Sandie Rinaldo is celebrating 50 years with the CTV network that will culminate in a special, set to air this Friday, across its platforms. Rinaldo, the weekend anchor for CTV National News and a reporter for flagship investigative program, W5, got her start in television in the 1960s as a dancer on CBC-TV youth series, Where It’s At. She was hired at CTV a week after her graduation from the York University Fine Arts program in 1973, initially as a junior secretary to News Director Donald Cameron, eventually moving into the role of production manager and later researcher for W5, before going on to report for CTV National News and Canada AM. She started anchoring on Canada AM in 1980, establishing herself as the first woman in the country to hold a full-time national anchor position. She became weekend anchor of CTV National News in 1985 and since Lloyd Robertson’s retirement in 2011, has served as the newscast’s main back-up anchor, in addition to anchoring on CTV News Channel three days a week since 2009. Read more here.
Glen LeBlanc, EVP and Chief Financial Officer of BCE and Bell Canada, will retire as CFO later this year after 18 years in the post. Curtis Millen, currently SVP, Corporate Strategy & Treasurer, will be promoted to CFO. He also serves as the Head of the company’s corporate venture capital initiative, Bell Ventures, and President of Bimcor, its pension fund subsidiary. Prior to joining Bell in 2008, Millen was a media and telecom investment banker at Citigroup Global Markets and Banc of America Securities. LeBlanc, who’ll vacate the CFO position Sept. 1, will maintain his position as Vice-Chair, Atlantic, Chair of Northwestel, and as Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee for Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment. He’ll continue to provide transitional leadership until the end of December. Read more here.
Michael Woods is joining CBC News’ Parliamentary Bureau as Digital Senior Producer. Woods arrives from CTV Ottawa where he’s worked since 2016, the last three years as Senior Digital Lead. He’ll take up his new role June 13.
Siobhan Morris has been named CTV News’ Queen’s Park Bureau Chief. Morris joined the Queen’s Park bureau full-time in April after moving to CTV Toronto from CTV Barrie in February where she’d been a video journalist, anchor and producer since 2020.
Marke Driesschen is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing a successful heart valve replacement surgery. The weathercaster for CTV Vancouver’s CTV Morning Live, Driesschen underwent the procedure May 3 at St. Paul’s Hospital. He’ll be off work at least two to three months.
Sabeen Ahmad has returned to CTV Regina as a weather and community anchor. Ahmad first worked with the station in 2009 as a creative producer, before going on to take producer and reporter positions with Rawlco Radio and CBC. She returned to CTV Regina in 2014 as a weather specialist and later co-host of CTV Morning Live, leaving again in 2018 to pursue marketing and communications opportunities with the Regina Exhibition Association, among other organizations.
Emad Agahi is moving on from Global BC. Agahi has been with the station since 2021 after two separate stints as a reporter with CTV News in Vancouver and Winnipeg.
Eric Mark Do is leaving Global Toronto after more than six and a half years. Do started with the network as a National Online Journalist in 2016, before moving into the role of National Syndication Editor. He’d been serving as a Partner and Audience Strategist since 2020.
Kevin Gibson has been released by TSN after more than 15 years. Gibson, who headed Research, Stats and Information for the network, is also the author Of Myths and Sticks: Hockey Facts, Fictions and Coincidences, published in 2015.
Elise Toplass has left Stingray Radio Vancouver to join River Rock Casino as Entertainment and Booking Theatre Manager. Toplass had been working as Promotions Director for Stingray’s Vancouver stations on and off since 2020, most recently covering a maternity leave.
Louise Burns has retired from CKUT Montreal after more than three decades. Burns, who acted as Sales and Administrative Coordinator for the McGill University campus & community station, in addition to serving on its Board of Directors, first joined CKUT in Oct. 1991. Yei Luc has moved into Burns’ former role.
Rob Brimacombe is the new President of the BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB). Brimacombe, Manage of Local Sales at Corus Radio Vancouver, succeeds Rob Germain, CEO of CHEK Media, in the role.
