Larry Gifford, National Director of Talk Radio for Corus Entertainment, is among those caught up in a reorganization of the company’s audio division. With Corus since 2016, Gifford – an alum of 710 ESPN Los Angeles, 97.3 KIRO FM Seattle, and the Fox Sports Radio Network, among other stations – has been leading programming efforts across Corus Radio’s AM stations. Among others impacted, Jeff Storey, Director of Business Operations & Program Director at Corus’ Hamilton radio properties, is a casualty of restructuring. He had been with the company just shy of 30 years. Read more here.
Bill Kelly has hosted his final show on AM 900 CHML Hamilton and CFPL London, also caught up last week’s restructuring in Corus’ audio division. With CHML for the last 17 years, the talk radio veteran had most recently been hosting the 9 a.m. – noon show, which since 2021 had been simulcast in both Hamilton and London. His more than four-decade career also included 13 seasons as a stadium announcer for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, in addition to holding a city council seat in Hamilton from 1997-2006. Read more here.
Andrea Bain is joining CTV’s The Social full-time as co-host Elaine “Lainey” Lui gets set to depart the daytime talk show at the end of Season 10 this week. Bain, the author of Single Girl Problems and host of the eOne podcast of the same name, has filled in as a guest host several times over the past year. A former host of The Goods on CBC, HGTV’s Live Here Buy This, and Revamped and Three Takes on Slice, Bain has also anchored and reported for both Global and CTV News. Lui has been with The Social since its debut in September 2013. She’ll now devote more time to her role as a senior correspondent for CTV’s etalk and continue to helm her long-running blog, LaineyGossip.com, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. Read more here.
Marc Antoine Godin has joined Radio-Canada as a beat reporter covering the Montreal Canadiens. Godin was previously a Montreal-based reporter with The Athletic and prior that spent nearly 12 years as a Canadiens beat writer for La Presse.
Srushti Gangdev has joined CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver as an anchor and reporter. Gangdev was released from the Burnaby Beacon and Overstory Media Group (OMG) almost two years to the day of the news outlet’s launch in May. Prior to joining OMG, she was an anchor and reporter at 980 CKNW Vancouver.
Christine Clark moves into the morning co-anchor role on CityNews 570 (CKGL-AM) Kitchener. Clark has been with the station for a decade, most recently as morning traffic reporter. Former morning anchor Lisa Drew retired from the station earlier this month after 33 years.
— Marke Driesschen (@ctv_marke) August 9, 2023
Marke Driesschen, who has been absent from the CTV Morning Live Vancouver weather desk since undergoing heart valve replacement surgery in May, has announced he’s ready to return to work. He’s set to come back on Sept. 5.
Nancy Chapelle, Executive Director of the Bell Fund, has announced she’s retiring after almost nine years. Prior to joining Bell in 2015, Chapelle was Managing Director of Content and Programming at TVO for 11 years.
Jenna Winterburn is rejoining KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM) Edmonton in swing. Winterburn, who was most recently on-air in middays at Harvard Media’s Play 107 (CKPW-FM) stations up until restructuring earlier this year, previously helmed weekends on KiSS from 2018-20.
Geneviève Pettersen has signed on as a contributor to Luc Ferrandez’s Without Reserve on Cogeco’s 98.5 FM (CHMP-FM) Montreal. Petterson also contributes to Bell Media’s Noovo Info as a columnist.
Mike Richards has hosted his last show at Sauga 960 (CKNT-AM) Mississauga. The former TSN 1050 (CHUM-AM) and Sportsnet 590 The Fan (CJCL-AM) host’s Raw Mike Richards Show had been heard on Sauga 960 for the last four and a half years. Richards will be hosting a morning show for the Game+ network, which is owned by Leonard Asper’s Anthem Sports & Entertainment.
Scotty Mars, who recently announced his departure from Acadia Broadcasting’s Surge 105 (CKHY-FM) Halifax, is joining JACK 92.9 (CFLT-FM) Halifax as Content Director. Mars takes over from Earle Mader, who announced his retirement earlier this year, after 11 years in the role.
