Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Jessica Mulroney

Jessica Mulroney series I Do, Redo has been dropped by CTV following an online spat between the host and Black social media influencer Sasha Exeter, that ended in the media personality and stylist threatening to tarnish Exeter’s name with consumer brands she partners with. CTV issued a statement last Thursday saying it encourages its “entire team including our on-air talent to practice respect, inclusivity, and allyship…and more openly to listen to and amplify Black voices, and not to minimize them” and that Mulroney’s conduct “conflicts with our commitment to diversity and equality.” Similar statements from Cityline, which Mulroney has been a contributor on, and Hudson’s Bay Company, where Mulroney has been a bridal specialist and ambassador for Kleinfeld Bridal, followed. Mulroney, who is married to Etalk anchor Ben Mulroney, issued her own statement saying “the events that have transpired over the last few days have made it clear that I have work to do…I respect the decision of CTV and have decided to step away from my professional engagements at this time.” Read more here.

CBC Yukon Morning host Christine Genier has resigned. In a powerful and personal statement at the close of the June 8 edition of the show, Genier talked about the restriction of Indigenous and Black voices on the radio, saying “it is difficult to have a voice as strong as mine…and not be able to speak the truth is difficult. It contradicts and conflicts with the Journalistic Standards and Practices of the CBC. This is painful and makes the job difficult and makes it ineffective.” In a goodbye note later posted to Facebook, Genier said her hope had been to be part of the change from the inside. 

Nana Aba Duncan

Nana aba Duncan is taking a leave of absence from CBC after being selected as a Massey College William Southam Journalism Fellow. She’ll be researching the experiences of racialized and women leaders in Canadian media and plans to feature her work in Season 3 of the Media Girlfriends podcast. Duncan has hosted CBC Ontario weekend morning show, Fresh Air, since 2017, in addition to a range of other shows, including Podcast Playlist

Duncan McCue

Duncan McCue, host of CBC Radio One’s Cross County Checkup and a Toronto-based correspondent for The National, has announced he’ll be on sabbatical next year. McCue has also been accepted as a Massey College William Southam Journalism Fellow and will be devoting more time to studying the Anishinaabemowin language.

Mike Wise

Mike Wise is leaving CBC News Toronto to join Humber College full-time as a professor and program coordinator for the post-graduate Journalism program. Wise has been with the public broadcaster for 26 years and the late night CBC Toronto News at 11 anchor since 2010. He started teaching part-time at Humber in 2016. 

Jen Moroz

Jen Moroz is leaving CBC to join Toronto podcast production house, Antica Productions, as Executive Producer of Growth and Operations. Moroz has been with the public broadcaster for 12 years, most recently as Executive Producer of Program Development for CBC News. She’s also a past EP of q and The Current, among other shows.

 

 

Jean Phillipe Pineault

Jean-Philippe Pineault has been appointed to the newly-created role of General Manager, News and Information, for V Media, effective July 27. Reporting to Suzane Landry, Vice-President, French-Language Content Development and Programming, Bell Media, Pineault will be responsible for establishing and leading operations and strategic vision for the new V newsroom, set to launch in 2021, as well as it’s ongoing newsgathering strategy. Pineault was most recently news director at Cogeco Media, where he oversaw Cogeco’s news talk radio stations. He previously held similar management roles at The Canadian Press and TC Media.

Joey Slattery

Joey Slattery has joined CTV Winnipeg as the station’s sports director. Slattery has been a VJ and anchor for CTV Edmonton for the past year. He’s been with the network since 2013 with previous stops in North Bay and Regina. 

Daryl Holien

Daryl Holien, General Manager of Harvard Broadcasting’s Red Deer operation for the last decade, is retiring. Holien has been with Harvard since 2000, and was previously Director of FM Programming, based in Regina. His career started in 1976 as an overnight announcer for Rawlco in Regina. From there, he worked at CKDA Victoria, CKXL and CHFM Calgary, and 98.5 The Ocean (CJVI-FM) Victoria, among other stops.

Travis Stewart

Travis Stewart is moving from Harvard Broadcasting’s 100.5 CRUZ FM (CHFT-FM) Fort McMurray to its Regina station, 104.9 The Wolf  (CFWF-FM). Stewart has been hosting the CRUZ FM morning show for the past two years. He moves to afternoons at The Wolf, in addition to taking on music director duties.  

