The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Corus Radio is making the move to syndicate another of its major market morning shows. Starting Aug. 27, Q107 (CFGQ-FM) Calgary will air the Willy in the Morning show from its sister classic rock station Rock 101 (CFMI-FM) in Vancouver. Helmed by Willy Percy, Kim Seale and Alece Anderson, the show will air from 6 – 9 a.m. Q107 lost longtime morning host Jeff Brown last July when he made the move to JACK 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver. Most recently, afternoon drive host Tarzan Dan had been filling in on mornings. This is the second major market morning show Corus has replaced with syndicated programming in the past year. Last September, it made the rare move of bringing in Seattle-based syndicated morning show Brooke & Jubal In The Morning to JUMP! 106.9 (CKQB-FM) Ottawa. Read more here.

The Canadian Podcast Listener 2019 study from Audience Insights Inc. and Ulster Media has released some initial findings. Among them, that YouTube is indeed the leading platform for past year usage among monthly podcast listeners. More than four-in-10 (43%) say they went to YouTube for podcasts in the past year, ahead of Apple Podcasts/iTunes at 34% and a strong showing from the new arrival, Spotify, at 23%. More than half of those YouTube “primaries” say they watched/listened to the Joe Rogan Experience in the past month. Read more here.

Nielsen says despite the rise of new digital media platforms, radio – including online radio – remains one of the most popular ways for Canadians to listen to music. According to its 5th annual Canada Music 360 report, 58% of Canadian listeners are still tuning in to music-driven radio. Nielsen says online radio is now the go-to listening format among teens and young adults, as 67% of teens and 73% of Millennials listen to music online in a typical week, compared with 50% of the general population. Online streaming is also playing a huge role in music discovery among young listeners, with 58% of teens and 68% of Millennials discovering new music through online streaming, well above the 45% among the general population. Comparatively, 65% of the general population is exposed to new music via traditional radio. 33% of consumers say they listen to more podcast content than they did a year ago. Among Millennials, the growth is notably higher at 47%.

SoundExchange has announced plans to collaborate with SourceAudio to provide a new solution for the rapidly growing podcast industry to secure globally licensed, commercial music. The collaboration would provide Podcastmusic.com, a digital music marketplace for podcasters, with access to SoundExchange’s membership of music creators and offer licensing for label and publisher-owned music. The collaboration promises to provide music creators another avenue for monetization, while enhancing Podcastmusic.com’s current database of 700,000 production and music bed tracks. The service is anticipated to launch in 2020. Participation by publishers, labels, and other rights owners will be on a voluntary basis.

Jeff Fillion

Le Conseil de presse du Quebec says comments by host Jeff Fillion on CHOI 98.1 Quebec City perpetuated prejudices against Mexican workers. Fillion suggested immigration would be a solution to the labor shortage. In its decision, the Council argued that by suggesting to go and get Mexicans, “guys from Central America” ​​because they are “not afraid of the book,” that “it’s going to take a damn boil before they speak French” and that they “will not disgust you with union stories and patents alike”, Fillion discriminated by conveying prejudices that Mexicans and Latin Americans represent a docile workforce that will never learn French and have little interest in labour law. The Council concluded that Fillion exceeded the limits of journalistic ethics.

iHeartRadio Canada has launched its new Artist Radio feature which provides users with a personalized listening experience, including playlists dedicated to favourite artists and genres. Listeners can search for their favourite artists, or click on the radio tab on the bottom of the app to view the Featured Artist Radio playlists. Once the user finds the artist of their choice, Artist Radio begins to play songs from that artist along with similar artists, and music within that artist’s genre.

LIFE 100.3 (CJLF-FM) Orillia is celebrating 20 years on the air in Central Ontario this Saturday, Aug. 17. LIFE 100.3 launched on Aug. 15, 1999 with the help of volunteers and the vision of station manager Scott Jackson. It’s since grown to include three “Ontario’s Christian Superstation” repeater stations: 90.1 Owen Sound, 89.3 Peterborough and 98.9 Huntsville. Details on Saturday’s celebration at First Baptist Church in Orillia can be found at www.lifeonline.fm.

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) has announced the lineup for a Production Supersession taking place at this year’s fall conference, Connection 2019. Running Nov. 7, the event will feature Core Image Studio Inc.’s Justin Dove; Staxx Williams, head of imaging for iHeartRadio in New York; and Ron Tarrant, director of Reelworld Productions’ RED hit music imaging, who also serves as the national imaging voice for Rogers’ rock stations. Learn more about Connection 2019 here.

This week’s episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast features veteran TV newsman Kevin Newman – the latest broadcaster to announce a move into the podcast space. Editor Connie Thiessen speaks to Newman about his pivot to what he terms “narrow-casting”, the impact of technology on the coming federal election and the future of news.

