Former Hot Docs director Alan Black joins Canadaland

Former Hot Docs director Alan Black is joining Canadaland as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all non-editorial operations.

Alan Black

After a decade as Director of Operations for the Hot Docs Festival and Managing Director of Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Black stepped down at the end of April following this year’s festival. He had been with the documentary festival since 2003, starting out as Box Office Manager.

Black is also a documentary filmmaker, including 2009’s Jackpot about regulars at a Toronto bingo hall.

Canadaland has been pushing into the documentary space with a deal reached last April with California-based Storied Media Group (SMG) to market its journalism to film and television producers globally.

Documentaries are already in development, adapted from Canadaland podcasts Thunder Bay and Cool Mules. Crave is set to release a four-part docuseries later this year, based on Thunder Bay, which explored endemic Indigenous racism in the Northwestern Ontario city, produced by eOne and with Northwood Entertainment’s Miranda De Pencier executive producing.

Ryan McMahon steps away from ‘Canadalandback’

Earlier this week, Canadaland announced Thunder Bay host Ryan McMahon had stepped away from monthly Indigenous podcast Canadalandback, following a public apology to his partner on social media in late April for not acting “honourably” within their relationship, and a follow-up post from a former girlfriend, both of which were later deleted.

Canadalandback producer Martha Troian left the show when the allegations first surfaced.

“I am not aware of any allegations against Ryan concerning physical violence, criminality, harassment, or assault. I looked. I also asked the woman who posted on Facebook about Ryan, and she confirmed that she is not accusing him of any of that. Nor, as far as I can tell, is anybody else,” wrote Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jesse Brown, in a statement on the website. “Based on the information at hand, this is a personal and private matter that Ryan’s employer should have no role in whatsoever. But the fact that Ryan chose to post about this publicly changes things, as does the fact that both posts were removed, leaving an information vacuum that others have filled with their own messages, leading people to draw conclusions and demand answers from me.”

Brown says McMahon made a decision to leave and “did not quit to avoid being fired.”

The Anishinaabe comedian, podcaster and writer has been working with Canadaland since 2016, initially as a co-host on political show, The Commons.


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