The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Chris Z, Shawna and Jay Brody

102.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM) Toronto has launched the latest incarnation of its morning show, following brother-sister duo Ruby and Alex Carr’s release at the end of January. Corus Entertainment has brought in “The B Team” it’s morning show team from Hamilton sister station Y108 (CJXY-FM) featuring hosts Shawna, Chris Z and Jay Brody. While Shawna and Chris Z have co-hosted various iterations of the morning show, with a combined 20 years at the station, the trio has been together since 2018 when they were joined by former SiriusXM host Brody. As of Monday, the Y108 morning show slot is being filled by Taz & Jim (Chris George Taz and Jim Kelly), who will now be heard in both Hamilton and on FM96 (CFPL-FM) London, ON. Read more here.

“Cousin Vinny” Barrucco and Shannon King, Charlie Paige, and Tyler Barr

Virgin Radio (CJFM-FM) Montreal has shuffled its lineup again with “Cousin Vinny” Barrucco and Shannon King’s morning show hours revised to 5 – 9 a.m. Charlie Paige hosts 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., while Lee Haberkorn moves from drive to weekend middays. Afternoon drive will be filled by Tyler Barr, former morning show host at KiSS 103.1 in Victoria, prior to its rebrand last summer back to JACK. Kelly Alexander will be heard weekend mornings.

Wayne Mathews and Gary McColman

Gary “Big G” McColman and Wayne “Matty” Mathews have retired after a 16-year run together doing mornings on Country 93.5 FM (CKXC-FM) Kingston. McColman caps a 57-year career in TV and radio, including owning several stations in both Ontario and the U.S. Mathews started his career in 1970 in Smiths Falls, going on to work in Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor/Detroit and Toronto. Carl Richards, the station’s program director, and Leanne Cater, former afternoon drive host at QX104 (CFQX-FM) Winnipeg, will step into the morning show timeslot.

Janet French

Janet French has joined CBC Edmonton as a provincial affairs reporter. French has been on the same beat for the Edmonton Journal for the last four years. Prior to that, she spent 11 years as a reporter and digital editor with The StarPhoenix in Saskatoon. 

Danielle McCreadie

Danielle McCreadie has signed on with CBC New Brunswick. McCreadie moves over from CHSJ Saint John, where she’s been a reporter and weekend anchor for the last year.

Katelyn Thomas

Katelyn Thomas is joining CTV Montreal in March as a digital reporter. Thomas, who is in her third year of Journalism at Concordia University, is also editor-in-chief of student newspaper, The Concordian.

Laura Baziuk

Laura Baziuk is re-joining Corus Entertainment as Global BC’s Managing Editor of Digital. She’s held a similar role with Black Press for the last four years. Baziuk was previously a reporter and anchor with CKNW Vancouver.

Arik Ligeti

Arik Legeti is leaving The Globe and Mail to join The Narwhal as the investigative environmental news site’s audience engagement editor. Legeti had been a digital editor with The Globe for the last six years.

Sandra Dewey and Colin Bohm

Sandra Dewey, WarnerMedia’s President of Business Operations and Productions for HBO Max, TNT, TBS and truTV, and Colin Bohm, Executive Vice-President Content and Corporate Strategy at Corus Entertainment, have been appointed members of the Banff Television Festival Foundation’s Board of Directors. They join fellow directors: Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media; Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group; John Brunton, Chairman & CEO, Insight Production Company; Sally Catto, General Manager, Programming, CBC; Sean Cohan, Chief Growth Officer and International President, Nielsen; Tom Cox, Executive Producer, SEVEN24 Films; Valerie Creighton, President & CEO, Canada Media Fund; Scott Henderson, VP Communications, Bell Media; Ira Levy, President & Executive Producer, Breakthrough Entertainment; Blair Miller, VP, Content Solutions, TELUS STORYHIVE; Robin Mirsky, Executive Director, Rogers Group of Funds, Rogers Communications.

