Monday, September 25, 2023

The Weekly Briefing


Rebecca Hanson
Rebecca Hanson

Rebecca Hanson has been named the new Director-General of NABA, the North American Broadcasters Association, the non-profit that takes action on technical, operational and regulatory issues affecting broadcasters in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Hanson will work alongside NABA’s current Director-General Michael McEwen – who is set to retire this summer after more than 11 years in the position – before taking full responsibility July 1. An experienced broadcast and media executive, Hanson’s resume includes a six-year stint as Senior Vice-President, Business Development at XM Satellite Radio; serving as Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives at Sprint Nextel; and more than four years as Senior Advisor, Broadcast Spectrum at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Read more here.

Colleen Jones

Colleen Jones will retire at the end of April after 37 years with the public broadcaster. Jones, 63, who is also known to Canadians as a six-time national curling champion and three-time world champion, began her broadcasting career in radio sports with CHUM Halifax in 1982. She transitioned into television with CTV in 1984, before signing on with CBC Nova Scotia in 1986 as a sportscaster on First Edition with Jim Nunn and Susan Ormiston. Jones, who already had made history as the youngest skip to ever win the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship, joined Don Wittman and Don Duguid on CBC Sports curling broadcasts a few years later. She started with CBC Newsworld in 1993 as the early morning weather presenter and sports reporter. Since 2012, she’s been a reporter with CBC Nova Scotia. Read more here.

Courtney (Ketchen) Stanfield and Kevin Stanfield have departed CTV Calgary. The married couple, who worked on CTV Morning Live and evenings, respectively, cited the difficulty of their opposing schedules in a post to social media. Courtney had been a host and producer with Bell Media since 2015 and Kevin a weather anchor since 2016. He’s now joined Big Blue Sky Games as a Game Designer, while Courtney plans to spend more time with their young family, in addition to other projects.

Ryan Harding

Ryan Harding has left CTV Calgary after being part of the CTV Morning News team since late 2021. Before joining the Calgary bureau as a weather anchor, Harding was a video journalist with CTV Edmonton and CTV Winnipeg.

Kaella Doty (Carr)

Kaella Doty (Carr) is leaving broadcast journalism after two decades, including 18 at CTV Lethbridge. Doty has been a reporter with the station since May 2005, arriving from a brief stint with the network in Prince Albert where she served as a sports reporter/anchor.

Donovan Maess

Donovan Maess is taking over the News at 6 and 11:30 p.m. weekend anchor role at CTV Regina. A 2021 University of Regina Journalism grad, Maess has been with the station since 2020, when he started as an intern.

Kim Woodbridge

Kim Woodbridge has departed Fresh Mornings with Kim, Mark, & Ian on 103.1 Fresh Radio (CFHK-FM) London after 10 years. Prior to Fresh Radio, Woodbridge was part of the morning shows on 97.5 EZ Rock (CIQM-FM) and BX93 (CJBX-FM) in the market.

Marc Thibault

Marc Thibault, General Manager of Rhythme 105.7 (CFGL-FM) Montreal, is expanding his role with Cogeco Media, also taking responsibility for CIME-FM Saint-Jérôme. He’ll be supported by Program Director Guyaume Cadieux and Mélanie Brière, who has been promoted to Director of Sales at CIME-FM Saint-Jérôme. 

Isabelle Boulerice

Isabelle Boulerice has been promoted to Program Director of Rhythme 105.7 (CFGL-FM) Montreal. Boulerice, who has been with the station for the past six years, has served as APD for the past two. Paul Awad takes on the Rhythm APD role, in addition to his role as PD of The Beat 92.5 (CKBE-FM). 

Kennedy Player-Reid has made history as the first woman to serve as colour commentator for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Player-Reid, who serves as the team’s communications & social media coordinator, was heard on the April 6 broadcast on Cable 14, alongside play-by-play announcer Reed Duthie.

