The Weekly Briefing

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REVOLVING DOOR:

Buck Martinez

Buck Martinez, 73, is stepping away from the Toronto Blue Jays broadcast booth as he prepares to undergo cancer treatment. The Blue Jays TV analyst called Sunday’s series finale against the Oakland Athletics – his last game before he takes a leave from Sportsnet. The former MLB player, who did stints as both a catcher and manager for the Jays, has been working as a colour commentator for the team off and on since 1987, initially for TSN. He’s been with Sportsnet since 2010.

Gord Steinke

Gord Steinke has announced he’ll retire from Global News Edmonton at the end of the summer after 30 years with the station. The longtime co-anchor of Global News Hour at 6 and Global News at 5 will anchor his final newscast on Aug. 31. Steinke started out as a touring musician, playing bass in rock bands out of Saskatoon and Toronto, before pursuing journalism at the University of Regina. He began his broadcast career at CBC, heading stateside in 1989 to work at ABC affiliate, KSTP-TV Minneapolis. He joined ITV (now Global Edmonton) in 1992. Read more here.

Claude Maillot

Claude Mailhot has retired from RDS after a 50-year career in media. Mailhot, 74, started in broadcasting in 1972 as the host of open line radio program, Les amateurs de sports, and later served as an analyst on Radio-Canada’s La Soirée du hockey, a position he held until 1982. Over the years, Mailhot has covered 21 Olympic Games and held roles from sports director to host across radio and television. He first joined RDS in 1991, covering the NHL, NFL, and CFL, in addition to amateur sports. A lawyer by training, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport in 2005. He returned to broadcasting in 2009, ahead of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Nav Nanwa

Nav Nanwa is the new host of CBC Radio’s Windsor Morning. Longtime host Tony Doucette announced his intention to retire in December after 46 years in broadcasting, 38 with the CBC. Nanwa has been with the public broadcaster since 2020, most recently as a reporter and producer with the Brampton bureau.

Ramraajh Sharvendiran

Ramraajh Sharvendiran is leaving the CBC Radio morning show in St. John’s, NL to host CBC Ontario Morning, CBC’s local morning program for non-metropolitan markets in Southern Ontario. His last day co-hosting in St. John’s, alongside Krissy Holmes, is April 29. Sharvendiran has been with the public broadcaster since 2017 when he started as an intern on The Current.

Siobhan Morris

Siobhan Morris has joined CTV’s Queen’s Park bureau full-time. Morris was a videojournalist, anchor and producer with CTV Barrie, prior to joining CTV Toronto in February.

Jeff Fillion

Jeff Fillion is leaving CHOI-FM Quebec City. RNC Media says the host rejected its latest contract renewal offer. Fillion has been hosting on-demand paywalled content on his site radiopirate.com.

MC Mario (Tremblay) has been picked up by The Beat 92.5 (CKBE-FM) Montreal to host a new weekend mix show, airing Saturday nights at 5 p.m. ET. Tremblay’s 30-year run on the Montreal airwaves came to an abrupt end in November when MC Mario House Party was dropped by 95.9 Virgin Radio (CJFM-FM).  

Paul Herriot

Paulie (Paul) Herriot has been laid off by Rogers Sports & Media in Kitchener after almost 18 years with CityNews 570 (CKGL-AM). The 2003 Loyalist grad was a technical producer and backfill programming assistant.

Bill Good

Bill Good’s “A Minute with Bill Good” commentary on CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver has come to an end. The veteran media personality’s daily editorial segment had been running since 2015. Good retired from 980 CKNW in 2014 after 26 years with the station.

Nate Bryant

Nate Bryant has parted ways with 104.9 Virgin Radio (CFMG-FM) Edmonton, just shy of his six- month probationary period. Bryant had been voicetracking and providing show coverage, among other duties. Prior to joining Bell Media, he was an evening show host on SONiC 102.9 (CHDI-FM) Edmonton, arriving from the morning show on Harvard Media’s X100.7 (CKEX-FM) Red Deer.

