Neetu Garcha joins Global National as its new correspondent, starting May 9. Garcha has been with Corus Entertainment since 2013, working as a producer and anchor at 980 CKNW Vancouver while studying Broadcast Journalism at BCIT. She went on to intern with Global Okanagan in 2014, where she worked for two years before joining the Vancouver Island bureau as a video journalist. She joined Global BC in 2017 where she is currently a weekday reporter and anchor of Global News Hour at 6 on weekends. Originally from Penticton, Garcha has carved out a reputation for navigating political double speak, including her dogged 2021 interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which he admonished the journalist for not asking “the right questions.” Read more here.
Reta Ismail is the incoming anchor of CTV News at Six in London, ON, starting June 6. Ismail is well known to CTV London viewers, having spent the last seven years as a reporter and more recently the anchor and producer of the bureau’s weekend newscasts. A graduate of Mohawk College, Ismail started her career at CKTB St. Catharines, making the jump to television as an Assignment Editor with CityNews Toronto.
Christa Dickenson will join Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective Sept. 12. Dickenson, who recently announced her exit from Telefilm Canada, worked behind-the-scenes at CPAC early in her career, before going on to spend 15 years at Rogers, and later serve as President & CEO of Interactive Ontario. She’s been at the helm of Telefilm since 2018. Dickenson succeeds Colette Watson, who was appointed President of Rogers Sports & Media in January, following the departure of Jordan Banks. Read more here.
Heaton Dyer is the new Chief Growth Officer at Pink Triangle Press (PTP), effective June 13. Dyer arrives at the LGBTQ publisher from CBC/Radio Canada where for the last three years he has been Executive Director of Strategy and International Relations. Dyer will be responsible for the growth of the organization, the reach of its audiences and its revenues. Beyond CBC, he has worked for both public and private media in Australia, New Zealand, and in Europe, responsible for the launch of a pan-European channel for Dow Jones, launching the New Zealand version of 60 Minutes, and is credited with wooing George Stromboulopoulos to CBC from Much Music.
Tom Webster, SVP, Edison Research, has announced he’ll be stepping down at the end of May to devote more time to digital audio and podcasting. Webster has been with Edison for 18 years. In a blog post, he says he’ll still be partnering with the company, in addition to continuing his tech blog “I Hear Things.”
Dennis Beyak has retired as the play-by-play voice of the Winnipeg Jets, but will continue to contribute to TSN international hockey coverage. Beyak has been the team’s play-by-play voice since 2011 when the Jets returned to the city from Atlanta. He has also done television play-by-play for the Edmonton Oilers and was the primary radio voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1997-98 and 2010-11 seasons.
Luke Smith has a new role as Station Manager at CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto. Smith has been with the National Campus & Community Radio Association (NCRA) as Director of Learning and Development for the last seven years. He also runs his own media and community engagement consultancy.
Alyssa Golbeck has joined Bell Media Edmonton as a Digital Content Producer. With a background in graphic design, Golbeck has most recently held roles with Ski Marmot Basin and FleetFX Graphics.
Ashley Pirhonen (aka AJ) has left Move 97.1 (CJMJ-FM) Penticton where she’s been heard in afternoon drive since late 2021. Pirhonen was previously the morning host at 99.5 Moose FM (CFBG-FM) Muskoka where she landed straight out of the BCIT Radio Arts & Entertainment program.
Martha Troian has walked away from new Canadaland podcast Canadalandback. Troian cites unexplained “allegations” against the show’s host Ryan McMahon. A freelance investigative journalist and producer, Troian has previously worked on projects for VICE Canada, Muskrat Magazine, iPolitics, and CBC Indigenous.
Nick Logan is leaving Global National. Logan has been with Global News since 2011, initially as a web producer for Global Maritimes before joining the network’s flagship newscast in 2013 as a producer. He’ll be signing on with CBC as a casual, multiplatform journalist.
Lasia Kretzel has left CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver to join Global BC as Social Media Coordinator. Kretzel had been a Digital Reporter and Producer with CityNews since 2016. Prior to that, she spent nearly four years with 650 CKOM Saskatoon.
