Sunday, September 24, 2023

The Weekly Briefing


Terry DiMonte

Terry DiMonte has announced he’s hanging up his headphones after a more than four-decade career in broadcasting. His last day on Montreal’s CHOM 97.7 morning show will be May 28. DiMonte kicked off his broadcast career in Churchill, MB in 1978 working as an announcer/operator for CBC’s Northern Service before joining Moffat Communications’ Winnipeg stations 92 CITI FM and 58 CKY. After a brief turn into A&R and band management, DiMonte joined the CHOM morning show in 1984. From there, morning show runs at MIX 96 (CJFM-FM) and CJAD 800 followed. After a five-year stint back at CHOM as part of “Terry & Ted in the Morning,” DiMonte headed to Calgary in 2008 to host the Q107 (CFGQ-FM) morning show. He’s been back on CHOM mornings since his return to Montreal in 2012. Read more here.

Scott Metcalfe officially retired April 30 as Rogers Sports & Media’s National Format Director of News and News Director at Toronto’s 680 News (CFTR-AM), which saw #ThanksScott trend on Twitter. Metcalfe’s career started in 1976 at CHAB Moose Jaw, SK, followed by a stint as a City Hall reporter at CHED Edmonton. He joined then Telemedia-owned CJCL Toronto in 1981, starting as Queen’s Park reporter and was made news director two years later. In 1992, when the station rebranded to The FAN 590, Metcalfe was appointed Sports Director and Executive Producer. When Rogers acquired CJCL in 2003, Metcalfe was subsequently named news director at 680 News and promoted in 2018 to National Format Director, overseeing the Rogers’ “Green Brand” news stations across the country. 

Daryl McIntyre is officially joining 630 CHED Mornings, starting Friday. McIntyre left CTV Edmonton after 33 years, much of that time as co-anchor of CTV News at Six, in September of 2019. He resurfaced as a guest host with Corus Entertainment stations’ CHED and 770 CHQR Calgary this past February. He assumes the role vacated by Shaye Ganam, who has moved into the mid-morning time slot. McIntyre will be heard weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. MT, starting the same day co-host Chelsea Bird departs on maternity leave. Read more here.

Lynda Steele is stepping away from her afternoon talk show on Vancouver’s 980 CKNW at the end of May to spend more time with her family, including her father who is battling Alzheimer’s. Steele has been with the station since 2015, following a long career in television news that included 15 years with Global Edmonton. Prior to joining CKNW, she hosted CTV Vancouver nightly consumer segment and half-hour BNN show “Steele on Your Side.”

Andy & TJ

Andy & TJ, aka Andy James and Tamara “TJ” Joel, will host mornings on Kelowna’s 103.9 The Lake (CKOV-FM), starting May 10, as the station debuts a veteran talent lineup. The husband and wife team were formerly heard on Bell Media’s 101.5 EZ Rock (CILK-FM) in the market, from 2003 up until December when the station rebranded as The Move. Mark Jeffries will host middays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jeffries was previously the host of middays on EZ Rock for 19 years. Crystal Darche takes on afternoon drive from 2 to 7 p.m. Darche, who grew up in Penticton and relocated to West Kelowna with her family last year, was most recently with Corus Radio Edmonton. Read more here.

maxine bailey

maxine bailey has been appointed Executive Director of the Canadian Film Centre (CFC), succeeding Slawko Klymkiw, who retired at the end of March after 15 years at the helm of the organization. bailey joins the CFC after 18 years with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), most recently as Vice-President, Advancement, where she was TIFF’s principal liaison with government, donors and members, and the festival’s chief fundraiser. She was also the driver behind Share Her Journey, TIFF’s five-year fundraising commitment aimed at achieving gender parity both behind and in front of the camera. Read more here.

Sarah Nathanson

Sarah Nathanson has been promoted within Thunderbird Entertainment Group to the position of Corporate Secretary and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for all Thunderbird divisions. Thunderbird says the move is part of efforts to consolidate its Senior Leadership Team. Prior to her promotion, Nathanson served as Thunderbird’s General Counsel, a responsibility she’ll continue to oversee as part of her expanded portfolio, in addition to taking on the role of Corporate Secretary as co-founder Cameron White steps down. Mark Miller has also departed Thunderbird and factual-focused subsidiary Great Pacific Media (GPM), five months after stepping down from his dual role as president of Thunderbird and CEO of GPM.