Laura Mainella

Laura Mainella has joined Cat Country 98 (CIAT-FM) Assiniboia, SK as morning show host. Mainella has previously hosted at Giant FM (CIXL-FM) Niagara, Hot 89.9 (CIHT-FM) Ottawa, and Magic 94.9 (CKGE-FM) Oshawa, among other stations.

 

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

StatsRadio has released insights from its ‘Phase 1’ post-pandemic analysis. The audience measurement startup looked at listener data following partial reopenings (May 25 – June 7), 18+, for all 65 StatsRadio-measured stations in Québec, Ontario and New Brunswick. Half of its clients saw an average increase in reach of 16% and half saw an average decrease in reach of 18%. Half of those stations that saw an increase continued to see increases during both confinement (Mar. 23 – Apr. 5) and afterwards while the other half rebounded from a drop during confinement. As for tuning, two-thirds of StatsRadio stations saw an average increase in listening time of 18%, while the rest saw a decrease on average of 13%. Of the stations that experienced an increase in tuning, two-thirds rebounded from a drop during confinement. StatsRadio says there were no clear patterns or trends when looking at specific markets.

CBC and Scandinavian production company Munck Studios are co-producing new true crime podcast The Conspiracy, investigating the 1986 murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme that promises to shed new light on one of the most notorious political murders in recent history. The announcement follows Swedish prosecutor Krister Petersson’s revelation last week pointing to the late Stig Engström as the murderer, thereby closing the preliminary investigation. The Conspiracy is set for release in Spring 2021. It’s being produced by the same team behind Hunting Warhead, winner of the 2020 New York Festival Grand Award for Best Investigative Reporting, and award-winning Dutch producers Jennifer Pettersson and Jair Stein. 

CBC Podcasts has dropped the first two episodes of Uncover: Dead Wrong, Season 7 of the true crime series. Hosted by veteran Halifax reporter Tim Bousquet, who currently helms online startup, the Halifax Examiner, Uncover: Dead Wrong explores the murder of Dartmouth, NS sex worker Brenda Way and her former boyfriend Glen Assoun, who spent more than 17 years in prison in connection with her 1995 stabbing death, a crime he did not commit. 

Arlene Dickinson has launched new podcast Reinvention, produced by her own marketing and communications firm, Venture Communications. With the prospect of change top of mind for many Canadians, the new series shares the entrepreneur’s insight on the importance of reinventing not only your business but yourself in the process. The podcast, which debuted June 17, will feature guests like chemical engineer turned Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke, Canadian Olympian Tessa Virtue, and singer-songwriter k.d. lang, among others. It will draw from Dickinson’s latest book, Reinvention: Changing Your Life, Your Career, Your Future.

Kelly&Kelly, the Vancouver creative studio behind This Sounds Serious (which won the inaugural Best Podcast honour at this week’s BANFF Rockie Awards), is crowdfunding to launch a new kids podcast that will create gigs for 50 comedians. Hosted by Larry Dobbs (aka Peter Oldring), The Plop is a weekly sketchy comedy podcast for youth, aged 7-12, that promises to capture the spirit of SCTV, Mad TV, and Monty Python, but for kids. It aims to put comedians, especially those up-and-coming, back to work. Learn more, here.

 

 

Midnight in the Desert, one of the shows hosted by the late Art Bell, and the radio network he created, Dark Matter Digital Network, re-launched as an audio/video streaming network June 17, on what would have been Bell’s 75th birthday. Affiliates can now pick up the “Best of Art Bell” for national and international terrestrial radio and digital streaming syndication. Midnight In The Desert has been acquired by a private holdings group, and is now managed and directed by former show producer David Rubini, who has been tapped to run the network as Operations Director and Executive Producer, taking over from former colleague Keith Rowland. Dark Matter Digital Network will begin terrestrial syndication out of original flagship station, KNYE 95.1 FM in Pahrump, NV. Listeners can also tune in at DarkMatterDigitalNetwork.com, the Tune-In App or via the Paranormal.Radio App available from Talk Stream Live.

Radioplayer Worldwide has signed a new partnership agreement with AUDI AG as the lead developer of infotainment systems within the Volkswagen Group. The agreement is a renewal of an existing partnership Radioplayer has had with AUDI since 2017 to support development of their hybrid radio systems that have the ability to seamlessly switch between FM, DAB and internet streaming. The new agreement will ensure Radioplayer continues to support VW Group cars already in the market with hybrid radio, including AUDIs, VWs, Porsches and Lamborghinis, as well as collaborating on future integrations and radio features. Radioplayer will supply official broadcaster metadata to AUDI as well as technical support and input to the future radio user experience. This work will prioritize hybrid radio and also include a roadmap to provide visuals to enhance the radio experience on larger dashboard screens, on-demand content like podcasts, and development of a personalized radio experience for drivers and passengers.