Josh Scherba has been promoted to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer at WildBrain, succeeding previous CEO and Vice Chair Eric Ellenbogen. Scherba worked for DHX Media for 18 years, prior to its 2019 rebrand as WildBrain when he was appointed President. As part of his new appointment, he’ll also serve on the company’s Board of Directors. Additionally, Jim Fielding, Chief Marketing and Brands Officer, has been appointed Strategic Advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors. Fielding is a former President of Disney Stores Worldwide and has held leadership roles at top retailers, including Claire’s Stores, where he was CEO, The Gap, Lands’ End, and the J. Peterman Company. Read more here.
Nataline Rodrigues has joined Toronto’s Vortex Media as SVP, Development. Rodrigues was formerly Director of Original Programming at Rogers Sports & Media for nine years, up until mid-2022. Prior to that, she served as the Executive in Charge of Production leading CBC Drama & Comedy programming.
Jerry Diaz has joined Vancouver-based Big Bad Boo Studios as its first-ever VP of Global Sales and Distribution. Diaz has formerly served as VP, Distribution for WildBrain and VP, Worldwide Sales and Distribution for Nelvana, among other roles.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Connie Walker and the Gimlet Media team behind Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting. An exploration of the impact of abuse at St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Duck Lake, SK, which Walker’s own father attended, Stolen also picked up a Peabody Award this week “for its tenacious reporting and continued commitment to recognizing the full history of the Indigenous community.” Read more here.
The CRTC will hold a virtual hearing on July 6 to consider two AM to FM conversions, and new licences for Winnipeg, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, and Oromocto, NB. Maritime Broadcasting System (MBS) has applied for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM station in Sussex to replace 590 CJCW Sussex. The station would retain its “hits of yesterday and today” format. Stingray Radio has also applied for an FM licence in Drumheller to replace CKDQ Drumheller, saying conversion is necessary due to failing, legacy equipment and infrastructure, in addition to declining revenues. Real Country 910 currently carries a Country format. New licence applications include Gospel Music Radio Inc., which seeks to operate an English-language commercial specialty (Religious music) FM in Oromocto. Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Language and Cultural Centre has applied for a broadcast licence to operate an Indigenous (Type B Native) FM radio station in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, east of Belleville, ON, while Winnipeg-based community media outlet U Multicultural has applied for both TV and radio licences to operate a community FM radio station, with a focus on ethnic programming, and a multilingual community television station. Read more here.
The CRTC is collecting comments until May 17 on Harvard Media’s application to drop its condition of licence for 95.7 CRUZ FM (CKEA-FM) Edmonton, devoting a minimum of 15% of all musical selections to music drawn from content subcategory 3 (Special Interest Music). Harvard says the requirement hinders CKEA-FM from offering an optimal mix of programming to its target audience and has contributed to the station’s poor financial performance since it launched in 2010. It also notes that no other mainstream commercial stations in the market are subject to the requirement.
UCB Canada’s first station in Regina is on the air. CIUC 95.9 FM launched last weekend with a sold out event at Regina Apostolic Church featuring local performer Corey Lueck and Mac Powell, former lead singer of the band Third Day. The 18,800-watt station is Regina’s first Christian music station and United Christian Broadcasters’ 12th as it continues its expansion across Canada.
Evanov Communications’ Winnipeg stations – Energy 106 (CHWE-FM), HOT 100.5 (CFJL-FM), and 92.7 FM CKJS – teamed up with KIDTHINK Children’s Mental Health Centre for the third annual KIDTHINK Radiothon for Kids Mental Health. The Radiothon was broadcast live Friday, May 5, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Energy 106’s Wheeler in the Morning (Dave Wheeler, Jasmin Laine, Tyler Carr) along with HOT 100.5’s Mark & Dilly in the Morning (Mark Morris, Sean Dilworth) were on the air for 12 hours of music, prizes, auctions, and information on how to improve mental health for kids. Hosts from CKJS Good Morning Philippines (Chester Pangan, Donna Natividad-Arenas) and Afternoon Pasada (Lucille Nolasco-Garrido) also supported the Radiothon throughout the day. The event raised $145,000 for funded care programs and free ConnectCare psycho-educational content. KIDTHINK is a mental health treatment centre and outreach program that focuses on child therapy and well-being for kids aged 12 and under in Manitoba.
JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM) Toronto has announced the launch of the JAZZ.FM91 Alumni Association. The new artist outreach project will provide professional development resources to early-career jazz artists through the help of a $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant awarded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2022. The grant has been used by JAZZ.FM91 to target two key strategic areas: investment in digital redevelopment, and support for early-career artists. The new JAZZ.FM91 website was launched in late March, while a dedicated networking platform where early-career artists can access information, workshops, and resources will launch by early 2024. JAZZ.FM91 says it’s working closely with early-career artists to identify their needs and develop resources to help them build sustainable careers.
Mark Hebscher has retired his Hebsy on Sports podcast after five years and 331 episodes. Hebscher, 67, is best known for co-hosting Sportsline on Global and CHCH-TV, in addition to serving as sports director of Q107 (CILQ-FM) and AM 640 (CFIQ-AM) Toronto. The podcast was produced by Mike Boon aka Toronto Mike. Toronto Mike’d has now hit the 1,250 episode mark, recently hosting Mike Stafford in-studio, the veteran talk host’s first time behind a mic since his release from AM 640 in June 2021.
LISTEN: Hawkeye of Hawkeye in the Morning on New Country 96.3 (KSCS-FM) Dallas is on the latest Sound Off Podcast. In this episode, he and Matt Cundill discuss what makes Dallas a great place to do radio, what it takes to have a successful show in the market, and why consultants can help grow your career. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
Brian McKenna, 77, on May 5, after a short illness. McKenna’s start in media began at Concordia University where he was editor of the campus newspaper. From there, he joined the Montreal Star as a parliamentary reporter. In 1975, McKenna became the founding producer of CBC’s The Fifth Estate where he worked until 1988. During his 37-year career with the public broadcaster, he produced numerous documentaries, sometimes in concert with his brother, Terence, including award-winning, but controversial series The Valour and the Horror (1992), exploring Canada’s involvement in three battles during WWII. Other documentaries included Pierre Elliot Trudeau: Memoirs (1994); The Bribe or the Bullet (1996) on narco-trafficking and corruption in Mexico for CBC’s Witness; Fire and Ice: The Rocket Richard Riot (2000) on the seven-hour long riot that took place in 1955 after the president of the NHL suspended the Montreal Canadiens legend; Korea: The Unfinished War (2003) looking into North Korean allegations the U.S. attempted biological warfare; and Big Sugar (2005) on the sugar industry. Among other accolades, McKenna received the Gordon Sinclair Award For Broadcast Journalism in 1993, the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media in 2007, and a combined nine Gemini and prix Gemeaux awards, as well as the Pierre Berton Prize for Canadian History. He was also a co-founder of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE).
Dwayne Keen, 57, on May 5, after a long battle with cancer. Keen worked at The Calgary Sun before transitioning to radio sales and joining the Calgary Radio Group in 2005 as an account manager. Sales and marketing positions followed at Corus Calgary and Fabmar Communications’ 89.5 The Hawk (CHWK-FM) Chilliwack. After a detour working for NuVista Homes and Inland Audio Visual, he returned to radio in 2014 to work with Newcap’s Calgary stations. For the last seven years, he’d been in business and creative development.
TV & FILM:
Numeris says the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6 drew 7.6 million viewers in Canada. 71% of that viewing was live. Audiences started to tune in to coverage just before 4 a.m. ET, peaking at just after 9 a.m. The audience measurement agency says the data affirms that when history is made, Canadians turn to their TVs.
