The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Kid Carson and Stingray’s Z95.3 (CKZZ-FM) Vancouver have mutually agreed to part ways after the host embarked on an on-air rant Wednesday morning in support of the ongoing trucker convoy in Ottawa. As first reported by Daily Hive in Vancouver, Carson started his commentary by expressing frustration at having to “avoid talking about all the things that really matter,” adding that he had paid a “heavy price” for previous comments against vaccine passports. The host went on to plug his new podcast, which starts at a subscriber rate of $20/month, saying he had kids to feed. Carson, who started his career with Z95.3 before going on to stints with The Beat (CFBT-FM) and KiSS Radio (CKKS-FM), had been hosting alongside actor, comedian, and childhood friend Jordan McCloskey since March 2020. Read more here.

Jay Michaels, Sharon Hyland, & Chantal Desjardins

Jay Michaels, Sharon Hyland, and Chantal Desjardins will debut new CHOM 97.7 Montreal morning show, Mornings Rock with Jay, Sharon & Chantal, on Feb. 28. Michaels arrives at CHOM from within Bell Media after a five-year run co-hosting afternoon drive on Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto. The Canadian Radio Award-winner previously did mornings on 99.9 Virgin Radio (CKFM-FM) Toronto, 98.1 CHFI Toronto, and Q104 (CFRQ-FM) Halifax, among other stations. He’ll join station veteran Hyland, who over the last 25 years has been heard in almost every daypart. Comedian and media personality Desjardins, who previously did a co-hosting stint on the CHOM morning show in 2010, also returns to the station. The trio joined Pete Marier on CHOM Friday morning. Marier, who’ll take over Hyland’s weekend morning time slot, has been hosting the show since Terry DiMonte’s departure last May. Producer Esteban Vargas will also continue behind-the-scenes. Read more here.

Chris Nilan

Chris Nilan, the former Montreal Canadiens forward turned TSN 690 (CKGM-AM) Montreal host, says he was fired by Bell Media over his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In a Twitter post, Nilan said he received a letter from Regional General Manager Richard Gray on Feb. 1 notifying him that his contract was being terminated effective immediately. Nilan, who also spent time on the ice with the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, had been hosting weekday afternoon show “Off The Cuff” for the last decade, in addition to contributing to “Habs Lunch.”

Terry Chan

Terry Chan has assumed the title of National Music Curator for JACK FM. Chan has been with Rogers Sports & Media since 1990, starting as an announcer and music director at 97 KISS FM Vancouver. He was most recently Programming Assistant for JACK 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver and CJAQ-FM Calgary, as well as JACK 103.1 (CHTT-FM) Victoria. 

Peter Whitehead

Peter Whitehead, Technical Director at CTV Regina, has retired after a nearly 40-year career in broadcast engineering. Whitehead has been helping keep stations on the air since 1984, working in television in London, ON and Yorkton, SK, prior to arriving in Regina.  

Natasha Pace

Natasha Pace has left CTV Atlantic to join Halifax Regional Police as a Communications Specialist. Pace had been a videojournalist with CTV Halifax since 2018, following a nine-year stint in a similar role with Global News Halifax.

Brit Dort

Brit Dort, who has been a co-host and anchor on CTV Morning Live in Regina since 2018, is moving into a new role with the station as a sports reporter. Dort has been with CTV Regina since 2017. 

Will Aiello

Will Aiello is departing CTV Northern Ontario to join CTV Kitchener. Aiello has been a weather specialist and anchor with Bell Media for the last three years. 

Dominic Terry

Dominic Terry, Supervising Producer at Global News Calgary, has left the station to join Heritage Park Historical Village as Communications Manager. Terry had been with Global for the past year after holding various news producing roles with Corus, Bell Media and Rogers in Calgary over the last decade.

Eilish Bonang

Eilish Bonang has joined the Global News Morning team in Halifax. Bonang returns to her hometown from Moncton where she’d been a videjournalist with CTV Atlantic for the last four years.

Irelyne Lavery

Irelyne Lavery has joined Global News as a national journalist, based in Toronto. Lavery, a 2021 Humber College Journalism grad, arrives from the Toronto Star where she’s been a staff reporter for the past year.

Aly Laube

Aly Laube has joined Daily Hive Vancouver as a staff writer. Laube has been a web editor with CityNews Vancouver for the last six months. She is also the co-owner of Cushy Entertainment, behind Vancouver’s Glitter Ball festival.

