The Weekly Briefing

 

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

CKNW Vancouver celebrated its 75th Anniversary with listeners and staff, past and present, at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster last Thursday, steps from where the first broadcast took place on Aug. 15, 1944.

Broadcast Dialogue caught up with station alumni Bill Good, Shirley Stocker, George Garrett, Barb Welsh, Jordan Armstrong and Corus National AM Radio Director Larry Gifford. Listen here:

Harvard Broadcasting debuted the emerging “Classic CHR” format on its newly-rebranded Power 107 (CJNW-FM) Edmonton on Thursday. Christian Hall, Harvard’s National Program Manager, said with three Top 40 stations in the market, it was time for the station to move on to its next incarnation. The format tweak is being accompanied by a shuffle of the station’s on-air talent. Ryder and Lisa will continue to host mornings while Johnny Infamous moves from drive to middays. Former midday host Hannah Witherbee and Jake Ryan, who previously did evenings, will team up on afternoon drive. Witherbee also retains her music director role. Market fixture Gary James will also return to the airwaves to host the Power 25 Countdown on weekends, which will jump back and play the 25 hottest hits of a particular year. Read more here.

Rogers has reintroduced the JACK FM format to Vancouver Island. KiSS 103.1 (CHTT-FM) Victoria rebranded to JACK 103.1 last Thursday, the format the station held prior to its Feb. 2015 flip to modern hit radio. The move follows the station’s release of its on-air staff earlier this month including morning show hosts Dez Fernando and Jay Hatton, and Johnny Novak, who hosted afternoon drive. Later this month, JACK Mornings with David & Heather, co-hosted by David Larsen and Heather Backman, will make its debut with Larsen also filling the role of program director. Up until July, Larsen co-hosted the morning show on Kelowna classic rock station K96.3 (CKKO-FM) with Tony Peyton for a decade, and served as program director. Backman joins JACK from 100.3 The Q (CKKQ-FM) Victoria, where she co-hosted the afternoon drive show. Read more here.

RNC Media is rebranding Pop 100.9 (CHXX-FM) Quebec City (Donnaconna) as LaVibe.fm, starting Sept. 2. RNC’s Gatineau station Pop 96.5 (CFTX-FM) flipped to Top 40 from Adult Hits earlier this month, but retained the Pop brand.

The CRTC has approved an application from Fabmar Communications, on behalf of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG), for corporate reorganization. The reorg will see Fabmar amalgamated into JPBG, including CIXM-FM Whitecourt, CHWK-FM Chilliwack, CJVR-FM Melfort and its transmitters CJVR-FM-1 Dafoe, CJVR-FM-2 Wakesiu Lake, CJVR-FM-3 Carrot River, and CKJH Melfort. First announced last August, the sale includes FabVision, an outdoor signage business in Saskatchewan and online news portals mychilliwacknews.com, mytowntoday.ca and yourtownnews.ca, serving Chilliwack, Whitecourt, Melfort and surrounding areas. The deal grows Pattison’s footprint to 44 FM and three AM radio stations in western Canada, 16 online news portals, three conventional television stations and an outdoor video signage division.

88.7 FM The Bay (CKAR-FM) Huntsville, ON was the target of an arson attack this month that took the station off-air briefly. Vandals reportedly broke into the station’s transmitter facility in Dwight, ON, sometime between Aug. 7 and 9, poured accelerant on the equipment and lit a match. Smoke and soot from the blaze caused the transmitter to fail overnight with engineers able to get the station back up and running at a quarter of its normal power. Canadian Microwave and Hunters Bay Radio are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the incident.

CBC has announced that it’s developing five of its popular podcasts into television series. The announcement was made at Podcast Movement 2019 in Orlando. The original CBC Podcasts to be adapted for the screen include: David Ridgen’s Someone Knows Something (First Generation Films, scripted), examining unsolved cases of missing or murdered individuals; Uncover: The Village (Noble Entertainment, documentary), exploring two waves of unsolved murders in Toronto’s Gay Village, 40 years apart, following the arrest of Bruce McArthur in January 2018; Personal Best (3Arts Entertainment, unscripted), a self-improvement podcast celebrating small ambitions, half-wins, and getting less bad at things; Tai Asks Why (Irwin Entertainment, unscripted) featuring 12-year-old boy genius Tai Poole on a mission to find answers to life’s biggest questions; and Alone: A Love Story (Sienna Films, scripted), a raw memoir about love, marriage and life after betrayal.

