Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Michael Enright

Michael Enright is stepping down from CBC Radio One’s The Sunday Edition at the end of this season on June 28. Enright, 77, has hosted the three-hour program for its entire 20 year-broadcast run. The public broadcaster says it plans to redevelop the show for the Sunday morning time slot with a new host. Enright, meanwhile, will be behind a new, one-hour show. Read more here.

Tracy Tong

Tracy Tong will join Global News as the 11 p.m. anchor for Global Toronto, Global Montreal, Global Halifax and Global New Brunswick. Tong, who’ll take up the multi-market anchor/producer role on June 4, succeeds Crystal Goomansingh, who moves on as the network’s Europe Bureau Chief. Tong began her career with Global Toronto as an editorial assistant in 2010, but went on to reporting stints with CP24 and Citytv. For the last four years, she’s been a videojournalist and fill-in anchor with CTV News Toronto. Read more here.

Julie Roy

Julie Roy has been named the new Director General, Creation and Innovation, at the National Film Board (NFB). Roy has 25 years of experience in film, including six as executive producer of NFB’s French Animation Studio and more than 13 as a producer with more than 50 productions to her credit. Once Roy begins her new role, Marc Bertrand will act as interim Executive Producer for the French Animation Studio.

Gabrielle Fahmy

Gabrielle Fahmy has returned to her hometown as a VJ with CTV Montreal. Fahmy had been a VJ with CBC New Brunswick, based in Moncton, for the last four years. Prior to that she spent almost three years in the CBC Montreal newsroom as a producer and lineup editor.

Kathy English

Kathy English, public editor at the Toronto Star, is the new chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF). She replaces David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, effective June 1 as he concludes his three-year term. English joined the CJF board in 2014 and has served as a vice-chair since 2019. She’ll continue in her role as chair of the programming committee. English has served as public editor of the Toronto Star since 2007 and has been a reporter and editor for six Canadian daily newspapers. She also teaches at Ryerson School of Journalism.

 

Paisley Woodward

Paisley Woodward is retiring after 30 years with CBC Vancouver. Wood, an investigative producer, started with CBC in 1990. Before joining the public broadcaster, she had a career as a lawyer and Crown Prosecutor.

Emily Alden

Emily Alden has been hired by Vancouver’s Brightlight Pictures as its new VP of Development. Alden was previously a Senior VP with Pacific Northwest Pictures for more than a decade, up until last August. She’ll be in charge of expanding the prodco’s slate. Brightlight currently produces The Good Doctor for ABC and Sony; Firefly Lane and Julie and the Phantoms for Netflix, Upload for Amazon Studios, and Quest Out West for APTN, among other projects.

Julia Caron

Julia Caron is the new permanent host of local morning show, Quebec AM, on CBC Radio One. Caron has been hosting on an interim basis for the past seven months. She’s worked behind-the-scenes and as a guest host on both Breakaway and Quebec AM since 2010.

Nancy Wood

CBC Montreal late night anchor Nancy Wood has announced that she’s stepping away from TV for the timebeing. Starting in July, she’ll be joining the cbc.ca online team. Wood is a veteran reporter and host, who has been with the CBC since 1994.

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

The Spring 2020 Radio Diary release, the second where Continuous Measurement has been used in all Radio Diary markets, is scheduled for Thursday, May 28. Numeris says data from the COVID-19 period won’t be included as a result of not being able to enumerate and measure in the last few weeks of March and April due to the move to work from home. This week’s release will include 12 weeks of sample from last Fall 2019 (six measurement weeks) and eight weeks of new sample for a total of 20 weeks of sample. The remaining four weeks will consist of diaries from the previous Radio Diary release (either Spring 2019 or Fall 2018) as needed, chosen at random. Consistent with last fall’s release, Numeris says weekly, Radio is reaching 84.5% of Canadians 12+ and 87.3% Adults 25-54 (vs 85.1% and 88.1% respectively in Fall 2019). Canadians 12+ spend an average of 16.1 per week listening to the Radio (vs 16.4 in Fall 2019). In Quebec, weekly reach is stable overall compared to Fall, 85.6% for 12+ and 90% for 25-54. Time spent listening is also stable for 12+ at 17.1 per week.