Julie Kerr

Julie Kerr has been appointed to the newly-created role of Senior Director of Digital Ad Product and Revenue Management at CBC & Radio-Canada Media Solutions. Kerr was most recently Vice-President of Strategy and Development for the Quebec market at GroupM. She’s also held roles including Director of Digital Business Development at Rogers Communications, National sales Director of Consumer Solutions at TC Media, and Manager of Media Sales at Bell Sympatico. Based in Montreal, CBC says Kerr will also spend significant time in the Toronto market.

Alison Fraser

Alison Fraser has joined the Pacific Screenwriting Program as its first Executive Director. Fraser brings 20 years of experience delivering national programs and leading marketing, communications and content delivery initiatives with organizations including Microsoft, Telefilm Canada, ELLE Canada and TELUS. She started her career in television working with Court TV, HBO and BET in the U.S., and has worked as a Unit Publicist and Production Manager in Canadian independent film.

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

G98.7 (CKFG-FM) Toronto is getting a rebrand, moving forward as the “All New” Flow 98.7 as Stingray relinquishes the heritage, urban hip hop format to make way for the introduction of a new, yet-to-be announced station in the city. As the 93.5 frequency relaunches Monday, Feb. 14 under a new brand, G98.7 will become the “All New” Flow 98.7 as CKFG-FM, which has served the GTA’s Caribbean and African communities since 2011, transitions to a more urban format. Flow 93.5 launched in 2001 after a hard-fought, decade-long campaign by Milestone Radio for a radio licence to serve Black listeners. Gary Gunter, General Manager of Flow 98.7, who has worked with urban and hip hop stations in markets like Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore, says he’s approaching the rebrand with the legacies of both stations top-of-mind. Gunter, who joined G98.7 in September following the station’s sale to CINA Radio Group, owned by multicultural broadcaster Neeti P. Ray, acknowledges it will be a “high-wire act” initially, trying to satisfy both audiences, but also presents an opportunity to cement a foothold with advertisers looking to reach the Black community. Read our interview with Gunter here. Ahead of Stingray’s introduction of a new format to the market, Peter Kash and Linx were among the personalities confirming their departure from the company Wednesday.

Billie Jo Ross and Candice Kaye are helming the first all-female morning show in the Calgary market as Rogers Sports & Media’s CHFM rebranded to Star 95.9 Monday morning and a brighter, more upbeat Adult Contemporary playlist. Billie Jo and Candice joined Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, along with Star 95.9 Content Director Julisa Ly to talk about putting another crack in the glass ceiling, the evolving Calgary radio market and more. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu, who co-host the 104.9 KiSS Radio (CKKS-FM) Vancouver morning show, are now also being heard Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. – noon on KiSS 92.5 (CKIS-FM) Toronto. Lim and Sidhu, who are already syndicated in at least five markets, have been an on-air team since 2011 through stints on Kelowna’s 99.9 Sun FM (CHSU-FM); Vancouver’s 102.7 The Peak (CJPK-FM) and Q103.1 (CKQQ-FM) Kelowna. They’ve been heard in mornings on KiSS since 2017.

Adele & Ryan have joined the CHFI Toronto lineup, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6- 8 a.m. Adele (Newton), also handles afternoons on CHYM 96.7 Kitchener, while Ryan (Gosse) helms afternoon drive at Country 106.7 Kitchener (CIKZ-FM). The duo are already heard across Rogers Sports & Media’s KiSS and Adult Contemporary stations evenings from 6 – 8 p.m.

The National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC) has released its Future Of Broadcasting and Music report. The report, aimed at closing the gap between the music and broadcasting industries, was prompted by the NCRA/ANREC receiving complaints highlighting the disconnect between the two. Among its recommendations are that all songs should be available in 44.1 kHz, 16bit Wav, and/or 320mp3; include metadata (when possible); and adopt uniform labelling. The report concludes that faced with capacity and financial constraints, the music industry, broadcast industry, and NCRA/ANREC will need to come together to apply for new funding sources if they hope to break away from current challenges. 

