The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Tony Staffieri

Tony Staffieri has officially been appointed President and CEO of Rogers Communications after filling the role on an interim basis since mid-November. Staffieri has also been appointed to the Board of Directors. His official appointment sees the Rogers’ family power struggle come full circle. The company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for nine years, it was Staffieri’s abrupt resignation following a September board meeting that first signalled behind-the-scenes drama. Following Edward Rogers’ appointment of five new independent directors to the board and a November B.C. Supreme Court ruling greenlighting the newly-configured board, CEO Joe Natale’s exit was announced less than two weeks later. Staffieri becomes the third CEO of Rogers Communications in the last six years. Natale held the role for four years and eight months, following Guy Laurence’s sudden departure in 2016 after just three years at the helm of the company. Read more here.

Dave Fuller

Dave Fuller has exited as President of Rogers Wireless. Fuller had been in the role since March of last year. He previously spent 15 years with TELUS, the last five as President & EVP, TELUS Consumer and Small Business Solutions. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Mitel for two years, prior to joining Rogers. Phil Hartling steps in to helm the Wireless division. Hartling has been with Rogers for almost two decades in various leadership roles and was most recently in charge of Service Area Expansion.

Michelle Tonner

Michelle Tonner, Managing Producer of CTV Northern Ontario, has announced her retirement after 34 years in broadcasting, 28 of those in Sudbury. After stints in radio news at CJET/Q101 Ottawa Valley, Energy 1200/Majic 100 Ottawa and CHEX TV Peterborough, Michelle went on to co-anchor CTV Northern Ontario’s flagship 6 p.m. newscast, a post she held for more than two decades. In 2015, Tonner was named Managing Producer of CTV Northern Ontario, overseeing news operations in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and North Bay. Her last day with Bell Media is Feb. 25.

Natalie van Rooy

Natalie van Rooy is moving from CTV Kitchener to CTV Ottawa after four years as a video journalist with the station. The Carleton University grad returns to the nation’s capital after two-and-a-half years behind the scenes with Global Toronto, followed by a reporting stint with CTV Northern Ontario in North Bay, prior to joining the Kitchener bureau.

Drew Postey

Drew Postey has left 620 CKRM Regina to join CTV Regina as a Digital Content Producer. Postey had been with CKRM for the last five years.

John Mace

Jon Mace has left his reporter/producer role with BNN Bloomberg to take up a new position with Organigram as a copywriter. Mace had been with BNN for the last three and a half years. Prior to 2018, he held various roles at 680 News (CFTR-AM) Toronto, from anchoring to hosting and producing the station’s weekly podcast.

 

Mark Strong and Jemeni have returned to Toronto airwaves after a three-month absence following their departure from G98.7 (CKFG-FM). The longtime radio duo join Indigenous radio station 106.5 ELMNT FM (CFPT-FM) as Mark and Jem in the Morningheard weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. Having previously helmed the G98.7 morning show together since 2011, Strong initially got his start in radio as part of The Morning Rush on Flow 93.5 (CFXJ-FM) Toronto in 2001. Jemeni, who is also a poet, actress and music journalist, has been in radio since her teens, initially as part of Hip Hop show The Powermove on Toronto community station CKLN-FM. Sound Designer and Production Director Azeem Haq also recently joined ELMNT FM, responsible for imaging both the morning show and the station. Haq was previously with Z103.5 (CIDC-FM) Orangeville, ON. Read more here.

Dave Charles

Dave Charles has wrapped a five-year contract consulting with First Peoples Radio and ELMNT FM in Toronto and Ottawa. Charles says he’s moving forward with new media contracts under the banner of his consultancy, MRI – Media RESULTS Inc. 

Katlynn Millions & Marc Michaels

Marc Michaels and Katlynn Millions have exited afternoons on X92.9 (CFEX-FM) Calgary. Heard on the station together for the last four and a half years, the duo haven’t revealed their next move. Berry and Berridge (Matt Berry and Andrew Berridge) are slated to fill the afternoon drive time slot in the interim.

Catherine Verdon-Diamond

Catherine Verdon-Diamond is joining Montreal’s The Beat 92.5 (CKBE-FM) as the station’s new afternoon drive co-host, alongside Cat Spencer from 5 – 7 p.m., starting Jan. 24. She replaces Claudia Marques, who moved to mornings with the departure of Nikki Balch. Verdon-Diamond has most recently been with CBC Montreal as the regular weather host on the supper hour and late night newscast. Prior to returning to CBC in late 2019, she was a weather and traffic host on the local edition of Breakfast Television for six years, up until the show’s cancellation. 

