The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Stingray Radio has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Giant FM (CIXL-FM) and Country 89 (CKYY-FM) Welland, ON, from Wellport Broadcasting Limited/RB Communications Ltd, subject to CRTC approval. Ian Lurie, President, Radio Operations of Stingray, said in a release that the acquisition expands Stingray’s already significant presence in Ontario and “makes certain that Stingray will continue to offer the best services to classic rock and country music listeners in the Niagara region.” Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close this fall pending CRTC approval, have not been disclosed.

Bell Media and Stingray have launched AUDIO360, an advanced, multi-platform audio sales solution that allows media buyers to target specific consumer groups based on their audio listening journey throughout the day. AUDIO360 gives advertisers the option to buy audio advertising across the iHeartRadio Canada and Stingray Music apps; within podcasts on the iHeartRadio Canada app, terrestrial audio on Bell Media and Stingray’s 200 radio stations combined; and sponsorship opportunities across Specialty Audio that will eventually include in-store retail and the Stingray specialty TV audio channels. AUDIO360 recommends audio buys to clients by targeting specific consumer groups using “Passion Segments” which include categories like “Millennial Moms,” “Tech Saavy Urbanites,” “Foodies,” “Home Enthusiasts,” “Baby Boomers,” and “Cultural Influencers.” A series of customized audio recommendations is then made based on that group’s listening habits. Read Broadcast Dialogue’s interview with Perry MacDonald, SVP Sales, Video and Radio, Bell Media, and Ryan Fuss, SVP, Global Advertising Solutions, Stingray, here.

Rebel 101.7 (CIDG-FM) Ottawa started testing its newly-approved signal upgrade to 21,000 Watts on Sept. 23. The station previously broadcast at 5,500 Watts. Tim Wieczorek, the station’s Director of Operations, says the new signal is a “game changer” that will make the station available to over 250,000 more Ottawa residents.

Dave Holland

Dave Holland celebrated 50 years on-air in Prince Edward Island Sept. 29. Ocean 100 (CHTN-FM) Charlottetown dubbed last Friday “Dave Holland Day”, dedicating its morning show to the radio vet. Born in Toronto, Holland started his career on Sept. 29, 1969 in Newcastle, NB at CKMR. In 1970, he moved on to Campbellton, NB, and two years later joined CFCY Charlottetown. Holland continues to do weekend news on Ocean 100 and serves as the game announcer for the UPEI Men’s Hockey Panthers.

The Slaight Family Foundation has established the Senior Care Navigation Pilot, through a $1 million donation, that will fund a partnership between Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital and SPRINT Senior Care to advance a new model of care to help seniors and their families. The Senior Care Navigation Pilot will introduce a new community care navigator role in the Sunnybrook Emergency Department and across clinical settings to identify and help seniors with complex care needs return to their homes. The Slaight Family Foundation’s investment in Sunnybrook is part of a historic $30-million gift to 13 hospitals in Toronto and four national organizations as part of The Slaight Family Foundation Seniors Initiative.

Saskatchewan Country CKBI Prince Albert raised $20,000 during the station’s 32nd annual Two Miles for Mary Radiothon last Friday. The event raises funds for the Seniors Transportation Program provided through the local Community Service Centre, which provides affordable rides to seniors at just $5 per trip.

 

CBC Podcasts marked International Podcast Day on Monday by debuting it’s new Podcast Oracle which makes recommendations based on listener genre preferences. Celebrated every Sept. 30 since 2015, read more about International Podcast Day, here.

Gord Stellick

SiriusXM NHL Network Radio is marking its 15th season. Gord Stellick and Scott Laughlin are helming the channel’s new morning show, starting at 7 a.m. ET weekdays, in addition to former NHLer Mike Johnson. Contributors this season include Steve Kouleas, Boomer Gordon, NHL alum Matthew Barnaby, Mick Kern, Dave McCarthy, Michelle Sturino, Jonathan Davis, and insiders Bob McKenzie, Brian Burke, Elliotte Friedman, Pierre McGuire, Mike Rupp, Pierre LeBrun and Jeff Marek. SiriusXM offers play-by-play channels dedicated to the official radio broadcasts of every NHL team, in addition to French-language broadcasts for all Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators games via Influence Franco (ch. 174). Listeners who have SiriusXM Streaming access can also listen to the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio on the SiriusXM app, online and On-Demand.

LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Amanda Kingsland, Program Director at Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM) Ottawa and National Music Director for the Rogers’ Country Brand. Kingsland is coming off an impressive fourth consecutive Music Director of the Year (large market) win at the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards.

Albert To

FEATURE: Albert To, imaging producer for KiSS 92.5 Toronto and the National Imaging Lead for Rogers’ CHR stations is this week’s featured producer, in conversation with Andreas Sannemann, CEO of Benztown. To talks favourite plugins, beatmixing, and why research is important. Read more here.

SIGN-OFFS:

William ‘Wild Bill’ Flamond

William ‘Wild Bill’ Flamond, 74, on Sept. 24. Best known as the longtime voice of afternoons on NCI-FM Winnipeg, where he also served as the station’s news director, Flamond was also an actor, singer and community advocate for Métis rights. Born in The Pas, MB, Flamond started his radio career in the early 1960s in Dauphin, MB. He went on to work at stations in Saskatchewan and Alberta, before heading south to work as a news director, sports director, music director, and in public relations in Arizona and Texas. In addition to radio, Flamond performed in and staged productions as a singer and emcee, sharing the stage with country legends like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, Buck Owens, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, Charlie Pride, Sawyer Brown, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tommy Hunter, and Al Cherny. In 2003, he was nominated for a Nashville Golden Voice Award in the Radio Personality of the Year category. Flamond also took a turn at acting, appearing in the National Film Board production of “Guns For Life” starring Chief Dan George, and had a starring role alongside Tantoo Cardinal in “New Days, New Horizons.” Among his elected positions over the years, Flamond served as President of the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre in Winnipeg; president of the Indian and Metis Tenants Association; regional Vice-President of the Manitoba Metis Federation (Thompson); and was Director, Federal/Provincial Relations of the Manitoba Metis Senate. He sat on numerous other community advisory committees and boards, including chairing the Manitoba Metis Federation Constitution Committee and the Aboriginal Peoples Summit on Constitutional Matters. Flamond stepped away from radio in 2008 after suffering a heart attack.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

The Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released two new reports: Cord Cutting and The World of Online Video. Key findings from the Cord Cutting report include that the majority of Canadians still have a paid TV subscription such as satellite, cable and fibre optic. However, one quarter of Canadians are forgoing their TV subscription and opting to get their video and TV entertainment from off-air TV signals or online sources. MTM says one in seven Canadians is now a “Cord Cutter” – someone who has had a paid TV service in the past, but no longer subscribes. Canadians aged 35-49 and those with children under 12 are most likely to have cut the cord. More than a fifth of TV subscribers also told MTM they are either very likely or somewhat likely to disconnect their service sometime in the next 12 months. Key findings from the The World of Online Video report include that the vast majority of Anglophones (close to 90%) are now watching a service like YouTube, Netflix, and Crave. While computers remain the most popular way to watch internet video, smartphones are a close second. Over two in three Anglophones watch TV content online with the internet-connected TV set identified as the most popular screen, likely tied to the use of OTT services.

CBS Stages Canada, a 260,000 square-foot studio space located in Mississauga, has opened. The multi-use production facility includes six soundstages, production offices, support facilities and auxiliary services for large-scale television and film production. The new facility will provide additional production space for CBS Television Studios’ expanding slate of TV series, which now number over 70. CBS series currently shooting in Toronto include Star Trek: Discovery, In The Dark, and the Charmed and Nancy Drew reboots.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) original documentary No Vacancy: Vancouver’s Housing Crisis has been selected as a finalist in the Representation of Disability – Non-Scripted category at the MIPCOM Diversity TV Excellence Awards. The MIPCOM 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Programme features industry experts and major talent who are speaking out to not only create more opportunities for diverse talent, but to demonstrate the positive impact of diversity across the global media landscape. In its third year, the programme includes high-level networking events and the awards gala honouring inclusive content from around the globe. The ceremony will take place Oct. 14, in Cannes. No Vacancy: Vancouver’s Housing Crisis can be streamed on demand on AMI.ca or via the AMI-tv app.

