The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

TPX (The Podcast Exchange), has struck a new sales partnership with Stitcher’s advertising arm, Midroll Media. The Toronto-based podcasting, marketing and monetization company, adds Midroll to a growing roster of partners that include Corus Entertainment, Stockholm-based Acast, audioBoom, Wondery, and iHeartMedia. Since it was founded in 2007, Stitcher has become one of the more popular podcast platforms featuring more than 100,000 podcasts. It’s also the parent company of the Midroll ad network representing over 200 of the biggest podcasts and Stitcher comedy podcast network Earwolf. Earwolf is perhaps best known as the home of Conan O’Brien’s hit podcast Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend. Jean-Marie Heimrath, president & CEO of TPX, says the company will essentially act as Midroll’s “feet on the ground” in Canada with many of the titles in its catalogue drawing huge audiences on this side of the border. Read more of our interview with Heimrath on TPX’s recent growth spurt here.

Amanda Kingsland

Amanda Kingsland, program director at Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM) Ottawa is now a four-time consecutive winner of the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Radio Awards’ Music Director of the Year (Large Market) honour. Paul Ferguson of CHCQ-FM Belleville, ON won the Small Market category at this year’s awards. Country 101.1 also won Radio Station of the Year (Large Market) and picked up Country Music Program or Special of the Year for its “Girl Power Hour.” CKGY-FM Red Deer won Radio Station of the Year (Medium or Small Market) with its morning show The Real Wake Up with Vinnie & Randi taking home the On-Air Personalities of the Year (Medium or Small Market) trophy. CISN in the Mornings with Chris, Jack & Matt from CISN-FM Edmonton won the Large Market honour.

Jack Miller, sports director for Quinte Broadcasting stations Mix 97 (CIGL-FM), Rock 107 (CJTN-FM), and 800 CJBQ in Belleville, ON, has been inducted into the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame. Miller recently celebrated his 45th year with Quinte Broadcasting, starting with CJBQ in 1974 as the station’s afternoon drive announcer, alongside Jack Devine. Miller was the long time play-by-play voice of the OHL Belleville Bulls and currently does play-by-play for local AHL team, the Belleville Senators. He’s also called games for the Ottawa Senators, Canadian Hockey League broadcasts for Rogers Sportsnet, and been a colour commentator for the World Juniors.

Neil Headrick and Ken Singer

Ken Singer, retired VP of Broadcast Operations for Fabmar Communications, and Neil Headrick, who retired from CKBI Prince Albert in 2016, are this year’s inductees into the Saskatchewan Association of Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame. Headrick first joined CKBI in 1984 after being recruited by a friend to spin ‘oldies’ vinyl on Sunday mornings. He took over weekday mornings just two years later in 1986. Singer wrapped up a five-decade radio career last December after overseeing the transition of Fabmar’s four radio stations to the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.

SiriusXM Canada has a new subscription package targeted at post-secondary students. The “Student Premier” package basically gives students SiriusXM’s “Premier Streaming” package for $4/month, at a 69% discount off the regular price of $12.99 per month. The Student Premier package gives subscribers streaming access to content outside their car, on a phone or tablet, at home on connected devices, and online.

E. B. Moss

NAB Show is launching a podcast series leading up to NAB Show New York, Oct. 16-17 at the Javits Convention Center. E. B. Moss, the head of Content Strategy for MediaVillage, will host the series. Episodes are being released periodically, starting this week, on the NAB Show Podcast. Moss is the host of Media Village’s B2B podcast Insider InSites and its forthcoming Advancing Diversity podcast.

LISTEN: QUB Radio, the digital radio and podcast platform launched by Quebecor Media last October, recently introduced the concept of a customizable morning show. It allows listeners to build their own programming based on personal preference. On the latest episode of Broadcast DialogueThe Podcast, Mathieu Turbide, Quebecor’s Vice-President of Digital Content, on the company’s move into online radio, the challenges of monetization and Quebecor’s ultimate goal of convergence.

Andreas Sannemann and Justin Dove

Andreas Sannemann, CEO of Benztown, is our newest Broadcast Dialogue contributor. In his first submission, he does a Q&A with Calgary-based imaging producer Justin Dove of Core Image Studio. Dove talks sound design, the benefits and challenges of working from home, and how his career path has taken him from his roots in rural Newfoundland to imaging for the NFL, MLB, and NHL. Read more here.