Amy Hannah

Amy Hannah has joined Bounce 99.5 (CKKW-FM) Kitchener as afternoon drive announcer. Hannah has been with iHeartRadio for the last four years, most recently hosting afternoons and serving as music director at Move 106.9 (CIBX-FM) Fredericton. 

Dr. Art Hister

Dr. Art Hister, a frequent media contributor on health issues since 1991, has announced his retirement. Hister has appeared on the BBC, CBC Radio and TV, CKNW Vancouver and Global BC, among other outlets. He’s also consulted for health and wellness organizations including the BC Government, First Nations Health Authority, the B.C. Alzheimer Society, Tapestry Foundation, and the Urology Foundation at Vancouver General Hospital. Prior to his foray into media, Hister was a family doctor in Vancouver for 20 years.

Chantal Machabée

Chantal Machabée has joined the Montreal Canadiens as Vice-President, Communications. Machabée has been a host with RDS for the last 32 years and prior to that held sports reporting and hosting roles with Groupe TVA, Radio-Canada in Ottawa, and NTR.

Josh Goldberg

Josh Goldberg is joining theScore as a Baseball Editor. Up until this past September, Goldberg was with Sportsnet 590 The Fan (CJCL-AM) for seven years, holding various roles including producing Toronto Blue Jays baseball broadcasts for six years across the Sportsnet Radio Network. 

Shireen Ahmed

Shireen Ahmed, co-host of feminist sports podcast Burn It All Down and a columnist and contributor to TSN, has joined CBC Sports. Ahmed says she’ll be contributing across all platforms as a Senior Correspondent.

Paul James

Paul James is departing CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver to take on News & Program Director duties at Radio NL (CHNL-AM) Kamloops. He takes over from Howie Reimer, who is now Executive Director of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association. James previously worked as a reporter/anchor at NL in the late ’90s, prior to joining News 1130 and CKNW Vancouver. He returned to B.C. in 2019 after 14 years in Beijing where he was a host for China Radio International.

Bailey Nicholson

Bailey Nicholson has announced she’s leaving CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver and moving on from journalism. Nicholson, who most recently has been co-anchoring afternoon drive, joined Rogers Vancouver in 2018 as an anchor on the evening show. Prior to that, she was the National News Anchor for the Corus Radio Network, in addition to working as an anchor, reporter and producer at 980 CKNW Vancouver.

John Voiles

John Voiles has been appointed CHEK Media Group General Sales and Marketing Manager, effective Jan. 17. The employee-owned Victoria-based independent broadcaster says the newly-created position reflects its growth in the local and extended B.C. market, as well as projected future growth across its broadcast, OTT, podcast, and digital platforms. Prior to joining CHEK TV, Voiles served as VP of Sales for Western Canada for Bell Media for eight years and prior to that was VP and GM of Astral Radio Plus. He’ll be based in Vancouver and support sales teams on Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and Toronto.

Robin Wester, Sarah Hewitt, Stephanie Baird & Rebecca Costa

Go Button Media has promoted four team members as it gears up for record production in 2022. Robin Webster, previously Director of Development, has been promoted to Vice President of Development and Casting, while Sarah Hewitt, previously Manager of Development, is now Director of Development. Webster and Hewitt will be driving development of new IP and talent, including work on recently announced series Forgotten Frontlines, Colossal Machines, Mysteries of The Ancient Dead, Call Me Mother S2, and Secret Societies: In The Shadows. Stephanie Baird moves from Line Producer to Director of Production and Rebecca Costa is promoted to Director of Post Production, having previously held the title of Post Supervisor. Baird will oversee the company’s production slate both in Canada and internationally, while Costa will supervise the expansion of the company’s edit team, post schedules, network deliveries and systems.

Wayne Carter

Wayne Carter is exiting as Executive Director of FIN Atlantic International Film Festival. At the helm of the festival for the last decade, he’ll remain with the organization until March. Prior to joining FIN, Carter held various roles in film and video distribution, including serving as the Regional Manager for Rogers Video; National Inventory Manager for Video One Canada; VP & GM of Cineplex Media; and VP, Sales for Warner Home Video.