Joe Rogan

Rumble, the Toronto-headquartered video hosting platform, has offered Joe Rogan $100 million to break from Spotify and join their platform. In an open letter, CEO Chris Pavlovski extended a four-year offer to make the Joe Rogan Experience a Rumble exclusive. In the meantime, Signal Hill Insights has undertaken research on audience attitudes toward the latest controversy finding that battle lines are drawn based on listenership to JRE.
“Opinions among Canadian podcast listeners are strongly tied to whether someone is a listener to The Joe Rogan Experience, with the controversy reinforcing each side’s convictions about the podcast.”
Jeff Vidler will join Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast this week to share some of those insights as well as findings from the most recent Canadian Podcast Listener survey.

This Being Human, the Aga Khan Museum’s interview podcast, returns for a second season on Feb. 22 in partnership with TVO, as it looks to expand its reach following the success of the first season. Season 2 will feature 21 new episodes and a lineup of guests with distinctive insights on Muslim art, culture, history and society, including Canadian-born NASA systems engineer Farah Alibay; Zarqa Nawaz, creator of CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie and author of forthcoming novel Jameela Green Ruins Everything; and Mark Gonzales, a futurist, Kennedy Center fellow, and author of the award-winning children’s book Yo Soy Muslim. This Being Human is hosted by journalist, educator and cultural organizer Abdul-Rehman Malik, an Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Divinity School and Program Coordinator at Yale University’s Council on Middle East Studies.

LISTEN: Julie Adam, President of Rogers Sports & Media, joins Matt Cundill on the Sound Off Podcast to talk about her new book “Imperfectly Kind” and how her pandemic experience led her to write. They also talk about identifying who your competition is and the benefits of embracing them. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Don Brinton

Don Brinton, 94, on Feb. 1. Originally hailing from Vegreville, AB, Brinton started his broadcasting career in 1950 at community radio station CFYK Yellowknife doing overnights and weekends, while holding down a day job studying permafrost. Just four years later, he’d gain the distinction of being the first voice heard on Edmonton’s first television station, CFRN. Following 13 years with CFRN TV and Radio, he became Vice-President and Manager of CFQC-TV Saskatoon. He joined CanWest Broadcasting in 1975, playing a key role in the launch of CKND-TV Winnipeg where he became President and Chief Executive Officer in 1979. It was during those years, he also helped produce several Canadian films, including the Manitoba-set, Great Depression drama “Tramp at the Door.” In 1984, he took on the added responsibility of Sask West Television. Brinton became a consultant for CanWest Global in retirement. He also served as Chairman of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) in 1983-84, and was a Past President of the Broadcasters Association of Manitoba and Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB). Brinton was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1994. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2016. 

Ralph Mellanby

Ralph Mellanby, 87, on Jan. 29. The son of Edgar Mellanby, an editor for The Windsor Star, Mellanby earned a Communications degree before finding his first broadcasting job at CKLW-TV Windsor as a prop assistant, and later cameraman and floor manager. From there, he went to WXYZ-TV Detroit in 1959 where he worked as a cameraman, followed by a move to Chicago to work as a sports producer at WGN-TV. He returned to Canada in 1961 and CFCF-TV Montreal, where he produced NHL game broadcasts. He joined Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) in 1966 and went on to serve as Executive Producer for 19 years, responsible for hiring play-by-play talent like Bob Cole, Jim Robson, Don Cherry, Dave Hodge, and Ron MacLean, among others, in addition to introducing slow motion replay and on-screen graphics, among other technical viewer enhancements. Mellanby also produced the Peter Puck cartoon for NBC in the 1970s as well as the long-running Coach’s Corner. Mellanby was also involved in numerous Olympic broadcasts from 1976 to 1996, for which he was recognized with five Emmy Awards, including one for directing the TV coverage of the historic “Miracle on Ice” U. S. hockey victory in Lake Placid in 1980. In 1988, he led the Host Broadcast operation at the Calgary Winter Games. Mellanby was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sports Media Canada in 1999. He was inducted into the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in 2004.

