The Weekly Briefing


redSouth Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc., which owns the RedFM stations in Vancouver (CKYE-FM)  and Calgary (CKYR-FM), has purchased CIRC Radio Inc., which operates Toronto’s CIRV-FM, 88.9 MHz Toronto’s Multicultural Super Mix. The CRTC approved the transfer of ownership on Oct. 12. South Asian is controlled by Kulwinder Sanghera, who touts the acquisition as a way to create a national platform for advertisers. Francisco (Frank) Sestelo Alvarez has operated CIRV-FM since 1986 and will continue operating speciality channel Festival Portuguese Television (FPTV). CIRV-FM’s programming is predominantly Portuguese, Spanish & Chinese. It also airs Brazilian, Caribbean, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Ukrainian and Urdu programming.

Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited, which operates 95 radio stations under Newcap Radio, released its third quarter results reporting revenue of $41.5 million, one per cent higher than the same quarter last year. Year-to-date revenue of $122.6 million was $3.5 million or three per cent higher than 2015. Newcap cites increased audience numbers in Toronto and Ottawa for the revenue growth.     

crtcThe CRTC has called for comments after receiving applications for new commercial broadcasting licenses in Ottawa-Gatineau, Brampton, ON and St. John’s, NL. The Ottawa and Brampton submissions are for new commercial ethnic licenses. The St. John’s application is for a 51,000-watt commercial station. The interventions deadline is Dec. 5.

The CRTC has denied a licence application by Atlantic Broadcasters Limited for a 60,000-watt country FM radio station in Antigonish, NS. ABL owns 98.9 XFM (CJFX-FM). Opposing the application were MacEachern Broadcasting Limited (CIGO-FM Port Hawkesbury) and Hector Broadcasting Company Ltd. (CKEZ-FM and CKEC-FM New Glasgow), who successfully argued another station would negatively impact existing ones.

checqueHarvard Broadcasting Regina’s 14th annual Children’s Hospital Radiothon raised a record $532,312.95. The 23-hour event aired on 620 CKRM, MY92.1 (CHMX-FM) and 104.9 The Wolf (CFWF-FM) and saw an anonymous donor step forward to match donations up to $100,000. Since it began, the event has raised over $4.4 million. The new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan is set to open in 2019.  

Cape Breton University’s campus radio station can now be heard on 107.3 FM in Sydney, NS. Previously, Caper Radio (CJBU-FM) could only be heard on campus or online. The current licence allows just five watts of broadcasting power.

bcabThe British Columbia Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) will hold its 70th Annual Conference, May 16-18, 2017, at the Watermark Beach Resort, in Osoyoos, BC. Applications for the BCAB 2017 Humanitarian Award are now being accepted through Dec. 31. Collectively, BC broadcasters donate millions in advertising to the winning charitable organization.

Newcap Radio has re-branded eight of its Alberta country stations as the Real Country Network. Led by CCMA Station of the Year CKGY-FM Red Deer, the network includes CKSA-FM Lloydminster, CHSP-FM St. Paul, CKWB-FM Westlock, CKVH-FM High Prairie, CKSQ-FM Stettler, CIBQ-FM Brooks and CJPR-FM Blairmore. The stations will have live morning shows, but off-peak programming will be centralized out of Red Deer. Seven on-air and programming positions have been eliminated as a result. Newcap says all the stations will continue to provide extensive local coverage to each community they serve.

Blue Rodeo
Blue Rodeo

SiriusXM Canada will launch Blue Rodeo Radio, a limited-run channel to celebrate the legendary Canadian country rock band, starting Nov. 11 on The Verge (ch. 173). Blue Rodeo Radio will explore the band’s vast catalogue, including their 14th studio album 1000 Arms. The channel will also feature an exclusive first broadcast of the band’s SiriusXM concert, recorded live at Toronto’s Revival Bar in October.



bellBell Media has won the right to appeal a CRTC ruling that would see U.S. commercials air during Super Bowl broadcasts in Canada and ban broadcasters from subbing in their own signals. While The Federal Court of Appeal has agreed to hear Bell’s challenge of the Canadian ad policy, Justice David Near denied a stay of the ruling, which is set to take effect Jan. 1, until the case is heard. Bell holds exclusive broadcast rights to the NFL championship in Canada until the 2018-2019 season.

lionsLionsgate Entertainment released its second quarter results of fiscal 2017 reporting revenue up 34 per cent to $639.5 million. Television production revenues were up 43 per cent, due to $43 million in domestic revenue from the Pilgrim Media Group, acquired in November 2015, as well as the mix of television episodes delivered in the quarter. Motion picture group revenue grew 31 per cent. Lionsgate’s already contracted future revenue remains at a near record $1.5 billion. Lionsgate’s pending acquisition of premium cable group Starz is expected to close by year’s end.

