Stingray has delayed Flow 93.5 (CFXJ-FM) Toronto’s transition to a syndicated morning show out of the U.S. amid demand for local information as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts daily life for many Canadians. The Breakfast Club, which originates from New York City hip-hop and R&B station, Power 105.1 (WWPR-FM), was set to start airing on Flow weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m, starting Mar. 16. Steve Jones, Stingray’s SVP, Brands & Content, Radio, says Peter Kash and Blake Carter will helm the morning show going forward until ongoing concerns around COVID-19 have passed. Read more here.
Taz and Jim of FM96 (CFPL-FM) London are among the radio personalities broadcasting from their respective homes this week as they self-isolate following international travel. Aaron Rand, a host at Bell Media’s CJAD 800 in Montreal, is also doing his show from his home studio after returning from Mexico. Bell told Broadcast Dialogue in an email that they are making that accommodation for on-air talent where possible. Read more about how broadcasters are adapting to this week’s developments, here.
CKUT 90.3 FM, the McGill University campus community station, has shuttered its studio and suspended live programming. The station’s offices, including its music library, are closed to contain the spread of COVID-19. It’s airing a mix of original pre-recorded shows being sent in remotely, content from its archives, and special programming. The station’s 2020 funding drive has also been postponed.
Canadian Music Week (CMW) is pushing its annual May music festival, and radio and industry conferences to September. The festival will now take place Sept. 8-13, with the conferences remaining at the Sheraton Hotel from Sept. 9-11. All badges and wristbands will be honoured on the new dates. Read more here.
The SOCAN Awards in Toronto are canceled. The 2020 SOCAN Awards were slated for March 30 in Toronto. The SOCAN Awards are typically a private celebration, but Ontario banned gatherings of more than 250 people.
NEWSTALK 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto has launched a new daily podcast, Global Outbreak: The Facts and Fiction of COVID-19. Each episode presents the data, breaks down the news, debunks myths surrounding the virus, and answers listeners’ questions. With six episodes available now, guests include Bell Media science expert Dan Riskin, CTV W5 investigative correspondent Avery Haines, CTV News’ medical correspondent Avis Favaro, infectious disease physician Dr. Isaac Bogoch, and psychology professor Steve Joordens.
Harvard Broadcasting’s X92.9 (CFEX-FM) Calgary is taking the opportunity to use a new billboard campaign to remind listeners to ‘Wash their Hands’, among other messaging. Centred around the creative “If you listen, you know,” one-third of the billboards will be devoted to ‘Take Care’ messages. The station is also airing ‘Wash Your Hands’ i.d.’s on the hour.
SiriusXM will broadcast the Ultra Virtual Audio Festival on UMF Radio starting Friday, Mar. 20. The festival will feature live DJ sets from artists who were originally scheduled to perform at Ultra Music Festival, including Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Above & Beyond, Major Lazer, Lost Frequencies, Oliver Heldens, Nicky Romero, and more. The UMF Radio channel will launch at 5 p.m. ET and air through Monday, Mar. 23 on channel 52 on satellite radios and the SiriusXM app. The limited-run channel will also highlight past live DJ sets from previous Ultra Music Festival performances, including Kygo, The Chainsmokers, Marshmello with special guest Roddy Ricch, Zedd, and Carl Cox.
FEATURE: In Benztown CEO Andy Sannemann’s latest blog he talks to Toronto imaging producer (and Fanshawe grad) Elisabeth Hart on imaging Sportsnet 590 the Fan and her love for the Toronto Blue Jays. Read more here.
LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Jean-Marie Heimrath, president & CEO of The Podcast Exchange (TPX). The Toronto-headquartered podcast monetization company has grown into a Canadian leader in the space and is making headlines again following Stingray’s acquisition of a 30% stake in TPX. Heimrath talks about the importance of not standing still organizationally, why all organizations should already be planning for their post-COVID-19 rebound, and what the future holds for TPX.
LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill shares a few thoughts on the opportunity ahead for radio in the age of coronavirus.
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