The Weekly Briefing

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REVOLVING DOOR:

James Lewis

James Lewis has been appointed Supervising Producer, CTV News Toronto. In the newly-created position, Lewis will play a principal role in leading newsroom operations and overseeing content on all platforms. Lewis has been with CTV News since 2017, most recently serving as Senior Producer. He previously worked as a producer at Global BC and as a reporter/anchor at CKNW News Talk 980 Vancouver.

Sébastien Perron

Sébastien Perron is the incoming first director of ICI RDI, succeeding Paule Genest who will retire at the end of June. At Radio-Canada since the beginning of his career, Perron has held roles since 1998 from journalist in Sudbury to national reporter in Toronto and Saint-Jean, to parliamentary correspondent at the National Assembly in Quebec City. He served as editor-in-chief, then director at ICI Première from 2016-18, and since 2018 has been directing news and information programming for radio. 

Denis Lévesque

Denis Lévesque will host his last show on May 19, ending 16 years of daily presence on TVA and LCN. The 63-year-old has more than 3,000 episodes of the program in the can. While he’ll be taking a sabbatical in Europe this fall, he doesn’t plan to completely retire and will conduct a series of interviews for LCN’s upcoming 25th anniversary.

Phil Evans

Phil Evans will be joining Durham Radio’s WAVE 98.3 (CIWV-FM) Vancouver (the former dial position of Roundhouse Radio) as Promotions Director. Evans has had a long career in radio, including a stint as Promotions Manager of 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) Toronto, where he brought Edgefest to life. In 2002, he was appointed Director of Promotions and Marketing for Corus Radio in B.C., and in 2006 became the Division Marketing and Promotions Director for Astral (now Stingray) radio in B.C. Evans also served as Group Promotions and Marketing Director for Rogers Vancouver in 2009. In his new role, he’ll be responsible for creating and executing the overall promotional and marketing strategy for WAVE 98.3 which is set to launch early this summer. 

Fiona Hopewell Jensen

Fiona Hopewell Jensen has left CBC Vancouver to join Global BC. The Executive Producer of News Content for the bureau, Hopewell Jensen returns to Global as Supervising Producer, a role she previously held from 1997 to 2019. Theresa Lalonde is filling Hopewell Jensen’s former role at CBC in the interim.

Abby Schneider

Abby Schneider has left her producer role with CBC Saskatchewan to join the City of Regina as a Public Engagement Strategist. She’d been with CBC for more than 14 years, most recently as a producer for CBC Radio program, Blue Sky, as well as handling Opinion and Engagement.

Raquel Fletcher

Raquel Fletcher has left Global News in Quebec City to join Bell Media’s Noovo. Fletcher had been Global’s National Assembly correspondent since 2016. Prior to Quebec City, Fletcher worked in the Global Regina bureau.

Virginia Wright

Virginia Wright has left CTV Calgary to pursue a career outside journalism. Wright had been with CTV since 2015, starting as a video journalist in Regina. She’s also done stints as a producer, web writer, and reporter in Toronto and Kitchener. She’d been a producer with CTV Calgary since 2019.

Tom Easy

Tom Easy is departing Stingray Edmonton after 40 years in radio sales. Easy has been the constant at 96.3 FM (CKRA-FM) Edmonton, starting in sales at 96.3 K-Lite in 1982. The dial position has subsequently gone through numerous format changes over the years, including Mix 96, 96X, Big Earl, Capital FM and now 96.3 The Breeze

Paul Brown

Paul Brown is taking over as host of the morning show on 92.9 The Grand (CHTG-FM) Hamilton/Haldimand. Brown is an alum of mornings at 100.3 The Bear (CFBR-FM) Edmonton for 13 years, followed by a four-year run in mornings at JACK 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver. 

Vanessa Doban

Vanessa Doban is leaving CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM). She’d been an anchor, reporter and web producer with the station since 2019. Prior to CityNews, Doban was on-air at Corus all-traffic station AM 730 (CHMJ-AM) Vancouver.

Pina Sama

Pina Sama has joined KiSS 92.5 (CKIS-FM) Toronto as a weekend announcer. Sama was previously part of the morning show at Z103.5 (CIDC-FM), up until last November. She’s also been on-air at both 104.5 CHUM FM and 99.9 MIX FM (CKFM-FM).

Lindsay May

Lindsay May has stepped away from Pure Country 92.7 (CHBD-FM) Regina. May has accepted a new role in communications. Her last day on-air is May 13. She’d been co-hosting mornings on the station since 2016.

Ashley Pirhonen

Ashley (AJ) Pirhonen has joined 101.3 The River (CKKN-FM) Prince George as weekend host. Pirhonen arrives from Move 97.1 (CJMJ-FM) Penticton where she’d been heard in afternoon drive since late 2021. 

Ann MacGregor

Ann MacGregor is leaving CKEC New Glasgow after 20 years. MacGregor has held numerous positions over the years, including program director. She’d most recently been heard on the 94.1 The Breeze (CKEC-FM) morning show.

