Tina-Marie Tatto has announced she is retiring from the CBC. Tatto has been Director of Regulatory Affairs for the past eight years and was part of the team that shepherded the public broadcaster through its recent licence renewal hearings. Prior to joining CBC, she was the Manager of Regulatory Affairs at Rogers Media and before that held a similar position at CanWest Global. Her last day with CBC will be Dec. 31.
Heather Conway, former Executive Vice-President of English services at CBC/Radio-Canada, has been named Hot Docs’ new Executive Director and Co-President. She succeeds Brett Hendrie, who departed the organization in March, and will assume responsibility for the strategic leadership and management of the annual festival, industry programs and other year-round initiatives, starting Nov. 4. Conway was the head of CBC English Services from 2013-18, helping lead its digital transformation. Prior to CBC, she ran all non-curatorial/development operations at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).
Jason Badal has been named the Canadian Vice-President and General Manager of Disney+. Charged with accelerating and expanding the streamer’s presence in Canada, Badal has been with Shopify for the last three years as Director & GM, Shopify Studios and more recently Director, Global Head of Multinationals & CPG. Prior to that, he held Business Affairs roles with Sportsnet and Score Media.
Michael Moskowitz, former Chairman and CEO of Panasonic North America, is joining Northstar Gaming as Chief Executive Officer and founding partner. Intending to operate in the regulated Ontario online gaming market, NorthStar Gaming plans to launch its online betting brand and sportsbook as early as December. In his new role, Moskowitz will oversee that launch. NorthStar Gaming has entered into an omnichannel advertising and marketing services arrangement with Torstar and its extensive footprint of data-led media solutions, news, and sports platforms.
Peter Shurman has confirmed that he and 640 (CFMJ-AM) Toronto have parted ways after five years as a fill-in host. Shurman, a former Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP, whose radio career started in the 1960s and has included stops at CJAD Montreal and CFRB Toronto, confirmed on a message board that management took issue with a recent incident in which the host was accused of berating a victim of alcohol-involved sex assault on-air. “Several weeks ago, there was an incident on the air. I did not think it was minor, so I immediately informed management. Our view of it, however, differed as things moved along and we discussed it…and, in the end, it’s their radio station. So, if I fill in for anyone, it won’t be at 640,” wrote Shurman.
Dave Turnbull has confirmed he’s no longer with 92 CITI FM Winnipeg. Most recently part of the morning show, Rena, TJ & Turnbull, which has been on hiatus since earlier this year, Turnbull had been with the station since 2017. Rena Jae and TJ Connors both parted ways with CITI over the summer. Pancho Parker has been filling in on mornings in the interim.
Alix Michaels has been released by Pattison Media in Winnipeg ahead of what appears to be a forthcoming CHIQ-FM format flip from 94.3 The Drive, all but confirmed by a “Now” billboard campaign that’s popped up in the city. The station website was scrubbed of talent mentions late Thursday. Pattison says an announcement is coming Monday.
Thank you for making my 📻career more than I could have ever imagine. It’s been a wild ride. ❤️🤘#radio
— Alix Michaels (@AlixsVoice) October 13, 2021
Chris Ash has left Kool FM (CKMB-FM) Barrie, where he’s been hosting afternoon drive for the last eight months, for a yet to be revealed gig in Winnipeg. Hailing from England, Ash started his on-air career as a swing announcer at Fox FM (CFGW-FM) Yorkton, SK in 2016. He’s since held roles with Z99 (CIZL-FM) Regina and Mix 103.7 (CFVR-FM) Fort McMurray.
Ryan Sullivan has joined Surge 105 (CKHY-FM) Halifax as the third member of the station’s morning show, alongside Jeff Brown and Amy Chabot. Sullivan was most recently with Rogers Sports & Media in Vancouver as National Digital Producer for the JACK FM brand. He’s also done work with Daily Hive, the Canadian Football League (CFL), and was one of the infamous “Green Men” appearing at Vancouver Canucks’ games and inducted into the ESPN Hall of Fans.