Farah Nasser

Farah Nasser is now anchoring Global National on Friday evenings and serving as fill-in anchor when needed, in addition to her regular duties with Global Toronto anchoring Global News at 5:30 & 6. Nasser has been with Global News since 2015.

Travis Dhanraj

Travis Dhanraj is returning to CBC News as a Senior Reporter in the Parliamentary Bureau. He rejoins the public broadcaster from Global News, where he’s been Queen’s Park Bureau Chief since 2018. Dhanraj was previously a reporter with CBC Toronto from 2011-14. He’s also worked as a producer for Entertainment Tonight Canada and CBS, and anchored and reported for CP24 and CTV News.

Maham Abedi

Maham Abedi, Senior Producer, Digital with CBC News, is returning to Global News after just eight months with the public broadcaster. She’ll take on the role of Network Managing Editor, overseeing the distribution of breaking news and original content across the broadcast, online and radio network. Abedi was previously with Global News for three and a half years as a national online journalist.

Nelly Gonzalez

Nelly Gonzalez is leaving CBC Winnipeg to join the local edition of Global News Mornings as a producer. Gonzalez has been a newsreader and reporter with CBC Winnipeg for the last nine years.  

Rebecca Lawrence

Rebecca Lawrence is leaving Victoria’s CHEK News to return to the insurance industry. Lawrence was previously an insurance agent before taking BCIT’s Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She joined CHEK as a multimedia journalist and web editor in March 2020.

Peter Schaad

Peter Schaad has parted ways with TSN. Schaad had been the longtime Vancouver Whitecaps’ TV play-by-play announcer. He started calling games for the team in 2002 through it’s A-League, USL and MLS transitions and also hosted a daily Whitecaps show on AM1410 (CFTE-AM). Corey Basso and Colin Miller, who were formerly with TSN 1040 (CKST-AM), have been enlisted by new broadcast partner Corus Entertainment to call upcoming games on AM730 (CHMJ-AM). 

Hannah Witherbee & Jonny Parks

Jonny Parks has joined Hannah Witherbee as the morning show co-host on 93.9 Virgin Radio (CIDR-FM) Windsor. Hannah & Jonny is airing weekdays from 6-10 a.m. ET. Parks was previously the midday host on KiSS 105.3 (CISS-FM) Ottawa.


Jen McKay & Al Lewis

Al Lewis is joining Cool 100 (CHCQ-FM) Belleville, ON as morning show co-host, alongside Jen McKay on “Cool Mornings with Lewis & McKay.” Lewis held a similar position with Corus Kingston for the last six years. He previously worked with Cool 100 from 2008-15 as the station’s production manager and evening announcer.

Scott Pettigrew

Scott Pettigrew will head up Acadia Broadcasting’s newly-acquired stations in Halifax as station manager for CKHY-FM and CKHZ-FM. Pettigrew has been station manager in Thunder Bay for the last five years. John Ongaro is promoted to station manager in Thunder Bay. Ongaro was previously PD for both 99.9 The Bay (CJUK-FM) and Country 105 (CKTG) and hosted The Bay morning show.

Kevin Jeffrey

Kevin Jeffrey is the new News Director at 99.9 The Bay (CJUK-FM) and Country 105 (CKTG) Thunder Bay. Jeffrey has been a reporter and editor with the stations since September of last year. He takes over for Vic Krasowski, who retired last month after a 45-year career in radio.

Bob Keating

Bob Keating has retired after 29 years at CBC and 35 years in radio. Based in Nelson, BC, Keating has been CBC’s sole reporter in the Kootenays since 2000. He’d been with the public broadcaster since 1992 after a career that started in Cranbrook in 1986. Keating has already dropped 10 episodes of his new podcast, Kootenay Time, and is also producing podcasts for others under the banner of his production company, Keating Words.