Andie Bennett

Andie Bennett will be the third member of Melnick in the Afternoon, starting in June, on TSN 690 (CKGM-AM) Montreal, following Joey Alfieri’s departure earlier this year to join the Montreal Alouettes as a content creator. Bennett was formerly a contributor to the show before leaving to cover sports for CBC Montreal. She’s most recently been working in the not-for-profit sector. In announcing Bennett’s return to the show, Melnick, who’ll turn 63 in June, revealed he’s not sure how much longer he’ll be in the host’s chair.

Darren Worts

Darren Worts is leaving his afternoon drive slot on Star FM (CKSR-FM) Chilliwack, but staying within Rogers Radio as he joins the morning show on JACK 103.1 (CHTT-FM) Victoria. Worts is already heard in the Victoria market as he does double-duty voicetracking middays on Ocean 98.5 (CIOC-FM). Prior to joining Rogers in March of last year, Worts had most recently been the midday announcer on Pattison’s Power 104 (CKLZ-FM) Kelowna.

Paul Laing

Paul Laing is leaving the morning show at Durham Radio’s 92.9 The Grand (CHTG-FM) Haldimand/Hamilton after three years, to move to Bayshore Broadcasting’s Country 102 (CJMU-FM) Bracebridge as Operations Manager and Morning Show Host. His last day on The Grand will be Friday, April 29.

Ray St. Germain

Ray St. Germain is getting set to retire from “Métis Hour x2,” the Saturday morning call-in show he’s hosted on the NCI (Native Communications Inc.) radio network in Manitoba for 23 years. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer, 82, has hosted numerous radio and television programs since the 1960s, including national CBC series “Time for Livin'” and “My Kind of Country,” and long-running CKND Winnipeg show “Ray St. Germain Country.” 

Jordan Press

Jordan Press has announced he’s stepping away from The Canadian Press (CP) and journalism. Press has been an Ottawa-based National Affairs reporter for the wire service since 2015. Press has also written for the Ottawa Citizen and other Postmedia papers, among other freelance work.

Zain Meghji

Zain Meghji has joined Vancouver’s BBTV as Senior Manager, Audience Development. Up until last October, Meghji had been the Head of Video Content at Daily Hive Vancouver. He’s also done stints as a correspondent for EXTRA, ETALK, and Breakfast Television in Vancouver and Calgary.

Heather Conway

Heather Conway is stepping down as Executive Director and co-President of Hot Docs after just five months. The former Executive Vice-President of CBC, Conway will be transitioning into a new strategic planning advisory role in May. Longtime President Chris McDonald will assume sole leadership of the organization. Erin Lau, Managing Director, and Paul Lewis, Conference Director of World Congress of Science and Factual Producers, have been named interim co-Executive Directors and will be supporting McDonald as part of the leadership team. Hot Docs says in her short tenure, Conway made significant improvements to the organization’s structure, including centralizing development and sponsorship activities and hiring Hot Docs’ first director of finance. She also secured Cineplex as a new presenting partner for the 2022 Festival.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Karen Steele

Karen Steele, Program Director at 99.9 Virgin Radio (CKFM-FM) Toronto, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Rosalie Award by the Radio Trailblazers. Named in honour of the late Rosalie Trombley – the legendary music director of CKLW-AM “The Big 8” Windsor/Detroit – the award recognizes Canadian women who have blazed new trails in radio. Steele started her radio career as the Program Director of CRNC, the campus station at Niagara College, while studying in the broadcasting program. She joined 97.7 HTZ-FM St. Catharines as a “cruiser girl” in 1990, and seven years later was promoted to Program Director. After a one-year detour to Corus Radio to work as APD and Promotions Director at Energy Radio 107.9 (CING-FM) Burlington, she returned to Standard and MIX 99.9 Toronto, working her way up to Director of Promotions for MIX, 97.3 EZ Rock (CHBM-FM), and Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM). In 2005, she was elevated to Program Director of MIX 99.9. After another brief detour into publicity and promotions for Warner Bros. in 2009, Steele joined Rogers’ KiSS 92.5 (CKIS-FM) Toronto as PD. She made the move to Bell Media in 2016, initially programming 105.3 Virgin Radio (CFCA-FM) and KFUN (CKKW-FM) Kitchener, before joining 99.9 Virgin Radio Toronto in her current role in 2017. Read more here.

