The Weekly Briefing


crtcThe CRTC has slammed a number of Surrey, BC radio stations, finding that they weren’t following the conditions of their license and in essence were broadcasting without a licence. Surrey Myfm inc. (106.9 Myfm) and owner Ravinder Singh Pannu have been ordered to stop broadcasting in Surrey, BC or anywhere else in Canada, unless they comply with the Broadcasting Act. The station came under scrutiny after a complaint was filed in September 2015 alleging Pannu was running Myfm as an unauthorized commercial ethnic FM radio station rather than as an exempt tourist information radio station as licenced. That complaint sparked a greater investigation of other low-power stations in the Surrey area. It led to the discovery that Sur Sagar Radio Inc. (91.5 FM), also owned by Pannu, was broadcasting without a licence and not operating as an exempt low-power house of worship radio station as it was granted permission to do. It’s been ordered to return to that original purpose. Surrey City FM Ltd. (89.3 City FM) owned by Gurpal Singh Garcha, was found to be broadcasting without a licence in violation of its exempt tourist information station status. The station has lost its exemption status.

As a result of these orders, the CRTC has put out the call for comments regarding changes it wants to make to the exemption process. The commission wants those applying for low-power tourist information stations to register with them at the time of applying for a broadcast certificate so operators will be easier to find. Other changes would also see those who violate the conditions of their exemption banned from getting a future exemption. The deadline for comments is Nov. 25.

CKNW AM980 in Vancouver will start simulcasting the Global BC’s News Hour at 6 as Corus further integrates its radio and television programming. The broadcast starts Nov. 7.

Breast cancer survivor Fiona Mcgarry-gatzke (left) and her husband Kelly (right) donate $25,000 to the C95 Radio Marathon for Breast Cancer Research on Oct. 21, 2016.
Breast cancer survivor Fiona Mcgarry-gatzke (left) and her husband Kelly (right) donate $25,000 to the C95 Radio Marathon for Breast Cancer Research on Oct. 21, 2016.

Rawlco Radio’s C95 (CFMC-FM) Saskatoon raised $260,021 for breast cancer research during its 17th annual 12-hour radio marathon. The fundraiser was created 17 years ago when Lisa Rendell, a former C95 morning show host, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She passed away in 2011 after living nearly 12 years with breast cancer.

Clear Sky Radio has been granted a two-year extension to December 9, 2018 by the CRTC to launch the new FM service CKOV-FM in Strathmore due to the significant downturn in the Alberta economy.

Moncton's Marcus Marcial (left) and Fidel Franco (right). Photo courtesy of CBC
Moncton’s Marcus Marcial (left) and Fidel Franco (right). Photo courtesy of CBC

Two men from Moncton, NB have launched a podcast that chronicles their experiences as black men living in the Maritimes. Black in the Maritimes is hosted by Fidel Franco and Marcus Marcial who cover topics ranging from news events such as the American election, to preconceived notions they encounter in their daily lives. The weekly podcast has already attracted 5,000 listens across Soundcloud and iTunes in its four months.


Ann “Rooney” Taylor Graham Calderisi
Ann “Rooney” Taylor Graham Calderisi

Ann “Rooney” Taylor Graham Calderisi, 73, in Victoria, BC on Oct. 7. Sister of the late Ted Rogers. Calderisi was former Director of Industry and Community Relations, Rogers Broadcasting. She was a founding director and past president of FACTOR (The Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent On Recordings). She was also a board member of Rogers Media and the Rogers Foundation and a member of the advisory committee of the Rogers Control Trust.

André Maisonneuve
André Maisonneuve

André Maisonneuve, on Oct. 21 in Ottawa after a short battle with cancer. Better known as Katfish Morgan, he was the longtime morning host at Live 88.5 (CILV-FM) having joined the station when it launched in 2005. Maisonneuve was born in Quebec and raised in Thunder Bay. He attended Confederation College, graduating from their communications program. His career stops included Montreal, Halifax, London, Calgary and Toronto. He was also heard across Canada as the host of a syndicated Top-20 rock-countdown show. Diagnosed with cancer six months ago, Maisonneuve had been off the air since May. Family says there will be no formal funeral service.

Milton 'Milt' Conway
Milton ‘Milt’ Conway

Milton ‘Milt’ Conway, 80, on Oct. 24 in Barrie, ON. He started on radio in Woodstock in 1956 before moving to Barrie in 1959 where he did a number of shows on CKVR-TV. Over 15 years, he worked on Romper Room, Strike It Rich, The Women’s Show, Reach for the Top, Time Out for Recreation, Captain Foghorn and more. Conway returned to radio in 1980 at 93.1 CHAY FM Barrie where he worked daytime for 15 years. He eventually ended up as the weekend newscaster on Classical 96.7 FM where he stayed for 9 years before retiring.