TV & FILM NEWS:

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune leads the Canadian-helmed productions earning Oscar nominations. Among the epic sci-fi feature’s 10 nods are nominations for Villeneuve for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture, in addition to a nod for Patrice Vermette for Best Production Design. Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, which was shot in Buffalo and Toronto, also earned a number of Canadians nominations including Toronto costume designer Luis Sequeira, producer J. Miles Dale for Best Picture, and Tamara Deverell and Shane Vieau for Best Production Design. Montreal producer Roger Frappier is also nominated in conjunction with Power of the Dog which leads nominations overall with 12 going into the Academy Awards. National Film Board (NFB) co-production Affairs of the Art earned a nomination for Best Animated Short, while Nova Scotia filmmaker Ben Proudfoot snagged his second nod in a row in the Best Documentary Short category for The Queen of Basketball.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced the return of the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards show, which will broadcast on CBC and CBC Gem on Sunday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. AT / 9:30 p.m. NT), and the continuation of virtual events for the remainder of Canadian Screen Week 2022, taking place from Monday, April 4 to Sunday, April 10. Featuring a selection of prominent categories and tributes to this year’s Special Award recipients, the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards will be an hour-long pre-taped studio production featuring the talents of sketch comedy troupe TallBoyz (Guled Abdi, Vance Banzo, Tim Blair, and Franco Nguyen). The nominees for the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 15. 

ACTRA Toronto has announced the nominees for its Members’ Choice Series Ensemble Award. The winning show will be announced at the 20th ACTRA Awards, broadcast on the ACTRA Toronto YouTube channel on Sunday, March 6, at 8 p.m. EST. As voted on by members of ACTRA Toronto, the finalists are: Baroness Von Sketch Show (Frantic Films); Kim’s Convenience (Thunderbird Entertainment); Pink is In! (Pink One Productions); Pretty Hard Cases (Cameron Pictures); and Sort Of (Sienna Films; Sphere Media).

Trish Stratus

McGillivray Group will now offer turnkey talent development and marketing, as well as new offerings in the digital and linear media production space. The new services support the company’s expanded presence beyond its initial focus, TV personality and Real Estate Investor Scott McGillivray, in producing customized programs, podcasts, digital content and tv commercials. McGillivray will now be representing WWE superstar Trish Stratus, recently named the WWE’s Greatest Female Superstar of all time, who is set to appear at the Canada’s Got Talent judge’s table this spring. McGillivray Group now also represents interior designer Debra Salmoni who has appeared on Scott’s Vacation House Rules.

The Monster Factory has announced it’s expanding its services internationally to 18 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The Montreal agency’s expansion includes the addition of more than 100 new voices, primarily metal vocalists, allowing the company to offer its unique expertise creating and designing voices for hundreds of monsters and creatures on AAA video game titles, films and TV series. The studio’s credits include Resident Evil 7, various entries to the Dead By Daylight and Far Cry series and most recently Eidos-Montréal’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The expansion brings increased capacity to cover several languages and provide customized solutions to fulfill the audio needs of video game and movie producers from sound creation, casting, voice acting, localization, voice direction, recording and sound design. Additionally, its updated website has added a Voice Market which allows audio directors and sound designers to listen to a wide variety of sound samples. 

The Black Screen Office (BSO) has released its much-anticipated report “Being Seen: Directives for Creating Authentic and Inclusive Content” which reveals how Canada’s screen industries are falling short in representing people from Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+, and People with Disabilities communities. It also provides guidelines for industry leaders to meaningfully engage underrepresented groups. Among the report’s directives to Broadcasters/Digital Platforms/Streaming Services, Funders, and Distributors are to implement an anti-racist intersectional framework for content review, assessing every story to ensure there are no stereotypes or tokenism; ensuring there are no common tropes embodied in characters; and address content that looks like a “checkbox diversity” approach and dig deeper to ensure representation is authentic.

The Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF), with the support of the Government of Canada’s Ecosystem Fund, have announced the launch of the Festwave Institute, a national institute to support underserved Black entrepreneurs in the film and television industry through business training and skill building in order to enable them to seize new opportunities in the film and television industry. Currently in Canada, just 13% of artists are racialized, compared to 21% of all workers – indicating barriers for Black people to access this career path. The Festwave Institute says it will work with the industry to complement existing training to help create a more inclusive and equitable film and television industry.

Telefilm Canada is launching its action plan on eco-responsibility, which aims to lead and support the industry through informed business practices and the establishment of science-based policies and targets. Covering three key areas: Organizational, Production and Promotion, among the action plan’s initiatives are establishing a science-based target and timeline to reduce Telefilm’s energy consumption and carbon emissions. Telefilm will also support the implementation of validated carbon-emission reporting protocols for its portfolio of funded productions, to help establish viable reduction targets, in addition to working with its Canadian festival partners to establish an emission reduction policy framework and reporting protocol for its promotional programs.

Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) has announced the launch of a brand new program to help support producers from underrepresented communities. The WIFTV Emerging TV Producers Program is a six-month initiative aimed at assisting up to 10 women and gender-diverse creators with the goal of providing the tools, training and connections to break into the television industry. Funded by the Canada Media Fund (CMF), the program is free and open to BC-based producers or writers who want to gain producing skills, and who have a completed a pilot script (30 or 60 minutes). Applications open March 8 and close April 4.

CBC says with the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing underway, more than half of all Canadians (56%) have watched television coverage on CBC/Radio-Canada, with 21 million viewers tuning in on either an English or French TV network to date, and CBC ranking as the most-watched English network in Canada in prime time among audiences aged 25-54 for the first three full days of competition. CBC’s Feb. 4 encore broadcast of the Opening Ceremony was the most-watched program in Canada with an average audience of 943,000 viewers (2+), and peak viewership of 1.2 million viewers at 8:41 p.m. ET when Team Canada entered the stadium. Early morning live coverage of the Opening Ceremony drew an average audience of 788,000 (2+) across CBC TV, CBC News Network, TSN, TSN2, Sportsnet and Sportsnet One. Among the most-watched moments so far are the women’s snowboard slopestyle competition on Feb. 5 and pairs figure skating on Feb. 6, which both drew 1.5M viewers. 1.7 million viewers tuned in for Tess Ledeux’s final run during the Women’s Freestyle Big Air Final. CBC will continue to offer extensive live and encore coverage of Beijing 2022 through Feb. 20.

CTV, TSN, and RDS are gearing up for SUPER BOWL LVI, as the networks deliver comprehensive coverage of the big game on Sunday, Feb. 13 beginning at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT. Live from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, SUPER BOWL LVI features the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals taking on the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams. SUPER BOWL Sunday programming begins at 12 noon ET / 9 a.m. PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app, with additional coverage beginning at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT on TSN, TSN.ca, the TSN app (full broadcast schedule below). French-language coverage is available on RDS, RDS.ca, and the RDS app. The highly-anticipated Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show features West Coast hip-hop icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and Kendrick Lamar alongside Eminem and Mary J. Blige. TSN’s game day coverage is led by host Kara Wagland alongside football analysts Jabari Greer, Jesse Palmer, Davis Sanchez, and Luke Willson reporting live from Los Angeles. Following the game, TSN delivers a special edition of SPORTSCENTRE, recapping key moments from both on and off the field.

Asian Television Network (ATN) has acquired Canadian broadcast rights for European Cricket League (ECL) 2022. Founded in 2018, the annual tournament is played by the champion clubs of each of the European partner countries’ top league competitions. The inaugural season of ECL was played in 2019 and this is a second season with games postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. Taking place from Feb. 7 to March 18 in Cartama, Spain, the six-week event will feature 144 games between 30 champion teams. All games will be aired live on CBN and ATN Cricket Plus, available nationally on various cable and satellite platforms across Canada.

Simu Lui

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and CBC have announced Simu Liu as the host of the 2022 JUNO Awards broadcast. The first in-person iteration of the show since 2019, this year’s event will be held at Budweiser Stage in Toronto, on Sunday, May 15 and broadcast and streamed live on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen, and globally across CBC Music’s Facebook,YouTube and Twitter pages.The 51st annual JUNO Awards will be produced by Insight Productions.

Amazon Prime has picked up The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, a two-part documentary on the Canadian sketch comedy troupe, ahead of its word premiere at SXSW. The docuseries from Blue Ant Studios includes archival footage unearthed from KITH’s early years and interviews with Dave Foley, Scott Thompson, Kevin McDonald and Mark McKinney, among others. The pick-up follows Prime’s order for eight new episodes of the sketch-comedy series, which will debut later this year. The original Kids in the Hall series ran from 1988 to 1995. 

STACKTV, Corus Entertainment’s premium multi-channel streaming service, is now available on Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream. Customers can now add STACKTV to their monthly TV packages. STACKTV is a portal to a library of scripted and unscripted series and news programs from 13 Canadian networks including Global, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, W Network, Showcase, Slice, Adult Swim, National Geographic, The HISTORY Channel, TELETOON, Treehouse, YTV, and the newly added Lifetime network.