Liz Hover

Liz Hover has been promoted at the National Screen Institute (NSI) from Director of Communications to Director of Operations. Hover will work alongside NSI CEO Joy Loewen and the senior management team to ensure effective workflow within the organization. She’ll also be responsible for the development and evaluation of training initiatives, internal communication, managing budgets and overseeing staff and new hires to create growth and equity.

Tom Lombardi

Tom Lombardi has been appointed President of Network NFT Studios, a newly-created division within Vancouver-based Network Media Group for the research and development of non-fungible tokens – NFTs – related to media and entertainment properties. Lombardi was formerly a Director with Wave Financial, leading the digital asset investment team in Los Angeles, and was the Head of Growth for the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, working with global companies to embrace blockchain technology. 

Eileen Genna, Jay Nachlis, David Baird

Coleman Insights has promoted four members of its media research leadership team. Eileen Genna is promoted to Senior Vice-President, Business Operations; David Baird is promoted to Senior Vice-President, Research Operations; Jay Nachlis is promoted to Vice-President/Consultant & Marketing Director; and Meghan Campbell is promoted to Vice- President/Consultant & Director, Qualitative Services. Genna will continue to oversee the company’s business operations, including finance, human resources, facilities, and information technology, while Baird will continue to head the company’s research operations, including study design, fielding strategy, quality control, data analysis, and software development. In their new positions, Nachlis and Campbell will take on more “point person” roles on client projects. Nachlis will continue to lead marketing efforts, while Campbell will direct the company’s qualitative services, including the CampfireSM Online Discussion Groups service it launched in 2021.

RADIO & PODCAST:

MRC Data has released its 2021 year-end report for Canada, in collaboration with Billboard, citing another growth year for music consumption as behaviours accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic led to several milestones. Overall consumption grew 9.2% year-over-year (YOY), thanks to a 12.6% lift in on-demand audio streaming. Overall, global audio on-demand song streaming grew 26.3%. Part of that lift is credited to new albums from Adele, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift and Morgan Wallen. Notably, for the first time since MRC Data began tracking music streaming in 2015, audio streaming of Current music (music released less than 18 months ago) declined. That led to a significant increase in Catalogue’s share of the on-demand streaming universe with 69% in 2021 vs. 64% in 2020, as consumers reconnected with old favourites or discovered them for the first time via platforms like TikTok

CRTCThe CRTC has approved an application for a broadcasting licence to operate an English and German-language religious FM radio station in Okno, MB. Interlake Mennonite Fellowship Church will operate the proposed station at 107.9 MHz (channel 300A) with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 220 watts (directional antenna with a maximum ERP of 340 watts and an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 22.6 metres). The station will broadcast a minimum of two hours of programming per broadcast week, of which one hour would be in English and one hour in German. The new station would offer live broadcasts of religious services, weddings, funerals, baptisms and other events to the Christian parish of Okno and surrounding area. The licensee has agreed not to broadcast any advertising as a condition of licence.

Coast to Coast AM, the long-running late night talk show currently hosted by George Noory,  has partnered with iHeartMedia to launch the Paranormal Podcast Network. Featuring podcasts focused on the paranormal, supernatural, and the unexplained, the network is currently featuring Joshua P. Warren’s Strange Things, Sandra Champlain’s Shades of the Afterlife, and Heidi Hollis’ Dark Becomes Light. New episodes drop every Friday.

Dan O’Toole has launched a new podcast. Boomsies! with Dan O’Toole, which has so far released a teaser episode, will feature the former TSN host musing on sports, life, and other topics.

TELUS Storyhive has released the results of its first Podcast Edition, featuring 16 podcasts from emerging podcasters across B.C. and Alberta. Among them are Her Love of Sports, hosted by professional soccer coach and sports reporter Katie Hamilton, who digs deep into the stories and success of women in sport; Blood on the Prairie, an original historical true crime podcast exploring Alberta’s largest unsolved mass-murder, where six men died in Grande Prairie in 1918; and Resilient Creatives in which mixed-race artist Chantal Solomon explores the role creativity plays in our society. Episodes are available via the Storyhive YouTube page or TELUS Optik TV Channel 707.