Employable Me job seeker Ariana

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has announced that Season 3 of its award-winning series Employable Me will premiere Oct. 23. The six-part documentary series features job seekers determined to show that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. Each one-hour instalment features two job seekers who are blind, partially sighted or have a neurological condition such as Tourette Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder as they embark on a journey to possible employment. Among the companies participating in Season 3 are The Second City, La Prep, Myplanet, Sobeys, Mindshare and JOIN (Job Opportunity Information Network).

Allan Hawco

Allan Hawco (Frontier, Republic of Doyle) has landed a recurring role on Season 2 of Amazon Prime Video series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Starring alongside John Krasinski, Hawco will play the character of “Coyote” in the show’s second season which premieres globally on Friday, Nov. 1.

CTV, in partnership with Gusto Worldwide Media, is rebooting Cook Like A Chef for its new lifestyle brand CTV Life Channel. Production begins later this month in Ottawa with a cast of Canadian chefs, including Kate Ardington, former personal chef to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Derek Dammann, head chef of Montréal’s Maison Publique; Natalia Machado, host of One World Kitchen; and Craig Wong, owner of Patois restaurant in Toronto. The series is slated to debut in early 2020. CTV says the revival of Cook Like a Chef, which originally aired from 2001-05, stays true to its initial creative with some modern updates. The first season consists of 20 half-hour episodes, in which an expert chef focuses on a single ingredient and deep dives into cooking techniques, tips, and tricks to give home cooks confidence in the kitchen.

CTV, in association with Project 10 Productions and SEVEN24 Films, has started production on Season 2 of JANN, set to join the network’s mid-season schedule in early 2020. Currently filming in Calgary, Season 2 consists of eight, half-hour episodes, up from its six-episode first season. Starring award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter, broadcaster, and author Jann Arden as a fictionalized version of herself, Season 2 guest stars will include singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan as herself, actress Elisha Cuthbert (The Ranch, Happy Endings, 24), and singer, host, and actress Keshia Chanté.

Triumph: Lay It On The Line, the first ever documentary about the Canadian rock power trio, is currently in production. The Crave Original Documentary is being produced by Banger Films, in association with Revolver Films. Banger is inviting fans to attend a special event that will be filmed for the documentary on Nov. 16 in the Greater Toronto Area that will offer fans the chance to interact with artifacts and iconic props from the Triumph legacy and the band themselves. Fans interested in attending should contact the producers at TriumphEvent@bangerfilms.com.

Crave has announced the panel of judges that will preside over Season 1 of its new original series Canada’s Drag Race. They include actor and activist Brooke Lynn Hytes; Canadian actor and model Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman; and model, runway coach, and America’s Next Top Model mentor Stacey McKenzie. ETALK correspondent Traci Melchor is also joining the series as the show’s “Squirrel Friend,” making house calls, testing the queens with some challenges, and providing a dose of reality when needed. Fans can also expect weekly celebrity guest judges to join the panel.

Pippo Crotti

PIPPO, a new non-verbal series based on the comedy of former Cirque du Soleil clown/performer, Pippo Crotti, is in production in Italy. PIPPO is a co-production between Italian company Pippo Crotti Productions and Canadian distributor-come-production company, And Now Global. The first season will feature 12 half-hour-episodes, each comprised of comedy shorts. And Now Global will be taking the series to MIPCOM for pre-sales and additional investing partners.