 

SIGN-OFFS:

Pierre Martineau

Pierre Martineau, 67, on Sept. 13. Martineau arrived at Radio-Canada Colombie-Britannique in 1971, spending 30 years as a reporter, anchor and host in Vancouver. Well-known in the press pool for his distinctive hat, cigarette, and fearless questions, Martineau retired from the CBC in Aug. 2018. Watch CBC Vancouver’s tribute to Martineau here.

Sharryn Graham

Sharryn Graham, 69, of cancer. Graham’s radio career included stops at LG73 (CKLG-AM), KISS FM (CKKS-FM), Mountain FM (CISQ-FM) Squamish. In 1986, she was chosen as the morning co-host as part of the on-air team that launched JR Country (CJJR-FM), alongside Frank Callaghan. She was awarded On-Air Personality of the Year by the BC Country Music Association in 1995. Post-radio, Graham became a corporate trainer and career counsellor and founded a charity to assist Ugandan refugees settling in Metro Vancouver. 

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Boat Rocker Media has acquired Los Angeles-based TV production and distribution house Platform One Media. Platform One CEO Katie O’Connell Marsh will become founder and chairman, in addition to taking on a leadership role with Boat Rocker. Launched two years ago with backing from Liberty Global and private investment firm TPG, the deal comes following Boat Rocker’s acquisition of unscripted production company Matador Content last year, which is also funded in part by TPG. Evolution Media, the investment and advisory services firm created by Creative Artists Agency and TPG, has since become an investor in Toronto-headquartered Boat Rocker.

eOne (Entertainment One) is expanding its unscripted TV business, acquiring non-fiction producer Blackfin which is behind series like Finding Escobar’s Millions and Primal Instinct.  Blackfin founder and CEO Geno McDermott becomes eOne’s president of U.S. Alternative Programming, Unscripted Television. He’ll report to Tara Long, president of Global Unscripted Television.

Telefilm Canada has released its annual report for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Among its export achievements, Telefilm brought 103 films to international festivals and events in 24 countries. It’s also touting $1.5M in administrative budgetary savings transferred back into funding programs. The agency’s executive will discuss the report and priorities going forward at this year’s annual public assembly in November.

CBC has announced that Schitt’s Creek will return for its sixth and final season on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT), airing on the same day and time across Canada and the U.S. The series is also available on the CBC Gem steaming service.

Tracey Deer

EMAfilms and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) have announced that production is underway on the feature film BEANS. Directed by award-winning Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer, who co-wrote the script with Meredith Vuchnich, the film depicts a 12-year-old Mohawk girl’s coming-of-age during the harrowing Oka Crisis in Quebec in 1990. It’s the first feature film to explore the event narratively onscreen. The lead role of Beans is portrayed by Kiawentiio Tarbell (Anne with an E). BEANS was one of two projects that CFC Features, in partnership with Bell Media’s Crave, selected for development in 2018, in consultation with Women in View, to recruit promising projects by female directors.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group has announced that a second season of docuseries Queen of the Oil Patch has been ordered by APTN. Produced in collaboration with Kah-Kitowak Films, production is now underway in Fort McMurray and the Mikisew Cree First Nation. Following an Indigenous entrepreneur with two spirits – Massey Whiteknife and Iceis Rain – the show’s first season was nominated for Best Writing in a Factual Series at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Season 2 will air in Fall 2020 and feature eight episodes.

Pierre-Yves Lord

Sun Life Financial has partnered with new Radio-Canada quiz show 100 génies. Hosted by Pierre-Yves Lord, the show is a battle of wits between 100 of the brightest 14-to-17-year-olds in the country. The students have a chance to win $26,000 in contributions to a Sun Life Registered Education Saving Plan. The show will air on ICI Radio-Canada Télé, Thursday evenings at 8 p.m.

Matt Devlin

TSN has announced its broadcast schedule for the NBA champion Toronto Raptors’ 2019-20 regular season, delivering 41 games. Tangerine Raptors Basketball on TSN will be led by play-by-play commentator Matt Devlin, game analyst Jack “The Coach” Armstrong, and Kate Beirness reporting from the sidelines. Rod Black hosts pre-game, halftime, and post-game coverage alongside analyst Leo Rautins. Live radio coverage will be heard on TSN 1050 Toronto with play-by-play announcer Paul Jones, joined by Armstrong and Sherman Hamilton, in addition to dedicated Raptors reporter Josh Lewenberg. TSN 1050’s complete Raptors schedule can be found here.

