The Weekly Briefing


John Roberts

John Roberts is part of a daytime programming shuffle at Fox News which will see the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Famer move from the White House to the anchor desk. The outgoing Chief White House Correspondent will host new afternoon show, America Reports, with Sandra Smith. “J.D. Roberts” is best known in Canada as one of the original MuchMusic personalities before moving into an anchoring role with Citytv.

Bradford How

Bradford How, who was a MuchMusic VJ from 2000-03 before joining VH1, has resurfaced as part of the anchor team for LIT Entertainment News. The looped celebrity news channel will be exclusive to NBC-Universal’s Peacock streaming service before rolling out to other platforms both in the U.S. and internationally. How, who hails from Winnipeg, has primarily been doing commercial acting work since 2008.


Candace Daniel

Candace Daniel is returning to Global News Toronto as the new co-anchor/producer of Global News Morning and the News at Noon, starting, Jan. 18. Daniel started at Global Toronto as an intern before being hired as an associate producer with Global National. She went on to hold weather and news anchor roles with Global Regina and most recently had been anchoring the evening news at CTV Barrie. 

Steve Guthrie

Steve Guthrie has retired from CHEX-TV Peterborough after 42 years. After studying radio and TV arts in Welland, Guthrie started with CHEX as a photographer in 1979. Known for his deep knowledge of local history, the Global News station still plans to tap Guthrie as a contributor.

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith has announced she’s leaving 770 CHQR Calgary and radio behind next month, saying that in “this hyper-sensitive social media environment” it’s become increasingly difficult to express honest opinions. Smith, who self-identifies as a Libertarian, is the former leader of Alberta’s Official Opposition, leading the Wildrose Party from 2009-14, before crossing the floor to join the governing Progressive Conservatives. Since shortly after her defeat in the 2015 election, she’s been hosting the midday talk show on CHQR. Read more here.

Barry Stewart

Barry Stewart has been named Programming Manager for the Evanov Radio Group, advising and assisting all stations, in cooperation with PDs and Brand Managers. Stewart has been with Evanov for the last nine years in various programming and consulting roles. Prior to that, he was with CHUM-FM for three decades, including 11 years as APD.

Bob Willette

Bob Willette has accepted the position of Program Manager for Big FM (CFMK-FM) and Fresh FM (CKWS-FM) Kingston. Willette was most recently PD for Bell Media’s 102.9 K-LITE (CKLH-FM) Hamilton and 105.7 EZ Rock (CHRE-FM) St. Catharines. He started his radio career as a producer for Humble and Fred during their reign at 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) Toronto.

Matthew DiMera

Matthew DiMera, the Interim Editor-in-Chief of, has quit over concerns about systemic racism and unfair labour practices. DiMera, who is also the founder of soon-to-launch independent BIPOC journalism outlet The Resolve, wrote in a post on Indiegraf that a review of nearly 20 years of reporting at rabble found that of columnists published five times or more, approximately 91.8% were white authors. Prior to joining rabble in March 2019, DiMera was Managing Editor of Xtra. 

Francine Compton

Francine Compton is joining CBC’s Indigenous Unit in Winnipeg as an assignment producer. Compton, who also serves as the president of the Native American Journalists Association, has been a producer with APTN for the last 12 years, most recently as Executive Producer, East.

Erin Hopkins has joined Peter Harrison on the new MOVE Radio (CIOO-FM) Halifax morning show. Harrison, who has been with the station since 1984, was the last man standing after former C100 morning show co-hosts JC Douglas and Melody Rose were caught up in layoffs in November. Hopkins was formerly the midday host on Virgin Radio (CJCH-FM) Halifax. In the meantime, JC Douglas has joined 89.9 The Wave (CHNS-FM) in afternoon drive.

Stacey Brotzel

Stacey Brotzel has surfaced as a fill-in host on 96.3 the Breeze (CKRA-FM) Edmonton. Brotzel, along with CTV Morning Live co-host Rob Brown, were released by CTV Edmonton last September.