Rush has premiered a new conceptual music video for “The Spirit of Radio” in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Permanent Waves, that pays tribute to some of the DJs that first spun their records. Among them are CFNY-FM Toronto programmer David Marsden, syndicated Rockline host Bob Coburg, legendary Southern California classic rock DJ Jim Ladd, and Donna Halper, who is credited with discovering the band while at WMMS Cleveland in 1974. Read more here.

X92.9 (CFEX-FM) Calgary personality Graham Mosimann revealed on YouTube this week that he’s just passed his one-year sobriety date after being unable to remember doing his June 13, 2019 show, the night the Toronto Raptors clinched the NBA Finals Championship. The video, entitled ‘Discovering I Was An Alcoholic Was The Best Thing That’s Ever Happened To Me’ was prompted, in part, by Mosimann’s concern about record high liquor sales in Alberta during the pandemic period.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Heather Osgood, the founder of California-based True Native Media, answers questions about podcast advertising, including how mid-level podcasters can access ad dollars for their show, what dynamic ad insertion is, who needs it, and what exactly IAB certified or compliant metrics are. 

SIGN OFFS:

Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith, 82, on June 10, following a two-year struggle with Lewy body dementia. A former president of the McGill University Student Society and debating champion, Smith’s interest in public speaking led him to work in television as co-host of early 1960s CBC Montreal program “Youth Special” with his future wife, Paddy Springate. He later anchored CBC’s “The New Generation.” Smith went on to obtain his degree in medicine from McGill with a major in psychiatry. He entered politics in 1965, seeking the Liberal nomination for the Montreal riding of Mount Royal, but eventually withdrew his nomination in favour of a then unknown Pierre Trudeau. In 1967, Smith left Montreal for Hamilton to become a professor of psychiatry at the new McMaster University Medical School and hosted weekly series “This is Psychiatry” on CHCH-TV. In 1975, he ran as a Liberal in the Ontario provincial election in Hamilton West and became Leader of the Official Opposition, serving alongside Premier William Davis and NDP leader Stephen Lewis. He led the Ontario Liberal Party through the 1978 and ’81 elections before retiring from politics.

TV & FILM:

Baroness von Sketch Show came away the big winner of the 2020 Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) Rockie Awards, which were presented virtually Monday afternoon. The Frantic Films-produced CBC series, which is heading into its fifth and final season, won Best Comedy & Variety Program, the $25,000 Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content, and the Canadian Award of Distinction, which is presented to a group whose body of work exemplifies outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry. Among other Canadian winners were Accessible Media Inc.’s Employable Me, which won Best Lifestyle Program; Vancouver’s Kelly&Kelly, which won the inaugural Best Podcast honour for This Sounds Serious; while Toronto-headquartered Wattpad Studios picked up this year’s Innovative Producer Award. Read more here.

Molly of Denali, produced by WGBH Boston and Thunderbird Entertainment’s Atomic Cartoons for PBS KIDS and CBC Kids, is the 2020 Peabody Award winner in the Children’s and Youth Category. Since its 2019 premiere, Molly of Denali has been recognized as the first nationally distributed children’s series in the U.S. to feature an Indigenous lead character. More than 60 Alaska Native actors, writers, advisors, producers and musicians are involved across the production.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and broadcast partner CBC have announced that The JUNOS will be presented virtually on Monday, June 29 at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) on CBC Gem, CBC Music’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages, and for international audiences at CBCMusic.ca/junos. The awards will be given out across all 42 categories with performances by nominees iskwē, Neon Dreams, and The Dead South, while guest presenters include Andrew Phung from Kim’s Convenience, Toronto Raptor Chris Boucher, Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things, George Stroumboulopoulos, and CBC Music hosts Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe, Julie Nesrallah, Odario Williams, and Rich Terfry, among others. The awards were originally set to take place in Saskatoon this past March.

The Indspire Awards, which recognize Indigenous people who have made significant contributions to Indigenous education, culture, business, health, law, sports and public service in Canada, will be broadcast nationwide June 21 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, the CBC Listen app and APTNTiffany Ayalik, JUNO-winning artist and performer, along with actor Craig Lauzon, will co-host the awards.

