Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Julie Van Dusen has retired from CBC Ottawa after 37 years with the public broadcaster and three decades on Parliament Hill. She first joined CBC in 1983 and has been a television reporter since 1988. Prior to joining the public broadcaster, she worked as a researcher for FP News Service and was a researcher and reporter for Macleans. Van Dusen plans to write a book with her mother, among other projects. 

Kim Brunhuber

Kim Brunhuber is joining CNN International as an Atlanta-based anchor for the Europe morning editions of CNN Newsroom on Saturday and Sunday, as well as weekday news programs. Brunhuber has been a CBC correspondent and anchor for the last 13 years, most recently serving as the network’s Los Angeles bureau chief. He started his career in 1997 working at CTV in both Ottawa and Halifax.

 

Jim Duce

 

Jim Duce, one half of the CHAT 94.5 FM Medicine Hat morning show, is retiring after 47 years with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group station. His last day is June 26. Duce first signed on with the station in 1973 when it was known as 1270 CHAT AM and owned by Monarch Broadcasting. He joined the morning show a year later. He’s also served as the longtime public address announcer at Medicine Hat Tigers games.

Naomi Johnson

Naomi Johnson is the new Executive Director of imagineNATIVE, following the planned exit of Jason Ryle, effective June 1. Johnson joined imagineNATIVE as Associate Director in June 2019, working under Ryle for the past year in anticipation of the leadership transition. She was formerly Artistic Director/Co-Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, ON. Ryle had been with imagineNATIVE since 2002 and became Chair of its Board of Directors in 2004 before being appointed Executive Director in 2010. He leaves imagineNATIVE to pursue new opportunities, including work as a producer.

Graham Henderson

Graham Henderson, President & CEO of not-for-profit Music Canada, is stepping down after more than 15 years. Henderson’s last day will be June 17. The board of directors is initiating a search for a new CEO, appointing Jackie Dean to the newly-created Chief Operating Officer position (COO) and Patrick Rogers as Vice-President, Corporate Affairs. They’ll serve as interim co-Chief Executive Officers. Dean has been with the organization since 2002 as its part-time CFO, while also serving as COO of CARAS, The Juno Awards and MusiCounts. Rogers joined Music Canada in 2016 as Director, Regulatory Affairs. Sarah Hashem has also been upped to VP, Strategic Initiatives. She formerly headed the association’s Three Rs Music Program, which works to increase the inventory of instruments in Ontario publicly-funded schools.

Biren Bharucha

Biren Bharucha has been appointed VP, Enterprise Sales, for media ad sales platform, Matrix. Bharucha will lead the company’s business development efforts globally, extending their customer footprint into all media sectors. Additionally, Bharucha will help introduce the company’s new sell-side dedicated platform, Matrix Sales Gateway, to market. Bharucha was most recently Senior Director, Media & Technology Services for Prime Focus Technologies. Prior to that, he was VP, Affiliate Relations and New Business Development for YANGAROO where he was responsible for building and managing the company’s broadcast footprint in the North American television market. 

David Rusch

David Rusch has joined Broadcast Dialogue as a Senior Account Executive. Rusch, a broadcast industry veteran based in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, will develop and execute multimedia marketing campaigns for new and existing clients of the publication. From 2001-16, Rusch worked for Orban, most recently as VP of North American Sales and Marketing. He also consults for Audio Broadcast Canada, which his wife Jane Rusch is President of. Jane served as Broadcast Dialogue’s Sales Manager from 1999-2013. Read more here.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has welcomed five new members to its Board of Directors for the 2020-22 term. They include APTN videojournalist Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs; Laurie Few, Managing Editor at Canada’s National Observer; Sarah Lawrynuik, a climate change reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press; freelance environmental journalist Jimmy Thomson; and freelance Parliamentary reporter Susana Mas.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Numeris’ latest PPM release includes the 13 weeks from Feb. 24 to May 24, covering the listening period that saw most Canadians transition to work from home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Home tuning increased, representing 62% of total tuning this spring, compared to 48% last quarter for A12+. Music stations were among those that saw unexplained gains in certain demos with Toronto’s CHFI-FM leading with men, 25-54, with a 14% share, up from 11.3 in the last book and claiming a 32% share with M18-34. Other notable jumps included Rock 101 (CFMI-FM) Vancouver which posted a 14.3% share F25-54 (up from 8.4%) and a 16.2% share with F18-34. CFOX-FM grabbed the lead for M25-54 listeners, delivering a 15.0 % share (up from 13.0 %). CFOX was also out in front for M18-34 with a 21.6 % share of hrs. tuned. The Bear (CFBR-FM) in Edmonton made gains with M18-34, posting a 21.9% (up from 17.7). Talk radio reigned in Montreal with CHMP, earning a 24.7% share, A12+ (up from 19.6%). For A12+ (Anglo), CJAD 800 is #1 with a 32.6% (up from 20.1%). CBC Radio One also made gains in every market. Read David Bray’s breakdown here.

