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The Weekly Briefing


David Bray

David Bray has a look at Spring diary ratings for Winnipeg, Ottawa, Victoria, Quebec City and Halifax here. Numeris has delayed the scheduled release of PPM ratings for Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto until noon ET on Thursday. Watch for Bray’s analysis Friday morning at broadcastdialogue.com.

Dave “Bookie” Bookman.

Indie88’s (CIND-FM) 12-hour radiothon to raise funds for MusiCounts in memory of station personality Dave “Bookie” Bookman on May 29, raised more than $68,000 with donations still coming in. At a tribute at the Horseshoe Tavern the following night, friends and family spoke of Bookie’s impact on Toronto’s independent music scene with bands including Sloan, Billy Talent, and Broken Social Scene performing. You can still donate here.

Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada is investigating illegal use of band in Calgary. A pirate dancehall/reggae radio station has been heard at 102.5 FM, and said to be more than a lower power transmission. According to reports on Reddit, the station went silent in early May. ISED is continuing to monitor the frequency.

Rafale FM, the Labrador community radio station accused of allegedly collecting advertising dollars while off the air, has withdrawn its broadcast licence renewal. Radio communautaire du Labrador has told the CRTC in a letter that the station has been off the air since July 2018 due to transmission server issues, however sources to the CBC say no local programming has been produced since 2015. The station also indicated it’s in talks with creditors.

QUB radio, Quebecor’s digital radio platform, has announced a strategic partnership with Groupe Nissan Gabriel, that will see the car dealership become the station’s main media partner. In addition to sponsorship and advertising, Groupe Nissan Gabriel will have in-show mentions during Dutrizac de 6 à 9 and at the opening of certain podcasts, as well as logo integrations across the QUB radio ecosystem (website, mobile app, social networks). The partnership will also be visible during QUB radio events in the form of a promotional vehicle and branding in the broadcast studio.

The Truth Sharing Podcasts have been released, inspired by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The series shares the truths of family members, survivors of violence, activists, elders, and artists. The project saw four female Indigenous writer/directors – Jacquie Black, Kaniehtiio Horn, Monique Hurteau and Eve Ringuette – travel to five communities and places: Norway House in Manitoba, Nain & Goose Bay in Labrador, The Highway of Tears in British Columbia, Métis Nation in the prairies, and Uashat mak Mani-Utenam in Quebec.  

The Canadian Podcast Listener (CPL) study, conducted by Audience Insights Inc. and Ulster Media with support from TPX (The Podcast Exchange), finds that on average 40% of monthly podcast listening in Canada is comprised of Canadian podcasts. However, fewer than one-third (30%) of the Top 50 podcasts with the greatest monthly reach were Canadian. Of the 15 Canadian podcasts appearing in the Top 50: Most – a total of nine – were not original podcasts, but rather time-shifted programming already broadcast on CBC Radio One or its French-language equivalent ICI Radio-Canada Première; two were original podcasts from private broadcasters; one was an original podcast from the CBC; and three were original podcasts from independent publishers. Read more here.

NEWSTALK 1010 (CFRB-AM) has a new podcast discussing the birth of the Toronto Raptors franchise. Unhatched is available on iHeartRadio.ca and the iHeartRadio App and hosted by reporter Ryan Doyle. It features interviews with Raptors franchise founder John Bitove, the team’s first draft pick Damon Stoudamire, and former coaches Butch Carter and Darrell Walker. It covers initial discussions that shaped the NBA team, how the name was chosen, and more.

IAB and PwC have released the third annual Podcast Revenue Report that shows marketers spent $479 million to advertise on podcasts in the U.S., an uptick of 53% from $314 million in 2017. Based on market trends and surveys returned by significant podcast companies in the U.S., the report projects revenues will top $1 billion in 2021. Driving the growth in revenues is podcast listening which continues to surge, increasing 7% in one year in the U.S.

Mark Elliot

Mark Elliot, longtime Toronto and Ottawa radio host, is in need of a headstone. Elliot died in January at the age of 65. His partner, Jarrett Rainhard, has set up a gofundme page. A celebration of life is planned for June 15 in Toronto.

