The CRTC has reopened the public comment period for licence renewal of Labrador francophone community radio station Rafale FM (CJRM-FM) – the station revealed in an April CBC report to have been off the air since 2015 while still accepting advertising dollars. In a letter to Radio communautaire du Labrador inc., the commission asks the licensee to confirm the station’s status and justify National Advertising Sales revenues identified in annual reports filed with the commission for the broadcast years 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 if the station was off the air during those years. Interventions are now being accepted until May 29.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group has rebranded CK750 Melfort, SK to Saskatchewan’s New Beach Radio. Known as CK750 since 2002, Beach Radio’s playlist will focus on hits from the 1980s and 90s, available both at 750AM locally and online at beachradiosk.ca. Beach Radio will still air news and sports, Melfort Mustangs hockey and Saskatchewan Roughriders broadcasts.
Bayshore Broadcasting has changed the format of 89.1 Max FM (CISO-FM) Orillia, ON from Classic Hits to Modern Rock. The station dropped its previous Adult Contemporary format in Nov. 2018 when it rebranded to Max FM.
The CRTC has approved an application by University of the Fraser Valley to extend the reach of campus station CIVL 101.7 Abbotsford, BC. into Chilliwack. The transmitter would operate at 92.3 MHz (channel 222A) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 1,700 watts (maximum ERP of 4,600 watts).
CBC has received approval to operate an FM rebroadcasting transmitter to broadcast CBC Radio One programming out of Thunder Bay (CBQT-FM). The new transmitter would replace CBLB-AM Schreiber, ON at 90.9 FM.The new transmitter will operate at 90.9 MHz (channel 215A1) with an effective radiated power of 130 watts.
CBC Vancouver is airing multi-platform special Matheson, starting May 21 – a series on the lives of students at Surrey’s L.A. Matheson Secondary School. It will air on CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition every weekday morning through May 31 at 7:10 a.m., with features on CBC Vancouver News at 6 p.m. and online at cbc.ca/bc. Associate producer Jason D’Souza spent one month embedded at the school with a mission to let the students’ issues and concerns dictate the stories to tell and how to tell them. The series will explore technology in the classroom and the role of social media; Surrey’s reputation and how it impacts students; cultural dynamics in a school of predominantly South Asian students; and the rising prevalence of vaping, among other issues. The final episode of Matheson will be a special live remote broadcast with community members invited to attend a pancake breakfast.
Calm Radio, the Toronto-headquartered online music streaming service focused on the wellness and relaxation markets, has secured $1.25M in financing from BDC and TD Commercial Banking. The company says the funds will be used to propel its rapidly growing listener base which it says grew by over 85% over the last fiscal year, now streaming over five million hours of sleep, relaxation and meditation music to close to one million unique IPs each month. With a combination of ad-supported and paid subscribers, Calm Radio was recently awarded the Industry Star award at the 11th Annual Media Excellence Awards – the so-called “Oscars of Technology.”
Spotify is testing how people listen in the car through a voice-controlled music and podcast device called “Car Thing.” The test is being done with a small group of users in the U.S. only In a post to its website, Spotify says its focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform—not on creating hardware.
BandsNBuds, a podcast from SiriusXM Canada’s Sarah Burke, manager of Music Programming (and one-time swing announcer at Indie88 (CIND-FM) Toronto), and music programmer Drew Khan, just passed the 35-episode mark. If you didn’t catch Dave Grohl’s mom Virginia Hanlon at Canadian Music Week, she’s a guest on the latest episode of BandsNBuds, promoting her book “From Cradle To Stage: Stories From The Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rockstars.” Other recent guests include Dan Mangan and Hawksley Workman.
Dave Bookman, 58, on May 21, in hospital following a brain aneurysm in early April.
Bookman, who spent his early years in Ottawa listening to rock radio and dreaming of being on the airwaves, joined 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) Toronto in 1991, which kicked off a 21-year stint with the station as host of The Indie Hour and in later years afternoon drive. In 2013, he joined new station Indie88 (CIND-FM). A fixture on the local music scene and champion of independent music, he was also the host of long-running, weekly live music showcase Nu Music Night at the Horseshoe Tavern. Bookman was presented with the Unsung Hero Award from the Canadian Independent Music Association in 2018.
