Jeff & Laura with Backstage Ben, the morning show team at Virgin Radio London (CIQM-FM), are now also being heard in the morning time slot on Virgin Radio Kitchener-Waterloo (CFCA-FM), as of March 1. Hosted by Jeff Kelly, Laura Geddes, and Backstage Ben, who have been teamed since May 2020, the trio replaces Cash Conners – one of the casualties of February’s layoffs at Bell Media.
Richard Syrett has joined Sauga 960 AM (CKNT-AM) as host of the afternoon drive show. The Richard Syrett Show is airing weekdays from 4 – 6 p.m. and promises to deliver “strong conservative opinions and in-depth analysis of important news stories” as well as discussion on big tech and cancel culture. Syrett’s former Corus Radio colleague and business analyst Lou Schizas is a daily contributor. Syrett is also the host of the Conspiracy Unlimited podcast and has served as a guest host on Coast to Coast AM.
John Steele has resigned from the Stingray Group Board of Directors to pursue other interests. Steele was the former President of Newfoundland & Labrador operations for Newfoundland Capital Corp., which Stingray acquired in 2018. Karinne Bouchard has been appointed to the Board of Directors and will also serve on the corporation’s Audit Committee. Bouchard serves as the Global Head of Treasury and Treasurer at Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and also sits on the board of the Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation, dedicated to financially supporting the arts and culture sector.
Sarah Hyatt has been restructured out of her position as a Talent Acquisition Consultant at Bell Media. Based in Toronto, Hyatt had been with Bell since 2017.
Kaitlyn Herbst has left Global News Morning in Vancouver to pursue a career in real estate. Herbst had been a fixture on the station for 14 years, starting as a helicopter reporter for the Canadian Traffic Network (CTN), before transitioning into a Traffic & Weather Anchor position on the morning show in 2011.
Alexander Quon is joining CBC Saskatchewan as a reporter, based in Regina. Since his graduation from the University of King’s College Masters of Journalism program in 2017, Quon has been covering the Maritimes as a Digital Producer for Global News in Halifax.
Gord Danielson is retiring from CTV News. Based in Halifax, Danielson has had a 42-year career as a cameraman and editor, most of that spent with CTV National News in the Atlantic Bureau.
Aileen Doyle has left CTV Barrie after five years as a reporter for both digital and broadcast. Prior to joining CTV in 2016, Doyle was a reporter, videographer and anchor with CHEX-TV Peterborough.
David Crosbie is joining The Globe and Mail as an audio editor. Crosbie has been a Supervising Producer with Canadaland for the past three years. Prior to that, he was a web editor with the Hamilton Spectator and helped launch its first serial podcast.
Jameson Berkow has joined RATESDOTCA as the publication’s Managing Editor. Berkow was previously part of the launch team for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Cannabis, and has also held reporting positions with BNN Bloomberg and the Financial Post.
Phil Wood has joined 660 News (CFFR-AM) Calgary as an evening news anchor. Up until November, Wood was working for Rogers Sports & Media’s Fort McMurray stations, Country 93.3 (CJOK-FM) and 97.9 ROCK (CKYX-FM), as a reporter and anchor.
Tahirih Foroozan is the new afternoon news presenter on CBC Radio One in Edmonton. Foroozan has been with the public broadcaster since 2018, based in Calgary. Prior to that, she was a producer and anchor with 660 News (CFFR-AM) Calgary.
Haley Lewis has joined The Conversation as Culture & Society Editor. Lewis, who has done previous reporting contracts with HuffPost Canada, TVO, and CBC, has most recently been serving as a Communications Officer for the First Nations Governance Centre and National Association of Friendship Centres.
Linda Stregger has been appointed Chief Operating Officer at Champlain Media, a group of companies owned by Tom Berry and Reel One Entertainment. The veteran entertainment executive and producer will be based in the company’s Toronto office and report to Berry, overseeing Champlain Media’s development, production, and financial activities. Stregger was most recently VP of Finance, Entertainment for Spin Master and also spent 21 years as a producer and VP at Upfront Entertainment.