QUB, the digital radio and podcast platform launched by Quebecor last October, is expanding its offerings by introducing a customizable morning show that listeners can build based on personal preferences. Dutrizac sur mesure, hosted by radio veteran Benoit Dutrizac, will allow listeners to choose from current events segments, interviews, and daily newscasts. Available on the homepage of the QUB radio app, at qub.radio or via the Apple Store or Google Play, listeners can click on the customization function, and select and rank the segments they want to include in their playlist. Mathieu Turbide, Quebecor’s Vice-President of Digital Content, says on-demand content is the future of radio. Read more here.

Rick Kevan

Rick Kevan, Rock 107 (CJTN-FM) Trenton, ON, afternoon drive host, is celebrating his 40th anniversary with the Quinte Broadcasting Corporation. Kevan started with QBC Aug. 17, 1979. Over the years, he’s interviewed artists from Peter Frampton to Doug ‘Cosmo’ Clifford from CCR, Ronnie Hawkins and Shania Twain.

Podcast Movement, which just wrapped up its 2019 edition in Orlando, has announced plans for an even bigger event in Dallas next August. It will also host new offering Podcast Movement Evolutions this February in Los Angeles, which promises to bring Hobbyist and Professional podcasts together with industry professionals, taking a deep dive into the industry’s ever-changing landscape.

SIGN-OFFS:

John Ansell

John Ansell, 93, on Aug. 16.
Ansell started in radio part-time at CKOV Kelowna in 1940, following high school. After serving for a few years in the army, he was hired by CJVI Victoria as an announcer in 1945. He joined CKWX Vancouver a year later as an announcer, rising through the ranks to program manager and eventually operations manager. In 1968, he was appointed general manager of sister station CFAC Calgary. Ansell returned to Victoria in 1971 as President and GM of CJVI. He took early retirement in 1987, continuing to serve as Chairman of CJVI’s Advisory Board until 1995. Over the years, Ansell served as chairman of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters board of directors (1981-82), earned Broadcaster of the Year accolades from both the BC Association of Broadcasters and the Broadcast Education Association of Canada, in addition to the CAB Gold Ribbon Award. Ansell was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1990.

John Wishart

John Wishart, 75, on Aug. 10.
Known for his versatility as a host, Wishart helmed programs on CJIC Radio and TV in Sault Ste. Marie in the 1960s and early 1970s, in addition to time with local stations CHAS-FM and YES FM (WYSS-FM). He ended his career at CBC Radio.

“Hunky Bill” Konyk

“Hunky Bill” Konyk, 88, on Aug. 13.
Born in North Winnipeg, Konyk worked at Canadian Pacific Telegraph before heading to Chicago where he reinvented himself as a freelance sports reporter interviewing the likes of Mickey Mantle, Bobby Hull, and Yogi Berra. Konyk returned to Winnipeg in the late 1950s and joined CKY Radio. He uprooted his family in 1966 to make the move to Vancouver and CJOR. In l967, CFUN made him General Sales Manager. While juggling the role, he also started importing Ukrainian food from Winnipeg and after landing a booth at the Pacific National Exhibition on a bet, the “Hunky Bill” empire was born. 2019 would have marked Konyk’s 53rd year at the PNE. Hunky Bill’s Perogie Maker was also a smash success, driven by the popularity of Konyk’s television commercials.

Frank (Zbigniew) Sasin

Frank (Zbigniew) Sasin, 68, on Aug. 8.
Sasin started in radio at his college station at the University of Western Ontario and went on to work at a local commercial station before moving to Ottawa in the late 1970s. At CFGO, he briefly did overnights to get comfortable with the board and later middays before moving to afternoon drive. In 1979, Sasin hosted National Air-distributed program Countdown Canada, which was heard on stations coast-to-coast. He headed west in the mid-1980s, joining CFR Calgary and later CKWX-AM Vancouver where he also hosted nationally syndicated evening program Lovin’, Lyin’ or Leaving. When CKWX flipped to an all-news format in 1996, Sasin returned to Ottawa to work in the sports department at 1310 News, moving on to Jewel (CJWL-FM) a few years later. Over the course of his career, he voiced hundreds of commercials, educational training videos, and corporate narrations. In recent years he also took to the stage, acting in productions with Kanata Theatre and Ottawa Little Theatre.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Rogers will host the first leaders debate of the 2019 election Sept. 12. The event will air live from Toronto on Citytv and its websites, Macleans.ca and Facebook, as well as on Rogers news radio stations and their websites. Maclean’s senior writer Paul Wells will moderate. CPAC will carry the debate with a French translation, while OMNI Television will carry the broadcast with Mandarin and Cantonese translation on television and in Punjabi online.