Jeff Slack has left CityNews 660 (CFFR-AM) Calgary. Slack had been a multimedia journalist with the station since 2018, most recently serving as evening reporter.
Steve Cassar has joined the Story Studio Network, the branded podcast studio founded by newstalk veterans Dave Trafford and daughter Erin Trafford. Cassar, a former CTV Toronto News Director and Sportsnet Executive Producer, is signing on as Senior Executive Producer. He’s most recently been freelancing as a Supervising Producer for Olympic Broadcasting Services.
Drew Garner is joining Story Studio Network as Senior Production Engineer. Garner was previously a Technical Producer with Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto for the last 18 years, in addition to working as a freelance podcast editor.
so.da, Corus Entertainment’s social-first agency, has added five new senior leadership roles to its team to support growth and a new PR offering. Chaman Sandhu joins so.da as Director of Audience Development, leading the strategy and operations of so.da’s owned social and digital editorial content properties, and overseeing the performance analytics team. Prior to joining so.da, Sandhu was the Brand Management Lead at Truss Beverage Co., a joint venture between Molson and HEXO. Kelly Duffy has been promoted to Director, Client Accounts. She will also be hiring for six additional roles designed to further power client work. Elana Schachter joins as the new Head of so.da creator agency, Kin Community Canada. After soft launching PR services last year to bring more integrated campaigns to clients, so.da is adding Ashley Applebaum as Head of Publicity and Michelle McTeague as Director of PR for so.da.
Louis Pearson has been named Senior Director, Acquisitions & Original Film, at Quebecor, tasked with acquiring content for TVA Group, Club illico and Vrai. Pearson has been Director, Fiction Acquisitions & Quebec Film Development since 2018. He’ll retain responsibility for Quebec film production and promotion.
Genevieve Brodeur has been appointed Vice-President, Studios & Business Development, at MELS. Reporting to President Martin Carrier, she’ll manage studio operations, business development, and marketing. Brodeur has been with Quebecor since 2015, most recently as Director, Client Solutions. Prior to that, she held a similar role with Radio-Canada.
Youssef Ben-Youssef, Head of Ad Platform and Partnerships at Roku, has been appointed as an independent director at WildBrain, effective May 5. Ben-Youssef fills a seat on the board vacated by Steven Landry, who remains one of the largest individual shareholders of the company. Ben-Youssef is an ad-tech veteran with an extensive background in strategy and business management. Prior to Roku, he led the Publishers Solutions team at IPONWEB where he launched a monetization platform.
Luisa Alvarez Restrepo has been named ACTRA Toronto’s Manager: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging. Formerly Project Manager at WarnerMedia Access Canada, she led all film festival initiatives and launched Access Festivals, a first-of-its-kind international program that provides filmmakers from underrepresented communities access to a more robust and engaging film festival experience. Prior to WarnerMedia, she was at TIFF, where she launched the Amplify Voices Award highlighting excellence in filmmaking by Canadian and BIPOC filmmakers. As a creator, her short film Forbidden Tikka Masala won seven awards internationally, and was licensed by TIFF and CBC.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Newstalk 580 CFRA marked a milestone on May 3, celebrating 75 years on Ottawa’s airwaves. Founded by former CKLW Windsor Managing Director Frank Ryan (the “FR” in CFRA), the 1,000 watt station was officially signed on May 3, 1947 at 8:05 p.m. ET by Ottawa Mayor Stanley Lewis. After Frank Ryan’s death in 1965, ownership of the station passed to his wife Kathleen, who subsequently sold CFRA and sister station CFMO-FM to CHUM Limited. Bell Globemedia acquired the station as part of its absorption of CHUM in 2006. The station featured special programming Tuesday, including interviews with on-air legends Steve Madely, Lowell Green, and Ken “The General” Grant. Archival audio also highlighted the station’s history in Ottawa. Read more here.