 

 

CBC has restored hour-long, local evening newscasts in Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia and Manitoba, nearly three months after they were cut due to COVID-19 overwhelming technical resources. The regular full-hour format resumed Monday, June 15. CBC News Network has also returned to full-hour formats for Power and Politics at 5 p.m. ET and CBC News Live at 7 p.m. ET. 

The CRTC will allow U.S. shopping channel QVC to be added to the list of programming services and stations authorized for distribution in Canada, after being forced to reconsider an earlier decision due to implementation of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which comes into force July 1. the CUSMA trade deal makes certain pronouncements relating to areas that fall within the commission’s jurisdiction, including ensuring access of U.S. home shopping services to the Canadian broadcasting system. 

Skindigenous, the APTN documentary series that explores Indigenous tattooing traditions around the world, has been licensed by PBS. Season 1 of the series, produced by Nish Media, has been purchased by NITV (SBS) in Australia, RSI Switzerland and MAORI TV in New Zealand, while Seasons 1 and 2 have been picked up by UR Sweden and USHUAIA in France. Season 2 is currently airing on APTN in both English and Dene until July 15, while Season 3 is in production.

CBC and Radio-Canada Distribution, the public broadcaster’s international content licensing arm, have announced the sale of original culinary competition series Fridge Wars (6×60) to The CW Network in the U.S. Co-created by CBC and The Gurin Company, the series premiered on CBC in February. The CW is adding the series to its Summer 2020 schedule, starting Aug. 2. Fridge Wars pits two celebrity chefs against one another with a challenge to create extraordinary meals using only the ingredients taken from the ordinary fridges of typical families. The improvised dinners must win over two families who act as judges to determine which chef wins each battle.

Hudson & Rex has been greenlit for a third season with production to start on 16 new episodes in St. John’s, NL in July. Produced by Shaftesbury and Pope Productions, in association with Citytv and Beta Film GmbH, broadcast dates for the upcoming season will be announced in the coming weeks. The series has been sold to more than 100 territories including Italy, Germany, and France.

Sportsnet Bracket Challenge will see a mix of NHL and women’s hockey stars, along with Sportsnet hosts, compete in a virtual gaming tournament for charity. Sportsnet’s Shawn McKenzie and Spittin’ Chiclets star Paul Bissonette have recruited 16 athletes and personalities for the virtual Stanley Cup, powered by EA SPORTS NHL® 20, including Team Canada’s Erin Ambrose, St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane, Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Kesler, and Sportsnet personalites James Cybulski and Steve Dangle, among others. Eight half-hour episodes featuring key matchups from the tournament started airing on Sportsnet and streaming on Sportsnet NOW, June 17. Donations totalling $50,000 will go to the winning players’ charities of choice.

Mary Walsh, Tom Green, Deborah Cox, and Elisha Cuthbert are among the Canadian celebrities announced as Drag Race Canada guest hosts when the series debuts July 2. Airing exclusively on Crave in Canada, Drag Race Canada has also been picked up by BBC Three in the UK, in addition to being available in the U.S. and other select territories on WOW Presents Plus.

CTV Comedy Channel is on nationwide free preview from June 18 to July 23. It features an all-new season of CTV Comedy Original The Stand Up Show with Jon Dore, premiering June 30. Filmed at the 2019 Just For Laughs festival in Montréal, the Canadian comic spotlights up-and-coming names in comedy, including Sasheer Zamata, Kyle Brownrigg, LETTERKENNY’s Mark Forward, and Jackie Pirico. Also debuting during the freeview is new animated series Crossing Swords (June 18); outrageous gameshow Your Face Or Mine (June 28), hosted by legendary British comic Jimmy Carr and Canada’s Katherine Ryan; and a look back at old stand up sets with The Throwback starring Wanda Sykes (June 28). The freeview is available through participating service providers, including Bell, Bell Aliant, BellMTS, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, Shaw Direct, and Telus. Subscribers and non-subscribers alike can also sample select programming at ctvcomedy.ca.

Cable 14 Hamilton was awarded the Outstanding Business Achievement Award of the Year in the medium-sized business category, during a virtual broadcast on June 9. Presented by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the event annually recognizes local companies whose business achievements made an outstanding contribution to Hamilton in 2019. Cable 14 was in the midst of celebrating its 50th anniversary broadcast season when the COVID-19 pandemic derailed celebration plans. However, the channel, owned and operated by Cogeco and Rogers, pivoted into a vital role, partnering with the City of Hamilton’s Emergency Operations Centre to help communicate federal, provincial, and municipal information and keep residents informed.

