The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Brad Phillips

Corus Entertainment has restructured its radio division to reinforce the distinction between the company’s radio news teams and opinion-based talk programming. The internal moves are highlighted by a newly-created role that Brad Phillips, formerly Vice-President and Head of FM Radio, will step into as Senior Vice-President, Corus Audio. He’ll oversee all audio platforms for Corus including all FM and AM stations, as well as podcasting. Ronnie Stanton takes on the role of Vice-President, FM Radio Programming, and will oversee all FM programming. For the last two years, Stanton has held the title of Regional Program Director for Western Canada, as well as National Music Director. Other changes see Jackie Moss add AM stations to her role as National Director of Promotions & Marketing. Corus says radio news content will continue to be overseen by Ward Smith, Senior Vice President, Global News. Larry Gifford, National Director of Talk Radio, and Julie Mangat, National Manager – FM Digital, continue in their roles, as does Chris Duncombe, Director of Streaming & Podcasting. Corus says there were no departures associated with the changes.

Steve Jordan

Steve Jordan has exited as Senior Director of CBC Music. During Jordan’s two-year tenure, he brought shows like The Block, Frequencies, Canada Listens, The Intro, and About Time to life, while parting ways with long-running programs, including Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap. Prior to joining CBC in March 2020, Jordan was the founder and Executive Director of the Polaris Prize. Before that, he held A&R roles with True North Records and Warner Music, among other labels.

Geoff Poulton

Geoff Poulton has been hired to lead Durham Radio’s new Vancouver Adult Contemporary station, Wave 98.3 FM (CIRH-FM). Poulton was most recently President of Vista Radio from 2013-19, following a 24-year career with Rogers Sports & Media, including VP & General Manager roles in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Kitchener, and Toronto. As of April 15, he’ll assume the position of Vice-President, B.C. Operations, to prepare for the launch of Wave 98.3 FM in early summer. 

Scott Roberts

Scott Roberts, who had been co-anchor of CTV Vancouver CTV News at Six since the fall of 2018, alongside Mi-Jung Lee, is among those caught up in a round of West Coast layoffs at Bell Media. Roberts had been with the CTV Vancouver newsroom since 2012 and been recognized with numerous awards for his reporting. CTV Morning Live traffic and segment host Luisa Alvarez, who’d been with the station since 2019, has also parted ways with the station. Alvarez additionally contributed traffic updates to TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) and BNN Bloomberg 1410 (CFTE-AM). On the radio side, Olivia Jones, midday host at MOVE 103.5 FM (CHQM-FM) Vancouver, and Amy Beeman, a producer and host with the 94.5 Virgin Radio (CFBT-FM) morning show for 17 years, were released. Jones’ midday show had been heard across the MOVE brand in B.C. for the last year, including MOVE 97.1 (CJMG-FM) Penticton, MOVE 101.5 (CILK-FM) Kelowna, and MOVE 98.5 (CHRX-FM) Fort St. John. Jones had been with CHQM-FM for the last 11 years and prior to that was a host on The Beat 94.5 (CFBT-FM). Read more here.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson is joining CTV Vancouver as the co-anchor of CTV News at 5, hosting alongside Nafeesa Karim, starting March 21. Johnson is currently the 6 p.m. news anchor at CTV Vancouver Island, in addition to holding the title of Managing Editor. Scott Hurst vacates the 5 p.m. anchor role to pursue another opportunity within Bell Media. Mary Cranston, who prior to joining CTV last year was a host on Breakfast Television Vancouver, will take over Karim’s weekend host duties.

Danielle Graham

Danielle Graham is moving on from CTV’s ETALK. Graham, who had been with the show since 2007 and its co-anchor since 2015, started her career as an intern at Citytv Toronto and went on to host YTV’s “The Hit List” before joining Star! Daily as an entertainment reporter in 2005. 

 

 

 

Katie & Ed are being heard in mornings on Z95 (CKZZ-FM) Vancouver, following Kid Carson’s departure last month. The Stingray network personalities, who also helm mornings at AMP (CKMP-FM) Calgary, additionally have an evening show that airs in numerous markets.

Zach Bedford

Zach Bedford has added Program Director duties at Z95 (CKZZ-FM) Vancouver to his title. Bedford, who is also PD at AMP (CKMP-FM) and XL103 (CFXL-FM) Calgary, additionally has been National Brand & Content Leader for Stingray’s HOT AC and CHR stations for the last year.

