The Weekly Briefing

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REVOLVING DOOR:

George Lagogianes

George Lagogianes, co-host of CP24 BREAKFAST, has announced his retirement. Lagogianes, whose 36-year broadcast career has included stops at MuchMusic, Citytv, and CBC, will sign off from CP24 on Dec. 29. Originally from Owen Sound, Lagogianes got his start in the business as a personal assistant with CTV Sports during the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. He went on to co-host Electric Circus and report and VJ for MuchMusic, before joining Bravo where he anchored Bravo News and hosted series like Arts & Minds. Lagogianes joined CityTV Toronto in 1996 as a camera operator and live-eye videographer. He went on to work briefly as a field producer and videographer with CBC before returning to Citytv as an anchor and entertainment reporter. He joined CP24 in 2007. Read more here.

David Phillips

David Phillips has officially announced his departure as President and COO of NLogic Canada. Phillips had been in his current role the last nine years and with NLogic for more than 16. Prior that, he worked as an Account Executive for BBM Canada, among other roles. Phillips hasn’t revealed where he’s headed next.

Duncan Clark

Duncan Clark has been appointed to the role of Chief Content Officer at Postmedia Network, starting Jan. 16. Clark will be responsible for Postmedia editorial operations and newsrooms across the country along with leading the company’s digital subscription strategy. He began his career as an intern at the Calgary Herald, later working at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman, The Daily News in Kamloops, and The Province in Vancouver. He joined National Post in 2006 as senior online editor, holding successive posts as Director, Innovation and Business Development, Director, Product Development and Vice President, Digital Media. Clark returns to Postmedia after spending the past eight years at St. Joseph Communications, where he was most recently Senior Vice President, Product Innovation for SJC Media.

Megan King

Megan King has left Global Kingston to join Global News’ Halifax bureau. King, who graduated from Western University in 2020 with her Master of Media in Journalism & Communication, had been working full-time as a video journalist for the last year and a half.

Alex Fuster

Alexandra Fuster has joined 980 CKNW Vancouver as a weekend reporter and anchor. Currently pursuing her Master of Journalism at UBC, Fuster previously worked part-time on CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup.

Liz Hames

Liz Hames has joined branded podcast studio, JAR Audio, as Director of Podcast Marketing. Hames arrives from Pacific Content where over the past three years she’d held roles from showrunner to Audience Development Specialist. Prior to joining Pacific Content, she worked as a producer with CBC in both Edmonton and Victoria. 

Tori Weldon

Tori Weldon has joined JAR Audio as a Senior Producer. Based in Sackville, NB, Weldon had most recently been working as a host and producer with Pacific Content for the past year. She previously was a journalist and producer with CBC New Brunswick for 14 years. 

Mark Harahan

Mark Harahan has joined SDVI as Vice President of Sales for North America, while current Sales VP Simon Adler has been promoted to Senior VP of Sales for North America. In these new roles, Adler and Harahan will lead company engagement with customers in the U.S. and Canada. Harahan has more than 25 years of experience selling into the media and entertainment industry, holding strategic sales roles with Grass Valley, Miranda Technologies, and Sony Electronics. Adler has been with SDVI since 2017, single handedly leading customer engagement and sales activity in North America. 

RADIO & PODCAST:

CRTCThe CRTC has approved an application by Gospel Media Communications (GMC) to acquire religious AM radio station CJRS Montréal from not-for-profit broadcaster Radio Shalom. GMC has been cooperating with Radio Shalom since 2017 to offer programming serving both the Jewish and Christian communities. As a result of the financial support it has provided to Radio Shalom in recent years, GMC would acquire its assets for $0. 

Northern Native Broadcasting has begun testing CJNY-FM Vancouver, branded as Journey FM. Originally approved in 2017 and then shelved due to financial challenges, the organization recently revived the project after receiving an extension from the CRTC in late November. NNB has until Aug. 31 to launch the English- and Indigenous-language Type B Native FM, but has plans to start broadcasting as early as February. 