Rob Rowan has been appointed General Manager of William F. White International’s Calgary and Winnipeg offices, with both markets identified as opportunities for strategic growth. Rowan joins the company with over 30 years of production experience and a lengthy background as a business agent for IATSE Local 856 and ICG 669. He brings a wealth of onset experience to the role, working on feature films and series including Capote, Shall We Dance? and Nothing but the Truth. He assumes the role from Michael Drabot, the company’s previous Winnipeg GM, who will continue in his position as VP/GM of Toronto.
Jessica Lea Fleming is imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival’s new Associate Director. Working closely with Executive and Artistic Directors, Naomi Johnson and Niki Little, Fleming will assist with developing and activating imagineNATIVE’s strategic plan, critical path, and mandate. Since 2018, she’d been the festival’s Foundations + Partnerships Manager. Fleming is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer, performer and director, who has also worked as a programmer and arts manager with Native Earth Performing Arts, Talking Stick Festival, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, Art Gallery of Hamilton, and Regent Park Film Festival.
Nicholas Treeshin has joined Winnipeg-based Black Watch Entertainment as Head of Scripted Production and Development. Treeshin, who has director credits on Love It or List It Vancouver and HGTV’s Timber Kings, among other series, was most recently working on Netflix series Border Security: America’s Front Line.
Linda Michaelson has joined the Thunderbird Entertainment Group Board of Directors as an independent member, with the resignation of Frank Holmes. A partner and Practice Group Leader for the Corporate and Securities Practice at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP, Michaelson brings with her a broad range of leadership experience, primarily in the entertainment and digital media, technology, fashion, and healthcare industries.
RADIO & PODCAST:
My Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has announced its intention to sell four stations and purchase Lake 88.1 (CHLK-FM) Perth, ON from Perth FM Radio Inc. The stations being sold include CIYN‐FM Kincardine to Lakeside Radio Broadcasting Corp., while CJML‐FM Milton, CIMA‐FM Alliston and CKMO‐FM Orangeville will be acquired by Local Radio Lab Inc. In a release, MBC said the deals “position the company for future growth and acquisitions.” MBC currently operates 21 radio stations in small to medium-sized markets in Ontario including Renfrew, Arnprior, Pembroke and Gananoque. Owned by President Jon Pole and Executive Vice-President Andrew Dickson, the transactions are dependent on CRTC approval.
Jim Richards is now helming a new national late night talk show across Bell Media’s iHeartRadio news/talk network. Making its debut last Sunday at midnight ET, the Late Showgram with Jim Richards airs through 5 a.m. ET. Richards, whose career has included stops at CJTN-FM Trenton, CIHI-FM Fredericton, CJCH-FM Halifax, Rock 95 (CFJB-FM) Barrie, The Fan 590 (CJCL-AM), and Q107 (CILQ-FM), has hosted late night radio before. His initial gig with CFRB-AM, when he joined the station in 1997, was hosting The Nightside. He also briefly hosted syndicated late night programming for the Rock Radio Network. The Late Showgram can be heard in Toronto on Newstalk 1010 as well as CJAD 800 Montreal, 580 CFRA Ottawa, Newstalk 610 CKTB St. Catharines, AM 800 CKLW Windsor, 1290 CJBK London, BNN Bloomberg 1410 Vancouver, CFAX 1070 Victoria, and AM 1150 Kelowna. Read more here.
SiriusXM Canada is airing a new show and podcast hosted by Peter Mansbridge. Good Talk is airing weekly Thursdays at 5 p.m. ET on Canada Talks (SiriusXM 167) with a re-airing Sundays at noon, and are also available following the broadcast on the SiriusXM App. The show will include regular panelists Chantal Hébert and Bruce Anderson, in addition to weekly guest panelists, discussing important issues facing the country. Last month, SiriusXM Canada announced a collaborative relationship with Mansbridge that saw his podcast The Bridge added to its podcast line-up. It also airs on the Canada Talks channel at noon ET daily.
SiriusXM Canada and General Motors of Canada have reached a new multi-year agreement that will increase installation of the SXM hardware in new vehicles, making the satellite radio service available in nearly all Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, beginning with model year 2021. Customers purchasing or leasing SiriusXM equipped new or pre-owned vehicles will receive a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM All Access. Additionally, GM Canada will continue to roll out its integration of SiriusXM with 360L, which combines satellite and streaming content delivery into a single in-vehicle entertainment experience.
