The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Stingray has launched a syndicated, coast-to-coast, midday show on half a dozen of its small market country stations. The Paul McGuire Show is airing on New Country 100.7 (CIGV-FM) Kelowna, BC; New Country 103.1 (CJKC-FM) Kamloops, BC; New Country 98.1 (CFCW-FM) Camrose, AB; New Country 96.9 (CJXL-FM) Moncton, NB; New Country 103.5 (CKCH-FM) Sydney, NS; and New Country 92.3 (CFRK-FM) Fredericton, NB. McGuire, who is best known for hosting CMT’s Chevy Top 20 Countdown, will helm the show from Toronto. Named the Country Music Association’s International Broadcaster of the Year in 2016, McGuire started his career with YTV, and has produced and hosted for CTV, Global TV, The Food Network, The History Channel, and ole’s YouTube Multi-Channel Network (MCN), among others. Jenn Dalen, Regional Program Director for Stingray’s stations in Red Deer, Rural Alberta, Kamloops, and Kelowna, says the stations in question were previously voice-tracking their midday time slots, so no staff positions will be affected. Read more here.

Increased activity in the Canadian podcasting space shows promise of closing the monetization gap, according to the 2019 Canadian Podcast Listener (CPL) survey. Presented at last week’s RAIN Summit in Toronto, Jeff Vidler of Audience Insights Inc. – one of the study’s authors, says Canada is following global trends as the medium matures. With podcast ad revenue in the U.S. rising from $106 million in 2015 and projected to reach $863 million by 2020, Vidler says podcasting in Canada is also poised for steep growth in ad returns, albeit on a smaller scale. Among other findings, the survey reveals that podcast listening in Canada is only growing incrementally. While nearly 11 million adults (37% of the 18+ population) have listened in the past year, up from 35.9%, weekly listening went down slightly from 17.9% to 17.2%. Read more here.

 

The North Central Health Care Foundation Radiothon on Saskatchewan’s New Beach Radio (CKJH-AM) and 105 CJVR Melfort, SK, raised over $54,000 on Oct. 18. The funds will go toward the purchase of a new infant incubator.

South Huron Hospital Foundation and Jessica’s House 6th Annual myFM Radiothon, heard on 90.5 myFM (CKXM-FM) Exeter, ON, on Oct. 18, raised more than $40,000. The funds will go toward new state-of-the-art beds, defibrillators, a specialized CO monitor, and new CPR mannequins.

The 18th Annual CKNX Health Care Heroes Radiothon raised over $323,000 for 10 rural hospitals in mid-western Ontario. Since the Blackburn Radio station’s first event in 2002, over $11 million has been raised. The CKNX listening area encompasses Grey, Bruce, Welllington, Perth and Huron County.

 Fairchild Radio DJs and staff, BC SPCA volunteers
Fairchild Vancouver Radio DJs and staff

The 2nd Annual Fairchild Radio Animal Well-being Awareness Week took place across the multicultural network from Oct. 5-11. Fairchild Radio aired special programming in Vancouver (AM1470 & FM96.1), Calgary (FM94.7) and Toronto (AM1430 & FM88.9) promoting the protection of animal rights. Each station also created on-site or online events to raise funds for animal welfare organizations in their respective cities. Among those events, Vancouver staff raised over $2,800 at a charity sale benefitting the BC SPCA; while the Calgary station teamed up with Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) and PALS (Pet Access League Society). Fairchild Toronto saw 22 of the stations’ pet-owning DJs share stories about their pets.

Bayshore Broadcasting’s 98 The Beach (CFPS-FM) Port Elgin was part of the local media push in support of the Lamont Sports Park, Saugeen Shores, which won the 2019 Kraft Heinz Project Play grant, sponsored by Kraft Heinz and TSN. The $250,000 award will help build an accessible playground, accessible trails and sports fields. 98 The Beach produced a number of promotional spots, including some voiced by local dignitaries, that were logged in high rotation in the days leading up to the 48-hour vote and over voting weekend. Announcers dropped most other commentary to focus on stirring up excitement in the community. During voting weekend, 98 The Beach also broadcast live from The Plex Rotary Hall.

Alessia Cara

Canada’s Walk of Fame has announced that multi-platinum, singer-songwriter Alessia Cara will receive the 2019 Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour at the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards Show on Nov. 23.  Music Impact has been added to this distinction (formerly known as the Allan Slaight Honour) to shine a greater light on a Canadian artist who has had a significant music influence within Canada, and whose career in the music industry has been further recognized around the world.

