The Weekly Briefing

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REVOLVING DOOR:

Adrian Harewood

Adrian Harewood is leaving CBC Ottawa as of July 1 to focus on his work with Carleton School of Journalism. Harewood has been a full-time faculty member at Carleton since last July, while continuing to work at the public broadcaster, developing the school’s graduate course on Journalism, Race & Diversity. Harewood has been with CBC Ottawa since 2006, 13 of those years as co-anchor of the supper hour newscast. Before coming to television, he was the host of All In A Day on CBC Radio One.

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith has retired from CBC Nova Scotia after a 40-year journalism career. The longtime morning news anchor on CBC Radio One in Halifax, started his career working summers at The Chronicle Herald, before landing his first radio gig at CKBW Bridgewater, NS in 1983. He joined CJCH/C100 Halifax in 1985, before moving on to CBC in 1989 where he worked in Charlottetown and Regina, in addition to Halifax.  

Pierre Bruneau

Pierre Bruneau will retire in June after 46 years as an anchor at TVA. Bruneau started his broadcasting career at CFDA Victoriaville in 1972 while studying psychology at Université du Québec. He later worked for CJTR Trois-Rivières and then CKAC and CITE Montreal as a host and reporter. He joined Télé-Metropole as a news anchor in 1976, which later bought majority control of TVA in 1990. Bruneau was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Hall of Fame in 2003.

Rod Black

Rod Black is joining NorthStar Gaming as a host and brand ambassador for NorthStar Bets. Black, who left TSN after three decades last October, will provide sports commentary and do hosting duty across the platform’s social channels and in-app content. The NorthStar Bets’ content team also includes Senior NHL Insider and former Sportsnet reporter Chris Johnston.

Steve Young

Steve Young, the former Director of News and Information Programming at CTV London, has joined London Health Sciences Centre as a Communications Consultant. Young parted ways with Bell Media last November after 31 years with the network.

Ahmar Khan

Ahmar Khan is taking over a 12-month maternity leave contract at Global News Toronto, starting April 11. Khan will be filling in for Kat Ward as a Digital Broadcast Journalist/Videojournalist. Khan has been working with Global for the past seven months as a national online journalist. He’s previously worked as a VJ at CBC in both Ottawa and Winnipeg, as well as CTV Winnipeg.

Nicole Savage & Docc Andrews

Docc & Nicole, the co-hosts of afternoon drive on Vancouver’s JR Country (CJJR-FM), will move into the morning time slot, starting May 2, as Clay St. Thomas and Karen Daniels end a 22-year run together in mornings. Announced on-air Tuesday morning, the new morning show will start a half hour later at 5:30 a.m. Graeme Gordon, who has been part of the morning show since 2017, will move into afternoon drive to be joined by an as-yet-to-be-named co-host. Andrews has been with JR Country for a decade, nine of those hosting afternoons. Savage has been with the station for eight years, the last five co-hosting afternoons. 

Mariah & Ty Jordan

Ty Jordan has left Virgin Radio (CFMG-FM) Edmonton to step into afternoons on X92.9 Calgary. Jordan has also worked with KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM), Power 97 (CJBK-FM) Winnipeg, Q105.7 (CIBQ-FM) Brooks and Z99 (CIZZ-FM) Red Deer. His Virgin Edmonton colleague Mariah McDonnell, currently heard in middays, will join Jordan on X afternoons. McDonnell has also been on-air at KiSS 91.7 and 100.3 The Bear (CFBR-FM).

Supriya Dwivedi

Supriya Dwivedi, the former co-host of mornings on AM 640 (CFMJ-AM) Toronto, up until parting ways with Corus in March 2021 after receiving threats against her and daughter, has a new job as Director of Policy & Engagement for the Centre for Media, Technology & Democracy at McGill University. Dwivedi, who is also a lawyer, will continue to serve as Senior Counsel for Enterprise Canada.

