Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Katie Wilson

Katie Wilson has joined WildBrain Television as Vice President, Channels and Curation. In the newly-created position, she’ll be responsible for curating content and providing editorial direction across Family Channel, Family CHRGD, Family Jr. and Télémagino and their multiplatform/VOD extensions. Wilson joins WildBrain following six years as Director of Programming, Kids, at Corus Entertainment. Based in Toronto, she’ll report to Deirdre Brennan, EVP of Content Partnerships.

Justine Whyte

Justine Whyte, Executive Producer and Director, CFC Features is leaving the Canadian Film Centre. After overseeing the Features program for close to three decades, Whyte is moving on to other opportunities. Part of the program since its inception in 1992, Whyte has worked with over 100 directors, writers and producers and overseen the business and creative development of more than 50 projects, in addition to production, marketing and distribution of 25 theatrical feature films.

Jon Crossland

Jon Crossland has joined SDS as Vice President, Sales. Crossland was most recently Senior Sales Manager at WideOrbit for 13 years. Before that, he spent 12 years as a Regional Sales Manager with CBSI-Wicks Broadcast Solutions-Marketron. His experience also includes 17 years in radio station management, including Sales Manager at the Entercom stations in Seattle.

Sophie Brochu

Sophie Brochu will not seek re-election to the board of directors at BCE’s 2020 annual general shareholder meeting, following her appointment as President and CEO of Hydro-Québec, effective Apr. 6. Brochu has been a Director of BCE and Bell Canada since 2010 and currently serves on the Compensation and Governance committees. She’ll remain a Director until the BCE 2020 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, which will be held live via webcast May 7. With Brochu not standing for re-election, 14 directors will be nominated for election at the meeting.

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

Radio Connects has released COVID-19 Insights, an analysis of radio listening in the five PPM markets, that indicates at home tuning of AM/FM radio increased 29% between Feb. 24 and Mar. 30. Radio Connects found that the medium experienced less than a 5% drop in weekly reach with Adults 25-54 from Jan. 2020. Despite disruption to regular routines and less time spent commuting, time spent listening increased 1.2%. Overall, Canadians 12+ spent 7.90 hours per week with AM/FM radio in March vs. 7.58 hours a week in Jan. 2020. Not surprisingly, News and News/Talk formats are experiencing the biggest gains, with News/Talk, excluding CBC, up 13% and All News stations gaining a 6% lift in listening over the last three weeks, compared to late February and early March. Read more here.

Stingray

Stingray Radio has temporarily laid off just under 90 employees nationwide due to what Steve Jones, SVP Brands & Content, Radio, describes as a “sudden and dramatic drop in advertising.” Jones said the layoffs primarily impact employees that given social distancing measures and the downturn in ad revenue, no longer have work to do. “The positions impacted include some copywriters, admin, reception, promotions staff, and others who cannot do their jobs in this climate,” Jones told Broadcast Dialogue, adding that impacted employees are receiving top-up provisions and will continue on the company benefit plan. Additionally, Stingray staff worldwide have accepted a temporary wage rollback that amounts to 10% for the majority of employees and 75% for CEO Eric Boyko. Read more here.

Rogers has launched Operation Support Local across its radio stations – a hub showcasing local businesses on the station websites across the KiSS, Sportsnet, JACK, SONiC, ROCK, Country, Mountain FM, and green brand news radio stations. Listeners can explore the hub to see which local businesses are still serving customers and help them stay open by shopping online, ordering food delivery, or purchasing a gift card.

Torres Media-owned Real Rock Rebel 101.7  (CIDG-FM) Ottawa is offering e-commerce support for local businesses and radio ads to drive people to those websites at no charge while the COVID-19 crisis exists. The offer is available through May 2020. 

 

Rawlco Radio raised $1,614,755 during its A Day of Caring fundraiser Mar. 31 for the Saskatoon and Regina Foodbanks. The fundraiser aired on all six Rawlco radio stations in Saskatchewan, including C95 (CFMC-FM), Rock 102 (CJDJ-FM), and 650 CKOM in Saskatoon, and Z99 (CIZL-FM), Jack 94.5 (CKCK-FM) and 980 CJME in Regina.