SIGN-OFFS:

Carmel Kilkenny

Carmel Kilkenny on Aug. 13. Kilkenny grew up in Toronto, but after a year living abroad in Paris, she made her home in Montreal. Kilkenny graduated from Concordia University in 1988 with a degree in Communication Studies and Journalism, and went on to work with CBC/Radio-Canada. Among the roles she held were anchoring Quebec’s late-night TV newscast, in addition to reporting and guest-hosting a daily program for CBC Radio that was broadcast internationally on RCI shortwave. That led to her producing ‘The Link’ – a program featuring stories and interviews with immigrants to Canada. Since 2012, Kilkenny had been freelancing, including contributing to the Radio Canada International website.

Monica Miller

Monica Miller, 64, on Aug. 11. Miller got her start with CKUA Radio Edmonton in 1977 as a library assistant. She would go on to work with the station for four decades, holding roles including writer, assistant producer, arts coverage producer, and eventually host. In a post to the CKUA website, senior producer David Ward said Miller’s “curious, playful musical taste” was combined with hours of careful research and planning. “Because of that she brought a reverence and dedication to her work…It also meant that she had an ear for quality music, often overlooked music, and depth that delved across genres with strong flavour of jazz and world music.” Miller is also credited for bringing that attention to detail to the CKUA database to help the station run smoothly, even while off on medical leave. Penning her own obituary, Miller said of CKUA: “that for 40-odd years allowed me to play, learn, experiment, and share the magical world of radio with unsuspecting listeners, while having the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from the best of the best. Viva CKUA!”

Barry Mercer

Barry Mercer, 66, on Aug. 11. Mercer began a career with CBC Radio in 1972 as a summer relief announcer in Goose Bay, NL. That led to a 35-year career with the public broadcaster, much of that time as a reporter and host at CBC Radio Sudbury where he landed in 1985. Mercer served as host of long-running afternoon show Points North, co-host of Radio Noon, and reporter for Morning North, before retiring in 2006, however he continued to be heard on the airwaves as a fill-in announcer.

Jack Hagerman

Jack Hagerman, 92, on Aug. 8. Hagerman began his career in radio in 1946 at CFQC Saskatoon. As the legend goes, he stepped off the train in Edmonton in May 1949 and landed a job at CKUA Radio within hours. Worthington would go on to work with the station for more than 70 years, holding roles from host (under the on-air pseudonym of John Worthington), sports announcer, program manager, and by the mid-1950s station manager. In a 70th anniversary tribute on the CKUA website, Hagerman is credited with defining the station’s sound with the hiring of young, creative announcers with a deep love of music, including Bill Coull, Gill Evans, and a young Robert Goulet. Hagerman was also instrumental in expanding the station’s reach, establishing a 10,000-watt transmitter in 1960 and later FM transmitters across the province. Hagerman semi-retired in the 1970s, continuing as host of big band show The Old Disc Jockey.

Howard Lapides

Howard Lapides, 62, on Aug. 1 after a battle with colon cancer. Hailing from the Village of Kenmore in Erie County, New York, Lapides got his start in radio at age 16, as a post-game host on Buffalo Bills broadcasts on WSYL-FM, using the pseudonym Michael O’Shea. He went on to attend Emerson College in Boston, while producing “The Steve Fredericks Show” for WMEX and working on-air part-time at WEIM Fitchburg, Massachussetts. Lapides landed at Baton Broadcasting in Ontario after graduation where he worked at CKLW Windsor and CFGO Ottawa. After five years, Lapides went on to work in concert promotion, teaming up with Michael Cohl and Donald Tarlton, and later became owner of the Yuk Yuk Comedy Clubs in Buffalo and Rochester. After forming Lapides Entertainment in the early 1980s, he began managing clients that included Carson Daly, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Tom Green and Dr. Drew Pinsky. His creative credits include consulting on CTV talk show Open Mike (hosted by Mike Bullard); was executive producer of VH1 reality series “Celebrity Rehab”; Comedy Central’s “The Man Show”; developed MTV show “TRL” for Daly; and produced Tom Green-directed feature “Freddy Got Fingered.” He was also a regular visiting professor at USC, UCLA and Emerson.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Super Channel is partnering with Northern Arena Productions to bring esports and gaming culture series SQUAD to GINX Esports TV Canada. Hour-long episodes of the gaming lifestyle series will air Tues. to Thurs. at 7 p.m. ET, beginning Sept. 17 and will also be available via Super Channel On Demand. SQUAD, which is shot in Mississauga, brings together a ‘squad’ of featured hosts including Marissa Roberto and Brody ‘Liefx’ Moore, in addition to a rotating lineup of esports professionals, game developers, YouTubers, and Twitch streamers. It debuted last March on multiple platforms including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. View the trailer here.