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Numeris has released the Fall 2022 Diary ratings, covering the period from Fall 2021 to Fall 2022. David Bray offers a breakdown for Ottawa-Gatineau, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Victoria and Halifax. CBC Radio One was #1, A12+, in all of the aforementioned markets with the exception of Hamilton where Bounce 102.9 (CKLH-FM) led the way, followed by KX94.7 New Country (CHKX-FM). Read more here.

Corus Radio has announced that JUNO Award-winning and nine-time Canadian Country Music Association Award winners The Washboard Union will host their third annual “Washboard Union Christmas” on Corus country stations across Canada. Hosted by Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, David Roberts and Aaron Grain, the program will feature Dallas Smith, Meghan Patrick, and Tim and The Glory Boys, among other special guests. The two-hour radio special will air on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on Corus’ Country 105 Calgary, CISN 103.9 Edmonton and Country 104 London, in addition to Durham Radio’s KX 94.7 Hamilton and KX 96 Oshawa; Pattison Media’s QX 104 Winnipeg and 93.7 JR Country Vancouver; and all Stingray Real Country and New Country stations.

JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM) Toronto has shared its Top 25 Jazz Albums of 2022. Based on consultation with 15 knowledgeable and passionate on-air hosts who shared the releases that impressed them most this past year, the list features breakout stars including Samara Joy’s Grammy-nominated Linger Awhile and Caity Gyorgy’s JUNO-winning full-length debut Featuring. There are also promising debuts by emerging acts like Luis Deniz’s El Tinajon and The Ostara Project’s self-titled release. JAZZ.FM91’s top albums of 2022 also shines a spotlight on Canadian talent, featuring 11 recordings by domestic acts, including Neil Swainson, the Cookers Quintet, Alexis Baro, Roberto Occhipinti, and Michelle Willis, among others. 

CBC British Columbia’s Food Bank Day raised $1,874,841.43 for local food banks with donations open until the end of the month. The Dec. 2 event featured special programming throughout the day, including stories about the impact of food banks across B.C. and the many individuals that rely on them. As part of a gradual return towards in-person events, the CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre opened its doors to studio audiences for live broadcasts of local CBC Radio One programs. For 36 years, British Columbians have been donating to Food Bank Day, raising more than $17 million for food banks in B.C. since its inception in 1986. 

Evanov Communications’ Winnipeg stations held 12-hour radiothon Hope for the Holidays on Friday, Dec. 9, raising over $30,000 and hundreds of pounds of food donations. Energy 106 (CHWE-FM), HOT 100.5 (CFJL-FM), and 92.7 FM CKJS teamed up to ensure everyone in Manitoba could have a holiday celebration, broadcasting live from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Through food and cash donations, they helped prepare Harvest Hampers to help feed a record 90,000 Manitobans.

Audible has released its first Canadian holiday original, Mistletoe Murders, featuring the voice of Vancouver native Cobie Smulders, who stars as sleuth and owner of a holiday-themed store, Emily Lane, in addition to Canadian actors Raymond Ablack and Anna Cathcart. Set in the fictional Northern Ontario town of Fletcher’s Grove, the murder mystery podcast is made up of three, two-part seasonal stories and was written by writer/producer Ken Cuperus (Happy House of Frightenstein, Stargate: Atlantis).

OP-ED: Canada’s non-profit radio sector has launched a new national awareness campaign, focused on bringing direct funding to community radio stations. “Today there are more than 235 community-based stations, many operating in small town, rural Canada, and others serving populations who would never hear their voices on Canadian radio,” writes Barry Rooke, Executive Director of the National Campus & Community Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC). “The Canadian broadcasting system is based on three pillars, Community, Public, and Commercial. Unfortunately, only one of those pillars, still to this day, gets no government support at all. These stations are vital to the Canadian voice, and our proposal to the federal government for budget 2023 is aimed at addressing this imbalance.” Read more here.