CJRU Ryerson will hold its annual Kids Radio Camp from July 15-19 and July 22-26. Kids Radio Camp is an opportunity for kids ages 8-12 to learn the in’s and out’s of radio broadcasting, creating jingles, PSAs, and ending their week with a live broadcast with all of the content they’ve created. All activities happen on campus at Ryerson except for an afternoon excursion where the kids learn from industry professionals. Learn more here.

The National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) Conference is underway this week in Toronto. On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The PodcastBarry Rooke, executive director of the NCRA, on community radio’s ongoing evolution and how the NCRA is helping campus stations prepare for the impact of Ontario’s Student Choice Initiative.


Louis Potvin

Louis Potvin, 95, on June 2 in Squamish. Potvin left school at age 15 to follow his passion, finding a job at a local radio repair shop that paid him $3.50 a week before starting his own business. With the outbreak of World War II came the demand for radio communications people and after training at Sprott Shaw Radio School in Vancouver, Potvin joined the air force. Age 17 at this point, he trained as a wireless operator and radio repair technician. According to his autobiography Louis’s Place, which was published in 2001, his morse code was 30 words a minute by the time the war was over in 1945. Potvin married a fellow wireless operator and returned to B.C. working as an installer and repairing radiotelephones on ships and in camps. Settled in Lillooet Lake, he would have a mink farm, sawmill company and property development business, before taking a job marketing B.C.-built VHF equipment to developing markets like Cuba, Japan and Latin America which afforded him introductions to the likes of Fidel Castro and Che Guevera. In 1981, he and his second wife Carol fulfilled a long-held dream to have his own radio station Mountain FM (CISQ-FM) Whistler, the Sea to Sky corridor’s first radio station. Potvin formed Mountain Broadcasting Ltd., authorized to operate on 104.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 2,400 watts, with subsequent approval for rebroadcast transmitters at CISE-FM Sechelt, CIPN-FM Pender Harbour, CISC-FM Gibsons and CIEG-FM Egmont. CISQ was sold to Selkirk Communications in 1989. Potvin was also heavily involved in the Squamish community, particularly the Rotary Club, and was a founding member of the Squamish Golf & Country Club.

John Muir

John Muir, 63, on June 3. Muir was the founding director of student station Trent Radio in Peterborough, ON, starting with the station from its launch in the 1970s. His technical training started in the UK when he apprenticed as a recording technician at the Putney Bridge Studio of Electronic Music Studios in London while working as a gaffer at concerts. When he returned to Trent University in 1975, he became involved in producing radio drama, news, and programming. In 1978, he became one of Trent Radio’s founding directors when it applied for incorporation. Muir was also an audio engineer, arts advocate and mentor. He was involved in Folk Under the Clock, Kawartha Jazz Society and In from the Cold, among other events. In 2001, he was inducted into the Peterborough and District Pathway of Fame for his work in broadcasting and the arts.


Upfront presentations unveiling what’s in store for the 2019/20 TV schedules have been held by most of the major broadcasters. Corus’ presentation included the unveiling of new W Network offerings Pearson, executive produced by Suits creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh, Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, iconic detective series Nancy Drew, and family drama Party of Five. Showcase will debut a new super heroine programming block featuring Batwoman starring Ruby Rose, paired with fan-favourite Supergirl, and DC origin stories Pennyworth and Swamp Thing. Bell Media has announced the return of Cobie Smulders in action drama Stumptown, and Rob Lowe in spin-off 9-1-1: Lone Star. Bell is confirming 70 original productions for the upcoming season. CBC’s 2019/20 slate includes Family Feud Canada, hosted by Gerry Dee; Ron MacLean’s returns to the rink as host and Kurt Browning as head judge for a new season of Battle of the Blades featuring guest judges Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir; and new original spy drama Fortunate Son set in 1968. Rogers’ original Canadian programming slate includes scripted series Hudson & Rex (Season 2), drama Dead Still set in 1880s Ireland starring Brock Blennerhasset (Michael Smiley, Luther) as a memorial photographer who takes photographs of the dead; and Vagrant Queen, a live action adaptation of the graphic novel.