Siarra Rogers

Siarra Rogers has joined Corus Radio Vancouver as Senior Creative Writer. Rogers returns to Corus after three years with Stingray Radio’s stations in Vancouver.

Michelle Cyca

Michelle Cyca is the newest editor at The Narwhal, joining the publication to expand its reporting on Indigenous-led conservation. Cyca is a freelance columnist, writer, and editor, whose work has been published in The Tyee, Maclean’s and The Walrus. She also served as co-publisher of Vancouver arts and culture magazine, SAD Mag, for five years.

Mandy Elkoreh

JAR Audio, the Vancouver-headquartered branded podcast studio, has made several internal promotions. Chris O’Keeffe, who has been a producer with the company since early 2022, is now Creative Director. Mandy Elkoreh has moved from Senior Project Lead to Director of Delivery, while Jessica Wills, also a former Project Lead, moves into the role of Manager, Podcast Delivery. 

Hillary Zwick Turner

Hillary Zwick Turner has been named to the new role of SVP, Scripted Content, at Thunderbird Entertainment Group. Reporting to Matthew Berkowitz, Thunderbird President and Chief Creative Officer, Turner will serve as the company’s representative within the creative community to hone in on new scripted content, YA and family live-action projects. She’ll also oversee scripted development and production for the company’s new L.A.-based scripted hub. Most recently, Turner served as EP on Netflix special Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, dropping April 19. Prior to that, she spent four years at Netflix where she was the lead executive on Cobra Kai, Julie and The Phantoms and The Letter for the King.


Radio Trailblazers have announced veteran Toronto radio personality Maie Pauts as the recipient of the 2023 Rosalie Award. Recognizing Canadian women who’ve blazed new trails in radio, the award was established in 2005 and is named for legendary CKLW Windsor Music Director Rosalie Trombley, who passed away in November 2021. Pauts has been on-air for over 40 years, currently heard in middays on Stingray’s boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) Toronto. After graduating from the Radio and TV program at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson), Pauts landed in middays at CKMW 790 Toronto in 1983. She moved on to CFNY-FM in 1987, co-hosting the nightly, Live in Toronto, before eventually returning to middays from 1993 to 2001. Pauts joined CHUM-FM as a swing announcer in 2002. She’s been with boom 97.3 since 2010. Read more here.

Ford Canada has confirmed that it’s transitioning away from AM radio in all of its vehicles globally, including those destined for the Canadian market. The revelation follows word last month, the automaker was on track to drop AM radio from all vehicles manufactured in the U.S., beginning in 2024, following the lead of Volvo, and in addition to BMW, Mazda, Polestar, Rivian, Tesla, and Volkswagen, who with Ford, have already removed AM from their electric vehicles due to drivetrain interference. “Ford will continue to offer internet streaming through mobile apps, FM or digital options for customers to hear their favourite AM radio programming as the global transition away from AM radio continues,” a Ford Canada spokesperson told Broadcast Dialogue, in an emailed statement. Canada is still served by more than 180 AM stations, with the bulk of those in B.C. and Ontario. Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) President Kevin Desjardins says the factor that automakers aren’t taking into consideration is that in a country as geographically broad as Canada, being able to reliably stream radio can’t be taken for granted. Read more here.

Image Credit: Alamy

Luminate, the entertainment data and insights company that fuels the Billboard Charts, revealed that global music On-Demand Audio streams crossed the one trillion mark on March 31, making 2023 the first year for that milestone to be reached in just three months. The news follows Luminate’s 2022 Year-End Report data that showed a +22.6% growth in On-Demand Audio streams year-over-year from 2021. The Top 5 most-streamed songs, globally, in 2023 so far are: Miley Cyrus“Flowers” (1.16B on-demand global audio streams in 2023 so far); SZA “Kill Bill” (885M); The Weeknd “Die For You” (629M); Bizzarap & Shakira “BZRP Music Sessions #53” (627M); and Rema & Selena Gomez “Calm Down“ (601M). Global music listeners have spent roughly 960,000 years streaming music in 2023 so far.

