Jackie Pardy, Chief Content Officer (CCO) at Super Channel, has made the decision to retire after four and a half years with the company and over 35 working in the media industry. Pardy’s last day will be Dec. 29, however she’ll stay on as a part-time consultant to assist in the transition of her successor, Kimberley Ball, who currently serves as Chief Communications Officer. Pardy joined Super Channel in 2019 as Director of Programming and was promoted to Chief Content Officer later that year, responsible for leading programming strategy across the network’s Fuse, Heart & Home and Vault channels, including pre-licensing of Canadian productions and acquisitions of foreign content. Prior to Super Channel, she was Director of Development for Women in Film & Television – Toronto and spent eight years at Corus Entertainment, ending her tenure there as Director, Network Content, Specialty and Pay TV. Ball will assume Pardy’s role effective Jan. 2, also continuing to maintain oversight of media relations and industry outreach. Read more here.
Meredith Shaw is joining Citytv’s Breakfast Television (BT) as co-host, starting Monday, Sept. 11. Shaw, who recently announced her departure from Bell Media’s CHUM 104.5 Toronto after almost nine years, officially joins Sid Seixeiro as co-host, filling the seat vacated by Dina Pugliese, who left the show in February after 16 years. As part of her new role with Rogers Sports & Media, Shaw will be heard on 98.1 CHFI Toronto and nationally across the company’s Adult Contemporary radio stations as host of a new weekend show, beginning this fall. Read more here.
Roger Peterson has joined CTV News Channel as a weekend anchor. Petersen is best known for his almost two-decade run with Citytv in Toronto, up until parting ways with Rogers Sports & Media in 2020. Petersen previously worked as a reporter and anchor for CTV Toronto from 2006-08. For the last three years, he’s been a senior associate with Waterloo-based PR firm Fraser Torosay.
Rob Buffam is joining CTV Vancouver, reporting from the B.C. Legislature bureau in Victoria, beginning Sept. 25. Buffam has been reporting for CTV News Vancouver Island for almost 10 years. His background also includes time as a trial lawyer and former forest firefighter in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
Teri Fikowski is back at CTV Calgary after a year abroad in Ireland, completing her Masters in Science & Health Communication at Dublin City University (DCU). Fikowski has been a multimedia journalist with CTV since 2019.
Su-Ling Goh is moving on from Global Edmonton after 17 years. Goh, who has served on the Health Matters beat for 15 years and co-anchored Global News at Noon, is joining Alberta Health Services as the Senior Communications Advisor for the Organ and Tissue Donation Program. Her last day on air will be Sept. 11.
Paul Ackerman, Director of Local Sales BC, Corus Entertainment, will be retiring on Nov. 15. Ackerman has spent the last 10 years leading the Corus BC Revenue team. Prior to that, he spearheaded revenue efforts at Global Edmonton for 19 years. He started his career as an account executive at K97 (CIRK-FM) and 930 AM (CJCA) Edmonton.
Chris Fairclough joins Corus Entertainment as Director of Sales, BC. He was most recently a member of BC Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) senior leadership team overseeing the Community Engagement, Sponsorships and Social Purpose, Sustainability, and Indigenous Relations portfolios.
Karen Erickson, Regional Manager, Local Tempo BC for Corus Entertainment, retired on Aug. 31. Erickson, who had been in the Regional Manager role for the last five years, spent 35 years with Global BC and its predecessor BCTV as an account executive.
Dalson Chen has joined CBC Windsor as a videojournalist. Chen arrives from The Windsor Star where he was a reporter for the last 19 years.
Winston Szeto has parted ways with CBC BC, most recently working as a Digital Associate Producer in the Kelowna bureau. Szeto had been with the public broadcaster since 2019, initially as an associate producer assigned to CBC Radio in Vancouver.
Randy Snow and Stephanie O’Brien have been released from the Morning Jam on OZFM (CHOZ-FM) St. John’s, NL. Hugh Campbell and Stephen Lethbridge have been reinstated in the morning time slot for the first time since 2019 when Snow and O’Brien made their co-hosting debut. Campbell has been with the station since 2012 and Lethbridge since 2010.