Amazon has announced the launch of Prime Video Channels for Canada, which will allow Canadians to stream a suite of TV stations and channels from within the Prime Video app for an additional monthly subscription fee. Essentially it allows Amazon Prime Video subscribers to build their own pick-and-pay streaming package with monthly subscription fees for additional channels ranging from $3.99 to $12.99. Prime Video Channels at launch include hayu, STARZ, and Nickelodeon as well as Canadian offerings like OUTtv, Super Channel, and STACKTV – a multi-channel package from Corus Entertainment. Read more here.

ACTRA and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) are jointly launching a helpline where members can report workplace and on set harassment and seek support. HAVEN (Harassment and Violence Emergency Network) Helpline, will serve as a 24/7 bilingual critical incident reporting line, staffed by human resource company Morneau Shepell. Members will also be able to seek confidential counselling services, and well-being support by phone, web chat and online through the Morneau Shepell LifeWorks app.  The launch follows both organizations signing the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct in March 2018 – a commitment to address harassment within the film and television industry. Read more here.

Super Channel is set to debut Halifax-shot comedy Let’s Get Physical, which pays homage to the decade that introduced America to scrunchies, leg-warmers and Footloose. A modern-day story set in the high-octane world of competitive aerobics, the eight-episode series stars Matt Jones (Breaking Bad, Mom), Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley, Episodes), AnnaLynne McCord (90210, Nip/Tuck) and Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman). Set to premiere on Super Channel Fuse on July 3, each half-hour episode will be available on Super Channel On Demand the day following its weekly linear broadcast. Let’s Get Physical, from Entertainment One (eOne), is executive produced by Michael Rosenberg’s Rosey TV (Hell on Wheels, Hung), Connor Pritchard’s Inside Center Productions (Workaholics), and Ben and Dan Newmark’s Grandma’s House Entertainment.

Arcadia Content has introduced a spinoff of its Hope for Wildlife reality series, following the day-to-day at the Halifax-area wildlife rescue operation. Doctor Barry is a new six-part series airing on OUTtv that follows Doctor Barry MacEachern, a regular on Hope for Wildlife as he opens up his own veterinary clinic in Dartmouth, NS. The Doctor Barry series has been picked up internationally by PBS. After its original run on OUTtv, it will air on The Knowledge Network.

APTN and Prairie Dog Film + Television’s new one-hour crime drama series TRIBAL has begun production in Calgary. TRIBAL follows a First Nation Tribal Police Force as they navigate a controversial new Chief amid allegations of corruption and takeover from the federal government. TRIBAL’s cast includes Jessica Matten (Frontier, Blackstone) and Brian Markinson (Mad Men, Unspeakable). This season examines First Nation crime stories based on real-world cases, including mistaken identity, pipeline controversy, healing lodge justice, social services, tobacco and missing Indigenous Peoples. Filming locations include Calgary and the Tsuu T’ina First Nation in Alberta. TRIBAL is produced by Ron E. Scott, Janet Hamley, Adam Frost and Nancy Laing from Prairie Dog Film + Television. The series will air in Canada on APTN.

The Leo Awards gala awards program, honouring the best of film and television in B.C.,  was held June 1. Leos were awarded in 31 categories with Syfy series Van Helsing winning Best Lead, Supporting, and Guest Male Performances, in addition to Best Supporting Female. CBC’s tainted blood drama Unspeakable won Best Dramatic Series. Find the full list of winners here.

Youth Media Alliance handed out its awards in Toronto on May 29. This year’s winners included Dino Dana (Best Program, Live Action Scripted and Non-Scripted, Preschool) and Odd Squad (Best Program, Live Action Scripted, Ages 6-9 and 9+). Dino Dana star Michela Luci was named Outstanding Youth Performer.

Sarah Kelley

Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) has awarded this year’s WIFTV Banff World Media Festival Mentorship to Indigenous film actress and writer Sarah Kelley. She’ll be mentored by Elizabeth Schofield, director of Scripted Development for Omnifilm Entertainment Ltd. In addition to consultation with her mentor, Kelly will have the opportunity to attend the Banff World Media Festival from June 9-12 and meet with the WIFTV team before and during the festival. Kelly previously held a recurring role on the TV series Arrow (2017), a small role in When We Rise (2017), and landed her first big role as supporting lead in the film Kayak to Klemtu (2017).