CKOC 1150 AM Hamilton turned 100 on May 1, without much fanfare. Currently owned by Bell Media and under the BNN Bloomberg Radio banner, CKOC has the distinction of being the oldest continuously-operating radio station in Canada, on the air since May 1, 1922. The third station in all of Canada, prior to last February, CKOC was a TSN Radio affiliate.
myFM Centre will soon be established in Renfrew, ON, with the broadcaster obtaining naming rights as the town’s Ma-Te-Way Activity Centre undergoes expansion. myFM owner Jon Pole says renaming the centre reinforces the company’s commitment to serving the Ottawa Valley, with its local station CHMY-FM to move into the new building when it’s completed later this year.
CBC Podcasts’ Carrie Low Vs was among the winners at CrimeCon’s CLUE Awards in Las Vegas, which brings together true crime enthusiasts. Carrie Low Vs was named Outstanding Docuseries. Gimlet Media’s Stolen: The Search for Jermain, hosted by Connie Walker, also won for Best Episodic Series. Find the full list of winners here.
97 South Song Sessions, the Penticton, BC-based songwriters festival, is partnering with Stingray to launch Storytellers on the Stingray Podcast Network. Starting May 16, the show will feature host Paul McGuire in conversation with top songwriters about the creation of their hit songs and the art, craft and career of songwriting. Storytellers’ roughly half-hour episodes will feature guests like Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams), Kim Mitchell, Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow), Alan Frew (Glass Tiger), Marc Jordan (Rod Stewart) and Corb Lund. The podcast will be accompanied by a 97 South Song Sessions vibes channel on Stingray Music that will offer an eclectic mix of songs written by the songwriters who have performed at the annual festival or joined the podcast. Weekly episodes of Storytellers will be available at stingraypodcasts.com and on all major podcasting platforms.
New podcast alert! It’s called “At The End Of the Day with Hannah Sung.” Follow to get episodes as soon as they drop, on your fave app including here @ApplePodcasts https://t.co/pPldK5pVV7 Starts next week 🌷 pic.twitter.com/IO3xHeayHG
— Hannah Sung (@HannahSung) April 28, 2022
Hannah Sung’s At the End of the Day newsletter is now a podcast. The TVO, Globe and Mail, and Much Music alum started At The End Of the Day in 2020 at the outset of the pandemic as a way to stay connected. Two years later, she boasts over 2,000 subscribers.
Facebook is quietly getting out of podcasting. The platform started allowing hosts to publish shows to their Facebook pages last year. Podcasts will no longer be available on Facebook as of June 3. As of this week, podcasters are unable to link or publish any new podcasts. In an email to users, the platform suggested podcast-related content is surfacing elsewhere in the Meta ecosystem, including Reels and Live.
SiriusXM Canada is spotlighting special programming, podcast episodes, and commentary celebrating Asian Canadian and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture, tradition, and history during Asian Heritage Month. Among the channels hosting special programming are K-Pop Radio, Steve Aoki’s Remix Radio, Raw Dog Comedy, Comedy Central Radio, Disney Hits and 88rising Radio. Disney Hits (ch. 302) has tapped Topher Ngo of 4*Town, the breakout boy band from Disney Pixar family film Turning Red, to host a special AAPI Extra Magic Hour, while Influence Franco (ch. 174) will feature a rebroadcast of Influence-Moi with Laurence Girou-Do, the Canadian-Vietnamese frontwoman of Le Couleur.
The Steve Young Broadcaster of the Year award is open until May 13. Anyone working in the industry can nominate any worthy broadcaster under the age of 31 as of Dec 31, 2021. Nominees must work in On-Air, Programming, Promotion, Production or Creative. Learn more here.
LISTEN: The Sound Off Podcast celebrates its 300th episode. Matt Cundill looks back on where the podcast started, mistakes corrected along the way, and how the show has evolved since 2016. He also acknowledges those who helped the show reach this milestone.
TV & FILM:
AMI (Accessible Media Inc.) has announced it’s launching the Disability Screen Office (DSO) aimed at increasing representation on and off screen across the Canadian media landscape. Funded with support from the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Telefilm, the DSO will work to eliminate accessibility barriers to the industry, and support and amplify creative voices from within the disability community. With funding from CMF, AMI is undertaking cross-country research that will culminate in the creation of a Best Practices Guide for Disability Engagement in the Canadian Film and Television Industry. Telefilm is providing startup funding to enable the DSO to recruit a board of directors and open an office within the year. Read more here.