SiriusXM and the Recording Academy are launching The Grammy Channel ahead of the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. The limited-edition channel (104) will feature a variety of music from this year’s nominees, including Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Brittany Howard, DaBaby, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, Post Malone, Roddy Ricch and Taylor Swift, leading up to the Grammy’s broadcast March 14 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Listeners can also expect to hear music from Grammy Lifetime Achievement honorees like Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Salt-n-Pepa, Selena and Talking Heads.
Stingray’s Classic Hits stations and its Breeze network will mark International Women’s Day on March 8 with an all-female playlist and interviews and audio from notable women, starting with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, who’ll join Stu Jeffries on the boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) morning show. Others participating include pop singer Lorraine Segato, media executive Denise Donlon, Olympians Catriona Le May Doan and Sami Jo Small, Kumudu Jinadasa of the Canadian Space Agency, and MuchMusic icon and podcaster Erica Ehm.
JACK stations in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Medicine Hat, London and Halifax are flipping to JILL for the third year in a row in honour of International Women’s Day on Monday. JILL’s IWD playlist will feature all-female artists with the entire station re-imaged with female voice talent. New this year is JILLith Fair with the stations featuring live tracks from female artists starting at 6 p.m. The brand has also partnered with Tub Masks to create a “Fave 3 Female” Artist Mask in each market, with partial proceeds benefiting Dress For Success.
Brent Wallace, who was one of the casualties of February’s Bell Media layoffs after two decades with TSN’s Ottawa bureau, along with former Ottawa Senators defenceman and NHL free agent Marc Methot, is launching a new hockey podcast and YouTube show this Friday. The Wally and Methot Show will drop episodes twice weekly, with the duo to be joined on the project by Craig Medaglia and Adam Wood, both former content producers for the Ottawa Senators.
Today, I am beyond excited to announce the next chapter of my life. @MarcMethot3 and I are launching The Wally and Methot Show.”
We have put together an amazing team that are just as excited as I am to embark on this journey.
— Brent Wallace (@Freeagentwally) March 3, 2021
LISTEN: On this sponsored episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Stephen Ryan joins us to talk about Momentum Music Research, a new player in the online audience music research space (*and subsidiary of Broadcast Dialogue parent company, Momentum Media Marketing). Ryan, a UK radio veteran, is the creator of the cloud-based platform that allows users to see the results of their music research in real time. Ryan talks about striking the right playlist balance in the increasingly competitive audio space and the pandemic impact on music testing.
LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, award-winning Inside Edition journalist Lisa Guerrero joins Matt Cundill to talk about her forthcoming book, Between a Jock and a Hard Place. In this episode, she shares the high and low points of her time working in broadcasting, from a toxic environment at Fox Sports to the abusive media criticism she received as a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
Brian Fraser, 26, on Feb. 25 after a two-year battle with leukemia. Originally from Brockville, ON, Fraser joined Ottawa’s 580 CFRA as a technical producer in 2015, while still a student in the Algonquin College Radio Broadcasting program. He worked behind-the-scenes on various talk shows and was one of the voices heard on The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll. Following his diagnosis in May 2019, Fraser frequently documented his cancer journey on Twitter, including advocating for blood cancer awareness and blood donation. In addition to his time with CFRA, he served as a play-by-play and colour commentator for the CJHL Nepean Raiders on Algonquin College campus station, CKDJ-FM, from 2013-16. Read more here.
Jeff Ansell, 65, on Feb. 23, of cancer. Ansell got his feet wet in broadcasting at age 17 at ethnic radio station, CFMB-AM Montreal. He moved on to CKGM and CFCF, before relocating to Toronto and CFTR. After two years there, he moved over to CHUM Radio where he anchored in addition to working on the “In Toronto” program. It was at CHUM that Ansell became interested in investigative journalism. In 1980, he and fellow CHUM reporter Tim Laing went undercover, posing as drug addicts to expose doctors illicitly prescribing narcotics. The resulting radio documentary “Pillars of Parkdale” won an RTNDA Award. Ansell went on to conduct an investigation that exposed two Nazi war criminals living in Canada. He later joined Citytv Toronto where his documentary, Nursing Homes: The Promise of Age, led to legislative amendments to the Ontario Nursing Homes Act. He left the station in 1987 to found media training and video production company, Public Eye Network, which produced shows for CHCH-TV and TVO. Ansell joined Hill+Knowlton as Senior Vice-President in 1989, providing media training to CEOs at Pepsi and Procter & Gamble, among other companies. He left in 1995 to start Jeff Ansell & Associates, providing strategic communications counsel and serving as an instructor in the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program. In 2010, he and Jeffrey Leeson co-authored “When the Headline is YOU: An Insider’s Guide to Handling the Media.”