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

The Canadian Podcast Awards, which are backed by the folks behind Podcamp Toronto and voted on by approved member podcasters from across the country, has unveiled its 2020 winners. Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast podcast network came away with a leading five wins, including two awards for Dark Poutine, which claimed the honours for Outstanding True Crime Series and Outstanding Documentary. Curiouscast’s History of the 90s, hosted by Kathy Kenzora, also won in two categories – Outstanding Debut for a Series and Outstanding Production for a Series. The network’s Super Awesome Science Show won for Outstanding Education Series. Rogers’ Frequency network took home two awards with The Coup winning Best Business Series and Rob Ford deep dive The Gravy Train claiming Outstanding Artwork for a Series. Independent, Toronto-based series The Bed Post Podcast, a frank exploration of sex and sexuality hosted by Erin Pim, won both the People’s Choice Award and Outstanding Main Title Theme. Read more here.

JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM) Toronto is celebrating Black History Month with a series of short radio features that are now available as a podcast. Narrated by John Devenish, host of weekday evening program Dinner Jazz, the podcast spotlights influential figures throughout jazz history, including Theo Crocker, Sarah Vaughan, Robert Glasper, Oscar Peterson, Nina Simone, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Kamasi Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. The podcast series was produced by Glenn Crosse and features introductions by JAZZ.FM91 music director and host Brad Barker.

iHeartRadio is rebranding its 19-year partnership with Halifax’s IWK Foundation. Its annual radiothon will go forward as 100 Hours for the Kids at the IWK and transition from a one-day broadcast to a four-day event spanning 100 hours on Bell Media Radio stations across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This year’s radiothon will kick off Tuesday, Mar. 24 at 9 a.m. AT on C100 (CIOO-FM), 101.3 Virgin Radio (CJCH-FM), and partnering stations, including Big Dog 100.9 (CKTO-FM) and Pure Country 99.5 (CKTY-FM) Truro; 106.9 Capital FM (CIBX-FM), Pure Country 103.5 (CKHJ-FM) and 103.5 The FOX (CFXY-FM) Fredericton; K93 Grand Falls (CIKX-FM); Max 104.9 (CKBC-FM) Bathurst; and CJ104 (CJCJ-FM) Woodstock. It will conclude with a grand finale live broadcast on Saturday, Mar. 28 from Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth, NS to thank participants and listeners for their support. C100 and 101.3 Virgin Radio’s fundraising efforts have generated more than $6 million to date in support of the children’s hospital.

Temiskaming Hospita

The Temiskaming Hospital Foundation’s 6th Annual Valentine’s Day Radiothon, heard on CJTT 104.5 FM Temiskaming Shores, ON, raised $30,589. Broadcast on Feb. 8, funds raised during the five-hour broadcast, will go toward the purchase of two new ECG Machines for Temiskaming Hospital.

Call for a Cause Radiothon hosted by BIG 105 (CHUB-FM), 106.7 The Drive (CFDV-FM) and rdnewsNOW in Red Deer, raised $16,448 for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation on Feb. 21. Money raised will go toward the purchase of cardiac monitors for the hospital’s pediatrics unit.

CHOM 97.7 Montreal will mark International Women’s Day on Mar. 8 by hosting a special concert in its Rock Room featuring three all-female bands from 6 to 8 p.m. Hosted by Sharon Hyland, the event will see The Beaches, Les Shirley and The Anti-Queens take the stage. The 18+ show will raise money and collect non-perishable food items for Montreal women’s shelter Chez Doris.

Global Warranty, an independent warranty program provider, has announced a new partnership with SiriusXM that will provide all of the company’s new customers with a three-month SiriusXM All Access trial free with qualifying products – even if the vehicles purchased don’t have satellite radio. The offer is currently valid now on all of Global’s vehicle warranties. For those not equipped with satellite radio, the trial is being offered via connected devices. 

Claritas has published a white paper attributing a 34% listener conversion rate to podcast channel advertising. That compares to an average 2.6% lift across non-podcast channels like digital display (1.1%), print (2.4%), and linear TV (3.1%). Claritas also looked at whether podcasting and streaming audio cannibalize each other when integrated into the same advertising campaign. Their analysis concluded that households exposed via podcast were converting at a rate 2.5 times that of streaming audio, however both channels provided a positive lift. Download the white paper, here.