Mike Yawney

Mike Yawney, the longtime technology contributor to Citytv’s Breakfast Television, has launched his own YouTube channel. The Gadget Guy will focus on Yawney’s love of tech and video games. Yawney, who is based in Calgary, was part of layoffs at Rogers Sports & Media this past November.

Anya Nazeravich
Anya Nazeravich

Anya Nazeravich is moving into a VJ position with Global News Winnipeg. A 2020 graduate of Red River College’s Creative Communications program, Nazeravich has been a news anchor with 680 CJOB for the past year.

Jon Woodward

Jon Woodward is leaving CTV News Vancouver for a new role with CTV Toronto. An award-winning investigative reporter, Woodward had been with CTV Vancouver since 2007. He’s also been a part-time instructor at Langara College and BCIT, teaching Data Journalism and Investigative Techniques.

Matt Fogarty

Matt Fogarty has left the Creative department at Jim Pattison Broadcast Group after 13 years to transition to voice acting full-time. Based in the Island Radio division in Nanaimo, Fogarty had been Creative Director for the last nine years overseeing six stations. Since June, he’s been represented by the Atlas Talent Agency, in addition to working as a radio imaging voice for Benztown for the last two years.

Rob Patrick, better known as one half of the Pepper & Dylan morning show on Edmonton’s KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM) has returned to work after checking himself into rehab in November. Patrick, who also suffers with chronic depression among other mental health issues, told CityNews the pandemic heightened his dependence on alcoholism. The Pepper & Dylan Show celebrated its 15th anniversary this month.


Scott Brooks

Scott Brooks has left his role at Moose FM (CKFU-FM) Fort St. John to move back to his home province of Ontario. Brooks had been a news and sports reporter with the station and digital outlet since 2018.

Patrick Rogers

Patrick Rogers has been named Chief Executive Officer of Music Canada. Rogers had previously been the Vice President, Corporate Affairs and served as interim co-CEO since June. Jackie Dean, who had also served as interim co-CEO, has been appointed President of CONNECT Music Licensing and will remain Chief Operating Officer of Music Canada.

David Gale

David Gale has been elected as the new President of ACTRA Toronto, succeeding Theresa Tova. Gale previously served as VP, Communications, starting in 2010. Jocelyn Zucco has been elected to fill the executive position created by Gale’s election. 

Richard Goldsmith

Richard Goldsmith is joining Thunderbird Entertainment Group and Atomic Cartoons as the company forms a new Global Distribution and Consumer Products Division. Goldsmith will lead the new venture as President, overseeing worldwide content distribution and development of consumer products and experiences that expand audience engagement across all Thunderbird properties. Goldsmith’s background includes leadership roles in media distribution, licensing, merchandising and business development for major entertainment brands including The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company. Prior to joining Thunderbird, he was part of the senior management team at Cyber Group Studios.

John Hargrave

John Hargrave is the new Vice President, Products at Cogeco Connexion. Hargrave has nearly 20 years of experience developing IT products and software. Prior to joining Cogeco, he was responsible for product management, software engineering, content-related operations and professional services for Zone·tv. He’s also worked with Ericsson Inc. as global head of product delivery and service and was General Manager of Global Solutions at Microsoft from 2005-13.


Corus Entertainment has shuffled the on-air lineup at 103.1 Fresh Radio (CFHK-FM) London, adding evening personality Ian Lynch to its morning show and moving to air Tucker & Maura’s morning show from Hamilton sister station Energy 95.3 (CING-FM) in the afternoon drive time slot. Lynch, who has been with Corus since 2017, joins longtime morning duo Kim Woodbridge and Mark LeBel on new show Fresh Mornings with Kim, Mark & Ian from 5:30 – 9:30 a.m. Liz Gogol moves from afternoon drive to middays (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.), while Toni Ross jumps from middays to evenings (6 – 10 p.m.). Corus says “significant local elements” will feature in the London edition of the Tucker & Maura show. Scott Tucker is familiar to London listeners having previously spent a decade in the market.