Craig Picton

Craig Picton is the new Program Director of 100.5 CRUZ FM (CHFT-FM) and MIX 103.7 (CFVR-FM) Fort McMurray. Picton was General Manager of the Harvard Media stations when COVID hit and subsequently was caught up in cuts when his position was eliminated. He went on to roles as Digital Communications Coordinator at Keyano College and then Program Director for Bell Media’s radio stations in Terrace, BC. With Andrew Wilcox taking on PD duties in Regina, Harvard is now welcoming Picton back to Fort Mac. His first day on the job will be April 11.

John Perras

John Perras is leaving Stingray where he’s been Retail Sales Manager for boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) and 93.5 TODAY Radio (CFXJ-FM) in Toronto since 2020. Perras, who also runs sales training consultancy, Sales Fundamentals, has held previous positions, including serving as General Sales Manager for Indie88 (CIND-FM) Toronto, among other stops. His last day with Stingray is March 24.

Ralph “Racoon” Carney

Ralph “Racoon” Carney has joined Q Country 91.5 FM (CKLQ-FM) and 94.7 Star FM (CKLF-FM) Brandon, MB as Program Director of Broadcast and Digital. Carney got his start at CFAR Flin Flon and then CKRC Winnipeg, before heading west to Vancouver in the late 1970s to host at CFUN and CKLG. Since the mid-2000s, he’d been with 1290 AM (CFRW-AM) Winnipeg through its format flip to TSN Radio, up until last year when Bell Media dropped  the format in several markets.

Yasmin Gandham

Yasmin Gandham is leaving Global Okanagan to join CBC Vancouver as a reporter. Gandham has been with Global, based in Kelowna, for the last nine months. Prior to that, she was a part-time anchor/producer with CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver.

Touria Izri

Touria Izri has joined CTV Montreal. With the network since 2013, this is the third bureau stop for the videojournalist in the last two and a half years, including stints in Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Emily Olsen

Emily Olsen is joining CTV Morning Live Edmonton as a producer and reporter. Olsen arrives from Global Saskatoon where she’s been a Digital Broadcast Journalist for the past year. Prior to that, she was a videojournalist with Global Lethbridge.

Amandalina Letterio

Amandalina Letterio has joined CTV Morning Live as an anchor in Regina. Originally from Toronto, Letterio has previously worked with the CFJC newsroom in Kamloops and Castanet Media in Kelowna.

Susan Knight

Crystal Darche is leaving afternoons at 103.9 The Lake (CKOV-FM) Kelowna as the station nears its first anniversary. Darche is moving on to a new opportunity outside of radio and will be transitioning to weekends. Starting March 21, Susan Knight, another longtime Kelowna personality who previously held morning show positions with Sun FM (CHSU-FM) and Q103 (CKQQ-FM), will take over the afternoon daypart.

Carly Kincaid

Seanna Collins, who has been hosting afternoons for the past year on Blackgold Broadcasting’s stations, is stepping back from afternoon drive, but will continue to host weekends on 93.1 The One (CJLD-FM) Leduc and 88.1 The One (CKSS-FM) Stony Plain. Starting March 21, Carly Kincaid will be heard in afternoons. Kincaid has previously held positions with up! 99.3 (CIUP-FM) Edmonton and Hot 103 (CHTT-FM) Victoria, among other stations. 

Scooter Shantz

Scooter (Scott) Shantz has departed Pulse FM (CISF-FM) Surrey where he’s been hosting mornings with Leslie Stein since August 2020. Stein is now paired in the morning time slot with comedian “Hollywood” Harv Puni. Prior to joining Pulse, Leslie & Scooter were heard in mornings on Stingray’s Z95.3 (CKZZ-FM).

Rachel Emmanuel

Rachel Emmanuel has parted ways with iPolitics over an edit to a story about Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. She’s joined the Western Standard where she’ll be covering federal politics. Emmanuel had been with iPolitics off and on since October 2018.

Maya Harijanto

Maya Harijanto has moved into a new role at CBC as Production Manager, Unscripted and Music Content, Radio Programming. For the last year and a half, Harijanto was the Unit Manager for Digital Production & Design at CBC Sports. Prior to that, she was a financial analyst in the Olympics Unit.

