Quebecor Expertise Media has announced a handful of appointments in its Toronto office. Leema Williams, who has over a dozen years of sales experience at Metroland Media Group and more recently was a freelance Social Media Strategist, is now Digital Account Director; Rajan Sharma is Account Director, Programmatic Media Solutions covering both Montreal and Toronto; Tony Vigario moves from Account Director at 360 Media Solutions to Digital Account Director; and Mark Anthony Di Cio steps in as Account Director, 360 Media Solutions. Di Cio joins the team from Bell Media, where he worked for several years as Director of Sales for their French language products.
Cam Woolley has retired from CP24. Following a 30-year career with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the former face of the Toronto highway safety division, Woolley signed on as a reporter with the station in 2008. Woolley was part of the original cast of CP24 Breakfast and appeared on segments like “Safety First with Cam Woolley” and “Know Your Rights.” He’s also appeared as a judge on Discovery reality series, Canada’s Worst Driver.
Jamie Mauracher will step into a newly-created role at Global News as Digital Broadcast Journalist, Health, starting May 3. Mauracher will be seen across the network and on Global’s 24-hour news streaming service via Amazon Prime Video Channels and the Global TV app. Mauracher has been with Global Toronto since 2018. Read more here.
Taz Dhaliwal has left Global News Lethbridge to join Global Regina. Dhaliwal has been with Global since 2018, starting as a Production Assistant and Videographer. She’d been a VJ with Global Lethbridge since Dec. 2019.
Chris MacDonald has been hired by Rogers Communications as Senior Manager of Regional Delivery, Atlantic Canada. MacDonald just completed a five-year term as CRTC Commissioner for Atlantic Canada & Nunavut last June. Prior to the commission, he spent 10 years in various sales positions with Rogers.
Eva Lonoza has joined TLN Media Group as Senior Affiliates Manager. The newly-created role will see Lonoza lead affiliate marketing efforts and develop new growth strategies for TLN channels and content. Lonoza was with Bell Media for the last 14 years, up until February, most recently as Affiliate Sales Manager, Content Sales and Distribution.
Nathan Wright has been appointed to the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) board of directors. Wright is an independent consultant and principal at Wright Strategies and a council member at the Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario. His background is in policy and program development as a former COO of Chiefs of Ontario and policy analyst at the Assembly of First Nations.
Lorna Withrington has been appointed to the new role of VP, Animation Development at WildBrain. Based in Toronto, Withrington is tasked with building out the company’s animation slate. She was most recently Director of Development at SpinMaster and prior to that spent six years with eOne Family as Director, Creative Affairs.
Boat Rocker Studios has expanded its Scripted team, naming Denise Pleune as SVP, Head of Post-Production and Joe Lazarov as SVP, Head of Current. A 30-year post-production veteran, Pleune was recently nominated for an Emmy Award, alongside her fellow producers, for Dead to Me (CBS/Netflix) and has worked on numerous network, cable, and streaming series, including The X-Files (Fox), Shades of Blue (NBC), and Survivor’s Remorse (Starz). Lazarov has directed and produced on Gossip Girl (CW), Designated Survivor (ABC), and most recently Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings (Netflix). Pleune and Lazarov will both be based in Boat Rocker’s Los Angeles office.
Jennifer Gatien has been appointed Head of Factual Television & Producer at Montreal’s Pixcom. Former Head of Production at WAM Media GRP, Gatien will oversee all international non-scripted development and production slates. Gatien was most recently executive producer on CBC true crime series, The Detectives. She returns to Pixcom where she previously worked on Restoration Garage and Dangerous Flights.
Sean Porter has been promoted to the position of Lead Negotiator and Senior Director, National Industrial Relations and Counsel for the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA). The promotion follows an announcement from Warren Ross that he’ll be leaving the CMPA in May to pursue a new opportunity. Porter has been with the organization since 2018.
Alisha Sawhney is joining New York Times Opinion as a staff editor on the audience team. Sawhney was previously an editor with HuffPost Canada, up until March, and co-hosted Born and Raised, an award-winning podcast about the second-generation experience.