Edison Research has released its first Top Ten Podcast ranker. A new feature of the company’s subscription product, the Podcast Consumer Tracker (PCT), the current Top Ten reflects the third and fourth quarters of 2019, as ranked by the percentage of weekly podcast consumers 18+ who have listened to them. The Joe Rogan Experience takes top spot, followed by This American Life, The Daily, My Favorite Murder, Crime Junkie, Stuff You Should Know, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Serial, Pod Save America, and Radiolab. Initiated in Summer 2019, the PCT is now in its third quarter of fielding and claims to be the only study that measures the entire podcast space continuously, compared to other download rankers which only measure participants/customers of those rankers, or users of a specific platform.

Cision has expanded its partnership with TVEyes to make it possible for Cision clients to monitor podcast mentions of their brands, competitors, products, and people. Podcast monitoring powered by TVEyes is available as part of Cision’s Broadcast Monitoring and will allow customers to pinpoint brand mentions across 25,000+ top ranking podcasts. The service has been available for clients in the U.S. and Canada since early February, and will soon be available globally.

SIGN-OFFS:

Gary Michaels

Gary Michaels, 77, on Feb. 26. Born Gary Zahab, Michaels grew up on Ottawa’s Fairmont Avenue above the busy family business, George’s Corner Store. The Zahabs owned a 50-acre farm in Carlsbad Springs where they grew their own produce and where Michaels spent summers. He opted not to go into the family business and pursued radio, landing a job with CJET Smiths Falls. He would go on to become a staple of the Ottawa radio scene, with subsequent stints as a midday and morning host at CFGO 1440 and CIWW-AM (now 1310 News). Michaels retired from radio in 2011 after helping launch CHIN Radio (CJLL-FM) Ottawa as program director and later operations manager. He continued to do voiceover work under the Gary Michaels Agency.

Robert H. Lee

Robert H. Lee, 86, on Feb. 19. Born in Vancouver’s Chinatown in 1933, Lee went on to graduate from the University of British Columbia’s Commerce program in 1956. He pursued a career in real estate, founding the Prospero Group in 1979. Lee was one of the entrepreneurs who won the licence to launch ethnic station Channel M in 2002. Now branded as OMNI Television, it was acquired by Rogers from Multivan Broadcasting Corporation in 2008. Lee was a long-serving member of the UBC Board of Governors and chancellor from 1993-96. Known for his philanthropy, numerous facilities at UBC and in Vancouver bear his name including The Robert H. Lee Graduate School (in recognition of a $5 million gift in support of graduate education), the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, the Robert and Lily Lee Family and Community Health Centre, and the Robert Lee YMCA. Lee was an inductee of the Order of British Columbia, the Order of Canada and was named businessman of the year in 1990 by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

Finlay Johnson Payne

Finlay Johnson Payne, 93, on Feb. 14. Born and raised in Orillia, Payne was hired right out of highschool at CFOR. He joined CBC Vancouver in 1946 in the mailroom, going on to work as a host, editor, and parliamentary and public affairs liaison. He retired from CBC Ottawa as head of program policy. Payne was one of the founding board members of the ARTEC union (Association of Radio and Television Employees of Canada) formed to help secure overtime pay for production staff.

Peter Puttonen

Peter Puttonen, 76, on Feb. 13 in Nanaimo, BC. Puttonen had a long career in broadcast and consumer electronics, including several stints with CBC Vancouver, starting in 1970. He held roles including Maintenance Technician, Supervising Technician at the Mount Seymour transmitter site, and Systems Technologist for ENG in Vancouver. Puttonen also served as the Regional Technical Manager for Philips Consumer Electronics. He retired in 2000.