Dawna Friesen of Global News, CBC’s Rosemary Barton, CTV senior anchor Lisa LaFlamme, Althia Raj of HuffPost Canada, and Susan Delacourt from the Toronto Star will make up the all-female moderator panel at the Oct. 7 English-language federal leaders debate. Each moderator will guide a section of the exchange. The French-language debate Oct. 10 will be moderated by Patrice Roy from Radio-Canada.

Rogers has announced that its IPTV service, Ignite TV, is now available across New Brunswick. Updated to include both French and English, customers can now search for content and navigate the platform in both official languages using their voice. Uniquely designed for New Brunswick customers, more than 500 employees across the province  helped perfect the voice technology in both northern and southern Acadian accents. Ignite TV,  which brings together content across Live TV, On Demand, recordings and Netflix, has also been rolled out across Newfoundland and Ontario.

Ethnic Channels Group has secured a distribution deal for Schlager TV with TELUS Optik TV. Schlager TV is the first Dutch TV channel focused on German-language pop and folk music, current artist news, and concert performances with 90% of of its programming popular folk music from Austria and Germany. Schlager TV is now on free preview on channel 2977.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has unveiled the nominees for this year’s Indiescreen Awards, honouring a veteran independent producer who has made significant contributions to Canada’s film production sector, and an up-and-coming producer whose early work embodies the next generation of Canadian filmmaking. The 2019 Established Producer Award nominees are: Christina Piovesan, First Generation Films (American Woman); Félize Frappier, Max Films Media (Kuessipan); Jessica Adams, JA Productions (Tammy’s Always Dying); Judy Holm, Markham Street Films (Level 16); Lori Lozinski, Violator Films (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open). The nominees for the Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award are: Julie Strifler, Endgame Films (Easy Land); Katie Bird Nolan & Lindsay Tapscott, Babe Nation Films(The Rest of Us); Kevin Krikst & Fraser Ash, Rhombus Media (Clifton Hill); Lana Belle Mauro, Shed Creative (Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band); and Sara Blake, Ceroma Films (Raf). The winners will be revealed at the CMPA Indiescreen Awards reception Sept. 5, as part of the opening day of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Sophie-Claude Miller

APTN will debut its first national French-language news program later this month. Helmed by Sophie-Claude Miller, who hails from the Waswanipi Cree First Nation in James Bay, Nouvelles nationales d’APTN will focus on Quebec’s 11 First Nations. In addition to investigative and indepth stories, the half-hour program will profile community members and host interviews with an eye to putting the week’s news into perspective. Starting Monday, Aug. 26, Nouvelles nationales d’APTN will air weekly on aptn e in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, at 6:30 p.m. ET. It will repeat the following day (Tuesday) on aptn hd at 9:30 a.m. ET, which is available across the country.


Citytv’s fall lineup is highlighted by returning Dick Wolf blockbuster stack
Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD, starting Sept. 25. Much buzzed about new drama Bluff City Law will headline Monday nights, starting Sept 23, featuring a father-daughter legal team tackling David-and-Goliath cases, starring Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue), Caitlin McGee (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Barry Sloane (Revenge), and Michael Luwoye (The Gifted). Season 2 of Citytv original series Hudson & Rex moves to a new night, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 24. Also premiering Sept. 24 is new 30-minute spinoff comedy mixed-ish telling the childhood story of a young Rainbow Johnson (Arica Himmell) in a 1980s prequel to black-ish, narrated by Tracee Ellis Ross. All-new animated series Bless the Harts premieres Sunday, Sept. 29, starring Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Maya Rudolph (The Good Place), and Jillian Bell (Workaholics). 