David Bray

Numeris’ Spring 2020 Radio Diary Release included 12 weeks of sample from Fall 2019 and eight weeks of new sample, minus the COVID-19 lockdown period in March and April, due to remote measurement challenges. David Bray has the ratings breakdown for Ottawa, Hamilton, Halifax, Winnipeg, and Victoria. Read more here.

Evanov Radio Groups CHRF 980 AM Montreal, the company’s only French-language station, went dark on Sunday. Broadcasting an adult standards format with some multicultural programming, Carmela Laurignano, Evanov VP and Radio Group Manager, said the move to ask the CRTC to revoke the station’s licence was not a decision that was taken lightly. Ultimately, a lack of synergy with other stations in the group and revenue pressures, compounded by COVID-19, led to the move. The station’s two remaining employees will both be redeployed to the company’s other Montreal station, CFMB. Read our interview with Laurignano, here.

CRTCThe CRTC non-compliance hearing for Montreal’s CJMS 1040 AM and CJWI 1410 AM will be held virtually on June 16, as well as Radio Bas-St-Laurent’s (RBS) application to acquire CFYX-FM from Radio Rimouski. In the case of both CPAM Radio Union, which is looking to renew the broadcasting licence for French-language ethnic commercial station CJWI, and Groupe Médias Pam inc. to renew the broadcasting licence for French-language commercial station CJMS Saint-Constant, the commission has asserted its concerns over continued non-compliance with regulatory requirements. That amounts to a third consecutive licence term in the case of CJWI and a fifth consecutive term of non-compliance for CJMS.

The Canadian Podcast Listener (CPL) is out with a Spring 2020 update. Ordinarily, the full study would be in field at this time, but has been delayed until fall when Jeff Vidler of Signal Hill Insights hopes consumer behaviour will be closer to the “future normal.” In the meantime, CPL has undertaken a brief survey for subscribers around Joe Rogan’s recent move to sign a multi-year exclusivity deal with Spotify. According to CPL, Spotify is gaining ground on Apple Podcasts as a podcast platform.YouTube remains the most widely used platform for podcast content, with Apple and Spotify now in a close race for 2nd and 3rd. Vidler says though still hypothetical at this point, and recognizing that Spotify clearly has other strategic benefits up its sleeve with the Rogan deal, it’s interesting to see the potential loss of reach among Joe Rogan Experience fans who use YouTube as a primary podcast platform. Download the Spring 2020 mini report, here.

Don Shafer

Don Shafer, the industry veteran behind The Conversation Lab podcast, is marking the 100th anniversary of radio in Canada with a Zoom-cast on Sunday, June 7 that will feature broadcasters and music industry veterans sharing their stories about great moments in radio. Among those set to participate are Bernie Finkelstein, Bob Roper, Cliff Dumas, Doug Thompson, Donna Saker, Dusty Shannon (Joanne Wilson), Earl Jive, JJ Johnston, Keith Hampshire, Rob Braide, Alexander Mair, Shirley McQueen and Terry David Mulligan. The hour-long event, which starts at 3 p.m. ET,  is open to everyone.

