Bill Evanov, 77, on Feb. 28. The son of Bulgarian immigrants, the Evanov Radio Group and Dufferin Communications President and CEO started his radio career in 1967 when CHIN-FM Toronto owner Johnny Lombardi gave him a shot at a sales position. He moved quickly through the ranks of the multicultural station to become VP of sales within 18 months and went on to spend 13 years with the company. In 1980, he left for CING-FM Burlington as station manager. Facing financial difficulties, Evanov and CHIN colleague John Dukelow convinced ownership that they could turn the station’s fortunes around, in exchange for a 35% stake. While still managing CHIN, Evanov was among a group of people who purchased a partial ownership in CKMW-AM, on the basis that it would adopt a multi-language, ethnic licence, similar to CHIN. CKMW became CIAO, the first in what would grow to 19 stations under his purview. Evanov’s legacy includes the launch of several risk-taking formats. PROUD FM (CIRR-FM) Toronto went to air in 2007 as the world’s first LGBTQ radio station. Evanov was also behind the Rhythmic CHR sound of Z103.5 (CIDC-FM), the company’s flagship station, in addition to The Jewel Adult Contemporary format which is now heard on eight stations across the country. Evanov was presented with the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 at Canadian Music Week. Read more here. Former ERG consultant and CHUM Radio VP Duff Roman has also penned a tribute to Evanov, you can find here.
Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News, is stepping down as the public broadcaster reorganizes. McGuire had been in the role since 2009 and oversaw the integration of the broadcaster’s television, radio and digital news operations, among other major initiatives. McGuire started her career with CBC Radio Ottawa as an associate producer, holding other producer roles over the years with CBC Newsworld, and serving as executive producer of CBC Radio, leading the creation of shows like The Current.
Fred Mattocks has parted ways with the CBC. Mattocks has held roles with the public broadcaster from Regional Director for English TV in the Maritimes to Head of Technology, dating back to the mid-1990s. Most recently, he’d been General Manager, Local Services, CBC English Services, based in Toronto.
Simi Sara is the new host of the 980 CKNW Vancouver morning show. Mornings with Simi will officially debut Mar. 30, featuring contributor Niki Reitmayer, anchor Gord Macdonald, Global BC Chief Meteorologist Mark Madryga, and commentary from Bruce Allen, Charles Adler, Vaughn Palmer and Global BC Sports Director Squire Barnes. The show is produced by Victor Young and Greg Schott. Sara had been the station’s midday host since 2010. Read more here.
Cami Kepke is Global Calgary’s new weekend sports anchor, joining the Global News Hour at 6 Weekend and Global News at 11 Weekend teams of Jayme Doll and Jodi Hughes. Kepke has been with Global Calgary since April 2019 and previously worked at Global Regina as a digital broadcast journalist and anchor.
Kerry Powell, who had been managing editor at Global Edmonton for the last six years, has left the station. Prior to joining Global, Powell had been in various roles with the Edmonton Journal, starting in 2001.
Moira Wyton has left the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun to join independent news site The Tyee as its new health reporter, with support from the Local Journalism Initiative. Wyton had been a multimedia journalist with the Journal for the last 10 months. She was previously features editor at University of British Columbia student newspaper, The Ubyssey.
Jessie Anton has left the CJME Regina newsroom to join CBC Saskatchewan as an associate producer and reporter. Anton had been with Rawlco Radio since 2017.
Britt Prendergast has left 660 News (CFFR-AM) Calgary to join Western Hockey League franchise the Calgary Hitmen as associate digital producer. Prendergast had been a weekend and evening anchor at 660 for the last seven months. She previously was an on-air personality at EZ Rock (CFTK-AM) and Pure Country (CJFW-FM) Terrace, BC.
Alana Pickrell will be filling in for Lyndsay Aelick at CTV Northern Ontario while she’s on maternity leave. Pickrell was previously a reporter with Global Thunder Bay.
Leslie (Stein), Scooter & Jaclyn (Tatay) are no longer with Stingray’s Z95.3 (CKZZ-FM) morning show in Vancouver. A series of posts from the station Twitter account Wednesday, suggest details of a new morning show will be revealed in the coming weeks. Stein had been with the station since 2015 through various incarnations of the show, including being teamed up with Ruby Carr until her departure for 102.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM) in late 2018.