Espe Currie is rejoining Rogers Sports & Media as CityNews Vancouver’s Supervising Producer. Currie was formerly an associate producer with CityNews Toronto and a web editor and reporter with News 1130 (CKWX-AM), prior to joining CTV News Vancouver as an associate producer in Jan. 2020.
Claire Hanna has revealed she’s joining TSN’s Ottawa bureau. Hanna, who left CTV Regina last month after three years with the station as a sports reporter and video journalist, has previously worked as a sideline reporter for CFL on TSN.
Rob Fai has announced he’s taking a break from his The Nation podcast to focus on NEW Wrestling. Fai, who was part of layoffs at TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) Vancouver in February, has also been hosting SportsBar Radio.
Thank you to everyone who supported “The Nation”… #Canucks pic.twitter.com/01wSC95O4O
— Rob Fai (@RobFai) October 9, 2021
Erin Shaw has joined TELUS Storyhive as Production Manager, based in Vancouver. Shaw previously had a career in media as a producer for Global and Shaw TV in Vancouver, among other stops, prior to a five-year stint in Communications with the University of British Columbia (UBC).
Andrew Smith has been promoted at PromoSuite into the newly-created position of Director, Product Integrity where he’ll serve as the liaison between sales, client services and the product development teams. Additionally, Michael Englebrecht has been elevated to the position of Director, Client Services & Business Process Automation where he’ll lead the Client Service team while focusing his efforts on streamlining onboarding, training, and support. Smith joined PromoSuite in 2013 serving as Operations Coordinator before being promoted to Director, Client Services. Englebrecht had a long career with Emmis, starting as an intern at WKQX-FM Chicago before transitioning to Emmis Interactive and NextRadio (TagStation) where he served as the Director of Product Engagement.
RADIO & PODCAST:
CBC/Radio-Canada won across 14 categories at the New York Festival Radio Awards. Gold wins included Q with Tom Power, which won Best Interview for his conversation with Michael J. Fox, and Radio-Canada’s DÉRIVES which won Best Narrative/Documentary Podcast. Carol Off of CBC’s As It Happens won Silver for Best Radio Personality, Network/Syndicated, while CBC Podcasts’ Brainwashed also won Silver for Best Serialized Podcast, along with This Is Not A Drake Podcast in the Best Music Podcast category. Rogers Sports & Media’s CHEZ 106.1 Ottawa also picked up a Gold trophy for Best Public Service Announcement Promotion for its Chez Stafe – Shoot to Thrill initiative. Find the full list of winners here.
The CRTC has denied an application for a low-power ethnic (Mennonite) radio station in La Crete, AB. The applicant, Abram Zacharias, on behalf of a not-for-profit corporation to be incorporated, proposed to devote at least 60% of programming each broadcast week to ethnic programming, including 56% to third-language programming (Low German/Plautdietsch) and four per cent to English-language programming. The remainder of the programming would be wrap-around programming, which would consist of content primarily from online service PlautPot, broadcasting news on Mennonite communities around the world. While the commission found the station would have little impact on those already serving the market, it had concerns about the limited amount of local programming proposed and whether it would adequately reflect local issues or help the local community better participate in Canadian society and bridge the cultural gap with the existing English-speaking community.
Karin Larsen, longtime CBC Vancouver sports reporter, producer and digital journalist, is being inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. Also a World Champion synchronized swimmer and former Olympian, Larsen is being recognized as one of the first women in sports broadcasting. Radio and television broadcaster Barry Macdonald was also honoured with an Eric Whitehead Inspired Service Award, named after the former sports editor of The Province newspaper. Macdonald has covered sports for CBC TV, and hosted CKVU sports magazine show Sports Page, as well as TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) Vancouver.
Josh Holliday Live! is joining a revamped Sauga 960 AM (CKNT-AM) lineup. Holliday is bringing his weekly podcast/livestream to the Mississauga station, Fridays at 3 p.m., starting Oct. 15. The former afternoon drive host at X92.9 (CFEX-FM) Calgary and current CBC contributor, says the show will be reimagined for his new audience.