K96.3 (CKKO-FM) Kelowna and K97.5 (CKRV-FM) Kamloops morning show co-host Brad Karp, the 2019 Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year.

Canadian Music Week (CMW) is inviting nominations for the Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Award, in memory of Steve Young, until May 12. Nominations for the 14th annual award, recognizing a young Canadian broadcaster, must come from another individual working in the industry. Candidates must be under 30 years of age as of Dec. 31, 2022; must work in the programming department (On-Air, Programming, Promotion, Production or Creative); and must have made a significant, documented contribution to the community they serve, the radio industry or their craft. Read more and find a link to the submission form here.

Tom Poleman

Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer and President of National Programming, iHeartMedia will be at Radiodays North America and Canadian Music Week for an exclusive one-on-one interview. An influential programmer, Poleman changed the trajectory of New York City’s Z100 when he introduced Elvis Duran in mornings, brought back the mainstream Top 40 format, and created the Jingle Ball concert that has become a nationwide tour. He’s also developed iHeartMedia’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and On the Verge program that has helped grow the careers of Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, Post Malone, H.E.R., and Sam Smith. Check out the list of confirmed speakers and panels here.

Hot Docs has announced the return of its Podcast Festival Showcase, May 4-7, with a lineup featuring WYNC Studios’ Radiolab, New York Magazine contributing editor and podcast host Kara Swisher in conversation with Lilly Singh, and a live episode of The Happiness Lab featuring host Dr. Laurie Santos with podcaster Gretchen Rubin. Other sessions include: Crossing from Docs to Pods with Tanya Talaga, Connie Walker and Michelle Shepard; Intimate Epics: A Storytelling Master Class with This American Life’s Nancy Updike and Oscar nominee Nicole Newnham; and Non-Fiction Without Borders: A Co-Production Case Study with The LA Times and CBC Podcasts.

Kijiji has launched a five-month long stunt podcast, Wait-listening, highlighting the average wait time for factory-ordered vehicles in Canada. Powered by ChatGPT and using text-to-speech AI voice tech, the stunt is being used to promote Kijiji Autos. The podcast, available in both English and French, covers a variety of automotive-themed topics from electric vehicles to the history of car manufacturing. 

Corus Radio’s 640 Toronto (CFIQ-AM) has launched its first beer, Breaking Brews! Named by listeners, who voted on the official name, Breaking Brews was created by Great Lakes Brewery and can be purchased for a limited time at the GLB Brewpub (tap and store), located at 11 Lower Jarvis Street in Toronto, through its online shop, or via Uber Eats or Doordash

LISTEN: Corey Dylan, morning show host at 100.7 BIG FM (KFBG-FM) San Diego, returns to the latest episode of the Sound Off Podcast. Corey and Matt Cundill discuss resiliency, the right attitude when looking for work, and keeping yourself adaptable to the ever changing wants of programmers. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:


Canadian Screen Week is underway with trophies handed out in four categories so far, including News, Documentary & Factual. Among the evening’s multiple award winners were History docuseries BLK: An Origin Story, which picked up a leading five awards, followed by Crave’s We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel), which came away with four wins. Global National News anchor Dawna Friesen was named Best News Anchor, National, with Global National also picking up the honour for Best National Newscast. Find the full list of winners here. Winners for Sports Programming included Gord Miller (Best Sports Play-by-Play Announcer); Craig Simpson (Best Sports Analyst); and Andi Petrillo (Best Sports Host) for her work on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Multiple award winners in the Children’s and Animation categories, included The Hardy Boys and PAW Patrol – Rescue Knights, with TVO and TVO Kids’ productions securing a leading six awards. Canada’s Drag Race was the big winner at the Lifestyle & Reality Awards, claiming six awards, including three for Canada’s Drag Race – Girls Trip: The Rusical and Brooke Lynn Hytes, Brad Goreski, and Traci Melchor winning Best Host or Presenter, Factual or Reality/Competition.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced the Sustainable Production Award, presented by CBC, recognizing a production that has had a measurable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and/or innovations in circularity, and has also contributed positively to the Canadian media landscape and local communities. Created by the Academy’s Sustainability Committee, consisting of industry experts Zena Harris (Founder and President – Green Spark Group), Leaticia Kaggwa (Environmental Sustainability Lead – CBC), David Hardy (Vice President, Sustainability and Stakeholder Affairs – William F. White International), Elizabeth Wong (Manager, Operations and Partnerships – Bullfrog Power), and Academy staff, the award will launch this summer.

