Radio & Podcast News – CCMA Industry Awards recognize country radio

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Industry Awards were handed out Sunday night with Amanda Kingsland, Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM) Ottawa Program Director and the National Music Director for Rogers Sports & Media’s Country stations, taking the Music Director of the Year (Large Market) prize for the fifth year in a row. Shilo Bellis of Stingray’s New Country 96.9 (CJXL-FM) Moncton won in the Medium/Small Market category. CJXL-FM also won Radio Station of the Year (Medium or Small Market), while Corus-owned Country 105 (CKRY-FM) Calgary took the prize in the Large Market category. Shannon Ella, the host of Bell Media Radio’s syndicated midday show, Pure Country, was named Country Personality of the Year. Find more CCMA Industry Award winners here.

Blackburn Radio has confirmed that a number of employees furloughed earlier in the year due to COVID-19 pressures, won’t be returning. “Just like many broadcasters in the industry we have also been impacted by the economic environment and its longer term effects. With that, Blackburn has had to undertake some downsizing in staff positions,” Blackburn Director of Operations Walter Ploegman told Broadcast Dialogue. While Blackburn declined to say how many furloughed employees have been permanently laid off, sources say 10 to 20 staff positions have been eliminated.

Evanov Radio Group’s Proud-FM 103.9 (CIRR-FM) is the latest Toronto station to introduce a syndicated American morning show, as part of a larger station refresh. Proud FM, the country’s only LGBTQ+ commercial radio station, will air Elvis Duran and the Proud Morning Show from 6 – 10 a.m. ET, starting Oct. 5. Originating from iHeartMedia’s Z100 (WHTZ-FM) in New York, the Premiere Networks-syndicated show airs on more than 70 Top 40 stations in the U.S. Proud FM is the show’s first Canadian affiliate. Duran publicly came out as gay in 2010 and is known for his philanthropic efforts within the LGBT community. Jaret Sereda, who has been a Marketing Manager with Evanov since 2012, is the station’s new dedicated Brand Manager. Sereda himself will be hosting afternoon drive, starting Oct. 12, while Tyler Carr also joins the station as the host of Weekend Pop Up Party with Tyler, Saturdays & Sundays from noon – 6 p.m. Carr is one of the morning show co-hosts at Evanov’s Energy 106 (CHWE-FM) Winnipeg. Read more here.

Sher-E-Punjab AM 600 (CKSP-AM) launched on Monday. Based in Richmond, BC and serving Metro Vancouver, the station is being branded as “BC’s #1 South Asian News Talk Radio.” Its lineup includes Kwantlen University political science professor and former Surrey Conservative candidate Shinder Purewal, Harjit Gill, and many of the hosts previously heard on KRPI 1550 AM, based in Ferndale, Washington. Prior to Sher-E-Punjab being granted a broadcast licence for AM 600 in 2016, KRPI had been targeted by the CRTC as “pirate radio” for broadcasting into the Lower Mainland after complaints of unfair competition from licenced broadcasters.

RNC Media-owned CHOI-FM Quebec City is facing an advertising boycott after the talk station aired a number of interviews featuring COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, including Alexis Cossette-Trudel and Lucie Laurier. Sponsors who have pulled their advertising include Hydro-Québec, the Société des alcools du Québec, Mercedes-Benz Quebec, Uniprix, Desjardins, and Quebec City. Police confirmed that Mayor Régis Labeaume was the target of online death threats following the announcement that the city would be pulling its advertising from the station.


Media Technology Monitor’s (MTM) latest research says public transit and walking commuters are more likely to listen to podcasts than those who drive or don’t commute. The finding supports a slight drop in podcast use this past spring during the COVID-19 lockdown. MTM also says that podcast listeners are more likely to be audiophiles, and in particular, users of online audio like music streaming services, YouTube and AM/FM radio streams. In terms of audio discoverability, MTM found that listeners tend to find out about new podcasts mostly by word-of-mouth. More than two in five listen to new podcast content based on recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. Social media is the second most popular discovery method, followed by recommendations from podcast apps. Looking at French speakers, MTM found that one in six Francophones listens to podcasts. Although growing in popularity in the French-speaking market, podcasting still lags behind other forms of online audio content such as YouTube Music and other music streaming services, as well as online AM/FM radio.