Leonard Ewert

Leonard Ewert, 85, on Jan. 30. Originally from Saskatchewan, Ewert worked in the oil patch for several years before enrolling in the Radio College of Canada in Toronto. After graduation in 1961, he travelled to Edmonton to look for work when he received two calls on the same day offering him a job. One call was from CKBI Prince Albert and the other from CBC Radio in Edmonton. Ewert would take the CBC job and stayed with the public broadcaster for 35 years, retiring as Radio Technician Supervisor. In addition to working at CBC, Ewert was a 25-year member of the Richard Eaton Singers and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Ada Kangyal, 95, on Feb. 6. Kangyal was a longtime CBC costume designer. She worked on well-known series throughout the 1970s and 80s, including the King of Kensington and Seeing Things.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Insight Productions is the latest reality TV production company to be hit with a class action lawsuit, seeking damages stemming from alleged employment standards violations. The $35-million suit against Insight was filed in Ontario Court on Friday by law firm Cavalluzzo LLP. It claims Insight owes hundreds of current and former employees and independent contractors unpaid overtime, vacation pay, and holiday premiums due to contracts that weren’t compliant with Ontario’s Employment Standards Act. Insight is best known for producing Canadian versions of the Amazing Race, Big Brother, and CBC’s Battle of the Blades. The suit comes about 16 months following a similar class action filed against Cineflix Productions, which is still before the courts.

ACTRA Toronto has announced the winners of the 18th Annual ACTRA Awards. For the second consecutive year, the Members’ Choice Series Ensemble Award went to Schitt’s Creek. Outstanding Performance – Female Voice was claimed by Bryn McAuley for Hotel Transylvania: The Series, while Outstanding Performance – Male Voice went to co-star Carter Hayden. Outstanding Performance – Female was claimed by Cara Ricketts, who plays Mary Handford-Lacroix in Anne with an E. Outstanding Performance – Male went to Dalmar Abuzeid (Sebastian ‘Bash’ Lacroix) for Anne with an E. Kim’s Convenience star Jean Yoon was presented with the 2020 Award of Excellence, while the ACTRA Toronto Stunt Award was posthumously awarded to stunt performer Kevin Rushton.

The Motion Picture Association of Canada (MPA-Canada) has released data estimating the economic impact of Paramount Picture’s newly-released feature film Sonic The Hedgehog at over $37.5 million in British Columbia. MPA-Canada says in just 53 days of filming, the live-action adventure comedy spent more than $22 million on local labour, employing over 1,450 local cast and crew. Another $15.5 million was spent on production-related goods and services, including more than $1.6 million on hotels and accommodations. Based on the Sega video game franchise, and starring Jim Carrey, James Marsden, and Ben Schwartz and Tika Sumpter as the voice of Sonic, the production used filming locations including Shelter Point Distillery in Campbell River, The Diplomat Motel in Nanaimo, Stawamus Chief Park in Squamish, Camp Howdy in Belcarra, and the Cook Creek Interchange on Vancouver Island. Read more here.

Curling Canada and Bell Media have extended their broadcast partnership agreement through the 2027-28 season. TSN and RDS will continue to be the exclusive English and French broadcasters of Curling Canada Season of Champions events. The agreement covers both broadcast and digital media rights. Curling Canada’s Season of Champions series includes the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Tim Hortons Brier, Home Hardware Canada Cup, Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, and the World Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships, among other events. 

TSN has added a slate of marquee WTA Tour events, culminating with the WTA Finals in November. Beginning with the Qatar Total Open in Doha, which is underway until Feb. 29, the schedule includes the BNP Paribas Open (Mar. 11-22), Miami Open (Mar. 24-Apr. 4), Mutua Madrid Open (May 2-9), Internazionali BNL D’Italia (May 11-17), Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati, Aug. 17-23), Wuhan Open (Sept. 27-Oct. 3), China Open (Oct. 3-11), and the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen (Nov. 1-8).

Global TV is set to premiere what it’s billing as the first original podcast to debut as a TV series on a Canadian network. Crime Beat (13×60) will make its television debut Mar. 7. Hosted by Global Calgary crime reporter Nancy Hixt, the television adaptation – like the podcast – will take an indepth look at some high-profile cases. The pilot episode explores the 2011 Calgary homicide of six-year-old Meika Jordan. In addition to stories from Hixt, Global says the series will showcase the work of other Global News journalists, including Antony Robart, Rumina Daya, Alan Carter, Catherine McDonald, Caryn Lieberman and Eric Sorensen. Read more here.