Glen “Moose” Scott, 75, on Feb. 19. A builder in the Prince George sport community, Scott was sports director at CJCI-AM Prince George for eight years in the 1970s, before going on to work with Pitney Bowes, Investors Group and P.G. This Week. He also served as a city councillor from 2002-05 and again from 2005-08. As a volunteer, Scott was the founder of the Prince George Senior Lacrosse Association and served as its commissioner for 24 years, in addition to serving on the executive of the B.C. Lacrosse Association for eight years. He was inducted into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame in 2014 and received a Sport BC Community Sport Hero Award in 2011. He retired in 2013 due to health concerns.
Wes Saunders, 92, on Feb. 17. The longtime radio and television news anchor was known as “the voice of Lloydminster” as one of the fixtures on CKSA-TV for more than three decades. Prior to joining CKSA-TV in the 1960s, Saunders spent nearly a decade in Edmonton radio, first at CFRN from 1955-58 and later CHED. Newcap renamed its Lloydminster newsroom after Saunders in 2013 to mark his 37-year contribution to radio and television in the community.
TV & FILM:
Schitt’s Creek beat out fellow nominees Ted Lasso, The Great, The Flight Attendant and Emily in Paris to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Comedy on Sunday. Star Catherine O’Hara also claimed the award for Best Actress, Musical or Comedy Series. Accepting on behalf of the series, co-creator Dan Levy thanked the Canadian cast and crew for their work on Schitt’s Creek’s over its six seasons. Since its 2015 debut on CBC, Schitt’s Creek has garnered more than 190 award nominations and is the most Emmy-nominated series in Canadian television history with 19. The series made history at the 2020 Emmy Awards with nine wins, the most in a single season for a comedy and the first Canadian win for Outstanding Comedy Series.
CAFTCAD Awards nominations are out with round two voting open to all CAFTCAD Members in good standing, March 5-28. Among the series earning multiple nominations for costume arts and design are Snowpiercer, Altered Carbon and Star Trek: Discovery. Vancouver-based costume designer Glenne Campbell, who has worked on Battlestar Galatica, Colony, Chesapeake Shores, Da Vinci’s Inquest and Bordertown, among other series, will be honoured with this year’s Nobis Industry Icon Award.
Telefilm has announced more details around the Short-Term Compensation Fund for Canadian Audiovisual Productions, which has been extended to March 31, 2022. Producers who have already applied for a project that begins shooting before March 31, 2021 and extends beyond that date must reapply for the portion that takes place after March 31, 2021. The measure has been put in place to allow all eligible producers to apply on the new opening date. Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis, incumbent on earliest date of start of principal photography. Updated STCF Guidelines and the Pre-Eligibility Attestation Form are available here.
Telefilm has also provided an update on Phase 1 and Phase 2 disbursement of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. $29,654,492 in relief funding was provided to 549 companies in total, with 471 in Phase 1, and an additional 81 in Phase 2. Companies that self-identified as being majority owned by an underrepresented group (Racialized Persons, Indigenous, Women, LGBTQ2+, Persons with disabilities, and Persons from Official Language minority communities) comprised 53.1% of all funding recipients.
Reshmi Nair and Nick Dixon are helming CP24’s new primetime show, CP24 Tonight, which premiered March 1. The two-hour program promises to go “beyond the headlines” of news stories spanning the GTA, as well as national and global issues. Nair joined CP24 in December following a brief stint as one of the anchors of Bell Media’s Quibi news content. Prior to joining Bell last March, she’d been anchoring for CBC News Network for a decade. Dixon returned to CP24 in 2020 after two years as the weekend anchor at CTV Toronto. Prior to that, he produced and anchored evening and late-night news at CHCH Hamilton for a decade. Read more here.