Graham Hatch has also parted ways with Stingray Vancouver. Hatch had been a host with LG104.3 (CHLG-FM) since 2014 through its rebrand to 104.3 The Breeze in Dec. 2018, most recently helming afternoon drive. Hatch has worked in Vancouver radio for over 30 years, with stints at LG73 (CHMJ-AM), Rock 101 (CFMI-FM), and Shore 104.
Leah Hextall, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, and Christine Simpson will make history Sunday, Mar. 8 when they form the first-ever all-female broadcast team for a nationally televised NHL broadcast. The Rogers Sportsnet “Hometown Hockey” broadcast is airing in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Behind the scenes, the broadcast will also be produced by a female production team live from Calgary, Toronto and Salmon Arm, BC including Hometown Hockey executive producer Alison Redmond, game producer Maria Skinner, and director Dawn Landis.
Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC forward and member of the U.S. national men’s soccer team, moonlighted as co-host for a day on TSN’s SPORTSCENTRE on Mar. 4. Altidore appeared as a co-host alongside anchor Rod Smith, reading highlight packs and interviewing guests.
Corus Entertainment has appointed three new independent members to its Board of Directors, bringing its total membership to 12. Alex Carloss is a Principal at mobile gaming, media and tech company N3TWORK Inc., and previously helped launch ViacomCBS’ Paramount Pictures digital distribution division, in addition to a stint with Google/YouTube. Stephanie Coyles is a corporate director, serving as a director of Sun Life Financial Inc., as well as Metro Inc., bringing more than 25 years of experience in advanced analytics, digital transformation and marketing across retail and consumer-facing companies. Sameer Deen is Chief Digital Officer at Univision Communications Inc. with extensive experience in digital content and corporate strategy, including nine years working with Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI).
James Durie has been appointed to the newly-created role of head of scripted for Cineflix Rights, Cineflix Media’s UK-based distribution division. Durie joins Cineflix from Miramax, where he was vice-president of sales for the EMEA region. In his new role, he’ll lead the distributor’s global strategy for sales, pre-sales, acquisitions and co-productions of scripted content.
Numeris has released the latest PPM ratings for Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton and Calgary completing the 13-week period covering Nov. 25, 2019 to Feb. 23, 2020. Find the full market-by-market breakdown, courtesy David Bray, here. In Toronto, CBC Radio One delivered a 15.5% share for A12+ (down from 15.7%). In Vancouver, CKNW grabs the #1 spot A12+ with a 14.4% share of hours tuned (up from 13.3%). 96.3 The Breeze takes #1 in Edmonton, A12+, posting a 10.2% share of hours tuned (up from 6.9 %). In Calgary, CBC Radio One leads the way for A12+ with an 8.8% (down from 9.3%). In Montreal, CHMP 98.5FM is #1 for A12+ (Franco), while CJAD 800 leads Anglo listening.
The CRTC has called a hearing for licence renewals for a number of radio stations it’s found to be repeat non-compliers. They include Montreal French-language stations CPAM 1410 (CJWI-AM) and CJMS 1040, community stations CICR-FM Parrsboro, NS and CKMN-FM Rimouski/Mont-Joli, and CKKX-FM Peace River and its transmitters. The hearing will take place in Gatineau May 12.
The CRTC has denied the renewal of station owner Matthew McBride’s licences for CKPM-FM Port Moody and CFPV-FM Pemberton, BC. In a Feb. 28 decision, the commission notes: “Given the severity and recurrence of the current instances of non-compliance; the station’s history and the licensee’s actions, which clearly demonstrate its poor understanding of its conditions of licence and regulatory obligations, or a lack of willingness to respect them; the licensee’s demonstrated inability to implement the necessary measures to ensure compliance; and its disregard for the Commission’s authority and for its responsibilities as a broadcaster, the Commission is not convinced that the imposition of conditions of licence, the imposition of a mandatory order, a suspension of the licence or a short-term licence would be effective measures. Consequently, the Commission finds that not renewing the licence is the only appropriate measure in the circumstances.” The CRTC has approved applications to change ownership and effective control of McBride’s CHMZ-FM 90.1 Tofino and CIMM-FM 99.5 Ucluelet. The commission says it will revoke the station licences July 1 if their shares are not transferred to station manager Cameron Randall Dennison by June 30.