Cruise, Britt, & Katie

Virgin Radio Edmonton’s Virgin Morning Show with Cruise, Britt and Katie recently launched online donation drive, Feed Your Friends, for the Edmonton Food Bank which has received support from several celebrities, including actor Ryan Reynolds. Responding to a tweet from the station, Reynolds generously donated $4,000 in memory of Connor McGrath, an Edmonton boy who passed away from cancer a few years ago. Edmonton native Nathan Fillion, star of CTV’s The Rookie, made a $5,000 donation last week, while Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse also donated $5,000. To date, the donation drive has reached almost $32,000, more than $20,000 over its original goal, and remains active until Apr. 24. 

The iHeart Living Room Concert supporting the Canadian Red Cross COVID-19 and other disaster response efforts, has raised more than $445,000 to date. Additional confirmed sessions include musicians Vanessa Carlton, Haviah Mighty, Margo Price, Tyler Shaw, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, DJ Starting from Scratch, and others.

iHeartRadio Canada has launched the iHeartRadio Family hub, a new family-focused area on iHeartradio.ca featuring music channels, podcasts, and shows to keep kids entertained. It’s also debuted new station, LIFT, a curated positivity playlist dedicated to the men and women working on the front lines during this crisis. 

SOCAN is expanding its efforts to provide financial assistance to struggling members as a result of the COVID-19 crisis by allocating up to a total of $2-million for emergency royalty advances. The program is primarily aimed at SOCAN songwriters and screen composers whose ability to sustain their income has been compromised by the impact of the crisis on the music industry, especially on those whose concerts have been cancelled, or whose television and movie productions have been suspended. The interest-free advances will be considered based on each member’s most recent earnings history, urgency and need. Members who wish to apply should contact SOCAN’s Membership team at members@socan.com. 

Radio Humber (CKHC-FM) has launched new series, Band Together, a live show featuring Canadian artists from their living rooms. It kicked off Apr. 6 with singer-songwriter Sean Bertram. Airing Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. ET for the month of April, you can tune in outside the Radio Humber listening area on the RadioPlayer Canada app or at radio.humber.ca

Stingray Music’s newest channel 100% East Coast. Canadian Style is a partnership with the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) celebrating Atlantic Canadian talent. The channel features 150 tracks from East Coast artists like Neon Dreams, Jimmy Rankin, Sam Wilson, Jenn Grant, Les Hay Babies, Jody Upshaw, Zaum, and Natalie MacMaster. The channel was curated, in part, by compiling the top 100 tracks in over 20 genres, based on scores from the ECMA’s 2020 awards submissions process, in addition to legacy artists. 

SiriusXM has launched a Home DJ series on SiriusXM Hits 1 that sees pop stars like Taylor Swift, Niall Horan, Camila Cabello, Sia, 5SOS, Diplo, Kelsea Ballerini, Charlie Puth, and Pete Wentz take over the channel from their homes. Hits 1 n chill features the stars playing the most requested hits and their favourite music, providing commentary and connecting with fans. Hits 1 n chill is promised to be the first in SiriusXM’s Home DJ series, which will expand to other channels in the weeks ahead.

LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Drex and producer Bob Addison from Corus Radio’s The Shift with Drex talk about leading the late night talk revival in Canada, overnight radio’s place in a time of crises, and the highs and lows of working from home.

LISTEN: On the Sound Off Podcast, broadcast consultant, programmer and author Kipper McGee is Matt Cundill’s guest. McGee is also the co-host of the Brandwidth on Demand podcast, alongside David Martin

MILESTONE: Gordon Skutle, former chief engineer at CJCA Edmonton, turned 100 last month. Radio was still in its early years when Skutle enrolled in the National Radio Institute correspondence program out of Washington, D.C.  In 1942, he went on to study at Radio College of Canada in Toronto to earn his Commercial Radio Operator license (covering land line and marine). His first introduction to broadcasting was with CKCL Toronto, where he worked as a special events remote operator, broadcasting many of the big band shows of the day and church broadcasts on Sundays. In 1943, he started as a studio operator with CJCA Edmonton. He retired as chief engineer in 1986. Skutle remains an active member of the Edmonton Broadcasters Club.

