of Tim & Friends. pic.twitter.com/7Jbcjdd5ob
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) March 27, 2023
Tim Micallef has revealed that Tim & Friends is coming to an end on Sportsnet as he moves on to a new project on Sportsnet Central. The final Tim & Friends show will air on April 11, prior to the Toronto Blue Jays’ home opener. Micallef’s new show will debut April 17 in conjunction with the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Austin Delaney is retiring from CTV Toronto after 34 years. Prior to joining the station in 1989, Delaney reported for a number of radio stations, including CFTR, CKEY, and CHFI. He was also the Queen’s Park reporter for CFNY-FM for two years and a national newscaster for the Newsradio Network.
Fiona Forbes is joining Global TV’s The Morning Show as B.C. Producer and Contributor. Forbes, best known for co-hosting Shaw TV Vancouver’s long-running interview show Urban Rush, previously filled in as a community reporter with Global BC in 2019-20.
Annick Bertrand has been promoted to Director of National Sales, Radio & Digital, at Cogeco Media. Bertrand, who joined Cogeco last November from Quebecor Media, previously held the role of Director of Digital Sales. Alicia Boulet takes up the Director, Digital Sales position, arriving from Quebecor where she served as Director of Digital Accounts for the last three and a half years.
Vinka Dubroja and Angel Morin are no longer with Stingray Radio as the company makes structural changes within its Alberta management team. Dubroja had been the GM in Calgary for more than 14 years, while Morin had served as Business Manager for Stingray’s Calgary stations since 2017. Craig Letawsky takes over the newly-created role of Director of Operations – Alberta. Letawsky, who formerly held the title of General Manager and General Sales Manager – Alberta South, Northeast and Northwest Hubs, will remain based in Red Deer and oversee all aspects of Stingray Radio’s business in Alberta. Susan Reade takes on the new role of Director of Sales – Edmonton and Calgary, overseeing revenue strategies for both markets. She’ll remain based in Edmonton where she’s served as GM/GSM of the Edmonton stations since 2018. Edmonton-based Business Manager Tamara Konrad is expanding her role to include both Edmonton and Calgary, while Samantha Yaremchuk expands her Business Manager territory in Red Deer to also encompass Alberta South and Alberta Northwest. Read more here.
Kelsey Lehman, KiSS National Music Director and Music Director at KiSS 92.5 (CKIS-FM) Toronto, is moving on from Rogers Sports & Media to join Bell Media Ottawa as Program Director. Lehman has been working with the KiSS brand for the last eight years, in Vancouver and Edmonton, as well as Toronto. Prior to joining Rogers, she was on-air and served as Music Director at 104.9 Virgin Radio (CFMG-FM) Edmonton.
Jeremy White has added 105.5 JYY (WJYY-FM) New Hampshire to the stations airing The Jeremy White Show, which is now heard weekdays from 3 – 8 p.m. as of Monday. White is also heard evenings on Energy 95.3 (CING-FM) Toronto.
Keith Soper has joined Coast 101.1 FM (CKSJ-FM) St. John’s, NL with new weekend show “Epic ’80s on The Coast.” It will air Saturday nights from 8 p.m. – midnight and repeat Sunday afternoons from noon – 4 p.m. Soper, who stepped away from radio full-time more than a decade ago, also continues his senior management role at Keller Williams Realty. Prior to pursuing real estate, he held on-air and programming roles at OZ FM (CHOZ-FM) St. John’s, among other stations.
Camilla Tibbs has been appointed Executive Director of the Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP). Tibbs’ career spans more than 25 years in cultural management in Metro Vancouver and the UK, including executive roles at the Vancouver Writers Fest and Touchstone Theatre. Most recently, she was Executive Director of Gateway Theatre and has also worked in marketing roles at Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company and London Symphony Orchestra. She’s currently board chair of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Tibbs will be supported by Kate Anderson, Programming Manager for the Scripted Series Lab, PSP’s flagship program.