My Broadcasting Corporation’s myFM branded stations, in addition to Classic Rock 107.9 (CHUC-FM) Cobourg, ON will play 100% female artists on Sunday, Mar. 8 to mark International Women’s Day. From 8 a.m. to noon, the stations will air a special IWD 2020 edition of the myFM Sunday Morning Music Vault. Announcers Laura Earl, Rebecca Wilkinson, Robyn Beazley and Emily Moore will continue the all-female playlist through the remainder of the day.
Jon McComb, who retired from the CKNW Vancouver morning show in December, has dropped the first episode of his new weekly podcast on Spotify. The Jon McComb Podcast will feature a look at what’s in the news and the veteran host’s “considered thoughts and opinions and interviews with ‘interesting’ people.” “These things tend to take on a life of their own after a few months so we’ll see where it goes,” McComb told Broadcast Dialogue in an email. “I wanted to retire because I was exhausted from the AM show hours…but now that I’ve rested I find I still want to be involved in the conversation around what’s happening in the world. And to tell my own story…which is filled with twists and turns.”
LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, our guest is Matt Cundill, the host of the Sound Off Podcast. Cundill also works with other podcasts under the banner of his Sound Off Media Company and is partnering with Broadcast Dialogue to help monetize our podcast going forward. If you’re a podcaster or thinking of getting into podcasting, this episode is for you. He covers lessons learned, why patience is a requirement in the podcasting biz, and the viability of making money as a podcaster.
LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill’s guest is Dave Jackson, owner/headmaster of the School of Podcasting and a support specialist at Libsyn. Jackson discusses podcasting’s evolution, radio’s entry into the podcast space, ruffled feathers following the recent Podcast Academy announcement and the value of video to podcasters.
The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards have announced this year’s lineup of honourees, headlined by Tantoo Cardinal, Catherine O’Hara and Ryan Reynolds. The awards annually recognize artists for their outstanding body of work and enduring contribution to the performing arts in Canada. Read more about this year’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award recipients, here.
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers is this year’s UBCP/ACTRA International Women’s Day honouree. Awarded annually to a UBCP/ACTRA member with a demonstrable history of giving back to the union, the industry, and causes of social justice, Tailfeathers is is a Blackfoot and Sámi actor, producer and filmmaker from the Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta. She and co-director Kathleen Hepburn received VIFF’s Best BC Film Award for The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open. Tailfeathers was also the recipient of the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award. The critically acclaimed film, largely based on Tailfeathers own experiences as an Indigenous woman, is nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture.
Sarah Polley is the 2020 ACTRA National Woman of the Year. ACTRA bestows the honour annually on an ACTRA member who excels in both her artistic and advocacy achievements. Polley is an award-winning performer, writer, director and producer whose dramatic features include Away from Her, Take This Waltz, and Stories We Tell. Her adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace for Netflix and CBC, which she executive produced, garnered six Canadian Screen Award wins including Best Screenplay, Director, Actress and Limited Series. She recently co-directed CBC Gem series, Hey Lady!, which debuted at Sundance. Polley has been a leading voice promoting ACTRA’s campaign to increase Canadian entertainment content and has participated in ACTRA’s federal election press conferences and government lobbying efforts. She was previously honoured in 2008, with the ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence.
The 2020 CAFTCAD Awards, honouring excellence in costume arts and design, were handed out Mar. 1 in Toronto. Among this year’s multiple award winners were Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events, which won for Excellence in Crafts-Illustration and Costume in TV-Sci-fi/Fantasy. The teams behind Apple+ series See also claimed two awards in the Excellence in Crafts – Western Canada – Building and Excellence in Crafts – Textiles categories. Find the full list of winners, here.
Kew Media Group is in receivership and its board of directors resigned. The news comes following an internal financial review, first announced in November, and subsequent cease trade order in January. Kew also announced Friday that Jamie Brown, CEO of Frantic Films Corporation, has entered into a share purchase agreement with the company to buy back a 100% interest in the Winnipeg-based prodco. Frantic Films had been acquired by Kew in 2017.
