Stingray Radio has undertaken restructuring at stations in Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Alberta and BC as it continues to weather a slow to rebound pandemic advertising market. Among those caught up in the restructuring are Trevor Wallworth, Program Director at Q104 (CFRQ-FM) Halifax, who had been with the station for 31 years; Allie MacKinnon, one-third of the highly-rated Q104 morning show; Mike Shannon, Operations Manager for Stingray’s Charlottetown, PEI stations; Alan Johnson, news director in New Glasgow, NS; Dave Jennison, a sales rep at Rewind 89.3 (CIJK-FM) Kentville, NS; and Stephanie MacPhee, afternoon drive host and music director at New Country 103.5 (CKCH-FM) Sydney.
In Calgary, Al Tompson, Director of FM Programming for Calgary and Edmonton, is stepping away from his day-to-day role and moving into a special projects post reporting to corporate in Toronto. Heather Prosak steps into the role of Program Director for XL 103 (CFXL-FM). Zach Bedford, who has been PD at 90.3 AMP Radio (CKMP-FM) since 2016, will take on the Director of Programming role for Calgary overall. In Edmonton, Lindsay Jackson, PD at 96.3 The Breeze (CKRA-FM), and morning show host Sean Burke are no longer with the station. K-97 (CIRK-FM) Program Director Jeff Murray moves into a dual role looking after both of Stingray’s FM stations in Edmonton. In Vancouver, morning show host Kelly Latremouille is no longer with 104.3 The Breeze (CHLG-FM). In Kelowna, Rickie Tyler, APD and afternoon host at K96.3 (CKKO-FM), is a casualty. Todd James, the longtime drive announcer at K-97 Edmonton will now handle afternoons for both that market and Kelowna.
Ethan Faber has been named News Director at CTV Vancouver. Faber has been with the station in various roles for more than two decades, most recently as Managing Editor. He succeeds Les Staff, who was part of layoffs at Bell Media earlier this year.
Nana Aba Duncan is the new Carty Chair in Journalism, Diversity and Inclusion Studies at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication. The move means she’s leaving CBC Radio where she’s been a host and producer since 2008, most recently on CBC Radio One weekend program, Fresh Air. The Carty Chair is named for E. Bower Carty, a career public servant who rounded out a lifetime of generosity by donating his $6M estate to Carleton.
Maestro Fresh Wes aka Wesley Williams has joined Acadia Broadcasting’s 97.3 The Wave (CHWV-FM) in Saint John, NB as the host of “Maestro in the Maritimes” – a hip hop show focused on the ‘90s and early 2000s. The show is airing Friday nights from 7 – 11 p.m. AT.
Louise Renault is retiring from her co-hosting role on CBC Radio’s Information Morning in Halifax. Renault joined the show as co-host to Don Connolly in 2010 and since his retirement in 2018 alongside Portia Clark. Renault, who grew up in Montreal, got her start working in film production. She began working as a voiceover performer upon moving to the Maritimes in 1996, including playing the recurring role of Renee Leblanc in award-winning CBC Radio One drama Backbenchers. Renault’s last day on air will be at the end of June.
Jennifer Reynolds of Bell Media Calgary is moving on to a new position as Sales Manager for executive coaching firm, TEC Canada. Most recently Bell’s Brand Partnerships Manager for the Alberta and BC markets, Reynolds media career started with Rogers in 1994 as Director of Marketing & Promotions at Calgary’s LITE 96 (CHFM-FM). Since then, she’s worked in account executive and sales management roles with both Standard Broadcasting and Bell Media.
Seanna Collins returns to the Edmonton airwaves April 5 as the afternoon drive host on Blackgold Broadcasting’s The One stations in Leduc and Stony Plain. She’ll also help with the launch of the company’s Ponoka station this fall. Collins was previously a host on Global Edmonton for two decades and has done stints in radio at 104.9 EZ Rock (CFMG-FM), 630 CHED, and Magic 99 (CHMC-FM).
Adam Stiles, who has been a meteorologist with CityNews Toronto for the last 12 years, is leaving the station for a new role with Rogers Sports & Media. Stiles is continuing with the company as Talent Lead for Sportsnet. Stiles is also the co-founder of Toronto’s Eastbound Brewing Co.