Mike Killeen and Lynda Steele have officially launched Killeen & Steele Communications, a Metro Vancouver-based media training, performance and communications coaching business. The former CTV Vancouver colleagues both stepped away from media full-time in 2021 – Killeen from his anchoring role on CBC Vancouver’s News at 6 and Steele from her highly-rated 980 CKNW Vancouver talk show. Steele currently co-hosts “The Steele and Vance Show” on Victoria’s CHEK TV.
RADIO & PODCAST:
The CRTC is being asked to introduce a five per cent minimum quota for Indigenous music content on commercial radio, based on the recommendation of the Mémoire sur le contenu musical autochtone (Memorandum on Indigenous Musical Content), the result of a public consultation conducted last summer, spearheaded by Indigenous record label Makusham Musique, in collaboration with Innu Takuaikan, the Innu First Nations band government in Quebec. It found that 94.83% of the 312 Canadians surveyed believed a percentage of Indigenous music content should be imposed on commercial radio stations in Quebec and Canada, expressing that they almost never hear Indigenous music on the radio. The commission’s Radio Review, unveiled in early December, laid out an expectation that commercial radio broadcasters include Indigenous music in their playlists without setting specific quotas, noting it continues co-development on a new Indigenous Broadcast Policy with the public consultation phase upcoming. Read more here.
CBC/Radio-Canada is shortlisted for 23 New York Festivals Radio Awards. Programs garnering multiple nominations include Turtle Island Part III (Entertainment: Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program, On-Air Talent: Best Music Program Host); and Marvin’s Room (On-Air Talent: Best Music Program Host, Entertainment: Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program). CBC Radio News: The World at Six was also nominated for its coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Best Extended News Coverage), as well as Best News Feature for “The Face of Hunger.” Podcasts dominated the Shortlist with the Grand Jury advancing 105 podcast entries to the next round. Award-winning entries will be announced during the New York Festivals’ 2023 Storytellers Gala virtual event on April 18.
The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) has announced the nominees for the 11th Annual CMAOntario Awards, taking place Sunday, June 4 at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton. Hosted by Jason McCoy and Shannon Ella from Pure Country Radio, the CMAOntario Awards show will close out the CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend, June 2-4. Nominees for Radio Station of the Year (Large Market) are Country 104 London; Country 106.7 Kitchener; KX-947 Hamilton; KX96 Oshawa; and Pure Country 94 Ottawa. Medium Market nominees include COOL 100.1 Belleville; Country 92.9 Chatham; Country 93.5 Kingston; Hot Country 93.9 Brantford; and Pure Country 105 Peterborough. Nominated for Radio Station of the Year (Small Market) are 100.1 FM The Ranch Listowel; Country 103 Manitoulin; Country 89 Welland; Country 93 Owen Sound; and Pure Country 106 Orillia.
Carolina Bermudez, morning show host at iHeartMedia’s 103.5 KTU (WKTU-FM) New York will be joining the Radiodays North America lineup in Toronto on June 9 at the Westin Harbour Castle. Bermudez got her start in radio as a co-host of the “Kenny and Footy Morning Show” on Y100 (WHYI-FM) Miami, but was quickly recruited by “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show.” Bermudez also holds the title of Senior Editor at In Touch Weekly, is a freelance reporter for E! News, and hosts weekly podcast “Life in Spanglish” with fellow radio personality, Honey Germain. Early bird pricing for Radiodays North America ends March 31.
99.3 County FM (CJPE-FM) Prince Edward County launches “Voices from the Shadows: Homeless in a Rural Community” on April 6 during “The Grapevine.” Funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Prince Edward County Radio Corp., it will run every Thursday through May 25. The series explores the unique challenges the “unhomed” face, especially in a rural community. Wendy Mesley serves as narrator with the script written by Astrid Young. Over the past eight months, volunteers from the community radio station spoke to and interviewed more than 60 individuals from the Hastings Prince Edward homeless community and the organizations that serve them.