FEATURE: Dave Charles, President of MRI-Media RESULTS Inc., is out with his second annual “Top 5” programming tips for 2022. As the Covid economy continues to impact the radio industry, Charles believes radio continues to have an important role to play during the pandemic. His advice to stations includes keeping commentary upbeat and balanced; use texting as a vital link to your listeners; and adapt music scheduling to build positivity. Read more here.

SIGN OFFS:

Ian Greenberg

Ian Greenberg, 79, on Jan. 10. Along with his three brothers Sidney, Harvey and Harold, Greenberg co-founded Astral Media in 1961, playing an integral role in the company’s 50-year history by transforming it from a photographic specialty business into a multimedia empire encompassing pay and specialty TV, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Astral from 1995 until its acquisition by BCE in July 2013, under Greenberg the company achieved 16 years of consecutive growth employing 2,800 people across eight provinces and 84 radio stations, 24 pay and specialty television channels and 9,500 out-of-home advertising faces. Following the acquisition, he went on to serve as a director of the BCE board, serving on the Audit and Management Resources & Compensation committees. A member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame, Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Greenberg received the Ted Rogers and Velma Rogers Graham Award in 2007 for his significant contributions to Canadian broadcasting. Read more here.

Jeff Guy

Jeff Guy, 80, on Jan. 7. Guy’s career started in radio started in 1957 when he was hired as a studio operator at CFCO Radio in Chatham, ON. In Dec. 1960, he made the move to London, ON, embarking on a career at CKSL Radio. He worked his way up the broadcast ladder, first in the programming department, and then transitioning to his speciality, Broadcast Engineering. In Nov. 1967, he joined the McManus Family at the newly-launched CJOE 1290 London. Over the next five decades, Guy saw tremendous success, ascending to Vice-President of Engineering for CJBK-AM, BX-93, CHOK-AM, 97.5 EZ Rock, CKSL-AM and OJ95. In addition to helping launch new radio stations in London, Sarnia, and Belleville, and designing and building broadcasting facilities, Guy also served as President of the CCBE (Central Canada Broadcast Engineers). He retired from Telemedia London in 2001 after 33 years with CJOE and CJBK. 

Severino Gobbato

Severino Gobbato, 67, on Jan. 4. Born in Volpago, Italy, Gobbato arrived in Canada in 1957 and grew up in East Vancouver. After a stint as produce manager at the Safeway on Victoria Drive, he attended broadcasting school and got his first job as a DJ at CKAY-AM Duncan, BC. From there, he held roles at CKNW and CFMI Vancouver as a Media Consultant, working his way up to Senior Marketing Consultant & General Sales Manager. He later worked in sales for Praise 106.5 FM (KWPZ-FM) in Lynden, Washington. Gobbato retired to the Okanagan in 2016.

Judith Laroque

Judith LaRoque, 65, unexpectedly on Dec. 29. LaRocque’s distinguished career in the public service started with the Public Service Commission of Canada in 1979 as an administrative assistant. She went on to hold successive roles with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, the House of Commons, Legislative Assistant to the Government House Leader, and then Office of the President of the Queen’s Privy Council. After serving as the Executive Assistant to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, her first Chief of Staff role came along in 1989 and then a decade-long appointment as Secretary to the Governor General, working with Ray Hnatyshyn and later Roméo LeBlanc. Upon completion of her term in 2000, LaRocque was appointed Associate Deputy Minister at the Department of Canadian Heritage and promoted to Deputy Minister in 2002. She held the post until 2010 when she was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to the OECD in Paris. LaRocque also served as Vice Chair of the CRTC and was named interim chair in June 2017, maintaining the role until Ian Scott was appointed. At the time of her death, she was serving a three-year term as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Nature, and was on the boards of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Hawkesbury General Hospital.

TV & FILM:

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) Prime Time conference has cancelled in-person events, due to new restrictions in response to the rise of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. As a result, the event will start a day early, on Wednesday, Feb. 2 with an expanded virtual opening reception planned, and run through Feb. 11. Admission to the virtual event is once again free.CMPA has meanwhile, unveiled the nominees for its 16th annual Indiescreen Awards, celebrating excellence in Canadian independent feature film production. The winners will be announced at a live virtual event Feb. 11, presented in partnership with Telefilm Canada, as part of Prime Time. The Established Producer Award nominees are: Paul Barkin (Alcina Pictures) – Night Raiders; Jason Brennan (Nish Media) – L’Inhumain; Terry Greenlaw (Picture Plant Limited) – Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor; Anand Ramayya (Karma Film Inc.) – Donkeyhead; and Julia Rosenberg (January Films Ltd.) – Charlotte. The Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award nominees are Martin Edralin (Circus Zero Films) & Priscilla Galvez (Silent Tower) – Islands; Kate Kroll, Rylan Friday & Trevor Mack (Portraits From a Fire Productions Inc.) – Portraits From a Fire; Alona Metzer (Leilani Films) – Learn to Swim; Shasha Nakhai (Compy Films) – Scarborough; and Rhayne Vermette (Exovedate Productions) – Ste. Anne.