Global’s reality roster continues to grow as the network adds new series Beyond the Edge to its recently announced midseason lineup. Premiering March 16, the new reality adventure series from the producers of Naked and Afraid, is hosted by sports announcer Mauro Ranallo and features nine celebrities braving the dangerous jungles of Panama to raise money for their chosen charities. They include country superstar Lauren Alaina, Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis, country superstar Craig Morgan, NBA champion Metta World Peace, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, NFL legend Mike Singletary, actress Jodie Sweetin (Full House, Fuller House) and television personalities Colton Underwood (The Bachelor) and Eboni K. Williams (The Real Housewives of New York City).

CTV has ordered a second season of original comedy Children Ruin Everything for the 2022/23 broadcast season. Production is set to begin this Spring in Toronto and Hamilton with an increased episode order for Season 2 consisting of 16 half-hour episodes – double its eight-episode first season. Season 1 is joining Roku Originals programming slate in the U.S.  and continues to air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. The series ranks as the biggest debut for a Canadian comedy among A25-54, since 2019 (JANN). It’s also currently ranked as CTV’s #1 new comedy of the 2021-22 broadcast season.

redknot, a joint venture between Nelvana and Discovery, has greenlit a third season of its popular 3D-animated series Agent Binky: Pets Of The Universe (52 x 11 min), with episodes set to begin delivering this fall. The announcement comes ahead of the Season 2 premiere on Corus Entertainment’s Treehouse and STACKTV on April 11, and the return of new episodes on Discovery Kids in Latin America this February.

Handful of Films and Genepool productions have announced the broadcast premiere of their Canadian-Australian documentary co-production, CARBON -The Unauthorized Biography on The Nature of Things, Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. on CBC TV and CBC Gem. Co-directed by Handful of Films’ Niobe Thompson (Equus, The Great Human Odyssey) and Genepool’s Daniella Ortega (Enigma Man: A Stone Age Mystery), CARBON – The Unauthorized Biography will have its World Premiere screening  Monday, Feb. 28, at the Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto, followed by a virtual Q&A with American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson; Canadian Carbon Capture scientist, Dr. Phil de Luna and co-director, Niobe Thompson. The documentary allows the element to tell its own story, voice by Golden Globe-winning Australian actor Sarah Snook (Succession; Steve Jobs; Pieces of a Woman), explaining how Carbon sparked the earliest life and rode the journeys of evolution, keeping our planet’s atmosphere in delicate balance.   

AMI original series Double Tap TV, Four Senses and documentary White Cane Journeys are now available on CBC Gem. Two seasons of Double Tap TV, featuring broadcaster Steven Scott and producer and broadcaster Marc Aflalo helping viewers better understand how technology can assist in everyday life, and one season of accessibility cooking show Four Senses are currently available on the public broadcaster’s streaming service with more to follow. AMI programming available on CBC Gem is part of an ongoing partnership that includes airing CBC’s live coverage of the winter games in Beijing.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

OLG (Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation) is the latest brand to join forces with Corus Entertainment’s so.da and Twitter for #OLGGamePlan, a new interactive digital sports betting series hosted by Ashley Docking and Brad Smith. The 10th custom content series developed under the Twitter Originals Fueled by so.da program, new episodes will drop weekly alongside sports content, available on a new digital OLG hub and on Twitter @OLG_CA and @OLGProline. Each week, Docking and Smith will deliver “digestible” sports analysis to help fans make smart Proline picks. The show also features weekly interviews with sports legends like three-time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana, to discuss predictions, picks, and odds. Filmed in Toronto, on a new custom-built set, #OLGGamePlan is shot, produced, and edited by so.da.

MTM Newcomers has released new data focused on the social media habits of those new to Canada. Based on a sample of over 4,000 newcomers, highlights from the report include that 72% of newcomers have used a social network in the past month, compared to 82% of the Canadian-born population. Newcomers from Europe or the Americas are more likely to be social media users, along with those who have higher levels of education or come from more affluent households. Although Facebook remains the most popular platform in both groups, newcomers are more likely than Canadian-born individuals to use many social media platforms, including WhatsApp (66% versus 23%), Instagram (65% versus 53%), Telegram (21% versus 4%) and TikTok (32% versus 19%). 42% of newcomers that have consumed news in the past month cite social media as their go-to news source, which ranked higher than other news sources such as news websites (27%), linear TV (21%) and radio (6%).

