General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsRegulatory, Telecom & Media News - CRTC proposes to relax Corus regulatory...

Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – CRTC proposes to relax Corus regulatory obligations

The CRTC is proposing to relax Corus Entertainment’s regulatory obligations on an “exceptional basis” as the media company saw a dramatic decline in its financials over the last year. Corus sent an application to the regulator earlier this month stating that high inflation, its sub-$1 share price, and its debt-to-liquid cash ratio had reached “unacceptable levels” after the company saw a 61% free cash decline over the previous year, resulting in it halving its dividend to preserve cash. It’s requested a temporary reduction in its obligation to programs of national interest (PNI) from 8.5% to 5% of the previous year’s revenues and extending the deadline to pay back what it already owes the regulator from the pandemic relief period. “Given the urgency of the situation, the Commission determines that it is appropriate to give immediate consideration to Corus’ application on an exceptional basis,” the CRTC said in a letter addressed to the company. The deadline for interventions is Nov. 3.

Bell Media has entered into an agreement to acquire the Canadian business of outdoor and out-of-home media company, Outfront Media. As of the end of 2022, Outfront operated 9,325 total displays in Canada, generating $91.9 million USD in revenue last year. Bell is acquiring Outfront’s Canadian business for $410 million CDN in cash, excluding adjustments, with the transaction expected to close in 2024, subject to regulatory approval. Stewart Johnston, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Sports, Bell Media, said Outfront’s assets are a natural compliment to the 45,000 advertising faces available under its own out-of-home division, Astral. Read more here.

Kier Junos

RTDNA Canada has handed out its National Awards of Excellence and Best Canadian Local News Awards, recognizing the best of digital and broadcast journalism, at its National Conference and Awards Gala over the weekend. CBC News led the National winners, capturing 15 awards and sweeping the Audio categories, while CTV picked up eight awards. The public broadcaster also dominated the Local News Awards with CBC Saskatchewan and CBC Calgary among the bureaus recognized with multiple honours. Among other awards, CityNews Vancouver journalist Kier Junos was recognized with the inaugural Emerging Journalist Award. Find the full list of winners here.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has released new survey data indicating almost half (48%) of Canadians are not confident in their ability to distinguish between fake news generated by AI and human-produced content. The survey found a majority (58%) of respondents have encountered misleading or false online/social media information in the past six months they believe was generated by AI. Those most confident in their ability to determine the difference between AI and human content generation (52%), 63% were Gen Z (aged 18-26) and more likely to be male (58% versus 46% of women), living in Atlantic Canada (57%), Quebec (56%), and Ontario, in addition to the least educated (54%). Read more here.

Stephanie Wood, Diego Arguedas Ortiz, Anabela Bonada and Mark Hertsgaard with moderator Laura Lynch will present a virtual panel addressing the question “Is Climate-Solutions Journalism the Solution?” on Nov. 8.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF), in partnership with Intact Financial Corporation, will convene a panel of experts on Nov. 8 to probe the effectiveness of climate-solutions journalism. The free virtual event will bring together a panel of climate journalists, academics and editors to discuss how to make climate journalism more engaging and impactful, including Steph Kwetásel’wet Wood, a member of The Narwhal team that won the 2023 CJF Award for Climate Solutions Reporting; Dr. Anabela Bonada, Manager of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation; Mark Hertsgaard, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Covering Climate Now, and Diego Arguedas Ortiz, Network Manager of the Oxford Climate Journalism Network at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Laura Lynch, host of CBC’s “What On Earth?,” will moderate. Register here.

Colin D’Mello, Global News’ Queen’s Park Bureau Chief is among the former Seneca Polytehnic graduates featured in a new student recruitment campaign, in partnership with Forsman & Bodenfors Canada. The latest iteration of the campaign builds on the Driven by Ambition” concept introduced in 2022, turning the spotlight on six more Seneca grads who are channelling their education into successful careers. New Driven by Ambition advertisements are now appearing on GTA transit, digital signage, television and online. 

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