Frankie Drake Mysteries won’t be returning for a fifth season. Star Lauren Lee Smith announced that CBC had not renewed the series on her Instagram account Sunday, saying the cast is “incredibly disappointed.” Set in 1920s Toronto and co-created by Carol Hay, Michelle Ricci and Cal Coons, the female detective series also starred Chantel Riley, Rebecca Liddiard and Sharron Matthews. The series airs in the UK, Spain, Brazil, Central and Eastern Europe, Finland, Portugal and New Zealand.
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Stories From the Land, a podcast dedicated to Indigenous storytelling, has been adapted into a documentary series by Wanderer Entertainment for CBC Short Docs. The four-part series, narrated and hosted by Anishinaabe comedian Ryan McMahon, will premiere on CBC Gem on March 12. The television series picks up where the podcast stream ends with each themed episode a collection of documentary stories, interviews and landscapes woven together by a visual tapestry backed by a soundtrack from Mohawk musician DJ Shub.
CBC is bringing four acclaimed dramas to Canadian audiences on CBC-TV and CBC Gem this spring, including the Canadian network premiere of the BAFTA and Emmy-nominated historical series Victoria on March 22; the Canadian network premiere of new British detective series Miss Scarlet and The Duke on March 29; the exclusive Canadian premiere of BBC limited series US starring Tom Hollander on April 4; and the Canadian broadcast premiere of new Australian psychological thriller The Secret She Keeps, starring Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael on April 14.
CTV, in association with Project 10 Productions and SEVEN24 Films, have announced that production has begun in Calgary on Season 3 of JANN. With Jann Arden starring as a fictionalized version of herself, Season 3 consists of eight half-hour episodes. Joining the cast in leading roles this season are Canadian actors Tenaj Williams (Big Sky, Wyonna Earp) and Charlie Kerr (Supernatural, The Magicians). Michael Bublé is confirmed to guest star as himself.
CTV’s new original documentary series This Is Pop dives into some of the most pivotal moments in pop music history over the past seven decades. Produced by Banger Films, the eight-part docuseries features exclusive interviews with Shania Twain, Boyz II Men, and T-Pain, exploring their impact on the industry and pop culture. The series airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, starting March 6 on CTV, CTV.ca and the CTV app.
HGTV Canada’s Island of Bryan (10×60) returns for a third season as Bryan and Sarah Baeumler work to achieve their dream of opening a boutique hotel in the Bahamas. Premiering April 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Season 3 captures the rollercoaster ride of Caerula Mar’s first year of business amidst the global pandemic. The first five episodes will air this spring with the latter half of the season to air in summer 2021. Season 2 of the series ranks as the #1 program for HGTV Canada in the past 10 years, surpassing the record previously held by Season 1.
Sportsnet will be simulcasting Toronto Blue Jays’ TV broadcasts on the Sportsnet Radio Network this season. The network says the move is part of an effort to minimize travel and closely adhere to team, league, and government protocols related to the pandemic. The voices of Buck Martinez, Dan Shulman, and Pat Tabler will now be heard on both TV and radio. Ben Wagner remains part of the Blue Jays on Sportsnet broadcast team, joining Jamie Campbell, Joe Siddall, Hazel Mae, and Arash Madani. Coverage of all regular season games begins with Opening Day on April 1 on Sportsnet, SN NOW, and the Sportsnet Radio Network, while Blue Jays Spring Training broadcasts are being carried through March 29.
Sid Seixeiro signed off from Sportsnet on Friday as the Tim & Sid era comes to an end with Seixeiro’s move to join Breakfast Television in Toronto. Seixeiro and Tim Micallef have had a 20-year broadcast partnership, with the show starting as a podcast before becoming an afternoon show on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590 The Fan (CJCL-AM) in 2011.