Lenni Stewart

Lenni Stewart is the new Traffic Coordinator for 99.3 County FM (CJPE-FM) Prince Edward County. Stewart is already known to station listeners as an entertainer and co-host of Sunday afternoon big band show, 4 O’Clock Jump, in addition to a decade as coordinator and registrar with the Quinte Ballet School of Canada. Her first day on staff is April 7.

Karyn Pugliese has been appointed Executive Editor of Canada’s National Observer. Pugliese joins the publication from CBC, where she’s been the Managing Editor of Investigative since last July. She’s previously held roles including Executive Director of News and Current Affairs at APTN, and has worked at iChannel, Vision TV and as Communications Director for the Assembly of First Nations. She was also chosen for the 25th Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University

(l-r): Mathieu Chantelois, Tamara Dawit, Rod Butler, Nathalie Clermont, & Richard Koo

Canada Media Fund (CMF) has restructured as Chief Operating Officer Sandra Collins gets set to leave in September after 15 years at CMF, and following the departure of former Chief Strategy Officer Kelly Wilhelm, who is now Chief of Staff for Federal Sports Minister Pascal St-Onge. Nathalie Clermont, moves into the role of Executive Vice-President, Content Strategy & Business Development, leading the development and implementation of new models for the audiovisual sector. Rod Butler is now Vice-President, Content & Regulatory after previously serving as Director of Programs and Policy. Three new directors will work with Clermont and Butler for English Content; French Content; and Interactive Digital Media Content. Mathieu Chantelois is upped to Executive Vice-President, Marketing & Public Affairs. Tamara Dawit becomes Vice-President, Growth & Inclusion, after successfully leading implementation of the organization’s Equity and Inclusion strategy. A newly-hired Director of Growth & Inclusion will support her. A search is on for an EVP, Finance & Analytics, with Richard Koo stepping into the role of Vice-President, Analytics & Strategic Insights. 

Sandrine Pechels de Saint Sardos

Sandrine Pechels de Saint Sardos is the incoming Ottawa Film Commissioner, effective April 27, succeeding Bruce Harvey who is now Head of Production for Champlain Media West in Vancouver. Pechels de Saint Sardos brings over 20 years of experience in development, production, and distribution, most recently with CBC/Radio-Canada, her own IP incubator Rocket Launch Media, Bejuba! Entertainment, and TFO. 

 

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

Pattison Media has announced a strategic partnership that will see Vancouver’s Momentum Media Marketing license and launch its SPADE advertising measurement, conversion tracking, and attribution technology platform, and market it to the radio industry. Developed and beta-tested in-house by Pattison Media, SPADE aims to solve one of the radio industry’s biggest challenges: attributing increased client sales directly to their radio advertising campaigns and defining that return on investment. Read more here. Momentum Media Marketing is the parent company of Broadcast Dialogue.

Jason “Cone” McCaslin

SUM 41 bass player and backing vocalist Jason “Cone” McCaslin is set to debut a new weekly radio show on 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM) Oshawa, ON, starting April 17. “Cone’s Cave,” an hour-long Sunday night music discovery show personally curated by the musician and producer, promises to feature tunes from punk to garage rock and metal. The station says it was radio that introduced McCaslin to many of the influential bands that shaped his own musical tastes and career, and that love of the medium will now see him come full circle from avid listener to host. Some of the interviews to be featured on the show will happen backstage as SUM 41 gets set to head out on the road in support of their new double album “Heaven + Hell,” including 36 U.S. dates with Simple Plan on the “Blame Canada” tour. Read more here.

CRTCThe CRTC has approved Cogeco Media’s acquisition of the assets of French-language commercial radio station CILM-FM Saguenay (Chicoutimi) from Arsenal Media. Arsenal is divesting itself of the station because of competition in the Saguenay market and declining revenues. Cogeco plans to consolidate its presence in the Saguenay region with the addition of the music station to complement its news/talk station CKYK-FM Saguenay, benefiting from the synergies of operating two stations. The purchase price is $600,000. 

The CRTC has approved Arsenal Média’s application to acquire the assets of French-language commercial radio stations CHGO-FM Val-d’Or, CHOA-FM Rouyn-Noranda and its transmitters, and CJGO-FM La Sarre and its transmitter. The purchase price for the assets of the three stations is $1,500,000. 