Screen Nova Scotia has announced the nominees for the 9th annual Screen Nova Scotia Awards, set to take place May 13 at Casino Nova Scotia. Among the nominees are those up for Best Nova Scotia Director including Rachel Bower (The Noodle Group); Leah Johnston (Mother’s Skin); Koumbie (Bystanders); and Jackie Torrens (Bernie Langille Wants to Know What Happened to Bernie Langille). Voting is open until April 18 for the Groundbreaking Performance Award, which shines a spotlight on emerging, diverse Nova Scotia talent who are delivering outstanding performances, but are not eligible for the ACTRA Maritimes awards. 

Seneca College has announced it’s establishing the Seneca Film Institute (SFI), building on the Greater Toronto institution’s reputation for its film production, animation, and acting training programs. Operating within Seneca’s Faculty of Communication, Art & Design, SFI will work with students across more than 30 programs, offering them “the skills and experiences that will allow them to thrive in Canada’s booming screen industry,” according to a college announcement. SFI will be led by Mark Jones, Academic Chair of Seneca’s School of Creative Arts & Animation, who’ll also serve as the Director of SFI. Award-winning documentarian and journalist Sunny Yi, will serve as SFI’s academic lead. Read more here.

Elemental Post has opened a brand new post production studio in Vancouver. Headed by Post Supervisor and Sound Designer Matt Drake and Senior Colourist Dave Tomiak, it brings together colour, sound and finishing services under one roof. The award-winning duo’s recent work includes Anthony Shim’s Riceboy Sleeps and Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows, in addition to current projects like Borderline, the directorial debut from Cocaine Bear writer Jimmy Warden. The studio, located in Vancouver’s Railtown district, features a brand new 4K theatre with laser projection, three colour suites, two sound stages and other suites for finishing, titling and dailies. Elemental says its seven-member team will likely grow with demand, opening up opportunities for other post-production freelancers to find a place to work on other projects.

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has released a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report. Including contract data from 52 live action and 36 animated series that started production in 2021, in addition to 342 series previously covered in the period from 2017-20, the data shows the percentage of diverse members joining the Guild continues to grow, with 59% of new members identifying as diverse in 2021. The percentage of WGC diverse writers working on TV has increased steadily from 18% in 2017 to 35% in 2021, largely explained by a higher participation of Black writers and writers of colour. In live action, 39% of writers identified as diverse and held 45% of the jobs in 2021, while in animation, 30% of writers identified as diverse and held 34% of jobs. WGC says the findings suggest that despite broad gains, there remains a “glass ceiling” for diverse writers. 

Mark McKinney

Mark McKinney has signed a development deal with Sphere Media that will see The Kids in the Hall alum develop, star and executive produce his first-ever unscripted series. The untitled project is described as a comedy docuseries that will see McKinney travel the world meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Red Ketchup arrives on Télétoon la nuit Thursdays at 10 p.m., starting April 20. The cult Quebec comic strip hero heads to the small screen with Jacques Bilodeau of Sphère Animation producing, and Martin Villeneuve directing. Based on the character created by Pierre Fournier and Réal Godbout, it will follow FBI agent Red Ketchup on perilous missions he succeeds in every time. The cast includes Benoît Brière (Red Ketchup), France Castel (Sally Ketchup), Gabriel Lessard (Peter Plywood), Alain Zouvi (Dr K), Widemir Normil (Chef Sullivan ), Émilie Bibeau (Olga Dynamo) and Martin Villeneuve (Bill Bélisle).