99.3 County FM (CJPE-FM) Prince Edward County, ON is planning a COVID-safe format for its Radiothon 2020, June 25-28. The annual Radiothon is moving to a slightly different format that will still feature performances by more than 40 local artists, but will be a mix of live in-studio performances and a collection of pre-recorded sets, produced at Back 40 Productions. The event’s Honorary Chair is Dr. Elizabeth Christie, lead physician of the Prince Edward Family Health Organization, and co- director of the PEC Covid Assessment Centre

Jacobs Media has released the results of its second “flash survey” to better understand radio’s role in the coronavirus crisis. Fielded May 12-14, nearly 100 commercial radio stations across the U.S. and Canada participated in the web-based survey. Unemployment among the 16,000 survey respondents rose to 15%, with another 5% indicating they were working reduced hours. Among the employed, nearly four in 10 were worried about job security. 26% of respondents said they were listening to their go-to radio station more, up from 18% in April; 48% said they were using more streaming services like Netflix (up from 46% in April); while watching local TV dropped from 25% to 19%. More than a fifth of respondents don’t have a working radio in their homes, with streaming up across station websites, apps, and smart speakers. The full survey results can be found here

Rogers’ Frequency Podcast Network has debuted its latest podcast, Heaven Bent, in which host Tara Jean Stevens explores the charismatic phenomenon known as the “Toronto Blessing” that began at Toronto’s Airport Vineyard church in 1994 and eventually made its way to her home congregation in Prince Rupert, BC. Worshippers would find themselves laughing, shaking, and falling to the ground. Stevens, who is now part of the KiSS (CKKS-FM) Vancouver morning show, looks back on her own experience 25 years ago in a search for the connection between truth and divine intervention.

Stitcher has released The Stitcher Podcasting Report, which looks at a decade of industry growth from the app’s perspective. As the industry continues to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour during the coronavirus pandemic, the report also includes an analysis of COVID-19-related listening patterns. Among its findings: the growth of podcasts is not slowing down with the number of podcasts published to Stitcher growing more than 129,000% since 2010; episodes are trending shorter with the average podcast episode length shortened by 2.4 minutes since 2013; and Gen X is the most dedicated listener group. While the 18–34 age group makes up the largest chunk of listeners, the 35–55 age group is more dedicated based on listening hours and the number of shows they’ve added to their favourites.

Acast has announced that any show on the Acast Open platform can now apply to be part of Acast Marketplace and request dynamic ad insertion as a potential revenue generator. Johan Billgren, Acast’s co-founder, says the move is aimed at further democratizing the podcasting landscape. 

LISTEN:  Broadcast veteran Tina Cortese is our guest on the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast. Cortese, station manager at 105.9 The Region, serving the York region of Greater Toronto, talks about the role of independent, local radio, the importance of diverse media voices, and why she’s hopeful about the future. Read more about 105.9 The Region, here.

LISTEN: Former CFRN-TV Edmonton anchor Carrie Doll joins Matt Cundill on the latest Sound Off Podcast. Doll, who left TV news in 2014, now hosts weekly podcast, The Inner Circle, and works as a public speaking coach. 

Lindsay Johnson

FEATURE: The Benztown blog is back with Andy Sannemann interviewing Lindsay Johnson of Crossfade Studio in Cape Town, South Africa. A former commercial radio producer, Johnson is now a freelance imager, who also produces multi-station audio campaigns. Read more here.

SIGN OFFS:

Richard Avery

Richard Avery, 76, on May 31, in Oshawa, ON after a brief illness. Avery began his career with Broadcast News in 1960, at age 16, in a messenger’s position on Parliament Hill. He would go on to work as a parliamentary reporter, known for his booming delivery, and later an editor. He retired from the wire service in 1996. In a wire message following his final editing shift, shared with Broadcast Dialogue, he wrote, “I received an education over the final four decades of the 20th century that no amount of money could buy. It has been a magnificent ride!”