The CRTC has approved technical changes for Power 97 (CJKR-FM) Winnipeg, following a fire that destroyed the previous antenna. The changes will see CJKR-FM’s maximum effective radiated power (ERP) decreased from 310,000 to 93,900 watts and average ERP from 310,000 to 57,200 watts. Its existing non-directional antenna will be replaced with a new directional antenna, increasing the effective height rom 69.5 to 184.6 metres.

JUMP! 106.9 (CKQB-FM) Ottawa rebranded as Bieber 106.9, March 25-27, in celebration of the Bieb’s concert date in the Capital Region over the weekend. The station exclusively played Bieber songs all weekend and offered Beliebers a chance to win tickets to the show, which marked the first big concert in the city since before the pandemic. 

Life 100.3 Founder Scott Jackson, General Manager Steve Jones, Announcer Angela Peacock, Promotions Manager Crystal Martin and Morning Show Host Todd Gale.

LIFE 100.3 (CJLF-FM), the listener-supported Christian radio station in Barrie, held its two-day Sharathon Stand in Faith, March 23-24, reaching both of its goals ($4,000 in monthly donations and $200,000 in one-time donations). Throughout the event, DJs from different shows chatted about success stories from the past year, while supporters and artists joined by phone to discuss their own reasons for supporting Christian radio. LIFE 100.3 has repeater stations in Owen Sound at 90.1FM, Peterborough at 89.3FM and in Huntsville at 98.9FM and can be heard online at lifeonline.fm

SiriusXM Canada has announced the eight semi-finalists for its fourth annual Top of the Country competition, where emerging artists compete to be named Canada’s next big country music star. Representing six provinces across Canada, this year’s semi-finalists are: Devin Cooper – Innisfail, AB; Mallory Johnson – Conception Bay South, NL; Five Roses – Montreal, QC; Josh Ross – Burlington, ON; Danielle Ryan – Pitt Meadows, BC; Kyle McKearney – Calgary, AB; SACHA – Warkworth, ON; Shantaia – Spiritwood, SK. The next stage of the competition sees finalists record original tracks and in-studio videos, which will be shared online for country music fans to vote for their favourites later this Spring. Three finalists will be selected to participate in industry mentorships and perform at various showcases, including Country Music Week 2022 in Calgary this September, where the grand prize winner will be announced.

SiriusXM has launched the Freakonomics Radio Network digital streaming channel, the first to be dedicated to a podcast. The team behind Freakonomics Radio will curate and present episodes from the long-running podcast’s archive, along with selections from other popular shows on its network, including No Stupid Questions, People I (Mostly) Admire, Freakonomics, M.D., and new programs to be launched later this year. Hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, the show takes a curious, data-driven approach to exploring real-world behaviour and uncovering the hidden side of everything.

Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast has launched the second season of fiction adventure podcast, Escaping Denver. The network’s first fiction podcast, which premiered last July, Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, Director of Streaming and Podcasting, says Escaping Denver developed a strong following in both Canada and the U.S. The podcast, which dives into the deep end of conspiracy theories around Denver International Airport (DIA), follows Sara and Noah, who wake up in complete darkness, trapped miles below the DIA with no hope for escape. New episodes will be released bi-weekly. 

Deborah Cox

Deborah Cox, will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 2022 JUNO Awards, the first Black woman to receive the national honour. With a career spanning almost three decades, Cox has released six critically-acclaimed albums and scaled the charts with six Top 20 Billboard Magazine R&B singles and 13 number one hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play Chart. To celebrate her induction on Sunday, May 15, she’ll perform live from Toronto’s Budweiser Stage. The 2022 JUNO Awards will be broadcast and streamed across Canada, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen, and globally at CBCMusic.ca/junos and CBC Music’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Ben McCully, the afternoon host at Rock 95 (CFJB-FM) Barrie, who has one of the most interesting portfolios you’ve likely ever seen: radio host, car salesman, pro wrestler, brewery tour manager…if that combo of careers doesn’t have you hooked on this episode already, I don’t know what will. I know it’s cliché to say this, but this episode really does have something for everyone – assuming you like beer, wrestling, radio, philosophy, or just really interesting stories. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Stuart Robertson

