The Weekly Briefing


Images from the OAB Conference 2016

2016 Ontario Association of Broadcasters Award Winners

Station Promotion Awards:

Large Market – Corus Entertainment, Jump! 106.9 Ottawa (CKQB-FM), Live Free

Small Market – Bayshore Broadcasting, Mix 106.5 Owen Sound (CIXK-FM), The Mix 6

Community Service Awards – Large Market:

Winner – Newcap Radio, Boom 97.3 Toronto (CHBM-FM), Stu Jeffries’ $1,000 Make-A-Wish Minute

Honourable Mention – Jazz.FM 91 Toronto (CJRT-FM), Holiday Heroes Instrument Drive

Community Service Awards – Small Market:

Winner – Blackburn Radio, K106.3 Sarnia (CHKS-FM), That Night in Sarnia

Honourable Mention – Bayshore Broadcasting, 104.9 the Beach, Goderich (CHWC-FM), Everyone is Welcome Children’s Celebration

Ontario Hall of Fame Awards:

Richard Costley-White (the late)

Chuck McCoy

The CRTC says there is room for at least one additional radio station to serve Grimsby and Beamsville, ON. Consequently, it has issued a call for applications. Dufferin Communications Inc. has already applied for a commercial radio station in the area.

Golden West Radio’s was named Best Community News Website in Canada at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA) last week in Toronto. serves southeastern Manitoba with news, weather and community blogging.

extraExtra 90.5 FM (CJMB-FM) Peterborough, ON is offering a free, one-way, first class ticket to U.S. celebrity refugees who want to flee to Canada in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential win. The station says the offer is open to any A-lister, B-lister or even low-level C-list reality star, regardless of age, race or sexual orientation. They’ll also provide free lodging in Peterborough and free tickets to see the Peterborough Petes.

Mike Bullard is facing criminal harassment charges, accused of stalking ex-girlfriend and CityTV journalist Cynthia Mulligan. Bullard hasn’t been on-air at Toronto’s NewsTalk 1010 (CFRB) since Oct. 5, shortly after the first of a total of five charges were laid. The former standup comedian and talk show personality, 59, had been host of Beyond the Mic With Mike Bullard since 2010. Bullard was formerly the host of Open Mike with Mike Bullard on CTV and The Mike Bullard Show on Global.

The 1980s CBC radio series, Frantic Times, may be reincarnated as a free, best-of podcast series in early 2017. The Frantics comedy troupe is raising the necessary production funds through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Paul Chato, Rick Green, Dan Redican, and Peter Wildman formed the troupe in Toronto in 1979, touring with a live show and starring in the TV show Four on the Floor, which aired on CBC and Channel 4 in the UK.

Red FM (CKYE-FM) Vancouver’s 10th annual Gurupurab Radiothon raised $715,000 to support expansion of the kidney centre at Surrey Memorial Hospital. Long time radiothon supporters Raghbir and Manjit Atwal, owners of Atwal’s Insurance and Financial Centre, made a special $100,000 donation to mark the event’s milestone, the largest donation in its history.  

VOCM’s Kids Eat Smart radiothon on Tuesday raised a record $116,000 for school breakfast programs across Newfoundland and Labrador. Broadcast from St. John’s Avalon Mall, the radiothon was heard on all VOCM/CFCB Radio Networks and Big Land Labrador’s FM (CFLN-FM).