Dana Roberts has signed off from CTV Northern Ontario as he prepares to join CTV News Barrie. Roberts has been an anchor and VJ with the network for the last two years.
Sarah Reid is leaving CTV News Vancouver Island to take up the morning weather anchor post at CTV Calgary. Reid, a 2018 UBC Masters of Journalism grad, had been with the station since Jan. 2019.
— Sarah Reid (@CTVNewsSarah) March 30, 2021
Kathryn Tindale is leaving News 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver. Tindale had been with the station since 2019 as a web editor and reporter.
The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) has named singer/songwriter and former Member of Parliament Andrew Cash as the organization’s President. Cash is tasked with helping lead Canada’s independent music sector to post-pandemic recovery. Cash was the MP for Toronto’s Davenport riding from 2011-15. As an MP, he served on the Canadian Heritage committee, the Special Committee on Copyright Act reform legislation (Bill C-11), and as Citizenship and Immigration Critic for the Official Opposition.
RADIO & PODCAST:
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) has submitted its intervention to the CRTC as part of the commission’s review of the commercial radio policy framework, painting a portrait of an industry facing decreasing revenues and accelerated competition for ad dollars and listeners. With tuning projected to further decline to an average of 12.4 hours per week by 2024, it’s in the context of that challenging environment that the CAB makes key recommendations that include a reduction of Cancon exhibition requirements from 35% to 25%, saying mandated Cancon levels are “out of sync with market reality” and put radio at a competitive disadvantage. It’s also proposing major changes to the Common Ownership Policy and proposes eliminating band restrictions by allowing AM stations to transition to FM, or be supported by additional FMs, under the same ownership. Read more here.
103.9 The Lake debuted on Kelowna airwaves Friday morning, launching with the Little River Band’s Reminiscing and a Gold-based Soft AC format aimed at appealing to a market that counts half its residents as over age 45. Formerly branded as Soft 103.9 and under the ownership of Castanet Media founder Nick Frost, the station was an early casualty of the pandemic, going off-air in early April last year as Avenue Radio filed for bankruptcy. Paul Larsen, the former owner of the Clear Sky Radio network, stepped in to buy the station. 103.9 The Lake is playing a broad mix of adult hits from the late 1970s through the early 2000s that Larsen believes will also appeal to the broader A25-54 demo. For the next few weeks, the station will play non-stop music before introducing its on-air lineup in mid-to-late April. Read more here.
Randy Bachman has confirmed that CBC Radio has cancelled his long-running Vinyl Tap show. Bachman, 77, will host a farewell special on Canada Day, indicating that he plans to shop the music program to other broadcasters or relaunch it as a podcast. Vinyl Tap originally launched on the public broadcaster in 2005.
SiriusXM Canada is the lead sponsor of the 2021 JUNO Awards, marking the company’s 15th consecutive year as an award and event sponsor. As part of its support for the awards, SiriusXM will sponsor the Artist of the Year, Group of the Year, and Comedy Album of the Year categories.
LIFE 100.3 Christian Radio (CJLF-FM) Barrie, ON reached 101% of both its $4,000 monthly goal and $200,000 one-time goal during its third Sharathon of the pandemic. Unable to have volunteers in its offices, the staff manned the phones and handled online donations between on-air shifts. LIFE 100.3 has repeater stations in Owen Sound at 90.1FM, 89.3FM Peterborough and 98.9FM Huntsville.
Priya Sam, former host of CTV Your Morning, is 15 episodes into her new podcast, Turning Point, which talks to guests like Tessa Virtue, Marci Ien, and Jonathan Torrens about major turning points in their lives. The podcast is also available as a videocast on Youtube and IGTV.
Dennis Rimmer, who is now retired from radio after three decades at stations like CFAX and CKDA Victoria, CFQC Saskatoon, CFUN Vancouver, and KPUG/KAFE Bellingham, WA, is closing in on 100 episodes of his podcast Talking Books and Stuff. Based in Radisson, SK, Rimmer’s recent guests have included former Canada AM host Jeff Hutcheson, NHL’er Theo Fleury, and Kathy Valentine of The Go-Go’s.
LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson – aka Humble & Fred – talk about building the ultimate “Life After Radio” show. And while they say they have quit radio once and for all, they do appreciate what it has to offer…when it works for them. You’ll also hear how they manage to keep the cash flowing and have fun every day. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
George Morris, 78, on March 14, of cardiovascular issues. Morris was born in Poland during WWII as Jerzy Delman, emigrating with his mother to Winnipeg toward the end of the war and eventually relocating to Montreal. Morris quickly learned English and by age 12 had appeared on CBC kids’ show Small Fry Frolics where he was invited for repeat appearances. He left home at 15 and headed for Toronto, taking his first radio gig in Blind River, ON. More stations followed including CFUN Vancouver where he did overnights as “Late Daddy G.” He returned to Montreal in 1963 as “Buddy G” on CKGM 980 AM. He went on to found commercial production studio Listen Audio Productions in the late 1960s where he established himself as a voice actor with his work ranging from the newscaster on best selling X-Box video game “Splinter Cell” to the grandfather on PBS Children’s program “Caillou.” Morris also lent his voice to projects like IMAX film “Adrenaline Rush” and “Great Train Stories” for the History Channel. He also served as the imaging voice for radio stations like Classical 96.3 FM Toronto, FM Country CJVR Saskatchewan, and Contact FM in France. Morris made a return to radio in the early ‘90s as host of “Sunday Morning Gold” on CJFM-FM Montreal.
TV & FILM:
Schitt’s Creek leads both the television and overall Canadian Screen Award nominations as the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television released its 2021 nominees across 141 film, television, and digital media categories. The sixth and final season of Schitt’s Creek is followed by CTV’s Cardinal: Until The Night and cancelled CBC Indigenous sci-fi series Trickster in the television category with 15 nominations each. On the film side, Jeff Barnaby horror feature Blood Quantum tops the nominations with 10, while Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy received nine nominations and Charles Officer’s Akilla’s Escape eight. CBC Gem digital series Bit Playas leads digital media nominations with six. Web series Hey Lady!, starring Canadian character actress Jayne Eastwood, earned five nods, while both Avocado Toast the series and Ghost BFF head into the awards with four. Special Awards will also be presented to 11 Canadians including the Academy Icon Award, which will be posthumously presented to Alex Trebek. Read more here.
Schitt’s Creek has been recognized by the Producers Guild of America with the Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy. Produced by Not A Real Company Productions (Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Andrew Barnsley, Fred Levy, David West Read, Ben Feigin, Michael Short, Kurt Smeaton, and Kosta Orfanidis), the show’s sixth season was in contention for the honour with Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Flight Attendant, Ted Lasso and What We Do in the Shadows. Find the full list of winners here.
Women in View’s 2021 report indicates that while gender equity initiatives are having an impact, disparity still exists, especially for Black women and Women of Colour. Between 2017 and 2019, there was a 23% increase in the number of TV episodes directed by women at CBC, bringing women’s share of directing at the public broadcaster to 60%. This, in turn, raised the industry-wide percentage of women-directed TV episodes from 2017’s 27% to nearly 50% in 2019 even though women’s share of directing work at Bell and Corus—where similar gender parity initiatives were not adopted— remained quite low. Initiatives to increase the number of women working in TV and film did not have a significant impact on diversity. Of the 43% of women in key creative TV roles in 2019, only 6.44% were Black women & Women of Colour and 0.94% were Indigenous women. The same disparity exists in every measured category. The report looked at two funding cycles: film projects financed by Telefilm Canada between 2017-19 and scripted English language television series funded by the Canada Media Fund (CMF) in the same period.
The Government of Alberta is removing the cap that limited film and television productions shooting in the province to a maximum $10-million tax credit claim as the province makes a bid to attract big budget screen projects. Funds available to the industry have also been increased by $19.5 million to a total of $50 million for 2021-22. The tax credit, which opened in January of last year, has thus far seen 31 medium and large-scale productions approved. The estimated spend attached to those projects is $177.6 million, alongside the creation of 3,300 jobs.