Stuart Robertson, 74, on March 27. Robertson was called to the Ontario bar in 1974, starting his career with CBC’s legal department and eventually becoming Director of Litigation. Specializing in media law in Toronto and Ottawa, he went on to found partnership, O’Donnell, Robertson & Sanfilippo in 1994. Evolving into an expert on newsroom legal crisis management, contempt of court and defamation, Robertson spent his career assisting outlets including the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and the National Post, and had spent the last 30 years working with The Canadian Press, including overseeing CP’s transition to a for-profit entity in 2010. Among his more well-known cases was a successful 1982 CBC challenge that went to the Supreme Court of Canada after a Halifax provincial court office refused to hand over search warrants tied to an RCMP investigation into allegations of political corruption. Robertson was recognized by the Ontario Community Newspaper Association in 1999 with their President’s Award for his service to the Canadian Newspaper Industry in Ontario, and by the National Newspaper Awards in 2019 with the Governors Award in recognition of his work to uphold and defend the integrity of journalism.

Brenda Large

Brenda Large, 79, on March 25 after a brief illness. As the daughter of the late Bob and Betty Large, Brenda got her start in radio at age 13 working at family-owned CFCY Radio and CFCY-TV Charlottetown. She went on to study journalism at King’s College in Halifax, and worked for the Ottawa bureau of the Canadian Press for five years assigned to the Parliamentary Press Gallery at the young age of 21. In 1970, she married Nick Fillmore, editor of alternative newspaper The 4th Estate, which was owned and published in Halifax by the Fillmore family, becoming an associate editor and then co-owner and co-publisher with her husband. Evolving into a weekly, Large became sole owner and publisher in 1976, before the paper folded a year later. She went on to work for CBC-TV in Toronto, also holding roles over the years at the Ottawa Citizen, The Globe & Mail, and The Kingston Whig Standard. 

Fred Walker

Fred Walker, 82, suddenly on March 18. Walker started his broadcast career in 1961 as the first overnight host on CHNS Halifax, helming the show Music Til Dawn. He moved to CBC Halifax a year later, and then Montreal, calling Montreal Canadiens’ Sunday night games, alongside Danny Gallivan for five years on CBC Radio, before moving to CBC Toronto in 1980. Over the years, he gained recognition as a sportscaster with range, calling everything from the World Series to Golf, Diving, Swimming and Tennis, among many other sports and events. He covered the Stanley Cup finals for 28 years and Canada’s first World Junior hockey gold medal in 1982, among other career highlights. Walker retired from CBC in 1995 and established his own communications and media training company. He was inducted into the CBC Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

TV & FILM:

Nova Scotia filmmaker Ben Proudfoot accepting his Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) for The Queen of Basketball.

Ben Proudfoot, the Nova Scotia filmmaker behind short documentary The Queen of Basketball, was among the Canadians that claimed Oscar wins on Sunday night. Telling the life story of 1970s basketball superstar Lucy Harris – the first and only woman drafted by the NBA – the winner of Best Documentary (Short Subject) was executive produced by Shaquille O’Neal and Steph Curry. It was Proudfoot’s second nomination with his short doc A Concerto is a Conversation receiving a nod in the same category last year. Other Canadians picking up awards included Patrice Vermette for Production Design on Dune. The Denis Villeneuve-directed picture also claimed the award for Visual Effects with British-Canadian VFX Supervisor Tristan Myles and Vancouver-based VFX supervisor Brian Connor among the accepting group. Dune also won the awards for Film Editing, Cinematography, Sound, and Original Score. Find the full list of winners and nominees here.