Distribution360 (D360) heads to MIPCOM with a growing portfolio of kids & family programming and several long-running lifestyle series in the home and food genres. On the French-language content side, D360 has also reached a volume deal with Montreal’s Zone3, in addition to launching new content for marblemedia, GAPC Entertainment and Little Scooter Media. Among the shows on its kid’s slate, D360 is debuting Subito Texto (309 x 30’), a long-running scripted tween series revolving around five students running a school newspaper; and Brigade Animo (130 x 15’) a kid’s wildlife series. The distributor has also acquired the French-language preschool series Es-tu prêt? (40 x 2.5’) and the narration-only STEM & magic series ScienceXplosion (45 x 3.5’) which is available with both French and English tracks. From marblemedia, All-Round Champion (11 x 60’) is the sports competition series that sees top youth athletes compete in each other’s sports to ultimately crown the best all round athlete; the show is the first English-language adaption of NRK format award-winning format, Best i mest.

Bell Media’s The Harold Greenberg Fund, in partnership with the Northwest Territories Film Commission (NTFC), Nunavut Film Development Corporation (NFDC), and the Government of Yukon’s Media Development Unit have announced the HGF/Territories Shorts Program. The new funding initiative is designed to finance narrative short films from filmmaking teams across the three territories, showcasing their creative visions and furthering the careers of writers, producers, and directors as they develop their skills. Three recipients, one from each territory, will each receive a total of $20,000 to support production of short and impactful standalone films. The initiative marks the first time all three territories have been brought together under one funding program supporting filmmaking. The deadline for applications is Nov. 6. More info here.

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) unionized employees in Kamloops have reached a new four-year deal. Ratified by members of Unifor Local 1010 on Sept. 25, the deal brings all three JPBG television stations – CFJC-TV Kamloops, CKPG-TV Prince George and CHAT-TV Medicine Hat – under one agreement. It includes wage increases of 1.75 per cent per year and increases in vacation time, among other provisions.

CBC Sports and the International Swimming League (ISL) have partnered to provide broadcast and streaming coverage of the world’s first team-oriented professional swimming league, with the initial meet happening Oct. 5–6 in Indianapolis, Indiana. CBC Sports will offer live streams of every meet throughout the ISL season on cbcsports.ca and via the CBC Sports app, as well as broadcast coverage as part of weekly staple Road to the Olympic Games on CBC and CBC Gem. Viewers can add schedule reminders of CBC Sports’ live coverage directly to their mobile devices through the ROKT Calendar tool.

GENERAL:

The BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) 72nd Annual Conference is underway in Victoria. This year’s event got underway with the President’s Welcome Reception Wednesday evening. Thursday’s speakers lineup includes Nlogic’s David Phillips on “How Broadcasters Can Be Audaciously Hopeful”; media strategist Fred Jacobs on “the A-Z’s of Transformation”; Jeff Vidler of Audience Insights Inc., who’ll present a focus group providing insight into the consumer habits of Generation X; in addition to Broadcast Dialogue publisher Shawn Smith.

Corus Entertainment has established two scholarships for Calgary journalism students, named in honour of two late Corus Calgary staff members. The Global News Peter Watts Bursary at Mount Royal University is named for the former TSN and Corus Radio broadcaster. Watts was most recently host of the Alberta Morning News for 20 years before passing away at age 68 this past January. Another scholarship at SAIT has been set up in the name of alumnus John Himpe, who also passed away suddenly in January at age 38. Himpe worked for Rawlco’s Saskatchewan stations off and on for 15 years, before joining 770 CHQR in 2017 as a reporter and producer.

The CRTC says despite making progress towards gender parity in the Canadian film and television production industry, research shows that women still face barriers to career advancement, particularly in key creative positions. With the objective of finding lasting solutions to ensure more women play leading roles in the industry, the CRTC brought together the country’s largest public and private broadcasters who agreed to voluntary action plans to address the issue. The plans of each participating organization have been published: Bell Media; Blue Ant Media; CBC/Radio-Canada; Corus Entertainment; WildBrain (formerly DHX); Rogers Media; and TVA Group (French only). The CRTC says its next step will be to engage with smaller and independent broadcasters to see how they can voluntarily contribute to the collective goal of increasing women’s access to key positions.