Pablo Rodriguez

Canadian Heritage has postponed its arts and culture summit, set to take place Jan. 31 – Feb. 1 in Ottawa. The department says due to recent pandemic developments, it has refocused its attention on the immediate challenges facing Canadian artists and cultural workers. The summit will be rescheduled once public health measures allow face-to-face meetings to occur safely. Over the next couple of weeks, the department says Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez will continue to hold conversations with artists, technical and production workers, creative professionals, producers and presenters to determine how the Government of Canada can continue to provide support.

Theo Tams

Hot Docs has partnered with Bell Let’s Talk, Workman Arts and SickNotWeak Charitable Foundation to present the world virtual premiere of Theo Tams: One Last Chance. Directed by Michael & Corey Landsberg, the doc follows the story of Season 6 Canadian Idol winner Theo Tams, and his extraordinary journey with mental health and music. The film will screen nationwide for free on Hot Docs at Home on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. (EST), and include a live musical performance by Tams and panel discussion hosted by Michael Landsberg. Hot Docs will offer the film for extended free streaming from Jan. 21-26.

TVO Original series FASTER! Humanity’s Quest to Save Time stops to consider the impact of our most popular time-saving inventions, asking do they actually cost more than they save? Each episode focuses on specific inventions and concepts widely adopted around the world, from elevators and highways to microwaves and dishwashers. The eight-part series is airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on TVO, and anytime on TVO.org, YouTube and TVO streaming services. 

Host Ardra Shephard (centre) and the cast of Fashion Dis

AMI, in partnership with Nikki Ray Media Agency (Fire Masters, Home to Win), will debut Fashion Dis, hosted by Ardra Shephard, on Wednesday, Feb. 9 on AMI-tv. The makeover show challenges traditional norms that lack inclusion, featuring frustrated style seekers discouraged by an industry that lacks adaptive options. Shephard, who is behind award-winning blog, Tripping on Air, is a leader in the MS community and on a mission to change minds about what it means to live with serious illness and to have disability positively reflected as part of a diverse society. Episodes will also be available to stream on demand on AMI.ca and the AMI-tv App.

Scott McGillivray & Bryan Baeumler

Corus Studios’ latest greenlight is Renovation Resort (7×60) which brings together HGTV Canada stars Scott McGillivray and Bryan Baeumler for the first time. The seven-part competition series, produced by McGillivray Entertainment, is slated for production this summer and set to premiere on HGTV Canada in Spring 2023. Corus Studios will distribute the series internationally. It will see McGillivray enlist builder and longtime “frenemy” Baeumler to help get his recently purchased wreck of a lakeside resort into shape. They’re calling in four expert contractor/design duos who will battle it out against each other to bring the forgotten fishing resort back to life. The competition series is currently casting for experienced contractors and designer duos to participate.

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and TIME Studios Kids and Family, the recently announced kids and family programming division of Emmy Award-winning TIME Studios, have teamed up to develop new original preschool series Leela’s Island. Marking the first development partnership between the two companies, and the first preschool content deal for TIME Studios, the animated comedy-adventure series features a curious five-year-old who discovers she has inherited a gift that allows her to transform into any animal she wishes and see the world through its eyes. Leela’s Island is created and written by a team of diverse storytellers, including award-winning writer Fracaswell Hyman (Gullah Gullah Island, Taina, Little Bill, The Famous Jett Jackson) and Maria Perez-Brown (Gullah Gullah Island, Taina), developed in partnership with writer Janice Burgess (The Backyardigans).