Jennifer Tory

Jennifer Tory, who up until her retirement in Dec. 2019 was Chief Administrative Officer of RBC, and Cornell Wright, Executive Vice President of Wittington Investments Limited (the principal holding company of the Weston-Loblaw-Choice Properties group), have joined BCE’s Board of Directors. Following the company’s annual meeting, Barry K. Allen, Robert E. Brown, Thomas E. Richard and Paul R. Weiss have also retired from the BCE Board.




Evanov Communications is leaving its “The Jewel” easy-listening format behind in four markets, moving to rebrand The Jewel 98.5 (CJWL-FM) Ottawa-Gatineau, The Jewel 92.5 (CHRC-FM) Clarence-Rockland, The Jewel 107.7 (CKHK-FM) Hawkesbury, and the Jewel 106.7 (CHSV-FM) Hudson/Saint-Lazare. The radio group is betting on a Hot Country format flip in Clarence-Rockland and Hawkesbury, with core artists including Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Dean Brody. The Ottawa and Hudson/Saint-Lazare stations take on Lite branding which Evanov says “will retain the best elements of the former Jewel, while skewing younger and be more current in its soft, melodic, pop sound.” The Lite playlist will span the late ’70s to today, featuring more current hits from artists like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and The Weeknd. Lars Wunsche, Executive Vice President Sales, says the changes were made in consultation with advertisers and sales teams and position the stations for long term success. Read more here.

Numeris has announced the audio technology partners it will be working with as it embarks on the first phase of its audio strategy integrating member radio census streaming data with its radio meter service. Dubbed “Making Radio Measurement Whole,” the audience measurement agency is partnering with Kantar Media, who’ll support the proof of concept on design and methodology, while Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics will collect, filter, and standardize incoming census data. Rob Fullerton, VP, Product and Platform Management, Numeris, said the goal is to capture online listening that isn’t included right now in livestream PPM data, like wireless headphone listening. The second phase of the audio strategy will measure non-broadcaster publishers and streaming services. That phase is planned to begin in 2022 and use existing PPM and online meter technology (via a single source Panel) to measure pure play audio streaming services, providing a full view of the audio landscape. That includes unduplicated audiences between radio and streaming services and insights by device. Read more here.

Storied Media Group (SMG) has struck a deal with Canadaland to market its journalism to film and television producers globally. As first reported by Variety, the deal is said to encompass packaging and sales of Canadaland IP (intellectual property), with SMG to promote its content internationally to studios, networks and streaming services. Canadaland podcast Thunder Bay, which explored endemic Indigenous racism in the Northwestern Ontario city, is currently in production with eOne for Crave, while true crime series Cool Mules, which took listeners inside the international cocaine-smuggling ring operating within VICE Media, is also in development for television. Read more here.

Spotify is rolling out a paid subscription platform for podcasters in the U.S. that will expand internationally in the coming months. The feature will be available to creators through Anchor, allowing podcasters to mark episodes as subscriber-only and publish them to Spotify and other podcast-listening platforms. For the next two years, the program will be free to creators, meaning participating creators receive 100% of their subscriber revenues (excluding payment transaction fees). Starting in 2023, Spotify will charge a 5% fee for access to the tool. Within Spotify, the content will be searchable and discoverable like any other podcast episode. The platform is also unveiling a collaboration with NPR under which it will publish a selection of shows sponsor-free for paid subscribers. 

Nielsen has launched new measurement tool, Podcast Ad Effectiveness+ (PAE+), which tracks the effectiveness of podcast advertising including brand lift and memorability across podcasting audiences. The new offering includes the ability to measure digitally-inserted ads in a live podcasting setting. Nielsen says podcast content and listenership are on the rise with 1.7 million titles available and 75% of listeners tuning in to more than one podcast a week, according to its recent Podcasting Today report

The Globe and Mail’s new daily podcast, The Decibel, launches Monday, May 10. Hosted by Tamara Khandaker, the podcast will feature conversations with beat reporters looking at stories from both around the world and closer to home. The team behind The Decibel includes former Canadaland senior producers Dave Crosbie and Kasia Mychajlowycz, as well as Globe journalist Madeleine White.