 Jean & Howard Caine
Jean & Howard Caine

Whiteoaks Communications Group (formerly CHWO Radio Ltd.) is celebrating its 60th anniversary today (Nov. 17). Howard and Jean Caine’s dream of owning a radio station began while the two worked at CKOC Hamilton, he as a newscaster and she as the women’s editor. CHWO Oakville, 1250 on the dial, went on the air Nov. 17, 1956 at 12:50 p.m. with a middle of the road format and some ethnic programming. Late in 1967, Howard Caine died leaving the station’s management to Jean and, later, to their son, Michael. It was in 1986 that Howard C. Caine was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of FameIn June of 2000, Whiteoaks won approval for an Adult Standards station at 740 AM, the old CBC Toronto frequency. The new 50,000-watt station, now CHWO, targeted the 50+ demo. As part of the deal, Michael Caine, also the owner of CJMR Mississauga, had to juggle formats so that the new licence picked up the Adult Standards format while the old CHWO Oakville, which became CJYE, moved to contemporary Christian music and CJMR increased ethnic programming. In 2007, Moses Znaimer bought AM 740 (CHWO) Toronto from the Caine family. In 2014, station co-founder Jean Caine, also a CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame recipient, passed away at the age of 90. Whiteoaks is now under the guidance of Michael and Matthew Caine, the third generation of the Caine family.

Lyman Potts
Lyman Potts

Lyman Potts celebrated his 100th birthday last week. Potts was the first private broadcaster appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1978. Starting in 1932, Potts worked at CKCK Regina, CKOC Hamilton, CKSL London, ON, and CJAD & CJFM-FM Montreal before being appointed assistant to Standard Radio’s president W.C. Thornton Cran and eventually heading up Standard Broadcast Publications, an umbrella for the Canadian Talent Library. Potts is enjoying retirement in Burlington, ON.

The Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) has announced a seventh round of funding under the Radiometres program, with $1.5 million available to campus and community stations to finance improved local programming, volunteer training, or community engagement projects. Stations have until Jan. 13 to submit an application for funding up to a maximum of $50,000.

The Western Association of Broadcast Engineers handed out its WABE 2016 Awards last week. And the recipients are:

Retirement Awards: Wayne Watson, Len Virog, Peter Nobel, Mike Tofflemire, Don Munro, Emmanuel Foster, Gerry MacDonald, Alex Kosman

Ambassador Award: Tyler Everitt, Pippin Technical Services Ltd.

Spirit Award: Brian Mayer, Global Calgary

Excellence in Engineering Award: Jerry Pendree, Rogers Radio Calgary; Larry King, Bell Media Radio

R.W. Lamb Award: Jim Sosick, Broadcast Controls Inc.



bigbangThe Big Bang Theory on CTV has returned for its 10th season as the most-watched series in Canada, drawing 2.53 million total viewers to date. New Global comedy-drama Bull starring former NCIS star Michael Weatherly is in second overall, followed by Kiefer Sutherland’s Designated Survivor on CTV.

Catherine Reitman
Catherine Reitman

CBC has unveiled five new primetime shows for its winter 2017 television season, including the Nova Scotia-shot drama Pure, following a Mennonite pastor battling drug trafficking within his community; Catherine Reitman’s new comedy Workin’ Moms; acclaimed BBC One drama The A Word; docu-series True North Calling and drama Bellevue, starring Anna Paquin, Allen Leech and Shawn Doyle. Schitt’s Creek and WWII espionage drama X Company are among the series that will return.

Telefilm Canada, the country’s biggest film financier, will now favour projects of equal quality that have a woman as director and/or writer. The goal is to level the playing field by 2020 to achieve a balanced production portfolio (at all budget levels) that reflects gender parity in each of the key roles of director, writer and producer.

cbcCBC has launched the Breaking Barriers Film Fund, with $7.5M for diverse filmmakers. The CBC will support English-language feature films from underrepresented Canadian creators, including projects written or directed by Canadian women, Indigenous persons, visible minorities and persons with a disability. The CBC made moves to level the playing field in television earlier this year, pledging to have women direct at least half of its scripted series’ episodes, such as Heartland and Murdoch Mysteries.

The Canada Media Fund will host its inaugural showcase event on Parliament Hill on Nov. 22. Parliamentarians will meet with some of the on- and off-screen talent behind successful Canadian television shows and digital media productions including Heartland, The Next Step, Private Eyes, Kim’s Convenience, Mohawk Girls and others.

vaultCorus Entertainment has launched History Vault, History’s direct-to-consumer subscription video on demand service. Now available in Canada on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, History Vault features hundreds of hours of commercial-free content from the History library, including series, documentaries, and specials.