William F. White International Inc. (Whites) has announced its opening a second studio location in the Greater Toronto Area to meet demand for studio space, driven in part by streaming service companies. Whites Studios Cantay is set to open in Mississauga in early 2021. Paul Bronfman, company co-chair and CEO, said Whites’ existing Edwards Blvd. location is booked solid with clients requiring additional stages. Whites Studios Cantay will feature 181,000 sq. ft. of space with a 30′ clear ceiling divided between four stages, two floors of office space, two carpentry shops, two paint shops, two wardrobe areas and a lunchroom. Read more here.
Thunderbird Entertainment Group is reporting consolidated revenue for the three and six months ended Dec. 31, 2019 of $14.3 million and $31.3 million as compared to $11.6 million and $26.0 million for the comparative periods of fiscal 2019, increases of $2.7 million and $5.3 million respectively. The majority of the revenue increase is credited to growth in the kids and family division. Adjusted EBITDA was $0.8 million and $3.9 million for the three and six months ending Dec. 31, 2019 compared to $1.5 million and $5.6 million in fiscal 2019, a decrease of $0.7 million and $1.7 million, respectively. The three-month decrease was due to the timing of revenue recognition of an animation series and distribution contracts in Q2 2019 that had no comparable delivery in Q2 2020. The decrease also stemmed from increases in salaries and computer software due to significant growth in the animation and factual divisions.
TVA Group recorded operating revenues in the amount of $164.2 million in Q4 2019, a year‑over‑year increase of $13.7 million. Net income attributable to shareholders was $16.0 million for earnings of $0.37 per share, compared with net income attributable to shareholders of $9.5 million for earnings of $0.22 per share in the same quarter of 2018. Fourth quarter operating highlights include consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $33,568,000, representing a $7,667,000 (29.6%) favourable variance from the same quarter of 2018. TVA reported $21,345,000 in adjusted EBITDA in the Broadcasting segment, a $4,669,000 (28.0%) favourable variance mainly because of the acquisition of the Évasion and Zeste channels, a 24.6% increase in the adjusted EBITDA of the other specialty channels, which benefited from a favourable retroactive adjustment in subscription revenues, and a 13.5% increase in the adjusted EBITDA of the TVA Network. $7,828,000 in adjusted EBITDA was reported in the Film Production & Audiovisual Services (“MELS”) segment, a $1,846,000 (30.9%) favourable variance due to the improved profitability of all of the segment’s operations, including a 17.4% increase in adjusted EBITDA from soundstage, mobile and equipment rental, and an 81.4% decrease in negative adjusted EBITDA from visual effects. $2,198,000 in adjusted EBITDA was reported in the new Production & Distribution segment which since April 2019 includes the businesses acquired through the acquisition of the Incendo group companies.
The Media Technology Monitor (MTM) and MTM JR has released a new report on how Anglophones and Francophones of all ages are consuming and paying for television. The TV Distribution report finds that the majority of Anglophones continue to subscribe to paid TV services such as cable, satellite or fibre optic TV. However, for the first time, SVOD subscriptions like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have surpassed paid TV subscriptions, sitting at 72% and 69% respectively; Cable remains the most common type of TV service subscription in the Anglophone market, serving 33% of Anglophone households; Fibre Optic TV is most popular on the coasts and among affluent Anglophone households; One in five Anglophones are “TV My Way” users. While they do not subscribe to a TV service, they consume a large amount of TV content online.
Bell Media has struck a new multi-year media rights extension with Formula 1, ensuring that TSN and RDS will continue to be the Canadian home of F1 races through the 2024 season. Under the new agreement, TSN and RDS subscribers now have access to a series of F1 live feeds through the networks’ digital platforms, including the Multiplex player on TSN.ca and RDS.ca, and through the TSN and RDS apps. Those feeds include a pit lane channel, driver tracker, select onboard cameras, and timing channel. Bell says 2019 was the most-watched F1 season ever on TSN, with audiences growing across TSN and RDS 21% compared to 2018. Coverage across the two networks reached nearly 5.3 million Canadian viewers in 2019.