CBC has announced new additions to its Fall 2021 podcast slate, including Stuff The British Stole, a series about the not-so-polite history behind artifacts locked up in respectable institutions around the world, hosted by Marc Fennell. As announced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Season 2 is produced in partnership with CBC as part of an ongoing creative and commercial collaboration with ABC to boost the reach and impact of their content across both countries and around the world. Also joining the CBC Podcasts slate is Carrie Low Vs., the story of one woman’s battle to change how rape investigations are conducted in RCMP detachments nationwide. The investigative podcast is hosted by Halifax-based journalist Maggie Rahr.
Sirius XM has entered into a new creative agreement with L.A.-based podcast and audio entertainment studio, Audio Up. Under the agreement, Audio Up will create new original scripted podcasts for SiriusXM, the SXM App and Stitcher, while also collaborating to develop new audio entertainment concepts and forge promotional and distribution synergies across SiriusXM properties. The agreement gives SiriusXM an exclusive “first-look” co-production option for new Audio Up original podcast concepts and distribution, as well as exclusive rights to manage and sell advertising inventory and sponsorship in connection with any podcast produced for SiriusXM. A variety of Audio Up’s back catalogue titles will also be available via Stitcher and the SXM app including Halloween in Hell: a four-part scripted music/horror mini-series, featuring Machine Gun Kelly and 24kGoldn; and Make It Up as We Go: the first-ever scripted country podcast musical, executive-produced by Miranda Lambert, who plays herself.
Canadian Music Week (CMW) has announced that its 40th Anniversary event will take place in person April 19-23, 2022, across a variety of venues in Toronto. The CMW Conference, Canada’s largest and longest-running industry conference, will be headquartered at the Westin Harbour Castle in downtown Toronto. More details will be announced in the coming months.
LISTEN: Like a lot of legacy publications, The Canadian Jewish News has had its ups and downs in the new digital reality, even facing closure at one point. But the pandemic has spurred a digital-first rebirth of the publication that includes a revamped podcast network focused on telling uniquely Jewish Canadian stories. On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we welcome Michael Fraiman, Executive Director of the CJN Podcast Network, and journalist and author Ellin Bessner, the host of The CJN Daily, to talk about the relaunch, its challenges, and the advantages of being niche media.
LISTEN: Rob Braide is on the latest Sound Off Podcast. The 30+ year industry veteran and current Chairman of the Board for the National Music Centre in Calgary talks with Matt Cundill about his history in Montreal radio, including CHOM, CJAD, and FM96, among other stops. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
FEATURE: In his latest column The New Hub and Spoke: Balancing Strength and Freshness, veteran programmer Sean Ross of Ross on Radio explores the need for freshness in current-based formats like Mainstream Top 40. As Ross notes “Freshness and strength weren’t always mutually exclusive. Power rotation was always supposed to be the place where strength and freshness intersected.”
Peter Silverman, 90, on Oct. 7. Silverman started his television journalism career in 1974 as a reporter for Global Television in the network’s early years. He moved over to Citytv in 1981 reporting for CityPulse and hosting the “Silverman Helps” consumer protection segment from 1989 to 2008. After his release from Rogers, later that year he joined CFRB-AM Toronto as host of the Saturday morning, Peter Silverman Show. Over the years, Silverman received numerous accolades including the RTNDA’s Edward R. Murrow Award in 2005 and the RTNDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He was also a two-time Gemini Award nominee and was recognized by both Toronto Police and the Toronto chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners for his work fighting fraud.
TV & FILM:
New York Festivals has handed out its TV & Film awards with Corus Entertainment claiming four wins, including two Silver honours for Streaming Promotion for the Global TV app and StackTV. Télé-Québec also picked up two awards, including Bronze in the Social Issues category for De Garde 24∕7. Find the full list of winners here.
Women in Film and Television – Canada Coalition (WIFT-CC), in conjunction with Reel Families for Change Canada, has released the results of the Family Care Report – a cross-Canada survey exploring the impact of COVID-19 on child and family care for women in the Canadian screen industries. Of those who responded, more than 82% outside Quebec and 59% of those Quebec-based, said they struggle to find affordable childcare. Union members also noted a lack of confidence (only 4 in 10) in their unions to support them in the face of parental discrimination, while 27% of respondents had been fired for being pregnant. Among the report’s recommendations are that government, employers and unions work together to establish healthier working conditions, through mandating reasonable work weeks and hours, such as a maximum 10-hour workday and 50-hour work weeks.