Ontario Creates says the province had a record-breaking year for film and television production in 2021. Ontario reported its highest production levels to date with 394 productions bringing in $2.88 billion in spending. In addition to dollar value, those figures represent over 48,000 full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs, up 38% from 2020. Ontario Creates says part of the boom can be attributed to COVID-19 recovery after a brief industry shut down in early 2020, but the growth in production is also a testament to what the province has to offer, including financial incentives, ongoing studio expansion, a diverse talent pool, and a range of film-friendly locations. Among the higher-profile productions made in Ontario last year were Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-nominated feature film Nightmare Alley; foreign television series like Reacher, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Star Trek: Discovery; and domestic series, including Pretty Hard Cases, Children Ruin Everything, and the long-running Murdoch Mysteries. Read more here.

The Government of Saskatchewan has increased funding for the Creative Saskatchewan Production Grant Program. The increase, revealed in the provincial budget, boosts the province’s original $2 million investment in film and television production to $10 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The increase is aimed at drawing more and larger projects to Saskatchewan and is expected to generate more than $33 million in production volume and 600 new jobs. Only Saskatchewan labour, goods, and services are eligible for support under Creative Saskatchewan’s Production Grant, ensuring the funds stay in the province. The application window will open this spring. 

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF), in partnership with the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) and Canada Media Fund (CMF), will host the first in-person Indigenous Screen Summit, anchored by a half-day Pitch Forum financing event on June 12 during BANFF. Indigenous producers and creators will have the opportunity to present in-development scripted features, drama series and comedy projects to Canadian and international buyers as well as an industry audience. Complimentary for all 2022 BANFF festival pass holders, the Pitch Forum and Indigenous Screen Summit programming will extend throughout the 2022 edition of the festival, June 12-15, with dedicated sessions highlighting content from Indigenous producers and creators on BANFF’s mainstage.

Shamier Anderson & Stephan James

Shamier Anderson and Stephan James, co-founders of The Black Academy, alongside CBC, Insight Productions, and Bay Mills Studios, have announced that the inaugural edition of The Black Academy’s award show, The Legacy Awards, will air on CBC and CBC Gem on Sept. 25. The live 90-minute telecast is the first major Canadian awards show to celebrate and showcase Black talent and will air from Live Nation Canada entertainment venue HISTORY, in Toronto’s east end. The telecast will feature performances, award presentations, and tributes honouring both established and emerging Black Canadian talent. Committed to hiring Black senior staff and crew members, Insight Productions continues to accept résumés from those who have a passion for live events and award shows at BlackAwardShowResumes@insighttv.com.  

Damon D’Oliveira, Maria Ka, Richard Jean-Baptiste & Clement Virgo.

Bell Media has greenlit a bilingual anthology series, by and about Black Canadians, that will also serve as a story incubator, supported by the Black Screen Office (BSO). Festivale, a six-part series being produced for Crave, is helmed by francophone executive producers Marie Ka and Richard Jean-Baptiste, and anglophone executive producers, Damon D’Oliveira and Clement Virgo. Bell Media says the collaboration between Crave’s French and English development teams is an answer to the lack of Black francophone stories on mainstream television, while supporting creatives who have not had the opportunity to produce content for a large network. Producer and writer Adam Pettle, known for his work on series like Saving Hope, Burden of Truth, and Rookie Blue, will lend his experience to the hybrid story room where writers will develop episodic ideas they’ll have the opportunity to pitch to Bell Media network executives. Read more here.

Crave new original series We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel) will be available for streaming April 30, in English and French. Hosted by Canadian actor and director Jay Baruchel (Goon, This Is The End), the half-hour, six-part series is a smart, tongue-in-cheek look at the end of the world, drawing on science, psychology, pop culture, and philosophy. In each episode, Baruchel meets his fascination with the apocalypse head-on, as he explores various ways humanity could meet its end including an asteroid Armageddon; nuclear catastrophe; pandemic pandemonium; alien invasion; volcanic cataclysm; and climate apocalypse. 

CTV has greenlit new unscripted dating series Farming For Love, an adaptation of the international format The Farmer Wants A Wife. The series will follow the journeys of five rural Canadian singles on their quest for romance. Produced by Lark Productions in collaboration with Fremantle, the CTV Original series consists of 10, one-hour episodes with production taking place later this year in British Columbia. The Canadian French-language version, L’Amour Est Dans Le Pre, is a long-running success on Noovo, currently in its tenth season. Since its premiere in 2013, the show has led to more than 15 couples and 27 children. Casting is currently underway for single, B.C.-based farmers, growers, ranchers, producers, or vintners from all backgrounds looking to find their life partner. 