Coming Out in Politics premieres on Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+, FrootTV and on April 19, and on OUTtv on April 20. Directed by Ottawa-based journalist and filmmaker Christopher Guly, the doc features politicians from Canada’s major political parties discussing the challenges they’ve faced holding public office as members of the LGBTQ community. Among others, the documentary includes former NDP MP Svend Robinson, who in 1988 became the first Canadian parliamentarian to publicly acknowledge he was gay, in addition to Labour Min. Seamus O’Regan, Tourism Min. Randy Boissonnault, Edmonton Griesbach MP Blake Desjarlais, and Quebec MP Pascale St-Onge.

Image Credit: Alamy

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released new data from Netflix to YouTube: How Anglophones are Using Internet-Connected TVs. Key findings from the report include that nearly three-quarters of anglophones (74%) use internet-connected TV sets, with the use of the TV screen for online content more than tripling over the past decade. The growth of internet-connected TVs mirrors the growth of Subscription Video on Demand services (SVODs) with connected TVs the most commonly used screen among viewers of all SVOD services included in the survey. MTM also found that different age groups use different intermediaries for making the connection. Two-fifths of 18-34-year-olds use a game console as an intermediary. They are also most likely to connect via a computer or laptop.


Egale Canada has sent an open letter to CRTC Chairperson Vicky Eatrides calling for removal of Fox News from the list of non-Canadian programming authorized for distribution in Canada. The LGBTQ advocacy group says Fox News’ programming is in clear violation of Canadian broadcasting standards and has no place on Canadian cable networks. “The CRTC is obligated to investigate whether the continued broadcasting of Fox News on Canadian television is in line with the Television Broadcasting Regulations. People in Canada deserve to know that the news broadcast on Canadian airwaves is reliable and objective, and marginalized groups must be protected from malicious propaganda,” states the letter. “The public interest clearly demands a consultation on the appropriateness of the continued inclusion of Fox News on the List.” 

Cossette has voluntarily signed a Letter of Continuance with the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) for the remainder of 2023. In Québec, Cossette has had an agreement with ACTRA since June 2022, in accordance with Québec law. The Letter of Continuance now covers the rest of Canada. ACTRA had recently launched a campaign demanding the federal government end its contractual arrangement with Cossette as one of the agencies that had locked out ACTRA performers. Since April of last year, the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) has declined to renew the National Commercial Agreement. The union’s complaint is currently before the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Bell Aliant crew restoring service to customers after an incident of copper theft in New Brunswick. (CNW Group/Bell Canada)

Bell has filed a lawsuit against accused copper thief Sylvain Fleury, aiming to help set a precedent to deter network vandalism. The company says it is also pursuing Fleury’s co-conspirators, including any individuals or scrap yard businesses who knowingly purchased the stolen copper, alleged to have been taken from seven sites in Ontario between June of last year and March of this year. Bell says incidents of copper theft from telecommunication cables is on the rise, reporting more than 170 incidents to its network alone over the last 15 months – largely in New Brunswick, Ontario and northern Québec – resulting in over $3M in damages and with each incident taking on average 10-12 hours to repair. It’s calling for help from government in the way of fine increases and amendments to the criminal code, reflecting the essential nature of critical infrastructure.

Rogers Communications has announced a plan to bring full 5G connectivity services to Toronto’s entire subway system, including access to 9-1-1 for all riders. Rogers has entered into an agreement to acquire BAI Communications’ Canadian operations (BAI Canada), which has held the exclusive rights to build the Toronto Transit Commission wireless network since 2012. With the acquisition, Rogers says it will now be able to build a reliable 5G network covering the entire TTC subway system. The investment builds on Rogers’ plans to bring mobile connectivity to underground transit riders across the country, including agreements with TransLink to bring full wireless connectivity to Greater Vancouver’s SkyTrain system and the Société de transport de Montréal, with other Canadian carriers, to bring connectivity to all 68 metro stations and over 70 kms of tunnel in Montreal.

