Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Radio Canada International restructured as part of “major transformation”

CBC/Radio-Canada has announced a “major transformation” of Radio Canada International (RCI) that includes expanding into Punjabi and Tagalog-language content, producing a new weekly podcast in each of the seven RCI languages, and increasing the service’s visibility. Starting in April, it will also see the RCI team restructured from 20 to nine people, including the loss of 16 positions in Montreal and the creation of five new jobs. CBC says the changes will not only boost RCI’s audience and relevance, but also help the service better engage with newcomers to Canada. RCI will also make all of the new content freely available to other ethnic community media. Read more here.

CBC/Radio-Canada has announced it’s moving forward with its Tandem branded content and podcast initiative above the concerns of more than 500 current and former CBC journalists, and the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), among others. In response to those concerns, the public broadcaster has issued a statement clarifying its position and issuing a series of guidelines aimed at eliminating audience confusion between journalism and commercial advertising on CBC/Radio-Canada platforms. Among them is that no CBC/Radio-Canada journalists or hosts will be involved in the creation or presentation of branded content, encompassing audio, video and alpha-numeric formats. Public broadcaster watchdog FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting, meanwhile, is continuing a petition drive calling for the cancellation of Tandem, which so far has drawn over 11,000 signatures. Read more here

CBC/Radio-Canada has published another effort to debunk a Postmedia article, carried by Sun newspapers across the country, that claimed “CBC’s television ad sales have taken a freefall collapse.” Reports that TV ad revenues fell 19% for the six months ended Sept. 30 were attributed to Blacklock’s Reporter. In a statement posted to its corporate website, CBC said the report is amplifying inaccurate criticism of the public broadcaster and it was not contacted for comment. The broadcaster says second quarter revenue decreased by 8.9% as a result of both a decline in TV advertising due to COVID-19 and declining subscriber revenue. It says expenses also decreased by 10.1% over the same period.

The Webster Awards, recognizing excellence in B.C. journalism, were presented Tuesday evening during an online broadcast. CTV Vancouver came away with three awards, including Best Breaking News – TV for “State of Emergency – The Pandemic Arrives in B.C.” CBC British Columbia also came away with three awards, including Excellence in Digital Journalism for its provincial COVID-19 tracker. Andrew Nikiforuk of The Tyee was awarded the City Mike Award for Commentator of the Year. Find the full list of winners, here.

Jill Krop, who left Global BC earlier this year, has been named the BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) Broadcaster of the Year for 2020. Krop had been BC Regional Director of Global News for the last five years and with BCTV/Global BC since 1997 before stepping down at the end of September. 

SaskTel has announced the launch of its Rural Fibre Initiative, a multi-phase project that will see the Crown corporation invest over $50 million to bring SaskTel infiNET service to approximately 30,000 households and businesses in more than 20 rural Saskatchewan communities over the next four years. Powered by SaskTel’s fibre-optics network, infiNET service delivers speeds reaching up to 300 Megabits per second (Mbps). The first phase of the Rural Fibre Initiative will be focused in the communities of Balgonie, Biggar, Langham, and Pilot Butte. SaskTel anticipates infiNET service will be available to the majority of residents and businesses in those communities by March 2022. 

TELUS has launched Mobility for Good for Seniors, which provides Canadian seniors receiving the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) access to a free smartphone and subsidized mobility rate plan. Available now, Mobility for Good for Seniors includes a free refurbished smartphone, unlimited nationwide talk and text, and 3GB of data at a cost of $25 per month. Across Canada, 2.2 million seniors receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement. 

la Maison Rogers, Rogers’ Montreal-based Quebec headquarters, has been awarded a 2020 REmmy Award following extensive renovations. Presented annually by CoreNet, a global organization of corporate real estate professionals, the REmmy’s award recognizes excellence in leadership, innovation, sustainable design and social responsibility in the field of corporate real estate and workplace management. Designed in collaboration with a committee of Rogers’ Montreal-based employees, the 225,000 square feet of office space, includes on-site amenities like a gym, sports classes, a coffee shop and cafeteria, relaxation rooms and game rooms. Most of the company’s 3,000 employees in Quebec are currently working from home.

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