DHX Media Ltd. reported its unaudited results for the first quarter of Fiscal 2017, ended Sept. 30. It reported revenue of $53.8 million, offset by its WildBrain Multi-platform Kids’ Network which contributed $5.9 million in revenue, up 68 per cent from Q1 2016. Net income of $1.4 million was significantly impacted by a foreign exchange loss versus a foreign exchange gain in the prior year quarter. DHX has announced the licensing of 19 preschool and kids’ series across five video-on-demand (VOD) services in China, reflecting continued strong global demand for its shows.

parquesLionsgate has reached an agreement with Parques Reunidos, one of the world’s leading leisure park operators, to develop Lionsgate-branded leisure centres in high traffic shopping areas. The centres will bring to life Lionsgate film and television properties like The Hunger Games, the Saw franchise, Now You See Me, Orange is the New Black, and Nashville. There are 20 under development, including centres in Madrid, Lisbon, London and Murcia.

Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels

Canadian Lorne Michaels is among those who’ll receive America’s highest civilian honour: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. U.S. President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the Toronto-born creator and producer of Saturday Night Live is among 21 new honourees, that include fellow Canadian and architect Frank Gehry, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, actor-filmmaker Robert Redford, Oscar winners Robert DeNiro and Tom Hanks, and music legends Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross, among others.

Kim Coates
Kim Coates

Kim Coates will receive the 2017 ACTRA National Award of Excellence from the union representing Canadian performers. The Saskatoon native and former “Sons of Anarchy” star will receive the award, recognizing an ACTRA member’s career achievements, Jan. 28 in Los Angeles.

CanCon exporters including Corus Entertainment, DHX Media, 9 Story, Blue Ant Media, Cineflix Media, Entertainment One (eOne) and its Quebec subsidiary Les Films Séville have come together to form the Canadian Association of Content Exporters – .Association canadienne des exportateurs de contenu (CACE-ACEC). Raja Khanna, Blue Ant Media’s television & digital CE), will chair the new organization, which aims to make Canadian-based content exporters more internationally competitive and increase the visibility.


Philip Crawley
Philip Crawley

The House of Commons Heritage committee study of media and local communities continued Tuesday, looking at the state of the news industry in the digital era. This week marked the Heritage committee’s 32nd meeting on the subject, hearing from the Globe & Mail and online news and opinion site Rebel Media. Both Globe publisher Philip Crawley and Rebel’s Brian Lilley told MPs, the publicly-funded CBC is creating an uneven playing field in competing for digital ad dollars.

truepatriotloveBell and the True Patriot Love Foundation have announced a renewed four-year $1 million partnership to support community mental health programs serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families. Since 2013, the Bell True Patriot Love Fund has distributed $1 million in grants to 61 mental health programs delivered through Military Family Resource Centres and other groups.

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma has created a new award for journalists reporting on mental health issues in the workplace. The $1,000 prize is being offered by the Forum in connection with its widely-used guide for journalists, Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health. The guide was published in 2014 to help general assignment reporters deal with breaking stories that involve mental illness.

A survey of 129 Canadian writers and journalists that shows concern about government and corporate surveillance is causing writers to think twice about what they publish and how they conduct research. The study was conducted this past June by The Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University, in collaboration with PEN Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists. Close to a quarter of those surveyed reported that they avoid writing about certain topics. A fifth said they refrain from conducting internet searches or visiting web sites on topics considered controversial or suspicious. More than 70 per cent of respondents agreed most Canadians are unconcerned or unaware about government surveillance.

videotronVideotron has topped the list of the best telecommunications service providers in Québec for the fifth time, according to the 7th edition of Léger’s survey on customer experience, published in Les Affaires. The Quebecor Media Inc. subsidiary now serves nearly 1.7 million cable customers and is the Quebec leader in high-speed internet access.

mtrpackVancouver’s Music Therapy Ride has now raised over $1 million in support of music therapy programs. This year’s 15th annual music industry and media motorcycle event brought in over $150K to pass the million dollar milestone. The event has the support of music labels like Warner, Universal, Reliant, and Sony Music, as well as media support from local TV and radio including, Rogers, Corus, Bell, Pattison, Newcap, Roundhouse Radio, City and Global.