Contes et légendes du Queeristan, a Toronto-based, French-language podcast “that helps woke people fall asleep” is among 20 podcasts selected for development funding under this year’s Google Podcasts creator program. The podcast is hosted by intersectionality comedian, creative producer and writer Jo Güstin. Under the Google Podcasts program, creators receive regular feedback; training in storytelling, sound design, and marketing; equipment and software support; and up to $12,000 in funding.

TSN has launched The Bardown Podcast, a new eight-episode longform storytelling series “at the intersection of sports, internet culture, technology, and social issues.” Hosted by BarDown’s Corwin McCallum and Daniel ‘DZ’ Zakrzewski, and produced by Sam Gliserman and BarDown founder and Managing Editor Dave Krikst, initial episodes cover the underground coin market in sports video games, ask the question ‘was music in EA Sports’ NHL games better in the 2000s?’, and explore the most controversial hockey logos of all time. 

Hollywood Suite marked International Podcast Day on Wednesday by announcing the specialty channel’s first foray into podcasting. The bi-monthly, A Year in Film: Podcast, will see 50-minute episodes released on the first and 15th of every month. Hosted by Becky Shrimpton and Hollywood Suite film experts Alicia Fletcher and Cameron Maitland, and produced by Ryan Mains, the 12-episode first season will feature the four years highlighted in Season 1 of Hollywood Suite original tv series A Year in Film (1978, 1983, 1992 and 2007), highlighting films and subgenres that didn’t make the final cut for broadcast. The premiere episode “Disco and Truckers Rule” dissects the year 1978 and dives into the films The Eyes of Laura Mars, The Wiz, Convoy and Every Which Way but Loose.

TVO’s new podcast TVOat50 looks at the 50-year history of Ontario’s public broadcaster, including going behind-the-scenes of then Education Min. Bill Davis’ fight for creation of the educational television channel, and shows like Polka Dot Door, Today’s Special and Saturday Night at the Movies.

LISTEN: Former CBC Vancouver reporter turned communications professional Karen Tankard is our guest on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast talking about Life After Journalism. She’s hosting a series of Zoom panels for journalists considering a career change. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here: 

LISTEN: Kevin Getz of Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) is Matt Cundill’s guest on the latest Sound Off Podcast talking about the recent release of his spoken word album of radio breaks. They also discuss show prep, digital rights, and more. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

The Two Miles for Mary Radiothon, heard on Jim Pattison Broadcast Group’s Saskatchewan Country CKBI Prince Albert on Sept. 25, raised $16,000 for local senior’s transportation. The program, which charges a $5 base fare for seniors looking for affordable transportation, is operated by the Prince Albert Community Service Centre.  

CFOX 99.3 Vancouver’s ‘CFOX Famous Friends contest is now open for voting. Over the last few weeks, listeners with famous friends have convinced their celebrity pals to get on-air with The Jeff O’Neil Show for a chance to win $10,000 for themselves as well as $10,000 in support for any charity of their celebrity friend’s choice. The top five celebrity callers include: Milan Lucic for the Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC; nominated by high school friend Raj; Sarah McLachlan for the Sarah McLachlan School of Music; nominated by friend Taylin; Seth Rogen for HFC – Research for Alzheimer’s; nominated by friend Nathan in White Rock; Tori Spelling with half to St. Jude’s Cancer Research Hospital for Children and half to Feeding America; nominated by friend Alexis; and T-Pain for Caregivers 911; nominated by friend Davis in Chilliwack. Voting closes Oct. 8 at 5 p.m. PST. 

Edmonton Broadcasters Club fall luncheon is going virtual with former CTV Edmonton anchor Daryl McIntyre to be interviewed by his former co-host Carrie Doll. A Zoom event, that will stream live on Friday, Oct. 23rd at noon MT from Edmonton’s Production World, the event will also feature three surprise guests. Find ticket info here. All proceeds go towards the club’s annual $1,000 NAIT bursary awarded to the year’s top Broadcast student.

Sean Ross

FEATURE: What Is the Sweet Spot for CHR Power Rotation? Over the years, it has been hard for radio programmers to know when they’re playing their power rotation songs too much. Sean Ross of Ross on Radio explores that question in his latest feature. Read more here.

Broadcast Dialogue
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