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

BCE has reported results for the fourth quarter (Q4) and full-year 2021, announcing a 5.1% or $0.18 per share increase in the BCE annual common share dividend to $3.68. BCE operating revenue in Q4 was $6,209 million, up 1.8% compared to Q4 2020, driven by a 3.0% increase in service revenue to $5,243 million reflecting strong wireless, residential Internet and media growth. For full-year 2021, BCE operating revenue grew 2.5% to $23,449 million with year-over-year increases of 2.6% in service revenue and 1.6% in product revenue. Media operating revenue increased 7.3% in Q4 to $849 million, and by 10.4% to $3,036 million for 2021, driven primarily by increased TV advertiser spending and higher subscriber revenue. Ad revenue increased 11.8% in Q4, driven by stronger conventional and specialty TV performance, due to the return to a more regular sports schedule and a fuller fall TV line-up compared to Q4 2020, higher year-over-year out of home advertiser demand, and continued digital media growth. For full-year 2021, ad revenue was up 16.3%. Subscriber revenue was up 1.9% in Q4 and 4.8% in 2021, driven by Crave subscriber growth of 6% last year to more than 2.9 million. Digital revenue increased 36% in Q4 and 35% in 2021, due to Crave direct-to-consumer growth, continued scaling of Bell’s strategic audience management (SAM) TV media sales tool and growth in TV digital advertising including with CTV advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD). Digital revenues represented 20% of total Bell Media revenue in 2021, up from 16% in 2020.

Stingray Group has released its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2022, ended Dec. 31. Revenues increased $3.4 million, or 4.8%, to $76.0 million from $72.6 million for Q3 2021. The increase was primarily due to the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the return to normal commercial operations as well as an increase in advertising revenues in the Broadcast and Commercial Music segment. Revenues in Canada in the quarter grew $2.0 million, or 4.2%, to $49.4 million from $47.4 million for Q3 2021. Broadcasting and Commercial Music revenues increased $0.9 million, or 2.3% year-over-year, to $41.1 million, mainly due to an increase in ad revenue. Radio revenues grew $2.5 million, or 7.9%, to $34.9 million in Q3 2022 from $32.4 million in the same period last year.

CRTC Chair Ian Scott

The Competitive Network Operators of Canada (CNOC) is seeking an order to compel CRTC Chairperson Ian Scott to recuse himself, or be recused, from deciding all matters affecting service-based competition pending adjudication of TekSavvy’s bias claims by the Federal Court of Appeal. CNOC says Scott’s involvement in such proceedings would render any decision made by the commission, in which he is involved, vulnerable to appellate review on the same grounds should TekSavvy be successful in its appeal. CNOC cites Scott’s recent defence of a personal meeting with a Bell executive in the Toronto Star as evidence of “the apprehension of bias and breach of procedural fairness.” “The recusal of Chairman Scott from any process relating to the relationship between facilities-based incumbent telecom providers and small service-based competitive providers is crucial to restore public and stakeholder confidence in the CRTC, to protect it from further institutional damage, and to avoid the taint of bias,” writes the CNOC. “This is particularly important in view of the upcoming proceedings before it, the outcomes of which will determine the future of choice and competition in residential telecom services, and their affordability for Canadian households.”

CBC says it’s reduced its visibility and hired extra security as reporters continue to face abuse and intimidation while covering the ongoing “Freedom Convoy” rallies across the country. The Canadian Association of journalists (CAJ) has also issued a second release voicing its concern about the alarming rise in harassment and threats against journalists covering demonstrations. “We welcome thoughtful criticism and discussion of journalists’ work but threatening, harassing, physically intimidating, or throwing objects at journalists reporting on these protests has no place in a free country like Canada and is completely unacceptable,” said CAJ president Brent Jolly. The issue prompted Bloc Québécois MP Martin Champoux to put forward a motion in the House of Commons reaffirming the “essential role of journalists in a democracy.”

The CJF is recognizing David Suzuki (left) with its annual CJF Tribute for his exceptional career in science broadcasting and commitment to informing Canadians about the climate change crisis. Internationally renowned Canadian photographer Ed Burtynsky (right) will present the tribute at the CJF Awards ceremony on June 7 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is recognizing David Suzuki with its annual CJF Tribute, in recognition of his exceptional career in science broadcasting and commitment to informing Canadians about climate change. He’ll receive the honour at the CJF Awards ceremony on June 7 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The annual CJF Tribute recognizes media luminaries who have made an exceptional journalistic impact on the international stage. Suzuki helped launch and host the long-running CBC Radio program Quirks and Quarks in 1975. In 1979, he became the host of CBC television’s The Nature of Things, which continues to air new episodes. From 1969 to 2001, Suzuki was a faculty member at the University of British Columbia (UBC), receiving numerous awards for his work, including a UNESCO prize for science and a UN Environment Program medal. He was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2006.