Allen Baekland

Allen Baekeland, 61, on May 23, after a battle with cancer. Baekeland was a former CJSW station manager, the University of Calgary’s campus radio station, with his first show in 1976 exploring the emerging punk and new wave scenes. Baekeland was part of a group in the early 1980s that helped propel the station to notoriety, famously locking himself inside CJSW’s studios to prevent the Student Radio Society from being forced out of its space by student government. He went on to earn a Masters degree in Television, Radio and Film from Syracuse University’s Newhouse College and moved to Toronto in 1985. He worked briefly in those fields, but music became his focus and he decided that being a letter carrier for Canada Post would be more conducive to the lifestyle. Among the bands he played with were Lost & Profound, The Rembetika Hipsters, and The Now Feeling. He also volunteered at the University of Toronto’s CIUT-FM, where he met fellow volunteer Jennifer Norfolk, who would become his wife. They returned to Calgary in 1995 and Baekland resumed hosting at CJSW with country music program, The Boot Heel Drag, from 1996-2002. He continued to be an active member of the CJSW Programming Committee.

Bill Draper

William (Bill) Draper, 83, on Apr. 19, at St. Jerome Hospital, from complications following cancer treatment. Draper’s interest in journalism started as a teen in Montreal, following up on happenings he overheard on the police scanner and filing photos and stories that sometimes made it into the local papers. He was hired by CFCF Radio & TV in 1961. He went on to serve as the longtime assignment editor for CFCF-TV’s Pulse News. Draper retired in 1997.

TV & FILM:

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) is developing a proposal under which the federal government would underwrite coronavirus insurance claims in the event of another industry-wide shutdown or on-set outbreak. An update provided to producers this week and obtained by Variety, details a plan in which producers would pay premiums to access COVID-19 coverage, which would then go into “a dedicated pot to pay for potential claims.” The government would only contribute financially if the funds generated were insufficient to cover claims made. Insurers are refusing COVID-19 coverage for the production sector, which would put producers solely on the hook for any financial consequences.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television wrapped up four nights of virtual Canadian Screen Awards presentations last Thursday recognizing Cinematic Arts. The night’s big winners were Sophie Desraspe’s Antigone and François Girard’s The Song of Names. Antigone, Canada’s entry in this year’s Oscar race for Best International Feature Film, picked up five awards including Best Motion Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Actress and Supporting Actress nods. The Song of Names, a sweeping historical drama with a cast led by Tim Roth and Clive Owen, also earned five awards, including Achievement in Make-up, Sound Editing, Overall Sound, and two awards for Achievement in Music for Canadian composer Howard Shore, including Best Original Song. Read more here.

The Youth Media Alliance Awards of Excellence Gala was held online May 27, hosted by Catherine Ethier. This year, the jury chose three winners for its Award of Excellence for Outstanding Youth Personality, which highlights an outstanding person (or group) influential with young people who stands out for their uniqueness, daring, and positive presence on all platforms. The award was shared between actress Gabrielle Fontaine (Passe-Partout, 14 mille millions de choses à savoir, Tactik); Daniel Coutu, head writer, host, creator and producer of Par ici la magie, Technomagie, Science ou Magie; and Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse and Pier-Luc Funk for MAMMOUTH 2019. Find the full list of 18 Prix d’excellence 2020 Awards winners, here

CTV has quietly closed its physical North Bay, ON location. The network’s remaining three employees in the community will work from home. At its peak, the Oak St. studio housed a team of 55 when the station was known as MCTV or Mid Canada Television, which was created in 1980 when Cambrian Broadcasting, which owned the CTV affiliates in Sudbury, North Bay, and Timmins, merged with J. Conrad Lavigne’s CBC affiliates in those same cities. Baton Broadcasting acquired MCTV in 1990 and the stations were rebranded to CTV Northern Ontario in 2003.