The Indigenous Screen Office & Netflix Partnership Program has granted over $300,000 in Apprenticeship & Cultural Mentorship Funding to Indigenous screen creators in its latest round. The Cultural Mentorships Program provides opportunities for Indigenous creators to engage in cultural mentorship, engagement, and learning, during the development phases of their project. The goal of the second round for the Indigenous Production Apprenticeships is to create new opportunities for hands-on training and career progression for Indigenous creatives who want to take their careers to the next level. Read more about this round of recipients, here.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) have introduced a new program to support Québec TV series producers. The Predevelopment Funding Program for TV Series Based on Québec Literary Adaptations supports the predevelopment of documentary, youth, and animated series, in French, adapted from Québec literary works. The new program is aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Québec TV production companies in national and international markets and to foster production of high-level Québec intellectual properties. Find program guidelines here. The application deadline is July 27.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Facebook has struck an agreement with The Canadian Press that will create eight new reporting jobs. The digital giant will provide $1 million through a one-year fellowship initiative, with reporters expected to be in place in newsrooms from Halifax to Vancouver by the fall. CP says it only agreed to participate in the project on the guarantee it will proceed without influence from Facebook and with no infringement on editorial independence. Canadian publishers have been lobbying the federal government to compel Facebook and Google to share their advertising revenue with media companies, following the lead of Australia and France. Canadian Heritage Min. Steven Guilbeault told the BANFF World Media Festival on Tuesday that legislation modernizing the Broadcasting Act will be tabled this fall, with the Liberal government planning to introduce legislation requiring digital companies to compensate news organizations who aggregate copyrighted content. Guilbeault told virtual BANFF attendees that he doesn’t think government should be funding media and that beyond the current crisis, longer term solutions are needed.

VICE has completed a restructuring of its VICE Canada office that resulted in the layoff of 19 unionized employees, more than half of the Canada Media Guild (CMG) bargaining unit. The union says it was able to work with management to negotiate four weeks of severance per year of service (with a minimum of four weeks). It also says it was able to preserve several rare staff roles in editorial, “taking into account that the majority of editorial staff are women of colour.” With collective bargaining negotiations set to resume, CMG says it’s committed “to proposing new language that will task the company with publishing self-reports and diversity statistics on a regular basis, establishing processes to hire and retain more BIPOC and people from other underrepresented groups, and consulting with the union on issues relevant to the promotion of a diverse workforce.” 

Media Central Corporation CEO Brian Kalish has penned an open letter to NOW Toronto readers, following the release of a June 9 open letter to shareholders in which he indicated that NOW and Vancouver alt weekly the Georgia Straight would be moving away from their focus on arts and venues, in favour of more esports, health, education and finance coverage. Kalish says his comments “were sadly taken out of context.” “Arts and culture have been the cornerstone of NOW and the Straight from day one, and they will continue to remain important facets of our publications,” asserted Kalish. “So while we strive to ensure a commitment to the past, we need to expand our coverage into the future and to invite new readers into our community. To do so, we have also selected an omnichannel publishing route that engages all our print, digital and social media channels, to best leverage the award-winning editorial that I am proud to deliver to you each and every day. While our content is not or ever will be for sale, our new approach to publishing was created to triangulate the discussion between news and marketing, to better understand potential and previously unidentified readership and publication growth opportunities.” 

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

TSN has issued an apology to BodyBreak co-host Hal Johnson after the personality revealed the repeated racism he endured at the hands of the network in a YouTube video Tuesday. Johnson said the primary reason he and wife Joanne McLeod started BodyBreak was to combat racism, following several experiences, including his hiring and ‘un-hiring’ by TSN in April 1988 because the network “already had a Black reporter” in Mark Jones. Johnson went on to pitch BodyBreak unsuccessfully to 42 companies, before going back to TSN, which asked him to re-cast his role with a white co-host because they weren’t sure Canada was ready for a bi-racial couple. It was then that Johnson contacted and secured a contract with Participaction

Randy Lennox

Bell Media President Randy Lennox has outlined an action plan the company is taking to increase representation of diverse voices in the content it broadcasts, including a new Content Diversity Task Force. “As a media company, we have the responsibility to ensure the content we air is reflective of our viewers and listeners, including Black and Indigenous peoples and People of Colour,” said Lennox, in a statement. BIPOC TV & Film, a grassroots collective of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in the film and TV industry, will have three advisory positions on the task force, along with content leaders from Bell Media’s news, sports, radio, digital, programming, production, marketing, and communications teams.