Global has announced the start of production for Season 2 of its coming-of-age medical drama, Nurses. Production partners Corus Entertainment, eOne, and ICF Films, will begin filming 10 new episodes, beginning Mar. 2 in Toronto. After receiving an early sophomore season renewal ahead of the show’s broadcast debut, the first season premiere garnered nearly 1.3 million viewers, according to PPM data supplied by the network. Global says the series launch was the most-watched premiere episode of a scripted Canadian series in over two years for total viewers.

Citytv original romantic drama, The Wedding Planners, produced by Brain Power Studio in association with Citytv, premieres Mar. 27, followed by six one-hour weekly episodes. In the two-hour premiere event, The Wedding Planners opens as the Clarkson siblings face the loss of their mother and are forced to commit themselves to the family wedding planning business. The series features an all-Canadian ensemble cast, starring Kimberly Sue-Murray (V-Wars, Shadow Hunters), Michael Seater (Murdoch Mysteries) and Madeline Leon (Ponysitters Club).

Ted Kaczynski

Discovery reexamines the history of American domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski in four-part MADE-in-Canada series Unabomber: In His Own Words. It premieres in its entirety Feb. 28 beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Across each hour-long episode, the Canadian docuseries tells the story behind the Unabomber’s campaign of terror that injured 23 and killed three, including a never-before-heard interview from inside his Supermax prison and newly-discovered audio proof of long-rumoured Harvard/CIA mind control experiments. The series will begin streaming on Crave, Apr. 3.

Annie Murphy

Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy will lead the cast of new AMC dark comedy Kevin Can F*** Himself. Created and executive produced by Valerie Armstrong (Lodge 49), along with producers Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, and AMC Studios, Murphy will star as a sitcom wife who breaks the confines of her role. The series will be shot from her character’s perspective, alternating between single-camera realism and multi-camera comedy.

Telefilm Canada is currently accepting applications by Canadian companies for accreditation at the Marché du Film in Cannes, May 12-21. Located at the heart of the Cannes Film Festival, the Canada Pavilion at the Marché du Film provides meeting areas and a program of events designed to promote the Canadian industry and talent. The deadline for registration is Mar. 27.

Canada House, powered by Telefilm Canada, is back for a second year in a larger-than-before edition. Bringing together Canada’s film, tech, and music sectors under one roof to promote the strength of Canada’s creative industries, Canada House will be located at The Venue from Mar. 15-19. Each day will feature a series of panels, presentations, and talks, as well as music performances by Canadian talent. Daytime admission to Canada House is free of charge. Details on programming, daily schedule and evening admission rates will be available in the coming weeks.

Ted Sarandos

Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer, has been confirmed as the first keynote speaker at the Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) Summit Series, June 14-17. He’ll appear at the festival on Monday, June 15 in a fireside conversation format at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Sarandos started out in video retail, managing the Arizona Video Cassettes West chain, and later moved into distribution and merchandising. He’s been with Netflix since 2000 overseeing the teams responsible for the acquisition and creation of all Netflix content including original series and films. Sarandos led the company’s transition into original content production, which began in 2013 with the launch of House of Cards, Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black, among other productions. Read more here.

LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, our guest is Patrick Binette, Stingray’s Director of Content and Programming. Stingray continues to expand its lineup of music video channels with the launch of Stingray Country, at a time when most traditional broadcasters have moved away from music video content. We talk to Binette, a former director of music programming at MusiquePlus, about strategy, audience, and why he credits giving programmers a wide berth for part of Stingray’s success.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Liquid Media Group, the Vancouver-based entertainment company spanning film, TV, gaming and VFX that’s helmed by actor and producer Joshua Jackson, has announced that it’s acquired streaming platform Reelhouse, including Slipstream, a SVOD service that focuses on curated action sports stories. Dubbed “the Netflix of Adventure films,” the platform appeals to filmmakers and viewers of independent original content.

 

Ideon Media is now the exclusive Canadian ad sales partner for New York City-headquartered BDG, a global publisher with a portfolio of digital brands that includes Bustle, Elite Daily, NYLON, Romper, The Zoe Report, Mic, Inverse, Input and The Outline. Collectively, BDG purports to reach over 82 million unique readers a month. Ideon Media is a Toronto-based digital firm providing advertiser solutions and publisher representation, in addition to owning and operating SavvyMom.ca and 29Secrets.com. 