The CRTC has approved Vista Radio’s application for a new commercial station in North Bay, ON. The station would operate at 90.5 MHz (channel 213C1) with an effective radiated power of 45,800 watts. Vista is proposing an Oldies format, with the station to operate jointly with Vista’s existing North Bay station, Moose FM (CFXN-FM). The commission approved the new station above objections from Rogers, which owns three stations in the market. Rogers asserted that the market is stagnant, with limited opportunity for growth, and that a new station would have an undue financial impact on existing operators in the market and undermine their ability to sustain local news and information services. 

The CRTC has granted one-year extensions to three stations that were set to go live this summer. The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta now has until June 2021 to get its new 100,000 watt Aboriginal station CIWE-FM Edmonton on-air due to delays caused by the current pandemic. Northern Native Broadcasting has a similarly revised timeline to get its 9,000 watt Aboriginal station CJNY-FM Vancouver to air. Durham Radio has also been granted an extension until July 2021 to get its Classic Hits station, CKLK-FM, Grimsby-Beamsville, ON on the air. An application for technical changes is behind that delay.

Bob McCown resurfaced this week for the first time since his June 2019 release from Sportsnet 590 The FAN (CJCL-AM) Toronto and television simulcast Sportsnet 360. McCown debuted YouTube segment Ok, You’ve Got 5 Minutes with Bob McCown on Monday, in which he offered his take on the NBA and NHL coming back. The daily feature, which he billed as a ”‘mini podcast”, includes sponsorship from McCown-owned Stoney Ridge Estate Winery.

CBC Podcasts’ new limited-run series will explore the Toronto hip-hop scene through the lens of the city’s favourite son, Drake. Debuting June 3, THIS IS NOT A DRAKE PODCAST will look at the history and evolution of hip-hop, R&B and Black culture in five parts. It will be hosted and co-produced by Ty Harper, a radio producer and documentarian who has been covering Toronto’s hip-hop and R&B scenes for well over a decade. Harper was the co-host and creator of O.T.A. Live!, which aired on FLOW 93.5 FM (CFXJ-FM) Toronto from 2005-11 and established itself as the destination for weekly interviews with those in the under-represented hip-hop scene. He’s currently a producer on CBC Radio’s q with Tom Power. Read more here.

iHeartRadio Canada has introduced a new iHeart K-Pop station, available at iHeartRadio.ca and the iHeartRadio Canada app, featuring the best of Korean pop music. iHeart K-Pop plays hits from some of the biggest K-pop musicians, including 2NE1, BTS, BlackPink, BoA, Big Bang, EXO, Girl’s Generation, Monsta X, Psy, Super Junior, and more.

JACKstock will be heard on Rogers’ JACK-branded stations from coast-to-coast Friday and Saturday on JACK 103.1 (CHTT-FM) Victoria, JACK 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver, JACK 96.9 (CJAQ-FM) Calgary, JACK 102.3 (CHST-FM) London, JACK 92.3 (CJET-FM) Smith Falls, and JACK 92.9 (CFLT-FM) Halifax. Airing from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. local time on May 29 and 3 – 7 p.m. May 30, the two-day “festival” will feature a compilation of live performances from Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, Adele, Duran Duran and Journey on night one, while Saturday features Madonna, U2, Elton John, Queen, and Rolling Stones. National Format Director Troy Scott says JACK’s take on a virtual music festival will be complete with “at least 20 stages, choppers, green rooms, beer gardens, food trucks, celebrities, overpriced bottles of water, and a secret act.”

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill’s guest is Kim Blair, Content Director for the Magic Talk Radio Network in New Zealand, who talks of his time working in Australia and now Auckland. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

David Hayman

David Hayman, 42, on May 19. After graduating from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Film, Hayman produced several short films, which led to work as an independent music supervisor. His early credits included CTV’s “The Eleventh Hour,” ABC’s “Rookie Blue”, and HBO’s “Less Than Kind.” He joined Toronto audio production house Vapor Music Group as Head of Music Supervision & Licensing in 2005 and went on to found Supergroup Sonic Branding Co. in 2012. Serving as the company’s chief music supervisor and creative director, more recent credits included “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,” “Born To Be Blue,” “Utopia Falls,” “Nirvana The Band The Show,” “Kim’s Convenience,” “Northern Rescue,” and Hubert Davis Documentary “Giants of Africa” about Toronto Raptors’ General Manager Masai Ujiri. Hayman was also the current Vice-President of the Guild of Music Supervisors of Canada. 