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DJ Baby Yu “The Remix Kid” is now being heard on the LIVE@5MIX, weeknights, on Vibe 105 (CHRY-FM) Toronto. Originally from Toronto, Yu is now based in L.A., and is also heard on V103 FM (WVEE-FM) Atlanta.
Darren Worts, morning show host on JACK FM (CHTT-FM) Victoria, is now also being heard in the 6 – 8 p.m. time slot weeknights on SONiC Radio (CKKS-FM) Vancouver. Katlynn Millions was formerly heard in the time slot. Worts previously lent his voice to weekend mornings on the station.
John Tory has returned to Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) as a fill-in host for John Moore (at least for one day) marking the former Toronto mayor’s public return after resigning in February. Tory formerly hosted the afternoon drive show on CFRB for five-and-a-half years before running for mayor in 2014.
Rizwan Jamal, President and Chief Commercial Officer of Xplore Inc., has been promoted to President and CEO. He’ll also join the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Fran Shammo, who has been serving as interim CEO, will continue in his role as Executive Chair of the Board. Jamal, who is based in Toronto, joined Xplore in May 2023. He previously worked at Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) for more than 11 years, most recently as President, Residential and Small Business. Before that, he spent 11 years at TELUS in various roles, including Senior Vice-President of Consumer Marketing.
Richard Trapunski is joining Billboard Magazine as Digital Editor for Canada. Trapunski was formerly an Associate Editor with NOW Magazine for five years, up until April of last year. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of Chart Attack, among other freelance work.
Scott Steele has joined Anthem Entertainment as Music Distribution Coordinator. He arrives from Play MPE where he’s helmed Music Industry Relations for the last two years. Steele formerly had a career in radio promotions, working with Rogers Sports & Media, Newcap and Harvard Media in various markets in Ontario and Alberta.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Vista Radio has entered into an agreement to purchase CAB-K Broadcasting, the owner and operator of Country 96.5 (CKLJ-FM) and Rock 104.5 (CKJX-FM) in Olds, AB and Country 106.5 (CKVG-FM) Vegreville, AB. Founded by Brian and Melanie Hepp in 2004 to establish Country 96.5, the first radio station serving the central Alberta community of Olds, CAB-K was awarded a second FM licence in Olds in 2007. The company went on to launch Country 106.5 in Vegreville, east of Edmonton, in 2016. Subject to CRTC approval, the deal would see the number of Vista Radio stations grow to 51. Read more here.
Vista Radio is partnering with the Salvation Army to help raise funds for evacuees in the Northwest Territories. The staff of Vista’s True North FM 101.1 (CJCD-FM) and MyTrueNorthNow.com in Yellowknife, as well as a rebroadcaster in Hay River, are among those who remain evacuated with a phased return last week hampered by an anticipated acceleration in wildfire activity along Highway 1. Vista Radio has set up a national fundraising initiative to raise funds to directly assist residents when they return to their homes. Every Vista property is promoting the initiative on-air and online with a goal of $20,000. Read more here.
The CRTC has denied two applications to amend the broadcast licence of Stingray’s CFXJ-FM Toronto, currently branded as 93.5 Today Radio, in order to operate two rebroadcasting transmitters in Mississauga and North York. Stingray maintained in its application that the station has experienced significant signal degradation over the past few years as new high-rise development and population density have increased. It added that audiences farther from the downtown core frequently have difficulty receiving the station’s signal. It proposed using Single Frequency Networking (also known as MaxxCasting), a technology that uses synchronized repeaters on the same frequency to enhance signal quality within the station’s authorized broadcast parameters. Dufferin Communications opposed both applications, arguing it was reasonable to expect the station would monetize on such a large addition to its potential market audience. The commission concluded that approving the technical changes, which it did not find Stingray had demonstrated a compelling need for, would give the station a distinct competitive advantage over others in the market and could result in undue financial impact on incumbent stations.