Christine Crosbie, 52, on May 19, following a short battle with cancer.
Crosbie spent over a decade with Global News Toronto from 1997 to 2007, holding roles including morning show co-host, reporter, weather anchor and producer. Prior to Global, she worked with CTV Toronto. She left journalism behind in 2007 and began a career in communications that included time with the Ontario Science Centre and for the last five years at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University. Crosbie also sat on the board of directors of Epilepsy Toronto from 2007-11. Crosbie died almost a year to the day she lost her husband in a bike accident in Leslieville on May 16, 2018.
Mark Campbell, 59, on May 18 of cancer.
Campbell was a donor, board member and volunteer announcer at community station County FM (CJPE-FM) Prince Edward County, ON. The Bloomfield resident, who had worked in the family business at Canadian Tire before embarking on a second career as a registered optician, had been the host of the station’s Friday afternoon show for the last five years. He also served as honorary chair of County FM’s recent radiothon in late April. Following his diagnosis with stage 4 lung cancer in January, a crowdfunding campaign resulted in sizeable donations to Hospice Prince Edward and the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation, in his name.
Deane Cameron, 65, on May 16, of a sudden heart attack.
The longtime president and CEO of EMI Music Canada, Cameron made history in 1988 when he became the youngest Canadian president of a major music label. Starting out as a drummer in the band Harvest with Tom Cochrane, Cameron began working in the warehouse at EMI in 1977. He worked his way up the ranks to vice-president of A&R, signing acts that included Corey Hart, Luba, The Rankin Family, Kim Stockwood, Alfie Zappacosta, The Watchmen, I Mother Earth, and Johnny Reid, among many others. Cameron was president and CEO of the label from 1988 to 2012, when EMI was acquired by Universal Music. Since Sept 2015, he’d been president and CEO of Toronto music venues Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. An anti-piracy advocate and voice for the advancement of Canadian artists and music, Cameron was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010 and was the recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the 2011 JUNO Awards. Cameron also served on the boards of the Canadian Country Music Association, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), and was crucial in helping develop music education charity MusiCounts
The Women in View On Screen report finds that while the number of women employed on Canadian film and television productions is growing, they are still significantly under-employed, particularly when it comes to women of colour and Indigenous women. The 2019 report examined more than 5,000 publicly-funded contracts issued in television – between 2014-17 – and film between 2015-17. It found between 2014-17, women’s share of television writing, directing and cinematography contracts increased by 11%, from 17 to 28%. Between 2015-17, women’s share of feature film writing, directing and cinematography contracts increased 5%, from 20 to 25%. When it comes to women of colour, 1.18% of television contracts and 4% of film contracts went to women of colour in 2017. One of the report’s most revealing findings is that women’s creative leadership is key to unlocking gender balance and greater diversity. On TV series with women showrunners, 50% of the writing, directing and cinematography contracts went to women and 50% to men. When men showran, 86% of the work went to men. When teams that included a man and a woman showran, 41% of contracts went to women. Read more here
CTV says preliminary audience numbers for the series finale of the Big Bang Theory on May 16 came in at 4.33 million viewers. The network says that makes it the second most-watched broadcast of the year, along with the Super Bowl, and only behind February’s Oscars’ broadcast.
Canada’s Worst Driver, Discovery’s longest-running reality series, is coming to an end after 14 seasons. Host Andrew Younghusband revealed the news in a post to his Facebook page this week. “It is with equal parts pride and humility, sadness and joy that I am writing to inform you all that Canada’s Worst Driver is officially finished. Done. The great runaway hit has finally crashed and burned. I had really hoped we would get to do a “Goodbye” season to end the series with a tip of the hat to the faithful audience, but alas, we are simply done without any fanfare. Many, many, many thanks to the hundreds (yes hundreds!) of people who have worked on the show over the years. Your creativity and grit, both on set and behind the scenes, are what made CWD the longest running reality series in Canadian TV history. Thanks to Discovery Channel and all the good people there, too.”