Stingray has announced it’s further extending the reach of ‘the Breeze format to rural Nova Scotia, starting Jan. 15. Already heard in Halifax, Edmonton, and Vancouver, CKEC-FM New Glasgow is the latest market to pick up the “easy, relaxing and familiar favourites” format. Currently playing Hot Adult Contemporary, CKEC-FM has been branded as Mix 94.1 since Nov. 2018. Ann & AJ will continue to host the morning show, while Corey Tremere (who also hosts middays at Ocean 100 Charlottetown) moves from middays to afternoons. Drew Ferreira, a veteran Stingray personality based in Toronto and heard in multiple markets, will voicetrack middays, while the nationally-syndicated “Evening Breeze with Stacey” will air from 7 p.m. – midnight. Read more here.

Corus Entertainment and Oilers Entertainment Group have announced a three-year extension of their 25-year partnership that sees 630 CHED maintain the exclusive radio broadcast rights for all pre-season, regular season and playoff games through to the 2022-23 NHL season. 630 CHED has been the home to Edmonton Oilers radio broadcasts since 1995 and the home of weekday afternoon show Oilers NOW since 2011. The Faceoff Show, hosted by 630 CHED sports announcer Reid Wilkins and former NHL player Rob Brown, will continue ahead of every Oilers game, as will the post-game Overtime Openline.

SOCAN Foundation has announced the recipients of the inaugural SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards. The five winners – TOBi, Naya Ali, RAAHiiM, Hunnah and Dylan Sinclair – will each receive $5,000 made possible by SiriusXM Canada. More than 300 applications from artists across Canada were submitted for the 2020 Awards. Learn more about the winners and jury, here.



SiriusXM has signed a new agreement to become the exclusive audio broadcaster of the Masters Tournament. For the 2021 tournament, scheduled for April 5-11, SiriusXM will produce and present live play-by-play broadcasts all four days of tournament play from Augusta National Golf Club. SiriusXM’s exclusive Masters week broadcasts will be available to listeners on SiriusXM channel 208 or 92, on the SiriusXM app and available to stream at home. Expanded coverage will include a live broadcast of the Par 3 Contest played on Wednesday of Masters week, an event which has not been available before as an audio broadcast. SiriusXM and Augusta National are also collaborating on a new podcast dedicated to the Masters, entitled The Masters Show, available every Monday night through the week of the Tournament. 

MRC Data has released its 2020 Canada Year-End Report, in collaboration with Billboard. Covering music consumption for the 12-month period from Jan. 3 through Dec. 31, the report reveals that total audio consumption grew 6.5% over the year prior with audio streaming finishing the year with a 16.1% increase, anchored by a banner year for Children’s music and Country. Prior to the first wave lockdown in early March, audio streaming was up 21.3% over the same period in 2019, while total audio consumption (which includes album sales) was up 10.8% in the first 10 weeks of the year. Despite an 8.2% decline during the first eight weeks of lockdown, on-demand audio consumption rebounded through the remainder of the year. Worldwide, total audio streaming was up 22.6%. New albums from Canadian artists The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Drake and Shawn Mendes were among the year’s most-consumed across all genres.

Audible Magic has entered into an agreement with SOCAN to acquire its Seattle-based content fulfillment and rights administration business, MediaNet. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It will enable Audible Magic to provide digital platforms with a comprehensive range of services to help manage their use of music. SOCAN and Audible Magic have also entered into a strategic partnership with the goal to use Audible Magic technology and services to help SOCAN improve operational accuracy and reporting to publishers and songwriters.