The Ontario Superior Court has certified Geoffrey Webb and Steven Silver’s suit against Kew Media Group as a class action. The suit, filed in July 2020 by former CFO Webb and Kew co-founder Silver, alleges that the company’s public filings contained false statements. The action seeks damages arising from a decline in the value of Kew Media Group Inc.’s securities.
CBC Gem and film and television producer Zarqa Nawaz have started production on new original comedy series, ZARQA (6×11). Commissioned by CBC and financed by the Bell Fund, Independent Production Fund (IPF) and Creative Saskatchewan, the series is filming in Regina, SK until Oct. 29 and set to premiere on CBC Gem in 2022. Nawaz is the creator of ground-breaking Muslim sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, which ran for six seasons and has been broadcast internationally in France, Switzerland, Africa, Israel, UAE, Finland, Turkey and now Amazon Prime. Nawaz will serve as creator, showrunner, and lead actor in the new series, which follows a complex, middle-aged Muslim woman who learns on social media that her ex-husband is marrying a white yoga instructor half his age.
Corus Studios enters the content market this year with over 23 new and returning series for sale. Among the shows being added to its slate is Global News-produced series Crime Beat, based off the popular podcast of the same name. Crime Beat will be available for international sale for the first time at MIPCOM. Corus Studios’ worldwide sales force also continues to grow with the addition of Pooja Nirmal Kant, who will oversee sales for Asia and Central Eastern Europe. Nirmal Kant joins the recently expanded team with Leyla Formoso as Sales Representative for Latin America and select European territories, along with long-time sales lead Rita Carbone Fleury.
Nelvana and Spin Master-Corp. have announced the start of production on a new season of BAKUGAN titled Bakugan: Evolutions (26×22 mins). The fourth season of the anime adventure series is set to premiere in early 2022 in Canada on TELETOON and live and on demand on STACKTV through Amazon Prime Video. Seasons 1 through 3 are currently available on Netflix in both Canada and U.S., and Seasons 2 and 3 are available on STACKTV in Canada.
CBC has announced the next season in the One Stop Business Workshop series organized with the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO), and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA). In advance of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 and coinciding with National Waste Reduction Week, running Oct. 19-21. “Green Week” will focus on easily implemented sustainable practices to reduce the carbon footprint of productions. The free sessions are open to independent producers of all experience levels interested in learning more about sustainable production. Registration is open here.
Canada Post is paying tribute to late Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, who over a 70-year career appeared in more than 200 films, television movies, and stage productions from Broadway to the Stratford Festival. Plummer is the only Canadian to achieve the triple crown of acting, in his case two Emmys, two Tonys and an Academy Award. Designed by Stephen Slipp and printed by Colour Innovations, the stamp features illustrations by Spooky Pooka depicting the actor in several of his most celebrated roles, chosen by Plummer himself, including King Lear, Rudyard Kipling in The Man Who Would Be King, Prospero in The Tempest, Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and John Barrymore in Barrymore.
Vancouver Film School (VFS) and its Creative Ambassador Kevin Smith have announced the 2021 Kevin Smith Ambassador Scholarship. Eligible students who demonstrate the most-promising creative potential will be awarded with full or partial tuition. Three full tuition scholarships will be awarded towards any program at VFS, in addition to three partial (50%) tuition scholarships, and tuition reductions of up to $10,000 for qualifying applicants. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1.
The Banff World Media Festival has opened applications for the 2022 cohort of the BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media. Supported by the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, the professional development program offers training, mentorship, and market access to Canadian women entrepreneurs ready to grow or launch their own businesses in the screen-based industries. BANFF Spark will provide up to 100 selected participants from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C. with a tailored business planning curriculum and access to potential partners. Participants will receive a suite of virtual workshops between February and April 2022 as well as full access to the Banff World Media Festival. The application deadline is Nov. 15.