Boat Rocker Media (TSX: BRMI) has reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2020, following the completion of its Initial Public Offering. Q4 2020 revenue was $55.6 million compared with $59.4 million in the same prior year quarter. Full year 2020 revenue decreased by $17.4 million to $226.8 million compared with $244.2 million in the prior year. The decrease for both periods was primarily attributed to declines in the Television and Representation segments, driven by the impact of the pandemic. For the full year, the decrease was partially offset by an increase in the Kids and Family segment which delivered mainly animated content in 2020. Net loss attributable to shareholders for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $2.2 million, compared to $7.1 million in the same period of 2019, a decrease of $4.9 million. The decrease was primarily driven by Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) funds recognized in those three months.
OMNI TV’s Second Jen has concluded its third and final season. A comedy about second generation Canadian twenty-somethings navigating life in Toronto, the series was co-created, executive produced and starred Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan.
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Crave has announced that its premiere of Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the most-streamed title in the platform’s history, beating out the previous Crave record holder set by the final season of Game of Thrones in 2019. The HBO Max Original film also had more than 1.1 million viewers tune-in on Crave’s linear channels, including Super Écran.
CTV and New Metric Media have announced that Aaron Abrams (Blindspot, Hannibal) has been tapped for one of the leading roles in new half-hour CTV Original comedy Children Ruin Everything, joining previously announced lead Meaghan Rath (Being Human, Hawaii 5-0). In addition, Ennis Esmer (Blindspot, Schitt’s Creek) and Nazneen Contractor (Ransom) have also signed on to join the cast. Created by Kurt Smeaton (Schitt’s Creek, Kim’s Convenience), Children Ruin Everything is about living with the worst roommates of all: young children.
The National Film Board (NFB) is headed to the Annecy International Animation Film Festival with four productions and co-productions selected for the 2021 edition’s Short Film competition. Those selected include filmmakers Joanna Quinn and Les Mills with Affairs of the Art, and Claude Cloutier whose Bad Seeds will screen at the festival. Annecy first-timer Andrea Dorfman with How to Be at Home and Mike Maryniuk with June Night will also present. The festival takes place June 14-19 with details of this year’s format still to be confirmed.
Marie Clements’ award-winning narrative feature debut Red Snow has been acquired by Elevation Pictures and released in the U.S. Following its World Premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival and a limited theatrical run, the film is also now available to own on DVD. Filmed on location in the Northwest Territories (Yellowknife and Dettah) and desert interior region of BC (Ashcroft Band Lands, Cache Creek and Kamloops), Red Snow is the story of a Gwich’in soldier from the Canadian Arctic who is caught in an ambush in Afghanistan. The film features the talents of Tantoo Cardinal, Asivak Koostachin, Mozhdah Jamalzadah, and Samuel Marty and was shot in four languages including Gwich’in, Inuvialuktun, Pashto and English.
Telefilm is spotlighting Canadian filmmakers with a new Canadian Movie of the Week series on the Apple TV app. Each week, one Canadian film will be featured and available to rent for $0.99. Running through Canada Day, titles in the lineup include Canadian Strain, The Kid Detective, Ricardo Trogi’s 1991, and a 4K restoration of David Cronenberg’s Crash.
And Now Global has picked up seven new producers and 100+ hours of content for international distribution ahead of Digital MIPTV this month. The Vancouver distributor’s slate of newly-acquired series includes Classical Stretch (138x30min HD; a fitness program airing on U.S. Public Television for Adults 50+), Fly Brother with Ernest White II (10x30min HD; a new travel show airing on PBS and Create TV), Camera Gags (26x30min) and Toy Seekers (26x5min animated shorts for kids from Hungary).
CBC & Radio-Canada Distribution, the international content licensing arm of the public broadcaster, has announced its spring collection of titles, including award-winning documentary Sing Me A Lullaby and Wild Canadian Weather. The distributor’s latest scripted selections include Les Mecs, a sharp single-camera comedy about four male friends, now in their 50s, struggling to stay relevant. New to the children’s programming slate is Do Not Enter! based on the bestselling book of the same name, and 14+ teen series, About Sex which was awarded Best Mixed-Media Series 2021 at the Kidscreen Awards.