Host: Jay Baruchel, Cast: Caroline Rhea, Debra DiGiovanni, Dave Foley, Jon Lajoie, Tom Green, Mae Martin, Colin Mochrie, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Andrew Phung, and K. Trevor Wilson

Prime Video has announced the premiere date for Amazon Original series LOL: Last One Laughing Canada, along with a star-studded cast of Canadian comedic talent that includes Caroline Rhea, Debra DiGiovanni, Dave Foley, Jon Lajoie, Tom Green, Mae Martin, Colin Mochrie, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Andrew Phung, and K. Trevor Wilson. The first two episodes of the six-episode series launch Friday, Feb. 18, with subsequent episodes to drop on Feb. 25 and March 4. Available on Prime Video in 240 countries, the competition series pits 10 comedic talents against each other in a celebrity showdown with the objective to eliminate others from the house by making each other laugh, while not laughing themselves. The comedian who outlasts their competitors wins the grand prize of $100,000 for their charity of choice. The series, an adaptation of Japanese Amazon Original Documental, became the most watched title of all time on Prime Video in Italy and Germany, and has had successful local versions in Mexico, Australia, India, France, and Spain.  

Asian Television Network (ATN) flagship series, ATN’s Tribute to 100 Years of Indian Cinema, is now available for streaming on Crave. The Bollywood Bonanza Collection features 20 episodes from the series, complemented by 20 popular movies in Hindi. The original series, produced at ATN’s studios in Markham, ON, has had a 300-episode run, featuring celebrities and stalwarts from the Indian film industry.

Midsomer Murders, the long-running British detective drama that boasts 22 seasons, is the latest streaming channel available to Roku owners across North America. The free ad-supported (FAST) channel is available as part of The Roku Channel’s Live TV Guide and managed by distributor All3Media, which has plans to expand its availability to other digital platforms early this year.  

Bell Media’s Discovery, Animal Planet, Discovery Velocity, Discovery Science, and Investigation Discovery are in free preview, simultaneously for the first time. Featuring a lineup of exclusive Canadian original series as well as returning favourites, the multi-channel freeview runs until Feb 10. Discovery’s complete family of channels is available for free preview through participating television service providers, including but not limited to Bell, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus, and participating members of the CCSA.

Telefilm Canada is opening the Indigenous Production Stream for applications, Feb. 7-21. It will host a session on Monday, Jan. 17 to present new changes to the Eligibility Requirements and answer any questions about applying to the stream. Indigenous filmmakers at any level of their careers are invited to join the webinar. RSVP here.

ARRAYCrew, the database developed by American filmmaker Ava Duvernay, is now live in Canada. The equal opportunity platform, also available as an app, is focused on promoting inclusion within the film & television industry for below-the-line professionals from underrepresented populations.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Media Technology Monitor’s (MTM) latest series of reports explore media and technology use across 12 different Canadian markets. Highlights include that Northern anglophones are big online news consumers and more likely to read online news (85% vs 78%) and watch a news program/clip than the typical anglophone (64% vs 60%); Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) services, such as Netflix, are most popular in Vancouver (85%); Francophones who live in Montreal are also more likely than the general francophone population to subscribe to SVOD services, especially to Netflix (62%); 71% of residents of the Atlantic Provinces and 68% of Ontarians have a paid TV service subscription, making them more likely to subscribe to a traditional TV service than the rest of the anglophone population; Social media is more popular among residents of major cities like Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver, and specifically Torontonians and Vancouverites are more likely to use WhatsApp and Linkedin than the average anglophone; and Albertans are more likely to have Internet-connected devices than the average anglophone, specifically smartphones (93% vs 88%) and game consoles (61% vs 50%).

