TV + Film NewsTV & Film News - NFB lays off 55 in modernization effort

TV & Film News – NFB lays off 55 in modernization effort

The National Film Board (NFB) has announced it’s undertaking a major modernization initiative that will see 55 employees depart the Crown agency and another 23 new positions created. NFB says the move is expected to translate into roughly $5 million in savings that can be allocated directly to the production of animated films and documentaries. NFB previously announced in January that it would be shuttering its Vancouver and Montreal interactive studios to reinvest in production. That resulted in the loss of 14 full-time positions, and the apparent creation of a half-dozen new jobs. Read more here.

(l-r): Devery Jacobs, Lamar Johnson, Dr. Jane Goodall, Paul Workman.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s second round of 2024 Special Award recipients includes Sudbury’s Science North, former foreign correspondent Paul Workman, Emmy-nominated actor Lamar Johnson, and Mohawk actress Devery Jacobs. Science North is being recognized for Jane Goodall: Reasons for Hope, the large format IMAX documentary it produced in association with the Jane Goodall Institute. It’s being presented with the inaugural Sustainable Production Award. Workman is the recipient of the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism, while both Jacobs and Johnson are being recognized with the Radius Award, honouring an artist from Canada whose work is leaving a resounding global impact. Read more here.

ACTRA Toronto has announced the nominees for the 22nd ACTRA Awards, set to take place at the Palais Royale in Toronto on April 22, hosted by actress and writer Martha Chaves. Among the productions spurring multiple Performance nominations are Shudder and Hollywood Suite’s Slasher; AppleTV+ kids series Pinecone & Pony; and live-action CBC Kids’ animal series Mittens & Pants. The ACTRA Toronto Stunt Award will be presented to Tom Farr, known for his work on series like Hemlock Grove, Murdoch Mysteries and Saving Hope. Find the full list of nominees here.

Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall will receive the ICON Award at the inaugural Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment event in Toronto on May 30. Being awarded for the first time, The Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment Canada ICON Award recognizes a Canadian cultural icon who has advanced the representation of women in the entertainment industry, and whose artistic vision and excellence have inspired audiences at home and around the world.

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) is welcoming country superstar Thomas Rhett as host of the 2024 CCMA Awards. Rhett, an eight-time Academy of Country Music (ACM) and two-time CCMA Award winner with 16 No.1 hits on Canadian country radio, is joined by two-time CCMA winner MacKenzie Porter. Returning to Edmonton for the first time in 10 years, CTV will broadcast the awards live from Rogers Place on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET.

Brian Scudamore

CBC has announced that 1-800-GOT-JUNK? founder and CEO Brian Scudamore will join Dragons’ Den for Season 19. Scudamore joins Arlene Dickinson, Wes Hall, Manjit Minhas and Michele Romanow, as Robert Herjavec and Vincenzo Guzzo depart the Den. 

FilmRise has acquired the exclusive rights to Bell Media’s original comedy series Corner Gas for its ad-supported services. The New York City-based studio will have sub-distribution rights including in the U.S., UK, New Zealand, and Australia to all six seasons of the sitcom, in addition to the 90-minute Corner Gas: The Movie. The show is distributed worldwide through Prairie Pants Distribution.

(l-r): John Morris, Mike Cotton, Nic Sulsky, Jennifer Jones

The Curling Group is assuming ownership and operations of Sportsnet’s Grand Slam of Curling after the conclusion of this season, with Sportsnet continuing as the exclusive Canadian broadcaster. The Curling Group is a new sports business venture led by sports, media, and entertainment industry veterans Nic Sulsky and Mike Cotton, along with former NFL star Jared Allen and two-time Olympic gold medal curler John Morris. A number of elite international curlers, including Jennifer Jones, are also working alongside the group as strategic advisors. Operated by Sportsnet since 2012, the Grand Slam of Curling is an elite series of curling events that feature the best men’s and women’s teams from across Canada and around the world, with at least $2 million in total prize money up for grabs each season.  

OUTtv is rebranding its UK and Ireland streaming service to OUTflix and launching a Direct-to-Consumer app offering for OUTflix across the region. In addition, OUTflix has launched across the Nordics through a deal with Allente which covers Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Since launching in the UK in 2020 as a DTC offering, the service has grown its partnerships to include OUTtv Proud, a FAST channel now available via Channelbox on Freeview, Plex and Netgem.

MTM Jr.’s latest report provides an overview of TV viewing in the context of other video sources. It finds that traditional TV remains popular among anglophone kids – seven in 10 (70%) are watching it every month, with 62% watching weekly and a third (33%) daily. Those numbers go up among French speakers, with 77% watching monthly, 70% weekly and 36% watching daily. MTM says TV subscription rates among anglophone households with kids have been experiencing a downturn – from 81% back in 2019 to 65% in 2023, falling from 87% among French-speaking households in 2019 to 68% last year. Compared to other sources of video content, kids are less likely to be watching traditional TV than YouTube (Anglo: 70% versus 83%, respectively; Franco: 77% vs. 85%), or SVOD services like Netflix and Disney+ (Anglo: 82%; Franco: 84%). 

Image Credit: Alamy

Horowitz Research’s new State of Media, Entertainment & Tech: Subscriptions 2024 report sheds light on how recent crackdowns on password sharing are impacting consumer behavior when it comes to subscription streaming services (SVODs). According to the study, half of TV content viewers (52%) have cancelled or lost access to at least one SVOD service within the past year. Among those, the main reasons cited include efforts to cut subscription costs, recent price hikes, and perceived lack of value. Almost one in four (23%) streamers plan to cancel one or more of their SVODs in the coming months, an increase from 19% who intended to churn in 2023. Netflix is the service most often mentioned as being on the chopping block.

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