CRTC & Media News – OMNI to re-launch with larger commitment to local news, regional programming

OMNI will remain Canada’s national multi-ethnic, multilingual television service, however it will re-launch by the fall of 2020 with a larger commitment to local news and regional programming. The CRTC has granted Rogers Media a three-year licence to continue operating the service in 20 languages following a competitive process that included three days of hearings in November. The new service, which succeeds the existing OMNI Regional, is set to launch Sept. 1, 2020. Rogers increased commitment includes broadcasting at least six hours of local original newscasts per week from Vancouver, Calgary/Edmonton and Toronto; broadcasting a minimum of six daily, original national newscasts, seven days per week in at least six different third language; and producing at least two hours of programming in Manitoba and/or Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada each week. Read more here and our story with Rogers’ SVP Colette Watson here.

The CRTC has released revised dispute resolution practices and procedures. It’s setting a 30-page limit on submissions. It also clarifies the standstill rule, stipulating that new arguments can’t be raised in a rebuttal. The revised policy also discusses “consensus-based problem solving” when “issues that are industry-wide in scope, or pose broad problems of a technical, operational or administrative nature” are raised. “In such cases, the appropriate model of dispute resolution may be Commission staff-facilitated meetings that involve the participation of a broad cross section of industry representatives and other interested parties in a working group. That working group’s purpose would be to find solutions to these problems, rather than to resolve disputes arising between individual parties.”

Jim Hughson

Hockey broadcaster Jim Hughson and writer and NHL communications executive Frank Brown have been named as this year’s Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Award recipients. Hughson will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, while Brown will be honoured with the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism. Hughson began broadcasting hockey games in the South Peace Hockey League at CKNL Radio in his hometown of Fort St John, B.C. Stops at CKIQ Kelowna and CKNW Vancouver would follow, before Hughson made the move to Toronto in the early 1980s to call play-by-play for the Toronto Maple Leafs on CBC TV. Read more here.

Jason Botchford

Jason Botchford, the popular Vancouver hockey writer and contributor to TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) radio who passed away last month at age 48, will be remembered at a tribute event at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom on June 20. The event will be presented by The Athletic and hosted by TSN 1040’s Mike Halford and Jason Brough. All proceeds raised will go to the Botchford Family Fund. Details here.

The Western Association of Broadcasters Conference 85th annual conference gets underway at the historic Fairmont Banff Springs from June 5-6. This year’s keynote speakers are four-time Olympic champion Hayley Wickenheiser and Brad Wall, former Premier of Saskatchewan. Rounding out the conference lineup is featured speaker Paul Jacobs of Jacobs Media and Dr. Peter Popplewell with Canopy Growth Corporation, in addition to a town hall with Numeris and an industry update from Radio Connects. The event will conclude with the President’s Dinner and Awards Gala where Bob Ridley and Boyd Kozak will be inducted into the 2019 WAB Hall of Fame. Read more here.


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