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) February 27, 2021
Blue Ant Media and New Zealand-based unscripted producer Dame Julie Christie have announced a new partnership that will see Christie acquire a majority stake and assume the role of CEO in New Zealand-based, factual production company, NHNZ. To be rebranded as NHNZ Worldwide, the production company will continue to be based in Dunedin. Blue Ant Media will continue to own NHNZ’s existing catalogue and a significant minority stake in NHNZ Worldwide. Sam Sniderman, Co-President, Global Content Production, Blue Ant Media has joined NHNZ Worldwide’s Board of Directors. Christie was the founder and creative force behind New Zealand’s Touchdown Productions, which was sold to Eyeworks in 2006 after which she became CEO of Eyeworks New Zealand & Australia. The acquisition of a majority stake in NHNZ Worldwide marks her return to television production.
Blue Ant Media has expanded its partnership with BBC Studios to launch BBC First in Canada. Featuring premium scripted and factual entertainment programming, BBC First joins existing Blue Ant Media and BBC Studios channel BBC Earth as part of Blue Ant Media’s Canadian cable television portfolio. Set to debut March 16, the ad-supported channel will give Canadians access to BBC First’s original British programming slate, including series like Top Gear, Death in Paradise, The Office, and The Graham Norton Show. BBC First will broadcast in Canada in HD and will replace Blue Ant Media’s existing HIFI channel.
Wapanatahk Media has chosen to partner with Thunderbird Factual to launch a brand-new studio focused on Indigenous storytelling. Wapanatahk Media is co-founded by Indigenous producers Tania Koenig-Gauchier and Shirley McLean, both of whom have lived knowledge of Indigenous creative communities. The studio’s very first series, Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet, has already been sold to APTN and Blue Ant.
The Last Walrus by award-winning filmmaker Nathalie Bibeau premieres March 12 on CBC’s The Nature of Things. The documentary sheds light on the debate around marine mammal captivity, putting the world’s most well-known walrus, Smooshi, at the heart of it. The doc features the Vancouver Aquarium and the work of Dr. David Rosen (UBC/Marine Mammal scientist) as well as Dr. Shawn Noren from UC Santa Cruz.
CKPG-TV and the Prince George Community Foundation hosted the first Prince George Live! Variety Show and Fundraiser on Feb. 28. The event featured in-studio host Kyle Sampson and remote entertainment features including comedian Mike McGuire, a performance by the Judy Russell Dance Academy, and musical performances by Studio 720 and Rick Stavely. Over the course of the evening, more than $55,000 was raised for the foundation via online, telephone and auction donations.
Hollywood Suite has announced an agreement with Mongrel Media to bring over 20 premium titles to the service over the next year. The deal includes Iranian animated feature Persepolis (2007), which kicked off Hollywood Suite’s recurring World Cinema Wednesdays initiative this week, designed to highlight great films from around the globe. It will also bring Sun Children (2020) to Hollywood Suite, which has been shortlisted for Best International Feature at the 2021 Academy Awards. Other films included in the partnership are Bandar Band (2020), RBG (2018), A Fantastic Woman (2017), The Lobster (2014), The Lunchbox (2013), A Royal Affair (2012) and Let the Right One In (2008).
Hollywood Suite will feature a month of films featuring women behind and in front of the camera in honour of International Women’s Day on March 8. One of the key films featured in the collection is Colette (2018), starring Keira Knightley in the role of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, forced to ghostwrite under her husband’s name. Other titles include Ossie Davis-directed Black Girl (1972) on March 9; Nora Ephron’s Mixed Nuts (1994) on March 19; and 1986 feature Seven Minutes In Heaven, directed by Linda Feferman and starring Jennifer Connelly and Maddie Corman.
TELUS is marking International Women’s Day by donating the cost of a curated list of movie rentals – up to $10,000 – from the Breaking the Glass Ceiling collection in the TELUS Video on Demand library to Dress for Success Canada. From now until March 14, the full cost of rentals ($5 to $7) from the category will go to support the not-for-profit organization offering career development tools for at-risk and underemployed women. Optik and Pik TV customers can also access a curated selection of free titles from TELUS Originals, STORYHIVE, and YouTube playlists available on the Community Connections channel (345), produced by Canadian female filmmakers.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Torstar Corporation has announced its intention to launch an online casino betting brand in 2021 in the regulated $500 million a year Ontario online gaming market. The launch is pending approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Paul Rivett, Chair and co-owner of Torstar said in the company’s announcement that “doing this as part of Torstar will help support the growth and expansion of quality community-based journalism.”