Momentum Media Networks is offering A Better Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta to radio stations FREE for the next 90 days. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent delivers facts and dispels rumours related to the spread of COVID-19. Learn more here.

SIGN-OFFS:

Shirley Douglas

Shirley Douglas, 86, on Apr. 5, due to complications from pneumonia. Born in Weyburn, SK in 1934 to Irma May and Tommy, Douglas showed an interest in acting early, attending the Banff School of Fine Arts at age 16. Her acting career began with a role in the Regina Little Theatre entry at the Dominion Drama Festival competition in 1950, where she won the best actress award. She went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, returning to Canada in 1957 after working in British theatre and television. She went on to appear as Mrs. Starch in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita (1962), among other film and TV roles. After marrying actor Donald Sutherland, Douglas moved to California in the late 1960s and became an activist, getting involved in the civil rights movement, protests against the Vietnam War, and helped establish “Friends of the Black Panthers.” She was subsequently denied a work permit and forced to leave the U.S. in 1977. Her activism continued in Canada where she co-founded a chapter of Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament. Douglas’ acting career also resumed with roles in David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Street Legal, Wind at my Back, Robson Arms and Corner Gas, in addition to appearing on stage including a 1997 run of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie with son Kiefer Sutherland at the Royal Alexandra and National Arts Centre. Douglas won a Gemini Award for her supporting role in TV movie Shadow Lake in 2000 and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003. She received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2004.

Logan Williams

Logan Williams, 16, on Apr. 2. Williams, who was born and raised in Greater Vancouver, landed his very first audition at age 10, winning the role of Jack Spehn in Hallmark movie “Color of Rain.” He was best known for appearing as young Barry Allen in The Flash TV series from 2014-15. He also appeared as Miles Montgomery in more than a dozen episodes of When Calls The Heart from 2015-16, in addition to roles on Supernatural and The Whispers. 

Thomas Charles O’Neill

Thomas Charles O’Neill, Apr. 3, following a sudden stroke. The former BCE Inc. and Bell Canada Chair from 2009-16, retired after serving as a Director from 2003. O’Neill, who served as CEO and Chair of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, was key to the launch of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative in 2010. Among the other boards he served on were Scotiabank, from which he retired as Chair in 2019; Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; The Adecco Group; Loblaw Companies Limited, and Queen’s University, where he served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Smith School of Business. O’Neill was also dedicated to St. Michael’s Hospital, serving on that board for 14 years, and as Chair for four. He received special recognition from Catalyst Canada for his role in advancing the careers of women leaders in Canadian business. He was also the recipient of the Peter Dey Governance Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding and achievement in the area of corporate governance.

Graham Brown

Graham Brown, 71, on Apr. 1, following a long illness. Brown was raised in Sydney, NS where he began his career in print journalism. He took up radio in the late 1970s and moved to Saint John in the late 1980s. Over the years, he worked for Acadia Broadcasting, where he served as news director at CHSJ-FM; former Rogers’ station News 88.9 (CHNI-FM); and independent station Legends 103 (CJRP-FM), among others.

Larry Mandziuk

Larry Michael Mandziuk (aka Larry Michaels), 76, on Mar. 21. Known as Larry Michaels on-air, Mandziuk worked as an announcer at CJIC 1050 and 920 CKCY in Sault Ste. Marie, in addition to stints in CJLX Thunder Bay, Swift Current, and Winnipeg. Following his broadcasting career, Mandziuk taught at Sault College and went on to launch digital publication, Soozine. He was also an avid ham radio enthusiast and photographer.  