Leo Rautins

Sportsnet will also broadcast 41 Toronto Raptors matchups this season across its TV, streaming, and radio platforms, starting Oct. 22. Sportsnet’s broadcast team features Matt Devlin and Leo Rautins with updates and interviews from NBA insider Michael Grange and reporter Eric Smith. Home game panel discussions will be anchored by Brad Fay, live from Scotiabank Arena. On Sportsnet 590 The FAN and the Sportsnet Radio Network, Eric Smith returns to the broadcast booth on play-by-play, alongside analyst Paul Jones. On Sportsnet.ca and the Sportsnet app, Faizal Khamisa and Danielle Michaud will provide analysis of Raptors storylines on social media. Live weekly editions of NBA Chatroom, Sportsnet’s interactive YouTube show, will be hosted by Khamisa and Donnovan Bennett. In-depth features, Big Reads and ongoing analysis will also be provided by Grange, Arden Zwelling, Dave Zarum and Steven Loung.

John Bartlett

Sportsnet will broadcast 56 Toronto Maple Leafs games this season on TV and 41 radio games on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, starting Oct. 2. Sportsnet will also air four Leafs pre-season matchups, beginning Sept. 20. Sportsnet Ontario will be home to Leafs regional coverage this season, beginning Oct. 10 featuring play-by-play announcer John Bartlett and analyst Greg Millen. Shawn McKenzie and Chris Johnston will provide ice level updates. Radio coverage will be called by Joe Bowen and game analyst Jim Ralph.

Chris Cuthbert and Gord Miller

TSN’s regional broadcast schedule for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2019-20 season will include four pre-season and 26 regular season games. Coverage will feature play-by-play commentators Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert, with Ray Ferraro and Mark Masters reporting rinkside. The TSN Hockey panel featuring host James Duthie, hockey insider Bob McKenzie, and analysts Jeff O’Neill and Dave Poulin, will also contribute to Leafs On TSN. TSN 1050 Toronto game-day coverage will be hosted by Jim Tatti and feature play-by-play commentator Joe Bowen and analyst Jim Ralph, in addition to TSN 1050 Leafs reporter Kristen Shilton. Andi Petrilo will host Leafs Lunch, airing weekdays from noon – 2 p.m. ET, joined by regular Mike Johnson. Carlo Colaiacovo joins Michael Landsberg on First Up with Landsberg and Colaiacovo, airing weekdays from 6-10 a.m. ET. Jeff O’Neill will also join Bryan Hayes and Jamie McLennan on Overdrive, weekdays from 4-7 p.m. ET. 

Ray Ferraro

TSN’s regional broadcast schedule for the Ottawa Senators’ 2019-20 season, includes four pre-season and 55 regular season games. Sens On TSN broadcasts will feature play-by-play commentators Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert, alongside analysts Ray Ferraro, Jamie McLennan and Mike Johnson. Ottawa Bureau reporter Brent Wallace will also cover the team throughout the season across TSN’s platforms. Bruce Garrioch will return to the TSN Hockey Panel featuring James Duthie and Darren Dreger, to host fan-favourite Sens segment “Question Period.” TSN 1200 Ottawa will have live coverage of every game, called by Dean Brown and game analyst Gord Wilson. TSN 1200 also features two-hour pre-game shows, as well as intermission, and post-game coverage with TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, hosts Ian Mendes and Lee Versage and analysts Shawn Simpson, Brendan Bell, Brad Smyth and Chris Stevenson.

Tessa Bonhomme

TSN’s regional broadcast schedule for the Montreal Canadiens’ 2019-20 season, includes four pre-season and 50 regular season games. Hosting duties for the Habs On TSN games are shared by Tessa Bonhomme and Glenn Schiiler, alongside Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun. Habs broadcasts will also feature play-by-play commentator Bryan Mudryk, with analysts Dave Poulin, Mike Johnson and Craig Button. Covering the Canadiens throughout the season is TSN Montreal Bureau reporter John Lu, who’ll file across the network’s platforms. TSN 690 Montreal will have live coverage of all pre-season, regular season, and playoff games, featuring play-by-play commentator Dan Robertson and analyst Sergio Momesso, with pre-game, intermission, and post-game coverage for all games throughout the season. 