99.3 County FM, Prince Edward County’s volunteer driven non-profit community radio station, is continuing its partnership with local Ontario Junior Hockey League team, The Wellington Dukes, for the 2023-24 season. 99.3 County FM is the official voice of the defending Buckland Cup Champions, with play-by-play provided by former Ontario Hockey League broadcaster and County FM News Director Craig Foster. The production team includes Gage Broderick and Ken Murray.
LISTEN: Sean Ross of Ross on Radio returns to the Sound Off Podcast to talk radio and records, answering Matt Cundill’s burning question: What happened to the hits? They also discuss whether “Join the Conversation” radio has run its course, those songs of summer, Radiodays North America, the lack of programming-related radio conferences, and why Taylor Swift is as big as the Beatles.
TV & FILM:
Videotron has announced it will shutter its MAtv community channel in Montreal next summer. The Quebecor subsidiary says it’s closing the channel “against a backdrop of fierce media competition and major financial challenges for the entire television industry.” MAtv will continue to broadcast outside Montreal, maintaining its operations in the rest of Québec, including Bas-Saint-Laurent, Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Granby, Outaouais, Québec City, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Sherbrooke and Sorel-Tracy. Quebecor said the closure of MAtv Montréal will result in the elimination of the equivalent of five full-time positions, with three other jobs eliminated at its other stations. Until its closure in summer 2024, the Montreal channel will broadcast programming already produced over the last few months. Read more here.
The CRTC has approved a new must-carry TV license for French-language diversity and culture channel Natyf TV. The channel is now available on the basic subscriber service of all cable companies and other TV service providers in Quebec. Natyf TV says details of its 2023-24 programming will be unveiled at a launch scheduled for Sept. 18.
The 2023 Women in View On Screen Report (WIVOS23) reveals how much work there is yet to be done in terms of representation both behind and in front of the camera. Key findings include that Black women have the least representation across all key creative roles, led the fewest projects, and received the least funding overall and on average for those projects; Women and gender diverse people were employed 20-30% less often in documentary TV than in drama; Women and gender diverse TV writers received less work in 2020 and 2021 (42%) compared to 2019; and Women and gender diverse cinematographers in television continue to have the least share of work of all creative roles, which decreased in 2020 (6%) and 2021 (10%) versus 2019 (17%). The results mark an overall decrease in progress made pre-pandemic. In total, 5,919 credits were reviewed, 1,721 of which went to women and gender diverse creatives. Find the full report here.
The National Film Board (NFB) has committed to ensuring that by March 2025, over 30% of its productions and co-productions underway at that time will be directed by artists and filmmakers who self-identify as Black and People of Colour. NFB says that target represents the minimum expected outcome. Meanwhile, the NFB is kicking off fall with nfb.ca premieres of two new feature documentaries in September: The Colour of Ink, from Brian D. Johnson’s award-winning Sphinx Productions and NFB, will premiere online Sept. 5, followed by the online launch of Hayley Gray and Elad Tzadok’s feature doc from British Columbia, Unarchived, on Sept. 25.
3 Story Pictures has begun principal photography on Season 1 of documentary series, Red River Gold (13×30). Set to air on APTN at a later date, the series follows a group of Métis treasure seekers looking for a trove of gold coins worth $1M that disappeared in 1870 en route to fund a British military force marching across Canada to stop Louis Riel and the Métis during the Red River Resistance. Red River Gold is directed by Saxon de Cocq (Treaty Road Season 1, The Other Side), Berkley Brady (Dark Nature, The Secret History of: The Wild West), and Sam Karney (Going Native, Nation Untamed), written by de Cocq, and produced by Hannah Hermanson (Treaty Road Season 1, Staying Wild Season 1 & 2, Zarqa Season 2), Ell McEachern (Treaty Road Season 1, Staying Wild Season 1&2, Zarqa Season 2), de Cocq and Karney. Red River Gold is being filmed in Richer, Ste. Anne, La Coulee, Winnipeg, and along the old Dawson Trail in Manitoba.