SiriusXM has announced its broadcast plans for Masters Week, April 1-9. Live tournament coverage will air Thursday, April 6, through Sunday, April 9 – starting at 2 p.m. ET and running through the completion of play. Mike Tirico returns as SiriusXM’s lead play-by-play voice for all four tournament rounds, joined in the booth Saturday and Sunday by new SiriusXM personality Rocco Mediate, who competed in 10 Masters Tournaments in his career. Steve Melnyk, who competed in five Masters Tournaments and was the Low Amateur in the 1971 Masters, will be the analyst for the Thursday and Friday rounds. SiriusXM’s broadcast team will also feature play-by-play from Taylor Zarzour, and commentary from Fred Albers, Mark Carnevale, Brian Katrek, Maureen Madill, John Maginnes, Chantel McCabe, Jim McLean, Carl Paulson and Jason Sobel. Programming will be available to subscribers across North America in their cars (channel 92) and on the SXM App (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).
LISTEN: RTDNA Canada President Lis Travers joins the latest Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about the association’s aggressive membership drive and new board of directors, in addition to why she feels we need to spend more time celebrating the industry’s wins, rather than focusing on the challenges. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
LISTEN: Ian Leonard, Chief Meteorologist at Fox 9 in Minneapolis, is on the Sound Off Podcast. A second generation broadcaster, Leonard talks about growing up in Edmonton and being a part of television at an early age. He also discusses how he’s evolved his presentation of the weather over the years and which social media tools are most important to him right now. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
TV & FILM:
WildBrain has reached an agreement to acquire Toronto animation pre-production studio, House of Cool for $15.5 million, expanding the company’s pre-production capabilities for animated series, specials and features. Under the agreement, WildBrain will acquire full ownership of House of Cool with executives and co-founders Wes Lui and Ricardo Curtis joining WildBrain Studios’ senior management team in the newly-created roles of Co-General Managers of House of Cool, reporting to WildBrain President Josh Scherba. Collaborating closely with WildBrain’s animation studio in Vancouver, House of Cool will maintain operations in Toronto as well as its distinct brand under the WildBrain banner. The acquisition will more than double WildBrain’s pre-production capacity, building on its existing team of approximately 80 staff, based in Vancouver. Read more here.
CBC has announced the renewal of original series Run The Burbs and Son Of A Critch for their third seasons, as well as long-running sketch comedy show This Hour Has 22 Minutes for a 31st season. They join Sort Of, which was renewed for a third season in December by CBC and HBO Max, as part of the public broadcaster’s 2023-24 comedy slate. Other returning series and specials include Season 4 of The New Wave of Standup and Season 20 of Just For Laughs Galas, Season 22 of Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and Season 27 of Halifax Comedy Fest. Kim’s Convenience spinoff Strays was not renewed for a third season.
CBC has renewed Bollywed for a second season, as announced during the Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival. Produced by HeartHat Entertainment and launched earlier this year on CBC and CBC Gem, the series introduced audiences to the charismatic Singh family who have run their iconic bridal shop, Chandan Fashion, in Toronto’s Little India for nearly 40 years. Season 1 is available to stream on CBC Gem.
CTV has renewed original drama Transplant for a fourth season. The most-watched Canadian drama series with total viewers and all key demos, according to data provided by Bell Media, Transplant recently received its third consecutive nomination for Best Drama Series at the Canadian Screen Awards. Filming in Montreal from this spring, Season 4 finds Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq) on the precipice of finishing his residency at York Memorial. Seasons 1-3 are available for streaming on CTV.ca, the CTV app, and Crave.
Sportsnet and Canada Basketball have announced the return of GLOBL JAM, the international basketball showcase, to Toronto, July 12-16. Mirroring last year’s inaugural showcase, this summer’s festivities will once again centre around GLOBL JAM FIVES – the 5×5 under-23 basketball tournament featuring women’s and men’s teams from around the world. Taking to the court at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and broadcast nationally across Sportsnet platforms, GLOBL JAM FIVES will feature future NBA and WNBA stars. GLOBL JAM FIVES will see teams compete in round robin action July 12-15, followed by the men’s and women’s bronze and gold medal championship games on Sunday, July 16.
Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana is partnering with BAFTA-winning Belfast studio Sixteen South to option, co-develop and co-produce A Horse Named Steve, a new 2D animated series based on the acclaimed picture book by Toronto author-illustrator Kelly Collier. The series (52×11) will focus on the endearingly self-absorbed horse.
Home Free, a forthcoming feature film directed by Avi Federgreen has begun production in Paris, ON. Following three estranged adult sisters who return home for their parents’ anniversary to learn their father is dying, the dark drama is a longstanding passion project for Federgreen. His third feature film, it stars an array of Canadian talent including Michelle Nolden (Heartland, Saving Hope), Art Hindle (Black Christmas, The Brood), Jill Frappier (Hudson & Rex, Three Pines), Natalie Brown (Nightmare Alley, The Strain), Tara Spencer-Nairn (Corner Gas, James vs. His Future Self), and Al Mukadam (Pretty Hard Cases, The Detail). Home Free is produced by Federgreen (One Week, Kiss & Cry, Still Mine), Laura Tremblay (Motherly), Jen Pogue (Things I Do For Money), Emily Andrews (Things I do For Money), Emily Foster, and Julia Tomasone, with executive producers Marvin Waxman, Michelle Nolden, and Chris Szarka.
Little Bird, the Crave and APTN lumi original limited series created by Jennifer Podemski and Hannah Moscovitch, has captured the audience award at the Series Mania television festival in France where the drama had its world premiere. Based on a true story, the series explores a woman’s journey to reclaim her identity after being forcibly removed from the Long Pine Reservation in the “‘60s scoop” and adopted into a Jewish family in Montreal.
The Creative Saskatchewan Feature Film and Television Production Grant will see its base budget grow to $12 million this year, a $2.0 million or 20% lift, that the provincial government says will encourage more television and film productions to shoot in the province and employ local crews. Announced in the province’s 2023-24 budget, 28 productions were funded through the grant in 2022-23.
Big Sky Studios has opened in Manitoba, a new state-of-the-art facility set to support the increase of television and film being shot in the province. Sprawling over nine acres in central Winnipeg, the Big Sky Studios’ complex boasts four soundstages, along with production offices, meeting rooms, all-support service rooms, and a partnership with Canadian equipment provider William F. White International. Manitoba’s Film and Video Production Tax Credit is among the most competitive in North America with up to 65% of eligible salaries covered for Manitoba labour, or up to 38% of overall production costs.
Volume Global and Julijette Inc. have announced the development of Jette Studios, a state-of-the-art, full-service film and television studio village in Niverville, MB that leverages the latest technology and includes 18,581 sq.-ft. of studio space. With construction to be completed in two phases, starting this summer, the province says the facility will be instrumental in supporting the 1,500 Manitobans in the province’s film labour force. It’s estimated the $30-million private sector investment will create 300 new jobs over the next three years.
CRTC Chairperson and CEO Vicky Eatrides will speak on the opening day of the BANFF World Media Festival on June 12 with a keynote session. The 44th edition of the festival will take place in-person, June 11 – 14, at the Fairmont Banff Springs. As previously announced, George Cheeks, President and CEO of CBS and Chief Content Officer, News and Sports for Paramount+, is also confirmed as a Summit Series speaker, a future-focused lineup of keynote sessions. BANFF panel discussions include the recently announced Universal Studio Group Spotlight session featuring Erin Underhill, President of Universal Television; Beatrice Springborn, President of Universal International Studios & UCP; and Toby Gorman, President of Universal Television Alternative Studio.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) will hold a webcast to provide an overview of changes to its 2023-24 programs, program budgets and guidelines. Webcasts will be held in both French and English on April 6. Learn more here.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
Han Dong says he plans to pursue legal action against Global News and Corus Entertainment following the network’s published allegations that the Toronto area MP suggested delaying the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig to a Chinese diplomat in early 2021. Global’s report, citing anonymous sources, alleges that the Member of Parliament for Don Valley North – who resigned from the Liberal caucus last week – told Han Tao, China’s consul general in Toronto, that releasing “the two Michaels” would benefit the Conservatives. In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday morning, Dong said he had retained a lawyer “to begin legal action to its fullest extent.” Global News is standing by its reporting with Sonia Verma, Editor in Chief and VP of Global News, saying the network is “very mindful of the public interest and legal responsibility of this important accountability reporting.” Read more here.