Sara Orlesky

TSN’s regional broadcast schedule for the Winnipeg Jets’ 2019-20 season, includes seven pre-season and 60 regular season games. The Jets on TSN broadcast team is led by host Sara Orlesky, with veteran play-by-play commentator Dennis Beyak, alongside analyst and former NHL player Kevin Sawyer, with contributions from Ken Wiebe. Orlesky will also contribute coverage across the network platforms. TSN 1290 Winnipeg will have live coverage of every Jets game with play-by-play commentating duties shared by Paul Edmonds and Beyak, alongside game analyst Brian Munz. Pre-game, intermission, and post-game coverage and analysis will be hosted by Kevin Olszewski and feature former players and TSN 1290 analysts Trevor Kidd and JP Vigier.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

APTN is the latest broadcaster to launch an OTT platform. APTN lumi gives viewers access to the network’s catalogue of programs in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages for $4.99/month. Viewers can sign up for a five-day free trial and will have access to a small selection of shows even after the trial ends.

OneSoccer will show exclusive live coverage of the 2019 Canadian Championship Final featuring this year’s finalists, Montréal Impact and Toronto FC, available to subscribers of the dedicated digital soccer platform at no extra charge. Soccer broadcaster Gareth Wheeler and retired Canadian midfielder Terry Dunfield will provide play-by-play commentary in English while Philippe Germain and Valerio Gazzola, former Impact head coach, will provide French commentary for both the Sept. 18 and 25 legs. OneSoccer’s studio panel, with host Andi Petrillo and pundits Kurt Larson and Oliver Platt, will also provide analysis. 

The 24th Annual Webby Awards are open for entries until Oct. 25. Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences – a 2,000+ member judging body comprised of web experts, visionaries, creative celebrities and former Webby winners and nominees – the Webbys now honors excellence in seven major media types including Websites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Social, Apps, Mobile, & Voice, Games, and Podcasts. The Awards present two honours in each category – The Webby Award and The Webby People’s Voice Award. Learn more about how to enter your work here.

GENERAL:

Don McDonald

Allarco Entertainment, the Edmonton-based company that operates Super Channel, has filed suit against Best Buy, Staples, London Drugs and Canada Computers, alleging the retailers were complicit in promoting content piracy by selling internet streaming devices. Don McDonald, Super Channel President and CEO, said the lawsuit comes following a 19-month undercover investigation carried out at stores coast-to-coast. Allarco purports to have gathered over 100 hours of audio and video surveillance that documents 150 events supporting the claim. It’s released a video that includes snippets of covertly-recorded conversations with store employees and managers explaining how Pay TV content can be streamed for free using Android boxes with pre-installed software like Kodi. None of the allegations have been proven in court. Read more here.

Bell, Rogers and Quebecor have formally requested a website blocking order that would prohibit various internet service providers (ISPs) from allowing their customers to access alleged pirate IPTV service GoldTV. The case is seen as a test for court-ordered pirate site blockades in Canada.

Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Cogeco and Eastlink parent company Bragg Communications are seeking an appeal of last month’s CRTC ruling on wholesale internet rates. They’ve filed a Federal Court challenge of the commission’s Aug. 15 ruling that set final rates governing what large ISPs can charge smaller telco players for access to their networks. Bell has made a separate filing that includes its regional affiliates Bell MTS in Manitoba and Bell Aliant in Atlantic Canada. The CRTC ruling not only set lower rates, but also required the big operators to compensate smaller third-party operators retroactively to 2016. Two of those independent ISPs, TekSavvy Solutions and Distributel Communications, have since announced that they’ll be passing those lower rates onto their customers, even though not mandated by the CRTC. Crediting the commission’s decision, TekSavvy says over 85% of its customers will benefit from reduced prices or upgraded, unlimited data plans on their next monthly bill, as the ISP streamlines its retail product line. Distributel says it’s initiated efforts to substantially increase home internet speeds for the majority of its customers at no extra cost. It says the decision will also allow it to launch competitive new retail pricing for bundled and stand-alone products and services.

