The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

LISTEN: On the latest Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we sit down with Numeris President & CEO Neil McEneaney for an update on all things audio and video measurement, including how stations are prepping for the upcoming release of the first radio diary under a move to continuous measurement for all markets.

Brooke & Jubal

Brooke & Jubal, a syndicated morning show that originates out of MOViN 92.5 (KQMV-FM) Seattle, will begin airing on CHUCK FM (CKNG-FM) Edmonton in the morning time slot, starting Oct 21. Corus started airing the show on JUMP! 106.9 (CKQB-FM) Ottawa in Sept. 2018, igniting intense listener backlash. The company made the move in August to syndicate Rock 101 (CFMI-FM) Vancouver morning show Willy in the Morning, which now airs on sister station Q107 (CFGQ-FM) Calgary.

The 2019 Canadian Podcast Listener (CPL) study has released initial insight that finds Canadian podcast listeners largely consume media on demand. The third annual CPL study, based on a market representative online sample survey of more than 4,500 Canadian adults, finds that podcasts are opening the door for advertisers to reach the elusive on-demand audience, which encompasses premium tier video and music streaming subscribers, in addition to those who listen to audio books. In fact, it found that the majority of monthly podcast listeners surveyed consume audio books and paid music streaming on a weekly basis as their media of choice, followed by free music streaming, and then video streaming services like Crave and Netflix. Ad-supported media like YouTube, online news sites, social media, print magazines and newspapers, AM/FM radio, and network cable TV were less popular with podcast listeners. Read more here.

Rogers’ Frequency Podcast Network has announced a release date for its forthcoming podcast series on late Toronto mayor Rob Ford. The Gravy Train, an eight-part investigative podcast exploring Ford’s rise to power, will premiere Oct. 31. Rogers has timed the launch to coincide with the anniversary of the day in 2013 that Toronto Police confirmed they had video evidence of Ford smoking crack cocaine. The podcast is hosted by Jordan Heath-Rawlings, director of Digital Radio and Podcasts at Rogers, who also serves as host of daily news podcast The Big Story. Read more here.

Vancouver Podcast Fest returns for its second year, Nov. 7-10. Featuring masterclasses, daytime panels, and live podcast presentations, this year’s mainstage lineup will feature Martin Austwick (The Allusionist), Mike Browne (Dark Poutine), Christopher Goddard (Dirty John), Falen Johnson (Secret Life of Canada), Chris Kelly (CBC’s This Is That), Ryan McMahon (Red Man Laughing, Thunderbay), Garth Mullins (Crackdown), Leah Simone-Bowen (Secret Life of Canada), Geoff Turner (On Drugs) and Helen Zaltzman (The Allusionist). More info here.

Scott StanleyFEATURE: On Benztown CEO Andy Sannemann’s latest blog, iHeartMedia Cincinnati Creative Services Director Scott Stanley answers Andy’s questions about the challenges of imaging for News/Talk radio and the breaking news format. Read more here.

SIGN-OFFS:

Douglas Garraway

Doug Garraway, 77, on Oct. 4. Garraway spent the majority of his career managing Barrie’s local television station CKVR-TV. Originally a CBC affiliate, Garraway successfully guided the station through its rebrand as The New VR, which like its sister station CityTV, carried programming targeted at younger viewers. It became the template for some of the other stations in the CHUM family, known as the NewNet network. Garraway retired in 2006 as vice-president and general manager after 40 years with the station, the same year it was acquired by CTVglobemedia.

Margaret Lyons

Margaret Lyons, 95, on Oct. 5. Born Keiko Margaret Inouye to Japanese immigrants in Vancouver, Lyons worked as a chambermaid while finishing her high school diploma before starting as a full-time student at McMaster University in 1945. With her sights set on journalism, she studied economics, going on to marry fellow student Edward Lyons. After graduation, they moved to London, England where Lyons took a job as a dictation typist in the BBC newsroom. Accepted into the BBC producer training program, she went on to serve as the current affairs producer for Asia. Lyons and her family eventually returned to Canada and she took a job producing radio documentaries for CBC and was promoted to supervisor within a number of years. Among the talent she’s credited with recruiting to radio are Stuart McLean, Peter Gzowski, Michael Enright, and Ivan Fecan, who created Quirks and Quarks. Lyons became vice-president of English CBC Radio in 1981. In 1982, she was inducted into the McMaster Alumni Gallery, and awarded an honorary doctorate in 1986. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2009. In 2014, the McMaster Alumni Association presented her with its highest honour, the Distinguished Service Award. She was recognized with an Ontario Volunteer Service Award in 2016.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Radio-Canada has reached a reciprocal agreement with France Télévisions that will see six Quebec television productions air in France. Beginning Nov. 6, District 31, Ruptures, Trop, Les bogues de la vie, Les passeurs de vérité, Greffe faciale and Bye will be available on France Télévisions’ digital platform france.tv. The deal will also see the made-in-France fiction series Chefs, Chérif, Capitaine Marleau, Maman a tort, Stalk,  and documentaries La vie secrète du jardin, Une ferme sauvage and Vivre avec les loups added to the ICI TOU.TV EXTRA premium VOD lineup. The public broadcaster says the move is in step with its commitment to “take Canada to the world” and ensure greater international exposure for homegrown productions.