DJ Burnt Bannock, an APTN lumi original, will have its broadcast premiere on the streaming service on April 11. DJ Burnt Bannock follows Kevin Cardinal (Darcy Waite), a struggling Cree DJ who is determined to chart his own path. In addition to Waite (Ruthless Souls), the comedic web series’ ensemble cast includes comedian Paul Rabliauskas (Acting Good), Ivana Yellowback (7TH GEN), Joy Keeper (Burden of Truth), Meegwun Fairbrother (Mohawk Girls), Sarah Luby (Skymed) and GeNie Baffoe (Edgar). DJ Burnt Bannock was produced by Eagle Vision, written and created by Waite, directed and showrun by Rebecca Gibson, co-directed by Stephanie Sy, Meegwun Fairbrother, and Olaoluwa Fayokun, executive produced by Lisa Meeches, Kyle Irving, Rebecca Gibson and produced by Hannah Johnson and Cynthia Murdock.

The Island Between Tides has begun production in Prince Rupert, BC (the first film to shoot in the northern port city), a supernatural thriller written and directed by Andrew Holmes (Dolph) and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Austin Andrews (Julie and the Phantoms). The feature film, based on Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie’s gothic bedtime story Mary Rose, stars Paloma Kwiatkowski (Riot Girls), Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy), David Mazouz (Gotham), Camille Sullivan (Hunter Hunter), and Adam Beach (The Power of the Dog). XYZ Films is handling North American sales. 

NFB.ca will offer free streaming access to a new slate of diverse projects from NFB studios, starting March 31 and continuing for the entire month of April. Among them is Mathieu Fournier’s feature-length documentary Star Wars Kid: The Rise of the Digital Shadows, and, in commemoration of Earth Day, Jennifer Abbott’s award-winning documentary feature The Magnitude of All Things and Simon Beaulieu’s White Noise. Viewers can also explore digital project, Vimy: A Living Memorial, marking the 105th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival will open with Jennifer Baichwal’s Into the Weeds as the festival returns to Toronto screens for the upcoming 29th edition, April 28–May 8. Official selections will also stream nationwide on Hot Docs at Home. From 2,563 film submissions, this year’s slate will present 226 films from 63 countries in 15 programs, and will feature 63 world and 47 international premieres. Hot Docs continues its commitment to gender parity with 49% female directors represented in the official selection. Recent works from Chile will be presented as part of the Made In program, among other festival highlights, including Hidden Histories a new theme program bringing buried stories to light which will include the world premiere of Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children, exploring the culture of abuse inside Ontario’s oldest government-run home for disabled children.

Michel Ledoux & Francis Papillon

The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) has announced that this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award will go to puppeteer Michel Ledoux, a 42-year industry veteran, while Francis Papillon, a director, animator, and illustrator will receive the Emerging Talent Award. The YMA’s Awards of Excellence gala, honouring Canada’s best French-language youth programming, will take place May 24 at Radio-Canada’s Salle Jean-Despréz in Montreal. Tickets can be purchased as of April 12 on the YMA website.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

LISTEN: Wil Lee was skeptical about NFTs when he first heard about them…but less than a year after creating his own NFT collection, the littles, the Vancouver entrepreneur has struck a deal with TIME Studios to create an original children’s series based on his IP. Lee joins us on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about his meteoric success in the space, and why broadcasters and producers should be paying attention to the hype around web3.

The Canadian Web3 Council, a non-profit trade association, has been formed to position Canada as a leader in web3 technology like blockchain and cryptocurrency. Despite Canadian entrepreneurs playing a fundamental role in shaping web3, the organization says Canada has fallen behind other jurisdictions that are advancing policies and defining their approach to the space. Founding members of the council include Aquanow, Axiom Zen, Chainsafe Systems, Dapper Labs, Ether Capital, ETHGlobal, Figment, Informal Systems (Cosmos), Ledn, Wealthsimple, and WonderFi Technologies. The association is actively recruiting members to help define Canada’s national web3 strategy.