Andréa Schmidt, managing editor of podcasts at Canadaland for the last year, is moving on from the company. Prior to joining Canadaland, Schmidt – who is also an Emmy-winning documentary producer and director under the umbrella of her non-fiction prodco What Escapes Production – had done stints as an Executive Producer at VICE and Al Jazeera.
Terry Seguin has announced he’s leaving CBC Information Morning in Fredericton. Seguin has been with CBC New Brunswick since 1985, including anchoring supper-hour program, NB Now, in the late 1980s. He’s been with Information Morning since 2003. Seguin got his start in broadcasting at CKOT Tillsonburg, ON and worked throughout Ontario before moving to the Maritimes to work for ATV in Sydney and Saint John.
Victor Krasowski is wrapping a 45-year career in radio on April 30 when he’ll retire from Acadia Broadcasting in Thunder Bay. Krasowski has been the News Director for 99.9 The Bay (CJUK-FM) and Country 105 (CKRY-FM) for the last 18 years. Prior to Acadia, he worked with Dougall Media for nearly two decades. Krasowski most recently won Best Anchor, Small Market in Broadcast Dialogue’s inaugural Canadian Radio Awards.
Gillian Foote will join BJ Wilson and Bobby Mac on Stingray’s Halifax-based Q Radio Network morning show, BJ & The Q Morning Crew, starting in June. After starting her career on the East Coast, Foote most recently was with Bell Media Edmonton, first as part of The Paul Brown Show on 100.3 The Bear (CFBR-FM), and then with sister station 104.9 Virgin Radio (CFMG-FM).
Mark McKenzie has joined 92 CITI Winnipeg as afternoon drive host. McKenzie was previously morning host and music director with Bell Media Windsor Active Rock station, 89X (CIMX-FM) for 13 years, but departed last November when the station flipped to Country. McKenzie won International Radio Personality of the Year at the Worldwide Radio Summit in 2018.
Chris Wiggins has joined Jessica Banks on the Country 107.1 (CKQC-FM) morning show in Abbotsford, BC. For the past five years, Wiggins has been hosting mornings on Cool 100 (CHCQ-FM) in Belleville, ON.
Angie Mellen has announced she’s leaving journalism. Mellen has been an anchor with 630 CHED and 880 (CHQT-AM) Edmonton for the last year and a half. Prior to that, she spent time in Red Deer as a VJ for CTV News, and did reporting stints with Global Saskatoon and Vista Radio in Lloydminster.
Dani Elwell is rejoining Toronto’s Jazz.FM91 (CJRT-FM) as the station’s new Creative Strategist. Elwell was previously with the station from 2012 to 2017 as Assistant Program Director and host of Sunday Afternoon Jazz and later VP of Creative.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Edison Research and NPR have released new data suggesting radio is still highly engaging its core audience. Edison conducted an online survey of 1,500 weekly AM/FM radio listeners, 18+, earlier this year, looking closely at who those listeners are and how big a role the medium is still playing in their lives. The data was then weighted to Edison and Triton Digital’s long-running Share of Ear study. According to Share of Ear research, 63% of Americans are listening to radio every day as of the fourth quarter of 2020 with 89% tuning AM/FM radio weekly. Audio listeners are still spending twice as much time with radio – which is capturing 41% of all audio listening time – vs. pure play streaming sources (18%), listeners’ second go-to. Edison’s research also found that the more engaged one is with radio, the more they’re open to advertising. The data indicates listeners are more engaged with ads on AM/FM radio than social media or television, while remaining competitive with podcast and online audio ad engagement. Read more here.
Facebook has unveiled details of its plans to embrace the social audio trend with live conversation rooms, podcasts and new short-form audio creation tools. The social media platform is essentially building a sound studio into the app, integrating tools like speech-to-text, voice morphing, automatic noise reduction, sound effects and music from Facebook’s Sound Collection. The pillars of its new audio offerings include: Soundbites: Soundbites – short-form, creative audio clips for capturing anecdotes, jokes or other moments. A small number of creators will begin testing the feature over the next few months; Podcasts: Within the next few months, you’ll be able to listen to podcasts directly in the Facebook app, both while using the app or in the background. The app will also integrate discovery to recommend new podcasts and episodes based on your interests; Live Audio Rooms in Facebook and Messenger: Facebook will start testing Live Audio Rooms, initially in Groups and with public figures. The feature is expected to be available to everyone on the app by the summer. Read more here.