Corné Van Hoepen has been promoted to Senior Editor of News at Yahoo! Canada. Van Hoepen previously worked with Global Toronto in several digital roles before leaving to pursue freelance journalism work in Lebanon.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Evanov Communications says it’s planning to “integrate” its Toronto LGBTQ+ station Proud 103.9 (CIRR-FM) with Z103.5 (CIDC-FM), licensed to Orangeville, ON, on Sept. 1. Both stations play a Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) format. Proud FM undertook a brand refresh in 2020 that saw Elvis Duran and the Morning Show added to the lineup, the widely-syndicated morning show originating from iHeartMedia’s Z100 (WHTZ-FM) in New York City. Evanov says Proud FM announcer Jaret Sereda, who has been helming afternoons, and Tyler Carr, who hosts Weekend Pop-Up Party (also doing double duty as a morning co-host on Energy 106 (CHWE-FM) Winnipeg), will both move over to Z103.5 as part of the integration. Sereda, also Proud FM’s brand manager, will host a daily feature weekday mornings and afternoons with entertainment news and community updates, while Carr will take on the weekend shows on Z103.5. Evanov has made repeated attempts to move or modify CIDC-FM’s signal over the years. The CRTC most recently denied a technical application in early 2020 that would have seen the stations swap frequencies to boost Proud’s signal in Toronto and have the lower power station re-focus on serving Orangeville. Read more here.
Stingray has announced it will launch Sports 1440 in Edmonton next month, bringing a dedicated sports talk radio station back to the city just months after Bell Media’s move to shutter TSN 1260 (CFRN-AM). Stingray plans to launch the new format on Sept. 5, which will air on CJKR-AM, licensed to the Edmonton bedroom community of Wetaskiwin. The station is currently branded as W1440 and carries an Oldies format. The effort is a collaboration between Stingray Radio, former NHL‘er Jason Gregor’s Just A Game Productions and digital sports media site The Nation Network, which was acquired by Playmaker Capital in 2021. Read more here.
Playmaker Capital has acquired La Poche Bleue, the Quebec-based podcast production house co-founded by former Montreal Canadiens players Maxim Lapierre and Guillaume Latendresse. Playmaker says with the acquisition of La Poche Bleue’s video-podcast series and branded lifestyle products (which span spirits to bbq sauce and t-shirts), it unlocks access to a new audience in Quebec, rounding out its regional and national hockey coverage in time for the upcoming 2023-24 NHL season. As part of the transaction, Lapierre and Latendresse, who host flagship podcast La Poche Bleue, as well as Managing Director Louis-Philippe Dorais, will remain with the business. La Poche Bleue’s video podcast portfolio includes eight shows, produced in both French- and English, focused on the Canadiens, NHL, MLB, NFL fantasy football, among other topics, including Game Over with former MLB pitcher and Cy Young winner Eric Gagne. Its podcasts are also syndicated on Quebec radio via a partnership with Cogeco Media. Read more here.
640 (CFIQ-AM) Toronto has added new program Toronto Threads to its weekend lineup, along with recent addition Toronto Tomorrow. Toronto Threads, hosted by author and speaker, David Peck, will air Saturdays at 10 p.m., beginning Aug. 19. Featuring in-depth conversations with those who shape Toronto and the GTA, the show promises to focus on “the diverse cultures, experiences and voices that make up the fabric of the city.” Toronto Tomorrow airs Saturdays at 8 p.m. It features Dan Speerin, Tamer Gargour and Jessie Lee from Toronto Metropolitan University’s Transmedia Zone in discussion with future-forward thinkers.
AMI (Accessible Media Inc.) has unveiled its AMI-audio lineup for the 2023-24 broadcast season, headlined by the debut of The Washington Post This Week and the return of its daily Double Tap program, discussing news, reviews and technology stories of interest to members of the blind, partially sighted and disability community. Read more here.
Hot Docs Podcast Festival’s two-day Podcast Creators Forum this October will feature a mix of creative masterclasses and career-building sessions. Executives, producers and hosts from studios and agencies including Conde Nast, Pushkin Industries, CBC, NPR, Canadaland, Acast, Bumper, and Media Girlfriends, among others will be featured this year. The Creators Forum Pass is available for a discounted early bird rate only until Sept. 11. This year’s Hot Docs Podcast Festival runs Oct. 18-23.
LISTEN: Charles Adler doesn’t have a lot of time or love left for radio anymore. The veteran talk host, who parted ways with Corus Radio in 2021, transitioned into podcasting earlier this summer with the launch of The Charles Adler Show, in partnership with Crier Media and the Sound Off Podcast Network, making his podcasting debut at #1 on the Canadian News Commentary chart. He joins us on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to share his unfiltered thoughts on the state of Canadian media and why he thinks the big broadcasters are in trouble. We also get into his enduring love affair with Winnipeg.
LISTEN: Sam Sethi, the host of Podnews Weekly Review and a former programmer at Windows and Netscape, is on the Sound Off Podcast to talk about the launch of Podfans – part of a new wave of podcast apps. In this episode you’ll hear about Sethi’s time at Netscape and Windows, how he got involved with industry futurist and Podnews publisher James Cridland, and what exactly goes into building an app like Podfans.