Erich Lochner

Erich Lochner has been appointed Senior Vice President, Creator Partnerships at BBTV, reporting to Chairperson and CEO, Shahrzad Rafati. A seasoned executive within the creator economy, Lochner most recently served as VP Creator Partnerships at Jellysmack following five years at The Outloud Group, where he served as VP Operations and Chief Media Officer. Lochner is also co-founder of Vanishing Angle, an independent production company specializing in feature films, commercials, and industrial productions.

John Rosso

John Rosso, Triton Digital’s President of Market Development, has been elevated to President and Chief Executive Officer. Neal Schore, the company’s founder and former CEO, will become a Managing Advisor. Rosso served as Triton Digital’s President of Market Development since 2012, where he was responsible for overseeing business development, sales, and marketing operations. Prior to joining Triton, he held several positions in the broadcast industry, most recently as President of the Citadel Media radio network.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Canadian Music Week’s Radio Active conference is back following a three-year absence as the event gears up for its 40th anniversary, June 6-11. Radio Active 2022 – The Future of Audio will take place June 7-8 at the Intercontinental Centre Hotel in Toronto, featuring over 20 sessions in a live, in-person event, as well as a virtual, on-demand format. Speakers announced so far include Caroline Beasley, CEO Beasley Broadcast Group, USA; James Cridland, Radio Futurist from Australia; Matt Deegan, Co-Founder of Folder Media, UK; Fred Jacobs, Jacobs Media, USA; Tobias Nielson, Bauer Media, UK; Steve Pratt, Founder, Pacific Content, Vancouver; Roz Weston & Mocha Frap, Kiss 92.5, Toronto; Mark Hunter, Now! Radio Edmonton; and Troy Reeb, Executive VP, Corus Entertainment. Broadcast Dialogue is proud to be the event’s Media Sponsor. Read more here.

The iHeartRadio Canada Talk Network has debuted a new weekend talk show and podcast hosted by chef, food activist, and social-impact entrepreneur, Mark Brand. Better With Mark Brand is airing Saturdays at 7 p.m. local time on 580 CFRA Ottawa, Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto, CJAD 800 Montreal, CKLW 800 Windsor, CFAX 1070 Victoria, 610 CKTB Niagara, AM 1150 (CKFR-AM) Kelowna, and 1290 CJBK London. Brand, who is based in Vancouver, is best known for taking over the iconic Save On Meats building on the city’s Downtown Eastside, as captured in 2011 reality series Gastown Gamble, which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in Canada. Among the guests joining Brand in conversations about true purpose and impactful change are entertainer Jann Arden; addiction expert and Order of Canada recipient Dr. Gabor Maté; media personality George Stroumboulopoulos; author and social entrepreneur Rha Goddess; chef and activist Suzanne Barr; and actor and arts activist Tim Daly. Read more here.

Stingray has rebranded CFCB Corner Brook, NL as 590 VOCM as part of a move to consolidate operations out of St. John’s. Steve Jones, Stingray’s Vice-President, Brands & Content, says while continuing to provide local content for all of its Newfoundland markets, including Corner Brook, they’ll do so out of a central location in St. John’s. “With the centralized operation, we are fully capable of providing local content to serve each market and we do not believe the quality of service will diminish whatsoever. This is the same approach we’ve successfully taken in Alberta, where we serve numerous smaller rural markets from our larger central operations,” Jones told Broadcast Dialogue. “For a station like K-Rock (CKXX-FM), that means specific voice tracks, news segments, weather, and public events updates done specifically for Corner Brook. Those elements would air alongside syndicated provincial content.” Local personalities Mike Payne and Lenny Benoit were reportedly casualties of the restructuring.

Stingray Karaoke is powering Cerence Sing, a completely voice-controlled karaoke experience designed for the car that enables drivers and passengers to learn, practice and perform their favourite songs while on the go. In a strategic partnership, Vietnamese automotive startup VinFast will be the first client to integrate Cerence Sing into its Smart Services on the VF 8 and VF 9 electric vehicles. Integrated directly with the car’s headunit and automotive assistant, drivers and passengers have access to Stingray Karaoke’s catalogue of more than 100,000 songs in more than 12 languages.