Robin Cass

Robin Cass, a veteran producer with credits on Kim’s Convenience, The Republic of Love, and The Hanging Garden, among other projects, has launched new Vancouver-based production company, Cass & Co. Cass recently relocated to Vancouver from Toronto and is currently developing Waubgeshig Rice’s award-winning novel, Moon of The Crusted Snow, as well as Jefferson Moneo’s Crime Wave, a one-hour drama series co-produced with Robert Munroe (The Expanse, The Tudors). Additional projects include BossLady, a web series co-created by Cass and series star Measha Brueggergosman; and half-hour comedy Diva, created by Brueggergosman and Sharon Lewis (Brown Girl Begins). On the factual front, Dr. Brian Goldman’s (White Coat, Black Art) book The Power of Kindness is the source material for doc series HumanKind, a co-production with Nomad Films (Political Blind Date).

indieNET, a group of independent broadcasters that includes CHCH TV, YesTV, CHEK and NTV, has announced a new, digital approach for a joint Fall 2020 upfront presentation, set for Thursday, June 18. The digital broadcast, hosted by Airtime Television Sales, will announce new fall programming and celebrate the fifth anniversary of the indieNET partnership. It will be available for clients and advertisers to stream online live and on demand. Invitations to indieNET’s fifth anniversary upfront will be sent to media planners, buyers, and industry members in the coming days.  

The Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club has launched Arrows in an Hour, a new series that showcases the team’s most exciting Major League Rugby matches in a 60-minute highlight-driven format. The 10-episode series will be exclusive to club media partner TSN and air across its platforms weekly on Saturdays until Aug. 1. The Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club is Canada’s first professional rugby union team.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group has announced Q3 financial results. Revenue for the three and nine months ended Mar. 31, 2020 was $29.3 million and $59.6 million, compared to $20.9 million and $44.7 million for the comparative periods in fiscal 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $6.9 million and $11.2 million for the three and nine months ended Mar. 31, compared to $4.7 million and $10.3 million for the comparative periods in fiscal 2019. The company generated free cash flow of $4.5 million for the three months ended Mar. 31 after retiring the balance of a $6 million term loan. As of Mar. 30, Thunderbird’s team of more than 1,000 crew members across all divisions in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Ottawa and Toronto were set up to work remotely. Thunderbird says it’s continuing to pitch, develop, produce, sell, deliver and service content to its partners including Netflix, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, PBS, WGBH, Bell Media’s Discovery, APTN, Corus Entertainment, the Weather Channel, and the CBC, among others.

WOW! Unlimited Media has announced its results for the three months ended Mar. 31. The company completed the first quarter of 2020 with operating EBITDA of $0.1 million, as compared to a loss of ($1.8) million for the first quarter of 2019. Revenue for the three months ended Mar. 31 decreased by $5.8 million compared to the same period in 2019. With the onset of the global COVID-19 crisis, the Mainframe team pro-actively leveraged its Global Studio Pipeline to transition into a ‘Work From Home’ model for its entire 400+ Studio crew. The directive was successfully deployed within one week, without interruption to operations. Mainframe plans to adapt the Work From Home model beyond the current crisis to expand its production capacity without leasing additional facilities. Production of each of the company’s titles has continued with minimal disruption to client commitments. Over 200 half-hours of episodic animation and seven animated movie specials are currently in production or contracted and scheduled.

Moonbug, a global entertainment company that develops and distributes values-based content for kids, has announced its expansion within Canada through a new partnership with WOW! Unlimited and Crave. With the partnership, Seasons 4 – 6 of Moonbug’s popular soccer series Supa Strikas are now available for streaming in Canada for the first time, including Season 7 launching as part of WOW’s curated kids content collections on Crave on June  26. Additionally, 10 episodes of both Little Baby Bum and My Magic Pet Morphle will be available in the WOW! collection this summer.

Bell Media’s The Harold Greenberg Fund is ending its third fiscal quarter with support for 23 new Canadian feature film projects through the fund’s Script Development Program. With the Canadian film production industry facing unprecedented challenges, the latest round of funding represents an investment of more than $330,000. Read more about this round of projects, here.

Telefilm Canada is providing nearly $8 million in funding for six French-language feature films. Given current industry uncertainty, Telefilm is postponing its next application deadline. The films selected in this round are: Arsenault et Fils, Director and screenwriter: Rafaël Ouellet; Babysitter, Director: Monia Chokri, Screenwriter: Catherine Léger; Béluga Blues, Directors: Christine Dallaire-Dupont and Nicola Lemay, Screenwriter: Andrée Lambert; Lignes de fuite, Directors and screenwriters: Catherine Chabot and Myriam Bouchard; Norbourg, Director: Maxime Giroux, Screenwriter: Simon Lavoie; and Soleils Atikamekw, Director and screenwriter: Chloé Leriche.

