The Weekly Briefing


Summer 2019 PPM ratings are out for Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. CBC Radio One is number one in every market with the exception of Edmonton and Montreal. In Edmonton, 102.3 NOW! Radio (CKNO-FM) took #1 with A12+, posting a 10.3% share of hours tuned (up from 9.2%). In Montreal, CHMP 98.5FM is #1 A12+ (Franco) with a 14.9% share (down from 17.3%).  For A12+ (Anglo), CJAD 800 is #1 with a 25.2% (down from 26.7%). Read David Bray’s full breakdown here.

CFAX 1070 Victoria is celebrating its 60th anniversary this Thursday. CFAX went to air in Sept. 1959, initially licenced to Saanich and broadcasting only during the day. The founding owners were Ellison Queale and Roy Parrett, who were in the wholesale radio supply business. The news/talk station has been owned by Bell Media since 2011. This Thursday, the station will mark the anniversary with guests from its past, both on-air and off, including Rick Ball, Drew Snider, Barry Bowman, Keith Dagg, Barry Kennard, Steven Andrew, and Moira McLean.

Dr. Jada Watson

University of Ottawa researcher Jada Watson’s latest study explores Gender Representation on Canadian Country Format Radio, finding that men are outplaying women 8.7 to 1. The study examined gender representation in country music, focusing on Canadian radio airplay as tabulated by Mediabase for their year-end charts published between 2005-18, as well as weekly charts in the same timeframe. Watson’s study found that the gap between the number of songs by men and women steadily increased. In 2005, female artists had 35 songs (23.3%) on the year-end country airplay reports, declining to just 16 songs (10.7%) in 2018 – a decline of 54.3% in the number of songs by female artists on the year-end reports. The gap between the number of songs by men and women increased steadily from 52.7% in 2000 to 78.1% by 2018. Read more here.

Matt Lang

SiriusXM Canada has crowned Matt Lang from Maniwaki, QC as the winner of the second annual SiriusXM Top of the Country competition, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). Lang took home the grand prize of $25,000, an international SOCAN songwriting camp and more. Following a Sept. 5 music showcase by the three finalists, Lang, Kelsi Mayne and Tim & The Glory Boys, a judging panel of music industry professionals, along with audience votes determined Lang as the grand prize winner. Held at The Palace Theatre in Calgary as part of Country Music Week 2019, the event aired live on SiriusXM’s CBC Country (ch. 171).

CBC has launched Podcasts in Class, a series of custom-made lesson plans, built around some of its original podcasts like Tai Asks Why and The Secret Life Of Canada. The guides were written and vetted by teachers from across the country. They’re available to teachers free of charge.

CBC has launched new election podcast Party Lines hosted by The National co-anchor Rosemary Barton and Elamin Abdelmahmoud of BuzzFeed News. The political podcast is described as an “unpretentious political primer for every kind of concerned citizen. Each episode will take you beyond the talking points and provide the insights you need to understand the upcoming federal election.” Episodes will drop twice weekly.

Peter Mansbridge has launched indie election podcast The Bridge on his website, in addition to the major podcast platforms. So far, the former CBC News chief correspondent has dropped a few teaser episodes, leaning on his five decades in journalism, to provide insight into the election process. He anticipates filing nightly, 10-15 minute episodes as the federal election race heats up. Mansbridge is going the podcast project alone by choice, telling listeners he’s resisted network connections and sponsorship. 

On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Lorie Russell, JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM) Toronto vice-president and managing director, on how the not-for-profit station is getting its groove back after a tumultuous year that culminated in the election of a new board this past February.


Rod Coneybeare

Rod Coneybeare, 89, on Sept. 5. Coneybeare, who was born in Belleville, ON, got his start as a teen appearing on CBC Radio. He went on to work at stations around Ontario in Orillia, Chatham, Guelph and Ottawa. Eventually, Coneybeare landed at the CBC, selected to voice several characters on children’s show The Friendly Giant. He was the voice of both Jerome the Giraffe and Rusty the Rooster during the show’s run from 1958-85, in addition to working on other shows for the public broadcaster. In 1959, Coneybeare was named editor-in-chief and host of Man to Man, one of the first CBC Radio shows produced for a male audience. He also worked with Charles Winter on The Rod and Charles Show and with Mr. Dressup producer Robert Gibbons to create CBC TV series The Bananas. In addition to his three decades with CBC, Coneybeare lent his voice to animated series, including The Adventures of Tintin, Babar, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, The Magic School Bus, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, and the X-Men animated TV series. In 1993, he penned fictional novel The Last Happy Year, set in 1949, which was inspired by his early days in radio.