Jean Pierre Blais
Jean Pierre Blais

CRTC chair Jean Pierre Blais has told a heritage committee studying the future of local media that TV stations have a responsibility to produce local news, even if it hurts their bottom line. Blais told the committee on Oct. 20 that a “disturbing number of television stations” have cut staff, centralized operations and slashed newscast lengths. He also said digital platforms, while they do offer an alternative source of news coverage, they do not have the funding and expertise in news gathering the professional TV outlets have. “We do not believe that local television news can be allowed to fall by the wayside simply because it doesn’t look good on the balance sheet,” Blais said.

CRTC employees have been recognized for the regulator’s Let’s Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians policy review. The eight employees received a Government of Canada Public Service Award of Excellence during a ceremony in Ottawa on Oct. 20. Their efforts resulted in 13,000 Canadians consulted using social media, flash conferences, an interactive questionnaire and online discussion forums. The initiative was one of the CRTC’s most comprehensive and complex public consultations and broadcasting policy reviews to date.

craveCraveTV and SHOWTIME have reached a deal that will place new and returning programming on the streaming service, starting Nov. 20.

CraveTV also announced a licensing deal with MGM for its James Bond movie catalogue. Now streaming on CraveTV, the 007 collection spans 50+ years and all six James Bond actors.

shudderAMC now has a streaming service for fans of horror films. On Oct. 19, Shudder was launched in Canada promising both old and new horror selections with a focus on hard-to-find titles. Shudder streams in-browser, on Apple and Google Android mobile devices, as well as the Roku set-top box.

Vintage TV is now on the air in Canada after six years of success in the UK. Available on Shaw cable, the music channel has hired broadcaster, interviewer and consultant Alan Cross as their Creative Director. The Canadian version will have access to more than 500 hours of original content produced by Vintage TV in the UK, but will also create their own original programming featuring Canadian artists. Air Canada signed a licensing deal to offer the channel as in-flight entertainment.

Corus Entertainment is launching the Cooking Channel. Available Dec. 12, it is based on the U.S. version and is from the creators of Food Network. Corus promises the channel will feature “global cuisines to international travel, to food history and unconventional how-to’s.”

mliThe Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an Ottawa based pro-market think tank has released a report calling for a massive overhaul of the CRTC including the elimination of CanCon rules. Published on Oct. 20, the report said the regulator’s decisions have become inconsistent, heavy-handed and counterproductive in a digital world. It suggests limiting what the CRTC can do in the marketplace as well as combining the radiocommunication, broadcasting and telecommunications acts. It also called for the end to Canadian content requirements for all broadcasters except the CBC/Radio Canada.


Dwayne Winseck
Dwayne Winseck

The Canadian Media Concentration Research Project (CMCRP) has released its latest report, The Growth of the Network Media Economy in Canada, 1984-2015. The ongoing series is directed by Professor Dwayne Winseck, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University. Among the findings, the media economy has quadrupled in size since 1984 and, though stable, advertising is experiencing a ‘relative decline’ while digital advertising is soaring. It’s a comprehensive read and it’s right here.

The CRTC’s annual Communications Monitoring Report is out and shows revenues in the broadcasting sector are down as Canadians continue to turn to the internet for music and television. Revenue for the entire broadcasting sector including radio, television and television service providers dipped by 1.6 per cent to $17.9 billion in 2015. The number of hours spent listening to radio and watching television on traditional platforms dropped slightly, down 1.8 per cent to 16.2 hours for radio and 0.7 per cent to 27.2 hours for television. Read the report here.

jackThe 2016 Jack Webster Awards Dinner, honouring the best in BC journalism was held Oct. 20 in Vancouver. The following winners were recognized during the evening:

Best News Reporting of the Year – Print

Kathy Tomlinson, The Globe and Mail, Real Estate Wild West

Best News Reporting of the Year – Radio

Bob Keating,CBC Nelson, Season of Fire

Best News Reporting of the Year – Television

St. John Alexander and Mi-Jung Lee, CTV Vancouver, Westjet Harassment Investigation

Best Feature Story – Print

J.B. MacKinnon, Hakai Magazine, The Whale Dying on the Mountain

Best Feature Story – Radio

Catherine Rolfsen, Bal Brach, Alison Broddle, Rick Cluff, Stephen Quinn, Theresa Duvall, Shiral Tobin, Lee Rosevere, CBC Vancouver, Finding Refuge

Best Feature Story – Television

Duncan McCue, Doug Trent, Denis Grenier, CBC TV, Hooker Monologues

Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Digital Journalism

Andrea Woo, The Globe and Mail, Fentanyl’s Deadly Path

Jack Webster Business, Industry & Economics Award

Mike Hager, The Globe and Mail, Medical Marijuana

Best Reporting – Chinese Language

Clement Tang, Fairchild Television Magazine 26, BC Drug Overdose

Jack Webster Award for Community Reporting

Jessica Klymchuk, Kamloops This Week, Transcendent: When Darrin became Deanna

Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Legal Journalism

Kim Bolan, The Vancouver Sun, Jail Violence on the Rise

Jack Webster Award for Science, Technology, Health & Environment

Alberto Mendoza-Galina, Keith Rozendal, Clea Machold, Katelyn Verstraten, Peter Klein, Gary Marcuse, Global Reporting Centre, Milliondollarmeds Rare Diseases in Canada

City Mike Award (Commentator of the Year)

Jessica Barrett

Bill Good Award

Rob Dykstra

Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award

Shelley Fralic

thescoretheScore, the mobile first provider of sports content, has released its F2016 financial results reporting revenue is up 94 per cent from last year, $23.9 million compared to $12.4 million in 2015. Advertising revenue for the 12 months ending Aug. 31 was up 105 per cent. Credit for the growth is due to an increase in mobile users.