Sylvia Asche Bullard, on Aug. 14, after a short battle with cancer. Asche Bullard began her broadcasting career at CJMQ Sherbrooke, Que. where she held roles from on-air and news to sales. Her time in the community also included reporting for the Sherbrooke Record. Asche Bullard eventually moved to Ottawa to work for the Canadian Traffic Network (CTN), undertaking traffic reporting for Evanov Communication’s The Jewel (CJWL). She was quickly recruited to co-host the morning show on The Jewel stations in Rockland and Hawkesbury, while also supplying newscasts to Jewel Ottawa. Since The Jewel Ottawa’s rebrand to Lite 98.5 two years ago, she’d been co-hosting the afternoon drive show with Steve Boyton, and could also be heard delivering news on sister station Lite 105.7 in Hudson, Que, among other backfill work on stations within the Evanov group. Asche Bullard had been away from work focusing on her health since April.
Doug Barron, 71, on Aug. 9. Originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, Barron started his radio career as an announcer and music director at CHNR-AM Simcoe in 1971, moving to CHIC-AM in Brampton in 1974 as morning show host. He made the move to Halifax in 1976, working first as a production director for CJCH-AM, before eventually becoming morning host and producer at C100 (CIOO-FM). He was arguably best known in Halifax for his time at Q104 (CFRQ-FM), starting in 1983 as morning co-host and news director, where he used the on-air handle Hal Harbour. From 1989 to 1994, Barron returned to Toronto as an announcer and director of Canadian talent development at CFNY-FM. After making his way back to the Maritimes, he worked as an associate producer and fill-in host on the CBC Radio One “Weekend Mornings” show for 16 years, up until his retirement as “Deputy Doug” in 2016. In addition to acting in numerous CBC Radio dramas and film roles, Barron played a recurring character on “Trailer Park Boys” as Channel 10 news reporter “Steve Rogers.” Read more here.
Al Hollingsworth, 87 on Aug. 5. Raised in Windsor, NS, Hollingsworth spent his early working years serving in the Canadian Armed Forces in the Provost Corps. After serving with the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, Hollingsworth left the military going on to become a sports reporter with the Halifax Chronicle Herald. From there, he served as Managing Editor of the Dartmouth Free Press and later Editor of the Bedford Sackville Weekly News which became the Halifax Daily News. He concurrently was a local radio personality, hosting show slike “Saturday Night Classics” on CHFX. Hollingsworth went on to serve as Director of Communications for Vince McLean during his tenure as Leader of the Opposition in the mid-1980s through early ‘90s. In more recent years, he helped launch community radio station CIOE-FM Lower Sackville, NS in 2014 and had been a volunteer announcer on the station up until last year. Hollingsworth was an inductee of the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in the “Builder” category, holding numerous coaching, league president and executive roles, spanning Metro Valley Jr. A hockey to Baseball Canada.
TV & FILM:
Blue Ant Media and marblemedia have announced the merger of their respective production and distribution operations into one unified studio and rights business. The deal sees Blue Ant acquire marblemedia and its international sales operation Distribution360. Former marblemedia co-CEOs Mark Bishop and Matthew Hornburg will helm the combined business, based in Toronto, serving as co-Presidents and reporting to Michael MacMillan, CEO and co-founder, Blue Ant Media. The combined business, which encompasses the marblemedia, Blue Ant Studios, Saloon Media and Look Mom! Productions prodcos, in addition to distributors Distribution360 and Blue Ant International, will form what’s being billed as a “super-charged” studio, spanning scripted comedy and drama, unscripted, formats, factual and premium docs, live action kids/family and animation. Read more here.
Screen Nova Scotia (SNS) has acquired Crown land to build the province’s first-ever purpose-built film and television soundstage. The industry association says following a request for proposals (RFP) late last year, an industry-led committee has unanimously selected a 25-acre parcel of land adjacent to Exhibition Park in Halifax on Highway 333. Screen Nova Scotia says the parcel was chosen for its size, quiet natural setting, and proximity to downtown, 100-series highways and the services of Bayers Lake Business Park. It also leaves room for future expansion. Screen Nova Scotia says the next step is issuing a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) to identify equity partners interested in driving the project forward. FLS (Foreign Service and Location) volume hit $91 million in the province in 2021/22, a new 10-year high for Nova Scotia and almost double the previous year’s volume, with almost all of that growth in television series. Read more here.