SiriusXM has launched The Joni Mitchell Channel, a limited engagement channel available through April 14 on the SXM App and on satellite (ch. 105) from March 30 to April 5. The channel’s launch coincides with Mitchell being honoured as the 2022 Person Of The Year recipient at the MusiCares tribute concert April 1, raising funds for vital programs and relief efforts for the music community. The Joni Mitchell Channel will feature the prolific artist’s music, including home recordings, live performances, and other rarities from the recent Joni Mitchell Archives series, as well as interpretations of her music by a wide range of artists including Chaka Khan, Elton John, Norah Jones, Annie Lennox, Brandi Carlile, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, and more. Guest hosts will also share stories about Mitchell’s impact while selecting some of their favourite songs.  

LISTEN: Gord Steinke is arguably one of the best known media personalities in Edmonton, but it’s not as well known that he has serious street cred as a musician, starting his career touring with bands out of Saskatchewan and Ontario before deciding to pursue journalism. The RTDNA Lifetime Achievement Award honouree just celebrated his 30th anniversary with Global News. He joins us on this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about music, motorcycles, and retaining his passion for telling stories. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

LISTEN: BJ Shea, the morning show host at the legendary KISW in Seattle, is Matt Cundill’s guest on the latest Sound Off Podcast. The BJ and Migs show has anchored the station since 2005. Shea also co-hosts Geek Nation, a geek-centric podcast about everything from movies and television to tech and comics. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Darce Fardy

Darce Fardy, 89, on March 12. Following a failed attempt to join the Order of the Irish Christian Brothers, Fardy landed a job at CBC St. John’s, NL, working his way through the newsroom. He soon became CBC’s first national reporter in Newfoundland, going on to cover the United Nations in New York, and do a stint in the Edmonton newsroom, before serving as Director of Television in St. John’s and Halifax. Fardy rose to the position of Head of Current Affairs for the network, overseeing programs including The Journal, The Fifth Estate, and Marketplace, as well as documentary productions. He retired from the public broadcaster in 1991. Following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2013, Fardy documented living with dementia through a semi-regular column in the Halifax Chronicle Herald. 

Bob Oke

Bob Oke, 92, on March 9. Oke had a 55-year career with CKCW and CFQM Moncton, NB, retiring from MBS Radio as Chief Engineer of the stations. In retirement, he continued to consult, helping get community station CFTA-FM Amherst, NS on the air in 2011. Oke was also an avid ham radio operator as VE1YM.

 

 

 

TV & FILM:

Bell Media’s iconic 299 Queen Street West building in downtown Toronto is set to be temporarily vacated, according to a leaked internal memo obtained by blogTO. The memo indicates that due to construction of the Ontario Line Subway and new towers surrounding the building – which is home to Bell Media Studios, CP24, BNN Bloomberg, The Marilyn Denis Show, and Cityline, among other productions – staff will be temporarily moved to another downtown location. The move is expected to take place in late 2024 or early 2025. The building, which was formerly purchased by CHUM in 1985, was initially home to Citytv and MuchMusic and gained infamy with its ground floor sliding glass partitions that were open to the street, allowing VJs and special guests to interact with the public.

CBC and ABC have announced the Kindred ABC/CBC Animation Collaboration, a joint initiative designed to nurture and support the kids’ production industry by funding new children’s animated projects in Australia and Canada. Building on an existing creative and commercial collaboration to enhance the reach and impact of their content, the two public broadcasters are now partnering in the search for unique, creatively ambitious animation ideas to develop, with the potential for a future co-commission. Canadian and Australian creators and producers can apply from March 28 to May 16. 

Screen Production Yukon Association (SPYA), Northwest Territories Professional Media Association (NWTPMA), Yukon Media Development (YMD), and the Northwest Territories Film Commission (NWTFC) has announced the creation of the first Northern Canada Producer Accelerator (NCPA), a joint program between the territories. The NCPA also has the unique distinction of being the first program of its kind to be jointly supported by six national Canadian broadcasters and funders: APTN, Bell Media, Blue Ant Media, CBC, Corus Entertainment, and Rogers, all of whom are co-sponsors of the first cohort. Produced by Access Canada, the NCPA will offer training, mentorship, networking, and market access for up to 10 content producers in the Yukon and NWT. The first cohort will be selected through an application process, and will be based primarily around a specific content project in the development stage.