Apple has unveiled Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, a premium subscription offering featuring podcasts from brands like The Athletic, NPR and Sony Music Entertainment, that will be available alongside free shows on Apple Podcasts. Starting in May, the ad-free offering will roll out in more than 170 countries, featuring access to additional content, and early or exclusive access to new series. Pricing for each subscription will be set by creators and billed monthly by default with Apple keeping 30% of subscription revenue in year one and 15% after that. Apple has additionally introduced a new Apple Podcasts for Creators website where podcast producers can access an updated Apple Podcasts Connect dashboard and enroll in the new Apple Podcasters Program, which provides access to all the tools needed to build and distribute premium subscriptions on Apple Podcasts. Read more here.
Cream Productions is launching a podcast division that will focus on developing and producing non-fiction audio programming with a focus on original content and spin-offs of its televised and streaming programming. Its first podcast docuseries will launch April 22 in conjunction with CNN Audio. Behind the Desk: The Story of Late Night is a companion to the forthcoming CNN Original Series exploring the creation of late night television. Content in development includes My Pop’s Culture, a father-and-son podcast bridging the culture gap between Gen-X’ers and Millennials that will feature celebrity icons from Carol Burnett to Carole Baskin.
Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast network is introducing three new podcasts this spring, including two fiction titles and an investigative political series. Following the success of its Russia Rising podcast, China Rising, hosted by Global News Senior Correspondent and Video Journalist Jeff Semple, looks at how the Chinese government is quietly applying pressure and working to infiltrate the upper echelons of power in western countries, including Canada. Fictional sci-fi series Marsfall takes listeners to the year 2047 and the early colonization of Mars, while Escaping Denver is a fictional adventure series that dives into the deep end of conspiracy theories surrounding the Denver International Airport. Read more here.
99.3 County FM (CJPE-FM) Prince Edward County will premiere “Radio Suspense Theatre” on April 25. The second production to air on “The Radio Players Show,” the radio play includes a production team of 17 writers, directors, sound people, musicians and actors. “Radio Suspense Theatre” tells the story of a small 1940s radio station as love blossoms backstage and a plucky sound technician steps in for an absent star, framed by music and ads of the era. It will air on the community station over five weeks.
Greg Simpson is being recognized posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Forest City London Music Awards. Simpson, who spent five decades in the radio, music promotions, and artist management business, will be honoured during London Music Week, which runs June 6 to 13. Simpson passed away last June following a stroke. The virtual ceremony will be livestreamed on Facebook, June 8 at 8 p.m. ET.
LISTEN: Los Angeles-based voiceover artist Jeff Rechner had a career in Canadian radio before moving stateside and carving out a niche for himself voicing everything from commercials and cartoons to acting as the show announcer for upcoming NBC game show “Small Fortune.” He’s our guest on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast talking about the evolution of his voiceover career, why your own marketing is vital, and more.
LISTEN: American talent coach Tracy Johnson is on the Sound Off Podcast talking about his start in radio and why he left programming in 2007 to join Triton Digital. He touches on what radio needs to do to address measurement issues and has some advice for personalities looking to reshape their approach.
Margaret Thomson Collier, 88, on April 11. Collier earned her education in Scotland before immigrating to Canada. A champion of Canadian screenwriting, she started serving as the National Executive Director of the Toronto Writers Branch of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) in 1977. She went on to be named the first Executive Director of the Writers Guild of Guild of Canada (WGC). Among her achievements was helping secure and implement the Independent Production Agreement (IPA) securing guaranteed rates for Guild member film and television writers. In recognition of her efforts, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television has awarded the Margaret Collier Award since 1986 to a Canadian writer for their outstanding body of work in film or television.