Bell Media says Bianca Andreescu’s championship run at the 2019 U.S. Open smashed audience records. Preliminary data from Numeris, provided by the network, indicates her straight sets victory over Serena Williams in Saturday’s Women’s Final attracted a record average audience of 3.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched tennis broadcast ever on TSN and RDS and attracting a higher average audience than that of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. More than 7.4 million unique Canadian viewers tuned in to TSN and RDS to watch some part of the match. Audiences peaked at 5.3 million viewers at 5:59 p.m. ET in the second set as Andreescu secured the title to become the first Canadian singles player to win a Grand Slam championship. The match ranks as Canada’s most-watched broadcast since the Toronto Raptors clinched the 2019 NBA championship. In Toronto, the match had a share of 58% on TSN, meaning that more than half of all people watching television in Toronto on Saturday afternoon were tuned in to the Women’s Final.

CHEK Television on Vancouver Island is celebrating 10-years of local employee-ownership. A decade ago, the commercial television station was on the brink of going dark when Canwest Global slated it for closure. CHEK news staff organized a buyout of the station with about two dozen employees committing $15,000 each, amounting to a 25% stake in the station. With the help of investors, $2.5 million was raised. They’re now marking their 10th anniversary with special programming. In addition to hosting CHEK’s flagship newscast from 10 locations around Vancouver Island, there’ll be a celebration for staff, clients and community partners on Sept. 20. On tap will be a special CHEK Pilsner, brewed by Spinnakers of Victoria to mark the station’s decade of independence. CHEK Pilsner will also available for a limited time at select liquor stores, where part proceeds go to Jeneece Place, a home where children and their families can stay while receiving medical care in Victoria. CHEK News begins the new fall season with a brand new set built locally by Victoria’s Belfry Theatre. The station also recently launched a newly-designed website. 

Independent Film Channel (IFC) and Cosmopolitan TV (CosmoTV) will cease broadcasting in Canada on Sept. 30. Corus Entertainment is shutting down both discretionary services which will be removed from cable television lineups across the country.

Floyd Kane

Diggstown writer-producer Floyd Kane and Kim’s Convenience production company Thunderbird Entertainment were honoured at the fourth Sandi Ross Awards at TIFF Tuesday evening. Hosted by ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee, the awards annually celebrate one individual and one company whose work demonstrates a commitment to inclusion on screen. Kane, is the creator, executive producer and showrunner on Halifax-set Diggstown, which stars Vinessa Antoine as a black female lawyer. Kane began his career in media as a production executive and lawyer with Salter Street Films, Halifax Film and DHX and has been a producer on That’s So Weird!, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Shake Hands with the Devil and Bowling for Columbine. Thunderbird Entertainment, founded in 2003, has garnered international acclaim for its Korean-Canadian comedy Kim’s Convenience. Initially commissioned by CBC, the comedy has been picked up by Netflix, Amazon VOD and Korean cable TV.

(l-r) Awards Jury Chair, Caitlin Grabham; Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award winners Fraser Ash, and Kevin Krikst; CMPA CEO Reynolds Mastin. Established Producer Award winner Felize Frappier and Established Producer Award Jury member Tonya Williams at the 2019 CMPA Indiescreen Awards in Toronto.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has announced the winners of its annual CMPA Indiescreen Awards. Montreal-based producer Félize Frappier (Max Films Media) received the CMPA’s 2019 Established Producer Award in recognition of her contributions to Canadian cinema, which include Marécages (2011), L’autre maison (2013), Corbo (2014) and Ville-Marie (2015). Frappier’s latest film, Kuessipan, premieres at TIFF on Sept. 8. Kevin Krikst and Fraser Ash of Toronto-based production house Rhombus Media were joint winners of the Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award, recognizing their talents as early-career feature film producers. Their second feature film, Clifton Hill, had its TIFF premiere Thursday evening. Their first feature, Closet Monster, premiered at the festival in 2015. Read more here.