Jean Pierre Blais
Jean Pierre Blais

CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais rapped Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. in a prepared speech in Ottawa Wednesday for shutting down video-streaming site Shomi. During his remarks at the annual conference of the Canadian chapter of the International Institute of Communications, Blais said he was shocked the two companies would “throw in the towel on a platform that is the future of content – just two years after it launched.”


Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, 82, on Nov. 7, peacefully at his home in Los Angeles. The Canadian poet, artist, songwriter and icon attended McGill University in the 1950s where he won his first literary award for poetry and embarked on a career as a writer. CBC’s The Current reports that before becoming a songwriter, Cohen was close to hosting Montreal CBC TV current affairs program Seven on Six, when he called producer Andrew Simon back and told him he had decided to write songs. The year was 1966. Cohen went on to write hundreds of works, including international classics like Suzanne, Tower of Song and Hallelujah. Cohen was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2003 and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2010 and was awarded the Glenn Gould Prize for lifetime achievement in the arts in 2011. His music withstood the test of time, with his 2012 album Old Ideas earning him Junos for Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in 2013, after a career already spanning five decades. His final and 14th studio album You Want It Darker appeared last month, a carefully-crafted last testament.

Janet Wright
Janet Wright

Janet Wright, 71, on Nov. 14 in Vancouver. Best known for her role as ‘Emma’ on the hit comedy Corner Gas, Wright also appeared on shows like King of Kensington, The Beachcombers, Danger Bay and Due South. She was a veteran of the Canadian stage, co-founding the Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon in 1974 and appearing in and directing more than 40 productions with the Vancouver Arts Club Theatre Company. During her seven seasons at the Stratford Festival, she shone as a director and in many key roles as an actress. In Janet’s memory, CTV will rebroadcast Corner Gas: The Movie on Nov. 26. Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company will be hosting a Celebration of Life for Wright, with further details to be released.

Gwen Ifill
Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill, 61, on Nov. 14, after battling endometrial cancer. The veteran journalist and broadcaster started her career in 1977 when there were few college-educated, black women in newsrooms, eventually carving out a niche for herself as a political reporter. Ifill worked at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC News, before being named moderator of PBS’s Washington Week in Review in 1999, becoming one of the first black women to host a national political show. Ifill started co-anchoring the PBS NewsHour in 2013 with Judy Woodruff, thus becoming the first female duo to jointly co-host a national nightly news broadcast. They also shared managing editor responsibilities.


rogersRogers Communications is rolling out Rogers EnRoute, a new tool that allows customers to track on their phone when a technician will arrive for an installation or service call. Now available in Hamilton, ON, the service will be available across the country by early 2017. Fido is also offering Fido EnRoute service for its Internet customers.

Videotron has begun beta testing new-generation Docsis 3.1 technology on its network in Montreal. Developed by CableLabs consortium, Videotron says the tech will eventually deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps for downloads and 1 Gbps for uploads as the demand for bandwidth to support HD, UHD and virtual reality grows.


Orban Labs, specializing in audio processing for AM, FM, TV and Internet broadcasting, has welcomed CommSmart and Oakwood Broadcast to its list of authorized Canadian Orban dealers. Along with Solutions Broadcast RF, the three groups will work to expand the distribution and availability of Orban products to the Canadian market.

Astral Out of Home, a division of Bell Media, has announced the launch of Momentum, a new service that maximizes digital ad campaigns by adapting messages to criteria chosen by clients in real time. Momentum broadcasts sports, weather, traffic and social media content, leveraging data from sources like Google Maps and World Weather Online.