TV & FILM:
CBC/Radio-Canada has unveiled highlights of its upcoming round-the-clock coverage of the Tokyo Summer Olympics and the broadcast team who’ll deliver it. Featuring a record 33 sports and 339 medal events across 42 competition venues, Tokyo 2020 officially begins on Friday, July 23 at 7 a.m. ET (4 a.m. PT) with the Opening Ceremony hosted by CBC Sports veteran Scott Russell and The National’s Adrienne Arsenault. CBC will broadcast 23 hours of daily live coverage throughout the games. Russell will host the nightly Olympic Games Primetime, while Andi Petrillo will be behind the desk for Olympic Games Morning. Perdita Felicien and Andrew Chang host Tokyo Today and Alexandre Despatie and Heather Hiscox are teamed on Olympic Games Overnight. Read more here.
Canadian Cinema Editors have unveiled the nominees for the 2021 CCE Awards. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honouree is Michel Arcand, whose editing career spans four decades on films like Tomorrow Never Dies, Sunshine and The Sixth Day. Jane Tattersall is the recipient of the Career Achievement Award. Tattersall is a 30-year sound editor with over 170 film and television credits with recent sound supervising work on The Handmaid’s Tale, The North Water and 13 Minutes.
The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and its Diversity Committee have prepared the first, of what will be an annual, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report as part of efforts to address underrepresentation in Canadian television. The report provides an overview of the composition of WGC’s membership from 2013-19, diversity in writers’ rooms and writing credits on scripted live-action and animated Canadian TV series. Among its key findings are that the percentage of new WGC members self-identifying as diverse has risen steadily from 14% in 2016 to 33% in 2019. The percentage of diverse writers working on Canadian TV series under WGC jurisdiction has also risen from 16% in 2016 to 26% in 2019. In 2019, Indigenous screenwriters represented just 4% of working writers, with very few occupying senior-level writing positions.
ACTRA Toronto is promoting a Diversity Showcase of self-taped scenes by established and on-the-cusp Black performers in its membership. The online promotion is being supported by Ontario Creates, in collaboration with The Casting Directors Society of Canada. The Black Performer Showcase is the first of several with plans underway to follow it with a Latinx Showcase, an Asian Showcase, a Showcase for performers living with disabilities, and a Queer Performer Showcase, among others.
Telefilm Canada has shared a new study on Canadian audiences that finds on average, one-quarter (24%) of Canadians’ at-home viewing time is devoted to Canadian/Québec content. Three-quarters of Canadians agree that more effort should be made to promote Canadian/Québec content both inside and outside Canada. Canadians who are most likely to have difficulty finding Canadian and Quebec content include residents of Ontario, Alberta, and BC, youth aged 18-34 and Canadians from racialized communities. Racialized communities also represent the subgroup of the population that watches the least Canadian/Quebec audiovisual content. Commissioned by Telefilm, the study was carried out by Leger last October and November with 1,875 respondents completing the questionnaire.
Netflix has ordered 10 episodes of Nomadic Pictures sci-fi series, The Imperfects. Former Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) president Dennis Heaton, who previously executive produced and show-ran The Order, will serve as showrunner, executive producer and writer. The series follows three twenty-somethings attempting to track down a group of scientists responsible for an experimental gene therapy that’s turned them into monsters. Among those signed on to the series are actress Italia Ricci (Designated Survivor, Supergirl), Rhianna Jagpal (To All The Boys), and Morgan Taylor Campbell (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist).
Scott’s Vacation House Rules returns for a second season May 16 on HGTV Canada. In the Corus Studios Original series, real estate expert and contractor Scott McGillivray teaches homeowners how to make investment and reno decisions that turn uninspired cottage properties into profitable vacation rentals. The new season includes integrations from series sponsors CIBC, BEHR, Pollard, ROCKWOOL, and Lowe’s.