Hannah Sung

Hannah Sung is planning to grow her newsletter, At The End of The Day, into a podcast. Sung, former Manager of Digital Video and Podcast at TVO, is one of the many creators signing on to Patreon where readers can help support her venture’s growth by setting up a monthly payment. The podcast will be produced in partnership with Media Girlfriends, the podcast production company and women’s journalism network, in which Sung is a principal.

Dr. Laurie Betito, who formerly hosted Passion on CJAD 800 Montreal up until February’s round of Bell Media layoffs, has revived her love, sex and relationship show as a podcast. She’s joined on The Passion Podcast by Jon Pole, the president of My Broadcast Corporation (MBC), who formerly hosted The Night Side on CJAD.

Bell Media’s station group in Kelowna – Virgin Radio 99.9 , MOVE 101.5 and AM 1150 – helped raise $1,050,000 during its Day of Giving for Advanced Stroke Care at Kelowna General Hospital. The partnership between the stations and Hospital Foundation has raised more than $2,862,000 over the past five years.

Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation’s annual Chinese Radiothon event raised more than $410,000 for Scarborough’s community hospitals on April 22. Live-to-air on Sing Tao A1 Chinese Radio AM 1540, the all-day event invited listeners to hear unique stories from SHN patients, physicians, nurses, staff, and volunteers. This year’s event supports SHN’s highest priority needs, including the purchase of urgently needed medical equipment across Birchmount, Centenary and General hospitals. SHN Foundation’s annual Chinese Radiothon has become a signature event within the Chinese community in Scarborough and neighbouring communities. 

CHIN RADIO/TV International has launched a multilingual COVID-19 vaccine awareness campaign in 50 languages. During the month of May, CHIN will broadcast the campaign aimed at combatting vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. Working in cooperation with the University Health Network (UHN) and Women’s College Hospital (WCH), doctors, politicians from all levels of government, and multicultural community leaders have donated their time to record messages and participate in live interviews. The campaign will be broadcast across the CHIN RADIO/TV network that includes four multicultural radio stations in Toronto and Ottawa as well as CHIN TV programs on Citytv and OMNI 1

SiriusXM is featuring a range of programming in honour of Asian Heritage Month, celebrating Asian Canadian and Asian American and Pacific Islander (APPI) history and culture, while spotlighting leaders and change-makers within the community. Among the programming, Filipino Canadian comic Ron Josol is taking over Comic Stripped for the month of May on Just For Laughs Canada (ch. 168), interviewing other comics of Asian heritage.

LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Andrew Cash talks about taking the helm of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) as the Canadian music scene faces an uncertain future, the organization’s push for a more flexible CanCon definition, and his take on controversial amendments to Bill C-10. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

LISTEN: The Sound Off Podcast looks at Tech Survey 2021 from Jacobs Media which tells radio’s pandemic story as listeners transitioned to work from home. In this episode, you’ll learn how P1 radio listeners’ habits changed, what in-car listening looks like, and how the Consumer Electronics Show carried on online.


Jack Ruttle

Jack Ruttle, 84, on April 29. Ruttle had a nearly 50-year broadcasting career that began in 1956 as a staff announcer at CKBB-AM Barrie, ON. He had moved up to the position of program manager and was also doing on-air work for CKVR-TV when he was offered the chance to join CFTO-TV ahead of its launch in 1960. He became the station’s promotion manager and later program manager, before Baton Broadcasting appointed Ruttle Vice-President of Programming in 1970 for both Baton and CBC affiliate CKLW-TV Windsor. He moved with the company to Ottawa in 1973 as president of CFGO Radio, joining Standard Broadcasting two years later to take the position of VP and General Manager of CJOH-TV Ottawa. In 1977, he joined Maclean Hunter as VP of Calgary’s CFCN-TV and by 1979, was EVP of the CTV network. After eight years there, his final executive move was with Power Corporation of Canada as president of Kawartha Broadcasting’s CFMP-FM, CHEX-AM radio and CHEX-TV in Peterborough. Ruttle returned to Toronto in the early ‘90s to establish a consulting business. He also spent four years in the early 2000s teaching media management to students at his alma mater, Ryerson University.