DAZN Media, the advertising division of DAZN Group, has aggregated the streaming platform’s football media assets across OTT, Social and VoD for the first time, offering brands the ability to reach a purported 400 million football fans in 40 markets. The Global Football Package includes sponsorship of live football coverage on DAZN, covering more than 95 leagues including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Copa del Rey, CONMEBOL Libertadores, CONMEBOL Sudamericana, MLS and J.League. The package also includes headline sponsorship across football platform Goal, sponsorship of VoD football content across DAZN and Goal’s YouTube channels and the DAZN Player video network, which syndicates content to publisher sites like Mail Online, MSN and Kicker.de.

TSN says its NHL Trade Deadline Day coverage broke multiple single-day records for TSN digital platforms. The network’s Feb. 24 live coverage saw TradeCentre record 3.1 million video starts and 11.5 million page views. The 10-hour live broadcast attracted an average TV audience of 149,000 viewers, an increase of 2% over 2019. Across TSN’s social media platforms, it garnered more than 2.3 million engagements.

GENERAL:

Super Channel has withdrawn a lawsuit it initially filed in Federal Court and resubmitted the case in Alberta. The suit names Best Buy, Staples, London Drugs and Canada Computers, alleging the retailers were complicit in promoting content piracy by selling internet streaming devices. It also names groups of Canadians who bought Android TV devices, among the defendants, demanding those retailers name the customers. Allarco Entertainment declined to comment on resubmission of the suit, saying it is before the courts.

Darren Entwistle

TELUS CEO Darren Entwistle has cautioned that the telecom company could cut $1 billion in spending and 5,000 jobs over the next five years if the CRTC requires incumbent wireless providers to open their infrastructure to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Entwistle made the comments at the commission’s MVNO hearing, the first step toward exploring a federal Competition Bureau recommendation to create a mandated MVNO policy to boost competition and lower consumer prices for wireless services. 

Quebecor has filed its intervention with the CRTC regarding the renewal of CBC/Radio-Canada’s licence renewal, which goes to a public hearing May 25. Quebecor’s submission states that it’s in agreement with the Yale report (Broadcast Telecommunications Legislative Review) that CBC/Radio-Canada should be “animated by a public purpose not a commercial one.” Quebecor questions whether the public broadcaster should be driven by a culture of performance and financial return rather than a culture of public service. It also asserts that carrying foreign content does not fulfill CBC’s mandate, taking aim at French-language SVOD platform Tou.tv Extra.

TekSavvy Solutions, which bills itself as the country’s largest independent internet service provider (ISP), has filed a formal complaint with the Competition Bureau alleging price-fixing on the part of Bell Canada and Rogers Communications for its internet services. The complaint seeks an investigation into what TekSavvy terms “a pattern of anti-competitive activities in wholesale and retail markets for internet services.” Specifically, TekSavvy argues that the telecom giants are abusing their dominant positions in Ontario and Quebec by driving up competitors’ costs, while targeting those same competitors in retail markets with competing brand offerings priced below those competitors’ wholesale costs. TekSavvy, which requires wholesale access to Bell and Rogers’ wireline facilities, cites CRTC data determining that both companies deviated from wholesale rate-setting rules 56 times between 2016 and 2019, resulting in a commission decision last year to set adjusted rates between three and 77% lower. Bell and Rogers, along with TELUS, Videotron, Shaw, Cogeco and Eastlink have since obtained a temporary stay of that decision.

TekSavvy Solutions is partnering with Ericsson to upgrade and expand its existing rural Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network using Ericsson Radio System and Cloud Core network technology. The partnership, the first between Ericsson and TekSavvy, will provide several rural communities within the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, as well as Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex counties with broadband solutions leveraging Ericsson’s products and services. The wireless investments promise to improve rural broadband to more than 30,000 addresses in Southwestern Ontario, with the modernization expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.