SiriusXM will provide live-play-by-play of every NBA game of the 2019-20 season, through the Finals, on SiriusXM NBA Radio (XM channel 86, Sirius channel 207) and on the SiriusXM app. Among the channel’s offerings, Brendan Haywood and Frank Isola host The Starting Lineup, weekdays from 7 – 10 a.m. ET. They’re followed by No Look Pass from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, which features a rotating group of hosts that includes Greg Anthony, Caron Butler, Amin Elhassan, Sarah Kustok, Tim Legler, Rick Mahorn, Cheryl Miller, Sam Mitchell, Reggie Theus and Wes Wilcox, alongside Brian Custer, Evan Cohen and Zach Harper. Rick Kamla expands his role on SiriusXM NBA Radio this season and will host Give and Go, alongside former guard Antonio Daniels, 1 – 4 p.m. ET. Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson continue to host NBA Today from 4 – 7 p.m. ET.

SiriusXM and Marvel have struck a multi-year agreement that will see the legacy superhero brand create exclusive podcasts for SiriusXM and Pandora. The deal encompasses both scripted and unscripted series and themed live events. The first offerings will launch in 2020. SiriusXM and Pandora, the U.S. audio streaming service SiriusXM acquired in February, will also debut many of Marvel’s most popular podcasts before they’re heard anywhere else. Read more here.

Matt Anderson
Matt Anderson

FEATURE: On Benztown CEO Andy Sannemann’s latest blog, he profiles one of the imaging house’s own, Matt Anderson, Director of Custom Imaging. Read their conversation on Anderson’s struggle to embrace Pro Tools and how he’s learned to take production cues from hip hop by “honing in on the flow.” Read more here.

SIGN-OFFS:

Stephen Halinda

Stephen Halinda, 84, on Oct. 19. Halinda started his four decade broadcasting career as a news anchor at CHOW-AM Welland, ON in the early 1960s. He went on to marry colleague Connie Chicorli. From CHOW, Halinda moved on to CKPR Radio and TV in Thunder Bay; then CJOB Winnipeg; and later CBWT-TV Winnipeg, where he served as both an anchor and news director. During his time in Winnipeg, he played a large part in getting cameras and mics into the Manitoba Legislature and served as president of the Winnipeg Press Club. From 1985 and through 2000, Halinda was news director at CFRN-TV Edmonton. He retired to Langley, BC in 2001.

Bob Kingsley

Bob Kingsley, 80, on Oct. 17. Kingsley had a national radio syndication presence for more than four decades as host of American Country Countdown (1978-2006) and Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 (2006-19). At its peak, Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 was syndicated to nearly 50 Canadian radio stations and about 320 across North America. A 2016 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and 1998 inductee of the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Kingsley got his start in broadcasting in the late 1950s as a member of the U.S. Air Force. He was named the Country Music Association (CMA) National Broadcast Personality of the Year in 2001 and 2003, and won the 2006 Academy of Country Music Award for On-Air Personality-National. Those awards book-ended his inaugural wins in 1966 and ‘67 for ACM Radio Personality of the Year, during his time on-air at KGBS Los Angeles. Kingsley was also the first recipient of the Grand Ole Opry’s Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award, which has been presented every year since 2014 and benefits the Opry Trust Fund.

Mary Wong, 60, On Oct. 10, following a battle with cancer. Wong was an accomplished editor and sound recordist. She initially joined CBC Vancouver as a film editor in 1978, and went on to work with CBC Toronto, covering world events like the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Noriega Invasion, and First Gulf War. Among the long list of programs Wong worked on were The Fifth Estate, The Nature of Things and Marketplace, in addition to 2015 docuseries Keeping Canada Alive and China Rises (2006). 

Ken Lundgren

Ken Lundgren, 78, on Oct. 9. Lundgren’s broadcast career started at CKWX-AM Vancouver where he served as copy chief in the late 1970s. He went on to become the Director of Spoken Word Content at CJAZ-FM Vancouver. Over the years he also worked overseas, as a commercial producer at London, England news/talk station LBC, and as a morning show host at Commercial Radio Hong Kong, and voiceover artist at TVB (Television Broadcasts Limited) in Hong Kong. From 1999 – 2010, Lundgren taught writing, advertising, and marketing at Langara College in Vancouver.