Vancouver’s Liquid Media Group has signed a distribution agreement with Atari that will see SlipStream, Liquid’s video-on-demand distribution platform, made available for download on the new Atari VCS PC/console hybrid. Liquid’s deal with Atari is the first to be revealed in support of the vertically integrated studio’s evolution as a solutions-driven business, under new CEO Ronald W. Thomson. The only Canadian entertainment company listed on Nasdaq, Liquid is moving toward branding itself as a business solutions company “empowering independent IP creators to package, finance, deliver and monetize their professional video IP globally.” Read more here.
Kin Community Canada, the Corus Entertainment-owned creator network, is continuing to expand its roster of content creators. Spanning topics from fashion and health & wellness to travel, entrepreneurship, and food, new additions to Kin include entertainer Deborah Cox; entrepreneur Lyn Allure; Vancouver foodie Emma Choo; and parenting blogger Andrew Taylor, among others. Corus says Kin has delivered incredible growth and increased demand over the past year, in part due to the ability of creators to continue shooting in their home studios during the pandemic. Creator marketing continues to be a key driver for brand engagement, with the industry expected to grow to $15 billion dollars by 2022, according to Business Insider.
Twitter Canada and Corus social digital agency, so.da, have launched Twitter Shops Fueled by so.da, a new online shopping experience that allows Twitter users to discover and shop for products via virtual pop-ups designed to drive traffic directly to the brand’s site. Building on the success of its previous partnership, Twitter Originals Fueled by so.da, the virtual pop-up stores will integrate brands into so.da-produced content that allows users to “Watch and Shop” in the same window.
QYOU Media Inc. has announced that The Q India, the company’s Hindi language youth- oriented channel, has secured its largest single television distribution agreement by adding DD Free Dish, an open access Direct-to-home platform reaching 38 million households, owned by India state broadcaster, Doordarshan. The agreement nearly doubles television reach for The Q India to over 88 million television households [bringing the total reach in April 2021 to approximately 700 Million homes and devices]. Free Dish contributes up to 25% of total viewership in the Hindi Speaking Market (HSM), the target market for The Q India. Curt Marvis, CEO and co-founder of QYOU Media, says the distribution partnership pushes the service closer to its goal of reaching 100 million TV households in 2021.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
The Supreme Court of Canada has released its decision, declining to hear appeals by the big telecoms seeking to overturn the CRTC’s 2019 decision lowering the wholesale internet rates large carriers can charge smaller competitors. TekSavvy, one of those independent ISPs, also says the ruling orders the large carriers to pay legal costs, following an earlier Sept. 2020 Federal Court of Appeal decision rejecting the large carriers’ appeals with costs. With those lower rates applied retroactively, a submission by TekSavvy to the CRTC last year estimated that Bell owes $100 million to smaller ISPs, Rogers $140 million and Shaw $10 million.
Allarco Entertainment, the parent company of Super Channel, has filed an application for an injunction with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, asking the court to order four Canadian retailers to immediately stop selling set-top boxes, like kodi media streaming devices, designed to illegally pirate television programming. The retailers named in the injunction are Staples, Best Buy, London Drugs and Canada Computers. This is the second lawsuit the company has filed in relation to the issue since 2019. Super Channel maintains that many of the pirate devices, most of which are manufactured in China, are pre-loaded with malware that can access consumers’ home networks and private data. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Quebecor Inc. has reported its consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2020. Year-end revenues of $4.32 billion were reported, up $24.0 million (0.6%) from 2019. Revenues for the quarter were $1.15 billion, up $10.6 million (0.9%). Adjusted EBITDA for the year was $1.95 billion, up $73.1 million (3.9%), while EBITDA for the quarter was at $526.8 million, up $32.3 million (6.5%). In Q4, adjusted EBITDA increased in the Telecommunications segment by $19.0 million (4.1%) and in the Media segment by $10.3 million (29.2%). For the full year, the Telecommunications segment grew its revenues by $142.2 million (4.1%) and its adjusted EBITDA by $61.0 million (3.4%) in 2020. Videotron significantly increased its revenues from customer equipment sales ($139.1 million or 51.6%), mobile telephony ($57.8 million or 9.6%), and Internet access ($17.1 million or 1.5%) in 2020. It saw a net increase of 71,700 revenue‑generating units (1.2%) in 2020, including 150,600 connections (11.3%) to the mobile telephony service, 69,500 subscriptions (4.0%) to Internet access service and 10,400 subscriptions (2.3%) to the Club illico over‑the‑top video service.