The Podcast Exchange (TPX) has signed a deal to exclusively represent the cabana podcasts portfolio in Canada, including shows like Crime Junkie, Chicken Soup for the Soul with Amy Newmark, and several series from commercial weather forecasting service, Accuweather. Based in New York City, the ad sales agreement marks parent audio marketing company AdLargeMedia’s first foray into the international market. It gives TPX exclusive Canadian ad sales representation for the more than 165 podcasts in the cabana portfolio. Read more here.

Pacific Content’s VP of Podcasts, Steve Pratt, has published a list of podcast predictions for 2021 from leaders in the space like Wondery founder Hernan Lopez, Edison Research SVP Tom Webster, and iHeartPodcast Network President Conal Byrne. Among them, that monthly listeners will top 120 million; that TikTok will drive the increased popularity of short form audio or “micropods”; and that interest in news and political podcasts – now that the U.S. election is over and the pandemic winding down – will dwindle.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Jesse Tieman, co-host of the morning show on Kingston’s Country 93.5, talks with Matt Cundill about growing up in a broadcast household, what he learned from his dad – the late legendary sportscaster Randy Tieman of CTV (CFCF) Montreal – and more. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:


Connie Kennedy

Connie Kennedy, 92, on Jan. 4. Kennedy has the distinction of being the first woman salesperson at CFRN-TV in Edmonton where she was mentored by Sunwapta Broadcasting owner Dr. Dick Rice. Eventually Kennedy went into real estate, founding Kennedy Realty in 1970, featuring an “all girl” team. She joined Re/Max in 1982 going on to win many awards, including induction into the Re/max Hall Of Fame, Re/Max Circle of Legends, Re/Max Chairman’s Award, as well as the Edmonton Real Estate Board’s 2005 Realtor of the Year honour. 



Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has announced the nominees for the 15th annual Indiescreen Awards. The annual prize honours Canadian independent producers and their contributions to Canada’s feature film production sector. The winners of both the Established Producer and Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer categories will be announced at a live virtual ceremony, presented in partnership with Telefilm Canada, as part of the CMPA’s Prime Time Online conference on Feb. 10.

John Rooney

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) and Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) are combining forces to establish the John Rooney Creator Fund to support emerging LGBTQ2S+ and underrepresented talent in the kids, youth and adult animation field. Rooney, the Executive Director of TAAFI and a tireless supporter of animation and kids media, passed away in December. Rooney was a friend to the Youth Media Alliance, most recently serving on the Advisory Committee and as Jury President for the Awards of Excellence

Bell Media’s Crave has ordered a second season of Canada’s Drag Race, the streaming service’s best-performing Canadian and Crave Original Series in the platform’s history. Casting is now open for Season 2, which is set to go into production on 10 new episodes in the coming months. Available to audiences in Canada in both English and French, Canada’s Drag Race is produced by Blue Ant Studios in association with Crave and World of Wonder. Crave has also announced that Trevor Boris (Big Brother Canada, Paradise Hotel) is joining the series as showrunner for Season 2.

Sportsnet will broadcast more than 300 NHL broadcasts in a condensed 17-week schedule across its TV and streaming platforms this season. In addition, 140 all-Canadian matchups will be available across the Sportsnet Radio Network. The Schedule includes all 56 Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers matchups, plus 38 Toronto Maple Leafs, 22 Montreal Canadiens, 16 Ottawa Senators and 14 Winnipeg Jets games. Regular season coverage on Sportsnet culminates with exclusive national English-language coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, beginning May 2021. NHL on Sportsnet broadcasts will reach viewers across regional Sportsnet channels, CBC, Citytv, OMNI, Sportsnet Radio Network, SN NOW and NHL LIVE. Given the inability to visit communities across Canada due to the pandemic, the Rogers Hometown Hockey festival and broadcast will be on hiatus for the 2020-21 NHL season, however fans can still engage with the popular feature through the Sportsnet app

TSN’s regional broadcast schedule includes 40 regular season Ottawa Senators games, 42 regular season Winnipeg Jets games, 34 regular season Montreal Canadiens games, and 18 regular season Toronto Maple Leafs games in the new all-Canadian Scotiabank NHL North Division. Among the schedule highlights are three Battle of Ontario Leafs-Sens matchups (Jan. 15, Feb. 15, March 25); and a Leafs-Calgary Flames Easter holiday stand (April 4-5).