Gord Atkinson

Gord Atkinson, 94, on April 26, following a recent stroke. Atkinson began his career as a publicist at Decca Records in the 1940s. He transitioned into radio in 1948 with stints at CHUM and CFRB Toronto. He was hired at CFRA Ottawa in 1954 where he served as Entertainment Editor and hosted variety programs, “Gord Atkinson’s Showbill” and “Campus Corner.” Among other highlights, he introduced Elvis Presley to Ottawa in 1957 at the Ottawa Auditorium. In 1967, he was appointed Station Manager of CFMO – a position he held for 22 years – in addition to continuing to host his weekly Showbill entertainment program. Atkinson was also an avid writer, publishing his column “The Platter Poll” in the Ottawa Citizen for 12 years and writing several books, including 2016’s “The Golden Years of Entertainment” which consisted of profiles based on 40 years of radio interviews he’d conducted. An avid pop culture fan, among other projects, Atkinson narrated, wrote and produced the award-winning “The Crosby Years” – a 14-hour musical anthology on Bing Crosby that won him a U.S. National Radio Award. Atkinson counted many celebrities among his friends and in 1981 organized a benefit with Rich Little and Frank Sinatra that raised millions for the Ottawa Hospital. In 1998, Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed May 23rd Gord Atkinson Day in Ottawa, with Little roasting Atkinson at a gala for the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club.


The Black Screen Office (BSO), in partnership with Telefilm Canada and with the assistance of the Bell Fund, have announced national consultation Being Seen: A Directive for Authentic and Inclusive Content, focused on the representation of BIPOC, LGBTQ2+ and Persons with Disabilities in the screen-based sectors. The consultation will engage with under-represented communities to determine how they want to be seen and represented and will then provide a set of directives to the industry. The work will be led by Lead Researcher, Kelly Lynne Ashton, with consultations to take place from May to September. 

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is distributing $18.9M in remaining 2020-21 COVID-19 relief funds to television and digital media production companies. The Spring 2021-22 Allocation will provide a top-up to up to roughly 2,000 companies. The funding is being made available predominantly to applicants who have previously received COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds from a CMF Allocation and CMF funding through either the Convergent or Experimental streams in the past four years. Funding will also be available to some recipients of funding offered by the Indigenous Screen Office. Click here to apply and here to access eligibility criteria.

Star Trek: Discovery claimed three awards at the 2021 CAFTCAD Awards recognizing excellence in Canadian costume arts and design. Among this year’s other winners were The Odd Squad, Murdoch Mysteries, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Heritage Minutes. Find the full list of recipients and nominees here.


Blue Ant Media’s FAST (free ad-supported streaming television) channels, HauntTV and Crimetime, are now available to stream on Samsung TV Plus in Canada. The partnership builds on Blue Ant’s expansion into the FAST channel space, with Samsung TV Plus users now having free access to HauntTV and Crimetime’s unscripted paranormal and true crime programming, including series like Paranormal Survivor, See No Evil and In Ice Cold Blood. HauntTV (channel #1420) and Crimetime (channel #1137) are available via the Samsung TV Plus app on 2016-21 model year Samsung TVs and select Samsung Galaxy mobile devices.

Stingray has announced the launch of free, ad-supported TV channels and premium SVOD services with 13 major OTT providers, including Alteox (Luxembourg), Amazon Prime Video Channels (Italy, Spain and Netherlands), ChannelBox (United Kingdom), Maskatel (Canada), Pluto TV (Latin America and United States), Pzaz (Global), Rakuten TV (Europe), Redbox (United States), Rostelecom (Russia), Ruutu (Finland), Samsung TV Plus (Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands and Sweden) Totalplay (Mexico) and Zeasn (Austria and Germany). The new distribution agreements grow Stingray’s audience over new platforms and territories, adding millions of potential viewers to its reach.