Ellen Page, Joey Klein, and Megan Wennberg

Ellen Page (There’s Something in the Water), Joey Klein (Castle in the Ground), and Megan Wennberg (Drag Kids) are among the emerging directors to watch this festival season as nominees for the 2019 Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) Discovery Award. The long list of nominees includes Aisha Jamal (A Kandahar Away); Aisling Chin-Yee (The Rest of Us); Harry Cepka (Raf); Heather Young (Murmur); Jeff Barnaby (Blood Quantum); Matthew Rankin (The Twentieth Century); Nicole Dorsey  (Black Conflux); Sophie Bédard Marcotte (L.A. Tea Time); and Tasha Hubbard (nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up). Read more here.

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has launched a recruitment campaign to bolster its membership among documentary filmmakers. Announced at the DGC Visionaries event at TIFF, the campaign includes sponsorships at film festivals across the country this fall that starting with “Doc Day” at the TIFF Industry Conference, and including Calgary International Film Festival, Sept. 18th; FIN Atlantic International Film Festival, Sept 19, Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), Sept. 26; and Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Oct. 9. As part of this initiative, the DGC will be waiving its initiation fee and offering 50% off annual dues through 2020 ($3,500 in savings). DGC Members will also gain access to the DGC Benefits health plan, preferred-rates on production insurance as well as the guild’s low management fee group RRSP.

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media have announced Bruce Smith as the Executive Producer in Residence for the 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. From September to December, Smith will lead the story room and the six television writers selected to participate in this year’s program as they work together to develop Smith’s original series. Smith was most recently creator and showrunner of Street Legal on CBC. Previously, he was the showrunner of CTV drama 19-2 and Cracked (CBC). The 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program participants are: Henry Campbell (BC); Imogen Grace (ON); Amy Halloran (QC); Rose Napoli (ON); Lori-Ann Russell (ON); and Ian Steaman (ON). Now in its 20th year, the program delivers a real-world story room experience and an intense professional and project development process for six TV writers a year. Its story room has helped develop several hit series including Travelers and Orphan Black. 

The Banff World Media Festival has opened its BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media to applications. Supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada, the program offers training and mentorship to women entrepreneurs ready to grow or launch their own businesses in the screen-based industries. 50 candidates from Southern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia will be selected to participate in a hands-on business planning curriculum, facilitated networking opportunities, mentorship and access to potential investment partners through regional workshops in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver, as well as a tailored stream of programming at the 2020 Banff World Media Festival. Read more here.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have announced a new funding incentive for the co-development of screen-based projects between Canadian and Scottish producers. A total of $300,000 CDN (approx. £185,000) is being made available to support the development of digital media and television projects. Click here to access the guidelines. To be eligible, television projects must meet the CMF’s definition of either Drama or Documentary programming or a codevelopment project created for digital platforms, including, but not limited to web series, video games, transmedia projects, virtual or augmented reality. The total maximum contribution for each project funded through the incentive is $50,000. 

The 20th imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival will present over 30 panels, workshops, and networking activities during its Industry Days, Oct. 22-26. With lead support from Netflix, Industry Days will take place in the new imagineNATIVE Industry Centre at the Artscape Sandbox. Netflix + You will follow the Opening Keynote (TBD) on Oct. 22, an update from the Indigenous screen organizations who have recently partnered with Netflix. imagineNATIVE presents its first Indigenous Series Day Oct. 23, exploring Indigenous series work in Canada and case studies from international series creators. Oct. 24 highlights include the return of Sesame Street which will announce a new program for Indigenous creators. Oct. 25 sees the return of International Networking Day, a full-day of one-on-one networking meetings between Indigenous creators and industry leaders. Industry Days concludes Oct. 26 with a day of panels including imagineNATIVE Animation Activation!, a two-part panel discussing production opportunities in animation, filmmakers presenting behind-the-scenes looks at their animation processes, and Docs: Truth & Ethics featuring Indigenous documentarians discussing the challenges of telling a true story on-screen and how they keep Indigenous values at the forefront of their storytelling. Full Industry Days programming will be released Oct. 2. 