Crave will be the exclusive streaming home in Canada of the eighth and final season of Homeland, premiering Feb. 9. In addition to Homeland, new Showtime programming coming to Crave includes new Kirsten Dunst dark comedy On Becoming A God in Central Florida, executive produced by George Clooney (Aug. 25); Couples Therapy, a new docuseries from Sundance Award-winning filmmakers Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg, and Eli Despres (Sept. 6); true crime docuseries Murder In The Bayou (Sept. 13); Back To Life, a new comedy series from the producers of Fleabag, created by and starring Daisy Haggard (Oct. 6); Kidding, Season 2 (Nov. 3); Shameless, Season 10 (Nov. 3); Ray Donovan, Season 7 (Nov. 17); Work In Progress, a new comedy starring Abby McEnany (Dec. 8); The L Word: Generation Q (Dec. 18); The Good Lord Bird, a limited series starring Ethan Hawke, David Morse, and Steve Zahn (Feb. 16); and 10-episode legal thriller Your Honor, starring Bryan Cranston (premiere date TBD).

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has unveiled its AMI-tv fall schedule which for the first time includes all original programming in the 8 p.m. timeslot, Monday to Friday. Season 8 of weekly magazine show AMI This Week kicks off the fall slate Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. ET. Season 3 of award-winning series Employable Me also returns, following a new group of Canadian job seekers. Double Tap TV, makes its debut with hosts Steven Scott and Marc Aflalo leading cutting-edge discussions on everything tech with an eye on accessibility. Season 3 of Eyes for the Job follows handyman Chris Judge, who is blind, and Alex Haider as they take on their biggest do-it-yourself projects yet. New local original documentaries in the Our Community series include the journey of two communities building barrier-free baseball diamonds, and a pilot who flies children of all abilities in his four-seater airplane. AMI-tv’s newest acquired series in described video is Frankie Drake Mysteries.

Joey Elias

Global News Montreal is airing four-part series Everyday Joe, hosted by local comedian Joey Elias. Airing on Global News Morning for the next few Fridays, Elias pokes fun at Montrealers love of complaining, the city’s seemingly endless construction, and other Montreal quirks.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is partnering with the Independent Production Fund (IPF) on a recently-announced Development Packaging Program designed to support the development of high quality, Canadian, original, scripted short-form drama series. To be eligible for support, projects must be new and original; be conceived as scripted, episodic short-form dramatic content with multiple episodes and run times less than 20 minutes; have a confirmed creative team at time of application and be developed in either English or French. Each eligible project can apply for a maximum of $30,000. The deadline to apply is Mar. 2, 2020. Click here to access guidelines.

FIN Partners, the co-production/co-financing market that runs concurrent to the Atlantic International Film Festival, Sept. 12-14, has announced that Oscar-nominated producer Finola Dwyer will be this year’s opening keynote speaker. Dwyer, whose production credits include Brooklyn, An Education, Their Finest, and Our Souls at Night, will speak about her career to date with a focus on her eye for winning partnerships.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

DAZN Canada has struck an advertising deal with adidas Canada that will see ads for the brand’s Hard Wired pack boot silos run across DAZN’s Premier League live content, in addition to its social media and the DAZN-owned Sporting News website. The deal marks both the first time adidas has advertised on a North American OTT platform and makes it the first brand to run ads on the DAZN platform in Canada.

La Francophonie Min. Melanie Joly has confirmed that the federal government will invest $14.6 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, to support the creation of a new digital French-language platform TV5MONDE Plus. The project is intended to drive the digital shift of TV5MONDE and promote the international reach of French-language Canadian productions. TV5MONDE is the first worldwide French-language audiovisual network with nine general interest regional channels and two specialty channels (the TiVi5 children’s channel and the TV5MONDE Style HD lifestyle channel), reaching 364 million homes in 198 countries. Sylvain Lafrance, former EVP of French-language services at Radio-Canada and current chair of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, will act as chair of TV5Numérique, the new subsidiary of TV5 Québec Canada that will be responsible for the development of the platform.

Canadian Heritage has announced $133,886 in funding for a Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation digital documentary series. The First Nation will partner with professional filmmakers to produce an Oji-Cree language mini-documentary series. Each episode of the series, KI Talking Circle Series, will focus on a different aspect of how climate change is impacting their remote, northern community. The programming will be broadcast online through IsumaTV. The funding is being provided under the Northern Aboriginal Broadcasting component of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Program.

GENERAL:

Mary Ellen Carlyle,

Mary Ellen Carlyle, SVP and general manager of Dome Productions, will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in New York this December. Carlyle has been with the Toronto-based TV production service provider for 30 years through the move to HD, UHD, and hosting remote productions via control rooms instead of trucks. Currently overseeing administration, sales, and operations, Carlyle has held roles from VP of production services to director of mobile and stadium operations and was responsible for the operation of Canada’s first HDTV mobile. She was a member of the 2010 CTV/Rogers Olympic broadcast team, CBS’ 1992 Olympic Team, and the TSN 1988 Olympic team in Calgary. Carlyle started her career with TSN in 1985 and joined Dome Productions at its inception in 1989.