Crave Original series Way Over Me (Sortez-Moi De Moi) begins streaming Friday, May 7. Marking a first for Crave, the six-part drama, which takes viewers inside the world of mental health care, is available in its original French format on Crave SUPER ÉCRAN and simultaneously on Crave with English subtitles or dubbed audio. The cast includes Vincent Leclerc, Pascale Bussières, Sophie Lorain, Émile Proulx-Cloutier, Valérie Blais, Bruno Marcil, Danielle Proulx, Émile Schneider, and Sandra Dumaresq

Tegan and Sara’s coming-of-age memoir High School will be adapted as an original series for Amazon ad-supported streaming service, IMDb TV. Tegan and Sara will executive produce, alongside actress, writer and director Clea DuVall (The Handmaid’s Tale, American Horror Story) The series will be produced by Amazon Studios and Plan B Entertainment.

Girls5eva is the latest Peacock Original comedy to make its way to W Network. The comeback story about a one-hit wonder girl group from the ‘90s will debut with back-to-back episodes June 3 and stream live and on demand on STACKTV and the Global TV app with two episodes rolling out weekly. The ensemble cast includes singer Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Saturday Night Live mainstay Paula Pell, and actress and host Busy Philipps. Meredith Scardino serves as creator and executive producer for the series, alongside executive producers Jeff Richmond, Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, David Miner, and Eric Gurian.

Lalita Krishna, president of In Sync Media, has been named Hot Docs’ Don Haig Award recipient. Now in its 16th year, the award is presented to a Canadian independent producer with a feature-length film in the festival and recognizes creative vision and entrepreneurship. In Sync Media produced 2021 official selection Bangla Surf Girls. The award, which includes a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation, allows the recipient to name an emerging female documentary filmmaker to also receive a $5,000 cash prize. Krishna has chosen Bangladeshi filmmaker Elizabeth D. Costa, director of Bangla Surf Girls.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

Hot Docs has announced that Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson will be the closing keynote speaker at this year’s industry conference. In A Conversation with Questlove, the musician will sit down with NOW Magazine culture editor Radheyan Simonpillai to discuss his Hot Docs Official Selection Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). The keynote will stream Thursday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. on the industry conference platform until May 9, with an extended viewing window for All-Access Pass holders until May 31. The keynote will also be available for public festival audiences to watch for free May 6 at 1:30 p.m. on the Hot Docs website and made available to ticket buyers of the film.  

YVR Screen Scene For India is an online fundraiser, planned for May 8, in support of COVID-19 efforts in the beleaguered nation. Starting at 2 p.m. PT, the event will be hosted by YVR Screen Scene Podcast host Sabrina Rani Furminger and will bring together Vancouver stars for a panel event featuring Agam Darshi (Funny Boy), Dhirendra (Lego Jurassic Park: The Legend of Isla Nublar), Praneet Akilla (Nancy Drew), Rekha Sharma (Battlestar Galactica), Sachin Sahel (The 100), and Sandy Sidhu (Nurses). Funds raised will be donated to Indian and international organizations providing relief to those who need it most, including Goonj, an organization that works with marginalized communities in rural and urban areas, and Doctors Without Borders’ Emergency Response in India, which is setting up two 1,000-bed units in a field hospital in Mumbai. 

ReelAbilities Film Festival has announced programming for its 6th annual festival, taking place online May 18 – 30. ReelAbilities showcases Canadian and international shorts, features, and documentaries about deaf and disability cultures and by filmmakers and actors with disabilities and/or who are deaf. The festival will include online presentations of 15 films including the Opening Night screening of dramatic comedy Give Me Liberty, directed by Kyrill Mikhanovsky, about a perpetually late medical transport driver steering a bus that’s effectively a microcosm of American society. Find the full schedule here.

The Calgary Black Film Festival (CBFF) has announced its inaugural online program and events lineup, running May 26 – 30. The festival will open with Christiaan Olwagen’s Poppie Nongena, the true story of a mother’s desperate fight to protect her family during the bitter years of apartheid in South Africa. CBFF will close with Calgary filmmaker Cheryl Foggo’s feature documentary, John Ware Reclaimed, the complex story of a Black cowboy and rancher who settled in Alberta prior to the turn of the 20th century.