CTV Original series Holmes Family Effect will premiere directly following Super Bowl LV Sunday, Feb. 7. Starring TV personality and contractor Mike Holmes, along with his daughter Sherry and son Michael, the new inspirational series shows the Holmes family work with those making positive impacts in their communities. Among the organizations featured are Judith Nyman Secondary School (Feb. 7), Solid State (Feb. 14), Working Gear (Feb. 21), and The FORT (March 7). As previously announced, FOX has already acquired the show to air as part of the network’s 2020/21 midseason schedule.

The Weather Files: Total Impact (8×60’ HD) returns for a second season on Cottage Life on Jan. 18, taking viewers inside extreme monster storms and natural disasters through the eyes of survivors, first responders and scientific experts. Season 2 looks at events including ‘Snowmaggedon’, one of the worst blizzards in Newfoundland history in Jan. 2020; an EF5 tornado touching down in Missouri; and the unexpected eruption of Anak Krakatoa, a young, volcanic island off the east coast of Java.


Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a series of reports on media and technology use that reveal Albertans lead the country in early adoption of SVOD and smartphone use. Albertans are more likely than other Anglophones to have internet-connected devices, such as smartphones. More than half own an iPhone and 62% own a tablet. Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are less likely to have internet-connected devices, specifically smart speakers (19%), compared to 24% of the general Anglophone population. Social media is more popular among residents of major cities like Montreal and Toronto as well as the Atlantic provinces. Looking at Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) services, such as Netflix, Alberta also leads the way with 74% of those surveyed subscribing. B.C. a close second at 73%. Francophones who live in Montreal are also more likely than the general Francophone population to subscribe to SVOD services. MTM’s research also found that Francophones living outside Quebec are more likely to subscribe to a conventional TV service, as well as satellite TV (27%) and IPTV (20%).

Google and Facebook have been receiving a growing share of federal advertising dollars, according to Public Service and Procurement Canada data, obtained by the Toronto Star. They reveal federal spending with the digital giants has quadrupled under the Trudeau government between 2015 and 2019. According to the report, spending with the foreign-owned platforms has jumped from $3.9 million in 2015-16 (9.2% of total government ad spending) to $15.8 million in 2018-19 (about 27% of the government’s total ad budget of $58.6 million). That was down slightly from the 31.4% share spent with the digital giants in 2017-18.

BBTV Holdings has announced it’s expanding its offerings to influencers on Instagram and TikTok, including Branded Entertainment Sales and SaaS/Content Management. With Instagram now boasting over one billion monthly users and TikTok expected to surpass 1.2 billion, BBTV says it sees an opportunity to help content creators become more successful across platforms where audiences are quickly growing and consuming content. The Vancouver-based, publicly-traded company has also launched a new Video Comparison analytics solution highlighting key video performance metrics.


CBC/Radio-Canada’s 13-day virtual licence renewal hearing got underway Monday with the public broadcaster reaffirming that it’s “building a bridge to the future” and not abandoning traditional radio and television. Four days of questions from the commission on programming strategy and commitments opened with a query from CRTC Chair Ian Scott on the regulatory balancing act between prescribed conditions of licence and the CBC’s desire for flexibility as it increasingly chases a digital audience. CBC President and CEO Catherine Tait said at the core of the hearings is the issue of how CBC/Radio-Canada can effectively juggle serving the interests and needs of all Canadians in a time of “galloping technological change, accelerated audience and platform fragmentation and increasingly challenged business models for our media industry.” 70 intervenors are scheduled to present. Read more here.

