Kentner, Williams to receive OAB Hall of Fame Award for lifetime achievement

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters has announced the 2018 Ontario Hall of Fame Award for lifetime achievement will be presented to Ross Kentner and Barbara Williams. Ross Kentner recently retired after 56 years with Bayshore Broadcasting. He began his career as an operator and quickly moved into the newsroom, eventually becoming news director and later general manager in 1985. Barbara Williams is executive vice-president and COO of Corus Entertainment Inc. Prior to her current position, Williams served as president of Shaw Media and was previously executive VP, Content at Canwest; vice-president and GM of Toronto 1; and senior VP of Lifestyle Programming at Alliance Atlantis. The Ontario Hall of Fame Awards will be presented during the OAB conference gala awards luncheon, Nov. 8, at the Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel.

The 2018 Jack Webster Awards have revealed this year’s finalists in 12 categories recognizing excellence in journalism in B.C. The winners will be announced Oct. 29 at an awards dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. In addition, this year’s winners of the 2018 Commentator of the Year, Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award and the Bill Good Award will be named. Award-winning Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison is the event’s guest speaker.

CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin says while National Post columnist Barbara Kay’s presence on a panel discussing changes to the sex ed curriculum in Ontario was provocative, her opinions were challenged and balanced by the views of the other two panelists. Kay was part of a July 13 discussion on CBC News Network on transgender issues which sparked more than 75 viewer complaints. Many questioned the basis for inviting Kay to participate as neither an expert nor educator on the subject, and a well-known transphobic. In her review, Enkin says because Kay’s views were so vigorously disputed by the other panelists, the segment did not violate CBC journalistic policy. 

Enkin has also reviewed a complaint from Knowledge First Financial asking that a 2010 article regarding group RESPs be de-listed. The concern was that much had changed in the industry but prospective clients were reading the article and rejecting RESPs as an option to save for their children’s education. Enkin says while the article is clearly dated, “no reputable media organization would effectively remove a story like this because it is part of the public record. CBC Journalistic policy allows for its continued presence on the web.”

BCE Inc. (Bell) has completed its acquisition of Axia NetMedia Corporation, the Calgary-based operator of SuperNet, the Alberta broadband network connecting thousands of provincial and municipal offices, Indigenous communities, schools, libraries, healthcare institutions, businesses and internet service providers throughout the province. In addition to the contract to supply all SuperNet services, Bell now owns and operates Axia network assets connecting 402 rural Alberta communities, along with the 27 urban areas already connected to SuperNet by Bell. The integrated Bell-Axia team will be led by Dan McKeen, Bell’s vice chair, Western Canada, and Ryan Klassen, who will be responsible for all day-to-day operations in the newly created role of VP, Business Solutions and Axia Group.

Cogeco Connexion has enhanced its gigabit offering in Ontario markets, including the communities of Acton, Amherstview, Ancaster, Bath, Beamsville, Burlington, Campbellville, Carlisle, Dundas, Elora, Fergus, Flamborough, Freelton, Gananoque, Georgetown, Greenville, Grimsby, Hamilton, Kingston, Millgrove, Millhaven, Milton, Napanee, Oakville, Odessa, Rockwood, Speyside, Stewarttown, Stoney Creek, Vineland, Waterdown and Winona. Michael Blais, Cogeco VP of Engineering and Operations, expects that by Aug. 2019 a majority of Cogeco Connexion’s footprint will be 1 Gig ready.

The Competition Bureau has chimed in on the CRTC review of telecom sales practices. In a submission from the Interim Commissioner of Competition, it’s noted that The Competition Act typically does not prohibit the use of aggressive sales practices where they are not deceptive. Accordingly, the submission reads “the bureau generally does not have the ability to bring cases or obtain remedies in situations where conduct is purely aggressive, and not deceptive.” It also cautions the CRTC to ensure that “the costs associated with any changes made to its regulatory framework are proportionate to the harms that these changes seek to address.” Canadians have until Sept. 7 to participate in an online survey on the sales practices of the large telecommunications providers. Public hearings are set for Oct. 22.

Holmes PR, the Toronto-based communications agency that counts SiriusXM, AMC Network, and the iHeartRadio MMVAs among its clients, has been acquired by KWT Global. An MDC Partners Inc. agency formerly known as Kwittken, the move increases KWT Global’s presence in the Canadian market. Katherine Holmes, who founded Holmes PR in 1988, will join KWT Global to lead and support the Toronto office, along with nine staff.

The Association of Central Canada Broadcast Engineers, Technologists and Technicians (CCBE) holds its 2018 conference from Sept. 27-30 at Kingbridge Conference Centre in King City, ON. Find this year’s agenda here.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF), in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), will host an industry session during the industry track of the festival dedicated to “Engaging Today’s Consumers: Building a National Brand for Film, TV, and Digital.” The session will be held Sept. 8 from noon to 1 p.m. in Conference Room B at CBC Toronto. Joined by industry leaders and creative talent, Valerie Creighton, CMF president & CEO, will moderate a panel discussion on why now is the time to think outside the box and build a consumer-facing brand for the Canadian audiovisual industry and change the way Canadians and the world perceive Canadian content. Panelists will include Jocelyn Hamilton, president – Canada, Television, eOne; Michael Kennedy, executive VP, Filmed Entertainment, Cineplex; ETalk and CTV Your Morning host Ben Mulroney; and Canadian actress Karine Vanasse (Cardinal).

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