Maddison Tebbutt

Open Screenplay, the free, first-of-its-kind online platform and community for global screenwriters that launched in January, has announced the winner and finalists in its short film contest. The winning screenwriter is Maddison Tebbutt for The Arrears, a horror set in the desolate Canadian Prairies of the 1800s. Vancouver-based Tebbutt wins a $2,000 cash award and will have her screenplay produced. The second prize winning script is Foundation, a dramatic love story through the ages. The public screenplay was collaboratively written on the platform by three writers who had never met before – Katlynn Sverko, Ross Lang, and Christopher Kerr. Third place was claimed by Tina Marie Singh for her script Forbidden Beasts. The winners were selected by an advisory board of Hollywood film executives and award-winning screenwriters. Founded by Canadian entrepreneur Khaled Sabawi, 855 screenplays are currently being written on the platform with the community growing to 5,300 global members. Open Screenplay has also introduced Reviews, so members can benefit from real-time feedback while they’re writing and once their screenplay is complete. Listen to our podcast with Khaled Sabawi here.

KilljoysSpace’s most watched original series – will end its run on Friday Sept. 20 after five seasons and 50 episodes. Seasons 1- 4 of the sci-fi series are currently streaming on Crave.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group is heading into the fall TV season with a record-breaking eight Thunderbird productions scheduled to premiere across platforms, including Netflix, Disney+, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, PBS, WGBH, Bell Media’s Discovery, Corus Entertainment and the CBC. Atomic Cartoon productions include: Molly of Denali (airing on CBC Kids and PBS in the U.S.); Curious George: Royal Monkey (launching Sept. 10 on Digital, DVD and Hulu in the U.S.); LEGO: Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar (set for release Sept. 14 on Nickelodeon); The Last Kids on Earth (Sept. 17, Netflix, worldwide); Hello Ninja (Nov. 1, Netflix, worldwide); The Legend of the Three Caballeros (Disney+, Nov. 12); and 101 Dalmatians (Disney+, Nov. 12); From Thunderbird Factual: Highway Thru Hell (Oct. 8, Discovery Canada (Season 8); Heavy Rescue: 401 (Jan. 2020, Discovery Canada, Season 4); High Arctic Haulers (Jan. 2020, CBC, Season 1); $ave My Reno (Winter 2020, HGTV Canada, Season 3); and documentary The Teenager and the Lost Mayan City (currently in production for CBC’s The Nature of Things). The fourth and final season of Kim’s Convenience will also air on CBC in early 2020.

Super Channel will launch the second annual Heart & Home Christmas holiday programming event, beginning Nov, 1 and running through Jan. 7. Heart & Home Christmas will feature curated, Christmas-themed movies, with a total of 103 holiday features, 40 of which are new to Super Channel Heart & Home and 20 titles that will make their Canadian premieres. Sixty per cent of all Heart & Home Christmas content is Canadian including the new When Calls the Heart Christmas special, starring Erin Krakow, Pascale Hutton, and Jack Wagner, among others.

Pierre Bruneau

TVA and LCN will present French-language federal leaders debate Face-à-Face 2019 on Oct. 2. TVA news anchor Pierre Bruneau will moderate the two-hour event that will include Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, and Yves-François Blanchet, leader of the Bloc québécois.

Knowledge Network, BC’s public broadcaster, is set to debut a special that gives the animated hosts of Knowledge Kids Luna, Chip & Inkie – their own storyline. Set on the West Coast, The Festival of Wishes is a half-hour animated musical special featuring the local voice talents of Ashleigh Ball (Inkie), Shannon Chan-Kent (Luna), and Vincent Tong (Chip), with musical score by Daniel Ingram. Produced by Knowledge Network, in collaboration with Vancouver’s Mainframe Studios, the special is set to premiere on the network Sept. 21. Viewers across Canada can watch on demand at or via the free Knowledge Kids app. The special is the pilot for a series in development with production slated for 2020.