Global started principal photography and casting for its latest scripted original series Family Law this week in Vancouver. Produced by SEVEN24 Films and Lark Productions, the legal drama was created by Canadian author Susin Nielsen (Robson Arms, Cedar Cove), with Jordan Canning (Nurses, Schitt’s Creek) directing the pilot episode. Set to premiere on Global later this year, the 10-episode, one-hour drama follows a group of flawed family members who reluctantly work together at their father’s law firm in downtown Vancouver. The legal procedural stars an all-Canadian cast including Jewel Staite (Firefly), Victor Garber (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Zach Smadu (The Expanse), and Genelle Williams (The Expanse).
John Luke Kieper, a journalist at Kamloops BC Now, is among 16 houseguests cast on the new season of Big Brother Canada. Making its two-night debut, Mar. 4-5, houseguests face the challenge of an extended season lasting two extra weeks. Read more about the Season 8 houseguests, here.
CTV is rebooting Cook Life A Chef, Fridays at 8 p.m. ET, starting Mar. 6. Produced in partnership with Gusto Worldwide Media, the 20-episode, half-hour CTV Life Channel original features four new hosts including Katie Ardington, former personal chef to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and executive chef for the Beckta restaurant group; Derek Dammann, head chef of Montréal’s Maison Publique and former protégé of Jamie Oliver; Natalia Machado, Argentinian One World Kitchen host; and Craig Wong, owner of Asian-Caribbean Toronto restaurant Patois. In each episode, the expert chefs focus on a single ingredient and dive deep into cooking techniques, tips, and tricks.
Top Chef Canada’s eighth season begins April 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada. This season’s judging panel is comprised of chef and host Eden Grinshpan, chef and owner of The McEwan Group; head judge Mark McEwan; and resident judges restaurateur Janet Zuccarini, and food writers Mijune Pak and Chris Nuttall-Smith.
AMI will broadcast the 2020 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament Championship, March 27-29, and in a first will show the championship game on Sunday, Mar. 29 across AMI-tv, AMI-audio, AMI-télé, and stream live at AMI.ca. AMI-audio’s live coverage begins with the opening ceremonies Mar. 27, at 11 a.m. Eastern. The Neutral Zone’s Brock Richardson, Cam Jenkins, Bret Wills and Claire Buchanan provide pre- and post-game coverage as well as game recaps during intermissions all weekend. Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on AMI-tv and AMI-audio, Jim Van Horne and Nicco Cardarelli lead the broadcast team in English with live described play-by-play and commentary from the gold medal game. AMI-télé’s gold medal coverage will be anchored by Mike Ross and Robert Gignac.
APTN will host the 14th edition of National Indigenous Peoples Day (IDL) on June 20 in a First Nation community for the first time. The event will be broadcast live from Nova Scotia’s Membertou First Nation, in addition to Winnipeg and Whitehorse. The multi-platform broadcast will air on APTN from 7:30 p.m.–12 a.m. ET. This year, IDL will also commemorate Manitoba’s 150th anniversary, paying tribute to the Métis founders of Manitoba and the First Nations Peoples who originally inhabited the province prior to European settlement.
Corus Entertainment has unveiled its new Global TV App, billed as an “all-in-one streaming experience.” The app is being offered to users in two tiers: a free tier that will allow anyone access to Global News’ local and national news feeds, in addition to a limited selection of series from Global primetime, Food Network Canada and HGTV Canada; and a cable subscriber tier that will allow viewers to sign in with their provider credentials and feature both full seasons and live streams from the aforementioned networks, in addition to any Corus specialty networks included in their cable package like W Network, HISTORY, Showcase, and Slice. Corus says National Geographic and Adult Swim will also join the app’s list of offerings shortly. Read more here.
CBC/Radio-Canada will host live streaming coverage of the Canadian wheelchair rugby team’s quest to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Mar. 4-8, as part of the Paralympic Super Series. Taking place at the Richmond Oval in Richmond, BC, seven teams are competing in the last chance qualifier with the top two finishers earning their ticket to Tokyo. Viewers will be able to follow the action on CBC Gem, cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app, and CPC Facebook page, as well as the Radio-Canada Sports app and radio-canada.ca/sports. Paralympian Benoît Huot will be in Richmond as the CPC’s onsite reporter, to provide additional content including interviews with athletes.