Hot Docs has announced the first slate of Special Presentation films for the 2022 Festival. The program returns to in-person screenings as part of the 2022 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, running April 28 to May 8 in Toronto and streaming online across Canada on Hot Docs at Home. World premieres include The Talented Mr. Rosenberg, a lurid look into the story of infamous Toronto con man Albert Rosenberg, aka the Yorkville Swindler; Million Dollar Pigeons, an introduction to the wildly competitive world of pigeon racing; and The Quiet Epidemic, an explosive investigation into Lyme disease dating back to 1975. Hot Docs’ full lineup will be announced March 30.

TALLBOYZ is set to make its U.S. debut on Fuse on March 23. Commissioned by CBC from Accent Entertainment and executive produced by Kids In the Hall alum Bruce McCulloch, Seasons 2 and 3 of TALLBOYZ will debut in the summer and fall of 2022 on Fuse. Starring Guled Abdi, Vance Banzo, Tim Blair and Franco Nguyen (the tallest sketch group in the world measuring in at 25’2″ collectively), the troupe tackle everything from vulnerability and politics to anti-racism and bro-life. TALLBOYZ is up for four 2022 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Sketch Comedy Program or Series. 

Jacob Batalon

Great Pacific Media (GPM), a Thunderbird Entertainment Group division, together with SYFY, has announced that Hulu and Prime Video have picked up new 10-episode series Reginald the Vampire in selected territories. Additionally, Cineflix Rights, as worldwide distribution partner, is taking the series to the global market and will debut Reginald the Vampire to buyers at MIPTV in April. Hulu has acquired second-window U.S. rights to the series, produced by GPM with Modern Story, December Films and Cineflix Studios, which is slated for a summer premiere on SYFY. Prime Video in Canada has picked up streaming rights to the series, along with Prime Video in Australia and New Zealand. Based on Johnny B. Truant’s Fat Vampire novels, the comedy-tinged drama is led by Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: No Way Home) as Reginald.

Patrick Huard

Amazon Prime Video has announced that following the success of LOL: Last One Laughing Canada, stand-up comedian, actor, director, and producer Patrick Huard (Bon Cop Bad Cop, Starbuck) will host Canadian Amazon Original series LOL: Qui Rira Le Dernier?, the Quebec version of the global comedy format. Produced by Attraction, it will be shot in Montreal and feature a cast of popular French-speaking comedic actors and stand-ups competing to make each other laugh first. LOL: Qui Rira Le Dernier? will be available exclusively on Prime Video in 240 countries and territories worldwide. 

The Hardy Boys’ (10x60min) second season premieres April 4 on YTV with new episodes rolling out every Monday at 8 p.m. and available to stream live and on demand on STACKTV. Based on the Franklin W. Dixon books and nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award and three Canadian Screen Awards, the mystery series – developed and produced by Nelvana and Lambur Productions, in association with Corus Entertainment – features an all-Canadian cast and crew. Returning cast include Rohan Campbell (Virgin River), Alexander Elliot (Locke and Key), Keana Lyn (The Yard), Adam Swain (A Million Little Things), Cristian Perri (A Simple Favor), and Riley O’Donnell (Big Top Academy) with Krista Nazaire (Before We Crash) and Sadie Munroe (Workin’ Moms) joining the cast this season.

Sebastian Clovis

HGTV Canada renovation coach, Sebastian Clovis, stars in new Corus Studios Original, Gut Job (12×60). Starting April 27, the series turns doomed properties into winning homes, featuring two homeowner stories in each hour-long episode. Clovis began his home renovation business in 2009 after retiring from the CFL. Gut Job is sponsored by Ikea which supports home furnishing and décor solutions throughout the series, in addition to VELUX skylights, BEHR, and End of the Roll Flooring Centres.

Jonathan Grenier

Cottage Life’s highest-rated original series Life Below Zero: Canada (8×60′) returns for a second season following a diverse group of characters in different corners of Northern Canada. Based on the Emmy-winning format, the new season of Life Below Zero: Canada reunites audiences with Becky Broderick (aka “the Sue Aikens of Canada”), Bentley Kakekayash, Kim Pasche and Pierre-Yves Duc from Season 1, in addition to newcomer Jonathan Grenier from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik in northern Quebec, a man of mixed Inuit and French Canadian heritage and a father of two determined to teach his sons how to live off the land in a traditional Inuit way. Season 2 premieres March 22 on Cottage Life during the channel’s eight-week nationwide free preview event.

