The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) held its 2018 WAB Gold Medal Awards Gala on June 7 at the Fairmont Banff Springs

The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) held its 2018 WAB Gold Medal Awards Gala on June 7 at the Fairmont Banff Springs.

2018 WAB Gold Medal Awards for Community Service:

Radio:
(Under 150,000 Market)
Fabmar Communications100 CJVR & CK750 Melfort
Melfort Hospital Radiothon

(Market 150,000 and Over)
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group – QX104 Winnipeg
Slo-Pitch 4 A Wish

Television:
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group – CHAT TV Medicine Hat
Different Is Good

Digital:
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group – larongeNOW
Voice for the North

2018 WAB Leader of Tomorrow:
Bradley Karp, Rogers Media – Country 93.3 Fort McMurray

2018 WAB Hall of Fame Inductees:
Joanne Johnson, Newcap Radio – XL 103 Calgary (Retired)
Bob Layton, Corus Entertainment – 630 CHED Edmonton

The WAB also recognized new Broadcast Order of Achievement recipients celebrating 25 years of achievement in Canadian broadcasting. Recognized in this year’s Quarter Century Club: Doug Anderson (Golden West), Bob Brown (Golden West), Dan Fisico (Corus), Bryn James (Pattison), Tim Morris (Pattison), Darrell Novakovski (Golden West), Heidi Rasmussen (Pattison), Henry Sawatzky (Golden West), Kevin Watson (Pattison), Brent Young (Pattison) and Jim Zaiachkowski (Fabmar).

Thursday evening’s awards gala capped the 84th Annual WAB Conference. If there was an underlying theme this year, it’s that the broadcasting sector is continuing to be called upon to innovate to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour. From opening presenter David Allison, whose Valuegraphics methodology argues that values now trump age demographics, to the Numeris presentation outlining the recruitment challenges that led to no Spring 2018 measurement in six TV and 10 radio markets (blamed in part on the transition to mobile phones and transient workforce populations), the message was that the way business is being done today has to change. That was balanced by affirmation from CBC host Terry O’Reilly that radio is still the ultimate medium to tell stories and ignite emotion, while CRTC vice-chair Caroline Simard gave a nod to prairie stations for their ability to connect with audiences in times of crisis and catastrophe. As Simard put it “I’m confident that Canada’s broadcast industry will meet digital challenges the same way it met similar challenges in the past: each group fulfills its role and all groups cooperate strategically.”

Mike Bullard, Cynthia Mulligan, Avery Haines

Mike Bullard has pleaded guilty to making annoying phone calls to ex-girlfriend and CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan, in addition to twice breaching conditions of his release. A judge has accepted a joint submission for a conditional discharge and six months probation, which means the former standup comedian, 60, won’t have a criminal record. Bullard, the former host of Beyond the Mic with Mike Bullard on NewsTalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto, was fired by Bell Media in 2016 following the allegations. Read Mulligan’s victim impact statement, as posted by friend and City reporter Avery Haines, here.

Howie Mandel

Bell Media and Groupe CH are joining ICM Partners and Howie Mandel in the acquisition of Groupe Juste pour rire, which produces Montréal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival and numerous TV and live productions. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Readthecode.ca has been launched as a resource for members of the Canadian Creative Industries to prevent harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence. In addition to the new industry-wide Code of Conduct, the website houses a list of code signatories and their contact information, additional resources including downloadable, printable versions of the code (in both English and French), and updates from two working groups on their progress. The Education, Training and Awareness Committee is producing multi-level, industry-wide education and training programs, while the Reporting Committee is creating safer and more effective reporting mechanisms.

The Government of Canada is investing $12.6 million to bring access to high-speed or faster Internet to 30 rural communities and up to 163 institutions in Saskatchewan. Of the $21.6 million being invested, $12.6 million will come from the federal Connect to Innovate program and $9 million provided by the applicants. SaskTel will receive $6.63 million to provide 16 rural communities (Admiral, Abbey, Brock, Cabri, Climax, Denzil, Eston, Gull Lake, Kelvington, Kipling, Kyle, Milestone, Netherhill, Richmound, Southey and Vibank) and up to 129 institutions with new or increased capacity to access high-speed Internet; while FlexNetworks will receive $5.95 million to service 14 communities (Balone Beach, Berard Beach, Blumenheim, Blumenthal, Crystal Springs,Domremy Beach, Greenfeld, Hagen, Gruenthal, Neuhorst, Nikorick Beach, Riversedge, Tway and Wakaw Lake) and up to 34 institutions.

ENVI, a new community-owned high speed internet provider, has launched in the Town of Newmarket, ON. ENVI is a standalone subsidiary of Newmarket Hydro Holdings Inc. (NHHI) and Tay Hydro Inc. (THI). Initially, Envi will focus on providing service to the business sector. Newmarket has been working on a broadband strategy since 2014 as a key pillar of its Economic Development Strategy.

The Eastern Ontario Regional Broadband Network (EORN) is currently seeking applications from the public to serve on its board of directors. Qualified candidates with public or private sector expertise in finance, law, and/or technology are being sought to fill an immediate short-term vacancy with an option to renew for a two-year term in Jan. 2019. Those interested in this volunteer position should visit eorn.ca.

Stingray Digital Group is reporting net income of nearly $4.7 million in Q4, up from $4.6 million in the same period last year. The Montreal-based company says profit amounted to eight cents per share, down from nine cents a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter ended Mar. 31 was $33 million, up 24.7 per cent from a year earlier, primarily due to several acquisitions including Yokee Music Limited, Qello Concerts, Satellite Music Australia PTY Ltd. and SBA Music PTY Ltd., combined with organic growth of SVOD services in the U.S. Subsequent to the quarter, Stingray announced plans to acquire Newcap Radio parent Newfoundland Capital Corporation Ltd.

The Globe and Mail has won the 2017 Michener Award for its series Unfounded, a massive investigation into the systematic mismanagement of sexual assault cases by Canadian police forces. The revelations led to the reopening of more than 400 sexual assault cases, changes in police policy and practices, and $100 million to combat gender-based violence. Michener Citations of Merit were also presented to CBC Edmonton, Cogeco Media, Global News, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, and Vancouver Sun. The Michener Award annually recognizes outstanding and unbiased public service in journalism. Read more here.

Driving Television and TSN’s Motoring TV are among those who’ll take part in the 7th annual EcoRun, hosted by The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). This year’s event will be held June 21 in New Brunswick with 20 reporters from across Canada participating in the fuel-efficient driving event which showcases the latest eco-friendly vehicles.