CTV has announced that it’s renewing The Amazing Race Canada for an eighth season. According to Numeris data provided by the network, Season 7 of the show drew an average audience of more than 1.9 million viewers weekly this summer, making it the top Canadian series of the 2018/19 broadcast year. Hosted by Olympic gold medallist Jon Montgomery, CTV says casting details for the upcoming season will be announced soon.

MaTV, Videotron’s Montreal community television channel, is introducing new English series Montréal Docs (Tuesdays, 9 pm), produced by the Montreal International History Film Festival. The series will present documentary films on the history of Montréal, mostly from the National Film Board of Canada. New series Urban Boxing (Tuesdays, 8 pm), created and hosted by Claudia Diaz and Ghislain Maduma, will tackle the prejudices surrounding the sport by taking viewers behind the scenes at boxing gyms in the Montréal area. Rockin’ Ages (Tuesdays, 7:30 pm) from series creator Wilma Magonet and her granddaughter Charlotte, aims to dismantle prejudices about aging by exploring life for Montrealers over 50.


Apple TV+ will launch in over 100 countries, including Canada, starting Nov. 1 at an introductory price of $5.99/month (CAD). Billed as the first all-original video streaming service, subscribers can watch Apple TV+ both online and off, ad-free, on the Apple TV app. Apple TV+ will also be available on select 2018, 2019 and newer Samsung smart TVs, and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future. Customers can also sign up to watch on the web at Apple is also hoping to draw viewers by offering free subscriptions to those who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch, as of Sept. 10, who will enjoy one year free. Apple TV+ original programming at launch is headlined by The Morning Show, co-executive produced by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Starring Steve Carrell, the show explores the world and egos of morning TV news. Other offerings including dark, but comedic coming-of-age series Dickinson; See, starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind; Helpsters, a new children’s series from the makers of Sesame Street; Snoopy in Space, a new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media; and Oprah Winfrey in conversation with authors as she expands her book club to the platform. Read more here.

Ricky Tollman

Twitter has been named the exclusive content distribution partner for Ricky Tollman film Run This Town, which debuted at SXSW in March. A release says Twitter will do a series of integrated promotions leading up to the film’s release in early 2020 with the digital push taking advantage of the platform’s deep analytics to see where the film is activating the most engagement. The feature, a loose retelling of the Rob Ford story, is being distributed by Elevation Pictures in Canada. Sony Worldwide has closed a deal for the rights outside North America.


The CRTC has imposed a $194,330 penalty on Ontario Consumers Home Services (also known as Simply Comfort) and a $69,000 penalty on Blue Dream for violating the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. The commission says between Dec. 2016 and Feb. 2017, Ontario Consumers Home Services committed more than a million violations, making over 96,000 unsolicited calls to Canadians whose numbers were on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), some of which were outside of the permitted hours. The company also failed to subscribe to the list. For its part, between Sept. 2016 and July 2018, Blue Dream sent telemarketing faxes to consumers who had registered their numbers on the National DNCL or had asked the company to add their numbers on its internal do-not-call list. Moreover, the company failed to subscribe to the National DNCL for all the area codes that it contacted for telemarketing purposes. This is the second time the CRTC has imposed a penalty to Blue Dream for non-compliant telemarketing faxes.

Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism has announced new Creative Export Canada funding for 22 different organizations. The projects, which include those that have received funding under both the first and second intake rounds, will share a total of $8.3 million. Creative Export Canada is for Canadian organizations ready to export a project that showcases creative content. Recipients receiving funding this round include Metanuaut – Interactive Digital Media, Screen Nova Scotia – Film production, Sinking Ship Entertainment Inc. – Film production, Torn Banner Studios Inc. – Video Gaming, and Yowza – Animation. Recipients receiving second year funding include Moment Factory – Interactive digital media, Playmind – Interactive digital media, and Trio Orange – Audiovisual. In 2016, Canada exported $16 billion in creative products, amounting to 2.5 percent of Canada’s total exports.