Paramount+ has announced that as of Sept. 1, it is now home to the South Park catalogue in Canada, including the Season 26 episodes released earlier this year. The library contains all 315 available episodes, movies, and specials, as well as previously-aired Paramount+ exclusives South Park: Post Covid, South Park: The Return of Covid and South Park: The Streaming Wars, Part 1 and 2. In addition, Pluto TV in Canada offers episodes from Seasons 1 to 21 of South Park, rotating live on the South Park channel.
Stingray has reached a new distribution agreement with consumer electronics company TCL and its new online streaming service, TCLtv+. The deal brings Stingray channels, including the debut of Ultimate Trivia, to TCLtv+ users in North America. Now available on Google and coming soon to Roku and FireTV smart operating systems, the TCLtv+ app includes more than 200 FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television) channels and 1500+ on-demand movies and TV series from major and independent studios. Users can now enjoy complimentary access to Stingray Music’s curated audio channels, spanning genres from Remember the 80s and Classic Rock to Hot Country, Hit List, Easy Listening, and TikTok Radio. Viewers will also have access to specialty channels, including: Stingray Naturescape, Qello Concerts by Stingray, Stingray Karaoke, Stingray Classica, Stingray Djazz, and Stingray CMusic, which reinvents music videos to offer a revolutionized version of classical music.
The HISTORY Channel Canadian original documentary, True Story, returns for Part Two (1×120) on Sept. 30. Produced by Winnipeg’s EagleVision, True Story will explore how to move forward from Canada’s colonial past and work towards reconciliation. Through narration from Kaniehtiio Horn (Rutherford Falls), reenactments, and interviews from Indigenous voices and experts, True Story Part Two will examine the intergenerational impact of historical events including the Indian Act and Residential School system, the Sixties Scoop, Indigenous political movements, and the role of Indigenous veterans in Canada’s military.
OUTtv has commissioned a second season of competition series Sew Fierce, an OUTtv original produced by Sonic Nursery. The new season started production this month and is set to launch in Spring 2024. The eight-episode second season will see design mentor Jaime Lujan, aka Lucinda Miu, return to the show, joined by new co-host and London based drag legend, Crystal. Showcasing the craft of drag, Sew Fierce sees eight drag designers at the top of their field compete in weekly challenges to create new looks, in the hopes of winning a cash prize and a sewing suite from SINGER. The first season of the series launched internationally on the OUTtv platform earlier this year.
Corus Entertainment’s YTV, Treehouse, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channels have unveiled this fall’s animated and live-action premieres. Premiering Oct. 14 on Treehouse is Vida the Vet, produced by Spin Master Entertainment, following 10-year-old Vida, an animal doctor who nurtures the woodland creatures who live outside her home. Bossy Bear makes its debut Sept. 8. From husband-and-wife team David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim (UglyDolls), based on the popular book series by Horvath, the series follows Bossy Bear, an overly-enthusiastic extrovert, and Turtle, a thoughtful introvert – unlikely besties navigating adventures in their Koreatown-inspired city of Pleasantburg. Cartoon Network is also set to debut Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake on Sept. 15. Produced by Cartoon Network Studios and based on characters from the Adventure Time franchise, the new 10-episode series follows the alternate universe versions of Finn and Jake on a multiverse-hopping journey.
Showcase’s fall slate includes the Season 3 return of killer doll Chucky, horror-thriller film Sick, new crime series Culprits, and a second season of Killing It, starring Craig Robinson. Chucky slashes his way onto Showcase for a third season Oct. 4. On Oct. 20, Sick, from horror studio Blumhouse, Miramax and Scream franchise creator Kevin Williamson premieres, set during the height of the pandemic. Culprits will also land on Showcase this fall – an eight-episode series that sees a group of criminals stalked following a heist. With a launch date yet to be announced, it stars Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Generation, Candyman), Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man, Summerland), Kirby (Cruella, The Good Place), Niamh Algar (Deceit, Raised by Wolves), Kamel El Basha (The Insult), Kevin Vidal (Strays, Working Moms), and Eddie Izzard (Victoria and Abdul, Six Minutes to Midnight), among others.