WAB (Western Association of Broadcasters) has released the full agenda for its 87th Conference, approaching June 7-8 at Banff Fairmont Springs. Newly-announced speakers include Gordon Borell on how broadcasters can capitalize on post-pandemic changes in media and advertising; Harvard Media President Dan Broderick with a sales presentation; Homefield People & Strategy General Manager Jody Milburn on mental health and the workplace; and Dr. John Izzo on how responsibility inspires change. WAB is also encouraging registrations for its annual Golf Tournament, sponsored by SDS

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has released its shortlist for the Landsberg Award, which celebrates journalists raising awareness of women’s equality issues. The three finalists for this year’s award are: Molly Hayes, Tavia Grant and Elizabeth Renzetti for a Globe and Mail series examining intimate partner violence and coercive control; Juanita Mercer for her coverage of the absence of pay equity legislation in Newfoundland and Labrador, which led to creation of Bill 3, the Pay Equity and Pay Transparency Act, published in The Telegram/Salt Wire Network; and Jana Pruden for In her defence, with photography by Amber Bracken, an in-depth profile of Helen Naslund, convicted of killing her abusive husband. The winner receives $5,000 from the Canadian Women’s Foundation.


The Humber College B²C Lab Open House is approaching, May 11-12, which will include a series of presentations and demonstrations of ATSC 3.0 broadcast and datacast topics and applications from industry experts and global research teams. Learn more here.

Ross Video, a founding member of the Open Services Alliance (OSA) and a long-time supporter of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), has announced that Catena, a new OSA interoperability project, will now reside under SMPTE’s Rapid Industry Solution (RIS) program, with the merger of the OSA and SMPTE. The resulting entity will be known as OSA: A SMPTE Rapid Industry Solution. Catena is intended to provide a simple way to enable control, status reporting and configuration across a wide array of vendors, with devices, complex products, services, or small microservices. Catena builds upon Ross Video’s openGear platform, which has enabled interoperability of on-premises equipment across vendors for over 16 years. Those who wish to join the newly merged SMPTE and OSA can visit the SMPTE Member Portal

Nautel has unveiled its new GV2 Series transmitters, the first in the industry to integrate all HD Radio components inside the transmitter. The update to Nautel’s flagship FM transmitter series provides the full hardware platform to support HD Radio with Xperi Gen4 Importer, Exporter, and Exgine implementations for HD radio encoding, station logo and artist experience. Omnia for Nautel covers all FM and HD Radio audio processing needs and provides Livewire AoIP inputs for all audio streams. Nautel will begin accepting orders for the GV2 hardware platform in Q2 2023. Early adopters are expected to be able to test drive the software components by Q4.

Witbe, a leader in test automation and proactive monitoring for video service providers, has moved its Montreal branch to a larger facility to better support its Canadian customers. The company opened its initial Montreal office in 2013. The new Montreal office is one of 12 Witbe locations across the globe, with corporate headquarters split between Paris, New York, and San Francisco. 

Cignal TV, the Philippines’ premier Pay TV provider, is expanding its use of Toronto-headquartered Quickplay’s cloud-native OTT platform to provide more content and access options for Filipino viewers in the Philippines and overseas. Cignal TV is working with Quickplay to create two market differentiators that will be launched in the coming months, running on Google Cloud, including an extension of its Cignal Play video streaming service that will bring content directly to living rooms in the Philippines via smart devices; and the Philippines’ first and only sports app for Filipino fans worldwide. The Cignal Play expansion will allow subscribers in the Philippines to access an all-in-one entertainment platform with multiple tiers of live and on demand content from Cignal TV, in addition to third-party apps and streaming services, regardless of their broadband provider.

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Broadcast Dialogue
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Broadcast Dialogue is Canada’s broadcast industry publication of record. The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is distributed by controlled circulation every Thursday. Broadcast Dialogue content may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent of the publisher. To report a typo or error please email -

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