Jody Vance has filed a civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court against the man who earlier this month pleaded guilty to criminal harassment in connection with hundreds of abusive and threatening emails and online posts. Vance, co-host of The Steele and Vance Show on CHEK TV in Victoria and a fill-in host on Vancouver’s 980 CKNW, alleges Richard Sean Oliver engaged in “an ongoing and relentless campaign of harassment, infliction of mental suffering, invasion of privacy and defamation.” Vance hopes the civil suit will set a precedent for consequences for harassment of journalists, seeking general, aggravated and punitive damages, and special costs the court deems just.
The CRTC has ruled that Rogers gave itself and its own sports channels undue preference by refusing to carry OneSoccer, which holds broadcast rights to Canada’s National Men’s and Women’s Soccer, World Cup qualifying games and Canadian Premier League matches. The complaint was first brought about last summer alleging that Rogers refused to carry OneSoccer because it was concerned about competition with its own Sportsnet channels. Rogers maintained its refusal was tied to the channel’s limited appeal to viewers. TELUS, which has carried the channel since 2021, urged the commission to investigate the refusal. The commission says by refusing to grant OneSoccer linear distribution, Rogers is not treating OneSoccer in the same fashion as comparable services that have such distribution. Both parties must submit proposed resolutions by April 11.
The CRTC is launching a consultation to improve its Broadband Fund, which helps bring high-speed internet and mobile service to communities across Canada. The commission is proposing to make the application process faster and easier, in addition to creating a new funding stream for Indigenous communities and projects that would increase the reliability of rural and remote networks. The CRTC is accepting comments until July 21.
The Competition Bureau says it would be inappropriate to speculate on when its investigation into Google’s online display advertising practices might be concluded, as Unifor pushes the bureau to follow the lead of the U.S. and European Union by pursuing legal action. Unifor, which represents 12,000 journalists and media workers, wrote to Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell earlier this week questioning whether there has been any movement within the agency to release its findings. The investigation, which began in the fall of 2021, was to determine if Google is impeding the success of competitors, resulting in higher prices and reduced choice, hindering innovation for ad tech services, and harming advertisers, publishers and consumers. A spokesperson for the Competition Bureau could not confirm to Broadcast Dialogue whether the digital giant is cooperating or the status of the investigation, citing confidentiality. Read more here.
Canadian Media Guild (CMG), the union representing TVO journalists, content creators, and education workers, is outraged at the salary increases TVO management received last year, as disclosed in the Ontario public sector “Sunshine List.” CMG says while management is telling the union they can’t afford to give TVO/CMG employees anything more than 1.5% annual pay increases, raises for senior management were all above inflation in 2022. TVO’s CEO Jeffrey Orridge made just shy of $300,000, a 10% increase over his 2021 salary, while Vice-President of Programming and Content John Ferri earned almost 11% more in 2022: $210,315. CMG says many of TVO’s unionized workers are struggling to make ends meet. TVO/CMG employees voted in support of a strike mandate last month.