Jack Nagler

CBC Ombudsman Jack Nagler says there was no violation of policy in CBC running a Neil Macdonald opinion piece entitledWhy is conservative politics such a natural home for white supremacists?in an election year. Reader Chris Orescan complained the Apr. 16 article was unfair to conservative politicians, and accused the public broadcaster of manipulating voters’ perceptions in the months ahead of the federal election. In his review, Nagler writes: “Your fundamental critique is that the column manipulates readers by focusing only on the challenge facing one side of the political spectrum. Was it fair to concentrate on one party (or, more precisely, one part of the political spectrum)? In my view, it was. The journalistic issue that was raised was not whether every party’s membership list passes some sort of purity test for tolerance, but whether – and why – one side of the political debate is more attractive to people who embrace white supremacy…The broader concern you expressed is that this type of column should not have been written in an election year. I find that too restrictive a notion – the dissemination of strong viewpoints is no less constructive in an election year than at any other time. However, the obligation for balance and fairness in the coverage is even more critical than usual. I would urge CBC programmers to be ultrasensitive to the balance question between now and October 21st, the date of the federal election.” 

CBC/Radio-Canada has joined the Trusted News Charter, a BBC-led initiative to strengthen measures to protect audiences from disinformation. The Charter is the result of the June 2019 Trusted News Summit and includes a commitment to collaborate on source authentication, civic information, and media education. Other recently-announced partners include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, AFP, Reuters, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and the European Broadcasting Union.

Doug Murphy, President and CEO, Corus Entertainment, joined Michael Kousaie, Vice-President, Strategy and Product Innovation, Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange, to open the market last Friday in celebration of 20 years being listed on the Exchange. The company’s current portfolio encompasses 37 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a suite of digital assets, animation software, technology and media services. Corus Entertainment Inc. commenced trading Sept. 3, 1999.

The 2019 Jack Webster Awards, recognizing excellence in journalism in B.C., have been announced. The awards, in 13 categories, cover print, radio, television and online media. Find the full list of nominees here. The winners will be announced at a Nov. 7 awards dinner to be held at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. The 2019 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2019 Bill Good Award will also be presented. Nahlah Ayed, longtime CBC foreign correspondent and the current host and producer of CBC Radio’s Ideas, will be featured in an armchair chat at the event.

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) is inviting member stations to enter their best station and staff work to be considered for one of four OAB Awards: the Best In Class Sales Award – recognizing an individual salesperson who speaks to the needs and wishes of a new client with a successful radio campaign (new to them or new to radio); the Creative Award – presented to the writer/producer who creates the best 30 or 60 radio ad that inspires action, evokes emotion and produces results for the client; the Community Service Campaign(s) Award – presented to the station for outstanding contributions to worthwhile organizations in its community; and the Promotion Award – awarded to the station that best promotes itself, judged on originality, station benefit, goals achieved and impact in the community. The entry deadline is Oct. 18.

Mike McVay

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters has announced that Mike McVay of McVay Media will close this year’s Connection 2019 conference, Nov. 7, discussing Mistakes Made…Lessons Learned…Fighting back from Bankruptcy while improving Ratings and Revenue. Formerly head of programming for Cumulus Media and the Westwood One Radio Network, McVay will talk about how Cumulus turned around under CEO Mary Berner, growing ratings every month for nearly three years and how the company continues to be a leading content provider. More info on this year’s conference, here.

Carleton University is now accepting applications to the R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship for a project to be completed in 2020. The application deadline is Oct. 28. The fund was established to provide an annual award of $25,000 to cover travel, reporting and research expenses and a stipend for a journalist.  Last year’s recipients, Sara Mojtehedzadeh, a labour reporter with the Toronto Star, and Melissa Renwick, an independent documentary photographer, are using the fellowship to take a close look at Canada’s migrant worker program, told from the vantage point of family members left behind in Mexico. The fellowship commemorates the career and ideals of Jim Travers – reporter, foreign correspondent, general manager for Southam News, editor of The Ottawa Citizen, executive managing editor of the Toronto Star and national columnist for the Star at the time of his death in 2011. More info here.