W Network and Nikki Ray Media Agency have greenlit and begun production on a series of four romantic made-for-TV movies. The Love Club (4x120min), to be distributed by Corus Studios internationally, will star Brittany Bristow (Holiday Date), Lily Gao (Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City), Chantel Riley (Frankie Drake Mysteries), and Camille Stopps (Running with Violet). The first of the four movies is currently filming in the Hamilton area with back-to-back shooting to continue until July. Slated to premiere in Winter 2023 and onwards on W Network and Corus streaming service STACKTV, the greenlight is the first time the network has commissioned four made-for-TV movies at the same time.
Hot Docs has announced documentary filmmaker, producer, and activist Mila Aung-Thwin as this year’s recipient of the Don Haig Award. Aung-Thwin is the producer and editor of Midwives, the story of two midwives working in a makeshift clinic in Western Myanmar, which will have its Canadian premiere at this year’s festival. The Don Haig Award is presented to an outstanding Canadian independent producer with a feature-length film at the festival, with the recipient selected by a jury of independent filmmakers. Aung-Thwin has produced more than 30 feature docs including Emmy-winner Last Train Home (2009), a powerful look at migrant workers in China.
Forgotten Frontlines, a new Super Channel Original docuseries from GoButton Media, will premiere May 16 on Super Channel Fuse. All six episodes will also be available on Super Channel On Demand the same day. Forgotten Frontlines examines some of the lesser-known stories of WWII and gives viewers a better understanding of how those events impacted overall efforts. From conspiracies to covert ops, the series uses unearthed research, expert interviews, archives, and CGI to bring to life events that have slipped through the cracks of our collective memory. View the trailer here.
Steve Sxwithul’txw of Kwassen Productions has started production on Ocean Warriors ~ Mission Ready, a new docuseries for APTN and CHEK. It follows four First Nations on the B.C. coast that have joined together to form the independent Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary. The 13-episode half hour series will shoot throughout May in Ahousaht, Quatsino, Namgis, and Heiltsuk First Nations. Series Producer/Director is Martin de Valk, Associate Producer / Production Manager is Michele Mundy of the Namgis Nation, and Barbara Hager (Metis) is the Writer.
Inuit TV will launch May 2 on Shaw Direct (Channel 268), in addition to Arctic Co-op cable and the taku.tv app. Featuring a mix of programming in both English and Inuktitut, the channel is primarily funded by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. The new channel has been working with Uvagut TV, which launched in Jan. 2021 and also features Inuit culture and language, to avoid programming overlap.
Flair Airlines and Super Channel are partnering to offer Flair Airlines’ passengers an extensive collection of Super Channel programming inflight, with over 200 hours of content available on select routes. Flair passengers will be treated to a broad range of Super Channel films and series including homegrown Canadian content, Hollywood hits like LaLa Land, and documentaries, including The State of Texas vs Melissa and Canadian Screen Award winner, Catching a Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur. Super Channel content will be accessible on Flair’s inflight app, powered by LiFE in the Air.
QYOU Media has announced that The Q India, the Toronto-headquartered company’s Hindi language youth-oriented channel, is launching flagship channel The Q, along with new channels Q Marathi, Q Kahaniyan and Q Comedistaan on 63 new Smart TV systems in partnership with CloudTV. CloudTV is among the largest suppliers in India of Android based Smart TV operating systems for television manufacturers (OEMs). The channels will be featured among other leading SVOD and entertainment brands and monetized on a revenue share basis via the Google Ad Network and other programmatic ad serving platforms. In its latest quarterly report, QYOU reported record-breaking revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 of $5,585,641, representing a year-over-year increase of 477% and a quarter over quarter increase of 18%.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
There’s nothing better than free hockey!