TSN buckles up for the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship season, beginning with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 20 at 9:30 a.m. ET on TSN, TSN.ca, and the TSN app. TSN’s coverage features practice, qualifying, and live content for every race on the calendar, carrying Sky Sports’ extensive pre- and post-race content, including analysis and commentary led by the voices of F1, David Croft and Martin Brundle. TSN’s coverage is highlighted by the Canadian Grand Prix, with a full-week of analysis on-site at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montréal leading up to race day June 19. Auto racing reporter and former professional racing driver Tim Hauraney will deliver Formula 1 news and analysis on SPORTSCENTRE and TSN.ca throughout the season. 

TSN will deliver 32 weeks of PBR (Professional Bull Riders) programming for a fifth consecutive year, bringing viewers highlight specials from both the PBR Canada Cup Series, PBR Unleash The Beast, along with the 2022 PBR Global Cup USA. Among other highlights will be the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals in Edmonton.

Pooja Handa, co-host of The Pooja & Gurdeep Show on Toronto’s 98.1 CHFI and Carri Olver of TSC are helming the shopping network’s newest show Beauty Bar, highlighting the latest hair and beauty trends, products and tips from experts and influencers. Beauty Bar made its debut March 11 and will air every Friday at 7 p.m. ET on TSC.

Viveka Melki

Viveka Melki, who with the late Adam Pajot Gendron founded Rimouski-based Tortuga Films in 2006, has launched new film, television and visual arts company, Melki Films Inc. Based in Montreal, its initial slate of productions include Branded (working title) – for CBC’s The Passionate Eye, a documentary about domestic sex trafficking across Canada; The Eric Brunt Collection (working title) – in partnership with the Canadian War Museum, a collection of one-on-one conversations by filmmaker Eric Brunt with some of the few surviving Canadian veterans of World War II; and Alouette, an 11-minute docu-animation film featuring WW2 Hong Kong POW camp veteran Douglas Rees

Blink49 Studios has preempted rights to New York Times bestselling author Marissa Stapley’s second novel, Things To Do When It’s Raining. The romantic drama is set in Canada’s 1,000 Islands. Published with Simon & Schuster Canada and Graydon House U.S. in 2018, interest in the novel was renewed after Stapley’s 2021 novel Lucky became the first Canadian novel selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club. Blink49 will serve as the studio for the television adaptation. 

MTM JR. has released a report looking at children’s TV viewing habits. It finds television continues to face increasingly stiff competition from YouTube and Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) services. MTM found TV viewing declines as kids age and start discovering more content online via platforms like YouTube. Teens (12-17) are more likely to watch content via SVODs in a typical week (9 self-reported hours) than traditional TV or Youtube. However, they report spending similar amounts of time watching TV and YouTube, with an average of 7.5 self-reported hours spent with both in a typical week. Cartoons are the most popular genre among kids who watch TV, with teens more likely to prefer genres like drama, action/adventure, mysteries, and reality TV. One-third of teens say they always multitask while the TV is on. Communicating with friends is the most commonly done multitasking activity (56%), followed by social networking.

The Art of Dance: A Journey Into Movement is conducting a worldwide talent search for dancers, choreographers, performers and actors for an upcoming feature film set to stream on Bell Media’s Crave and be distributed theatrically by levelFILM. Production companies involved in the project include hiphopfilms.ca, karmafilm.ca, and InnoNative.ca. The film is being executive produced by Spike Lee’s Director of Movement & Choreographer Maija Garcia (She’s Gotta Have It, Chi-Raq, BlacKkKlansman). 

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

fuboTV is officially available on Samsung Smart TVs via the fuboTV app. Through the app, viewers can access premium sports and entertainment content including OneSoccer and beIN Sports, featuring coverage of the Canadian Premier League, Canadian National Men’s Soccer and Ligue 1 as well as CBC and Paramount Network, among other channels. The app is compatible with Samsung Smart TV models released from 2017 through 2021, with 2022 models expected to be added shortly. Subscribers can also download fuboTV’s app on Android and iOS mobile, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku or on the web. 