Patricia Bebia Mawa has been named this year’s Media honouree at the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) Harry Jerome Awards. An alumna of Algonquin College, Mawa has directed and produced over 15 television programs, published multiple editions of three magazines, and currently hosts Planet Africa on OMNI TV. In 2016, she and her husband launched Afroglobal Television, a 24-hour television channel currently carried by Rogers Cable, Bell Fibe, Eastlink, and TELUS. The BBPA will hold its first ever Virtual Gala on April 17 at 6 p.m. ET. Established in 1983 in memory of the late Harry Jerome, a Canadian Olympian and social advocate, the BBPA Harry Jerome Awards recognize and honour achievements within the Canadian Black Community.
Western Hockey League (WHL) is establishing the Bob Ridley Award for Media Excellence, which will be presented annually to a distinguished member of the radio, television or print journalism industry in recognition of their outstanding contributions to sports journalism and the WHL. Ridley marked calling his 4,000th WHL game on Feb. 27 as the voice of the Medicine Hat Tigers since they began play in 1970-71. He also served as the club’s bus driver for 45 seasons. He received a Distinguished Service Award from the league in 2006. Ridley, 76, started his broadcasting career working weekends at CJDV Drumheller while attending Mount Royal College in Calgary. From there, he worked as a disc jockey at CKSW Swift Current and then CKKR Rosetown, before joining CHAT Radio in Medicine Hat.
CBC News has named this year’s Joan Donaldson Scholarship recipients. A tribute to the founding head of Newsworld, Donaldson was involved in a tragic accident in Montreal in 1990 that left her unable to continue her career. She passed away in Sept. 2006. The annual scholarships are dedicated to her contributions to Canadian journalism.
NABS has announced a new mental health partnership with Togetherall that will launch this fall in Quebec to serve the French community. NABS says the addition of Togetherall to its roster of mental health services will significantly expand the agency’s reach and impact. NABS offers confidential and completely free resources and support to all professionals in the media, marketing and communications industry. Find out more about NABS upcoming career strategy sessions in Broadcast Dialogue’s Events section.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
NLogic’s latest innovation allows radio buyers to see real-time achievement-level reporting as they build their schedules. NLogic’s new Campaign Objectives feature, built into its Lens for radio application, allows buyers to add their campaign goals and budgets including GRPs and impressions, and check their progress as they build schedules. Buyers will now be able to compare what they bought without having to flip back and forth between Lens and Excel or other tools. As media fragmentation continues to grow, NLogic believes improving broadcaster UX across both linear radio and TV buying will play a huge role in helping them maintain market share.
Stingray Business has signed an agreement to provide custom music, media, and consumer insights solutions for Orangetheory Fitness and its 1,400 studios worldwide. Stingray Business, in partnership with Space Factory, will provide custom, curated streaming music for Orangetheory Live, Orangetheory’s proprietary interactive workout experience. Stingray says the partnership is poised to deliver a series of “industry first” workout, music curation, and digital media experiences for Orangetheory Fitness members and coaches. The core music platforms for Orangetheory Fitness will be the Stingray Music for Business App and the Stingray Music API stack, designed to provide flexible music streaming delivery options.
Futuri’s POST, the podcasting tech used by more than 1,500 broadcast brands, has launched POST AudioShield, a patent-pending feature that enables its clients to prevent copyrighted music from inadvertently making it into podcasts and/or social video that’s based on broadcast audio. By enabling the POST AudioShield feature, either globally or for a specific set of brands, POST clients can be sure that content published through POST is free of content for which they don’t have a license, like talking over the intro of a popular song. An important component of the POST AudioShield feature is that content published using the feature still maintains POST’s PPM encoding for broadcast radio stations.
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