Maverick Carter

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has announced that The SpringHill Company CEO Maverick Carter will give a virtual keynote as part of the BANFF Summit Series lineup on June 16. Under Carter, the company produces projects that reach cross-cultural and diverse audiences, including Emmy-winning documentary What’s My Name, Muhammad Ali Part I, the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Shop: UNINTERRUPTED on HBO, NBC primetime gameshow The Wall, and Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker for Netflix. Carter joins influential media leaders appearing at this year’s virtual event including Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos; the new Chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group, Channing Dungey; and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, among others. Find the full agenda here.

TVOkids is premiering all-new episodes of Power Hour of Learning to help students, families and educators across Ontario meet remote learning goals in this challenging time. Developed by Ontario educators, the hour-long lessons will air on TVOkids Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. ET for students in Grades 1-3, and at 1:30 pm ET for students in Grades 4-6. Videos will also be available to stream on, and the TVOkids’ Power Hour of Learning YouTube channel. The series was launched in April 2020 to support learning during the pandemic. 38 new episodes are being introduced this spring to explore additional parts of the Ontario curriculum, including financial literacy, numbers, coding and writing skills. 

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is premiering new adventure series By Hook or By Cook, starring freestyle motocross rider Bruce Cook. After becoming paralyzed, Cook is on a mission to help others realize their dreams the same way he did: with innovation, modifications and determination. Debuting June 3 at 10 p.m. ET on AMI-tv, Cook and his friends, Ashley King and Christian Bagg, use creativity to make an inaccessible world more inclusive. AMI and Render Digital Media are already casting for Season 2 of By Hook or By Cook and are looking for participants with all ranges of disability. Interested applicants can apply now via the Render Digital Media website.


Farhan Mohamed and Andrew Wilkinson.

Overstory Media Group (OMG) has officially launched, an independent digital news publisher “ready to breathe life into the media industry” that has its eye on expanding to 50 community brands by 2023. Farhan Mohamed, former Editor-in-Chief and co-owner of Daily Hive, and Victoria-based tech entrepreneur Andrew Wilkinson are behind the new company. Wilkinson founded Victoria e-newsletter and long form journalism site, Capital Daily, in Sept. 2019. Now under the Overstory Media Group banner, it’s been joined by the recently-launched Vancouver Tech Journal, Fraser Valley Current, Burnaby Beacon, and Decomplicated, as OMG sets out to partner with journalists across the country to fill gaps in community journalism. OMG plans to hired 250 journalists over the next three years as part of its expansion. It currently has 20 jobs posted on its website for editorial, social media and sales positions in markets like Richmond and Surrey in B.C.; Ottawa, Hamilton, Oakville and Burlington in Ontario; Edmonton and Lethbridge in Alberta; in addition to Saskatoon. Read more here.

Village Media, which runs its own news sites in Canada, in addition to its Community Engine news, information, and advertising platform for local publishers, is looking at further expansion into the U.S. Ontario-based Village Media is looking at a second location in Colorado after acquiring the Longmont Leader in February. Village Media’s Community Engine, designed as a single publishing and revenue generating platform, is already licensed to companies including Rogers Sports & Media, Glacier Media, and McClatchy, among others.

Media Technology Monitor’s MTM JR has released its third annual study looking at the media consumption behaviours of Canadians, aged two to 17. Some top findings from the latest Futures Report are that nine out of 10 families with children in the home have access to at least one subscription video on-demand service (SVOD) with Netflix being the most common, followed by Disney+ at nearly half of subscribers. Three-quarters of children aged seven to 17 have visited a social networking site in the past month. While not the most popular, TikTok has seen incredible growth among 12-17 year olds over the past year, jumping from 42% to 55%. Cel phones are becoming more indispensable among children with two in five owning their own. Among teens this increases to 81% ownership. Streaming music services have also seen growth in usage during the pandemic with 63% of Canadian kids listening to a music streaming service, led by Spotify and YouTube.