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB), the body responsible for film funding and media business development in the German states of Berlin and Brandenburg, have announced the reopening of their incentive for the codevelopment and coproduction of digital media projects between Canadian producers and German producers based in Berlin-Brandenburg. Now in its third year, the Canada-Germany Digital Media Incentive’s budget is $450,000, with each funding organization contributing half of the funds. Projects have to be created for digital platforms and can be either a game, a web series, multiplatform content, augmented reality or virtual reality experiences. Click here to access the guidelines. Submissions will close Sept. 17.

The 32nd annual Miracle Weekend telethon raised more than $21.6 million June 1-2. Broadcast on Global BC, the telethon raises funds for BC Children’s Hospital. Hosting this year were Global personalities Chris Gailus, Sophie Lui, Sonia Sunger and others. Since 1987, the event has raised $292 million.

The 35th annual IWK Telethon raised $6.7 million this past weekend. The live broadcast from the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, as well as locations in Sydney, Saint John and Charlottetown, aired on CTV Atlantic stations. This year, donations will go toward the purchase of new smart beds for the inpatient unit, among other new equipment.

Sportsnet has revealed that the 20th edition of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada will take place in Yellowknife on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. The event will kick off Feb. 5 with an opening event centered around its 20th anniversary with an emphasis on Canada’s Great White North. Lanny McDonald, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Darcy Tucker are scheduled to attend along with special guests and Sportsnet personalities. More details will be announced in the coming months.


The National Media Awards Foundation has announced the winners of the 4th annual Digital Publishing Awards, which were handed out Wednesday night at a gala event in Toronto. The ceremony was opened with the presentation of the Leadership Award to Kathy Vey, TVO’s executive producer of Digital. In General Excellence in Digital Publishing, The Sprawl took Gold in the small division, Maclean’s was the Gold winner in the medium division, while CBC News was the Gold-winner in the large division. Overall, The Globe and Mail came away from this year’s awards with nine Gold and three Silver awards, while CBC claimed seven Gold and five Silver. Hakai Magazine and Vice Canada also earned multiple awards.Find the full list of winners here.

The Canada Council for the Arts and CBC/Radio-Canada have announced plans to launch a new $1 million initiative to amplify digital creation in Canada. The Creation Accelerator will support projects in a sequence of production stages. Successful applicants will receive an initial grant to work with a producer, along with the mentorship of CBC/Radio-Canada, on the development of an original idea. Following the incubation stage, the Canada Council and CBC will select concepts for production and potential distribution on the public broadcaster’s platforms. The pilot project will be open to artists and arts organizations across the country, in all fields of practice, including early career artists. No prior digital experience will be required. Full guidelines will be released in late June, when the initiative opens for applications on the Council’s online granting portal.

Twitter Canada held its own Upfront outlining new content deals called #TwitterFronts. Among the highlights Sportsnet #IceSurfing will return for a second season, DAZN will offer soccer, tennis and basketball content only viewable in Canada, CBC Sports ‘Road to 2020’ will feature live and video highlights in real-time from a variety of summer and winter sports, Universal Music will stream intimate and interactive performances from a number of artists, and Corus Entertainment’s so.da digital agency will be behind several branded content partnerships.  

YouTube is closing its only permanent studio in Canada. Its Toronto studio will be replaced with temporary pop-up locations in different regions across the country with a goal to give creators in those communities access to the streaming giant’s equipment. Opened three years ago at George Brown College, YouTube’s 3,500-square-foot Toronto facility was accessible to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers.

Sportsnet has launched a multiplatform original content studio where Sportsnet personalities will produce digital and social content including platform-customized video segments. Fans can interact with the content through voting, commenting, and sharing, giving them a chance to interact with each other and network personalities. Content offerings include: Instant Analysis – delivering coverage of big news stories and press conferences as they break in real-time across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Sportsnet.ca; The Great Debate – Sportsnet’s opinionated personalities weigh in with their quick-hit takes on the latest sports controversies; One Burning Question – Sportsnet asks fans on Instagram to provide their answers to whatever sports question is top-of-mind that day; and video versions of popular podcasts, such as 31 Thoughts and Free Association. Among those contributing are Faizal Khamisa, Danielle Michaud, Donnovan Bennett, and Steve Dangle.  