The CW has picked up CBC series Son of A Critch. The 13-episode first season will air this summer. Created by Mark Critch and Tim McAuliffe (The Office, Last Man on Earth, MacGruber), the CBC original series premiered on CBC TV and CBC Gem in Jan. 2022, with Lionsgate handling U.S. and international distribution. Focused on 11-year-old Mark’s coming of age in St. John’s in the ‘80s, the series is based on Critch’s 2020 book, Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir.
Vérité International Distribution and Bejuba! Entertainment have announced that Genius Brands International has acquired the non-exclusive U.S. broadcast and streaming rights for CBC Kids original hit music series Jeremy and Jazzy (55 x 2 minute + 2 specials). The series will make its U.S. premiere on Kartoon Channel! on May 12. Jeremy and Jazzy is a catchy, heartwarming musical series based on the music of folk-pop musician Jeremy Fisher, and starring Fisher, along with afro-pop musician Aiza Ntibarkure. CBC Kids originally debuted the program in Sept. 2022, and recently commissioned a second season.
CBC original family drama Heartland started production on its 17th season this week in Alberta. Season 17 features 10 one-hour episodes, the first of which will be the 250th episode of the series that debuted in 2007. Produced by Dynamo Films and SEVEN24 Films, the new season will premiere exclusively in Canada on CBC and CBC Gem this fall. The longest-running one-hour drama in Canadian television history, based on the bestselling books by Lauren Brooke, Season 17 filming locations include Calgary, High River, Millarville, and Longview, AB.
Jennica Harper (JANN) and Nelu Handa (Sort Of) will co-showrun Season 3 of CBC original comedy, Run The Burbs. Created by writer and actor Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience) and filmmaker Scott Townend (The Secret Marathon), the series is produced by Pier 21 Films and distributed by Fifth Season. Season 3 is slated to be broadcast on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2024. Harper steps in after showrunning three seasons and a holiday special of Jann Arden CTV comedy JANN. Handa has written and produced on the previous two seasons of Run The Burbs. With a history of collaboration, they take over from Season 2 showrunner Anthony Farrell.
CTV unscripted dating series Farming For Love will air Sundays, beginning May 28 with writer, actor, and comedian Sabrina Jalees (Roast Battle Canada) announced as host. Based on the long-running Fremantle format, The Farmer Wants A Wife, which has resulted in 197 weddings and 480 children to date, Farming For Love sees five eligible Canadian farmers embark on a journey to find true love.
Global News has unveiled coverage plans for the upcoming Alberta 2023 election on May 29. Decision Alberta will be available on Global TV in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge; on radio on QR Calgary, 630 CHED and Global News Radio 880 Edmonton; via streaming at Globalnews.ca or the Global TV App; and on social media. On May 18, Global News and CTV News co-present a special live presentation of the 2023 Alberta Provincial Leaders Debate with United Conservative Leader Danielle Smith and NDP Leader Rachel Notley, moderated by Global Edmonton’s Scott Roberts and CTV’s Erin Isfeld, to be televised live on Global, CTV, CBC and Rogers across Alberta, along with a live stream on PostMedia. Election night coverage will be hosted by Global Calgary anchor Linda Olsen and Roberts, with coverage from Global News Chief Political Correspondent David Akin, Global Calgary’s Dallas Flexhaug, Joel Senick and Blake Lough and Global Edmonton’s Carole Anne Devaney and Saif Kaisar. 630 CHED’s Shaye Ganam and QR Calgary’s Rob Breakenridge. Mercedes Stephenson and The West Block will have feature interviews and analysis of the election with a special edition of the program from Alberta on May 28. Dawna Friesen and Global National will also be broadcasting live from Edmonton on the eve of the election and election night.
OUTtv has launched a channel on Amazon Prime U.S., available as an add-on to Prime Video subscribers. The channel is an extension of OUTtv’s partnership with Amazon Prime in Canada and Australia, where OUTtv has been available as a channel since 2021. The channel features day and date releases of all OUTtv originals like Stormy Daniels-hosted gay dating reality series “For The Love of DILFs”; queer sex symbol showdown “Hot Haus”, hosted by Tiffany “New York” Pollard; and “Behind The Drag Queen of The Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition,” starring Alaska and Lola LeCroix.