630 CHED Edmonton and the Edmonton Elks have announced a new radio rights agreement. Play-by-play announcer Morley Scott and analyst Dave Campbell return to Commonwealth Stadium for their 12th season together. Each broadcast will feature a 90-minute pre-game show and 90-minute post-game show hosted by Brenden Escott, who moves upstairs after handling sideline reporting duties. CHED will broadcast every Elks pre-season, regular season, and West Division playoff game, beginning with pre-season coverage on Friday, May 27 when the Elks take on the defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

STARS Air Ambulance in Saskatchewan says its two-day Critical Care on the Air Radiothon, broadcast April 13-14 on 37 stations across the province, raised $403,940. That’s over $60,000 more than last year’s fundraising efforts. The radiothon ran for 12 hours each day. 

 

TuneIn has announced the launch of TuneIn Premium on all Amazon Alexa-enabled devices in the U.S. Alexa customers are now able to access the entire library of TuneIn Premium content, which includes live sports, commercial-free news, and music from CNN, Fox News Radio, CSPAN, MSNBC, CNBC and Bloomberg, as well as live MLB, NFL, NHL and college sports programming. Following a three-month free trial, TuneIn Premium users will be charged $9.99 USD per month. TuneIn can now be accessed in 100 plus countries through a variety of connected devices.

The Sound Off Media Company has announced a partnership with Poddin.io for transcription for The Sound Off Podcast and other shows on its podcast network. Effective with episode 295, a downloadable transcription will be included for each show. Transcriptions will also be added to more popular episodes like those featuring Sheri Lynch, Tara Sands, Tom Leykis, Terry O’Reilly and Dean Blundell.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill talks to voiceover artist (and second cousin) Geoff Allan, who who’ve likely heard on ads for everything from Burger King to Bud Light. Allan, who didn’t pursue voiceover work until his 50s following a career in hotel management, talks about his journey from suites to studios as a shining example that it’s never too late to start doing what you love. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Paul Pope

Paul Pope, 63, on April 14. Over a four-decade career, Pope produced roughly two dozen films and series, under the banner of Pope Productions, including 2001 feature film, Rare Birds, starring William Hurt, and 2016’s award-winning Hunting Pignut, with Taylor Hickson and Joel Thomas Hynes. Most recently, he was the Executive Producer of Citytv series Hudson & Rex. Pope worked as a second unit director or assistant director on more than a dozen other projects, including The Shipping News (2001), and more recently CBC comedy/drama Little Dog (2018/19). A founding member of the Newfoundland Filmmakers Cooperative (NIFCO), where he served as president for over 20 years, Pope was known as an industry advocate and mentor, passionate about independent production. Over the years, he served on the boards of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), St. John’s Resource Centre for the Arts, and was Vice-Chair of the Canada Media Fund (CMF) from 2008-10. In addition to numerous awards garnered by Pope Productions, Pope was personally recognized with the Arts Achievement Award from ArtsNL, the Douglas James Dales Industry Builder Award, and an honorary Doctorate from Memorial University. Last year, he received the City of St. John’s Legend Award for his contributions to the tourism sector through his work in film and television. Read more here.

TV & FILM:

Prime Video presented its burgeoning slate of Canadian Amazon Original productions at an event in Toronto, introducing new projects including The Sticky, an English-language dramedy set in Quebec and inspired by the real-life “Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist” of 2011. Produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Television, Jonathan Levine’s Megamix, Jamie Lee Curtis’ Comet Pictures, and Canadian producer Sphere Media, the half-hour series is slated to start filming in Montreal in late fall. Also in the works is an untitled documentary project on The Tragically Hip from director Mike Downie, a multi-part docuseries that will feature never-before-seen footage, photos, performances, and stories from the band’s 40-year career. Woven throughout the interviews will be lead singer (and Mike’s brother) Gord Downie’s personal writing from his notebooks and journals, lyrics, and correspondence with family, friends, and fans. Read more here.