Carol Burgoyne

Carol Burgoyne, 76, on Oct. 3. Based in BC’s Lower Mainland, Burgoyne had a long career in film distribution that started in the late 1960s, up until her retirement in 2003. Over the years, Burgoyne worked for Paramount Pictures, Astral/Bellevue, and Criterion. She was a member of the Canadian Picture Pioneers and was recognized with their Silver Spotlight Award for both her industry and charitable contributions in 2014.

 

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

The 2019 WIFT-T Crystal Award honourees (l-r): maxine bailey, Tammy Frick, Kim Gibson, Esta Spalding, Mary Young Leckie, and Alison Duke.

Women in Film and Television – Toronto (WIFT-T) has announced this year’s Crystal Award honourees, recognizing those who’ve made significant contributions to Canada’s screen-based media industry. They include former TIFF VP Maxine Bailey, Cinefest Sudbury executive director Tammy Frick, Solo Productions producer Mary Young Leckie, Oya Media Group co-founder Alison Duke, writer/producer/showrunner Esta Spalding, and Ontario Creates program consultant Kim Gibson. The 32nd annual WIFT-T Crystal Awards Gala, hosted by CBC Radio 2 weekend host Shakura S’Aida, will take place on Dec. 3 in Toronto. 

The Writer’s Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards are now open for entries. Among the changes for 2020, a new Preschool category has been added, while the Best New Series category has been retired. Submit your scripts, from features to comedy miniseries, before Dec. 1. The call for entries for special categories, including the WGC Showrunner Award, the Sondra Kelly Award, the McGrath Service Award and the Alex Barris Mentorship Award, will be announced in the coming weeks. More details here.

CTV News’ 2019 federal election special drew an average audience of 1.6 million viewers from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET on CTV, CTV News Channel, and BNN Bloomberg, according to overnight data from Numeris provided by the network. CTV says within the 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET window, its federal election coverage achieved a 33% advantage over CBC’s main network (1.1 million) and more than three times the audience of Global (470,000). Audiences for Monday night’s special peaked at 2.9 million viewers at 10:11 p.m. ET, minutes after CTV News declared an election win for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party at 10:06 p.m. ET. CTV says the live special reached 10.6 million unique Canadian viewers, while Bell-owned CP24’s election programming reached 1.6 unique viewers from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET, and peaked with 547,000 viewers at 10:32 p.m. ET.

Crave will premiere SHOWTIME Documentary Films’ Ready For War, which explores the phenomenon of deported U.S. military veterans, Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. ET. Directed by Andrew Renzi (Fishtail, They Fight), the doc was executive produced by Drake and David Ayer. The film debuted at TIFF and will have its U.S. premiere at AFI Fest in Los Angeles Nov. 19.

HISTORY’s Canadian-original documentary special Cheating Hitler: Surviving the Holocaust premieres Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, taking viewers into the emotional childhood experiences of Holocaust survivors Helen Yermus, Maxwell Smart, and Rose Lipsyzc. The two-hour investigative documentary uncovers answers that the survivors – who were just seven, nine, and 10-years-old when WWII began – have had all of their lives. Throughout the doc, the three survivors and family members travel to Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, exploring some of the hidden and rarely visited sites where the Holocaust occurred.

GENERAL:

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is condemning an assault on a CTV News photographer Friday. CTV Ottawa cameraman Chris Scott was punched multiple times outside an Ottawa court where tow truck driver Mohamed Haj-Saleh was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in connection with a fatal Nov. 2015 crash in Nepean. CTV reported that the incident escalated from cameramen receiving threats from the driver’s supporters on their way into court, to assault when Haj-Saleh’s mother was taken away on a stretcher following the sentencing. It’s not clear whether charges will be laid against Scott’s attackers. Read more here.

LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Lenore Gibson, Chair of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). Gibson, who doubles as Senior Regulatory Counsel for Bell, covers the CAB’s current lobbying efforts on behalf of commercial radio and television broadcasters, and the organization’s designs on establishing a greater presence in Ottawa, among other issues facing Canada’s private broadcasters.

Rogers Q3 results revealed that it attracted 1 million wireless subscribers to its Rogers Infinite unlimited data plans, with the customer adoption rate three times the pace anticipated, leading to a 2% decrease in Wireless service revenue due to the loss of overage charges. Wireless added 103,000 postpaid net additions. Internet revenue growth of 7% was reported with the addition of 41,000 Internet nets. Rogers also reported that its Ignite TV subscriber base grew by over 40% sequentially with Cable revenue increasing by 1% in the quarter. Media revenue decreased by 1% this quarter, primarily as a result of the sale of the company’s publishing business earlier this year and lower Toronto Blue Jays revenue, partially offset by higher Today’s Shopping Choice and Sportsnet revenue. Excluding the impact of the publishing business sale, Media revenue would have increased by 2% in Q3.  Overall, the company reported a total revenue decrease of 1%.