The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) Awards of Excellence Gala will be hosted by Anisha Joshi, Creo Walters and Mercedes Gaztambide of CBC’s reboot of Street Cents on TikTok. They’ll announce this year’s winners during a live gala at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio on May 31. Sixteen prizes will be awarded, selected from over 60 nominated productions. 175 youth media professionals are expected to attend the celebration of Canadian youth media. The script will be written by Daniel Fernandes, an up-and-coming director, writer, and producer who previously worked on YTV’s Zone Weekend and Big Fun Movies, as well as TVOkids. He will be mentored by Holly Brace-Lavoie, a writer, filmmaker, and content creator with 20 years of experience in the industry.
Telefilm Canada’s Canadian Cinema – Reignited digitization initiative is announcing 23 Canadian titles that will receive funding for digitization and/or restoration this year, for a total of $659,640. Following a call for projects, decision-making was based on the cultural relevance of the film and its importance in Canadian film history, as well as its potential for commercial exploitation. Among the projects selected are: Joshua Then and Now (1985), Director: Ted Kotcheff, Screenwriter: Mordecai Richler; Archangel (1990), Director: Guy Maddin, Screenwriters: Maddin and George Toles; The Sweet Hereafter (1997), Director and screenwriter: Atom Egoyan; Poor Boy’s Game (2007), Director: Clement Virgo, Screenwriters: Virgo and Chaz Thorne; and Incendies (2010), Director: Denis Villeneuve.
Hot Docs Festival has awarded the 2023 Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary, as determined by audience poll with a cash prize of $50,000, to Someone Lives Here (D: Zack Russell | P: Matt King, Andrew Ferguson | Canada), the story of a young Toronto carpenter building life-saving shelters for unhoused people facing the winter outside during the pandemic. Veteran Canadian producer Bonnie Thompson, producer of Echo of Everything, received the Don Haig Award, given to an outstanding independent Canadian producer with a film in the festival in recognition of their creative vision, entrepreneurship and track record for nurturing emerging talent. The Lindalee Tracey Award, honouring an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, strong sense of social justice and a sense of humour, was presented to Gaëlle Graton. Chinese American documentarian Christine Choy received the 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award. Read more about this year’s honourees here.
The 33rd annual Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival has revealed its full film lineup. Showcasing 107 films from 30 countries, including 33 feature films, and seven world premieres, the festival will take place both in-person and virtually, May 25-June 4, in Toronto. Opening the festival will be the Canadian premiere of Ira Sachs’ French romantic drama Passages, which premiered earlier this year at Sundance to rave reviews. Closing the festival will be the World Premiere of Glitter & Doom by Tom Gustafson, a love story told through song lyrics by the Indigo Girls and featuring Alex Diaz, Missy Pyle, Tig Notaro, Alan Cammish and Lea DeLaria, along with the Indigo Girls themselves.
The 31st Toronto Jewish Film Festival will take place, June 1-11, consisting of 77 films/series (including 28 Canadian premieres) from across the globe, including The Man in the Basement, which will open the festival at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema with director Philippe Le Guay in attendance. The festival will be taking a hybrid approach, making it more accessible to a wider audience with certain screenings in-person, in addition to a selection of virtual screenings which can be found at tjff.com.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
MTM JR. has released its 5th annual report on Canadian kids’ media consumption behaviours. Focused on kids, aged 2-17, some of its findings include that Canadian kids are discovering new TV and video content via recommendations by friends, followed by social media updates and personalized suggestions. Girls are more likely than boys to find out about new shows from social media or “You might like” suggestions. Social networking continues to grow among children with seven out of 10 children, aged 7-17, visiting a social networking site in the past month. One in five teens say they have experienced bullying or harassment online. MTM JR. also asked parents how important it is for their children to consume content made in Canada. Close to six in 10 think that it’s “extremely” or “somewhat important” for their children to consume Canadian-made content, higher among those with children under the age of 11.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2023
CBC says it will resume some activity on a handful of Twitter accounts, including @CBCNews, but will continue to significantly reduce its overall footprint on the platform as the public broadcaster continues to assess it against its social media strategy. In a blog post on “threats to press freedom,” CBC Editor-in-Chief Brodie Fenlon noted that the “government-funded” label on the broadcaster’s account has now disappeared. CBC was among a group of public broadcasters that paused activity on Twitter or left the platform altogether last month. “To be clear, CBC News has been reviewing and adjusting its social media strategy for more than a year, long before these sudden changes at Twitter, which also included the abandonment of its verification program for accounts. Our focus remains on social platforms that prioritize healthy communities and or provide us better opportunities to grow new audiences,” wrote Fenlon. Twitter CEO Elon Musk responded with a meme, referencing 2005 romantic drama Brokeback Mountain.