LISTEN: If you’ve listened to sports radio in Alberta anytime in the last three decades, you probably know Bryn Griffiths. He joins Matt Cundill on the Sound Off Podcast to talk about his lifelong passion for sports and broadcasting, including his favourite interviews, the usual sports talk, and of course, a long chat about the current state of sports radio (and radio in general). Griffiths is currently the Director of Podcast and Audio Production at Edmonton production house, Road 55. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Daryl Stevens

Daryl Stevens, 61, suddenly on Dec. 5. Stevens started his broadcasting career while in high school, working at University of New Brunswick (UNB) campus station CFNB-FM Fredericton. He eventually joined CIHI-FM Fredericton as Music Director, the start of a more than two-decade career with Newcap Radio. He went on to become Operations Manager at Newcap in Cornerbrook, NL and then Program Director at Newcap’s stations in Sydney, NS in 2008. Stevens semi-retired in 2017 and moved back to Steeves Settlement, NB, but continued to work for Geeks Unlimited in computer service.

TV & FILM:

WIFT Toronto honoured five outstanding women at the 35th annual Crystal Awards Gala on Dec. 6. Established in 1988, the annual WIFT Toronto tribute recognizes individuals making significant contributions to Canadian screen-based media. This year’s honourees included: Christa Dickenson, President & CEO, Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC), who was honoured with the Special Jury Award of Distinction; Jocelyn Hamilton, President, Television, Canada, Entertainment One (Outstanding Achievement in Business); Sarah Polley, Filmmaker/Author (Creative Excellence Award); Ramona Pringle, Director, Creative Innovation Studio (Digital Trailblazer Award); and Frances-Anne Solomon, Founder & CEO, CaribbeanTales Media Group (Mentorship Award).

The 2023 Leo Awards are now open for submissions, recognizing film and television content produced in British Columbia. Qualifying programs must have been completed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022. Learn more here.

 

 

Crave has announced a long-term, exclusive Pay-One window licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) that will see the streamer become home to a library of content that includes the Spider-Man, Jumanji and Ghostbusters franchises. The deal gives Bell Media-owned Crave first pay window rights to new and upcoming SPE titles in Canada following their theatrical and home entertainment windows. Starting in April, Crave will become the exclusive Canadian streaming home of all new SPE feature films, including upcoming titles from the Sony Pictures’ Marvel universe like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Kraven the Hunter, and Madame Web. Along with new installments of the Insidious and The Equalizer franchises, other original films include No Hard Feelings and Gran Turismo, among others. Read more here.

Major League Soccer (MLS) has announced new four-year linear television agreements in the U.S. and Canada: FOX Sports (FOX/FS1/FOX Deportes) and TelevisaUnivision (Univision/UNIMÁS/TUDN) in the U.S., and TSN and RDS in Canada. MLS say the new linear agreements complement its 10-year partnership with Apple starting next year that will feature MLS Season Pass and provide fans with an unprecedented broadcast package. The four-year television agreements are strategically designed to run through 2026 when the FIFA World Cup will be hosted by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In Canada, TSN and RDS will have an extensive schedule of regular season matches – with at least one match per week featuring a Canadian team – along with eight playoff matches and MLS Cup every year.

Global has announced its winter 2023 programming lineup, which includes hotly-anticipated new series, Accused. Created by Emmy-winning producer Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24), the 15-episode crime anthology thriller debuts Sunday, Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, then moves to its regular time period beginning Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. From Sony Pictures Television, Accused stars Michael Chiklis, Abigail Breslin, Whitney Cummings, Margo Martindale, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Wendell Pierce, Rachel Bilson, Jack Davenport, Molly Parker, and directors Billy Porter, Marlee Matlin, Tazbah Chavez and Chiklis. New seasons of Global fan-favourites also return this winter including Season 2 of Fantasy Island premiering Jan. 2, while the Blacklist returns for a landmark 10th season on Feb. 26.