❤️ this tweet and we’ll send you #OvertimeAlerts for each game in the #StanleyCup Playoffs that goes to OT as we stream the first few minutes LIVE on Twitter presented by @Rogers. pic.twitter.com/ve3SbieOTR
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 29, 2022
Sportsnet has partnered with Twitter Canada to bring live Stanley Cup Playoffs action to the platform. #OvertimeAlerts will deliver a push notification to users when a playoff game goes into overtime. When a game goes to OT, fans will be able to watch the opening minutes of the period live on Twitter via the push notification. The broadcast will stream live from the @Sportsnet Twitter account. Targeted to Canadians in Rogers service areas, Rogers will run pre-roll content as part of the livestream and prior to game highlights. Twitter says the NHL is the most-talked-about sports league on the platform in Canada with 65% of Canadian hockey fans saying Twitter is the social media platform they use to follow sports. During NHL games, as usage drops on all other social media platforms, Canadians spend more time on Twitter.
Corus Entertainment social and digital agency so.da has announced new original social series, Paint School (5×3-5min). A collaboration between HGTV Canada and Behr Paint Company, the five-episode series from DIY creator Maca Atencio inspires followers to tackle home projects using Behr products. Episodes are live now on HGTV.ca and HGTV Canada‘s Facebook page.
CBC/Radio-Canada’s Mauril app, the public broadcaster’s free platform that helps users learn French and English, is celebrating its first anniversary. Introduced in April 2021, the mobile app has since launched tablet and web versions. Mauril marked its first anniversary by releasing a video featuring testimonials from users.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
CBC News says it’s expanding its commitment to local news by creating 14 new positions across the country, focused on deepening community connections. The new hires will be concentrated in medium and small market bureaus, like Lethbridge and Grande Prairie. In B.C., two new video journalists will be recruited, one stationed in Cranbrook and another in Nanaimo. In Ontario, Brampton and Kingston will each have new permanent reporters, with a community producer to work out of CBC London to strengthen the public broadcaster’s coverage in Southwestern Ontario. New community producers will also be hired in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, with an Indigenous journalist position to be made permanent in Quebec. CBC Indigenous will add two new journalists – one in Manitoba and one in Saskatchewan. CBC North is creating two new positions in Iqaluit to support Indigenous language programming. Read more here.
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the National Pensioners Federation (NPF) have filed a petition to the federal cabinet to set aside a CRTC decision to approve Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw’s broadcasting assets. NPF-PIAC has raised concerns about the impact of the acquisition on affordability of TV services, especially for Shaw’s current TV-only customers who subscribe solely to cable or satellite TV without any underlying or additional internet services from Shaw.
The CRTC failed to respect disclosure laws regarding chair Ian Scott’s meetings with telecom lobbyists and executives, according to a series of determinations by the Office of the Information Commissioner. TekSavvy revealed the finding in its blog, detailing how the commission took nearly eight months to provide records related to Scott’s meetings. While TekSavvy’s requests under the Access to Information Act were filed in June 2021, they were only partially fulfilled in February this year. The Information Commissioner determined the CRTC failed to respond to the request not only by the statutory due date, but also by their own extended due date. As such, it was in refusal of its obligations under the Information Act.
Hydro Ottawa Holding has announced Hiboo Networks, the region’s first municipally-owned internet service provider offering high-speed fibre optic network services to over 6,000 mid-to-large enterprises across the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. Network services will initially be made available to area universities, schools, hospitals, as well as to large commercial and industrial customers before being extended to the broader business community.