BCE Inc. third quarter results showed net earnings up 1.1 per cent to $800 million or 87 cents per share. The bottom line was bolstered by strong wireless performance with over 107,000 monthly net subscribers added and a 35 per cent increase in customer data usage. Revenue at Bell Media rose 3.5 per cent with the expansion of The Movie Network into Western Canada and CraveTV surpassing one million subscribers. Advertising revenue was down 3.7 per cent.

dhxHalifax-based DHX Media has updated its revenue target range for the year, attributable to anticipated growth as it pursues acquisition opportunities for its WildBrain multi-platform Kids’ Network, particularly on YouTube. On a prospective basis, the company will be adopting a declining balance approach to expensing its investments in film and television programs, replacing the film forecast method. Annual gross margins for its proprietary content are now forecast to reach 52 to 60 per cent.

Marci Ien
Marci Ien

CTV will broadcast The 112th Annual Santa Claus Parade for the seventh straight year on Nov. 20. Marci Ien (The Social) and Kelsey McEwen (Your Morning) will host with Chloe Wilde (Etalk) returning as roving reporter. This year’s event features a performance by Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Johnny Reid, who will also co-host.

CHEK, the first and oldest privately-owned TV station in BC, celebrated 60 years on Nov. 4 with an alumni reunion in Victoria. More than 80 station employees, past and present, gathered to mark the occasion. In 2009, CHEK became North America’s only employee-owned independent television station after staff and investors raised $2.5 million to buy the station and keep it on-air after Canwest announced it would shutter the station.

The CRTC has approved broadcast advertising on pay-TV services after a request from Family Channel operator DHX Media, supported by various interveners. At the same time, the CRTC has denied a request allowing advertising on on-demand services. The CBC, Corus, Eastlink, Quebecor, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw and other groups like CMPA and On Screen Manitoba, generally were in support of VOD advertising.

craveCraveTV has hit one million subscribers. Launched in Dec. 2014, the Bell Media offering was only available via certain TV providers until January when it became available via the internet. CraveTV is now poised to snag a portion of Shomi’s 900,000 customers when it shuts down Nov. 30.

Bell Fibe TV is now an app on Apple TV, but the company has not untethered its subscription TV service from its network. In other words, the Fibe TV/DVR box still has to be used as the primary device, with the Apple TV box secondary.

Telus customers with a Netflix Premium subscription can now stream 4K content directly from enabled set-top boxes, eliminating the need for additional remotes or hardware. Telus 4K offerings also include TSN 4K, adrenaline sports On Demand, Stingray Ambiance and an expanding collection of Optik Local productions and blockbuster new movie releases.

gustoBell Media’s new food & lifestyle channel Gusto has launched with a nationwide freeview, until Jan. 10, on more than 30 TV service providers. In addition to being the exclusive home to all-new Jamie Oliver programming in Canada, Gusto has nine original series and specials in production.

CNN is the clear winner in the Canadian ratings when it comes to U.S. election coverage. For the final presidential debate Oct. 19, CNN saw its share of Canadian viewers climb above the 1.5 million mark. Broken down into half-hour periods, CNN pulled estimated viewership of 1.2, 1.3, 1.5 and 1.1 million between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. ET. That compares to viewer estimates of 428,000, 400,000, 300,000 and 194,000 on CBC News Network. CTV News Channel trailed with 112,000, 117,000, 125,000 and 108,000 estimated viewers. Compared to a regular October news night one year ago, CNN trailed the two Canadian news outlets by a wide margin.

telefilTelefilm Canada has released a study on how the industry can better promote homegrown content to Canadians. Nielsen surveyed over 3,000 people this spring, finding Canadian viewers are consuming more content across all mediums. Compared to last year, viewers said they watched 13 per cent more TV shows, three per cent more movies, 15 per cent more non-traditional videos (YouTube, web series and shorts), and two per cent more documentaries. The study, which also offers recommendations on how to improve distribution and promotion, can be found here.

The iconic Corner Gas set was dismantled last week in Rouleau, SK. A popular tourist destination, the TV set was built in 2003 as a temporary structure that survived six seasons and one movie shoot, but time and the elements had taken their toll. A blow for Dog River.


canadaMediacorp Canada Inc. has announced the 2017 winners of its Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition. Broadcast industry related winners include: Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Inc. / APTN, Canadian Heritage, Corus Entertainment Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc. and TELUS Corporation. Read the full list here.


Rush will receive the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award on April 20 at the 2017 Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards in Toronto. The honour recognizes Canadian artists who’ve contributed to social activism and supported humanitarian causes. Previous recipients include Bruce Cockburn and Bryan Adams.

The CBC Aboriginal team is among those being honoured by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression at its Dec. 1 gala in Toronto. CBC’s Aboriginal unit will receive the Investigative Award for its reportage on unsolved cases of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women. Toronto freelance photojournalist Ali Mustafa will also be recognized with the Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award.

shawShaw ended its fiscal year Sept. 1 with 2016 being a major change year for the company, including the sale of its media division and the purchase of Wind Mobile. Consolidated revenue from continuing operations for the quarter and year-to-date of $1.3 billion and $4.9 billion increased 15.5 per cent and 8.9 per cent over the comparable periods, respectively. Net income for the quarter was $154 million or $0.31 per share compared to $276 million or $0.57 per share for the prior year quarter. The year-over-year decrease is attributed to the sale of the company’s wireless spectrum licenses in the fourth quarter of 2015.

telusTelus Corp. is reporting lower third-quarter profits despite higher revenues from its wireless and landline services and continued subscriber growth. Net income fell to $355 million from $365 million in the third quarter of 2015, while adjusted earnings were $383 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, down from $398 million year over year. The company cited expenses and accounting items. Basic earnings per share fell to 59 cents from 61 cents.