CBC Sports and National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) have struck a partnership that will see live coverage of 13 games played by Canada’s national softball team, known as the Canadian Wild, available on CBC Sports streaming platforms and on CBC Gem. The NPF league season runs May-August and includes six U.S.-based affiliate teams featuring the most highly-decorated female players from U.S. universities and top players from around the world.


The CRTC has launched its first call for applications for the Broadband Fund. The commission is accepting applications until Oct. 3 for projects in the Canadian territories and satellite-dependent communities, where there is a need for improved broadband Internet and mobile wireless services. The fund will provide up to $750 million over five years to support projects in underserved areas. Applicants that have at least three years’ experience deploying and operating broadband infrastructure in Canada may apply for funding for projects to build or upgrade access and transport broadband infrastructure or mobile wireless networks. Applicants must invest financially in their project and demonstrate that it would not be viable without the support of the Broadband Fund. Read more on the criteria in the Application Guide. The CRTC will announce the selected projects from the first call for applications in 2020. A second call open to all regions will be launched this fall.

Ezra Levant

Rebel Media has filed a trademark infringement suit against the Hudson’s Bay Company over alleged unauthorized use of the “Make Canada Great Again” slogan. Rebel applied for the trademark to the phrase back in 2016 and registered it this past March. Rebel has also registered “Make Alberta Great Again.”

Canadian Media Educators has announced the winners of its National Student Awards, celebrating achievement in student media. There were multiple winners from the broadcast programs at Red River College, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and Loyalist, among other schools. Find the full list of winners here.


Matrix Solutions, the global ad sales platform built for media, has announced that all 41 Vista Radio stations have implemented their Monarch media ad sales platform. The new system will track and manage new business prospecting, as well as upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Integration to Vista Radio’s G Suite, including e-mail and calendar applications, will also eliminate data redundancies. “We are continually looking for ways to grow our business and as a result recognized a need to better understand and capitalize on our revenue across multiple assets,” shared Geoff Poulton, President, Vista Radio. “After an extensive search we selected Matrix Solutions’ Monarch based on its media-specific design and integrations, robust sales-generating resources, and the ability to connect our teams and opportunities enterprise-wide.” Listen to our recent podcast with Matrix Solutions CEO Mark Gorman here:

Benztown has introduced the Benztown Plug-in, a shortcut to accessing audio directly where production directors and other audio production professionals need it. The plug-in allows Benztown audio to be downloaded directly into a producer’s digital audio workstation (DAW) and project or session at the touch of a button. The Benztown Plug-in works with any DAW – from ProTools to Audition to Logic, Reaper, and more, with AAX, VST and AU formats supported.

Rogers Media and Contobox have announced an exclusive partnership with the launch of R.E.D. Contobox, a data-driven ad platform that transforms static digital ads through interactive features, animation, and video. Powered by Rogers Enabled Data (R.E.D.) and Contobox’s innovative ad technology platform, R.E.D. Contobox is sold by engagement vs. a traditional CPM model – guaranteeing advertisers only pay for 100% viewable user-initiated engagements. R.E.D. Contobox will be represented exclusively to Canadian ad agencies as part of Rogers Media Sales’ R.E.D. first-party data solutions. Agencies will be able to take advantage of R.E.D. Contobox both as a managed and programmatic service. Rogers Media Sales launched R.E.D. in 2018 which offers access to thousands of data points from Rogers’s cable, digital, and mobile devices, in addition to TV and radio audience measurement.

Blackmagic Design has announced the release of new hardware in conjunction with the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Its new offerings include the Teranex Mini SDI to DisplayPort 8K HDR, an advanced 8K DisplayPort monitoring solution with dual on screen scope overlays, HDR, 33 point 3D LUTs and monitor calibration specifically designed for the professional film and television market, and to take advantage of a new generation of monitors such as the new Apple Pro Display XDR. Unlike basic converters, Teranex Mini SDI to DisplayPort 8K HDR can use third party calibration probes to accurately align connected displays for precise color. Teranex Mini SDI to DisplayPort 8K HDR will be available, starting in October.

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