Fatima Syed and Tai Huynh, editor-in-chief and publisher of Toronto online startup, The Local, have been declared joint winners of the 2022 Press Freedom Award by World Press Freedom Canada (WPFC). At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, Syed went to Peel Region to report on the impact the virus was having on the community, which is dominated by immigrant and front-line workers. Her groundbreaking series of articles led the national media to focus on Peel, while Huynh secured funding from the Vohra Miller Foundation to finance more coverage. WPFC also awarded a press freedom award citation of merit to Kathleen Martens, a digital reporter for APTN. Martens has spent years pursuing stories of sex assault and harassment in the Indigenous community, including a 2021 article revealing assault charges against a prominent Indigenous healer. Stephanie Nolen is the winner of the Spencer Moore Award for Lifetime Achievement for her body of work as a foreign correspondent at Globe and Mail. Nolen is now with the New York Times.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has announced Wendy-Ann Clarke, Kiernan Green, Dorcas Marfo and Ashleigh-Rae Thomas as recipients of the Black Journalism Fellowship Program in partnership with CBC/Radio-Canada, CTV News and the Investigative Journalism Bureau (IJB). The fellowship program aims to amplify Black voices, improve coverage of Black issues in the news and cultivate future Black media leaders. Each fellowship provides a unique opportunity for an early-career Black journalist—with one-to-five years’ experience—to be hosted for six months at a CBC/Radio-Canada (English and French), CTV News, or at the IJB at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. The four fellows will receive mentoring and training for a variety of skills, including video and audio editing, writing, research and investigative reporting.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the 108 successful applicants for the fifth round of its Mentorship Program for Journalists. In the coming weeks, mentees will work with mentors from across the country who work in radio, television, audience engagement, photojournalism, digital, and print publications. This round of mentors includes Ginella Massa, Evan Solomon, Rick Westhead, Jayme Poisson, and Bhupinder Hundal, among others. Applicants who did not match in this round are strongly encouraged to apply for the next session this summer. Journalists interested in mentoring for the next edition of the program are encouraged to get in touch with CAJ. Read more here.
The Jack Webster Foundation, in partnership with B.C. Lieutenant Gov. Janet Austin and with the support of the Government House Foundation, has announced Francesca Fionda as the inaugural recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Journalism Fellowship. Fionda has been awarded $25,000 to produce a long-form piece of journalism that will explore the gaps in support for evacuees of disasters in British Columbia. The Tyee has committed to publishing Fionda’s work later this year.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Rogers Communications has introduced the advisory council that will oversee its proposed National Centre of Technology and Engineering Excellence in Calgary, following the anticipated closure of its $26 billion merger with Shaw Communications. Part of a multi-year, $6.5-billion commitment to invest in Western Canada as the two entities come together, Rogers says THINKLab would convene academia, developers, and research partners to foster made-in-Canada tech solutions and act as a talent pipeline for skilled technology roles focused on engineering and technical delivery across networks, digital and IT, with an emphasis on 5G, DOCSIS & Fibre technology, Digital & Cloud, Data analytics, Multi-edge Compute, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Cyber Security. Through the creation of THINKLab, Rogers says 500 skilled technology roles would join its existing team, following the close of the Shaw transaction. Read more here.
The Humber College B²C Lab is hosting an online industry workshop event featuring Avateq Corp, discussing rural remote internet access with ATSC 3.0, showcasing an ultra long-range wireless backhaul solution. Taking place May 25 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET, register here.
Avid Pro Tools is dropping its perpetual license in favour of going subscription only. Avid is no longer making lifetime licenses available to customers that offered unlimited access to a version of the digital audio workstation (DAW). New users are being asked to choose between three subscription-only plans: Pro Tools Artist, Pro Tools Studio, and Pro Tools Flex. Current Pro Tools and Pro Tools Ultimate customers with active subscriptions or perpetual software updates will be migrated to their respective subscription plan.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says registered attendance for the 2022 NAB Show was 52,468. Nearly 12,000 of those attendees were international with 155 countries represented. That’s roughly half the registered attendance of the 2019 show, which boasted 91, 460 and 24,000 international guests, pre-COVID. Revisit the Best of NAB Show here. NAB Show New York returns Oct. 19-20, 2022, while the NAB Show Centennial is set for April 16-19, 2023.
SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) is partnering with the Open Services Alliance (OSA) for media to present the Media Microservices Summit, hosted by Microsoft in New York City, May 11-12. The free two-day event will offer a comprehensive review of current progress and future initiatives aimed at bringing interoperability to media processing in the cloud and to microservices in particular. While in-person attendance at the Summit is preferred, remote attendance will be an option. The event is free for registered attendees.