Stingray has signed a 3-year global licensing deal with music distribution company Northstar Media. Under the agreement, Stingray Festival 4K will be granted the license to 49 concerts filmed in 4K Ultra HD by artists including Imagine Dragons, Shawn Mendes, Playboi Carti, Beth Hart and Rae Sremmurd. The first titles will air in July.
CTV and TSN have announced the FIFA Women’s World Cup of France broadcast schedule, with the month-long tournament running Friday, June 7 through Sunday, July 7. The panel features host Kate Beirness alongside analysts Diana Matheson, who scored the bronze medal-winning goal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Canadian Women’s National Team alumni Clare Rustad and Kaylyn Kyle. Delivering commentary for all Canadian Women’s team matches are TSN’s Luke Wileman and Olympic bronze medallist Carmelina Moscato, with reports from SPORTSCENTRE’s Laura Diakun. TSN Radio will also deliver live coverage of every Canada match, featuring play-by-play commentator Peter Schaad and game analyst Andrea Neil.
The 2019 Stanley Cup Final broadcast schedule gets underway May 27 with the St. Louis Blues at Boston. Live coverage of the entire final round is available on Sportsnet and CBC and via live stream at Sportsnet NOW, Sportsnet.ca and Rogers NHL LIVE. Ron MacLean, Elliotte Friedman, Kelly Hrudey, and Nick Kypreos will be live each game night with Hockey Central: Playoffs Edition at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW. Don Cherry will also serve up regular installments of Coach’s Corner from Boston and St. Louis. Sportsnet will also air midday updates with the Hockey Central @ Noon panel, hosted by Jeff Marek. Select games will air on Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition with Harnarayan Singh, Randip Janda, Harpreet Pandher, Mantar Bhandal, and Gurpreet Sian on OMNI Television
HGTV Canada says Bryan and Sarah Baeumler’s new series Island of Bryan is breaking ratings records for the channel with the first four episodes becoming the most-watched individual episodes of any program on the network in over 10 years. According to Numeris data provided by Corus, the series is currently the #3 program across all of Canadian Specialty in Spring ’19. The new show, which sees the couple work to rebuild a beachfront resort in the Bahamas, follows the success of Season 2 of Bryan Inc. which ranked as the #1 program on HGTV Canada last spring.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Min. Navdeep Bains unveiled a new Digital Charter Tuesday aimed at laying out a path forward to safely manage Canadians’ data in the innovation economy. It includes proposals to modernize the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which governs the use of data and personal information by private entities. It’s unlikely the proposed digital reforms will become law before this fall’s federal election. Read more here.
Postmedia is set to buy a minority stake in online startup The Logic. The subscription outlet, which soft-launched last June, is helmed by David Skok – former head of Digital Strategy for the Toronto Star – and is focused on the innovation economy and its impact on business, policy and culture. Postmedia’s minority investment will include an undefined distribution relationship for The Logic content. In an editorial post, Skok says the publication will continue to operate independently.
“Journal de Mourréal” – an online parody site – will have to change its name and pay out $23,500 in damages to Le Journal de Montreal parent company MédiaQMI for appropriating its trademark for profit. A Quebec judge ruled Tuesday that the fake news site was designed to mimic the general appearance of the publication and violates the Trademarks Act. The site has been active since 2013, founded by Montreal’s Janick Murray-Hall, who is also behind the World Daily News Report. Among those who testified at the trial was RDI host Anne-Marie Dussault, who was the subject of a story falsely claiming she had been in a relationship with former health minister Gaétan Barrette.
Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez has named the organizations that will help decide which news organizations get a share of $595 million in tax credits and other incentives to prop up the struggling media sector. As outlined in Budget 2019, the fund excludes broadcast media, trade or specialty publications, and by definition essentially favours traditional print outlets. Rodriguez announced Wednesday that he’s invited eight associations to form an independent panel of experts from the Canadian journalism sector to assist the government in implementing the new measures, including recommending eligibility criteria. Those associations are News Media Canada, the Association de la presse francophone, the Quebec Community Newspaper Association, the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, Unifor and the Fédération nationale des communications. Canadian Heritage says the associations were chosen because they represent the majority of Canadian news media publishers and journalists. Appointment of the panel is planned for mid-June with its recommendations to the minister expected later in July. It’s anticipated the first funds from the journalism incentive will be paid out in 2019–20.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has released its report on the Copyright Act, making recommendations that include regulating streaming services like other Canadian music services and develop mechanisms by which streaming services would develop and promote Canadian content. Shifting Paradigms also recommends limiting the Radio Royalty Exemption (which allows commercial radio stations to shelter their first $1.25 million in ad revenue from the royalties they pay to music performers and record companies) to only community and/or independent stations. It also recommends amending the definition of “sound recording” in the Copyright Act so that recordings used in television programs and films would be eligible for public performance remuneration.
CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO Catherine Tait has released a new “audience first” three-year strategic plan. “Your Stories, Taken to Heart” explores the theme of strengthening Canadians’ emotional connection with their public broadcaster. “Our new strategy builds on the trust Canadians already have in our journalism, the investment we’ve made in becoming a leader in digital service delivery in Canada and our commitment to bringing the best Canadian stories to our audience at home, and around the world,” summarizes Tait. The plan outlines five key priorities: customized digital services, engaging with young audiences, prioritizing our local connections, reflecting contemporary Canada, and taking Canada to the world.
Rogers has announced its plan to launch Narrow-Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT), a network technology that allows stationary IoT devices and sensors to send and receive small amounts of data over long distances, with low power requirements. Rogers says the new technology, which will rollout in Ontario first, is best used for asset monitoring, industrial automation, smart meters, and smart cities applications, but will also enable personal consumer SOS devices and trackers. Rogers says leveraging Ericsson equipment, the network technology will play a vital role in its 5G network rollout.
Unifor has filed an application with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) claiming that Bell Canada is the rightful employer of technicians and clerical workers at Expertech. Unifor has submitted a common employer application for Expertech technicians and clerical workers to the CIRB, claiming that Bell is the real employer of the wholly-owned Expertech and consequently its members ought to be covered by the Bell Canada Craft and Clerical collective agreements. Expertech is a network infrastructure service provider for the wireline and wireless broadband technology market, employing over 1,200 managers, technicians and administrative staff in Quebec and Ontario.
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has published new research that indicates Canadians don’t switch communications providers despite their dissatisfaction with pricing and service. The report looked at home internet, home telephone, mobile phone, and paid television services, finding that contractual penalties and consumer behavioural patterns are among the factors at play. Most respondents to consumer surveys researchers analyzed (one conducted by the CRTC and another by PIAC) showed that over three-quarters felt they had a “real choice” of providers in the four segments of the market, but under a fifth of respondents had actually switched their provider over the most recent two-year period. The low switching number was not because they were greatly satisfied with their current service provider. In fact, a large majority expressed reservations about their present service and in particular, pricing. PIAC says in addition to lengthy contracts with early termination fees for some services and pricing structures such as “bundled” packages that inhibit choice, telecom companies may be taking advantage of so-called “behavioural economics” that inhibit consumer decision-making. The report makes several recommendations including a ban on multi-year contract lock-ins. Read more here.
The Jack Webster Foundation is accepting submissions for the 2019 Jack Webster Awards until July 7. The awards recognize excellence in journalism in B.C. and B.C.-based journalists. Stories published or aired between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019 are eligible and may be submitted by a journalist or team of journalists. Submissions are encouraged from print, radio, television and online sources that cover news, sports, the arts, business, community issues, and more in 13 categories. Read more here.
Embrionix has announced that its new 25GE monitoring and conversion solutions have been chosen by CBC/Radio-Canada for the new Maison de Radio-Canada broadcasting centre in Montreal. Headquartered outside of Montreal, Embrionix provides compact, high-density IP gateways, IP signal processors, converters, and multiviewers for broadcast video applications.
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