BCE Inc. has reported results for Q1, the first quarter of positive revenue (up 1.2%) and adjusted EBITDA growth (up 0.5%) since the beginning of COVID-19. The company reported net earnings of $687 million with net earnings attributable to shareholders of $642 million, or $0.71 per common share. Broadband additions were up 51% year-over-year with 108,468 total combined wireless mobile phone and mobile connected device, retail Internet and IPTV net additions. Media operating revenue decreased 5.2% to $713 million, due to continued weak advertiser spending in out of home and radio, partly offset by higher year-over-year TV advertising, driven by stronger sports and news specialty performance, and French-language network Noovo. Subscriber revenue was slightly lower compared to Q1 2020, due to the timing of contract renewals with some Canadian TV distributors, offset by higher revenue from Crave streaming subscriber growth. Crave subscribers increased 12% over last year to surpass 2.9 million total customers in Q1.

BCE Inc. is committing to a new Sustainable Financing Framework to guide its future issuances of green, social and sustainability bonds and other sustainable financings that will provide capital for investments with positive environmental and social impacts. Under the framework, BCE will provide ongoing reporting and transparency to investors and other stakeholders. BMO Capital Markets and Bank of America acted as structuring agents for the Sustainable Financing Framework, which was reviewed by Sustainalytics.

Bell has agreed to acquire the operations of Montréal’s Octane Racing Group, the promoter of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, and a decades-long partner of Bell Media sports networks TSN and RDS. The biggest annual sports and tourism event in the country, Bell’s investment gives the Canadian Grand Prix financial stability following the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events due to COVID-19. Octane Racing Group will continue to run as a standalone entity within the Bell group of companies, with Octane President and CEO François Dumontier and the company’s other employees joining Bell. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read more here.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the finalists for its 2020 awards program. Among those competing in the Broadcast News category are APTN Investigates, APTN National News, CTV’s W5, and freelancer Rebecca Collard for CBC News. Winners in each category will be announced at a special live online event on May 29.

World Press Freedom Canada is recognizing a number of Canadian journalists for producing public-interest journalism while overcoming secrecy, intimidation, refusal to comply with freedom of information requests or other efforts to impede their work. Among this year’s honourees are Nathan VanderKlippe, The Globe and Mail‘s China correspondent, and Sarah Cox, investigative reporter with The Narwhal, who are the co-winners of the 2021 Press Freedom Award. The Vancouver Sun’s Kim Bolan is this year’s recipient of the Spencer Moore Award for Lifetime Achievement. Known for her coverage of the 1985 Air India bombings, gangs, and organized crime, Bolan was the original recipient of the World Press Freedom award in 1999 and has faced continued threats over more than two decades, including learning she was the subject of a murder plot while covering a trial in 2017. Read more here.

Tiffany Mboyo Mongu, Dannielle Piper and Josie Fomé are recipients of the new CJF Black Journalism Fellowships, established in partnership with CBC/Radio-Canada and CTV News. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation)

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has announced Tiffany Mboyo Mongu, Dannielle Piper and Josie Fomé as recipients of its new Black Journalism Fellowship Program, established in partnership with CBC/Radio-Canada and CTV News. 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 to be hosted for six months at a CBC/Radio-Canada (English and French) or CTV News, either in Toronto, or remotely this year due to COVID-19. 

Tre’vell Anderson

Pink Triangle Press (PTP), publisher of Xtra Magazine, has named Tre’vell Anderson as this year’s Fellow under the newly-established Ken Popert Media Fellowship program. Anderson is an award-winning writer, editor and podcaster based in Los Angeles. Listed as one of The Root’s 100 most influential African Americans of 2020, Anderson is a co-host of the Fanti podcast, a contributor to the Los Angeles Times and regional director of the National Association of Black Journalists. Established in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Pink Triangle Press, the Ken Popert Media Fellowship honours the legacy of former executive director Ken Popert, who retired in 2017. 


Pattison Media, along with digital media partner, Lift Interactive, has announced the rollout of Nimble, an integrated digital media service tailored to local business. Pattison Media clients will have access to the platform which offers budget flexibility and insights to help clients adjust campaigns to improve performance. Nimble services will be rolled out in all Pattison Media markets through the balance of 2021 as account executives undergo extensive proprietary Nimble training before a market is fully launched. 

Quicklink has announced a partnership with Panasonic Canada, which will distribute the hardware and software provider’s video and audio solutions in Canada. Headquartered in the UK, Quicklink has been growing its sales, service and support operations in North America, opening a U.S. office in February in Hackensack, New Jersey. 

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