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is proud to announce Anishinaabe and Ashkenazi actor, writer, producer and director Jennifer Podemski as this year’s winner of the August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. The “Augie” is an annual prize that recognizes gifted Indigenous actors from across Turtle Island based on the longevity and impact of their careers, as well as their professionalism and involvement in mentorship and community work. Starting her career at 17, Podemski’s breakout role was Sadie in Bruce McDonald’s film, Dance Me Outside. Since then, she has earned Canadian Screen Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Film, and launched Indigenous owned and operated film/television and post-production company Big Soul Productions, and the Shine Network, a digital exhibition platform and talent incubator for Indigenous women creators. The Augie will be presented to Podemski at this year’s imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation during the festival, Oct. 17-22.
Shawn Levy, the Canadian producer and director behind films like Free Guy and Deadpool 3, will receive the inaugural Norman Jewison Career Achievement Award presented by The Budman Family, recognizing Canadians in the film industry who have made a global impact with their careers. The awards presentation will take place at the TIFF Tribute Awards gala fundraiser on Sept. 10. The Montreal-born filmmaker, known for his executive producer credit on Stranger Things and directing the Night at the Museum franchise, will be showcasing his latest work at the Festival ― All the Light We Cannot See, based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel ― which he directed and produced through his production company 21 Laps. TIFF’s official schedule is now out.
The 43rd Atlantic International Film Festival (AIFF) will showcase 115 feature and short films at Halifax’s Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, Sept. 14-21. Queen of My Dreams, directed by Fawzia Mirza and produced by Mirza, Andria Wilson, Jason Levangie and Marc Tetreaut, will take the spotlight as the Opening Night Gala. Sweetland, directed by Newfoundland writer/director Christian Sparkes, and produced by Allison White, is this year’s Atlantic Gala. The Closing Night Gala will be Sundance hit, Flora and Son, directed by John Carney and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eve Hewson.
CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) founded by filmmaker and Academy member Frances-Anne Solomon, will celebrate its 18th year, Sept. 6–22, at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. This year, CTFF will explore urgent narratives around climate change and diverse stories from the Caribbean and African diaspora. 2023 also marks the inaugural Hon. Dr Jean Augustine Award to be presented Sept. 9. Opening night includes screenings of Eden River (Jack Evans, Belize/USA), which was nominated for Best Short at Cannes, and Central America, 1961, exploring cultural, moral, and ancestral tensions between three sea turtle poachers. Check out the full program here.
Super Channel Fuse Original Series Clean Sweep, produced by Montreal’s Incendo Media and Ireland’s ShinAwiL, will make its Canadian broadcast premiere Sept. 3. Each hour-long episode of the Ireland/Canada co-production will be available on Super Channel On Demand the day following its weekly linear broadcast. Starring Charlene McKenna (Bloodlands, Peaky Blinders), the suspenseful Irish series is told from the point-of-view of a killer, who is also a mother and wife. Additional cast include Barry Ward (Anne Boleyn), Cathy Belton (Hidden Assets), Katelyn Rose Downey (The Princess), Adam Fergus (Harry Wild), Trevor Kaneswaren (Line of Duty), Rhys Mannion (It Is In Us All), Aidan McCann (Bad Sisters) and Jeanne Nicole Ní Áinle (SisterS).
Knowledge Network has moved four documentary projects from B.C. filmmakers into production. As Canada breaks its historical record for total area burned during a single wildfire season, the limited series Wildfire captures the magnitude and scale of modern wildfires in B.C. The creative team behind the series includes executive producer and showrunner Kevin Eastwood, producer and additional cinematographer Simon Shave, and director of photography Clayton Mitchell. A Ballad for Judi is a one-hour doc produced by Baljit Sangra of Viva Mantra Films and Brishkay Ahmed. Directed by Sangra, it tells the little-known story of Judi Singh, a Punjabi-Black singer-songwriter who was a prominent fixture in the Edmonton jazz scene from the 1950s to ‘70s. Treasure of the Rice Terraces,, directed by Kent Donguines, explores traditional Filipino tattooing, a once stigmatized practice which is now a cultural phenomenon featuring the story of 106-year-old tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od, who was recently featured on the cover of Vogue Philippines. Clan of the Painted Lady is a feature doc produced by Jennifer Chiu and Mel D’Souza of SILO Entertainment, exploring the experiences of members of the Hakka-Chinese diaspora.
TVO’s over-the-air (OTA) viewers are part of an independent documentary project in production from filmmaker Steven J. May. The documentarian is looking to interview viewers who watch Ontario’s public broadcaster on Channel 21 with an aerial, antenna or rabbit ears. Potential interviewees can contact May at firstname.lastname@example.org or 437-992-6150.