ICE-BREAKER – The ‘72 Summit Series from Robbie Hart of Montreal’s Adobe Productions and Peter Raymont of White Pine Pictures in Toronto is set to make its English Canadian broadcast premiere on Dec. 27 on Super Channel Fuse and On Demand the same day. The film is based in-part on former diplomat and author Gary J. Smith’s behind-the-scenes book, Ice War Diplomat: Hockey Meets Cold War Politics at the 1972 Summit Series. Wayne Gretzky, Ron Maclean, Margaret Trudeau, Harnarayan Singh, Angela James, Daniele Sauvageau, and Terry Mosher, among others, bring their perspectives to the film.

discovery+ is now available on Prime Video in Canada. Subscribers can now access a comprehensive library of 60,000+ episodes of original series and content, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Magnolia Network, along with more than 200 discovery+ original titles. The service also features non-fiction content from A&E, The HISTORY Channel and Lifetime. The ad-free version of discovery+ is available on Prime Video for $6.99 CAD per month.

STACKTV, Corus Entertainment’s multi-channel streaming service, is expanding with three new channels from Disney: Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. STACKTV is currently available to Amazon Prime Video subscribers, Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite Streaming customers, in addition to FuboTV customers. 

Stingray’s new Karaoke app is now available on all Samsung Smart TVs worldwide, giving users access to over 70,000 licensed songs to sing along to across pop, rock, country, R&B, hip-hop, and Disney, among other genres. Browseable by title, artist, lyrics, or genre in more than 25 languages, the app also includes skipping, rewinding, and fast-forwarding features, turning background videos on or off, and singing along with or without lead vocals. 

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a report on media and technology usage by Canada’s Indigenous population (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit). Encompassing survey participation in Cree and Inuktitut, in addition to English and French, key findings from the Indigenous Peoples and Media Technology report include that Indigenous Peoples are more likely to own internet-connected TV sets, game consoles, and smart speakers. However, their adoption of other technologies such as smartphones, tablets or computers/laptops remains similar to the general population. Subscription video on demand (SVOD) services are more common among Indigenous Peoples. Just under nine in 10 Indigenous Peoples subscribe to an SVOD service, compared to 78% of the general population. Past month social media usage is also higher among Indigenous Peoples, driven largely by higher use of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and SnapChat. While many have a home internet connection, just over a quarter of those living in the North report that their ability to access content is “always” or “often” affected by the quality of their home internet service.

Network Media Group and Network Entertainment have launched the previously announced Legends NFT project in partnership with Hockey Hall of Fame. Launching in concert with Network’s 10-part documentary series Legends of Hockey: Greatness Calling 2000-2020, created in collaboration with Hockey Hall of Fame, episode one of the series premiered on TSN on Nov. 14 with new episodes to be released weekly until February. The Legends project was originally inspired by Network Entertainment Founder and CEO Derik Murray’s five-part 1997 docuseries Legends of Hockey, which was followed by Legends of Hockey: The Second Season. Legends of Hockey: Greatness Calling 2000-2020 is the third installment of the award-winning series. To kick off the Legends NFT project, fans can redeem a Greatness Calling NFT for free. This first NFT unlocks access to Hockey Hall of Fame’s digital companion book to the Legends of Hockey: Greatness Calling 2000-2020 TV series.

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FEATURE: You have probably heard the buzz by now around ChatGPT, the OpenAI model giving us a glimpse into how everything from copywriting to coding will be revolutionized by artificial intelligence. While various AI models have been around for awhile, what sets ChatGPT apart is its ability to write at a college level – not just for grammar, vocabulary and punctuation, but style – in mere seconds, boosting concerns that the technological leap could spell the beginning of the end for a myriad of jobs in the creative and knowledge economies, including journalism. What might the impact of ChatGPT and other AI models on the Canadian media industry look like? We put that question to the application as well as Dr. Lili Mou, Canada CIFAR (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) AI Chair at Amii (Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. Read more here.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications has completed its review of Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act. Among recent amendments are a provision that would prohibit CBC from publishing sponsored content; an age verification requirement to access certain content; and an added amendment aimed at scoping out user content from CRTC regulation. As Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, covered in a recent blog post, the question now is whether the House will accept those changes or vote to remove some amendments and send the bill back to the Senate yet again. Meanwhile, the House has approved Bill C-18, the Online News Act, in its last act before breaking for the holidays, which is now off to the Senate.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has released a lengthy decision concerning an episode of Happy Days broadcast on CHCH-TV Hamilton, finding that while “outdated” it did not violate broadcast codes. The episode of the American sitcom in question – which originally aired in 1974 but was set in the 1950s – was Episode 1 of Season 1 entitled “All the Way.” A viewer complained that the episode contained “extremely sexist” and racist content and was demeaning to women. The complainant also took issue with several jokes, including one suggesting that if an “Eskimo” ever became president, he would throw a snowball to start the World Series. The panel found no breaches of any of the broadcast codes, but acknowledged the difficulty in applying modern standards to retro programming. While agreeing the portrayal of women could be considered sexist, it found nothing that rose to the level of a code breach. Read more here.