The Canadian Film Fest, presented by Super Channel, wrapped its three-weekend run on Super Channel Fuse, with the festival award winners announced. Directed by Wendy Morgan, Sugar Daddy took home four awards including Best Feature, Best Music, Best Performance, and the DGC Ontario Best Director award. Andrew Chung’s White Elephant took home the ReTAKE Furniture Rental Best Set Design award and the Jury Award for Best Ensemble; with the William F. White Reel Canadian Indie award going to Events Transpiring Before, During, and After a High School Basketball Game, directed by Ted Stenson. Find the full list of winners here.
Global News will air network news special, Hidden Hate: Anti-Asian Racism Saturday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. local time. The special features reporters and anchors from Global News stations across the country, including Tracy Tong, Miranda Anthistle, Sophie Lui, Tracy Nagai and Liem Vu. They’ll explore the rise of racist incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the law around hate crimes in Canada, and Asian stereotypes in pop culture. Former Toronto Raptor Jeremy Lin, former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, and Asian Canadian actors Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Ludi Lin will also be featured.
ILTV News Channel, which broadcasts daily current affairs content about Israel, has signed a two-year agreement with ZoomerMedia Limited (ZML) giving ZML the exclusive Canadian broadcast rights for ILTV’s Israel Daily, which it airs as part of a Monday to Friday alternative News Hour it shares with CBN News on ZoomerMedia’s Faith and Opinion channels, JoyTV and FaithTV. Based in Tel Aviv, ILTV broadcasts a 30-minute daily news edition, plus magazine content that covers business, technology, science, art, music, travel, cooking and sports from an Israeli perspective.
CTV has announced broadcast details for the 93rd Oscars, airing live Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CTV, CTV.ca and the CTV app, from Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, in addition to international locations via satellite. CTV will kick off its coverage with Oscars: Into the Spotlight at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT, offering viewers a glimpse at this year’s presenters and nominees as they arrive at the broadcast. ETALK Previews The Oscars will air Friday, April 23, with an encore presentation Sunday leading in to the live broadcast. Anchored by ETALK’s Danielle Graham and Tyrone Edwards, it will preview what viewers can expect from this year’s show from COVID-19 protocol to red carpet fashion. As the only Canadian entertainment news outlet to secure a position in this year’s Oscars Arrivals Area, ETALK L.A. correspondent Liz Trinnear will be on the ground at Union Station.
CTV Life Channel is adding Irish television personality and cook Donal Skehan to its lineup of lifestyle programming. Kicking off with Donal’s Super Food in Minutes on May 3, additional new series from Skehan are set to rollout on CTV Life later this year, including Donal’s Family Food in Minutes. Author of nine best-selling cookbooks, Skehan is a food writer, photographer, and television presenter who has appeared on numerous food and lifestyle series around the world, including Junior Masterchef in the UK. He launched his own YouTube channel under Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube Network in 2014.
Sight Seers debuts on AMI-tv Thursday, May 13 as hosts Mark Joly – who is blind – and Laura Warren solve paranormal problems on Canada’s East Coast. Nova Scotia locations explored in Season 1 include the Queen’s County Museum in Liverpool, where wisps of smoke and unusual sounds occur at all hours; Lunenburg’s Boscawen Inn, where ghosts haunting its halls; the Halifax Club, host of strange goings-on; and Randall House Historical Museum in Wolfville, where guests have been touched and pushed.
Super Channel will premiere New Zealand-set family thriller Mystic on Super Channel Heart & Home beginning May 16. Based on bestselling author Stacy Gregg’s Pony Club Secrets book series, the Super Channel Heart & Home Original in association with BBC, was executive produced by Brian Bird (When Calls the Heart). Each half-hour episode will also be available on Super Channel On Demand, the day following its weekly linear broadcast.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Netflix reported 208 million global subscribers at the end of the first quarter, missing its own forecast of 210 million. The shortfall saw the streamer’s stock drop more than 10% in after-hours trading. Roughly 3.98 million people signed up for Netflix from January through March, below analyst projections of 6.25 million. Netflix estimates it will add just 1 million new streaming customers in the second quarter, anticipating more growth in the second half of the year when new seasons of You, Money Heist, and The Witcher are released.