The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the union representing professional performers who make commercials in Canada, has launched a national consumer boycott of union busting brands, accusing them of putting profits over people. Since April 26 of last year, ACTRA says the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) has declined to renew the National Commercial Agreement, a collective agreement preserving the minimum rights and protections of performers in the commercial industry. ACTRA has also launched a campaign targeting the federal government demanding it end its contractual arrangement with Cossette Media, one of the agencies that has locked out ACTRA performers. The union’s complaint is currently before the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award honouree this year is Haroon Siddiqui in recognition of his decades-long career in Canadian journalism and his commitment to diversity, journalistic integrity and social justice. An Editorial Page Editor Emeritus and former columnist at the Toronto Star, Siddiqui is a Senior Fellow at Massey College. His memoir, My Name is Not Harry, is due this fall from Dundurn Press. Siddiqui will be honoured at the CJF Awards ceremony on June 13 at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto.
The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) Career Day 2023 took place at Corus Quay in Toronto on May 9 featuring speed mentoring, panel discussions, and opportunities for soon-to-graduate students to speak candidly with experienced broadcasters. Among the broadcasters who volunteered their time to speak with students were Paul Agresta, Miranda Anthistle, Jeremiah Braithwaite, Jody Brooker, Harpreet Buttar, Chris Byrnes, Alex Cairns, Isaac Callan, Zachary Camp, Samantha Capizzano, Briana Carnegie, Carla Cerqueiro, Jordan Chakravarty, Andrea Coleman, Mohammed Fahim, Meredith Geddes, Wendy Gray, Rob Johnston, Rick Lee, Marco Lima, Patrick Malkin, Andrew Mallon, Logan Miller, Gabriel Munro, Doug Murphy, Mike Perdue, Chris Pottage, Emily Quesnelle, Alanna Rizza, Jordan Schwartz, Alex Seixeiro, Amar Sodhi, Ian Solecki, and Dan Wylie.
The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) is accepting nominations until Friday, March 31 for the WAB Awards of Excellence. Did your station support a changemaking local initiative this year? The Gold Medal Award for Community Service seeks to recognize the efforts and positive impacts of broadcasters in their communities. Did your station have an exciting digital breakthrough? The Gold Medal Award for Digital Innovation applauds creative use of non-traditional platforms to support radio and/or television. Is your under-30 coworker a superstar? Nominate them for the Leaders of Tomorrow Award. Know a distinguished industry veteran? Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductions recognize private broadcasters who have 30+ years in the industry and continue to exhibit unwavering commitment. Registration is open for the 87th annual WAB Conference, June 7-8.
The BC Association of Broadcasters’ (BCAB) 73rd Conference is open for early registration until March 31. Taking place at the River Rock Casino Resort on May 4, the event returns after a three-year absence featuring Jim Pattison Group Chairman & CEO Jimmy Pattison as its keynote speaker, among others. Early registration includes a 20% discount on conference fees.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Xperi subsidiary DTS has announced the launch of DTS AutoStage Broadcaster Portal — giving radio broadcasters access to data on listener engagement. The system delivers next-generation, AI-powered connected radio, audio and video content for more than 52 connected car models worldwide, combining linear broadcast with IP-delivered content. The solution offers radio broadcasters insights into how their in-car listeners are engaging with their content from the car via an easy-to-use dashboard, including geographic definition; popular locations and thoroughfares; program performance, including most popular formats and content; and retailer heat maps, showing shopping locations in proximity to a station’s audience.
NAB Show has announced the recipient of the proceeds of its inaugural Excellence in Sustainability awards program, recognizing outstanding innovations in media technology that promote conservation and reusability of natural resources and foster economic and social development. To be presented during a special ceremony on the Main Stage at NAB Show on April 16, Creative Visions has been selected as the recipient of proceeds from this year’s awards program. A cheque will be presented to Creative Visions founder Kathy Eldon and CEO Pat Chandler as part of the awards ceremony. The non-profit and United Nations NGO creates impact media, supports storytellers, and empowers education and youth around human rights issues. Creative Visions was inspired by Eldon’s son Dan, a 22-year old photojournalist killed in 1993 while covering the conflict in Somalia for Reuters News Agency.