Greg Bohnert

Greg Bohnert, suddenly of a heart attack on Mar. 27. Bohnert had a long career in radio news that spanned several provinces and decades. Early on, he worked with Standard Broadcast News – the Slaight-owned newswire service that originated out of CFRB Toronto. He went on to stints as a talk show host with Harvard Broadcasting in Regina, and later was news director at CFAX 1070 Victoria. In 2006, he moved to Calgary, producing and hosting documentary series “The Calgary Files” and guest hosting on QR77 (CHQR-AM). From 2009-11, he hosted and produced syndicated show YourMoneyRadio.ca, a financial literacy show heard on the Corus network in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Most recently, he’d been anchoring weekend news for CBC Radio in Calgary (2012-14) and working as a freelance communications consultant.

Ron East

Ron East, 86, on Mar. 17. East started his career in 1955 as an announcer at CKPG Radio Prince George and by 1960 was managing the station. In 1963, he and partner Stan Davis founded CFBV Radio in Smithers, adding CFLD Burns Lake, and later CJCI Prince George. From there, CIVH Vanderhoof and other re-broadcasters were added under the banner of Central Interior Radio Network. East served as president and managing director until the stations were sold to Vista in 2005. East also led an effort to bring cable TV to the interior of B.C. and in 1973, Central Interior Cablevision established service in Prince George, followed by Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House. The company was sold to Shaw in 1989. East was a past president of the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) and was named BCAB Broadcaster of the Year in 1976. He also served a three-year term as a director for the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance.

TV & FILM:

Thinktv’s latest report indicates that weekly TV viewing by Canadians is up across the board. According to Numeris data for the week of Mar. 16, average daily television viewing has increased by 12% for A25-54 and 14% for A18-34 year-over-year with growth across almost every daypart, while time spent watching has grown from 23 to 25.7 hours/week (P2+). Viewership of local and national news programs on conventional television has increased significantly, with 300% growth year-over-year in the number of viewers watching Canadian specialty news channels. Conventional news programs are seeing a 37% lift during the noon hour, an 84% spike during weekday supper hour, and a 122% lift on weekend evenings.

Bell Media has signed on as Canadian partner of international television special, One World: Together at Home, organized by Global Citizen (GC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The two-hour, star-studded, commercial-free, virtual concert curated by Lady Gaga airs live in all markets, Saturday, Apr. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. In Canada, it will  be simulcast on CTV, CTV2, TSN, CP24, MUCH, MTV, and VRAK, and streamed live on the iHeartRadio Canada app and participating iHeartRadio radio stations. Hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert, the benefit will include appearances and performances by Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lady Gaga, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and more. The special also airs in the U.S. on ABC, NBC, ViacomCBS Networks, iHeart Media, and internationally on BBC One, beIN Media Group, MultiChoice Group, and RTE. It will also stream on Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo, and YouTube

CBC will premiere a selection of first-run feature documentaries that would have debuted at the Hot Docs Festival on CBC-TV, the CBC Gem streaming service and documentary Channel, starting Apr. 16. In addition to 2020 Hot Docs Festival titles, documentary Channel will offer an expanded Hot Docs programming slate from Apr. 16 to May 10, showcasing feature-length documentaries from past festivals. The Hot Docs At Home On CBC collection will also be available to stream on CBC Gem, including features from past festivals and a selection of CBC Short Docs from the 2020 Festival. Read more here.

CBC has brought the virtual interview trend to primetime with the launch of a new Sunday evening program from host Tom Power’s home. What’re You At? with Tom Power is airing Sundays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem. The title of the one-hour program is a nod to Power’s home province of Newfoundland where the phrase generally means ‘How are you?’ or ‘How are you holding up?’” The show is a mix of interviews, storytelling, musical performances and perspectives from Canadians across the country. A mix of live and pre-taped segments, the debut episode featured Schitt’s Creek showrunner and star Daniel Levy, a performance from singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez, and three first responders on how they’re navigating challenges. Read more here.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire returns to CTV’s lineup Wednesday, Apr. 8, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. The series first debuted in Canada in Jan. 2000 on CTV and went on to inspire the network’s own Canadian edition of the show. The 20th anniversary series will feature celebrity competitors playing for a charity of their choice.