Bell Media has unveiled Noovo Moi, an online destination that integrates all of the lifestyle content previously hosted on the Canal Vie, Fraîchement pressé, Sympatico, Look du jour, Muramur and VoyageVoyage websites. Noovo Moi will feature articles on a broad range of subjects, including cooking, decorating, travel, pop culture and celebrities, beauty and fashion, relationships, health, family, gardening, sports, as well as special sections devoted to topical themes and subjects. Correspondents like Mathieu Dufour, Catherine Peach, Livia Martin, Ève Côté, Jonathan Roberge and Valérie Roberts will also contribute exclusive web series.
CBC/Radio-Canada has introduced Mauril, a new platform for learning English and French through entertaining content from news, current affairs and documentaries, to TV and radio shows, digital series and podcasts. Content is accompanied by comprehension-assessment questions to help users acquire a diverse vocabulary. Named after the Honourable Mauril Bélanger, the former Ottawa-Vanier MP who championed and promoted Canada’s official languages, the Mauril app is funded by Canadian Heritage as part of the 2018-23 Action Plan for Official Languages.
Liquid Media Group, in conjunction with CurrencyWorks, has announced it will drop its Red Carpet NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in May. Bringing fans up close and behind the scenes with Hollywood personalities and movies, Red Carpet NFTs will give fans the opportunity to own never before seen footage or a chance to capture a rare experience with a celebrity like walking the Red Carpet at a future movie premiere. Liquid will roll out the NFTs through the CurrencyWorks-powered NFTainment.io, a community and trading platform where fans can buy, sell, or discuss NFTs.
Virtira Consulting has released the results of its latest workplace study, The Webcam Survey: Exhausted or Engaged? The 22-page report reveals the negative impact on employees as they navigate excessive time in front of webcams. Among the revelations is that nearly half of professionals working remotely (49%) reported a high degree of exhaustion or “Zoom fatigue” as a direct result of numerous daily video calls. The study found that 63% of remote workers are participating in more meetings online than they would have in the office, with 30% spending 2-3 hours daily meeting on camera. Other key findings include: 65% indicated that being on video is best for team engagement, but only 11% of video meetings are being used for that purpose; More than 25% feel peer pressure to have their cameras on, even if not required; and 58% of self-identified introverts and 40% of extroverts reported on-camera exhaustion. The survey includes insights from 1,700+ managers and employees.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
The Liberal Government’s first budget in more than two years includes a roadmap for introducing the Digital Services Tax (DST); $21 million in emergency operational funding for CBC/Radio-Canada; and Telefilm funding to update its programs to reflect the increasing digitization of the audio-visual industry. Set to take effect Jan. 1, 2022, the interim DST would tax revenue from certain digital services “reliant on the engagement, data and content contributions of Canadian users” at a rate of three per cent. It would apply to social media services, online advertising, and the sale or licensing of user data with a focus on large corporations. Monday’s budget also proposes an additional investment of $1B over six years to the Universal Broadband Fund, starting in 2021-22, to support more rapid rollout of projects and $300 million over two years for Canadian Heritage to establish a Recovery Fund for the Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors. Read more here.
Rogers Communications has released its Q1 results for the quarter ended March 31. Total revenue increased by 2% this quarter, largely driven by a 5% increase in Cable service revenue. Wireless service revenue decreased by 6% in the quarter, mainly as a result of lower roaming revenue due to continued global travel restrictions and lower overage revenue as a result of the continued adoption of unlimited data plans. Cable revenue increased by 5% as a result of promotional activity, service pricing changes, and increases in Internet and Ignite TV subscribers. Media revenue increased by 7%, primarily as a result of higher sports and Today’s Shopping Choice revenue, partially offset by softness in the radio advertising market. Media adjusted EBITDA was negative, but improved by $26 million in the quarter.