Corus Studios made several landmark deals ahead of MIPCOM, including sales to Cooking Channel in the U.S. for grilling competition series Fire Masters (20×60), and pre-broadcast sales of demolition show Salvage Kings (10×60) to A+E Networks in the UK + Ireland, Sweden, South Africa, Poland and Romania. Truck racing docuseries Big Rig Warriors has sold to Foxtel in Australia, A+E’s FYI in the U.S. and A+E Networks in Italy. Additionally, History Erased (8×60) has sold to Foxtel in Australia and New Zealand as well as HISTORIA in Spain and Portugal. HGTV Canada series Island of Bryan (13×60) also cemented three deals internationally with initial sales for Season 1 to Foxtel in Australia, TVA’s Group Channel CASA in French Canada, and Israel’s Talit Communications. $ave My Reno, Season 1 & 2 was picked up by A+E’s FYI in the U.S. along with South Africa’s The Home Channel for Season 2.

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and global kids’ entertainment company Spin Master have announced that Bakugan: Battle Planet has been picked up by several major international broadcasters. Building on the series’ successful launch on Cartoon Network in the U.S., and TELETOON in Canada, the new broadcast deals will see the 100 x 11-minute episodes roll out internationally on Cartoon Network (Spain, Italy, Middle East), Gulli and Canal J (France, Africa), POP (UK), SUPER RTL (Germany), RTL (Netherlands, Hungary, Croatia), Nine GO! (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand), Star (Greece), 1+1 (Ukraine), PopTV (Slovenia), VMMa (Belgium), M6 (France, Africa), and Lithuana/SIA (Baltics). A second season of Bakugan: Armored Alliance (104 x 11 min) is now in production and set to launch in 2020.

CTV’s most-watched series following Premiere Week (Sept. 23-29) is The Good Doctor, followed by Big Bang Theory spinoff Young Sheldon. Numeris data provided by the network indicates the Season 3 premiere of The Good Doctor was watched by 2.6 million viewers. Young Sheldon (1.5 million) claimed the #1 comedy spot during Premiere Week. Premieres of new CTV series Stumptown (1.8 million) and The Masked Singer (1.8 million) also made it into the Top 10 among both total viewers and A25-54. Overall, CTV says it was home to 10 of the Top 20 most-watched series during Premiere Week among total viewers, and 11 of the Top 20 series in the key A25-54 demo.

Global TVGlobal’s #1 new series during Premiere Week was serial killer drama Prodigal Son, which was #1 among total viewers and all key demos. According to Numeris data provided by Global, its fall drama roster claimed half of the Top 10 most-watched series with the sophomore season of medical drama New Amsterdam (2.3 million viewers), 9-1-1 (2.1 million viewers), NCIS (2.0 million viewers), and Missy Peregrym procedural FBI (2.0 million viewers). Survivor was the network’s #1 reality series, drawing 2.2 million viewers. Season 39 increased its audience year-over-year by 6% (2+) and 10% (A18-34).

Jessica Mulroney

Jessica Mulroney will helm all-new original wedding series I DO, REDO for CTV and Netflix. Mulroney will revisit first-time wedding disasters before re-making the wedding dreams of 10 couples. The 10-episode, 30-minute series from Insight Productions (a Boat Rocker company) is currently in production in Canada and the U.S. and set to premiere in 2020 on CTV, CTV Life Channel, and Crave in Canada, and on Netflix internationally. Mulroney currently serves as a fashion contributor on Good Morning America.  

CTV’s The Amazing Race Canada, Season 8 casting is now open. Aspiring competitors can apply for their chance to run the race of a lifetime at CTV.ca/TheAmazingRaceCanada. The submission deadline closes Dec. 1.