Sportsnet kicks off the Toronto Blue Jays’ Opening Day with a special 1-hour pre-game show April 1 at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT, when the Jays take on the New York Yankees live on Sportsnet, SN NOW, Sportsnet 590 The FAN, and across the Sportsnet Radio Network. Dan Shulman, Buck Martinez, and Pat Tabler have the call for all games on both TV and radio this season, with Hazel Mae, Arash Madani, and Ben Wagner providing reporting and insights. Teeing up each matchup on TV are Jamie Campbell and Joe Siddall with Blue Jays Central, while Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker return with Baseball Central weekdays at 2 p.m. ET and for select pre-game shows on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. For the dedicated radio broadcast, Rob Wong and Shoaib Ali will share hosting duties for Blue Jays games across The Sportsnet Radio Network. Josh Goldberg joins Wong and Ali to co-host the return of Jays Talk, airing on Sportsnet 590 The FAN immediately following every game.
The Banff World Media Festival and Corus Entertainment have launched a call for submissions for the 2021 Corus Apprentice Program: Lifestyle Showrunner. The mandate of this year’s program is to broaden producers’ existing skill sets with a focus on the lifestyle and unscripted genres, with an eye to building the next generation of showrunners in this growing segment of the entertainment industry. The program is focusing on talent from under-represented groups and will look to choose candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. Successful candidates will receive a full-access pass to the BANFF 2021 virtual marketplace and a two-week showrunner internship on a Corus-supported lifestyle production between June 2021 and June 2022. The deadline to apply is April 26.
The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has announced an exclusive ‘In Conversation With’ session featuring Kari Skogland, director and CEO of Mad Rabbit, and Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer, Marvel. Presented June 17 in partnership with the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC), the conversation will take place between Skogland and Feige, who’ve joined forces as director and executive producer, respectively, of Marvel Studios’ new Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The virtual festival takes place June 14 – July 16.
Hot Docs has announced the full program of sessions slated for this year’s online industry conference, taking place during the Hot Docs Festival, April 29-May 9. Speakers already announced include an opening keynote by Jenna Wortham, staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and co-host of the Still Processing podcast, and acclaimed filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Jennifer Holness, and 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award recipient Stanley Nelson, who will each lead masterclasses discussing their careers and work to cultivate and uplift Black, Indigenous and marginalized voices. Other sessions include I Am a Journalist. This is Why I told My Story as a Documentary, in which journalists Tanya Talaga and Jennifer Ngo will discuss their transition into doc film. Free registration is now open.
The 6th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto (RAFF) will return online May 19-31. The festival showcases Canadian and international shorts, features, and documentaries about deaf and disability cultures by filmmakers and actors with disabilities and/or who are deaf. This year’s event will include online ReelEducation matinees and workshops for grades K-12, the return of the ReelAbilities Comedy Night, and screenings of over 20 short and feature films. Full programming will be announced in the coming weeks.
Super Channel is partnering with Northern Arena as Presenting Sponsor to bring the second annual Canadian Game Awards to gaming fans across the country on GINX Esports TV Canada. The two-hour awards special covering all aspects of the Canadian gaming industry, will air April 9 at 8 p.m. ET, and will also be available via Super Channel On Demand. Viewers can also subscribe to Super Channel and GINX Esports TV Canada via Amazon Prime Video and the Apple TV app.
Raymond James Ltd., the Canadian arm of North American investment dealer Raymond James Financial, has announced that The Wealthy Life television program, hosted by Sybil Verch, will air nationally across Canada on Global TV, premiering April 3. Offering advice on how best to navigate fiscal bumps in the road and make the most of your means, The Wealthy life will air Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. local time in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Toronto and Montreal.
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in partnership with Sound Venture Productions will premiere Re:Location, a series of four 30-minute documentaries highlighting community relocations in Canada from the forced relocation of Halifax’s Africville to the internment and property seizure of Japanese Canadians during the WWII. The four Re:Location episodes will premiere on Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) at 9 p.m. ET over four successive Sundays, starting April 4. The broadcasts will be simultaneously seen on CPAC in both English and French and streamed at cpac.ca.