Doug Hepburn

Doug Hepburn, 79, on May 18. Hepburn, not to be confused with the 1953 World Weightlifting Champion of the same name which he enjoyed sharing, embarked on a broadcast sales career following a brief stint with the Edmonton Eskimos before he was sidelined with knee injuries. He started in radio sales at CHQT-AM Edmonton and then CITV-TV. When Superchannel launched, Hepburn moved with the company to Vancouver, going on to become sales manager at CKNW-AM. He later partnered with fellow broadcast sales veteran Gerry Gerling in their company Adtel. 

Ferdy Baglo

Ferdy Baglo, 93, on May 15. Baglo’s broadcasting career started at age 16 at CKMO (CFUN) Vancouver. When CKNW launched in 1944, Baglo was the station’s first music director and met his future wife there, Magda Johansen, who was part of weekly live musical segment “Fireside Harmonies with the Johanson Sisters.” In 1947, Baglo took a break from radio and hopped a freighter as a crew member working his way to the Far East. He moved his family to Saskatoon a few years later, working at CKOM radio, while attending the Lutheran Theological Seminary. After leading a handful of parishes in rural Saskatchewan, Baglo was offered an opportunity to go to East Africa in 1960. Relocating to Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region, Baglo oversaw construction of a production studio where music and educational programs (usually performed in Swahili) were recorded for broadcast. The family eventually returned to British Columbia and Baglo briefly worked again in radio at CJJC Langley in 1970 while completing his Masters Degree in Sacred Theology. After leading congregations in Burnaby, Langley, and Edmonton, he became editor of the church’s monthly national magazine, The Canada Lutheran, in 1985. He retired in 1991, but continued to serve as editor of national devotional publication “Eternity for Today” and contributed as a Canadian correspondent to Ecumenical News International Geneva.

Johnathan Hachey

Johathan Hachey, 41, on May 16 after a short battle with cancer. After graduating from high school in Moncton, NB, Hachey studied radio broadcasting at NBCC Woodstock, in addition to acting at Vancouver Film School. He went on to land a job with YTV in Toronto as a junior website coordinator and then moved into viewer relations for Corus Entertainment specialty channels, YTV, Scream and DK Canada. Hachey returned to his home province in 2010 and took a job with Astral Radio’s stations in Fredericton – The Fox (CFXY-FM), Capital FM (CIBX-FM) and KHJ (CKHJ-AM) – as promotions coordinator. In 2013, he moved over to K94.5 (CKCW-FM) and Max 103.9 FM (CFQM-FM) Moncton to head promotions for both stations.

Glenn Lemchuk

Glenn Lemchuk, 63, on May 4. Lemchuk’s interest in television started early. During his final year of high school in Yorkton, SK, he produced and hosted a TV talk show entitled “Of Interest to Youth,” which aired on local CBC affiliate, CKOS. Lemchuk joined CKCK-TV (CTV Regina) as a promotions coordinator in 1976 and five years later went to work with CBC Saskatchewan in Communications, the start of a 16-year run with the public broadcaster. Among the programs he worked on as a publicist were “Country West,” “What on Earth,” and CBC’s coverage of the CFL’s first Grey Cup game in Regina (1995). Lemchuk went on to pursue strategic communications with Brown Communications Group for more than a decade with one of the highlights leading the media campaign for Saskatchewan’s centennial celebration for which he was recognized with the Premier’s Centennial Leadership Award. Lemchuk later spent five years as a strategic communications consultant at SaskPower.

TV & FILM:

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has virtually presented Canadian Screen Awards in the Broadcast News, Sports Programming, Documentary and Factual, Children’s and Youth, Lifestyle and Reality, and Scripted categories. In the Broadcast category, CBC’s The National claimed four awards, including Best National Reporter for Paul Hunter and Best Anchor, National for the now revised anchor team of Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang, and Ian Hanomansing. CTV’s W5 earned Best News or Information Program with host Avery Haines also claiming the award for Best Host or Interviewer. The Amazing Race Canada was the big winner in the Reality category with six wins, including Best Host, Reality/Competition for Jon Montgomery. In the Children’s and Youth category, TVOKids and Spin Master led the wins with four for Paw Patrol, including Best Pre-School Program or Series. CTV’s Cardinal earned seven awards in the Scripted categories, including Best Drama Series, Best Writing, Best Picture Editing and Best Achievement in Make-up. Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse also swept the lead actor drama categories for the second consecutive year. Schitt’s Creek earned six awards, including Best Comedy Series with Catherine O’Hara winning Best Lead Actress, Comedy for a fifth year and Eugene Levy winning Best Lead Actor, Comedy for the second consecutive year. 

Daytime Emmy nominations are out with kids’ prodco Sinking Ship Entertainment earning an impressive 16 nods, including eight for Ghostwriter, and four each for Dino Dana and Odd Squad. Find the nominee gallery, here. The 47th Annual Daytime Emmys will air Friday, June 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS

The Leo Awards, recognizing excellence in B.C. film, television, and web series, have announced the 2020 nominees. Among them, Van Helsing leads the Dramatic Series category with 14 nominations; sci-fi thriller Volition is atop the Motion Picture category with 11 nods; while V.C. Andrews’ Web of Dreams earned 14 nominations in the TV Movie category. Find the full list of nominees here.

CBC held its 2020 virtual upfront presentation Wednesday, unveiling 1,300 new hours of television spanning 22 new and returning series. New series include: Enslaved (6×60) a documentary series led by Samuel L. Jackson, directed by Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici (The Naked Archaeologist) charting the history of slavery through underwater archaeology; Orangeville Prep (6×30), a character-driven factual series that offers an inside look at the competitive, high-pressure world of basketball’s most successful preparatory program in Orangeville, ON; The Sounds (8×60), a Canada/New Zealand co-production from NZ author Sarah-Kate Lynch and directed by Peter Stebbings (Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Disappearance); Trickster (6×60), a drama based on the best-selling novel Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, with CBC already confirming second season renewal; and War Of The Worlds (8×60), the Canadian premiere of a new series written and created by Howard Overman (Misfits, Merlin), based on the H.G. Wells story and starring Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment), Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey), and Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People).

Baroness Von Sketch Show co-creators Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen have announced that the CBC original sketch comedy will air its fifth and final season in Fall 2020. The eight-episode series finale was filmed in Toronto last fall. The series won all five Canadian Screen Awards it was nominated for Wednesday evening including Best Sketch Comedy Show & Ensemble Performance, Best Direction and Best Writing. 

Channel 4 in the UK has acquired the first two seasons of CBC drama Coroner. The deal follows the recent acquisition of the series by The CW for broadcast in the U.S. The public broadcaster has also announced Coroner’s renewal for a third season. The deal with Channel 4 was brokered by Sandra Piha, SVP, Sales, Pan-Regional, UK, Eire, and Scandinavia, Cineflix Rights.

LISTEN: Legendary Canadian TV Critic Bill Brioux joins Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about isolation viewing and why the current production challenges might be an opportunity for networks to embrace more domestic production. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

 

 

Cityline is back on Citytv’s weekday schedule with new episodes being produced remotely. Airing at 10 a.m. ET, host Tracy Moore is joined by lifestyle experts with isolation-friendly advice on making the most of your grill, outdoor space and at-home beauty routine. Over recent weeks, Cityline has been connecting with its audiences on social media through daily segments on Instagram Live on how to navigate life during COVID-19.

ETALK debuts a new weekly music performance series, ETALK OPEN HOUSE, airing Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET on CTV and 7:30 p.m. ET on CTV2, beginning May 28. Each episode of ETALK OPEN HOUSE features artists in their natural element showcasing their raw talent, including dvsn, FINNEAS, Jessie Reyez, Niall Horan, Shaggy, The Killers, and Tones and I, with more artists to be announced in the coming weeks. 

 

Tommy Smythe

WHERE TO I DO? will have its Season 3 premiere Tuesday, June 9 on CTV Life Channel. Co-produced by Bell Media Studios and Motion Content Group, the 30-minute series follows Canadian property expert and designer Tommy Smythe as he helps couples search for the wedding venue of their dreams. Taped before the pandemic, the new eight-episode season sees Smythe travel to Ireland, California, Montreal, New Orleans and Toronto. Following WHERE TO I DO? On the Tuesday night schedule will be Jessica Mulroney wedding series I DO, REDO.

Global says Survivor Winners at War captivated 2.4 million Canadians during its season finale, making it the most-watched finale in 15 seasons, according to audience data supplied by the network. The network says Survivor Winners at War finale grew its total audience by 13% from the season premiere, with average AMA for total viewers over 2.1 million and 907,000 for adults 25-54. Elsewhere on Global, spring finales for scripted series 9-1-1, NCIS, The Blacklist, MacGyver, and Bull all saw significant year-over-year audience growth for their season finales, with 9-1-1 growing its finale vs. last spring by 20% amongst total viewers and 32% with adults 25-54. Additionally, Global says Saturday Night Live’s special at-home finale grew its audience by 30% amongst adults 18-34 compared to last year’s finale and remains the #1 late night show in Canada. The network says The Young and the Restless dominates daytime as the #1 show this spring among total viewers and females 25-54.

Crave has dropped a special director’s cut of its Crave Original Documentary David Foster: Off The Record. Featuring nearly 20 additional minutes of conversation with the Grammy Award-winning musician, and his wife Katharine McPhee, the enhanced edition of the documentary from director Barry Avrich expands on Foster’s car accident with entertainer Ben Vereen and the impact of family and marriage on his life and career. The world television debut of David Foster: Off The Record on CTV delivered nearly one million viewers on Dec. 5, according to audience data supplied by the network. Bell Media says to date, the documentary has reached nearly 6 million viewers on CTV and CTV2.

Crave says the first wave of series set to debut on HBO Max in the U.S. will be available day-and-date with their U.S. premieres on the streaming service. They include Lionsgate’s Love Life, a new romantic comedy starring Anna Kendrick; kids crafting competition show CRAFTOPIA, hosted by Canadian YouTube sensation LaurDIY; and underground ballroom competition series LEGENDARY. Additional HBO Max programming coming to Canada as part of Bell’s long-term licensing agreement with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution includes: Gossip Girl, Kaley Cuoco’s The Flight Attendant, Mindy Kaling’s College Girls, Lena Dunham’s Generation, Denis Villeneuve’s DUNE: The Sisterhood; and Greg Berlanti’s Green Lantern. 

TVO premieres its TVO Original Rescuing Rex on May 30. Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Leora Eisen, Rescuing Rex looks at the phenomenon of international dog adoptions as many millennials bypass breeders in favour of adopting homeless dogs from around the world. Broadcast on TVO and available to stream across Canada on tvo.org, it will re-air on TVO, June 2 and 4.

TVO has debuted its TVO Original The Arrest by journalist and filmmaker Martin Himel (Undercover in ISIS), which follows several Ontarians whose lives have been shattered by their wrongful arrests. At the centre of the documentary is Toronto attorney Davin Charney, who fights for the wrongly accused. The Arrest is available to stream on tvo.org and will rebroadcast on TVO, May 28 and 31.

TSN is now the exclusive English-language Canadian broadcaster of South Korea’s most popular sports league, the KBO League. TSN platforms are now delivering ESPN’s live regular season KBO League games. The KBO League consists of 10 teams with players walking up to bat to customized entrance music called cheer songs. The league regular season consists of 144 games with each team playing every other team 16 times.

Animal Planet is on nationwide freeview from June 2 to July 9. The freeview is led by season premieres of The Aquarium (June 15), Pit Bulls and Parolees (June 26), and North Woods Law (June 30). Animal Planet’s free preview is available through participating television service providers across the country, including but not limited to Bell, Bell Aliant, Bell MTS, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, Telus, SaskTel, and participating members of the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance (CCSA).

BANFF Virtual Edition launched this week with its Snowpiercer Master Class giving participants a look inside the new Netflix post-apocalyptic sci-fi series. The Master Class featured stars Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, showrunner Graeme Manson, Tomorrow Studios’ Marty Adelstein and Netflix’s Larry Tanz. Additional industry panels, interactive video sessions and online networking events, set to continue into September, will be announced in the coming weeks. Individuals can register to access most of the program free-of-charge via a VIRTUAL PASS. Curated online one-on-one meetings and small group sessions with studio executives, agents, network buyers and streaming executives can be accessed by registering for a VIRTUAL + NETWORKING PASS for CAD $250.

Kim’s Convenience and Fresh Off The Boat cast members are holding a virtual table read to mark Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and raise funds for Asian not-for-profit arts organizations in the U.S. and Canada, including Reel Asian. Kim’s Convenience stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Jean Yoon, Simu Liu, Andrea Bang, Andrew Phung and Nicole Power will kick off the event, followed by Fresh Off the Boat cast members Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen. The table reads will be streamed on Seed&Spark’s Facebook and YouTube channels on May 30 at 6 p.m. PT. Following the table reads, there will be a Q&A featuring both casts on Zoom for those who donate at least $10.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

The National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) has announced the winners of the 2020 Digital Publishing Awards. Now in their fifth year, the DPAs recognize and promote the work of Canadian digital publications and creators. The General Excellence awards were presented in three divisions: small, medium, and large. In the small division, The Tyee took Gold. Hakai Magazine was the Gold winner in the medium division, while Le Devoir took the Gold Medal in the large publication division. Jane Lytvynenko of BuzzFeed News was the recipient of this year’s Emerging Excellence Award, which honours an individual whose early work in Canadian digital publishing shows the highest degree of craft and promise. Find the complete list of winners, here.

Underknown’s What If show has been named the Best Science & Education video series at the 24th annual Webby Awards. The Toronto social video and digital storyteller was recognized for the web series that asks questions like What If the Sahara Desert Was Covered With Solar Panels? What If Another Sun Entered Our Solar System? What If You Stopped Sleeping? Vancouver production house Kelly&Kelly was also recognized for satirical New York Times Opinion video AFTERSHOT: An App to Help Cowardly Politicians Talk About Gun Control, which claimed the award for Best Writing in the Public Service & Activism category.

The Weather Network has launched Brighter Day, a content hub dedicated to positive news. The site highlights acts of kindness and shares stories of resilience, creativity and heroism. In addition to being available on The Weather Network website and dedicated social media channels on Instagram and Twitter @Brighter_Day, The Weather Network’s morning and evening TV programs will also feature highlights. Viewers are encouraged to submit their stories through Instagram and Twitter using the Brighter Day handles.

Liquid Media Group has announced the successful launch of the two-day New Faces New Voices 2020 Film Festival on its ReelhouseLIVE platform, which connects filmmakers with paying audiences so they can watch movies together and socialize in real-time. Called the Shopify of film in engineering circles, Reelhouse is a creator-focused platform that allows filmmakers to self-distribute content directly to viewers via a video-on-demand (VOD) e-commerce store and subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) channel. Vancouver-headquartered Liquid Media Group acquired the platform in February and says it will launch additional tools within Reelhouse in the near future to drive further monetization for filmmakers while offering the streaming community a more enjoyable experience.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

CRTCA Federal Court of Appeal judge has rejected an argument by a consortium of big telco operators that their appeal of the CRTC’s wholesale broadband rates decision is too complex to be heard via videoconference. The wholesale rate appeal will now go ahead June 25-26 as the incumbent telecom companies – Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Cogeco, and Eastlink-owner Bragg Communicationscontinue to fight to overturn the commission’s Aug. 2019 ruling lowering the rate they can charge third-party operators to access their networks. Should their appeal be unsuccessful, retroactive payments owed to small ISPs have been estimated at $325 million.

The CRTC has accepted Cogeco Connexion’s request for final offer arbitration (FOA) with Bell Media in its dispute over wholesale fees for distribution of Bell-owned discretionary service VRAK. The commission’s decision will establish linear and multiplatform wholesale rates for distribution of VRAK by Cogeco.

Mike Bullard

Mike Bullard’s defamation suit against Rogers-owned Chatelaine has been thrown out by an Ontario judge. Bullard’s libel suit stemmed from an interview the magazine ran with Bullard’s former girlfriend and CityNews host Cynthia Mulligan, whom the stand-up comic and former late night host was charged with criminally harassing in 2016. He subsequently lost his radio show on Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) when Bell Media severed ties. Bullard claimed the Chatelaine interview with Mulligan, which ran following his guilty plea, was a “malicious hit piece” and blamed the article for the ruination of his career. The judge disagreed. Bullard most recently hosted an afternoon talk show at Sauga 960 AM (CKNT-AM) in Mississauga, up until early last year. He’s also been producing podcast, You Too with Mike Bullard, which hasn’t dropped a new episode since March.