The CRTC has opened the public comment period for renewal of Bell Fibe TV’s licences in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The commission will review Bell’s licence compliance in reference to its community television offerings in those regions.

Xplornet Communications has announced that it has sublicensed 40MHz of AWS-4 spectrum from TerreStar Solutions Inc., as part of its plan to build a national 5G wireless broadband network for rural Canadians. The spectrum agreement with TerreStar makes over 500 million MHzPOP of mid-band spectrum available to Xplornet for deployment in 37 tier 3 and 13 tier 4 areas across Canada until March 2035, with an option for Xplornet to extend the term of the agreement should TerreStar’s AWS-4 spectrum licences be renewed. The AWS-4 spectrum is one of a number of bands that will be deployed to deliver 5G services.  Xplornet says its 5G network will be delivered through the AWS-4 spectrum transaction, innovation with global equipment manufacturers and investment of over $500 million in the next five years.

Northwestel and Bell have announced that 15 megabits per second (Mbps) internet and LTE wireless service are now available in all 25 Nunavut communities. Northwestel and Bell are using the new open-access Tamarmik Nunaliit network to deliver the new services. Operating on Telesat ka-Band satellite technology, the network provides up to 20 times more internet capacity than previously available, making high-speed Internet and wireless service possible in each community. The project was completed within its two-year objective with support from a range of partners, including Industry Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) through the Connect to Innovate program, and Bell Mobility.

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) has announced Tom Goodwin, EVP, Head of Innovation at Zenith Media, as this year’s morning keynote speaker at Connection 2019 on Nov. 7. Goodwin, the author of Digital Darwinism, will speak on “The Future of Broadcasting in the Post Digital Age.” Register for Connection 2019 here.

Jeff Vidler, Fred Jacobs, David Phillips

The 72nd Annual BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) conference is approaching Oct. 2-3, in Victoria. Among the program highlights are Jeff Vidler of Audience Insights Inc. who’ll be presenting his focus group on the changing media consumption habits of Generation X; media strategist Fred Jacobs speaking on “You’re Not in the Radio Business Anymore: Stories from Innovators Who’ve Made the Transformation”; and NLogic president and COO David Phillips. Find the full program lineup and registration info here

SUPPLY LINES:

Nextologies Limited has been chosen by The Associated Press to distribute its Live Choice live video product to digital and broadcast customers, essentially handling its video delivery across the globe. Markham, ON-based Nextologies and AP designed and integrated their technology systems to provide users with a simple interface to book and activate live video transmissions and integrate them into their own production environment. The project relies on Nextologies’ proprietary NXT-4 hardware and software. The project was rolled out over a four-month period after comprehensive design work.

Dejero has been recognized for its role in supporting the world’s first live rock concert using 5G and holographic technology, winning an IABM (formerly the International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers) BaM award in the project collaboration category. Waterloo, ON-based Dejero and Musion 3D, a leader in holographic technology, worked together with Vodafone Romania to enable an 11-year-old guitarist to join a rock band on stage, and perform together with the band as a human hologram, through a 5G connection and holographic projection, over Vodafone’s 5G network. Collaboratively, Dejero, Musion 3D and Vodafone Romania won the BaM Innovation Award for the unprecedented event. Live-streamed on Facebook, the concert became Vodafone Romania’s 2019 flagship television commercial in Romania, with over 2 million YouTube views to date. 

PromoSuite has introduced PromoSuite Production, the first product launching on the new PromoSuitePlus platform. PromoSuite Production is an advanced production workflow application designed to optimize the way sales and creative teams collaborate to create recorded spots. PromoSuite Production is aimed at driving greater productivity by streamlining task management, automated workflow and team collaboration within a single technology framework. PromoSuite Production is available now for cash or barter. 

Cable 14, serving Hamilton and surrounding communities, has successfully implemented Bannister Lake’s Chameleon data management and aggregation solution to control and visualize data content on its broadcasts. Bannister Lake helped the channel develop new data readers covering the Canadian University Football League and Ontario Hockey League, and improved the channel’s ability to manage and visualize Twitter-based content as well as local traffic cameras. Chameleon’s integration with Cable 14’s traffic system also allows the station to provide automated “Coming Up Next” snipes and billboards to promote upcoming programming.


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