Corus Entertainment has released its first-ever Sustainability Report, which outlines the company’s approach to implement Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. Centred on the three pillars: People, Planet and Responsibility, it outlines both progress made to-date as well as a series of foundational goals. The report also publicly discloses the company’s workplace diversity, including that 48% of all employees identify as women and 21% as a visible minority. At the executive level that translates to 33% and 11%, respectively, with the Corus board of directors now comprised of 42% women and 17% racially diverse individuals. A number of the company diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives outlined in the report speak directly to the findings of its 2020 diversity review, including a lack of intercultural awareness by some managers and too few accountability measures to ensure diversity and inclusion goals were being met. Read more here.

CBC/Radio-Canada’s new Environmental Sustainability Report, the first since the launch of its Greening Our Story strategy, includes reductions in carbon emissions, energy and water consumption. The report covers key initiatives from April 2021 to March 2022, underscoring the “heightened priority” the public broadcaster has placed on reducing its environmental footprint. Among the report’s highlights are an 11% reduction in carbon emissions; energy and water consumption reductions of 10.5% and 11% respectively. Fuel-efficient or alternative-energy vehicles now make up 27% of CBC/Radio-Canada’s vehicle fleet.

The CRTC has refused a request by TELUS to introduce a processing fee in Alberta and B.C. on payments made by credit card. The request only applied to services that are regulated by the CRTC, which are generally home telephone services in certain smaller communities. TELUS began to charge a 1.5% fee to clients paying by credit card on Oct. 17 in areas where services are not regulated by the commission. The commission says while TELUS didn’t need its approval to add the surcharge to its unregulated services, the practice goes against affordability and consumer interest. The CRTC says its decision sends a clear message to telecommunications service providers thinking of imposing such a fee on their customers and should the practice continue, it will explore all available regulatory options.

RTDNA Canada Awards are now open for submissions. Recognizing the best in audio, digital, and video journalism first published in 2022, among the revised categories are a new VJ Award, open to both Regional and National entries. Final entry deadline is Monday, Jan. 30. You must be an RTDNA Canada member to enter. 

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is now accepting entries for its 2023 awards and fellowships, including the newly-launched Edward Burtynsky Award for Climate Photojournalism, open to professional Canadian photojournalists employed by Canadian news outlets or freelancing for a Canadian news organization. The deadline for all awards submissions is Jan. 20. CJF has also announced another Black Journalism Fellowship, this one in partnership with The Globe and Mail and the fifth in the program, launched to amplify Black voices, improve coverage of Black issues in the news and cultivate future Black media leaders. The fellowship will provide a unique opportunity for an early-career Black journalist to be hosted for six months at the Globe and Mail’s Toronto newsroom. 

Hannah Mondiwa

The Jack Webster Foundation has announced its 2022 BIPOC Student Journalism Award recipients. The 2022 awards, supported by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, will see $2,000 each issued to BCIT journalism student Tchadas Leo and Langara College student Hannah Mondiwa. The BIPOC Student Journalism Awards, along with the Student/Indigenous Student Journalism Awards, are presented each year in order to support the next generation of journalists in British Columbia.

Residents of Chuhuiv stand in an apartment that has been severely damaged by a Russian bombardment. Following the beginning of Russian military action overnight. Chuhuiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022. (Photo by Justin Yau/Sipa USA/Alamy)

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