Revolving Door

Originally published. in the June 22, 2023 edition of The Weekly Briefing

(l-r): Michael Melling, Ziyah Karmali, Kelcey Brade, Jason Rockman

Michael Melling, former Head of CTV News, who more recently held the title of VP, Shared Services, is among the new names to emerge from Bell Media’s latest round of job cuts. In addition to some of the high-profile departures previously reported, those impacted across iHeartRadio Canada include Virgin Radio syndicated host DJ Starting From Scratch, CHOM host Jason Rockman, Virgin Radio Vancouver (CFBT-FM) personality Angelina Rai, and Move 103.5 (CHQM-FM) Vancouver weekend host Arran Henn. Additional casualties in sports programming include TSN 1260 (CFRN-AM) Edmonton host Dustin Nielson and Assistant PD and on-call television reporter Matthew Iwanyk, as well as Oilers’ pre- and post-game host Tom Gazzola, TSN host/producer Kelcey Brade, TSN ‘Top 10’ specials producer Greg Sands, and CTV Vancouver sports producer and photojournalist Gary Rutherford, in addition to CTV Morning Live Edmonton morning show anchor Ziyah Karmali, among many others. The CTV Vancouver Island newsroom was also hit hard as the bureau moves to a single, weekday newscast, remotely-anchored from Vancouver.

 

Chris Hall has joined crisis PR firm Navigator. Hall retired last summer as CBC’s National Affairs Editor and CBC Radio political affairs program, The House, last June after 24 years covering Parliament Hill for the public broadcaster.

Ocean 100 (CHTN-FM) Charlottetown has introduced a new morning show, following the passing of longtime co-host Kerri Wynne Macleod in February. The new show includes Ocean 100 mainstay Scott Chapman, Program Coordinator Darcy Campbell, and newcomer Jill Chandler. Chandler, like MacLeod, has a background as a singer/songwriter and stage performer, in addition to serving as a Councillor for the Town of Stratford. Stingray has also announced the 1st Annual Kerri Wynne MacLeod Women of Impact Awards, a tribute to MacLeod’s legacy and her impact on P.E.I., with nominations to open in September.

 

Mora Austin

Mora Austin is joining Central Ontario Broadcasting in July as General Sales Manager, replacing Brian DePoe, who retires Aug. 1. She’ll oversee Sales for Rock 95 (CFJB-FM) and Kool FM (CKMB-FM) in Barrie and Simcoe County. Austin was formerly General Manager for Bell Media’s Radio & TV stations in Central & Northern Ontario, and prior to that a Vice President and GM with Larche Communications. She’s also a former President of Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB). 

Andrew Brennan

Andrew Brennan has moved over to CP24 as an anchor and reporter from his previous role as a video journalist with CTV Toronto. Brennan had been with CTV since 2019 when he joined the Montreal bureau from CityNews Montreal.

Eloise Therien

Eloise Therien has announced her departure from Global Lethbridge. Therien had been a video journalist with the station since 2020 when she joined Global right out of SAIT’s Broadcast News program.

Jacob New

Jacob New has joined the Global BC newsroom as a writer. New is a 2023 BCIT Broadcast & Online Journalism grad.  

Ben Grant

Ben Grant of the Xs and Argos Podcast is joining Mike Hogan on TSN 1050 (CHUM-AM) Toronto Argonauts’ game broadcasts this season as a colour analyst. Hogan heads into his 18th season calling play-by-play for the team.

Eric Chapman

Eric Chapman has announced he’s been released by Toronto-based turnkey podcast producer Obie and Ax after just six months. Prior to joining the podcast startup in January as a senior producer and more recently VP of Production, Chapman was a community contributor and host at 980 CKNW Vancouver.

Alisha Sawhney

Alisha Sawhney has joined Globe Content Studio, the content marketing division of the Globe and Mail, as Podcast Lead. Sawhney, who has been serving in the role of Audience Growth Editor for the last six months, will be overseeing podcast strategy, including revenue initiatives across editorial and branded content. She previously hosted Huff Post Canada’s Born and Raised, before joining the New York Times as a Staff Editor, Opinion.

Elizabeth St. Philip & Alexandra Roberts

TVO has made changes to the structure of its Programming and Content division. Natasha Negrea moves into the newly-created role of Head of Programming, responsible for the overall direction of TVO documentaries and children’s programming. Elizabeth St. Philip joins as Director, Program Development, a new position responsible for charting projects for broadcast and digital platforms. Her immediate responsibilities include The Thread with Nam Kiwanuka, a multi-platform production blending AI polling, online conversation and broadcast. Push Pictures founder and producer Alexandra Roberts joins TVO as Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, overseeing the production of commissioned documentaries, from initial pitch to finished film. Kirsten Hurd, who has been serving as interim Executive Producer of TVOkids, moves permanently into the new role of Commissioning Editor, TVOkids. 

Kate Vollum

Kate Vollum has been hired as Producer at the National Film Board (NFB) Ontario Studio in Toronto. Vollum’s career with the NFB began in 2007 at Mediatheque in Toronto, where she gave stop-motion and documentary workshops to school groups. Soon after, she began working as a production coordinator, learning the ropes on many of the studio’s most critically acclaimed films, including Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell. Most recently, she co-produced Ever Deadly, an experimental doc collaboration between filmmaker Chelsea McMullan and artist/activist Tanya Tagaq, which premiered at TIFF.

Shane Smith

Shane Smith will be departing Hot Docs after eight years spearheading the curatorial vision for the annual Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. While his final day will be June 30, he’ll remain involved as a consultant through the transition period with the search for his successor to begin this month. Smith joined Hot Docs in 2015 as programming director, overseeing curation of Hot Docs Festival, the national Docs For Schools education program and other initiatives, including the long-running Doc Soup screening series. Last year, he was named artistic director and assumed oversight of year-round programming at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

Dawn Chubai

Dawn Chubai, who departed Rogers Sports & Media after 19 years last month, has launched Live Selling School, a program catering to brand ambassadors and influencers. Drawing on her more than two decades in broadcasting, most recently at TSC (formerly The Shopping Channel), Chubai says the course will cover everything from on-camera presence to livestream sales strategies.

 

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