Prime Video has revealed the premiere date and official trailer for the Amazon Original reboot of The Kids in the Hall, produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video and Project 10. The iconic Canadian comedy troupe—Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson—is back with a new season, debuting May 13 in more than 240 countries. The eight new episodes feature guest stars including Paul Bellini, Pete Davidson, Catherine O’Hara, Kenan Thompson, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Will Forte, Catherine Reitman, Samantha Bee, Fred Armisen, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Jay Baruchel, Eddie Izzard, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mark Hamill, and Colin Mochrie. Joining the Prime Video revival is the previously-announced The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, a two-part documentary produced by Blue Ant Studios, which premiered at SXSW and will screen at Hot Docs next month. It launches May 20.

Jennifer Podemski

Crave, in association with Rezolution Pictures, APTN, and OP Little Bird, has started production on Crave Original drama series, Little Bird. Created by showrunner Jennifer Podemski (Unsettled) and head writer Hannah Moscovitch (X Company), the six-part, one-hour limited series follows an Indigenous woman on a journey to find her birth family, and uncover the hidden truth of her past. The series will be available to audiences in English and French, with Fremantle handling international distribution. Award-winning filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open) and Zoe Hopkins (Run Woman Run) each direct three episodes, while Hopkins also writes three of the episodes.

Jared Keeso as Shoresy

Crave has announced that LETTERKENNY spinoff SHORESY will begin streaming Friday, May 13. Created by and starring Jared Keeso, the six-episode, half-hour hockey comedy sees the character join the Sudbury Bulldogs of the Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization (the NOSHO) on a quest to never lose again. Two new episodes will rollout every Friday. As previously-announced, the series will join Hulu’s lineup in the U.S. as a Hulu Original.

 

Hayley Wickenheiser

UNINTERRUPTED Canada, Bell Media and Canadian Tire have announced their collaboration on WICK, an original documentary on Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser. It takes viewers from Wickenheiser’s early years growing up on a Saskatchewan farm, to teaching women in India and North Korea how to play hockey, to choosing to pursue a medical degree – all the while winning four Olympic hockey golds, seven world championships and becoming the first female to ever play pro men’s hockey in Europe. The film also follows Wickenheiser present day, as she navigates life as a medical doctor, while also serving as head of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The hour-long film will premiere on Crave and TSN this fall, with Canadian Tire, a long-time sponsor of Wickenheiser, on board as the film’s presenting sponsor.

Distribution360 (D360) has launched new digital series, Lady Ada’s Secret Society (9×9) on the marbleKIDS YouTube channel. It follows the adventures of Ava, Tina, Rebelle and Frances in their secret computer club as they rebel against their hyper-traditional boarding school where technological advances are dismissed. The girls execute over-the-top pranks using tech they invent, hack or borrow while staying one step ahead of their headmistress. Award-winning creator Shannon Fewster produces, alongside Joshua Demers and Andrew Hunter, and Samantha Wan (Second Jen) directs. The cast includes Ella Jonas Farlinger (Anne with an E), Maia Jae Bastidas (In The Dark), Glenna Walters (Anne with an E), Claire Qute (The Detail) and Terri Hawkes (Sailor Moon). D360 will shop the series as both shorts and an 80 min. film.

Cedar Island Films has acquired the rights to Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency. The book has been optioned for a limited documentary series with Ruth Nanda (Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH, Keeping Canada Alive) attached as showrunner and Michael Bourquin (Moosemeat & Marmalade, Coyote Science) as series director. A Good War examines how politics and the economy can be aligned with what science says we must do to address the climate crisis.