Hollywood Suite is playing the “Best of the Best” this summer, airing 92 award-winning films, spanning eight decades, uncut and commercial-free. Airing nightly, starting this week with Oscar Best Picture winners Patton (1970), Moonlight (2016), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), All About Eve (1950), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Hurt Locker (2008) and Out of Africa (1985), a different category of curated selections will run weekly through Aug. 31.

CTV Life Channel is on nationwide free preview until July 9. Among the series set to debut during the freeview are Bell Media Studios production, Double Your Dish, Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET, beginning June 29. The eight episode, half-hour, self-shot cooking series, helps viewers make the most out of their meals by transforming one base recipe into two totally different dishes. The CTV Life freeview is available through participating television service providers, including Bell, Bell Aliant, BellMTS, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, and participating members of the CCSA

Valérie HérouxStingray is expanding its distribution deal to give Rogers Ignite TV customers access to Qello Concerts by Stingray and Stingray Karaoke. Both are available in free preview for Ignite TV customers until July 2. To discover, Ignite TV customers can simply say “Stingray Qello” and “Stingray Karaoke” into their voice remote.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Rogers is resurrecting Speakers Corner, the iconic little booth that stood at the corner of Queen St. West & John St. in Toronto from 1990 until 2008, and was part of the legend of MuchMusic and the CHUM-City building. Rogers, which now owns Citytv, announced Wednesday that it’s resurrecting Speakers Corner online, to give Canadians a place to talk about the current politically and socially-charged climate as protests continue in the wake of the recent police-involved deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto. Rogers Sports & Media has also announced plans to host a virtual CityNews & OMNI Television Town Hall next week, where “prominent Canadians will share their views and opinions on the need for change in the fight against racism and inequality.” Read more here.

Media Technology Monitor (MTM), a research product of CBC/Radio-Canada has released its latest Sneak Peek Report looking at technology use and communication patterns during COVID-19. Based on an online survey of 4,000 Canadians, its findings include huge growth in use of platforms like Facebook Messenger and Zoom. Just over six in 10 online Canadians have made an online video call during COVID-19. Over-the-top (OTT) streaming services are seeing increases in both subscriptions and stacking of those services. Three quarters of online Canadians currently subscribe to at least one OTT service and the number of Canadians who subscribed to three or more OTT services has grown by 58% (12% pre-COVID vs. 19% during COVID). In the absence of watching live sports entertainment, half of sports fans have forgone any kind of replacement for this loss, however the other half have turned to classic games (30%), sports clips and past games (21%), and sports documentaries (16%). Just over one in six online Canadians have used a social viewing feature like Netflix Party to watch content with friends and family during COVID-19. Facebook and YouTube lead as the most popular options for remote social viewing at 36%, followed by Netflix Party at 31%. MTM also found that three quarters of online Canadians have watched a Canadian news channel this Spring, up from 53% pre–COVID. 

Comscore says Canadian media consumers use of News and Information categories online reached their peak the week of Mar. 23. According to its latest analysis, Comscore says the same trend can be seen across all news categories, including general news, local news, and business/finance news. As Canadians settled into the new normal, digital media consumption saw a slight decline for the weeks beginning Apr. 27th and May 4. Comscore says at the same time, there is renewed interest in real estate and automotive content, and continued growth in retail, especially in categories like sports/outdoors and home furnishings.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) says it’s outraged following numerous assaults and arrests of working reporters at the hands of police as they cover protests sweeping the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s police-involved death in Minneapolis on May 25. Among those that have been targeted are CBC senior correspondent Susan Ormiston, who was shot at with rubber bullets in Minneapolis on Sunday, while Radio-Canada colleague Philippe LeBlanc had his tires slashed. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker says it’s now investigating more than 250 incidents involving journalists. It would ordinarily investigate about 150 complaints in an entire year. Read more here.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the recipients of the 2019 CAJ Awards for outstanding investigative journalism. They include Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed News who won the McGillivray Award for his multi-part look at how one company successfully used Facebook and fake news posts to lure people into subscription-based services that ended up ripping them off. The Charles Bury President’s Award, given under circumstances of exceptional merit to those who have made a significant contribution to Canadian journalism, was presented to Jerome Turner, Jesse Winter and Amber Bracken for their dedicated reporting at the Coastal GasLink pipeline standoff in Wet’suwet’en earlier this year under threat of arrest from RCMP. Find the full list of winners, here.