BBTV has entered into a partnership with ConsenSys, a leading Ethereum software company, to support the Vancouver-based creator monetization company’s development of web3 NFT solutions for content creators. BBTV will provide creative, marketing, and content management solutions to creators to help them expand and monetize their fan communities outside of major social and video platforms by leveraging blockchain technology. ConsenSys NFT, led by Co-Heads Johnna Powell and Tyler Mulvihill, will provide co-development support for the backend of BBTV’s NFT solutions. The announcement follows BBTV’s launch of its Pay To Crypto solution for creators in January, which enables creators to receive earnings in a range of cryptocurrencies.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The CRTC has approved Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw’s broadcasting assets, subject to conditions including hiring more journalists at Citytv and independent carriage requirements. The approval only addresses the broadcasting elements of the $26 billion merger, including 16 cable services, based in Western Canada; a national satellite television service; Shaw’s stake in CPAC; and other broadcast and television assets. The CRTC will require Rogers to pay five times more in benefits to the broadcasting system than it had originally proposed, amounting to $27.2 million to ithe Canada Media Fund, Independent Local News Fund, Broadcasting Accessibility Fund and the Broadcasting Participation Fund, among others. The commission also says it wants to ensure independent programming is not placed at a disadvantage when negotiating with Rogers. Thus, Rogers will be required to distribute at least 45 independent English and French-language services on each of its cable and satellite services. Cable providers relying on signals delivered by Rogers will also be assured continued service to their communities. The decision also stipulates Rogers must amend its conditions of licence so that Corus Entertainment, which is indirectly controlled by the Shaw Family Living Trust, is not advantaged in its dealings with Rogers and vice versa. Read more here.

TekSavvy’s second appeal of the Federal Court ruling enacting the first national website-blocking order has been dismissed with costs to Bell, Rogers and Quebecor. The Nov. 2019 decision ordered all Canadian ISPs to block GoldTV, a subscription service offering thousands of pirated channels. TekSavvy’s VP of Regulatory Andy Kaplan-Myrth argues that enforcing copyright is a policy framework that should be laid out  by government, not the courts.

The CRTC has given itself until Aug. 31 to review CBC/Radio-Canada’s licence renewal. The commission says it still intends to issue a decision on the new licence term no later than June 30 to ensure the corporation has sufficient time to implement any changes, prior to the beginning of the next broadcast year.

The CRTC has announced that seven projects will receive up to $19.5 million from the Broadband Fund. The projects will benefit approximately 1,255 households in 10 communities, including seven Indigenous communities in B.C. and Alberta. Funds will be allocated to service providers: ATG Arrow Technology Group (Alberta), East Shore Internet Society (British Columbia), South Kountry Cable Ltd. (British Columbia), and TELUS (British Columbia). The Broadband Fund to date has committed up to $206 million to improve broadband services for 170 communities, representing approximately 30,405 households.

Xplornet Communications has purchased the fibre Internet infrastructure of the Municipality of the County of Annapolis in Nova Scotia. The deal will ensure that over 8,500 residents and businesses have access to reliable, high-speed internet. Xplornet will acquire, manage, and expand the network that the county began installing several years ago, capable of delivering up to 1 Gbps service to residential customers and up to 10 Gbps service for businesses.

SOCAN has reached a reproduction rights settlement with CBC, following a 2020 Copyright Board of Canada decision concerning “post-synchronization copies” created when a broadcaster uploads original video content containing copyrighted music to a content management system to make copies for internal use to facilitate viewing on different digital or broadcast platforms. While financial details of the settlement aren’t being disclosed, the Copyright Board decision had awarded SOCAN clients $1.5M for the period from 2012-18. SOCAN is currently the only music rights organization in Canada licensing and distributing post-synchronization royalties with negotiations underway with other broadcasters. 