The Canadian Cinema Editors have unveiled this year’s CCE Award nominations with multiple nods for The Handmaid’s Tale, Way Over Me (Sortez-moi de moi), and Sort Of. Jean-Marc Vallée is also being recognized at this year’s event with a posthumous Career Achievement Award, while David Cronenberg collaborator and feature film editor Ron Sanders will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The CCE Awards will take place May 26 at the Delta Hotel in Toronto.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2022 budget includes $10 million for a new Film and Media Production Centre at College of the North Atlantic in St. John’s; a new All Spend Film and Video Production Tax Credit; and $10 million for the Film and Television Equity Investment Program. The province says with currently about 1,400 film and television jobs in NL, there is still significant room for growth. The new 30% tax credit for eligible productions has a cap of $10 million annually per project.

Versatile Media has confirmed the location of its new 43,000 sq. ft. Vancouver film studio, which will include multiple soundstages, both traditional and LED, purpose-built for live-action filming. Strategically located in South Burnaby near Marine Way, the studio is Versatile’s first permanent virtual production LED volume in Canada. Set to take occupancy in December, the facility will encompass a traditional soundstage and coinciding amenities, including paint and sawmill, dedicated costume areas, general offices space, and parking to accommodate a full production. The LED volume will be comprised of 12,000 LED panels creating a 270-degree cylindrical volume spanning a 90 ft. diameter with a 30 ft. connected flat ceiling. It will integrate Epic’s Unreal Engine and will be powered by NVIDIA GPU technology. 

Radio-Canada is now broadcasting live from Studio J in the new Maison de Radio-Canada in Montreal. Watch a behind-the-scenes tour that captures the minutes leading up to the historic inaugural broadcast from the new studio and the first impressions of anchors Patrice Roy and Céline Galipeau.

Created with GIMP

CHCH-TV has acknowledged the growing pains that have come with moving into its new digs in suburban Hamilton after 67 years in its former downtown location. The station has posted a tongue-in-cheek look at a rough first week. Among the changes that have come with the newly-constructed 7,000 sq. ft. fully-digital facility, videographers now edit their own reports.

CPAC is partnering with France 24 to bring Canadians coverage of an election that could have a significant impact on France and Europe. Coverage begins April 20 at 3 p.m. ET (replay at 10 p.m.) with the French presidential debate between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen — who are facing off for a second round of voting in the presidential runoff. Canadians can tune in again April 24 at 2 p.m. ET, when CPAC will air France 24’s live election results, including reporting from the ground, analysis, and speeches from both candidates.

Blue Ant Media has launched free, ad-supported streaming channel, Homeful, on The Roku Channel in the U.S. and Canada. Homeful features home design TV like Moving the McGillivrays, Candice Tells All, What’s For Sale?, Decks, Docks and Gazebos, and Sarah’s Summer Rental, among other series. The launch of Homeful builds on Blue Ant’s expansion into the emerging free streaming space and expands its existing partnership with The Roku Channel, which now carries Blue Ant channels Love Nature in the U.S. in both English and Spanish; HauntTV in the U.S. and Canada; TotalCrime in the U.S., and sister channel CrimeTime, in Canada. 

Stingray has reached an agreement for the distribution of a suite of free ad-supported channels (FAST channels) to TCL smart TVs in Australia, Brazil, India, Mexico and the U.S. The new services within the TCL app include Qello Concerts by Stingray, Stingray Karaoke, Stingray Classica, Stingray DJAZZ, Stingray CMusic, Stingray Naturescape, and Stingray Music channels at no extra cost. As part of the deal, TCL FALCON will also make available AVOD packages including the best of karaoke and concerts.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Kyle Shaw & Christine Oreskovich

Overstory Media Group has acquired Halifax alt weekly, The Coast. Led by Publisher Christine Oreskovich and Editor Kyle Shaw, who co-founded the paper in 1993, The Coast is also behind community events like Halifax Burger Week and Halifax Oyster Fest. Persevering as one of the last independent alt weeklies standing, prior to the pandemic, The Coast pivoted to a digital-first newsroom in early 2020 and ceased publication of its weekly print edition. In a note to readers, Oreskovich and Shaw noted the “relentless” pace of digital adaption, saying they believe being a part of Overstory’s larger community will help build up The Coast. Launched by Farhan Mohamed and Andrew Wilkinson in May of last year, Overstory’s reach remains largely focused in Western Canada, including the Vancouver Tech Journal, Capital Daily, Fraser Valley Current, The Westshore, Burnaby Beacon, Oak Bay Local, and Calgary Citizen, among other publications. 