ONLINE & DIGITAL:
Reddit is establishing a Canadian presence, announcing it’s opened an office in downtown Toronto with dedicated Management, Sales, Community and Engineering teams and ambitious plans for growth. Home to Reddit’s third largest user base after the U.S. and U.K. — and growing by 40% year-over-year — the social news aggregation platform says Canada is the natural next place to establish an on-the-ground presence. “Canada is already home to a deeply engaged Reddit audience that is growing steadily by the day and it is a top priority for us and our internationalization strategy,” explained Reddit’s Chief Operating Officer, Jen Wong, in a release. The company says the Toronto team will be committed to helping Canadian brands find their home on Reddit.
OUTtv Media Group (OMG) has partnered with Producer Entertainment Group (PEG), the LGBTQ+ talent management, production company and record label, to launch OUTtv USA, an SVOD service dedicated to premium LGBTQ+ content. OUTtv, the first LGBTQ+ Apple TV channel, is now available direct to subscribers. OUTtv is expected to launch across other marquee SVOD platforms later this year. Jacob Slane will serve as senior domestic executive overseeing the venture from Producer Entertainment Group’s headquarters in Burbank.
Bell Media is expanding its digital offering on the Noovo.ca website and via the new Noovo app, showcasing its extensive catalogue of French-language programming. Over 5,000 hours of content are now available on Noovo.ca and via the app on iOS and Android mobile devices and smart or connected TVs. This includes content from the conventional Noovo channel as well as from Canal D, Canal Vie, Investigation, VRAK and Z. Noovo.ca will feature the majority of daily programming broadcast live on the Noovo channel, including all episodes of Noovo Le Fil news programming. The app will soon be available on Apple TV (Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD TV).
Torstar Corporation has entered into a long-term partnership with Cineplex to acquire publishing and exclusive theatre distribution rights for Cineplex Magazine. Torstar will continue both print and digital publication of the magazine under the brand Star Cineplex. Paul Rivett, chair and co-owner of Torstar, said the company plans to take “Torstar capabilities around content development, publishing, sales and operations to make Star Cineplex both a successful business and offer an entertaining reading experience to the audience.” As part of the transaction, SCENE members will receive advanced and exclusive content from Star Cineplex. According to a company release, Cineplex Magazine boasts over three million readers per issue.
Liquid Media Group has announced plans to create a first of its kind multi-token IP platform. Liquid is engaged in partnership discussions for platform engineering with CurrencyWorks. The Liquid Media Token Platform (LMPT) will support the evolving needs of film, entertainment and the gaming industry to capture opportunities to conceptualize and create content once, then monetize it in perpetuity. Built on four IP pillars: Creation, Use/Subscription, Financing and Licensing/Protection, the initiative would allow creative professionals to drive new revenue streams based on digital NFT exclusives and collectibles, gamify intellectual property, and guarantee recurrent licensing fees using smart contracts.
LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we talk to Daniel Cruz, co-founder and CFO of Vancouver’s Liquid Media Group, about the convergence of all things digital entertainment and why he believes all facets of the industry need to embrace technology to avoid the Blockbuster Video effect. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
The CRTC has published the findings of its initial engagement phase as it looks to modernize the Indigenous broadcasting policy. Between June 2019 and Feb. 2020, the commission met with Indigenous broadcasters, content creators and artists during 12 engagement sessions across Canada. Participants provided feedback on a range of issues that have prevented Indigenous broadcasters and content creators from fully participating in all aspects of the broadcast industry. Among the issues identified are significant revenue challenges for Indigenous radio stations and the need for improved infrastructure and equipment, particularly at television stations in Northern communities. Participants also expressed concern over non-Indigenous organizations receiving public funding for the creation or production of Indigenous content and the need for more Indigenous employment throughout the entire broadcasting system. Participants additionally noted the need for the CRTC to improve Indigenous representation within its organization.
The CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer has announced the largest ever penalty to an individual for violating Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). Scott William Brewer has been fined $75,000 after allegedly sending hundreds of thousands of commercial emails without prior consent. Between December 2015 and May 2018, Brewer allegedly sent over 670,000 emails without the consent of recipients. His spam campaigns focused on affiliate and web marketing and included the promotion of four online casinos that would compensate him through affiliate programs for new customers. The CRTC’s investigation confirmed that Brewer sent out a very high volume of emails over a short time span – known as a “hailstorm campaign” – before anti-spam defenses could respond and block the messages.
The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) has released its 2020-21 Mid-Year Report, showing a 6% increase in the number of complaints it received from Canadian telecom and TV customers between Aug. 1, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021. Bell accounts for 20.3% of all complaints accepted (down 17%), followed by Rogers (up 24%) at 13.2%, Fido at 10.3% (up 45%), TELUS at 7.1% (down 7.5%) and Freedom Mobile at 6.5% (up 1.9%). Canadians complained most often about their wireless service, followed by internet, TV and local phone. The most frequently-raised concerns were “disclosure issues,” the majority of which involved a mismatch between what the customer was expecting and what they received, followed by incorrect charges on customer invoices.
The News Photographers Association of Canada has announced the winners of the 2020 National Pictures of the Year Awards. Halifax-based independent photographer Darren Calabrese was named Photojournalist of the Year, while Carlos Osario of Reuters won the honour of Photograph of the Year. Ben Nelms of CBC Vancouver took first place in General News. View the year’s winning photographs here.
The Law Society of British Columbia and the Jack Webster Foundation are presenting Law and the Media Workshop: “When Journalists Investigate: How to Navigate a Story with High Stakes and Deep Consequences” on Wednesday, April 28. Held via Zoom, this year’s workshop will explore the legal pitfalls and implications when a journalist gets caught up in a missing person’s case. A panel of experts will follow an unfolding scenario and provide insights on navigating police, tipsters, prisons, court access, a family’s grief and potential for defamation. This year’s panel members include Dan Burnett, QC, Media Lawyer, Owen Bird Law Corporation; investigative reporter John L. Daly, 980 CKNW; Cassidy Olivier, City Editor, The Vancouver Sun/The Province; and Farid Muttalib, Legal Counsel, CBC/Radio-Canada. Reserve your place by emailing the Jack Webster Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Western Association of Broadcasters (WABE) President Rob Brown says the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) has confirmed it’s leaving the future training of broadcast engineers for radio and television to the industry, beyond the current session. SAIT announced last March that its Broadcast Systems Technology (BXST) program – the last broadcast engineering course of its kind in the country – would fall under provincial budget cuts following the graduation of the current second year cohort. Established in 1969, the program was one of the few certified by the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) and had just established a new state-of-the-art lab. While WABE had hoped the program’s cancellation might be reviewed, Brown said it’s clear future training will have to be spearheaded by the industry. WABE has been leading discussions with SAIT on steps forward, which Brown said could include the addition of a third year, broadcast-specific course addition to the college’s Electrical Engineering Technology program, a Radio-frequency (RF) engineering add-on to NAIT’s Wireless Systems Engineering Technology course, or other ways to upscale related programming. Read more here.
Stingray Business and Space Factory Media have announced an agreement to provide custom music, insights, and AV systems solutions for FAT Brands, a global franchising company that acquires, markets and develops fast casual and casual dining concepts. Under the agreement, Stingray Business and Space Factory will provide custom curated music and Stingray’s mobile AI/consumer insights service Chatter, into one integrated media solution for Fatburger and Johnny Rockets restaurants. The core Stingray platforms deployed will be the Stingray Music for Business App and the SB3 streaming Media Player, designed for enterprise brands and fully licensed for commercial use. Ratha Khuong, General Manager of Stingray Business, says the deal marks an important breakthrough for Stingray Business as it significantly expands its music and media partnerships in the U.S. The solutions will launch in April 2021 at Johnny Rockets and Fatburger and within the next year at FAT Brands’ other concepts: Buffalo’s Cafe, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Elevation Burger, Yalla Mediterranean and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses.