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The Weekly Briefing


Alicia Barin

Alicia Barin has stepped down as the CRTC’s Vice Chair of Broadcasting to focus on her personal life following the sudden passing of her husband last summer. Barin was appointed Interim Chair in August 2022 and officially moved into the position last February for a five-year term. She was first appointed to the CRTC in 2019 as Regional Commissioner for Quebec, previously spending over 20 years in the broadcast industry as Vice-President of Strategic Planning for Astral Media, prior to its acquisition by Bell Media.

Sarah Crosbie

Sarah Crosbie is the new host of The Drive on QR Calgary (CHQR-AM, CFGQ-FM), weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. A chase and technical producer with the station for the last few months, Crosbie previously worked for Corus Radio Calgary as morning show co-host on Q107 from 2012-19. She also co-hosted the morning show on JACK 96.9 (CJAQ-FM) Calgary for four years.

Diana Swain

Diana Swain has launched Diana Swain Strategies, an executive coaching business. Swain, who most recently held the title of Managing Editor, Investigative Journalism, at CBC News, ended her 30-year run with the public broadcaster as of this month.

Renée Filippone

Renée Filippone is stepping into the role of Managing Editor of Daily News at CBC Vancouver. Filippone has been with the public broadcaster for 19 years, most recently as a senior reporter in the Vancouver bureau. She’s also served as a London, UK correspondent and senior business reporter for CBC TV. Filippone succeeds Tinnie Chow, who parted ways with CBC Vancouver as Senior Manager for News and Programs in September.

Arti Patel

Arti Patel is filling the role of Executive Producer of Social and Audience Development for the next 15 months at CBC News. Patel was most recently seconded as Executive Producer, Digital, and served as Senior Producer, Education and Entertainment.

Scott Fee

Scott Fee is returning to CHEK News in Victoria as weekend anchor. The station’s former news director from 2019 to early 2023, Fee had most recently been working as Director of Engagement for the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce. He returns to the weekend anchor position 17 years after he first held the role, replacing Hannah Lepine, who joined CTV Calgary as a reporter/producer in December.

Aaron Bronsteter

Aaron Bronsteter is returning to Sportsnet as an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) reporter as UFC makes its return to the network. Bronsteter began his career 18 years ago as an intern with Sportsnet The FAN 590 (CJCL-AM) Toronto. He’d been with TSN for the last 12 years and reporting on MMA since 2016. He was recently nominated for Mixed Martial Arts Journalist of the Year for the second consecutive year at the World MMA Awards. Bronsteter will appear across all UFC on Sportsnet platforms, starting with extensive Fight Week coverage leading into UFC Fight Night: Ankalaev vs Walker 2 on Jan. 13 on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet+.

Jordan Cicchelli

Jordan Cicchelli has parted ways with TSN. Cicchelli had been a content creator with the network for the last three and a half years, working with BarDown and SportsCentre, among other programming, with a focus on baseball.

Sherry Haaima

Sherry Haaima has joined My Broadcasting Corporation’s (MBC) Ottawa Valley news team, based in Renfrew, ON. Haaima arrives from Metroland Media Group where she’s been a reporter and editor for the last 25 years.

Harrison Lowman

Harrison Lowman is now Managing Editor at The Hub Canada. Lowman had most recently been producing The Lean Out with Tara Henley podcast after leaving his role as a producer on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

Peter Mansbridge

Peter Mansbridge has been engaged as a Strategic Communications Consultant by HomeEquity Bank. The company says the intent of the collaboration is to help HomeEquity Bank refresh the conversation about the CHIP Reverse Mortgage. In a new campaign that launched this month, the retired CBC Chief Correspondent and The National anchor takes aim at the idea that retirement is a time to “hang it all up.” Watch the launch spot “Ask Yourself” here.

Jean-Philippe Normandeau & Marie-Claude Desjardins

Jean-Philippe Normandeau and Marie-Claude Desjardins have been appointed to the management team of MELS Studios and Postproduction, part of Quebecor’s TVA Group. Normandeau has been appointed to the position of Vice-President of Studios and International Development. He will also oversee MELS’s studio operations, with the support of Mathieu Palmieri and Marianna Del Gioacco, while continuing to serve as chief operating officer at Incendo, a position he has held since 2013 at the TVA television production and distribution subsidiary. Desjardins has been named Senior Director of Business Development. For the past eight years, she’s been working with Quebecor Media Expertise and is now tasked with raising MELS profile outside Quebec. Prior to Quebecor, she worked with CBC/Radio-Canada in content marketing.