CRTCThe CRTC has extended the deadline for comments as part of its Commercial Radio Policy Framework Review, following requests from various associations representing the Canadian music sector. The new deadline for the submission of interventions is March 29. 

The CRTC has launched a consultation on a proposed framework to block botnet traffic and prevent computer malware infections. The commission is seeking comments on the appropriateness and need for telecommunications service providers to adopt blocking techniques within their networks, including what safeguards would be necessary to ensure privacy, transparency and effectiveness. The deadline for comments is March 15. 

Corus Entertainment Q1 consolidated revenues for the three months ended Nov. 30, 2020 were $420.4 million, down 10% from $467.9 million last year. Net income attributable to shareholders for the quarter was $76.7 million ($0.37 per share basic), as compared to net income attributable to shareholders of $78.1 million ($0.37 per share basic) last year. In the Television segment, revenues were down 9% and advertising revenues down 14%, sequentially improved from declines of 31% and 25% for the three months ended May 31 and Aug. 31, 2020 respectively. TV subscriber revenues were flat, while merchandising, distribution and other revenues increased 11% ($2.1 million). Segment profit increased 1%, which included $2.5 million of estimated Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) benefit. In Radio, segment revenues decreased $9.7 million (26%), sequentially improved from declines of 53% and 43% for the three months ended May 31 and Aug. 31, respectively. Segment profit decreased $4.9 million (41%), which included $0.4 million of estimated CEWS benefit.

Shaw Communications has announced consolidated financial and operating results for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2020. Consolidated revenue decreased by 0.9% to $1.37 billion, while consolidated net income increased 0.6% to $163 million. Adjusted EBITDA was up 3.2% year-over-year to $607 million. The company achieved record Wireless subscriber growth in the first quarter with approximately 101,000 new Wireless customers and continued growth in Wireless service revenue of approximately 10% year-over-year. Shaw says continued aggressive price competition, primarily impacting the Freedom Mobile brand, caused postpaid churn to increase in the first quarter to 1.81%, compared to 1.50% a year ago. Wireline revenue remained stable with Consumer decreasing 1.4% to $911 million and Business revenue increasing 1.4% to $145 million over the year prior. Wireline RGUs declined by approximately 100,900 in the quarter compared to a loss of approximately 57,500 in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Mature products within the Consumer division, including Video, Satellite and Phone declined in the aggregate by 91,800 RGUs.

The News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC) is calling for criminal charges in  an assault on CBC Vancouver photojournalist Ben Nelms, while on assignment covering a pro-Trump rally in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery last week. Nelms, the current Canadian News Photographer of the Year, was punched in the face and assaulted by a demonstrator in the unprovoked attack. “In an era where epithets like ‘fake news’ are undermining the integrity of journalists around the world, we are seeing real, tangible effects of a concerted effort to establish distrust between the public and the press corps,” said NPAC President Crystal Schick, in a statement. “A free press is necessary for an informed public…the assault on Mr. Nelms underscores the growing challenge our colleagues face in simply doing their jobs, and that’s not acceptable.” Physical assaults on members of the working media also occurred the same day in Washington, D.C.

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma has opened its annual competitions for the Mindset Award for Workplace Mental Health Reporting and its French counterpart le prix En-Tête pour le reportage en santé mentale au travail. The organization says it’s preparing for a flood of applications due to the increased focus on mental health during the pandemic and given its independent juries more latitude in the number and value of awards in these exceptional circumstances. Each of the awards carries a first prize of $1,000, with jurors given the discretion to recognize more than one runner-up with an Honourable Mention prize, increasing the usual $250 cash component of those awards as appropriate. The deadline for applications is Feb. 12.


LISTEN: Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) has upgraded radio streaming at its stations throughout Canada using the services of Modulation Index. On this sponsored episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Modulation Index President Greg Ogonowski takes David Rusch of Audio Broadcast Canada through the process of upgrading HLS encoders and talks about why the demand for quality streaming should be at an all-time high. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:



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