Encore International and Quebecor Content have announced that the first international adaptation of Quebec comedy series Boomerang has started filming in Sweden. Following a signed agreement with Swedish production company Art & Bob, 10 half-hour episodes of the adapted series are being filmed for broadcast across all Scandinavian countries starting in Spring 2020. Currently broadcast in its original version in France on Amazon Prime and in Poland, Boomerang airs on TVA in Canada. The romantic comedy focuses on an adorable but debt-ridden couple forced to move into their parents’ basement.

Michelle Grady

Michelle Grady, EVP, Imageworks, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Vancouver, is among 10 women working in entertainment technology who’ll receive a 2019 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Advanced Imaging Society. The society annually recognizes female industry innovators. Grady has spent more than two decades in VFX and post-production in Vancouver, managing projects that have included Suicide Squad (Warner Bros.), Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros.), Godzilla (Warner Bros.), and Life of Pi (Fox). Grady will receive her award at a ceremony in Beverly Hills Oct. 28.

Women in Film &Television Vancouver (WIFTV) presented this year’s Artistic Merit Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) Closing Gala to The Whale and the Raven by documentarian and anthropologist, Mirjam Leuze. The film investigates the potential impact of a liquefied natural gas exporting plant and increased tanker traffic on BC’s Great Bear Rainforest. All Canadian films directed by women were eligible for the award.

Sinking Ship Entertainment (SSE) has selected International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as their non-profit partner. SSE has pledged $250,000 to support elephant conservation work in Africa as part of the Endlings Campaign. The public-facing education and fundraising campaign will launch alongside SSE’s new family adventure series Endlings, which explores themes of family, conservation and extinction, as four teenagers discover the interconnectedness between them and the natural world when the last elephant on earth mysteriously vanishes. The Endlings Campaign will include a matching gift campaign and a play-to-save audience engagement tool. The Endlings series will air on Hulu and Universal Kids in the U.S., CBC and SRC in Canada, CBBC in the UK, NDR in Germany, ABC in Australia, Mundo Gloob in Brazil, SVT in Sweden, and NRK in Norway throughout 2019-20.

Rogers Communications is sponsoring Manchester United Football Club’s channel MUTV for inclusion on the list of Non-Canadian Programming Services and Stations Authorized for Distribution. Available in 165 countries, the channel features documentaries, player interviews, and match commentary and analysis.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Facebook has agreed to pay out $40 million to advertisers after video metrics viewership was inflated by as much as 900%. The bad data caused some media companies to “pivot to video” and divert manpower to video production. Terms of the settlement have been filed with the U.S. District Court in California. The faulty metrics were applied over a period of 18 months in 2015-16. A class-action lawsuit claimed as many as 1.35 million advertisers were affected by the inflated statistical reporting.

Millennial Esports, the Canadian-based gaming and esports company, is expanding into motorsports content by taking a controlling stake in automotive YouTube channel, LetsGoRacing. LetsGoRacing, founded by some of the creators behind reality television show The Apprentice, focuses on motorsport and esports racing content. It’s achieved more than 40 million views since 2013. Millennial ESports intends to acquire a 51% stake in the London-based channel. LetsGoRacing co-founder Andrew Hill will work with Millennial Esports on new content opportunities.

imagineNATIVE’s Digital Development Day, on Oct. 23 in Toronto is being billed as the first dedicated professional development training for Indigenous Digital + Interactive creators. It will include a digital pitch development workshop, a lunch and learn program, and the return of the Dream Big Digital Meet-up, which pairs industry representatives and Indigenous creatives. More info on the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival here.

GENERAL:

Corus has asked the CRTC for flexibility to spend 10% less on Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) in the upcoming fiscal year and then make up the difference before the end of its licence term in Aug. 2022. The amendments are being requested as part of conditions of licence attached to Corus’ English-language television stations and discretionary services. Corus is requesting an increase of its maximum allowable under-expenditure limit from 5% to 10%, conditional on full payment of the total required CPE being made by the end of the current licence term. Corus says it’s experienced significant revenue swings over the last two broadcasting years and because CPE requirements are tied to licenced broadcasters’ previous year’s gross annual revenues, those swings are driving a dramatic, unanticipated spike in Corus’ CPE requirements for the 2019-20 broadcasting year. Corus says the spike will mean a dramatic increase in its Canadian programming investment in a short time frame.