Narcity Media has acquired its first fully scripted web series, new Canadian original comedy The Drop from co-creators/directors/writers and stars Dani Pagliarello (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Aisha Evelyna (Slo Pitch). Episodes are dropping weekly on Fridays on Narcity’s YouTube channel, with Episode 2 coming this week. Inspired by female buddy comedies like Broad City and Chewing Gum, The Drop follows American escapee, Zara (Pagliarello), and Canadian wannabee influencer, Polly (Evelyna), a Toronto line-waiting duo who cash in on their clients’ insatiable need for the latest luxury product drops. The satirical social commentary plays on society’s obsession with material goods and underground pop culture. The all-Canadian cast includes Aurora Browne (Baroness Von Sketch Show), Danté Prince (Detention Adventure), Samantha Brown (Y: The Last Man), Andrew Robinson (The Strain), Mishka Thébaud (The Boys), and Mark Little (Mr. D).
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
The CRTC has shared its plan for upcoming public consultations on Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, to ensure online streaming services make meaningful contributions to the creation of Canadian content, similar to traditional broadcasters. The commission has clarified that the Act will not apply to YouTubers; influencers or individuals making content on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram; podcasters making content carried on audio streaming platforms like CBC Listen or Spotify; and producers making content sold to online streaming services like Netflix, in addition to video game content. The CRTC will launch a series of public consultations over three phases, beginning with contributions to the Canadian broadcasting system, considering who should contribute, how much and how. The first phase will also consider which online streaming services will need to be registered with the CRTC as well as exemption orders and basic conditions of service. Read more here.
The CRTC has opened a Part 1 Application for the removal of Fox News from the list of non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution. The move comes following publication of an open letter to CRTC Chairperson Vicky Eatrides in early April from Egale Canada calling for the channel’s removal from Canadian airwaves. The LGBTQ advocacy group says the American news channel’s programming is known to incite hate, violence and discrimination, and is in clear violation of Canadian broadcasting standards. The letter’s main target was former host Tucker Carlson, who has espoused anti-trans views, and was recently released by the network. The deadline for comments is June 2. Read more here.
The CRTC has now set the final rules for mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) access. Companies have 90 days to negotiate MVNO access agreements. The CRTC expects that regional competitors will start selling plans in new parts of Canada shortly after these agreements are in place. The commission says it will ensure those deals are reached quickly so that Canadians have more choice of cellphone services.
Meta says if Bill C-18, the Online News Act, becomes legislation, it will choose to end the availability of news content on Facebook and Instagram in Canada. In a statement issued this week President, Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, said the legislation is in “an invidious position.” “The truth is, our users don’t come to us for news. They come to share the ups and downs of life, the things that make them happy and sad, that interest them and entertain them. Links to news stories are a tiny proportion of that – less than three percent of the content they see in their Facebook Feed. But news publishers do find our services valuable. We estimate that Facebook Feed sent registered news publishers in Canada more than 1.9 billion clicks in the 12 months to April 2022,” wrote Clegg. “Asking a social media company in 2023 to subsidize news publishers for content that isn’t that important to our users is like asking email providers to pay the postal service because people don’t send letters any more.”