Big Brother Canada casting is open as the reality franchise embarks on its 8th season on Global. Canadians who’ll be 19 as of Feb. 1, 2020, can apply online at BigBrotherCanada.ca to become a #BBCAN houseguest. Applications are being accepted until Nov. 15.

 

CTV is casting for new Mike Holmes series Holmes Family Rescue. Teaming the contractor with his children – Mike Jr. and Sherry – the inspirational series is set to headline CTV’s Summer 2020 lineup. The network is currently casting “change-makers” in their communities who also want to subscribe to Holmes’ “Make It Right®” mantra and be part of the series. Production begins this October. Details here.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) will invest over $22.6M in the production of 44 projects through three of its programs. A total of $7.7M will fund 17 projects through the Aboriginal Program. A further $9.4M will be invested in the production of 10 digital media projects through the first round of funding of its Experimental Stream’s Innovation Program. An additional $5.5M is being invested in 17 projects through the English POV Program. Link to the full list of projects here.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

PressReader, the Vancouver-based newspaper and magazine platform, has acquired personalized news aggregation app News360. News360’s technology analyzes and attributes content from any given news story to more than a million distinct audience interests. The company purports to reach more than 100 million unique readers every month. PressReader plans to leverage News360’s two proprietary technologies — Natural language Processing (NLP) and NativeAI — integrating them into its platform of over 7,000 newspaper and magazine titles, including the Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Newsweek, and Vanity Fair, to enable a hyper-personalized user experience. NativeAI will also be made available to PressReader’s publishing partners, giving them more insight about what type of content and which trending topics garner the highest reader engagement. Read more here.

Webfest Berlin, Germany’s first international digital series festival, taking place Sept. 12-14, is showing the love to Canadian productions with 12 series nominated in nine categories. They include Independent Production Fund supported projects Blackout – sci-fi/horror; Detention Adventure – action/suspense; Geroges est mort – comedy, La maison des folles drama; The Vault – sci-fi/horror; and Running with Violet (Season 2) – Best Returning Series. Series supported by the Bell Fund, Canada Media Fund and Canadian broadcasters include: Fourchette – drama; Second Home – animation; Vieux Jeu – drama; Le temps des chenilles (Season 2) – Best Returning Series; Terreur 404 (Season 2) Best Returning Series; and Trafic – Best Berlin Selection.

CBC/Radio-Canada will livestream the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, Aug. 23 to Sept. 1. Coverage of five sports – Para athletics, Para badminton, Para swimming, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby – will be available via live stream, as will the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Viewers will be able to follow the Canadian Parapan Am Team via CBC Gem, cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee Facebook page, as well as the Radio-Canada Sports app and radio-canada.ca/sports.The live streams will be supplemented by digital content on the CPC social media channels, including interviews with athletes, highlights packages, and live clippings during the events. Paralympian Benoît Huot will serve as the CPC’s onsite reporter.

Disney+ is set to launch in Canada and the U.S. on Nov. 12. Available via iOS, Android, Xbox One, Sony Android TVs, PlayStation 4 and Roku, pricing will be set at $8.99 CDN/ month or $89.99/year. In addition to content from Disney brands like Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox, the streaming service will feature classic films and original series including Jon Favreau-directed Stars Wars space opera The Mandalorian.

YouTube will open up original content published after Sept. 24 to non-YouTube Premium subscribers for free. The content will be ad-supported. Non-members will also have to wait for each new episode of an original series to be released, while members get immediate access to every episode of a new season. YouTube Premium subscribers will also continue to enjoy features like offline playback, YouTube Music Premium, and have access to the back catalogue of original shows posted prior to Sept. 24.

The Athletic says it’s reached the 500,000 subscriber mark and is on track to reach one million later this year. Launched in 2016, the sports news subscription service has now expanded to nearly 50 cities in the U.S. and Canada, covering the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB, in addition to college sports. It recently started hiring in the UK for a planned expansion into English Premier League soccer coverage.