Telus has agreed to acquire ADT Security Services Canada, Inc. (ADT Canada) for approximately $700 million. One of Canada’s leading providers of security and automation solutions for residential and business customers, ADT boasts approximately 500,000 customers and 1,000 employees  across the country. Telus said in a release that the acquisition builds on its strategy to leverage its wireless and PureFibre networks, and expands its security business and its health strategy which includes remote patient care and home health monitoring. Telus says it expects to add more than 12,000 new customer additions to its security business in the third quarter of 2019, bringing its total security subscriber base to approximately 100,000, prior to the acquisition of ADT Canada.The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, pending regulatory approval. 

The Federal Court of Appeal has temporarily frozen an Aug. 15 CRTC order that forced the big telco operators to cut the wholesale rate it charges smaller resellers to use their internet bandwidth. The Federal Court is deciding whether it will hear a challenge brought forward by BCE, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Quebecor and Bragg Communications (the parent company of Eastlink).

Xplornet Communications is offering unlimited data plans for its satellite internet customers in rural Canada.The new DataXtend unlimited data plans are available to current and new satellite customers in every province on Xplornet’s satellite broadband network. Earlier this year, Xplornet announced unlimited data plans across its national 4G fixed wireless broadband network. The new DataXtend satellite internet plans are available at all speed levels.

Rogers has announced it’s opening a new B.C. customer solution centre in Kelowna. The new centre will initially employ 350 people with the local workforce projected to grow to 500 over time. Rogers says the facility will handle roughly one million Rogers and Fido customer interactions each year. Located on Dickson Avenue, it will occupy 32,000 square feet in Kelowna’s Landmark District. Renovations will begin in early 2020 with the site opening in summer 2020. Hiring will take place next spring. Over the last 18 months, Rogers grew its customer solution specialist workforce by over 1,000 team members.

Eric Blais
Eric Blais

Eric Blais, Director, Customer Success at StatsRadio, is out with his newest Rethinking Media column. In this month’s column, he asks questions like is content still king in an increasingly crowded content landscape?  And why we’ll see a growing number of fractured, hard-to-measure audiences. Read more here.

 

SUPPLY LINES:

The Association of Central Canada Broadcast Engineers (CCBE) held its 69th annual Career Development Conference from Sept. 26-29 in King City, ON that saw delegates attend from as far away as England, France, Italy, South Africa, and even Australia. This year’s CCBE Awards saw Russ Jenkins awarded the CCBE Lifetime Achievement Award. Jenkins, at age 77, is still a part of the transmitter engineering team at CKLW Windsor. This year’s CCBE Engineering Excellence Award recipient was Frédéric Vendette, director of radio engineering for Bell Media Quebec, for completing an FM antenna replacement in Quebec City; adding auxiliary transmitters in Montreal, St. John & Drummondville; and stabilizing major grounding issues at CKGM in Montreal. Darrin Paley of Ron Paley Broadcast was named the Bob Norton Ambassador of the Year. Read our conference coverage courtesy Sean T. Craig, CCBE Treasurer, here.

Sonotechnique has been named the Canadian distributor for Lawo Radio products. With offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Sonotechnique serves broadcasters with planning, integration and installation services. It will represent Lawo’s full line of radio equipment and solutions, including its ruby and crystal mixing consoles, high-density Power Core AES67 audio gateway, touchscreen-based crystalCLEAR mixer, and RƎLAY line of Virtual Radio software for PCs.

Jim Helman

Jim Helman, chief technology officer at Motion Pictures Laboratories (MovieLabs), will present a keynote entitled “The Future of Media Creation” at SMPTE 2019, the Society’s annual technical conference and exhibition, taking place Oct. 21-24 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. Helman will deliver the white paper – “The Evolution of Media Creation: A 10-Year Vision for the Future of Media Production, Post and Creative Technologies” – recently released by MovieLabs, a nonprofit technology research lab jointly run by Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Pictures and Television, and Warner Bros. Entertainment. Authored by MovieLabs and production technology experts from Hollywood studios, the white paper examines the ways that today’s emerging technologies will shape content creation a decade from now. Helman will provide an overview of the new white paper and then moderate a panel of studio executives who will pick up the conversation and take questions from the SMPTE 2019 audience. More info about SMPTE 2019, here.


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