Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Corus cites lagging ad sales for Q4 profit dip

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Corus Entertainment cites lagging ad sales for a consolidated revenue decrease of 6% to $339.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the same quarter last year, while revenue was up 4% to $1.6 billion for the full year. The company, which has released its Q4 2022 and full year 2022 financial results, saw consolidated segment profit drop by 45% and 15% respectively, compared to the same periods in 2021. In the television segment, revenue decreased 6% year-over-year in Q4 to $314.2 million. For the full year, it increased 3% to $1.5 billion. TV advertising was reported to have decreased 14% to $151.9 million year-over-year for the quarter and increased 2% for the year to $859.6 million. Subscriber revenue, meanwhile, increased 2% to $127.7 million for Q4 and was up 4% for the year to $518.5 million. Radio revenue was flat at $25.4 million for the quarter, compared to Q4 2021, and increased 9% to $105.9 million for the full year 2022, compared to 2021. Read more here.

Facebook has threatened to pull news content from its platform in Canada, should Bill C-18’s adoption compel it to revenue share with news publishers. Meta briefly took that approach when similar legislation was passed in Australia last year, but later backtracked and restored news content on the platform. In a blog post, the company said it believes the Online News Act “misrepresents the relationship between platforms and news publishers, and we call on the government to rethink its approach to help create a more fair and sustainable news industry in the long-term.” The post goes on to say that “faced with opposing legislation that is based on false assumptions that defy the logic of how Facebook works, we feel it is important to be transparent about the possibility that we may be forced to consider whether we continue to allow the sharing of news content in Canada.”

Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez

Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez has announced the rollout of two Budget 2022 commitments to support news. Canadian Heritage will be relaunching the Special Measures for Journalism component through the Canada Periodical Fund with a new investment of $40 million over three years, starting in 2022–23. This funding includes a $1.5 million investment over three years through the fund’s Business Innovation component for unique new projects that focus on innovative ideas to support magazines and community newspapers. The government will also invest an additional $10 million in 2023–24 for the Local Journalism Initiative to strengthen support for local journalism in underserved communities. Details are available on the Canada Periodical Fund webpage.

Bell has announced the launch of Bell Ventures, a corporate venture capital initiative that will see the company invest in young, growing companies that provide advanced tech solutions that “further differentiate” Bell’s 5G and fibre networks and deliver solutions for customers, including network security, robotics, telematics, clean tech, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), and the metaverse. Companies that Bell Ventures invests in will benefit from Bell’s management and technological expertise and will be able to leverage Bell network assets to build use cases and accelerate market adoption. Bell Ventures investments so far include AST SpaceMobile, Metaverse Mind Lab, Sanctuary AI, Tiny Mile, and Grandé Studios. Bell Ventures will be led by Curtis Millen, Head of Bell Ventures and Senior Vice-President, Corporate Strategy & Treasurer, Bell. 

Cogeco has won the PROSPÈRE award in the Employer Builder category at the first edition of the Gala Prospérité Québec organized by the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ). The award is given to an employer who has built and maintained a culture based on values and excellence in management of its human resources. Over the past year, Cogeco has introduced a number of new initiatives, including a modern FlexWork policy, a new employee survey tool targeting the most important dimensions of their work lives, new employee resource groups to foster inclusion and diversity, and a new professional development and training platform.