GENERAL:

Canadian Heritage will uphold the May CRTC decision to issue Rogers Media the broadcast licence to operate national, multilingual, multi-ethnic discretionary service OMNI Regional. An order-in-council dated Aug. 17 declines to review the decision saying it is “satisfied that the decision does not derogate from the attainment of the objectives of the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in subsection 3(1) of the Broadcasting Act.” The Governor in Council received several petitions from a number of companies unsuccessful in their bids to operate the television service, requesting that the decision be set aside or referred back to the commission for reconsideration and hearing. One of those companies, Montreal-based Independent Community Television (ICT), took its appeal to the Federal Court arguing suspicion of bias, based on several meetings registered between CRTC chair Ian Scott, vice-chair Caroline Simard and representatives from Rogers and BCE, respectively. ICT argued that the meetings gave those companies an unfair advantage. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed ICT’s motion last week.

The CRTC has lowered wholesale rates – the price paid by competitors who access the existing high-speed access networks of the large cable and telephone companies. Final rates are retroactive to 2016 with monthly capacity rates 15% to 43% lower than the interim rates and access rates 3% to 77% lower than the interim rates. Rogers, Cogeco, Videotron, and BCE have all responded to the move negatively saying it will hamper future network investments. Rogers expects to record a charge of approximately $140 million in the current quarter to account for the retroactive impact of the lower rates, while Bell estimates a $100-million impact. Bell also says it will reduce the scope of its broadband internet buildout for smaller towns and rural communities by 20% or approximately 200,000 households.

Bell Canada workers rallied outside the company’s headquarters in Quebec City on Tuesday, demanding an end to job erosion. Unifor says there’s been a decrease in the number of jobs in virtually all Bell bargaining units across the country in recent years, including a move earlier this year to outsource one million installations of its new “Wireless to the Home” technology, which is partially supported by federal grants. Unifor’s efforts recently led to the company to reverse a layoff notice for 78 technicians, and led to the removal of the “Stacked Ranking” performance management system in the Bell Sales bargaining unit.

Bruce Marshall

Bruce Marshall, retired CHUM Toronto announcer, is taking on Brampton City Hall. Marshall has filed a complaint with the city’s integrity commissioner following council’s move to sign an exclusive deal with a local online media organization that has close ties to some members of council. The City has signed a $150,000 six-month pilot agreement with Brampton Focus to help advance city messaging by providing video creation and content services and help promote city messaging across its social channels. Marshall, who ran unsuccessfully for a council seat in last year’s election, says council didn’t follow the rules by failing to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) which is required for city contracts over $100,000.

SUPPLY LINES:

CBC/Radio-Canada has selected Triton Digital to power its podcast ad serving solution. Boasting 11.4 million monthly downloads, the public broadcaster is evolving into one of the world’s leading podcasting publishers. Triton’s Tap Ad Server will offer CBC/Radio-Canada dynamic ad insertion and enhanced targeting capabilities, including parameters such as location, device, format, and genre. CBC/Radio-Canada will also leverage Podcast Metrics, Triton’s platform agnostic podcast measurement solution, to gain deeper insight into how their podcast content is being consumed with the ability to view metrics by date range, location, device, podcast name, and episode. Operating in more than 40 countries, Triton provides solutions enabling broadcasters, podcasters, and online music services to build their audience, maximize revenue, and streamline day-to-day operations.

Cogeco Peer 1 has changed its name to Aptum Technologies following its April acquisition by Digital Colony, a global investment firm focused on strategic opportunities in digital infrastructure. Headquartered in Toronto, the managed hosting and cloud services provider will operate with two focused business units — Data Centre and Fibre. The Data Centre business will concentrate on enabling multi-cloud services for enterprises, while the Fibre business promises to be Canada’s first independent, neutral-host provider of small cell and 5G infrastructure, with an extensive metro fibre network across greater Toronto and Montreal. Aptum’s executive team will be led by CEO Susan Bowen and Chief Finance Officer Shenif Visram. New Aptum services will include managed Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and New Cloud Connect Availability – an expansion of Cloud Connect, offering a direct, dedicated, secure connection to cloud services. Cloud Connect is now available for AWS Direct Connect, Google Cloud Platform, ServiceNow, Salesforce, SAP and Oracle in addition to Microsoft ExpressRoute.

VuWall the Montreal-based video wall and AV network management solutions provider, has announced a corporate partnership with LG Electronics. The partnership will allow VuWall and LG to offer customers a fully integrated control room solution that combines VuWall’s advanced VuScape video wall processor with LG’s latest 55SVH7F video wall display. The integrated VuWall and LG solution is available throughout VuWall’s global distribution network.


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