Corus Entertainment is launching two new scholarships to support post-secondary broadcasting students from under-represented communities, anchoring all of its student support initiatives under newly-created brand, corus.Futures. The Susannah Therrien Radio Scholarship and the Corus Television Broadcast Scholarship are open to students entering their final year of studies in September. The Susannah Therrien Radio Scholarship is open to women pursuing studies in radio, created and funded by the Corus Radio sales executive in recognition of her 20-year anniversary with the company. The Corus Television Broadcast Scholarship is targeted at students who identify as racialized, Indigenous, living with a disability and/or 2SLGBTQ+ and pursuing studies in television broadcasting. Both scholarships will support one student per year with tuition assistance (up to $5,000). Selected students will also receive a three-month paid internship at either a Corus Radio or Global News station. Read more here.

(L-R) Christine Dobby, Toronto Star; Anupreeta Das, The New York Times; Anne Gaviola, Global News; and Rita Trichur, The Globe and Mail.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) next J-Talks Live webcast features a panel of business journalists on future coverage and how newsrooms are adapting to attract a new generation of younger, more diverse readers. The free event takes place Wednesday, April 20 at 12 p.m. ET. Featured speakers are Anupreeta Das, Finance Editor at The New York Times; Anne Gaviola, Senior Digital Broadcast Journalist at Global News; and Rita Trichur, Senior Business Writer and columnist for The Globe and Mail. Leading the discussion is Toronto Star business reporter Christine Dobby. Register here.

IIC Canada’s (International Institute of Communications) Canadian chapter has announced its roster of speakers for its annual conference, May 16-17, to engage business and government leaders in broadcasting, media, telecommunications and technology on key issues affecting the future of the Canadian communications sector. Panels will explore topics on Competition Policy and the Regulation of Digital Platforms, the Online Streaming Act, Cybersecurity and Ransomware, and Compensation for News Media. Advance registration is required.

The Western Association of Broadcast Engineers (WABE) has announced its 2022 convention will be back in-person for the 72nd annual convention, Oct. 4-5 at the Westin Calgary Airport Hotel. Registration for exhibitors and delegates will open this summer with more details to follow at www.wabe.ca.

Alex Lupul

Alex Lupul, a photojournalism student at Loyalist College in Belleville, ON is the winner of the 2022 Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, presented by the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and The Canadian Press (CP). Lupul’s portfolio was selected among submissions from students and early-career photojournalists from across the country. He’ll be recognized at the CJF Awards ceremony on June 7 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

 

 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Meta has announced the creation of a new Canadian engineering hub, to be based in Toronto, and plans to hire up to 2,500 employees for remote and in-office positions across Canada over the next five years. Meta says the expanded presence will include establishing the first Canadian WhatsApp, Messenger and Remote Presence engineering teams and growing the Canadian Reality Labs and AI Research teams. The majority of roles in Canada will be engineering focused and are expected to span building extended reality experiences and Meta technologies. Meta is also establishing an additional $510,000 in unrestricted grants to 17 Canadian research labs, to advance innovations needed to build the metaverse. Once published, their research will become publicly accessible to drive further innovation across the industry.

ADVERTORIAL: Last year on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, the RF experts at Dielectric discussed how FM broadcasters were on the verge of seeing a tried-and-true TV antenna design optimized for radio. The vast majority of UHF North American broadcast antennas today are slotted cylinder pylon antennas, which offer benefits including smaller tower footprints, fewer parts, lower windload and superior pattern flexibility. Unfortunately for radio broadcasters, their narrow bandwidth characteristics were impractical for passing full-band FM signals. Just in time for the 2022 NAB Show and the company’s 80th year in business, Dielectric has unveiled its innovation to resolve these bandwidth limitations with the FMP family of FM pylon antennas. The FMP family represents the broadcast industry’s first slot cavity microstrip FM antenna product line, and Dielectric will demonstrate its benefits in Booth W7107 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 24-27. The engineering breakthroughs include reducing the antenna Q factor, which improves the bandwidth from one to 20 per cent; and stabilizing the H:V ratio across the band. Read more here.