The CRTC’s Communications Monitoring Report indicates that prices for most communications services decreased in 2018. The national monthly average reported price for wireless, internet, television and home phone services (combined) was 11% lower in 2018 than in 2016. The most significant price reduction was in the mobile wireless market. The four mobile packages analyzed in the CRTC report showed that prices dipped by an average of 28% from 2016 to 2018, with the most significant drop for services offering 5 gigabytes (GB) of data or more. The average monthly price for a mobile service with unlimited voice, text messaging and 5 GB of data fell by as much as 35% in 2018, from $78.36 in 2016 to $51.05. As for the CRTC’s target broadband speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for download and 10 Mbps for upload, the average monthly reported price decreased by 3.2%, from $82.05 in 2016 to $79.40 in 2018. The Communications Monitoring Report also shows a price drop of 8% from $27.64 to $25.55 for the average price of basic television packages between 2016 and 2018.

The CRTC has opened calls of interest for a report on “Harnessing TV Distribution for Canadians in the Digital Age.” Posted to the federal government procurement site last Wednesday, the bid closes on Aug. 28. The report being commissioned is aimed at helping the commission better understand how TV distribution has evolved in other countries, how they are adjusting to online distribution and an analysis of factors that may also impact the evolution of online TV and video distribution in Canada, including an assessment of market potential. In its report, Harnessing Change: The Future of Programming Distribution in Canada, the CRTC proposed that legislation be updated to permit a new adaptable approach to regulation based on how the TV market is evolving. The commission acknowledges online or “virtual” BDU (vBDU) services have not yet developed in Canada in the same way as in other markets due, at least in part, to a variety of economic, legislative and regulatory factors that may be unique to Canada.

Quebecor Inc. has reported consolidated financial results for the second quarter of 2019. Quebecor reported revenue of $1.06 billion in Q2, up $18.2 million (1.8%) from the same period of 2018. Adjusted EBITDA was $455.0 million, up $29.1 million (6.8%). Net income attributable to shareholders was $140.2 million ($0.55 per basic share) in the second quarter, compared with $42.0 million ($0.18 per basic share) in the same period of 2018, an increase of $98.2 million ($0.37 per basic share). The Telecommunications segment grew its revenues by $12.0 million (1.4%) and its adjusted EBITDA by $20.2 million (4.7%). Videotron significantly increased its revenues from mobile telephony ($15.6 million or 11.9%) and Internet access ($7.1 million or 2.6%) in the second quarter of 2019. Subscriber connections to the mobile telephony service increased by 38,300 in the second quarter of 2019 compared with an increase of 31,900 in the same period of 2018.

Connect to Innovate funding of $2.37 million has been announced for Arrow Technology Group and $1.26 million for GPNetworks to bring new or improved high-speed internet access and capacity to four communities in rural Alberta. In addition to the Government of Canada investment, Arrow Technology Group is contributing $899,000 and GPNetworks is contributing $466,000, bringing the total investment to $5 million. The funding will benefit the communities of Sunchild First Nation at O’Chiese, Big Lakes County, Elmworth and Grovedale.

SUPPLY LINES:

Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, has announced that The Globe and Mail has selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider and standard for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) workloads. A range of AWS ML services including Amazon SageMaker, Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Rekognition, and Amazon Textract are helping reporters and editors more effectively find, tell, and promote stories that matter to their audience without the need for manual review, custom code, or machine learning experience. The Globe runs applications like its recommendation engine and its proprietary Sophi predictive analytics platform on AWS. The Sophi platform uses AWS services, including Amazon SageMaker, to learn how readers respond to and engage with content. Using machine learning systems trained by news editors, it can predict how valuable a story is likely to be prior to publication. This helps the team identify which stories should go behind a paywall, as well as which content should be promoted, when, where, and for how long. The Globe also uses Amazon Polly, turning readers into listeners by converting text articles to audio in English, French, and Mandarin, including the newly unveiled Amazon Polly Newscaster voices. 

SMPTE, The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, has announced the full lineup for its annual technical conference and exhibition. SMPTE 2019 will be held Oct. 21-24 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. A redesigned conference schedule this year features concurrent sessions, Monday through Wednesday, with 40 papers to be discussed on topics ranging from machine learning and artificial intelligence tech in professional content creation; new compression techniques and implementations; advances in audio; standards-based security in collaborative media spaces; and more. In addition to technical sessions and exhibits, SMPTE 2019 will include sponsored “pop-up” happy hours offering opportunities for face-to-face interaction between attendees, exhibitors, and speakers. Find a detailed schedule and registration info here.


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