AT&T has announced it is buying entertainment group Time Warner for nearly $86 billion USD. The deal will combine AT&T’s distribution network with Warner Brothers film studios and cable networks HBO and CNN. AT&T is already the third largest cable TV provider in the US and the deal only makes it bigger. The deal still needs approval from regulators and critics are saying the takeover concentrates too much media power.


spotiSpotify says it is committed to providing video content despite ending its licensing agreements with a number of major media partners, including ESPN and Vice. Since announcing video content in May of 2015, Spotify has invested around $56 million in the service. Indications are Spotify will create video in-house.

A new Piper Jaffray survey of U.S. teens suggests online video platforms have edged out cable TV as the go-to for video content. It found that, for the first time ever, more teens accessed video through YouTube (26 per cent) than cable TV (25 per cent). In a similar survey a year ago, 29 per cent chose cable. Netflix came out the big winner with 37 per cent saying they watch the streaming service daily. Only three per cent said they consume video using Hulu and Amazon Prime.



5 Reasons your Station’s Engineer should attend the WABE 2016 Convention, November 6-8th at the Hyatt Regency Calgary.

wabe-logo-signatureFrom Mark Crichton
President | Western Association of Broadcast Engineers

Sharpen the Saw

A sharpened saw will cut down more trees than a dull one.

In today’s fast paced work environment, it is important for station engineers to be efficient and effective at solving problems by developing a fresh new set of skills. Whether it is through a deeper understanding of a technical topic or taught practical practice, it is important to have a venue in which this can be facilitated.  Our mandate at WABE is to “promote and advance the dissemination of engineering knowledge among its members.” Our line up of technically knowledgeable speakers will provide numerous presentations and panel discussions.  There is opportunity for technical staff to learn, develop and implement a new set of ideas in their workplace.  Some of the topics that will be presented are 4K “4 Real Discussions”, Advanced Networking for AoIP, Tower Lighting, Power Handling and Generators, Bidirectional Technology as Applied in the ENG Workflow, Streaming Audio and many, many more. There is also an opportunity to take in a full day Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) course “Networking for the Broadcast Engineer”.

To view the full line up, go to WABE Schedule.

Meeting Experts and Influencers

There are plenty of opportunities to meet technology experts on the exhibit floor to discuss past, present and future advancements in broadcast equipment. Visit with the sales representatives of a variety of companies and the technical support staff that are able to discuss solutions, develop plans and assist with troubleshooting issues. There are numerous stories of engineers going back to their broadcast facilities with a solution that has saved the station thousands of dollars and resulted in better work flow. The exhibit floor is also a fantastic opportunity for Operations staff to view new equipment, meet the experts and provide feedback on the existing equipment they operate. Visiting the exhibit hall is free and would be very valuable for operation staff to attend.

This year’s Exhibitor Listing

WABE offers an opportunity to hear about the accomplishments of the influencers in the industry and to celebrate those achievements through our awards program. It is a privilege and honour to recognize these individuals.

WABE Awards


Being part of a larger community of broadcast engineers can provide the extra layer of support that many station engineers can use. Developing relationships with other “like minded” individuals can result in life long professional friendships. Knowing that they are not alone wanting to improve their skills and bring something back to their companies. There are many examples of engineers who have been able to call up their “competition’s” engineer, because of establishing a relationship at WABE, to help get them out of a technical emergency through either providing additional support or loaner equipment. WABE offers the opportunity to share technical knowledge with one another and grow their technical contacts.

About WABE


In order for an investment to pay off, you first have to be willing to take a risk. The tightening of budgets, reduction in staff and demands of work can all make it a challenge to send technical staff to WABE. We have strived to keep registration costs down and still maintain a high standard of training and events.  We have been able to do this through our incredible network of sponsors at the convention. They are the backbone of WABE. Many of these companies have limited budgets to spend on shows but choose to invest in WABE because they believe in what we do. The amount that a station needs to invest in their technical staff is small but by investing in their engineer’s development, could result in big returns for the company. In this time of cut backs, invest in your engineer.

This years WABE Sponsors


Spending time away from the office and submerging one self in learning new things, can result in an excitement heading back to the job. New ideas, equipment suggestions, contacts, solutions and new knowledge will be brought back to their company with renewed inspiration and motivation. A few days away from the demands of the station could be what is needed to bring back a clearer vision and purpose.


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