Netflix experienced a loss of 200,000 subscribers in Q1, causing its shares to trade down more than 35% and the streamer to shed more than $54 billion in market value on Wednesday. The subscriber drop stems, in part, from the streaming giant’s decision to withdraw service in Russia, accounting for the loss of 700,000 subscribers. Still, excluding Russia, it was two million paid net adds off of its guidance. Another two million subscribers are expected to fall off in Q2 as the streamer cracks down on account sharing. Netflix plans to expand a pilot program that’s been running in Latin America, allowing subscribers to extend service to another household at a discount. It’s also proposing a cheaper ad-supported tier, which has raised questions about whether such a move would cannibalize its existing subscriber base in North America.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Rogers Communications has released financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31. Total revenue and total service revenue increased by 4% and 6%, respectively, driven by revenue growth in Wireless and Media. Wireless service revenue increased by 7%, mainly as a result of higher roaming revenue associated with increased travel as COVID-19-related restrictions abated. Wireless equipment revenue decreased 10% as a result of fewer device upgrades. Cable service revenue increased 1%, primarily as a result of service pricing changes in the quarter and increases in Internet and Video subscribers. Media revenue was up 10% year-over-year to $482 million, mostly due to higher sports-related revenue, partially offset by lower revenue at Today’s Shopping Choice. Media adjusted EBITDA decreased by $7 million, primarily due to higher programming, production, and other operating costs as a result of increased activity as COVID restrictions eased, and the timing of player salaries pertaining to Toronto Blue Jays player trades. RCI says the Shaw transaction remains on track to close in Q2 2022.

Cogeco Communications has announced financial results for the second quarter ended Feb. 28. Revenue increased by 14.8% year-over-year to reach $728.5 million. On a constant currency basis, revenue increased by 15.0% due to a services revenue increase of 31.3% in the company’s American broadband service, mostly resulting from the Ohio broadband systems acquisition completed on Sept. 1, 2021, and from a higher Internet service customer base and product mix. Canadian broadband services revenue increased by 2.1% mainly as a result of the DERYtelecom acquisition completed in Dec. 2020 and organic growth. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 13.7% to reach $349.1 million, compared to the previous year. 

The Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) is staging a series of consultative events across the country, starting later this month, aimed at confronting barriers to employment and representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) Canadians in broadcasting and media. “Building an Anti-Racism Strategy for Canadian Broadcasting: Conversation & Convergence” will kick off in Montreal on April 30, the first of five regional gatherings to be hosted in Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary, and Winnipeg. Supported by Canadian Heritage’s Anti-Racism Action Program, the events will culminate in a national conference to be held at Carleton University, Nov. 18-19, in Ottawa. Laith Marouf, Senior Consultant, CMAC, says each regional event will reflect issues in the local community, following a call for proposals earlier this year from the academic, production, and racialized communities in each city who deal with issues around media, communication, journalism and race. Read more here.

CBC/Radio-Canada has scheduled 20 engagement sessions to hear from Indigenous communities about what they want from their public broadcaster. Starting April 26 in Winnipeg and wrapping up Sept. 27 in Thunder Bay, CBC is looking to hear from First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples about how CBC/Radio-Canada represents and reflects Indigenous needs, interests and cultures. Fourteen English-language sessions will be organized by the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, in partnership with CBC, while another eight will be held in French, organized by Acosys Consulting Services, in partnership with Radio-Canada.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the finalists for its 2021 awards program. Recipients in each category will be announced at its May 28 awards gala as part of the CAJ 2022 conference in Montreal. Find the full list of finalists here.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has announced its shortlist for the Landsberg Award, which celebrates a journalist, or journalists, providing greater profile to women’s equality issues. The winner receives $5,000 from the Canadian Women’s Foundation. This year’s award finalists are: Robyn Doolittle, with Chen Wang and Tavia Grant, for The Power Gap, a Globe and Mail series examining gender discrimination in Canadian workplaces; Freelancer Christina Frangou for her independent character-driven stories in Chatelaine, Toronto Life and Reader’s Digest revealing discrimination in Canada’s medical and legal systems; Maggie Rahr, with contributions from Nancy Hunter and Janice Evans, for CBC’s Carrie Low VS. podcast on Low’s fight to have her rape properly investigated by police in Nova Scotia; Freelancer Sarah Ratchford for her independent investigations for Reader’s Digest, Refinery29 and Xtra Magazine into limited access to abortions in the Maritimes; and Mercedes Stephenson, Amanda Connolly and Marc-André Cossette for their Global News coverage on sexual misconduct allegations against high-ranking Canadian military officials.

