Canada Post issued a new stamp series Wednesday to mark the 100th anniversary of radio in Canada. The stamp issue coincides with the anniversary of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of Canada’s test of station XWA or “Experimental Wireless Apparatus” on May 20, 1920. The test marked the first Canadian radio broadcast to a Royal Society of Canada gathering at Ottawa’s Château Laurier. The closed broadcast included a live performance by soprano Dorothy Lutton, delivered from the Marconi factory studios in Montréal. Later that year, XWA (which had received the first Canadian experimental radio licence in 1919) changed its call letters to CFCF – for Canada’s First, Canada’s Finest. The stamp design features a vintage microphone with the XWA call letters, a horned-speaker and radio box, and retro headphones. Read more here.
Audience Insights Inc., the company behind the Canadian Podcast Listener survey, among other offerings, is rebranding as Signal Hill Insights. President Jeff Vidler says the rebrand reflects a clearer focus on all things audio, building on the work the company has been doing on the advertising side for podcasts and radio, and brand lift studies for Pacific Content, WNYC, The Atlantic, and Westwood One. Radio Connects’ Radio on the Move 2020 Webinar this Thursday, which will be facilitated by Vidler, marks the public debut of the new brand.
Stingray has proceeded with its plans to air syndicated morning show The Breakfast Club on Flow 93.5 (CFXJ-FM) Toronto, which were temporarily halted by COVID-19. The move to transition to the syndicated show, which originates from New York City hip-hop and R&B station, Power 105.1 (WWPR-FM), was originally set for Mar. 16. Peter Kash and Blake Carter stepped in amidst the unfolding pandemic up until this past Monday. They’ve now returned to afternoons.
The CRTC has denied Rogers’ request for a power increase for KiSS 92.5 (CKIS-FM) Toronto. The commission found that Rogers did not establish compelling technical need for the signal boost, citing that negative impacts on listenership were in the eastern and western regions of Toronto, outside of CKIS-FM’s primary service contour. The CRTC says 67% of listener-submitted complaints about signal reception originated from locations outside that primary service contour. Moreover, the commission says any radio station is subject to a certain degree of signal reception issues within its primary service contours, especially in a dense urban area like central Toronto.
Radio-Canada is supporting local artists by presenting Le petit Festival ICI MUSIQUE through June 4. The at-home festival will include performances by local artists, the unveiling of the new season of Révélations Radio-Canada, themed evenings with Yannick Nézet-Séguin (Orchester Métropolitain de Montréal) and Kent Nagano (Montreal Symphony Orchestra) and a series of concerts with musicians and musical ensembles from several regions of the country.
Radio-Canada Ontario and Groupe Média TFO are co-launching a writing challenge for Francophone high school grads, L’expérience 20/20, followed by a virtual celebration, Le bal (dé)masqué. The public broadcasters are inviting students to write their best speech for their school, with a selection to be featured during the June 19 virtual event. Both initiatives are supported by regional Francophone community media including L’Express de Toronto, Le goût de vivre, CINN-FM, Le Nord, CFRH 88,1-106,7, Le Voyageur et Tapage, Le Loup FM and 94,5 Unique FM.
CISN Country Edmonton will hold a contactless Drive-Thru Grad event May 22, hosted by Chris and Matt from CISN in the Morning. To be held in the station’s parking lot from 4–6 p.m. local time, grads are invited to wear their grad dress, suits or come-as-they-are to celebrate with the station and classmates. Grads will be treated to a red carpet experience, photos, prizes and more.
Stephen Keppler, the Kelowna DJ who made headlines in early April when he was featured on John Krasinski’s SGN (Some Good News), was thrilled to make his second appearance on the digital series this week. Keppler’s first appearance came about after Kraskinski picked up on the 101.5 EZ Rock (CILK-FM) afternoon drive announcer’s own take on SGN – #GoodNewsOkanagan – which went viral. Following the boost to his local celebrity that ensued, the 34-year-old was approached by SGN producers early last week to record another segment to be featured in a special “community” episode of the show. Read more here.
Spotify’s latest big get is The Joe Rogan Experience, one of the most popular podcasts worldwide, which will go exclusive to the platform later this year, including the video version of the podcast which currently has 8.41 million subscribers on YouTube. To illustrate the JRE phenomenon, in the 2019 Canadian Podcast Listener survey, the Joe Rogan Experience delivered more than three times the monthly reach of the #2 podcast. Broadcast Dialogue’s in-house digital expert James Wallace equates the Rogan acquisition to Howard Stern’s 2006 move to SiriusXM. Read more here.
Tom Green has launched his own podcast, streamed live on YouTube and completely self-operated (with predictable hilarity) from his home in Los Angeles. The webcast, which made its official debut Wednesday, featured clips from the Ottawa comic’s television and stand-up shows, unedited call-in on a vintage landline telephone (including calls from Moose Jaw and Quebec City), and music via Green’s drum machine and rap skills. Green, who should be on a stand-up tour right now, told viewers the pandemic has given him the time to fulfill a long-envisioned dream of having a fully self-opped “Webovision” home studio setup.
SiriusXM has announced that stars including Beck, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, Maya Rudolph, Ricky Gervais, and Sharon Stone, will step in to guest DJ, playing their favourite songs and offering commentary on SiriusXM’s limited-run artist branded channels dedicated to David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, George Strait, Metallica, Prince and The Rolling Stones. Among the moments, Kenny Chesney looks back on being on the road with George Strait for two years and performing Ocean Front Property with him on his last show as a touring act in Texas; Naomi Campbell remembers meeting Prince for the first time when she was 17; and Ricky Gervais recalls seeing David Bowie performing Heroes on television and how it still sends chills down his spine when he hears the song. Find info on broadcast times here.
LISTEN: Tim Wieczorek, operations director at Ottawa’s Rebel 101.7 (CIDG-FM), is our guest on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, talking rock, radio, risk-taking, and weathering uncertainty as an independent. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
LISTEN: Evo Terra is the host of Podcast Pontifications, a short form podcast providing insights into the future of podcasting. Terra talks about how he went from filling in on KFYI in Phoenix, to satellite radio and then to podcasting. Matt Cundill also talks to Terra about his books including Podcasting for Dummies and The Beer Diet and Joe Rogan’s move to Spotify.