Corus reported consolidated revenues for Q4 of $377.5 million, down slightly compared to $379.1 million in the prior year. On a consolidated basis, advertising revenues increased 3%, while subscriber revenues decreased 4% and merchandising, distribution and other revenues decreased 11% from the prior year. Q4 revenue was flat in Television and decreased in Radio by 2%, compared to the prior year. For the year ended Aug. 31, 2019, consolidated revenues amounted to $1,687.5 million, up 2% from $1,647.3 million in the prior year. On a consolidated basis, ad revenue increased 6%, while subscriber revenue decreased 2%, attributable to the divestiture of TLN in the current year, the shutdown of the Sundance Channel in the second quarter of the prior year, and retroactive adjustments that occurred upon renewal of large distribution agreements in the prior year. For the year, revenue increased by 3% in Television and decreased 4% in Radio. The decline in Radio ad revenue in the quarter and year was driven primarily by the continued lower demand from the automotive category, as well as a Q4 decline in the retail category, partially offset by improvements in the entertainment category. Corus also cited ongoing economic pressures in Alberta and ratings challenges in those markets, as well as Toronto.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. says a decision to eliminate low margin, non-core business resulted in a revenue decrease to $61.5 million for the year ended June 30, 2019, compared to $142M in 2018. The majority of the annual decrease ($69.6M) was related to the company’s decision to not renew its production agreement for The Man in the High Castle. The Vancouver-based company says the series generated significant revenues, but profit margins were small and management decided to re-direct resources to the creation of owned IP programming and other core operations. The remainder of the year-end decrease was related to a large budget proprietary television series for ABC Network, completed and delivered by the Company in fiscal 2018. There was no comparable series completed in fiscal 2019 which resulted in a revenue decrease of $21.6 million. Those were partially offset by growth in both the animation and factual divisions.

Netflix Q3 earnings saw revenue up 31.1% year-over-year for the quarter. Total global paid memberships reached 158.33 million, up from 151.56 million in Q2, and up 22% over the same quarter in 2018. Net additions hit 6.77 million with the streaming giant anticipating another 7.6 million net ads in Q4. Netflix also revealed that in the first four weeks following the July 4 debut of sci-fi drama Stranger Things, 64 million subscriber households streamed the third season. The streamer also reported strong viewer numbers for crime drama Unbelievable (32 million in first month), thriller Secret Obsession (40 million in first four weeks) and Tall Girl (streamed by 41 million in first month).

The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business (ROB) has named outgoing Bell CEO George Cope its Corporate Citizen of the Year. BCE Director and Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu was also named Strategist of the Year in the publication’s annual CEO of the Year award feature. Cope has served as President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada and as a BCE Director since 2008. He’s set to retire in January. Rovinescu has served as President and CEO of Air Canada since 2009 and been a BCE Director since 2016. The other top leaders honoured by ROB were Dani Reiss, President and CEO, Canada Goose (Global Visionary of the Year), Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO, Lightspeed (Innovator of the Year) and Susan Senecal, CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada (New CEO of the Year).

Duncan Stewart

Duncan Stewart, Director, TMT Research, Deloitte Canada will be the opening speaker at the Ontario Association of Broadcasters’ (OAB) CONNECTION 2019 Conference. Stewart, co-author of Deloitte’s annual Tech, Media and Telecom Predictions report, will present selected prediction topics for the broadcast industry and offer a sneak peek at some 2020 predictions. Find the full Nov. 7 speakers lineup here.

Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) Annual Leadership Excellence Awards are open for nominations until Dec. 14. WCT Awards include Woman of the Year and Company of the Year. More info here.

SUPPLY LINES:

Cubic Telecom, a leading connectivity management software provider for the automotive and IoT industries, and Rogers Communications, have announced a collaboration to provide a connected car solution for Canadians.The partnership will integrate Cubic Telecom’s PACE platform (Platform for Application and Connectivity Enablement) with the Rogers mobile network. Rogers says the collaboration will enable a high-quality connected car experience throughout Canada and the U.S., allowing drivers and passengers to benefit from navigation and real-time route mapping, in addition to streaming content. The companies say the first automakers to benefit from the agreement will be announced in the New Year, with Cubic Telecom and Rogers-connected vehicles set to start appearing on Canadian roads in early 2020.

 


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