Humber College has issued a statement clarifying it will exempt student journalists from a policy that required administrative approval to film on campus. The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) called on the college earlier this week to rethink the 2019 permit policy that required a minimum of 15 business days to be processed. CAJ President Brent Jolly called the policy “preposterous” for an institution training the next generation of journalists, noting the news rarely gives “15 days advance notice.” Humber News published an editorial in November, highlighting the barriers the policy has posed for campus journalists. 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Tylenol is one of the brands that has test-driven Bell Media’s new in-content advertising offering, integrating its logo into CTV drama Transplant. (Bell Media)

Bell Media is now offering virtual in-content advertising opportunities using tech that places product and signage into series during post-production. Tylenol and TD are two of the brands that have test-driven the technology already, with TD integrating into the post-Super Bowl premiere of CTV comedy series, Children Ruin Everything, and Tylenol incorporating its logo into CTV’s Transplant. Relying on AI technology from Mirriad, Bell Media is the UK software company’s first partner in the Canadian market. Read more here.

NAB Show 2022 gets underway Saturday, April 23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with this year’s exhibit floor redefined around three key themes — Create, Connect and Capitalize — with an additional focus on Intelligent Content. NAB says the reimagined show reflects the new reality of a cross-platform world with the old model of a radio, broadcast, and post-production hall no longer fitting the current media ecosystem. Instead, exhibitors will be located in the areas they best represent in the content lifecycle. Read more here. More than 900 companies, including about 160 first-time exhibitors, will be debuting new products at this year’s show.

LISTEN: 8K, the high resolution successor to 4K, has in some ways been one of the technological casualties of the pandemic with its adoption abated in the consumer rush to buy new 4K screens over the last few years. Broadcast Dialogue welcomes Chris Chinnock, Executive Director, of the 8K Association, to the podcast to talk about 8K’s evolution, the debate over its value, and what the association will be showcasing at the upcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Stingray is partnering with US-based GeoBroadcast Solutions to launch the first Canadian deployments of its MaxxCasting system to increase signal quality and audience reach of its stations. Chris Maclaurin, Engineering Director, Stingray, says the company’s biggest challenge has been broadcasting into areas within the predicted contour that the signal wasn’t covering. MaxxCasting combines radio and cellular technology, enabling FM Broadcasters to enhance their signals with the deployment of a strategically located cluster of low to the ground, highly-directionalized, synchronized booster sites.

Orban Labs has announced an update to its popular OPTIMOD XPN-AM. The rackmount engine for the processor is now housed in a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Dell blade. Orban President David Day says the switch was made, in part, because of worldwide supply chain issues with building a bespoke hardware platform more problematic as the pandemic dragged on. In the meantime, the OPTIMOD XPN-AM had become the company’s best-selling AM processor in the U.S. During the past year, Orban implemented Nielsen PPM encoding in the XPN-AM, with company testing also showing substantial power savings to customers without affecting the coverage area. 

Aptivada has rebranded as Audience. The digital marketing solutions provider to the media industry says its updated name, logo, and branding demonstrate its evolution and “refined mission to help companies collect, enrich, and activate their customers’ first-party data.” The company says with the deprecation of third-party cookies and increased regulation around customer data sharing, privacy-first customer digital experiences like giveaways, surveys, polls, and UGC (user-generated content) – designed to collect and activate data to drive conversions and increase engagement – are more vital than ever.