TSN, CTV and RDS are gearing up for multi-platform coverage of the 2023 NFL season across Bell Media platforms with the new season kicking off with pre-game coverage Thursday, Sept. 7 on TSN and CTV, followed by the season opener as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions. Thursday Night Football will air on TSN and CTV2, while NFL REDZONE will be available on TSN+ every Sunday afternoon. Sunday Night Football airs on TSN and CTV, while Monday Night Football will be exclusive to TSN. All playoff games will air on TSN and CTV.
Patricia Arquette will receive the TIFF Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award during the 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Arquette is the final honouree to be announced ahead of the 2023 TIFF Tribute Awards, taking place Sept. 10 at Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Arquette returns to the festival with her directorial debut Gonzo Girl, starring Willem Dafoe and Camila Morrone, based on Cheryl Della Pietra’s semi-autobiographical novel chronicling her time as Hunter S. Thompson’s personal assistant. The award recognizes a woman who is a leader in the film industry and has made a positive impact on women throughout their career. Academy Award–winning actor Michelle Yeoh was honoured at last year’s awards.
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and CBC have announced the 2023 cohort of the CBC Actors Conservatory, an immersive acting program designed to enhance the participants skills, network and experience to develop successful careers in the industry. This year’s cohort includes Ali A. Kazmi, Christine L Nguyen, Dorrett White, Gwenlyn Cumyn, Milcania Diaz-Rojas, Rebekah Miskin, Ryan Rosery and Sam Asante.
Gersh has signed writer/director Meredith Hama-Brown, ahead of the world premiere of her debut feature film Seagrass at the Toronto International Film Festival. Seagrass, which premieres Sept. 8th as a part of TIFF’s Discovery Programme, stars Ally Maki (Shortcomings) as Judith, a Japanese Canadian woman who brings her family to a self-development retreat after the recent death of her mother. Hama-Brown is a Japanese Canadian filmmaker interested in themes of identity and lineage. In 2020, she was selected for the TIFF Filmmaker Lab and was awarded the Canada Goose Fellowship for Seagrass. She is in the early stages of writing her sophomore feature film.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
Canadian Heritage has provided more clarity on which platforms will be subject to the Online News Act and what they will need to do to be exempted from the mandatory bargaining process. Set to go into effect Dec. 19, ahead of a public consultation process that will get underway this fall, the Act will only apply to digital platforms providing news content with total global revenue of more than $1 billion a year, with 20 million or more Canadian average monthly unique visitors or active users. According to Canadian Heritage, the bargaining process with search engines and platforms like Google, Meta and Bing, should result in approximately $230 million a year made available to support news organizations. Based on government estimates, made without the benefit of published market data from digital operators, Google would stand to contribute about $172 million a year, under the government formula, followed by Facebook at $62 million. Read more here.
The CRTC is immediately lifting advertising time limit requirements for discretionary television services to position them to better compete with online platforms. The move is in response to a 2020 application from Quebecor Media, on behalf of TVA Group, asking for the removal of the advertising time limit of 12 minutes per clock hour on its discretionary services. The commission moved to lift time limits for conventional services in 2007. TVA argued that with only discretionary services subject to an advertising time limit, foreign online platforms are unduly benefitting as they capture a growing share of advertising revenues. TVA’s application suggested removing the limit for discretionary services would help restore healthier competition, specifically in the French-language market, while injecting ad revenue back into the Canadian broadcasting ecosystem. Read more here.