Looking Glass Labs, a Vancouver-headquartered digital platform specializing in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), utility NFT architecture, immersive extended reality (XR) metaverse design and virtual asset royalty streams, has launched GenZeroes Productions Inc. (GZP), a subsidiary specializing in the production of original media involving NFTs. With the production of NFT-based entertainment media, LGL intends to grow its flagship studio, House of Kibaa (HoK), through inclusion of media genres like science fiction. GZP is collaborating with HoK to produce “GenZeroes,” a ten-episode science fiction series with storylines built around the GenZeroes NFT collection. The series finale will be screened during the San Diego Comic-Con International convention in July. Production will be led by Aleks Paunovic, who co-starred with Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins in Zero Contact, the 2021 film that was the world’s first released as an NFT; and Jeremy Smith and Matt Venables, who’ve held production roles on the Van Helsing television series.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The CRTC has released its Communications Market Report, reflecting current trends up to March 2021. BDU revenues of $1.98B continued a downward trend, slipping 2.5% over the 12-month change period and -0.8% for the quarter. Subscribers fell below $10M to 9.87M, a decrease of 2% over the previous 12 months and flat for the quarter. Cable/IPTV and DTH (Direct to Home) revenues dipped 1.8% to 1.569M and 5.2% to $410M, respectively. DTH also saw a subscriber drop of 6% over the previous 12 months, while Cable/IPTV subscriptions fell 1.1%. On the telecom side, Mobile wireless revenues continue to trend down due to out-of-country travel restrictions and the associated loss of roaming revenues. Wireless revenues of $6.56B were down 7.9% in the quarter while subscribers of 38.7M were up 10.8% over the 12 months reflected and 7.2% for the quarter. Average monthly mobile wireless data traffic of 3.4GB is up more than 20% for the year and 3.2% for the quarter. Mobile long distance minutes also increased by more than 20% for the year, while residential landline long distance minutes were up over 10%. Revenue growth for residential high-speed Internet has increased since the pandemic as many Canadians rely on it more for work and entertainment at home. Revenues of $2.46B were up 9.8% for the 12 months reflected with subscribers up 3.3% to 11.75M. Many Canadians are also subscribing to faster speed tiers with 68.5% now at 50/10 or higher, a quarterly change of 8.7%.

Shaw Communications has announced consolidated financial and operating results for the quarter ended Nov. 30. On a year-over-year basis, consolidated revenue increased by 1.2% to $1.39 billion, adjusted EBITDA increased 4.3% to $633 million and net income increased 20.2% to $196 million. In the first quarter, the company added approximately 55,600 new Wireless customers, with postpaid net additions of approximately 36,100 in the quarter driven by the continued momentum of Shaw Mobile. First quarter Wireless ARPU decreased 3.4% from the prior year period to $36.95; however, an increase in customers signing up for bundled offerings and Internet migration to faster speed tiers continues to support Internet revenue growth. Wireless postpaid churn of 1.70% improved approximately 11-basis points from the first quarter of fiscal 2021. First quarter Wireline revenue was in-line with the prior year at $1.06 billion and Wireline adjusted EBITDA decreased 1.5% year-over-year to $524 million.

The Jack Webster Foundation has opened applications for its new Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Journalism Fellowship supporting a piece of long-form journalism. Fellowships are awarded to members of the media or journalism educators to further their journalistic knowledge and skills, either through a course of their choosing to enhance leadership, reporting or editing skills or via one of the courses offered by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida, or a self-directed program/project they’re interested in. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28.

Rishma Govani, Director of Communications for Global News, has penned new kids’ book Sushi & Samosas. Advocating for diversity, tolerance, and cross-cultural understanding, it follows Raine and Asha, two bright yet stubborn kids, who are afraid to try new foods and prefer to stick to their familiar diet of chicken nuggets and fries. Their adventurous foodie parents are on a mission to change their minds. Govani, a first-time author, started her career as an Audience Producer for Avi Lewis’ CounterSpin on CBC Newsworld and went on to work as a segment producer at CTV, prior to pursuing public relations.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

CES® 2022 concluded Jan. 7, with 2,300 exhibiting companies (including more than 800 startups) and over 40,000 attendees in-person, across 11 indoor and outdoor venues in Las Vegas. That compares to 182K+ total attendants and 4.4K+ companies exhibiting in 2019. Despite the surge of the Omicron variant, the show saw 30% of this year’s attendees travel from outside the U.S., representing 119 countries. Those in the industry unable to attend CES in- person can access the show digitally through Jan. 31. CES.tech features highlights from the show including keynotes, sessions, product announcements and show floor coverage. 

Broadcast Dialogue - NAB ShowNAB Show is partnering with the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) to present educational workshops taught by prominent cinematographers. The in-person workshops will take place April 24-25 at NAB Show in Las Vegas and cover cinematic techniques in lighting. NAB Show is developing the workshops in coordination with the newly formed Cine Consortium. Register here.

RØDE has introduced the VideoMic GO II, an ultra-lightweight, compact shotgun microphone designed for content creators. It features a USB-C output for plugging directly into smartphones, tablets and computers, and an acoustic design, fully compatible with RØDE Connect podcasting and streaming software.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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