University of King’s College

University of King’s College, Ryerson and Carleton Journalism students are calling for more inclusive, diverse representation and programming. The Call to Action from Carleton students alleges that the School of Journalism “has created an environment where BIPOC students feel that they do not belong, cannot raise pertinent issues and are unsupported in their places of work.” Ryerson students want a media course focused on how to report on issues affecting Black Canadians, while King’s students point to the program’s exclusively white faculty and sessional instructors.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is raising a number of concerns about Ontario’s proposed Bill 156 and it’s impacts on journalists and the public’s right to know. Their concerns include the targeting of investigative journalists and a lack of protections for whistleblowers. CAJ has submitted written testimony to the Standing Committee on General Government.

The Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec (FPJQ) is calling for the Crown to appeal a Québec Court decision to acquit the leader of a white nationalist group for intimidating and harassing a journalist at VICE’s former Montréal office. The FPJQ wants the Crown to appeal the decision in the case of journalist Simon Coutu, who had filed a complaint against Raphaël Lévesque, from the Atalante group. On May 23, 2018, Lévesque and six other masked people burst into the offices of Vice Quebec, throwing leaflets. Surrounding the journalist, they then presented him with a “Trash Media Prize” containing cigarette butts. The FPJQ is concerned about the judgment, which it says could encourage other groups or individuals to attack journalists.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) Awards for Excellence in Journalism were handed out in a virtual ceremony with The Globe and Mail named as this year’s recipient of the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism in the large-media category for breaking the story about the SNC-Lavalin affair (PMO pressed Wilson-Raybould to abandon prosecution of SNC-Lavalin; Trudeau denies his office ‘directed’ her) and its follow-up pieces. Find the full list of winners, here.

 

Bell has announced that its 5G wireless network is now accessible in Montréal, the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. To accelerate 5G innovation in Canada, Bell has also partnered with Western University, to create an advanced 5G research centre, including the deployment of a campus-wide 5G network.

Xplornet Communications has announced the completion of the sale of its controlling interest to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. The company says the deal’s closure will allow it to proceed with accelerating investment in its national hybrid fibre wireless and satellite broadband network for rural Canadians. Stonepeak is a North American-focused infrastructure firm that manages $24.4 billion USD of investor assets and has a strong track record of investing in mission-critical telecommunication businesses globally. CEO Allison Lenehan and the current executive team will continue leading Xplornet, with the company to remain headquartered in New Brunswick.

Rogers Communications is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the Rogers family announcing a $60-million community donation to various charities to help Canadians most affected by the financial impact of COVID-19. Among the charities receiving funding are Food Banks Canada, the Salvation Army, Women’s Shelters Canada, Children’s Aid Foundation, BOOST Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, Easter Seals Canada, as well as Ted Rogers Community Grants, which will support more than 150 organizations in underserved communities across every province and territory, with programming centred on vulnerable youth, leadership, mentoring, volunteering and academic support.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

LISTEN: As the need for remote home studios is thrust upon the radio broadcaster, realistic functionality has become key. On this special, sponsored episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Tieline’s Charlie Gawley, VP of International Sales, joins David Rusch of Audio Broadcast Canada, to provide some insight into the process.

NextGen Video Information Systems Alliance has launched, a worldwide coalition of developers and manufacturers, who have come together to accelerate the industry’s evolution toward next-generation broadcast and OTT television systems. The coalition is comprised of companies on the leading edge of ATSC 3.0 next-generation TV technology, including BitRouter, DigIt Signage Technologies, Digital Alert Systems, Enensys Technologies, Hitachi-Comark, Triveni Digital, and Verance. Follow the Alliance at nvisa.org and on Twitter @NVISA_Innovate.

Amanda Holstrom

Amanda Holtstrom, product manager for Ross Video’s DashBoard product, has been selected as one of the recipients of the National Capital Region’s Forty Under 40 award. The annual event is presented by the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal (OBJ). Holtstrom was recruited by Ross in 2019 to lead its Facility Control Systems group and to spearhead the adoption of the Agile approach to software delivery. DashBoard is at the heart of a production system that controls Ross and other third-party products via an intuitive and customizable touchscreen interface. It can enable a single operator to manage an entire TV production, events venue, or sports stadium.