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CRTC, Media & Conference News – Corus asks CRTC for flexibility on Canadian programming expenditures

Corus has asked the CRTC for flexibility to spend 10% less on Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) in the upcoming fiscal year and then make up the difference before the end of its licence term in Aug. 2022. The amendments are being requested as part of conditions of licence attached to Corus’ English-language television stations and discretionary services. Corus is requesting an increase of its maximum allowable under-expenditure limit from 5% to 10%, conditional on full payment of the total required CPE being made by the end of the current licence term. Corus says it’s experienced significant revenue swings over the last two broadcasting years and because CPE requirements are tied to licenced broadcasters’ previous year’s gross annual revenues, those swings are driving a dramatic, unanticipated spike in Corus’ CPE requirements for the 2019-20 broadcasting year. Corus says the spike will mean a dramatic increase in its Canadian programming investment in a short time frame.

CBC/Radio-Canada has removed the names of journalists Rosemary Barton and John Paul Tasker from a lawsuit filed against the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) alleging copyright infringement. The move follows public backlash after The Globe and Mail broke the story last Friday that the public broadcaster had filed suit against the CPC for use of CBC News clips on Twitter and its website The hashtags #DefundCBC and #RosieMustGo both trended on Twitter as word of the suit made its rounds on social media. The lawsuit has reinflamed suggestions from CBC detractors of both political bias on the part of the public broadcaster and a last-ditch attempt to preserve its $946 million in annual funding under a Liberal government. Read more here.

Steve Sxwilthul’txw

CBC Vancouver will host the fourth edition of Indigenous Junior J-School Nov. 13, a chance for Indigenous youth to experience what it’s like to work in broadcast journalism. Created in partnership with TV and film producer Steve Sxwilthul’txw, the event brings together CBC Indigenous journalists and hosts like Duncan McCue, Stephanie Brown, Ian Hanomansing, and Gloria Macarenko, with over 100 Indigenous youth from across BC’s Lower Mainland. Students receive hands on training through workshops on editing, producing and writing. The event will also feature a concert by Haisla rappers Snotty Nose Rez Kids. The registration deadline is Nov. 8. More info here.

Mora Austin

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) is still inviting last-minute applications for this year’s awards program, including its new Inspiring Women Award. The award is aimed at recognizing and helping women advance in an industry where they remain under-represented at the executive level. It offers delegate passes to a number of industry conferences including OAB, Canadian Music Week, and NAB; opportunity to shadow OAB board members and the Ontario Regional Commissioner for the CRTC; and music industry networking. OAB is also accepting applications for its Best in Class Sales Award, Creative Award, Community Service Campaign Award, and Promotions Award. The deadline is this Friday, Oct. 18. Read our feature with OAB past-president Mora Austin, here.

Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) has announced that the 86th annual WAB Conference will take place June 10-11, 2020 at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Learn more about conference sponsorship opportunities here.

The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) presents the eighth edition of its Children, Youth & Media conference Nov. 6-8 in Toronto. Youth media production professionals will explore topics including discoverability, the 6-12 age group target, and diversity and inclusion, among other program highlights. Check out the full conference lineup here.

My Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) made Canadian Business Magazine’s 2019 Growth 500 list of Fastest-Growing Companies for the ninth consecutive year. Founded in 2004 with six employees, MBC has grown to a staff of 125, operating radio stations and web portals in 21 Ontario markets. Other telecommunications companies making this year’s list include Sudbury’s Sunwire, Brockville-based Truespeed Internet Services, iS5 Communications in Mississauga, Tango Networks in Edmonton, and EBOX in Longueuil, Quebec. 

Corus Entertainment has donated $42,000 to Concordia University to further student education in investigative journalism techniques by funding teaching collaborations, editorial meetings, access-to-information requests, and co-op work study opportunities. Over the past two months, Corus has made similar presentations to Trent University, Mohawk College, University of King’s College in Nova Scotia, Okanagan College and University of Regina. All of the donations fall under the CRTC-mandated reallocation of tangible benefits.

The Canadian Press/Broadcast News veteran Dale Patterson has penned his third book Close, But No Cigar (Red Deer Press). The book celebrates the runner-ups, nearly-weres, and also-rans from the forgotten corners of science, sports, entertainment, and politics like Harriet Quimby, the first woman to fly the English Channel solo, whose triumph was lost in the news as it coincided with the sinking of the Titanic; or Lord Halifax, a front-runner to become Prime Minister of England in 1940, but missed a key meeting while at a dentist appointment and lost the job to Winston Churchill. Patterson is also the author of Fifteen Minutes of Fame: History’s One-Hit Wonders and What Time of Day was That? History by the Minute.

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