Rick Mercer

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) will host the annual CJF Awards virtually on June 11 at 1 p.m. ET, with a rebroadcast that evening at 7 p.m. ET. Lisa LaFlamme, Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor, CTV National News, will present the awards alongside previously-announced host Rick Mercer. The online event will feature a tribute to Anna Maria Tremonti in recognition of her CBC broadcast career covering conflict zones and current affairs. Kim Bolan, investigative reporter with the Vancouver Sun, will be recognized with the CJF Lifetime Achievement Award for her commitment to truth in the face of life threats and intimidation covering gangs and organized crime. You can watch the ceremony by registering using this link.

Stefanie Marotta

Stefanie Marotta, a business, politics and technology journalist who has reported for The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and Bloomberg News is the recipient of this year’s Canadian Journalism Foundation-Globe and Mail Investigative Journalism Fellowship. The award offers early-career journalists a year-long opportunity to sharpen their reporting and research skills while working on ongoing investigative journalism projects under the guidance of The Globe and Mail’s editors and senior reporters. The award, now in its fourth year, is open to Canadian journalists with one-to-five years of experience. The candidate receives a weekly stipend for the 12-month fellowship.

The Canadian Network Operations Consortium (CNOC) has changed its name and debuted a new logo as the Competitive Network Operators of Canada. The not-for-profit association advocates for the interests of small and medium-sized independent internet and telecommunications service providers across Canada.

 

The Québec Ministry of Economy and Innovation has unveiled the 66 projects selected following its call for projects in Oct. 2019 to provide access to broadband internet service comparable to that offered in urban areas to more than 60,000 homes. To be distributed in 11 regions of Quebec, including Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Capitale-Nationale, Mauricie, Estrie, Outaouais, Chaudière-Appalaches, Lanaudière, Laurentides, Montérégie and Center-du-Québec, the government contribution is estimated at $150 million. Videotron will be building new infrastructure to provide residents of Charlevoix, the Lower St. Lawrence, Memphrémagog and Montérégie with high-speed internet service, connecting nearly 9,000 homes and businesses. Bell will provide all-fibre internet connections to approximately 7,000 homes and businesses in 18 communities, while Cogeco Connexion has been chosen for 11 infrastructure projects connecting more than 15,500 homes across Quebec. 

BROADCAST TECH:

Central Canada Broadcast Engineers (CCBE) is gauging interest in holding a virtual event after moving to cancel its annual September conference for 2020 in King City, ON. Sponsors are being contacted. CCBE says it’s hopeful this year’s cancellation will be a singular occurrence. 

 

 

The Globe and Mail’s automation and predictive paywall engine, Sophi.io, has won WAN-IFRA’s North American Digital Media Award in the category of Best Digital News Start-Up. The awards honour news publishers from Canada and the U.S. that have created unique and original digital media projects. Sophi also took second place in the awards’ Best Paid Content Strategy category, in recognition of Sophi for Paywalls, its natural-language processing and user behaviour-based predictive paywalling technology. The artificial intelligence system is also a finalist in the International News Media Association’s Global Media Awards, recognizing innovation in growing audience, brand, and revenue, in the Best New Technology or Digital Product category. Additionally, Sophi is a finalist in the Digiday Media Awards, recognizing companies working to modernize digital media, in two categories: Best Digital Product Innovation and Best Revenue Diversification Strategy. Sophi was developed by The Globe and Mail to help the newsroom make strategic and tactical decisions. Its suite of tools includes Sophi Automation, Sophi for Paywalls as well as Sophi Analytics, a newsroom decision-support system. Sophi Automation autonomously places 99% of the content on all of The Globe and Mail’s digital pages, including its homepage and section pages, allowing the newsroom to focus on producing journalism. It’s now being used for print laydown as well.

The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) is partnering with Video Services Forum (VSF) to offer “Summer Sessions — Media Over IP Education” presentations, which will run from May 29 through Sept. 4. Designed to meet the need for ongoing education in the absence of major trade shows, the series will focus on media over IP workflows, with a strong emphasis on use cases, and exploration of technologies supporting the migration to IP. Joined by their IP Showcase partners, AES, AMWA, EBU, SMPTE, and the Ultra HD Forum, AIMS and VSF are creating over a dozen sessions, with plans to release one presentation each week. AIMS chair Mike Cronk says many of the presentations are being drawn from submissions for the IP Showcase at the 2020 NAB Show, including case studies and tutorials on SMPTE ST 2110, NMOS, and the recently-announced IPMX (IP Media Experience) for the ProAV market. Find more info here.