Round Room Live, an eOne company focused on live cultural events like Tupac Shakur. Wake Me When I’m Free, and Array of Stars, a Cannes Lion-winning digital experience studio with clients like Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, has entered into a strategic relationship to map, develop, and architect platforms for the future of live experiences across multiple channels. Round Room Live plans to develop, design and execute narrative-focused events in both the physical and virtual space, with a focus on Web 3.0, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the metaverse. Specializing in transforming intellectual property into live events, Round Room’s Immersive and Entertainment Experiences division is currently touring: Jurassic World: The Exhibition, Mandela: The Official Exhibition and Tupac Shakur. Wake Me When I’m Free, which opened in Los Angeles in January. 

QYOU Media, which is headquartered in Toronto, but produces and distributes content created by social media stars and digital content creators in India, has reported record breaking quarterly revenue of approximately $5.7M, representing a year-over-year increase of nearly 500% and a quarter-over-quarter increase of over 20%. QYOU’s newly-launched The Q Marathi, the company’s Marathi language youth-oriented channel is now available to over 84 million Marathi speaking India TV households, while its Hindi language youth oriented channel, reaches over 122 million TV households and 676 million users via OTT, mobile and app-based platforms in India. 

PressProgress is hosting a virtual event on March 29 called Punching Above Our Weight: The Outsized Impact of Canadian Independent Media that will take a look at where journalism is heading and how independent media outlets are punching above their weight. The event will be moderated by Emily Leedham, PressProgress’ Prairies reporter and editor of PressProgress’ weekly national labour newsletter Shift Work, who will be joined by panelists: Saima Desai, Editor of Briarpatch Magazine, a national magazine of grassroots politics based in Regina; André Goulet, Executive Director of the Harbinger Media Network, an independent media non-profit amplifying the voices of leftist media creators; Kevin Taghabon, Editor at The Hoser, whose reporting focuses on labour, police violence and protests and demonstrations in Toronto; and Mel Woods, Associate Culture Editor at non-profit LGBTQ2S+ online publication, Xtra Magazine.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Image Credit: Alamy

The CRTC has formally removed RT (previously known as Russia Today) and RT France from the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution. Following a public consultation, the CRTC determined that the Russian state media channels’ continued distribution is not in the public interest, finding that its programming “is not consistent with the standards against which Canadian services are measured nor the policy objectives set out in the Broadcasting Act. The CRTC is also concerned with programming from a foreign country that seeks to undermine the sovereignty of another country, demean Canadians of a particular ethnic background and undermine democratic institutions within Canada.”

Brad Danks

EDITORIAL: “The laudable removal of the Russian government’s propaganda service, RT, from the channel lineups in Canada exposed more than just the ease with which foreign disinformation services enter Canada,” writes OUTtv CEO Brad Danks. “It also exposed where the real power lies in the current Canadian system; how our major, vertically integrated companies (“BDUs”) determine the success and failure of the services Canadians see. It is not that RT was available that should be a surprise, but how broadly packaged it was on some BDUs, often better than many Canadian services.” Read more here.

 

A group of immigrant journalists at the NCM Ottawa workshop in February 2020.

New Canadian Media (NCM), a member-based, non-profit digital news organization founded to highlight the voices of immigrant diasporas, has released the findings of a survey that reveals less than one-third of immigrant and refugee journalists are employed in the Canadian media industry and of those, over half make less than $40,000 a year. “Breaking into the Canadian media industry: economic and social barriers for first-generation immigrant and refugee journalists” finds that despite increasingly diverse demography in Canada, the media industry has not seen any real shift in increasing the number of working journalists from immigrant and ethnocultural backgrounds. While 78% of migrant and refugee respondents have worked in the media for over five years, and 93% would like to continue their career as journalists, only 29% of respondents were currently employed in the Canadian media industry. Among the barriers to employment, respondents cited socioeconomic limitations, sparse work opportunities, and language barriers. Read more here.

Michèle Ouimet

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award this year goes to Michèle Ouimet. Until her retirement in 2020, Ouimet spent 29 years at La Presse covering wars, humanitarian crises and natural disasters, including genocide in Rwanda, the tsunami in Japan, and civil war in Syria, Pakistan and Iran. Since retiring, Ouimet has continued her fiction writing, publishing L’Homme aux chats last year. She also continues to provide regular commentary on international issues for Radio-Canada. Ouimet will be honoured at the CJF Awards ceremony on June 7 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.