TSN has resumed production of all-new editions of both Sportscentre and SC with Jay and Dan, produced remotely with anchors and editorial staff working from home. New episodes of Sportscentre are airing weeknights at 7 p.m. ET on TSN3 and TSN4, while SC with Jay and Dan is airing weekday evenings at 11 p.m. ET on TSN5. Both programs will also air regularly throughout TSN’s “morning loop.” 

Sportsnet has added INDYCAR iRacing Challenge to the Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW schedule. The virtual events feature NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers competing in weekly Saturday races at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. Races are currently scheduled every week through May 2.

 Rogers’ Ignite TV and Digital TV customers have free access to NBA TV Canada, MLB Network, Leafs Nation Network and NFL Network channels through May 3. The channels are automatically available for all TV customers. Most networks are replaying select games. 

Channel Zero’s Silver Screen Classics and Rewind have joined the list of channels on free preview. The offer extends through the month of April. 

The Canadian Cinema Editors have revealed the nominees for the 2020 CCE Awards. While the awards typically occur in May, the ceremony has been rescheduled to Oct. 2 in Toronto. Among the series up for multiple nominations are The Handmaid’s Tale, Save Me, and reality series Blown Away. The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2020 is Lara Mazur, an award-winning Canadian film and television editor, who began her career as an apprentice editor with the National Film Board in Winnipeg, and has gone on to work on DaVinci’s Inquest, Arctic Air, Bordertown Café, Van Helsing, and Flashpoint, among other projects. 

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) will hold a webcast Apr. 14 to provide an overview of changes to the 2020-2021 programs, budget, guidelines and deadlines. The French webcast will be hosted by Nathalie Clermont, CMF Vice-President, Programs and Business Development and Jeremy Spry, National Director, CMF Program Administrator. The English webcast will be hosted by Clermont and Rod Butler, Director, Programs and Policy. Click here to register for the English webcast and here for the French. 

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has released Profile 2019: An Economic Report on the Screen-Based Media Production Industry in Canada that shows  the sector continued to grow in 2018/19. CMPA says production volume in Canada reached an all-time high of $9.3 billion and created 180,900 full-time equivalent jobs, while contributing $12.8 billion to the national GDP. Canadian content production volume hit $3.22 billion, broadcaster in-house production $1.23 billion, and foreign location and service production brought in $4.86 billion, holding its position as the largest segment in the sector.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Torstar is eliminating 85 positions and reducing costs in response to a pandemic-related drop in ad revenue. The Torstar board and executive leadership team will also take 20% pay cuts. Torstar CEO John Boynton told an online staff town hall this week that while web traffic is up as Canadians clamour for COVID-19 news, the chain’s papers and websites have experienced a substantial reduction in advertising.

Amazon Prime Video has partnered with Global News to provide five live, 24/7 national and regional news and information feeds – Global News National, Global News Toronto, Global News BC, Global News Calgary, and Global News Edmonton. Anyone with an Amazon.ca account can access the round-the-clock news coverage. To access the news feeds on Prime Video, customers don’t need a Prime membership; they only need to sign into their Amazon account. Customers can also access the news feeds via the Prime Video app, which is free to download on compatible smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, select game consoles or online.

Adult Swim and National Geographic have been added to the Global TV App, now available on Amazon Fire TV and Roku streaming devices. They join Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, W Network, HISTORY, Showcase, Slice, and access to local and national news feeds from Global News. Lou’s Kitchen has also come on as an app sponsor, integrating into the Global TV App’s marketing campaign with a collection of tagged brand promos, lower thirds, and social posts. The Global TV App is available on iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku streaming players and TV models and at watch.globaltv.com.