TELUS has invested more than $1 million to build a new cellular site along Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Terrace, BC, bringing wireless connectivity to more than 20 kilometres of the highway. The new site is located approximately 60 kilometres west of Terrace, and brings coverage to an area that was previously one of the longest stretches of Highway 16 without any cell service. The investment is part of a TELUS commitment to invest $4.7 billion throughout British Columbia between 2017 and 2020

CBC/Radio-Canada and Germany’s ZDF announced a partnership at Berlinale 2020 that strengthens collaboration between the two public broadcasters. Catherine Tait, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, and Thomas Bellut, Director General of ZDF, ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the presence of Stéphane Dion, Canada’s Ambassador to Germany. Highlights of the agreement include co-developing content for linear, on-demand and digital platforms in the areas of scripted, factual entertainment, live events and documentary; and collaborating to improve tracking and verification of the accuracy of the news. CBC/Radio-Canada and ZDF/ARTE are currently co-producing four-part documentary Writing the Land, in which Canadian writers, poets and storytellers challenge the narrative of an inclusive Canada. Tait signed similar agreements with Australia’s ABC and BBC in the UK last summer.  

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has bestowed its Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy on the Town of Erin, ON. The award is presented annually by the CAJ, Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University (CFE), News Media Canada and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) to call public attention to government departments and agencies that put extra effort into denying public access to government information to which the public has a right under access to information legislation. Five other municipalities received honourable mentions in the category: Cranbrook, BC, Morinville, AB., North Bay, ON., Cornwall, ON., and Côte-Saint-Luc, Que. The Code of Silence Award recipients in the Federal, Provincial, and Law Enforcement categories will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Deborah Ensor, Melissa Stasiuk, Evelyn Kwong, Shari Grayon, and moderator Supriya Dwivedi

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is marking International Women’s Day with a Mar. 5 J-Talk in Toronto exploring strategies to boost gender representation in news stories. Globally, women as sources and subjects account for 24% of those quoted in news stories, according to the Global Media Monitoring Project, while in Canada, female representation is 29%, according to Informed Opinions. The Time is Now: Amplifying Women’s Voices in Media will explore the outcomes and ongoing challenges of the Reflect Reality initiative, a global project to increase the voices of women in news and offer resources for journalists and business professionals. Speakers will include Deborah Ensor, Canadian project lead and SVP at Internews, an international non-profit that supports quality journalism in under-served markets; Melissa Stasiuk, head of programming with The Globe and Mail, and a project participant; Evelyn Kwong, social media and audience lead with the Toronto Star, and member of a newsroom committee launched as a result of the project; and Shari Graydon, founder of Informed Opinions, a leader in helping bridge the gender gap in Canadian media.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is inviting applications for its annual AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship. This year marks the ninth anniversary of the scholarship program providing financial assistance to students with a disability. Two $5,000 bursaries will be awarded to two deserving students with a permanent disability; one from the English community and one from the French. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 8. Find information and eligibility requirements here.

Eric Blais
Eric Blais

FEATURE: In Eric Blais’ latest Rethinking Media column, he explores fear, the politics of innovation, and transition. Read more here.

BROADCAST TECH NEWS:

The IP Showcase at NAB Show 2020, April 18-22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, has issued a call for presentations. Hosted in association with the NAB and sponsored by the Audio Engineering Society (AES), Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Society of Motion Picture and Technology Engineers (SMPTE), the Ultra HD Forum, and the Video Services Forum (VSF), the education and demonstration pavilion will highlight strides made in achieving an all-IP ecosystem supporting real-world media productions. Presenters are encouraged to submit proposals for the newly-announced IPMX, a set of open standards and specifications designed to enable carriage of compressed and uncompressed video, audio, and data over IP networks; the impact of SMPTE ST 2110 on UHD workflows; basic tutorials tailored to newcomers to the field of IP video; or advanced technology presentations on recently released standards or those currently in development. The call for presentations is open to end users, industry associations, solutions providers, and technology developers. More details and the submission form is available here. The deadline is Feb. 28. 

ADVERTORIAL: Tieline: the Codec Company, has expanded its remote codec solutions for radio broadcasters to provide streaming solutions. Read more about its flexible remote codec, the ViA – akin to the ‘multi-tool’ of broadcast, here.


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