The CRTC is mandating limited MVNO access for regional networks. Incumbent telecom companies will be required to sell access to their mobile networks to some regional service providers, but only those that have some level of spectrum and committed to building out their own networks — and only for a mandate of seven years. Those regional providers will have the flexibility to resell their wholesale access to mobile virtual network operators, enabling further competition in the marketplace. The CRTC is also requiring national wireless carriers to implement seamless roaming to help prevent dropped calls and data sessions when customers move from one network to another. Lastly, the commission is mandating that Bell, Rogers, Telus and SaskTel offer and promote low-cost and occasional use plans for seniors and low-income earners, to be in place by July 14.
The CRTC has upheld, in part, Videotron’s complaint against Bell over blocked access to its support structures finding that the company did give itself undue preference. The commission found that Bell, in its handling of pole access permit applications, used its position as owner of the network to give itself a competitive advantage when deploying its own FTTH network on the very structures with irregularities that caused Videotron’s applications for permits to be denied. The CRTC has directed Bell to complete, at its own cost, the make-ready work required under applications for access permits. Videotron is awaiting a court ruling on the lawsuit for damages it filed in the same matter in September 2020.
The Michener Awards Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2020 Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism: APTN, CBC News, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, La Presse, and the Winnipeg Free Press. The foundation has also announced the recipients of the 2021 Michener-L.Richard O’Hagan Educational Fellowship and the Michener-Deacon Investigative Fellowship. The educational fellowship goes to Allison Baker and Viviane Fairbank for their fact-checking project “In Defence of Truth” with their goal to create a book-length version of The Walrus Fact-Checking Guide. The project also aims to create free and accessible curriculum for fact-checking education, hosted digitally by Carleton University. The investigative fellowship goes to Ethan Cox and Erin Seatter, who will lead a Ricochet team investigation into police misconduct in Canada and public accountability around policing. Each fellowship is worth $40,000, plus $5,000 for expenses.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has announced the shortlists for the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism. The five finalists in the large media category are: CTV News Calgary for The Spread of Racism; The Globe and Mail for its series investigating why Ottawa was unable to respond effectively to the COVID-19 crisis despite Canada’s investment in pandemic preparedness after the SARS outbreak; Montreal Gazette for exposing Dorval nursing home; Toronto Star/Investigative Journalism Bureau (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto) for Generation Distress, a cross-border collaboration on the mental health crisis; and Winnipeg Free Press for A Stain on Our Game, an investigative series on disgraced junior hockey coach Graham James. Finalists in the small media category include: Canadaland for its reporting on the WE organization; The Narwhal for reporting based on freedom-of-information requests about the Site C dam; Open Canada for Protected, exploring policies and politics around Syrian refugee sponsorship and settlement; The Tyee for an investigation into RCMP web spying program, Project Wide Awake; and Waterloo Region Record, for its use of access-to-information requests to disclose details about Canada’s last suspected Nazi war criminal. Winners will be announced at the virtual CJF Awards ceremony June 9.
Pattison Media’s Prairie division is making two $2,000 scholarships available in 2021 to students accepted into a recognized broadcast or digital media education program at a post-secondary educational institution in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba. Preference will be given to members of groups currently underrepresented in the broadcast and digital media industries, including, persons with disabilities, Indigenous or members of visible minorities, and women. Learn more, here.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Vevo has partnered with smart TV operating system, VIDAA, to launch the Vevo app on VIDAA-powered smart TVs, including models by Hisense and Toshiba. The new Vevo app aims to bring music videos back to the living room screen, providing millions of smart TV users with access to hundreds of thousands of high-quality music videos, including official releases and live performances, as well as original, Vevo-produced content like its Justin Bieber Official Live Performance series. The app, accessible in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, will be ad-supported.
AcuityAds Holdings has announced an integration with Amazon Publisher Services (APS) via APS’ Transparent Ad Marketplace. Advertisers leveraging AcuityAds tech, like advertising automation platform illumin, will gain direct access to high quality inventory including premium publishers from a variety of verticals on desktop, mobile web and mobile apps across gaming, lifestyle, music, news and dating. AcuityAds says the new offering removes potential waste at the individual transaction level, enhancing ROI for advertisers. AcuityAds is headquartered in Toronto with offices throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Latin America.