Crave is now available on all Roku streaming devices in Canada. Roku users now have access to programming from HBO, Showtime, STARZ, and Super Écran, directly from their Roku streaming player or Roku TV.

 

 

TSN is throwing a national watch party, #ChampionshipRelived, to celebrate the re-broadcast of the Raptors’ title-clinching game, Game 6 of the 2019 NBA FINALS, airing this Sunday, April 12 at 8 p.m. ET on TSN. Fans are invited to share their Raptors memories, photos, videos, and home viewing party set-ups with TSN across social media using the hashtag #ChampionshipRelived. The action gets underway with an Instagram Live pre-show at 7:30 p.m. ET, hosted by BarDown’s Daniel Zakrewski and TSN Raptors reporters Kate Beirness, Josh Lewenberg, and analyst Kia Nurse. A special post-game edition of SC with Jay and Dan presented by McDonald’s will follow the game.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA NEWS:

The CRTC has greenlit Bell’s acquisition of Quebec’s V television stations in Montréal, Québec City, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, and Trois-Rivières, and affiliates in Gatineau, Rivière-du-Loup and Val-d’Or. The V Stations will be required to broadcast five hours of local programming per week for the Montreal and Quebec City markets in 2020/21, increasing to eight hours, 30 minutes in 2021/22. The stations will have to broadcast at least five hours of local programming per week for the Trois-Rivières, Saguenay and Sherbrooke markets. Bell Media will be required to spend at least 40% of the previous year’s revenues on Canadian programming (up from a current threshold of 35%) and at least 18% of the previous year’s revenues on programs of national interest (up from V’s current threshold of 10%). 

The CRTC has approved Leclerc Communication’s application to acquire the assets of radio station CJPX-FM Montreal from Musique ClassiQ for $4.9 million. The CRTC has also authorized it to change the station’s format from specialty classical music to mainstream music. The commission says the proposed format will allow French-Canadian artists, especially emerging artists, to increase their visibility. Leclerc currently owns French-language commercial FM stations WKND 91.9 (CJEC-FM) and BLVD 102.1 (CFEL-FM) Quebec City.

FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting has released the findings of a new survey conducted by Nanos Research that finds seven-in-10 Canadians support (26%) or somewhat support (41%) the Government of Canada sending financial aid to failing news providers to keep them from closing down. The survey also found that more than seven-in-10 Canadians support (41%) or somewhat support (31%) increasing CBC’s funding to provide more local news and information. The CBC watchdog is proposing an emergency journalism stabilization fund that would see the public broadcaster pay private media outlets to produce news and information on a freelance basis for use by any news organization, including the outlet that produces it. FRIENDS says this would provide a buffer to insulate journalists from direct payments from the government they are reporting on. The group says Ottawa must also make long overdue structural changes to prevent foreign online media companies like Facebook and Google from unfairly dominating the advertising market at the direct expense of Canadian journalism.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), ACORN Canada (ACORN) and the National Pensioners Federation (NPF) are calling on the federal government, CRTC, and Canada’s internet service providers (ISPs) and Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) to do more for Canadians. Their list of demands includes a call for unlimited internet access and low-income internet and wireless plans to help all Canadians stay connected while isolating at home. John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC, argues that affordable internet and wireless service is now essential to keep Canadians informed. While most ISPs and some WSPs have offered time-limited, service-specific measures to help consumers, PIAC says these are inconsistent between companies and there is a growing risk of Canadians being unable to afford an essential lifeline to the outside world.

Darren Entwistle

TELUS CEO Darren Entwistle will forgo his entire salary for April, May and June and donate it to Canadian healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19 efforts. The Entwistle Family Foundation, established in 2018 by Entwistle and his wife Fiona, will match the donation.

TELUS says it’s working with B.C. school boards to offer its Internet for Good program to students in need. The program provides high speed broadband home internet for $9.95/month. Previously, eligibility for the program was focused on families receiving the maximum Child Care Benefit from the federal government. Already connecting more than 100,000 low-income families in B.C., school boards are working with TELUS to identify those in need of a home internet connection. They’ll also have access to free educational activities through TELUS WISE and the ‘Learn, Do and Share’ hub through a partnership with Microsoft.