Francesca Accinelli

Francesca Accinelli has been appointed to the position of Senior Vice-President, Program Strategy and Industry Development, at Telefilm for a five-year term. The announcement marks the grouping of two sectors: Cultural Portfolio Management and Promotion and International Relations. Within Telefilm, Accinelli was first entrusted with management of the English-speaking market under the Canadian Television Fund (CTF), followed by oversight of national and international promotion and communications as Vice-President. Most recently, she served as Interim Executive Director & CEO. She succeeds René Bourdages, who had held the position of Vice-President, Cultural Portfolio Management since November 2019.


On-Air Coach has announced its 2023 award winners. Among the Canadians recognized in the international competition this year are syndicated host Greg Beharrell, who was named Most Creative On-Air; Troy Scott of CHFI Toronto, who shared the Best Boss to Have as a PD honour with Virgin Radio UK’s Mike Cass; Lauren Hunter of SONiC 102.9 (CHDI-FM) Edmonton, who garnered Most Likely To Take Over The World; CFOX Vancouver’s Jeff O’Neil Show, which took the Best Morning Show honour; and Matt Cundill’s Sound Off Podcast, which was named Best Industry Podcast.

Sarah Nick is expanding her on-air footprint with Pattison Media. In addition to co-hosting the morning show on 104.7 The Lizard (CKLZ-FM) Kelowna, Nick will be taking on afternoons on Q98 (CJCQ-FM) North Battleford and Power 99 (CFMM-FM) Prince Albert, SK from 2 – 6 p.m. weekdays. Nick has been with Pattison since 2021, arriving from KiSS 102.3 (CKY-FM) Winnipeg.

CBC Radio says a network problem that took programming off the air and offline nationally early Wednesday morning has been resolved. A spokesperson for the public broadcaster cited a “major technical equipment failure.”


Energy 106 (CHWE-FM), HOT 100.5 (CFJL-FM), and 92.7 FM CKJS teamed up with Harvest Manitoba for the annual “Hope for the Holidays” Radiothon to help combat food insecurity. Broadcast live on Friday, Dec. 8, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Energy 106’s Wheeler in the Morning (Dave Wheeler, Jasmin Laine, Tyler Carr) along with HOT 100.5’s Mark & Dilly in the Morning (Mark Morris, Sean Dilworth), were on-air for 12 hours of music, prizes, auctions, and information on how to donate to Harvest Manitoba. 92.7-FM CKJS’ Good Morning Philippines (Chester Pangan, Donna Natividad-Arenas) and Afternoon Pasada (Lucille Nolasco-Garrido) also supported the Radiothon throughout the day. Harvest Manitoba estimates that $54,000 in cash and food was raised during this year’s Radiothon.

LISTEN: Discerning what makes you or your brand stand out is the mission of Steve Pratt’s new endeavour The Department of Differentiation. Launched with partners Jennifer Ouano, one of Pratt’s former co-founders at Pacific Content, and executive strategist Deborah Coll, the new company aims to help organizations set themselves apart in the crowded consumer landscape, offering what they’re calling “Competitive Differentiation Strategy.” We welcome Pratt to Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about finding value in ‘weird’ and how his background in branded podcast content is informing his differentiation work.

LISTEN: Matt Cundill crosses radio veteran Erin Davis off of his interview bucket list on the latest Sound Off Podcast. Davis hosted radio in Toronto for more than 30 years, from the ’80s all the way to 2016, most of that time at the venerable CHFI. Since 2016, she’s expanded her resume in a number of ways, most notably with her book Mourning Has Broken, and her two podcasts Drift with Erin Davis and the G and F Podcast. co-hosted with longtime friend and fellow voice talent, Lisa Brandt