Manitoba Telecom Services is reporting 71 per cent growth in free cash flow per share as it awaits regulatory approval for a $3.9 billion acquisition by BCE Inc. which was announced in May. The deal is expected to close in late 2016 or early 2017.

crtcThe CRTC announced on Nov. 7 it is taking measures to better protect Canadians from nuisance calls, asking telecommunications providers to develop tech solutions, within 90 days, to block illegitimate calls within their networks and offer subscribers call management features. Service providers must also report to the Commission within 180 days with details on the filtering services they offer or propose to offer to their customers. The CRTC says it will soon issue a follow-up decision regarding caller ID spoofing.

On the 80th anniversary of the launch of CBC/Radio-Canada on Nov. 2, employee unions The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and Syndicat des Communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC) called for federal government support to strengthen the public broadcaster for future generations. Among the measures the unions are calling for is a new non-partisan process for selecting CBC/Radio-Canada’s president and board, adequate funding to enhance local news coverage capacity, an increase in per capita funding from $29 to $43.50 and a halt to the sale of corporation real estate and equipment.

mediateThe Media Technology Monitor has released its newest report on Generation X as part of its Technology Adoption by Generation Series. Looking at Canadians aged 35 to 49, report highlights include the finding that Gen Xers are more likely to own a tablet and embrace technologies that enhance the viewing experience like HDTVs and receivers, Smart TVs and PVRs. MTM’s next reports on Boomers and Seniors will be released over the coming months.


The Ontario Association of Broadcasters is holding its Connection 2016 conference today (Nov. 10) at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel. Forgot your itinerary? It’s here.


legionThe Royal Canadian Legion is reaching out to Canadians via Facebook Live For the first time. The first event, held on Oct. 28, was a live stream of the Legion’s first-ever virtual Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill. The feed reached over 1.6 million Facebook users. The Legion will also create a Facebook Live event for the Remembrance Day Ceremony on Nov. 11 in Ottawa.

Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly
Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly

Canadian Heritage Minister, the HonourableMélanie Joly, hosted the last of six in-person discussions this week in Edmonton on Canadian Content in a Digital World. The cross-country discussions followed a pre-consultation questionnaire completed by close to 10,000 people. Canadians have until Nov. 25 to provide their input.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation presents From the Margins to the Mainstream: What’s Next for Digital Disruptors on Nov. 15 in Toronto. Moderated by The Globe and Mail’s senior media editor Simon Houpt, the discussion will centre on what’s next for BuzzFeed, Twitter and VICE, now that they have a strong foothold in the Canadian media industry. The discussion is part of the CJF J-Talks series, exploring issues and challenges shaping journalism.

Spencer FC
Spencer FC

EA Sports is teaming up with YouTube star Spencer FC and Movember to raise funds and awareness to support men’s mental health and suicide prevention programs. EA Sports will be donating $200,000, along with starting their own fundraising network on and recruiting gamers to join the EA Sports Team. Spencer FC also live streamed a 24-hour gaming marathon Nov. 4.



Frank Peers
Frank Peers

Frank Peers, 98, former head of CBC Public Affairs, was an academic with a passion for public broadcasting. Upon graduation from the University of Alberta, Peers became assistant director of Extension for the U of A, leading to a venture that involved forming public affairs discussion groups around CBC radio broadcasts. Four years later, he joined the public broadcaster and rose to the top of the Public Affairs Department. In 1963, Peers joined the Political Economy Department at the University of Toronto, and in 1969 published The Politics of Canadian Broadcasting on the CBC’s history. He followed that up a decade later with The Public Eye: Television and the Politics of Canadian Broadcasting. Both remain standard references on the history of the public broadcaster. Frank retired in 1983.

Alexander “Alex” Rankin
Alexander “Alex” Rankin

Alexander “Alex” Rankin, 89, on Oct 31 in Calgary, AB. Rankin started at CKUA Edmonton in 1946 as a recording engineer and doing continuity. A political junkie at heart, he eventually became the local political reporter covering city hall and the legislature. In 1955, he moved to CFCN (now known as CTV Calgary), starting out as the city beat reporter. He rose through the ranks to become news director in the early 1960s, leaving in 1967 to become an editor at Oilweek Magazine until his retirement at age 62. In the pre-internet age, Rankin was passionate about statistics and kept a set of index cards on every oil well in Canada. His job with Oilweek also garnered him invitations to travel including a series of oil exploration tours to The Arctic.

Images from WABE 2016

WABE 2016 was held at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary this week. Broadcast Dialogue was there!