The CRTC has denied a request by a number of cable providers seeking to have the basic channel package price increased and a yearly inflation mechanism introduced. The application, by Bell, Cogeco Communications, Eastlink, and SaskTel, sought to increase the maximum retail price of the basic service from $25 to $28 per month, with further increases tied to the annual rate of inflation. Among the other groups in support of the application were Access Communications Co-operative, Canadian Communication Systems Alliance (CCSA), Pelmorex Weather Networks, Corus Entertainment, and Rogers Communications. The commission, which mandated licensed broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) to provide customers with an affordable entry-level basic service in 2016, said in Tuesday’s decision that the applicants did not submit evidence to suggest that the current maximum rate of $25 is no longer economically viable for them as retailers. The CRTC said given the high inflation rates currently being experienced, the need to maintain the $25 price cap is greater than ever. Read more here.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has released two decisions upholding viewer complaints about incomplete and inaccurate information broadcast on CTV investigative program, W5, and CFRA Ottawa talk show, The Vassy Kapelos Show. In both cases, the CBSC determined the broadcaster had not provided a full, fair and accurate presentation of facts, and had not corrected the errors, contrary to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics and Radio Television Digital News Association of Canada’s (RTDNA) Code of Journalistic Ethics. Read more here.
Stephanie Villella, the CTV Kitchener reporter struck by a vehicle earlier this year while on assignment, has filed a $15.7 million suit. Villella is seeking restitution from the 92-year-old driver who hit her, Guelph Police Department, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and the Province of Ontario alleging Guelph PD failed to properly secure the road and direct traffic. The suit argues that the province and OPP are liable for the officer’s negligence. The statement of claim says Villella’s injuries include a severe traumatic brain injury, facial fractures and lacerations.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) J-Talks Live series kicks off the 2023/24 season on Sept. 20 (1 p.m. ET) with an exploration of the Online News Act’s impact on journalism and Canadian democracy. The virtual event will bring together experts in law, governance and journalism to discuss the context surrounding the controversial legislation and share insights into its implications for media organizations, innovators and consumers. The virtual discussion features University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist; Le Devoir publisher Brian Myles; digital innovator Tai Huynh, the founding editor-in-chief and publisher of The Local; Natalie Campbell, senior director of North American government and regulatory affairs at The Internet Society and Winnipeg Free Press editor Paul Samyn. Register free here.
— Liane Kotler is on Strike (@LianeKotler) September 5, 2023
Canadian Media Guild (CMG) members led this year’s Toronto and York Region Labour Day Parade in a show of solidarity for members on strike at TVO. About 74 journalists, producers and education workers at TVO have been on the picket line since Aug. 21. The Canadian Media Guild, Local 30213 of CWA-Canada, represents over 5,000 members across Canada, including employees at CBC/Radio-Canada, The Canadian Press and Pagemasters North America, Thomson Reuters, APTN, Buzzfeed, Islington Printing, TVO, TFO, Vice Media, ZoomerMedia, Canada’s National Observer, AFP and CKOF.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
ADVERTORIAL: Dielectric has taken part in its share of RF installations at iconic transmission sites, from atop Mount Wilson in Los Angeles to One World Trade Center in New York City. The latter is of course also home to the Empire State Building, which today hosts 18 FM and five TV stations on its multi-station master antenna system. Dielectric recently installed an antenna system to support transmission for WEDW-DT, part of the Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) PBS member network that now has improved reach into the coveted New York City television market. It’s a project that included its own unique challenges from initial design through final corrections and commissioning, and now has WEDW radiating through a much broader population. Read more here.
Vizrt and NewTek are joining forces under the Vizrt banner. Since the acquisition of NewTek by Vizrt in 2019, the organizations have focused on their respective broadcast and pro AV markets, largely operating separately under the umbrella of Vizrt Group. However, the company says with the markets of broadcast and pro AV now converging, the needs of customers and end users are changing. Vizrt and NewTek have been working to unify and grow their customer service, support, university, R&D, and product teams, giving all partners access to the entire portfolio. Vizrt says it will also extend its product portfolio and launch a new entry-level video production system for streamers and content creators, and new cloud live production systems. NDI will remain a standalone brand, but supported by Vizrt as a key partner. Vizrt is still owned privately by Nordic Capital, and its board and leadership team remain unchanged.