Amazon’s Fire TV Cube, a hands-free Alexa-enabled Fire TV experience, is now available for pre-order in Canada, the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan. Fire TV Cube allows users to access movies and series from Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Crave, CTV and others in 4K Ultra HD, HDR, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision, and access websites such as Facebook and Reddit with browsers like Silk and Firefox. In addition, Fire TV Cube comes with Local Voice Control, which is a new on-device processing feature that lets users more quickly execute frequent voice commands including “Alexa, scroll right,” “Alexa, go home,” “Alexa, select number one,” and more. This feature is available in English only at launch. Fire TV Cube uses multi-directional infrared technology, cloud-based protocols, and HDMI CEC, that when combined with Alexa, let you control your compatible TV, soundbar, and A/V receiver, as well as other smart home devices. With the built-in speaker, Fire TV Cube lets you dim the lights, check the weather, listen to the news, and play music, even with the TV off. Building off the success of Fire TV Edition smart TVs in the U.S. and Canada, Amazon is also introducing an entirely new category of products – Fire TV Edition soundbars. Anker Innovations and Amazon have teamed up to launch the Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition, which turns any TV into a cinematic smart TV experience. The Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition will launch in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Germany.

Broadcast Pix is launching RadioPix, an integrated production system for visual radio applications, at IBC2019 in Amsterdam. Ideal for radio studios using fixed or PTZ cameras, RadioPix features a dedicated user interface designed for easy setup and operation of dynamic yet automated video-follow-audio productions. Using Broadcast Pix’s advanced macros, RadioPix can roll clips and animations, add or remove titles, select camera presets, and even execute picture-in-picture compositions based on the active microphone. In addition, users can set conditions to avoid camera changes for one-word comments (or coughs) and create dynamic camera moves within long discussions. The host can also override the automated system using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

The Telos Alliance will introduce its new SDI AoIP Node at IBC 2019, Sept. 13-17. As the successor to the SDI xNode, the SDI AoIP Node brings the power and flexibility of Audio over IP to broadcast television. The SDI AoIP Node features two independent 3Gb/s HD/SD-SDI inputs and outputs. Up to eight audio pairs from either or both SDI inputs can be de-embedded and converted to AES67, where they become available as network sources for monitoring, distribution, or loudness control via the Linear Acoustic AERO.8000 Processing Engine. Up to eight audio pairs of the networked audio can then be re-embedded (and pair shuffled if desired) back into two independent SDI outputs. Offering support for 3G video standards, the SDI AoIP Node can be integrated into UHD facilities. Installations built to SMPTE ST 2110 standards will appreciate its AES67 I/O, which natively supports SMPTE ST 2110-30, including 2-channel streams with a 1ms packet time. 

DVB, an industry consortium that develops open interoperable technical specifications for the delivery of digital media and broadcast services, will present the world’s first demonstration of linear television services using the DVB-I solution, which relies on internet-based access and streaming mechanisms alongside classical broadcasting techniques. At IBC 2019, several DVB members will collaborate to present the world’s first working demonstration of DVB-I, built from the related specifications. The demo will include broadband- and broadcast-delivered linear television services using HTTP-based access and streaming mechanisms. It will showcase key elements such as a DVB-I Service List, DVB-DASH streaming with the recently released low-latency mode, and Multicast Adaptive Bit Rate support for network optimization. Demo partners will include ATEME, Broadpeak, ENENSYS Technologies, Harmonic, ITV, Kineton, Newtec, RAI, Rohde & Schwarz, SES, TPV Technology, and Viaccess-Orca.

The IP Showcase Theatre lineup for IBC 2019 will feature more than 50 speakers and panelists covering a full range of IP video and audio technologies and applications over the five-day program. Sponsored by a consortium of industry partners — the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), and the Video Services Forum (VSF) — the IP Showcase will feature more than a dozen end-user case studies, including: BBC’s new headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, featuring an “IP Live Core” of SMPTE ST 2110, AES67, and Dante; FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, the largest uncompressed IP remote production to date; and Telstra’s advanced IP-based live sports production network that stretches across Australia. Dozens of other industry experts will describe current and forthcoming industry standards and best practices for IP media systems. The full slate of IP Showcase Theatre programming is available here.

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