CBC/Radio-Canada has removed the names of journalists Rosemary Barton and John Paul Tasker from a lawsuit filed against the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) alleging copyright infringement. The move follows public backlash after The Globe and Mail broke the story last Friday that the public broadcaster had filed suit against the CPC for use of CBC News clips on Twitter and its website NotAsAdvertised.ca. The hashtags #DefundCBC and #RosieMustGo both trended on Twitter as word of the suit made its rounds on social media. The lawsuit has reinflamed suggestions from CBC detractors of both political bias on the part of the public broadcaster and a last-ditch attempt to preserve its $946 million in annual funding under a Liberal government. Read more here.

Steve Sxwilthul’txw

CBC Vancouver will host the fourth edition of Indigenous Junior J-School Nov. 13, a chance for Indigenous youth to experience what it’s like to work in broadcast journalism. Created in partnership with TV and film producer Steve Sxwilthul’txw, the event brings together CBC Indigenous journalists and hosts like Duncan McCue, Stephanie Brown, Ian Hanomansing, and Gloria Macarenko, with over 100 Indigenous youth from across BC’s Lower Mainland. Students receive hands on training through workshops on editing, producing and writing. The event will also feature a concert by Haisla rappers Snotty Nose Rez Kids. The registration deadline is Nov. 8. More info here.

 

Mora Austin

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) is still inviting last-minute applications for this year’s awards program, including its new Inspiring Women Award. The award is aimed at recognizing and helping women advance in an industry where they remain under-represented at the executive level. It offers delegate passes to a number of industry conferences including OAB, Canadian Music Week, and NAB; opportunity to shadow OAB board members and the Ontario Regional Commissioner for the CRTC; and music industry networking. OAB is also accepting applications for its Best in Class Sales Award, Creative Award, Community Service Campaign Award, and Promotions Award. The deadline is this Friday, Oct. 18. Read our feature with OAB past-president Mora Austin, here.

Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) has announced that the 86th annual WAB Conference will take place June 10-11, 2020 at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Learn more about conference sponsorship opportunities here.

The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) presents the eighth edition of its Children, Youth & Media conference Nov. 6-8 in Toronto. Youth media production professionals will explore topics including discoverability, the 6-12 age group target, and diversity and inclusion, among other program highlights. Check out the full conference lineup here.

My Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) made Canadian Business Magazine’s 2019 Growth 500 list of Fastest-Growing Companies for the ninth consecutive year. Founded in 2004 with six employees, MBC has grown to a staff of 125, operating radio stations and web portals in 21 Ontario markets. Other telecommunications companies making this year’s list include Sudbury’s Sunwire, Brockville-based Truespeed Internet Services, iS5 Communications in Mississauga, Tango Networks in Edmonton, and EBOX in Longueuil, Quebec. 

Corus Entertainment has donated $42,000 to Concordia University to further student education in investigative journalism techniques by funding teaching collaborations, editorial meetings, access-to-information requests, and co-op work study opportunities. Over the past two months, Corus has made similar presentations to Trent University, Mohawk College, University of King’s College in Nova Scotia, Okanagan College and University of Regina. All of the donations fall under the CRTC-mandated reallocation of tangible benefits.

The Canadian Press/Broadcast News veteran Dale Patterson has penned his third book Close, But No Cigar (Red Deer Press). The book celebrates the runner-ups, nearly-weres, and also-rans from the forgotten corners of science, sports, entertainment, and politics like Harriet Quimby, the first woman to fly the English Channel solo, whose triumph was lost in the news as it coincided with the sinking of the Titanic; or Lord Halifax, a front-runner to become Prime Minister of England in 1940, but missed a key meeting while at a dentist appointment and lost the job to Winston Churchill. Patterson is also the author of Fifteen Minutes of Fame: History’s One-Hit Wonders and What Time of Day was That? History by the Minute.

SUPPLY LINES:

The Immersive Digital Experiences Alliance (IDEA) has announced the release of the first draft of royalty-free specifications for the Immersive Technology Media Format (ITMF). ITMF is a display-agnostic interchange format for conveying high-quality and complex images to a wide variety of immersive displays, including extended-reality headsets and display panels, based on the highly-anticipated light field technology. Signalling industry momentum for immersive technologies, IDEA is releasing the first set of ITMF specifications based on ORBX® scene graph technology, a format created by cloud rendering 3D graphics company OTOY and supported by dozens of software systems used in 3D animation and game development. Applications range from passive viewing, gaming, and telepresence, including six degrees-of-freedom (6DoF), to next-generation light field displays. The new specifications are now available for public comment here.


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