The 73rd B.C. Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) Conference heard that using all available tools at the industry’s disposal, including emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create compelling and engaging content, will be key to the future of radio and television. The association’s first gathering in three years, Claire Anderson, CRTC commissioner for B.C. & Yukon, set the tone for the conference, opening by touching on the policy consultations about to get underway around Bill C-11, telling those in attendance that the broadcast industry’s ability to connect with audiences is essential to success and remains imperative. One of the conference highlights was a conversation between Jim Pattison, who is still serving as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Jim Pattison Group at age 94, and Pattison Media President Rod Schween. The business magnate discussed his early career in sales and instilled values of integrity and quality customer service which he largely credits for his success. Read more here. (Photo gallery by Broadcast Dialogue with files from Gord Eno)
Rogers Communications has reduced its price per gigabyte of data by 50% on its most-chosen plan, has lowered its 5G entry price, and will provide all Rogers 4G wireless customers with access to the 5G network over the coming months at no cost. The company is additionally doubling the ultra speed data on its $85/month unlimited plan. Phil Hartling, President, Wireless, says the move is part of an ongoing commitment to make Rogers’ services more accessible and affordable.
Room Up Front, a volunteer-run initiative seeking to combat inequality in the Canadian photojournalism community, received a judges’ special citation at the National Newspaper Awards (NNAs) Friday night. New this year, the Special Recognition Citation was created as part of an effort to honour journalism that doesn’t fit neatly into the program’s 23 existing categories, but has had an exceptional impact on the Canadian news industry. Developed by photojournalist Jimmy Jeong, Room Up Front manages a BIPOC mentorship program for young talent within photojournalism and visual storytelling, providing them with training, guidance and support. Read more about this year’s NNA winners here.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we bring you part two of our recap from NAB Show 2023. If a theme emerged this year, it was the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence-powered solutions and virtual production on the show floor, inducing feelings from apprehension to excitement for their potential. We also talk to MaxxKonnect President Josh Bohn, who was behind pop-up radio station, MaxxRadio in the West Hall. In addition to Bohn, featured on this episode are NAB Product of the Year award winner Magnifi and the company’s Chief Revenue Officer Meghna Krishna; producer, director and M&E solutions architect Tom Thudiyanplackal, who was at NAB Show representing the Entertainment Technology Centre at the University of Southern California (USC); Vu Technologies R&D Program Manager Ben Myers; Brandon Costa, Director of Digital at SVG (Sports Video Group), and Yaroslav Altunin, tech editor at NoFilmSchool.com.
SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) Fellow Sally Hattori has accepted the position of SMPTE Standards Vice President, a role in which she’ll direct and supervise the standards projects of the society. She previously served as SMPTE Standards Director and is serving the balance of the two-year term begun by SMPTE colleague Florian Schleich. Hattori is Director of Product Development at StudioLAB, the creative innovation team within Walt Disney Studios’ technology division, and a science and technology peer group executive for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Barometer and NewsGuard have partnered on a new solution designed to help podcast publishers and advertisers detect and alert users when potential misinformation is discovered. The NewsGuard-Barometer offering is an advanced AI-powered solution that can detect potential misinformation at the episode-level to inform advertisers who want to vet a podcast before including it in a brand advertising strategy or who want to pause a media buy for further examination. NewsGuard has separately announced the launch of its Podcast Reliability Ratings — a new product assessing news and information podcasts at the show level on journalistic criteria of credibility and transparency.
GeoBroadcast Solutions’ MaxxCasting and ZoneCasting systems have recently been approved for testing by Prasar Bharati, India’s public broadcaster, as the country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) mandates FM radio be accessible through mobile phones. The government directive was created to ensure that FM radio is available to the public during emergencies and disasters and allow those living in poverty to get free FM radio service. MaxxCasting’s technology would enhance broadcast signals and widen the reach of All India Radio. With the inclusion of ZoneCasting, the station’s signal can be subdivided – or zoned – with specific neighbourhood content vital for listeners using their mobile phones anywhere they may be.