Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Rogers leads CCTS complaints for first time

Rogers leads complaints for the first time in the 15-year history of the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) in its 2022-23 Annual Report. Rogers accounted for about 20% of the 14,617 complaints the CCTS accepted, highlighted by disclosure issues, billing errors and complaints about refunds and credits not being applied. Bell and TELUS follow Rogers on the list of most complained-about service providers. Overall, CCTS says customers are experiencing significant service performance problems, with outage complaints on the rise. Notably, complaints from customers experiencing a complete loss of service increased with 93% more issues reported by wireless customers and 48% more issues from internet customers. Complaints about roaming charges also doubled for the second consecutive year.

Black Press has announced it’s reorganizing under a creditors agreement with the intention to seek court approval to launch a sale and investment solicitation process for its business and assets. The company says the transaction will address its obligations to its creditors and inject capital to enable Black Press to continue serving readers, advertisers and other stakeholders. David Black, president and majority owner of Black Press, has also announced his retirement. Black founded the company in 1975 when he purchased The Williams Lake Tribune, growing the business to 170 newspapers and 14 regional websites, serving communities across British Columbia, Alberta, Canada’s North, Washington State, Alaska and Hawaii. 

Corus Entertainment has announced its first quarter financial results. Consolidated revenue was down 14% for the quarter, while consolidated segment profit decreased 8%. Net income attributable to shareholders was $32.7 million ($0.16 per share basic) for the quarter, with free cash flow of $23.7 million. President & CEO Doug Murphy says television advertising revenue was in-line with the company’s first quarter outlook, offset by reductions in programming and operating costs. “While visibility as to the timing of the advertising recovery remains limited, our supply of premium scripted content will return to normal in the back half of this fiscal year, “ said Murphy, in a release. “The long awaited normalization of our programming supply is foundational to our Video First strategy that aggregates premium video on multiple digital streaming platforms. Our disciplined focus on reducing expenses across the business is evident in the first quarter results, delivering a lower cost base and improving operational efficiencies as our focus on debt repayment remains a priority.”

Cogeco Communications has announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2024 ended Nov. 30, 2023. Revenue decreased by 1.9% to $747.7 million. On a constant currency basis, revenue decreased by 2.5%, driven by a lower customer base in the American telco segment, which offset revenue growth in the Canadian telecommunications segment. Canadian telecommunications’ revenue increased by 1.2%, mainly driven by the oxio acquisition as well as the cumulative effect of high-speed internet service additions over the past year. American telecommunications’ revenue decreased by 4.9%, mainly due to a lower customer base over the past year with an increasing proportion of customers only subscribing to internet services.

FRIENDS (formerly Friends of Canadian Broadcasting) has rebranded as FRIENDS of Canadian Media. Founded in 1985 on the principle of standing up for Canadian voices in Canadian media, the public broadcaster watchdog says its new name embraces the expanded scope of its mission, while remaining true to its core identity. 

CBC and RTDNF ( Radio-Television Digital News Foundation) have announced the new CBC David Suzuki Scholarship in honour of Suzuki’s lifetime of science/journalism work. Open for the 2023-24 school term, the $5,000 scholarship will go to a student from a racialized community with a demonstrated interest in science journalism in their final year of a college or university journalism program. In exceptional circumstances, the scholarship recipient may also be offered short-term employment at the CBC or on an affiliated independent production.

Kara Swisher

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) will honour Kara Swisher with its annual CJF Tribute, in recognition of her trailblazing journalism career, speaking truth to power within the tech industry. The tribute will be presented at the CJF Awards on June 12 in Toronto. A journalist, author and podcaster, Swisher has informed audiences about the internet business since 1994, earning a reputation as a pointed commentator on the evolving relationship between technology and society. In 2003, she, along with colleague Walter Mossberg, launched the All Things Digital conference and subsequent blog, AllthingsD.com, going on to co-found Recode, covering tech news and events. Her podcast work includes “Recode Decode,” “On with Kara Swisher” and “Pivot” with Scott Galloway.

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