MADE | NOUS is looking for digital creators to become the campaign’s next ambassadors. Celebrating the work of Canadians in film, television, video games and digital entertainment, Canada Media Fund (CMF) Executive Vice-President of Marketing Mathieu Chantelois says they’re looking to bridge the gap between TV and film viewers and fans of online content by partnering with digital creators who share a passion for Canadian entertainment. Creators with an established community on social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube are encouraged to apply before Sept. 15.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
The Canadian Online Publishing Awards or COPAs are open to submissions until Sept. 30. All entries must have been produced between Sept. 1, 2022 and Sept. 30, 2023 to be eligible and meet Canadian content requirements. There are two categories any publisher can enter for free: Best Feel Good Story and Best Multi-Cultural Story.
BBTV Holdings, the Vancouver-based digital content creator solutions provider, says YouTube Shorts now represents 52% of the company’s total views. Releasing financial results for Q2 2023 for the period ended June 30, the company says total views for the quarter reached 114.4 billion, a 20% increase compared to the previous year quarter, and a 1% increase compared to Q1 2023. The increase in views was driven by a 223% year-over-year increase in YouTube Shorts viewership to 59.8 billion views in Q2. Monetization in the form of RPM (Revenue per Thousand Views) ticked up by 2% to $0.54 compared to $0.53 in Q1 2023 and declined by 43% compared to the previous year. The company says the year-over-year decline in RPM is a direct result of the emergence of YouTube Shorts views. Over time, BBTV says it’s expected that the monetization of YouTube Shorts should increase to mirror those of regular-length YouTube videos. Excluding Shorts, the monetization of 54.5 billion regular form content views remained steady near typical rates at $1.14.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
Canadian Media Guild (CMG) members at TVO will be in a legal strike position as of this Friday. Union members – including journalists, producers, and education workers – at Ontario’s public broadcaster have been without a contract since October. CMG announced earlier this month that members had returned a strong strike mandate to the bargaining team with 95.8% voting to reject the employer’s latest offer. CMG says it’s been unable to make progress at the bargaining table, primarily due to an Ontario Ministry of Education order to only create temporary contract jobs at the broadcaster, denying workers health benefits, job security, and stability. CMG also says the public broadcaster’s latest offer of 2.75%, 2.5%, and 1.75% increases over three years with a potential 1.75% raise for a fourth year is well below wage improvements workers need during an affordability crisis. Read more here.
Quebecor has reported consolidated financial results for the second quarter of 2023. With its acquisition of Freedom Mobile in early April, Quebecor recorded revenues of $1.40 billion, up $283.3 million (25.4%), adjusted EBITDA of $605.2 million, up $113.8 million (23.2%), and adjusted cash flows from operations of $455.3 million, up $94.3 million (26.1%) compared with the same period of 2022. The Telecommunications segment increased revenues by $288.6 million (31.6%), reflecting, among other things, the contribution of the Freedom acquisition. Following the acquisition, the Telecommunications segment now has 3,610,100 mobile telephony connections and 1,716,800 Internet access customers. TVA Group recorded an $8.7 million (–5.9%) decrease in revenues and negative adjusted EBITDA of $3.8 million, an unfavourable variance of $7.1 million compared with the second quarter of 2022.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Rise, the advocacy group for gender diversity in the broadcast media technology sector, has announced the pairings for its third annual mentoring scheme in North America. This year’s program caters to more participants than ever before and includes a range of industry leaders from across the media and entertainment technology sectors. Among the Canadian mentees are: Divya Joshi, Technical Project Manager, to be mentored by Lauren de la Fuente, Head of Marketing and Communications, Meta; Eileen Kennedy-MacDonald, UX Researcher, Ross Video, to be mentored by Magda Jagucka, SVP, WW Localization Operations, Deluxe Media; Lynsey Reesor, Manager, Renewal and Subscription Sales, Ross Video, to be mentored by Candice Edwards, Global Head Industry Go to Market, Media & Entertainment, Salesforce; and Megan McEwen, Hardware Developer, Ross Video, to be mentored by Morgan Prygrocki, Senior Strategic Development Manager, Adobe.
PromoSuite and SoCast have joined forces to create an integration between PromoSuite Mail and SoCast’s Content Management Solution. PromoSuite Mail will be offered by SoCast to their client radio stations looking to add an email system to SoCast’s current digital offerings. Built with radio’s unique needs in mind, PromoSuite Mail utilizes PromoSuite’s ListenerEmail technology and will include actionable analytics and customization of email designs, registration forms and auto responses.