DAZN has announced its expansion into more than 200 countries and territories. To date, the sports streaming service has debuted in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. The DAZN app will be made available globally on most internet-connected devices, in addition to smart TVs, streaming sticks and game consoles, with pricing by market to be announced in the coming weeks. DAZN says its first global event will be Mexican fighter Canelo Alvarez’s soon-to-be-announced bout during Cinco de Mayo Weekend, May 2, as part of an initial English-language expansion focused on boxing. Fighters like Alvarez and Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin will be part of a year-round portfolio of premium fights and original programming on the new service.
Media Central Corporation has announced it’s closed its acquisition of Vancouver Free Press Corp., which owns and operates Vancouver alt weekly the Georgia Straight. The Straight is now the third brand under the MediaCentral banner of print and digital media properties. The company acquired Toronto’s NOW Magazine and nowtoronto.com in Nov. 2019, following the launch of its own cannabis digital platform CannCentral.com.
Media Central Corporation has also announced that NOW magazine has entered into a contract with Gateway Direct Media to distribute 15,000 copies of its weekly print editions at 75 Gateway locations at TTC and GO Transit terminals. The first issues will be available to public transit commuters Mar. 12. As part of its return to the TTC, NOW will be increasing public transportation news, including a weekly public transit column written by Steve Munro every Monday morning online at nowtoronto.com.
SAIT’s Broadcast Systems Technology (BSXT) program, the last broadcast engineering course of its kind left in the country, is set to fall under provincial budget cuts. The Calgary post-secondary college announced Friday that 230 positions will be eliminated. SAIT spokesperson Chris Gerritsen confirmed to Broadcast Dialogue that BSXT is one of the programs SAIT currently does not plan to re-offer, citing low enrolment. The news has created shockwaves through the broadcast engineering community as the program was a primary source of new talent for broadcast technician positions across the country, supplying radio and television stations, film and video production companies, manufacturers, and the live events industry. Graduating its first class of Broadcast Technologists in 1969, the two-year program celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 by moving into a new state-of-the-art, digital TV and radio lab. Clint Hollinger, president, Western Association of Broadcast Engineers (WABE), told Broadcast Dialogue that conversations are continuing with SAIT on how the industry can be served. Meantime, a grassroots effort is underway by the engineering community to lobby SAIT President David Ross and the SAIT Board of Governors to reconsider the decision. Read more here.
CBC/Radio-Canada has issued its financial update for the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019. Revenue during the quarter increased by 3.4%, driven by growth in digital advertising and higher content sales. The public broadcaster says both advertising and subscription revenue from traditional platforms remained challenged. Operating expenses were consistent with the third quarter of last year, decreasing by 0.3%.
Subway has been ordered to pay the CBC $500,000 in legal costs following a failed bid to sue the public broadcaster for defamation over a 2017 Marketplace report that focused on how much chicken was in its chicken sandwiches. Subway’s suit sought $210 million in damages. Due to a vigorous legal effort on the part of the fast food chain, CBC rang up $800,000 in legal fees. In addition to the $500K award, Subway will have to pay the public broadcaster $178,000 in fees and disbursements.
Rogers has quietly rebranded its Media division as Rogers Sports & Media. The new logo started appearing on Rogers’ web properties on Feb. 13. Andrea Goldstein, Senior Director of Communications, says the new name “more accurately reflects our mix of assets with an accompanying logo that is a modern-day representation of our business.”
Xplornet Communications Inc. has announced it’s being acquired by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a New York-headquartered private equity firm focused in infrastructure. Stonepeak has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Xplornet, with current Chairman of the Board Steve Weed, and his fund WaveDivision Capital, remaining material investors. Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the coming months. With over $17 billion USD under its purview, Stonepeak has a track record of investment in global telecommunication businesses. President & CEO Allison Lenehan and Xplornet’s current executive team will continue to lead the company, which will remain headquartered in New Brunswick. Read more here.
Ericsson and Carleton University have announced a new multi-year partnership to advance development of programs for engineers and computer scientists going into the wireless communications industry and generate state-of-the-art research in the field. The Ericsson-Carleton University Partnership for Research and Leadership in Wireless Networks will fund research projects, graduate student internships, an Ericsson fellowship program and experiential learning opportunities for Computer Science and Engineering students. It will also establish a new center of excellence and associated laboratories for 5G wireless networks research in Carleton’s new ARISE building.