Rogers is expanding its COVID-19 community outreach, partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada to provide a donation of smartphones, in collaboration with Samsung, and six months free service to ensure families can maintain vital lifelines and social connections. With a spike in domestic violence, Rogers is also partnering with Women’s Shelters Canada to help raise awareness of services available to women in need with ads across its digital and social platforms, including Sportsnet, Citytv and its news radio brands. The new community partnerships build on Rogers’ announcement last week that it’s leveraging its television, radio, digital and social assets for a national awareness campaign for Food Banks Canada to help reach a fundraising goal of $150 million to address acute shortages during the pandemic.

Jane Lytvynenko

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is staging a series of webcasts, hosted by Anna Maria Tremonti, that will focus on the critical role of journalism in the COVID-19 crisis. The first in the series of ‘J-Talk Live‘ specials – an expansion of the foundation’s J-Talks series exploring pressing media issues – will feature BuzzFeed senior reporter Jane Lytvynenko on Recognizing Disinformation Amidst COVID-19. Streaming Thursday, Apr. 9 at 1 p.m. ET, Lytvynenko and Tremonti will explore disinformation around the coronavirus outbreak. Read more here.

The Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ) has won the annual CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award presented by the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and the Facebook Journalism Project. The FPJQ won for its #30secondes avant d’y croire or #30seconds to Check it Out project, featuring workshops – first launched in high schools – that help students identify misinformation on the internet. The project expanded last year to reach university students and will soon be offered to the general public in libraries. The award, which carries a $10,000 prize, celebrates journalistic efforts that encourage Canadians to better understand and assess the quality of news they consume and to promote news literacy. FPJQ will be recognized at the annual CJF Awards Oct. 30 at The Ritz-Carlton in Toronto. 

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has revealed the list of finalists for its 2019 CAJ Awards program. APTN Investigates, CTV’s W5, The Narwhal, TVO, Montreal Gazette, Winnipeg Free Press and the CBC News investigative unit are among the programs and outlets with multiple nominations for work broadcast or published last year. Due to the cancellation of the CAJ Conference, which was scheduled to take place in Montreal at the end of May, the winners will be announced online May 30. 

The National Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC) has cancelled its 2020 NPAC Conference, trade show and National Pictures of the Year Gala planned for Apr. 24-25 in Montreal. NPAC will still announce the winners of this year’s awards, recognizing excellence in photojournalism, on Apr. 25. 

BROADCAST TECH:

Ross Video has acquired California-based tech company Coiron Inc. The company has partnered with Ross to develop a suite of popular applications for use with the XPression family of real-time motion graphics systems. XPression Telestrate, XPression Trackless Studio, and XPression Touch Factory are used for sports analysis, virtual studio production, and interactive touch screen video presentations, respectively. As part of the acquisition, Coiron CEO Carlos Vasquez will become part of Ross Video’s graphics division in the role of Technical Product Manager for the Ross Virtual Solutions group.

MAVTV Canada, the motorsports and automotive specialty channel, has once again partnered with end-to-end video broadcast solutions provider Nextologies to provide live remote production and transmission services for its Ricmotech Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires iRacing eSeries. The collaboration between MAVTV Canada, Road to Indy, Ricmotech Racing Simulators, Xtrememotorsports and Apex Racing is raising funds for COVID-19 relief efforts. Nextologies was asked to quickly engineer a customized online solution that allowed the live racing e-series to be produced by staff remotely from home using their computers, including controlling switching and inserting commercials during the live feed while broadcasting on MAV TV Canada. The racing series will air through Apr. 25.

ADVERTORIAL: Inovonics Broadcast allows stations to monitor their radio feeds economically with solutions that provide analog, AES3-digital and AoIP-streaming audio outputs. The Web Interface enables remote tuning, streamed audio, station switching, alarms, and more. Read more here.