World Press Freedom Canada (WPFC) has opened nominations for its 2022 Press Freedom Award, honouring a journalist or media worker for making an outstanding contribution to press freedom in Canada in 2021. The award is given to nominees who demonstrate that their public-interest work was frustrated by a cloak of secrecy, legal manoeuvres, political intimidation, or tactics that put their safety or career at risk. WPFC is also seeking nominations for its Spencer Moore Award, which honours a person who, throughout their career, has displayed a determined pursuit of press freedom and freedom of information. The winner of the Press Freedom Award receives a $2,000 prize from World Press Freedom Canada and a certificate from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. The Spencer Moore prize winner is awarded $1,000. The deadline for both nominations is March 15. Find details here.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s upcoming J-Talks Live webcast “Reporting on the Ground in Afghanistan” features (left to right): Nil Köksal, CBC; Stewart Bell, Global News; Hind Hassan, VICE World News; Kiana Hayeri, Photographer; and Jeff Semple, Global News.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) next J-Talks Live webcast will feature first person accounts of the Taliban Afghanistan takeover and insights into the challenges, safety issues and nuances of covering the humanitarian crisis. Featured speakers include Global News journalists Stewart Bell and Jeff Semple; VICE World News journalist Hind Hassan, who spoke with Taliban leaders in advance of the takeover; and visual storyteller Kiana Hayeri, who captured the transition through powerful photographs. Leading the discussion is Nil Köksal, host of CBC’s World Report and former foreign correspondent in Turkey. The free virtual event takes place Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. EST. Register here.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Triveni Digital has announced that the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has incorporated its tech into its newly-established and first-of-its-kind ATSC 3.0 living lab and test bed in Canada, using an end-to-end solution from Triveni, including the SkyScraper® XM ATSC 3.0 Datacasting System. Through Triveni Digital’s end-to-end solution, the Broadcast — Broadband Convergence (B²C) Lab will enable Canadian and multinational stakeholders, students, and faculty to experiment with delivering advanced television and datacasting applications like remote learning, personalized advertising, and automotive applications. In addition to SkyScraper, the B²C Lab has incorporated Triveni Digital’s ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Gateway scheduler, GuideBuilder® XM ATSC 3.0 Transport Encoder, and StreamScope® XM Analyzer for ATSC 3.0 datacasting. The GuideBuilder XM generates ATSC 3.0 metadata associated with the content being transmitted by SkyScraper, playing an essential role in the datacasting process. Using the StreamScope XM Analyzer, research teams will analyze and troubleshoot the ATSC 3.0 datacasting streams to ensure quality of service.

LiveU, the New Jersey-headquartered provider of live video and remote production solutions, and Matrix Video Communications Corp. (MVCC), a Calgary-based media production and audiovisual solutions corporation, have partnered on distribution in Canada. MVCC will drive sales and marketing opportunities to promote LiveU’s extensive portfolio of live production offerings. As the inventor and innovator of cellular bonding, LiveU enables live transmission and distribution for live newsgathering, sports production, and enhanced business communication across multiple locations. MVCC currently has 10 offices in Canada, providing project-based services and audiovisual support to a wide variety of marketplaces.

Exterity is now officially VITEC, marking a key milestone in the successful integration of both companies following the acquisition of Exterity in April 2021. VITEC, a provider of IPTV, Video Streaming and Digital Signage Solutions, says the strengthened organization will continue to deliver a wide range of solutions, leveraging the expertise of the combined teams to best serve customers and partners around the globe. The move has been further signified by new branding, incorporating the distinctive Exterity orange into the VITEC logo. The combined company now has 375 employees across 16 countries. VITEC has acquired the previously leased Exterity HQ building in Dalgety Bay, Fife, Scotland, with a view to further expanding operations in 2022. Its team in Dubai is also moving to newly-purchased premises in the Indigo Icon Tower in the DMCC Free Zone. VITEC will be looking to expand the team in the Middle East region, which it sees as a key growth market.