The Canadian Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) says it plans to expand its J-School Noire program, which launched in February in Halifax, to more cities. Designed to introduce Black youth, ages 13-18, to journalism and media, the workshop covers storytelling (on-air and online), conducting interviews, shooting and editing and live reporting. Participants are also connected with Black media professionals, who continue mentoring students even after the workshop ends. Under the current social distancing measures, CABJ has been hosting Zoom mentoring sessions, including a recent Q&A with CBC Halifax morning show host Portia Clark


 

Bell Canada has announced that Ericsson will provide radio access network (RAN) equipment for its national 5G wireless network, while TELUS says it’s selected Ericsson and Nokia to support building its 5G network. Huawei wasn’t mentioned by either company. Perceived as a potential security threat by the U.S., the Americans have warned allies, including Canada and the UK, that it would limit intelligence sharing with those who integrate Huawei equipment into their 5G networks. TELUS CFO Doug French previously indicated in February that the company’s initial 5G rollout would use Huawei tech. The federal government has yet to release the results of its own risk assessment.

BCE has agreed to sell 25 data centres at 13 sites to global interconnection and data centre company Equinix, Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at CDN $1.04 billion. Equinix is acquiring Bell data centre facilities in eight cities across Canada, while Bell will continue to own and operate five other data centres in Calgary, Halifax, Saint John, St. John’s and Toronto. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2020.

Rogers Communications has started hiring for its new B.C. customer solution centre in Kelowna, which will bring 350 new jobs into the local economy by 2021. All positions will be work from home until the new centre can be safely opened. Employees at the new centre will handle approximately one million Rogers and Fido customer interactions each year.

Rogers Centre, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays, is set to become the temporary home to 10 million pounds of food, as Rogers and Jays Care Foundation support Food Banks Canada with new initiative Step Up to the Plate. With food banks continuing to battle food donation shortages and significant drops in volunteers, Rogers Centre will house 6,000 pallets of food that will be sorted into food hampers on the field and delivered across the country to families in need. Each hamper will be filled with non-perishable food items, providing one individual with a week’s worth of food. Hundreds of Rogers employees and their families will be volunteering to stuff the food hampers as part of Rogers’s annual “Give Together” volunteer program. The company will also be tapping its mobile retail team, Rogers Pro On-the-Go, to help with deliveries on the ground.  The goal is to fill 390,000 hampers, for a total of 8 million meals.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

SAIT Broadcast Systems Technology students submit a Capstone Project or White Paper in their final semester. Instructor Lubos Kuzma has shared “Video Over IP: Security Considerations and Concerns,” a White Paper submitted by Frances Kootnekoff, Craig Young, and Danny Lee. Their research project tackles the potential for security issues within broadcast facilities looking at real life breaches including France’s TV5Monde, San Francisco’s KQED, and The Weather Channel, among others. Read more here.

SMPTE, (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), has introduced a series of revisions to the SMPTE Interoperable Master Format (IMF) standards documents (SMPTE ST 2067) to bring additional features to the IMF system, address conflicts, and improve consistency for end users. The revisions address results from IMF Plugfests, as well as feedback from implementers and users working with IMF standards to enable real-world content versioning, packaging, and delivery. Bruce Devlin, SMPTE’s VP of Standards, says the revisions “reflect increasing adoption of the standard and learned wisdom through operational practice across the theatrical and broadcast communities.” The new revisions apply to SMPTE ST 2067-2 IMF Core Constraints, SMPTE ST 2067-3 IMF Composition Playlist, SMPTE ST 2067-5 IMF Essence Component, and SMPTE 2067-21 IMF Application #2E. Find the full list of standards documents here