Experimental Forest Films, with the support of TELUS Storyhive, have announced the recipients of the second-ever New Works Grant. The initiative is awarding $2,000 grants to four Black filmmakers living in British Columbia: Adhel Arop, Kemi Craig, Mariam Ingrid Barry and Turunesh Mufuruki. The grants are intended as sustenance funds to support filmmakers with the valuable time they need to create, but can be used as the artists see fit. The jury was composed of award-winning filmmakers Alicia K. Harris and New Works Grant alumni Nifemi Madarikan and Sideah Alladice.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
discovery+ will launch in Canada on Oct. 19, bringing together Discovery’s original series across its portfolio of networks, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Magnolia Network, as well as the largest streaming collection of natural history content from the BBC. More than 1,000 episodes of Discovery’s more popular series will be subtitled in French at launch. An ad-supported version of the streamer will start at $4.99/month, with an ad-free version available for $6.99 per month. Discovery enters the Canadian market with an integrated marketing partnership with long-standing collaborator Corus Entertainment, in addition to advertising partners including The Trade Desk, MediaMath, Adobe, Magnite and Freewheel. Read more here.
MuchMusic has announced the return of its seminal concert series Intimate and Interactive this month with Coi Leray confirmed as the first featured artist. Streaming live Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. ET, the half-hour special is available exclusively on the @much TikTok account. Currently on tour with Lil Baby and Lil Durk, and on the heels of her latest single release, “Twinnem,” the singer and rapper joins MuchMusic’s Kwesi Kwarko-Fosu in Los Angeles for an interview and live performance featuring two of her latest hits. Since the MuchMusic brand relaunch in July, it’s amassed more than 300,000 followers on TikTok, making it the #2 Canadian broadcast brand on the platform second only to TSN.
Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and Juniper Creates are delivering a new Max & Ruby apparel line targeted to Millennials and Gen Zs who grew up with the series. The Max & Ruby Remix Collection taps into nostalgia for the show and its viral success on TikTok, generating over 127 million views of the #maxandruby hashtag over the past 18 months.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
Unifor says it’s putting together a “major project” to address escalating harassment faced by journalists, particularly online and targeting women and workers of colour. Prompted by a recent tweet by People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier attacking three journalists and listing their email addresses, Unifor is working with members to develop what it calls “a multi-pronged response, including working with all levels of government and law enforcement to confronting harassment, developing training for journalists and local leadership to cope with the resulting trauma and sponsoring workshops and panel discussions on the subject.” Unifor Media Director Randy Kitt said Unifor will also work with employers to develop workplace protocols to address incidents of harassment. Unifor represents 315,000 workers, including 10,000 in the media sector.
The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma has updated its bursary system offering freelancers help with hostile environment and other safety training. Applications are now being accepted year-round, instead of just once a year. Over the past 10 years, the forum has helped 40 freelancers undergo professional training for work in dangerous places that major journalism organizations provide for their staff. The change to a rolling application system applies both to regular Forum Freelance Fund bursaries for freelancers covering news and to Portenier Human Rights Bursaries, available to independents undertaking long-form investigative work to expose human rights violations that may also put them in danger.
RTDNA Canada is making changes to its awards program for 2021-22. Responding to feedback, Multiplatform has been added (along with Audio, Digital and Video) to awards at both the Regional and National level for Excellence in Innovation; Enterprise Journalism; Investigative Excellence; and Continuing Coverage. The awards are open to RTDNA Canada members.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is holding a free webcast on the importance of climate-solutions journalism, in advance of COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this month. Participating in the panel discussion are: Mike De Souza, managing editor of The Narwhal; climatologist Blair Feltmate, University of Waterloo; Laura Lynch, host of CBC’s What on Earth; Linda Solomon Wood, founder and editor of Canada’s National Observer; and Jonathan Watts, global environment editor of The Guardian. Fatima Syed, a reporter at The Narwhal and host of The Backbench podcast will lead the discussion. The Special Event takes place Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. ET. Find registration info here.