Bell MTS has announced it’s investing approximately $400 million to bring faster internet technology to Winnipeg, with direct fibre connections to approximately 275,000 homes and commercial locations throughout the city. Fully funded by Bell, the fibre project will offer Winnipeggers access to Bell MTS services such as Gigabit Fibe Internet, Whole Home Wi-Fi and Fibe TV. Bell MTS estimates the project will create more than 1,100 direct and indirect jobs in Winnipeg and other Manitoba locations. It’s partnering with a wide range of suppliers to roll out the expansion, including ACME Technical Services, Aecon, Central Telecom, Crown Pipeline, Mobia Technology Innovations, WP Teletronics and Valard.
TekSavvy Solutions and its affiliate cable company Hastings Cable Vision Limited have launched IPTV service, TekSavvy TV, in selected regions in Quebec. Offering customers Cloud PVR service, access to selected programming GO apps, video on demand, and over 150 HD channels, TekSavvy TV is currently available as an app on select Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV devices. TekSavvy TV requires a TekSavvy residential Internet subscription with a minimum download speed of 15 Mbps.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University, News Media Canada, and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression have bestowed their 2019 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the category of law enforcement to the police forces in Sudbury, Windsor, Peterborough, Longueuil, Quebec City, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, and the Ontario Provincial Police. Following a deadly shooting in Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood, a national debate began around the issue of banning handguns. The Globe and Mail decided to find out where the guns in Canadian crime came from by submitting access to information requests to 36 police forces across Canada. Of those forces, most did not collect any kind of information on where their crime guns came from. Three forces that did (Peterborough, Windsor, and Sudbury) indicated that there would be significant fees for their data with one coming back with an estimate of $24,460. Four other police forces (OPP, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Quebec City, and Longueuil) flatly refused to release any information. The refusal of the OPP was especially concerning as it maintains the Firearms Tracing and Enforcement database (FATE), which logs the results of all trace requests by police services in Ontario.
Nam Kiwanuka is the winner of this year’s Ryerson University Angela James Alumni Award. The university’s annual Viola Desmond Awards recognize the contributions of outstanding Black Canadian women from Ryerson and the greater Toronto community. Kiwanuka is a former MuchMusic VJ, who has been with TVO since 2015 as a reporter and fill-in anchor on The Agenda.
The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) 2020 biennial convention will be held in Toronto, May 29-31, where members from across the country from more than a dozen media companies (incl. APTN, The Canadian Press, CBC/Radio-Canada, Thomson Reuters, TFO, TVO, Vice, ZoomerMedia, CBC/Radio-Canada Freelance Branch) gather to review union priorities and set CMG’s direction for the next two years. To be a candidate in the delegate elections, members are asked to submit their names to their Location Unit or Branch. Each Location Unit or Branch may also send additional non-voting delegates (observers).
BROADCAST TECH NEWS:
Bell Media and Veritone have entered into a multi-year agreement to bring Veritone’s content and ad intelligence solutions, Veritone Essentials and Veritone Attribute, to nearly 40 of Bell Media’s top-performing radio and television stations in a dozen markets. Dean Rutherford, VP, National Radio Sales, Bell Media, says the partnership will bring real-time campaign optimization abilities, along with attribution and effectiveness metrics to radio advertising. “We are now able to see campaigns as they air, including pre-produced, live, and in-show executions. This allows us to provide up-to-the-minute analytics with a new level of transparency, enabling our local and national advertising partners and sponsors to better measure campaign effectiveness and return on investment,” added Rutherford. Advertising attribution analytics will be made available to Bell Media’s sales and insights teams through Veritone Attribute, an app that correlates ads to the advertiser’s web traffic within a select time frame. Data insights will allow advertisers to optimize campaign performance based on placement, creative type and length, geographic response, daypart analysis, and new user lift.
LISTEN: This special vendor spotlight is sponsored by Modulation Index and Audio Broadcast Canada. In this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, David and Jane Rusch of Audio Broadcast Canada are joined by Greg Ogonowski, president of Modulation Index and co-developer of OPtimod PCN 1600 streaming audio processing software. They cover how broadcasters can improve their streaming situation in the quickly evolving digital audio technology landscape.
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