Dick Williams

Dick Williams, 83, on Jan. 10. Williams, who earned the nickname “The Tall One,” got his start in broadcasting at age 16 in Kitchener. From there, he went to WSAI Cincinnati, while attending university, and by age 19 was doing mornings in San Diego. A program director stint in Sacramento at KROI followed, and then KEWB Oakland, before Williams returned to Canada and CFPL London in the summer of 1960 to host an evening teenage rock n’ roll show. A CBC affiliate at the time, he would come back on after the 11 p.m. news with the program, Journey Into Melody. Credited as one of the first DJs in North America to spin The Beatles, Williams also hosted CFPL-TV programs like Hootenany and Wing Ding. Following a format change at the station in 1967, Williams formed a production company that offered pre-produced and customized radio contests to stations across the country, before CFPL hired him back in 1972. He had taken a detour writing for an ad agency when he got a call from CJBK-AM London to take over afternoon drive. He went on to host mornings at CHLO and then middays at Q97.5 – which became EZ Rock (CKQM-FM). In semi-retirement, he split his time between Port Stanley, ON and Key West, FL, taking on voiceover work and running online station Southernmost Radio. With the help of his son D.J., an account manager with Corus Entertainment London, Williams returned to the CFPL airwaves in 2021 as the host of weekend program, Dick Williams’ Solid Gold Rock and Roll. Read more here.

Warren Beck

Warren Beck, on Jan. 8. Beck began his broadcasting career in 1950 in his hometown of St. Thomas, ON as an operator at CHLO. In 1954, he moved to CHML Hamilton, where he worked as an op until 1962. Interested in gaining more experience in news, he eventually was hired in the newsroom at CJOY Guelph. While he briefly detoured to Indiana where he took a job anchoring television, he returned home where he was offered a reporting position at CHML. He was appointed assistant news director in 1970, before being promoted to news director. He remained in the position until 1985, going on to teach journalism at Mohawk College for a decade. Beck went on to run a media consulting company and served as news director on a part-time basis at CKPC Brantford. He was recognized in 2012 with the RTDNA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Peter Puxley

Peter Puxley, 81, on Dec. 7. Puxley studied economics and geography at Dalhousie University, Clark University, Worcester MA, and, as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He went on to work for the CBC for 17 years, as a producer and editor at CBC’s Morningside, Business World, The World at Six, and The National before being appointed Parliamentary Bureau Chief in Ottawa. Following his journalism career, he worked at Canadian Policy Research Networks and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. In 2009, NDP leader Jack Layton appointed him Head of Policy and Research for the NDP Caucus. Since 2012, he’d been writing, editing and consulting.

David Gell

David Gell, 94, on Dec. 8. Born in Calgary, Gell developed an early passion for radio, landing a job at age 15 in the record library of a local station. Two years later, he was made an announcer, going on to work at seven stations in five years during his university years in Calgary and Edmonton, including CKUA. After graduation, he became the European Correspondent for CFAC Calgary, based in Paris. From there, he went to Luxembourg in 1955 as a summer replacement announcer for Radio Luxembourg where he quickly rose to Head of the British Department. He notably was the first British DJ to play Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” In 1957, Gell started freelancing as a presenter on both BBC radio and Radio Luxembourg, becoming the first Canadian DJ to be heard on the national broadcaster on programs including “Music for Sweethearts,” “Housewives Choice,” children’s show “Playtime,” and “Twin Beat.” He was tapped to host Granada Television quiz show “Concentration” in 1959, followed by “David Gell Meets…” Numerous television appearances followed. in 1977, Gell was offered the evening anchor position at CBC Calgary, also hosting arts shows, “Saturday Side Up” and “Sunday Arts.” He retired in the 2000s, continuing to work as a freelance voiceover artist and narrator and as an instructor at Mount Royal University.

Margaret Saundry

Margaret Saundry, 97, on Nov. 23. Saundry joined CBC Winnipeg in 1959, starting as an accountant, but eventually took on the role of script assistant. Primarily covering sports, including the forerunner to the Canadian Football League, Saundry is considered a pioneer for women in sports broadcasting, holding senior roles at a time when few women worked in the industry. She moved to Toronto in the late 1960s, travelling the world as a network producer with CBC Sports to cover Olympic, Pan-Am and Commonwealth games. She retired from CBC in 1985 after 27 years with the public broadcaster. In 2013, Saundry was inducted into the CBC Hall of Fame. 


Paramount+ in Canada, the Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) and the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) have announced a new partnership to support Indigenous writers in the advancement of their careers. The new Indigenous Screenwriters Lab will support six mid-level Indigenous writers from across Canada with a genre focus of futurism and science fiction. Run by PSP, the lab is designed to develop the skills and relationships needed to be hired in the writing room of a genre TV series. In the course of the program, participants will develop their story from pitch to finished pilot. More details will be available in the coming weeks.

OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) is conducting a nationwide research project on Black youth/filmmakers’ personal and professional experiences on set and other professional film environments to identify barriers impeding Black filmmakers in their career goals. At the end of the research project, OBAC will publish a report and data-driven directives to equip production companies, department heads, and key-creatives with the tools to hire and retain Black emerging talent in safe professional spaces where they can thrive. OBAC is seeking Black filmmakers, aged 18-30, to participate in up to two focus groups to talk about their experience working and establishing a career in the film and television industry. Sign up here.

APTN has launched a new slate of winter programming. Among the shows premiering on the network from January to March are docuseries like Treaty Road and Season 4 of Red Earth Uncovered, the French version of acclaimed six-part drama series Little Bird, and Season 2 of comedy series Acting Good. Treaty Road is a documentary series that follows Saxon de Cocq and Erin Goodpipe as they explore sites, history and people connected to the signing of the numbered treaties, which premieres on APTN on March 5 and APTN lumi the following day. Limited series Little Bird makes its premiere in French on Jan. 15, following Bezhig Little Bird on her journey to reconnect with her birth family after being apprehended as a child and adopted into a Jewish family in Montreal. The English version was broadcast in October and both language versions are available for streaming on APTN lumi

CBC has revealed the nine celebrity guests joining Ghosting with Luke Hutchie and Matthew Finland (8×30) on a quest to discover whether or not Canada’s most haunted places are truly haunted. The new unscripted paranormal comedy from Blue Ant Studios follows Hutchie (EZRA) and Finlan (Orphan: First Kill, EZRA), two actors known exclusively for their work in the horror genre, as they step off script and into their own real-life thriller. Premiering Jan. 26 on CBC Gem, the series stars Katie Douglas (Ginny & Georgia, Level 16), Devyn Nekoda (Scream IV), Kevin Alves (Yellowjackets, Locke & Key), Bukola Ayoka (Robyn Hood), Frankie Grande (Big Brother), Jade Hassouné (Shadow Hunters), Zoe De Grand Maison (Riverdale, Orphan Black), Synthia Kiss (Canada’s Drag Race) and Hale Grande. Romi Shraiter (Ginny & Georgia) also appears as a surprise guest star. Ghosting will air on CBC TV beginning April 28.


LISTEN: The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, the Canadian Association of Journalists and Carleton University School of Journalism are launching a series of online industry forums to tackle the mental health and well-being of news professionals. On this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we welcome journalist and mental health advocate Dave Seglins, one of the lead authors of 2022 report, Taking Care: A Report on Mental Health, Well-being and Trauma Among Canadian Media Workers, a study revealing alarming levels of burnout, anxiety, depression and trauma exposure within the industry.

The Jack Webster Foundation has opened applications for its 2024 Professional Development Fellowships. Fellowships will be awarded to members of the media or journalism educators, to further their journalistic knowledge and skills, offering the option to choose a course to enhance leadership, reporting or editing skills here in Canada; a course offered by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida; or a self-directed program/project. The deadline to apply is Feb. 25.


Triton Digital has announced its integration with Amazon Publisher Services (APS), allowing Amazon Ads’ interactive audio ads on Alexa-enabled devices to appear across shared APS and Triton Digital publishers. Developed by Amazon Ads, the ad format invites customers to request more information via email or push notification (“Alexa, send more info”), set reminders (“Alexa, remind me”), or add items to their Amazon shopping cart (“Alexa, add to cart”), without leaving the streaming audio content they were enjoying. According to a recent study conducted by Amazon Ads and Kantar, audio streamers are 75% more likely to respond to an ad when the ad has a voice-command. Kantar also found that interactive audio ads achieved higher consideration (1.3x) and purchase intent (2.3x) compared to standard audio creative.

Cogeco Media has selected Quickplay’s cloud-native, open-architecture OTT platform to power its next-generation audio services. Cogeco says the partnership will evolve its platform into a 1:1 experience that will enhance listenership and differentiate its radio services, including: streamlined content delivery and management across 21 stations, and multiple listening devices, languages, and formats, including availability on Apple CarPlay and Android Audio; an intuitive user interface and on-demand experience; flexible app development to address new audience needs; upgraded metadata systems to capitalize on opportunities based on audience insights; and AI-driven content personalization to enhance user engagement. The Quickplay platform will leverage Cogeco Media’s Google Cloud partnership to unlock generative AI capabilities including speech-to-text, annotations, transcript creation, and targeted content personalization for listeners.

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