Pattie Lovett-Reid

Patricia Lovett-Reid has signed on as the Chief Financial Commentator for Home Equity Bank. The former TD Bank SVP announced last month she was stepping away from her on-air duties at CTV after a decade as a financial commentator for the network. As part of the new gig, Lovett-Reid has a new financial blog.

Allen Lau

Allen Lau, co-founder of Wattpad is stepping aside as CEO, transitioning into a new role as Executive Advisor for both Wattpad and WEBTOON. Wattpad President Jeanne Lam will assume day-to-day responsibility for the company’s operations, with both Lau and Lam reporting to Ken Kim, CEO, WEBTOON Americans. Lam has been in the role of President since last July after holding a number of key positions since 2015 as Director of Growth, before being elevated to General Manager in 2017, and then Chief Business Officer in 2020.

Alain Strati

Alain Strati has been appointed Senior Vice-President, Industry, Policy and General Counsel, by the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA). In the role, he’ll oversee legal, industry, legislative, regulatory and public policy files for the organization. Strati was most recently Assistant General Counsel, Regulatory Affairs, at Bell. Prior to that, he was at Rogers, where he held positions including Vice President, Business & Regulatory Affairs and Vice President, OMNI, Specialty TV & Development.

Megan Guy

Megan Guy has joined Cinespace Studios’ Toronto team. Guy joins as Head of Client Services and Studio Operations and will be responsible for managing the day-to-day sales and operations for Cinespace Toronto, focusing on business development and client relations. She was most recently Vice President, International for the UK’s Pinewood Studios Group. Bill Zacharuk takes on the newly-expanded role of Head of Vendor Partnerships, North America. Zacharuk joined Cinespace in 2021 as General Manager of Operations for Toronto. Zacharuk spent over three decades at Panavision Canada, where he moved up through the organization, ultimately serving as President and COO. 

RADIO & PODCAST:

Duncan McCue, host of upcoming CBC Podcast ‘Kuper Island’

CBC Podcasts has shared details of its podcast slate for Spring/Summer 2022, which includes Kuper Island, an exploration of the dark history of the notorious Kuper Island Residential School, the return of award-winning investigative series Someone Knows Something for a seventh season, and CBC and Radio-Canada’s first podcast collaboration to tell the same story in both English and French on The Village: The Montreal Murders / Le Village : meurtres, combats, fierté. Read more here.

Simu Lui

CBC is broadcasting Juno Week activities across its platforms, including Saturday evening’s Opening Night Awards, hosted by Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe and Ann Pornel, where 40+ JUNO Awards, including the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award and the Humanitarian Award, are handed out. The week culminates in Music Day on CBC this Sunday, leading up to the 51st Annual JUNO Awards broadcast, hosted by Simu Liu.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has announced that the JUNO Awards will head back to Edmonton in 2023. The city will once again host JUNO Week festivities from March 6-12, 2023, with the 52nd Annual JUNO Awards to be broadcast live on CBC from Rogers Place on Sunday, March 12, 2023. This is the second time the province’s capital will welcome the JUNO Awards, after the first visit in 2004 when Alanis Morissette hosted the show. 

(l-r) Logan Middleton, Rewind Mornings co-host; Kevin Gemmell, General Manager; Jen Grier, Rewind Mornings co-host; Connor Hutchinson, Promotions Director; Vilma Portillo, The River co-host; Clinton Herman, The River co-host

Pattison Media Prince George, alongside the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, teamed up for their annual Spirit Day on May 5, broadcast live on both 99.3 REWIND Radio (CKDV-FM) and 101.3 The River (CKKN-FM) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., along with coverage on CKPG-TV. With the support of the community and phone teams, 2022 shattered the 2021 record of $125,000, bringing in over $265,000 in support of healthcare in Northern B.C.

101.5 The Wolf (CKWF-FM) Peterborough is celebrating its 30th birthday this year. To commemorate the milestone, the station has partnered with Bobcaygeon Brewing Company to launch its 30th birthday beer, Howler. The cream ale will be available starting May 14 with The Wolf to broadcast live from Bobcaygeon Brew Co. that day from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Wolf has also partnered with Kawartha Food Share, which will receive 25 cents from each can sold. 

Evanov Communications’ Winnipeg stations Energy 106 (CHWE-FM), Hot 100.5 (CFJL-FM) and 92.7 CKJS (CKJS-FM) hosted their second annual Radiothon during the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 70th annual Mental Health Week. The 12-hour event raised a total of $124,209 for Kidthink Children’s Mental Health Centre, a treatment centre and outreach program that focuses on child therapy and well-being for Manitoba kids, aged 12 and under. Over and above the Radiothon, the stations provided listeners with information about available resources and action plans for anyone in a situation looking to get help.

99.3 County FM (CJPE-FM) Prince Edward County returns with live-to-air performances for its Radiothon 2022, June 2-5, featuring more than 44 local musicians. The Royal Hotel owner Greg Sorbara has been named Honourary Chair of this year’s event. The annual Radiothon raises funds to keep the non-profit, volunteer-driven, community radio station on-air. Among the confirmed performers are Elmwood Harmony, MISS EMILY, Shawn Dore, Annelise Noronha, Astrid Young, Flatlander, Siobhan Bodrug, Becky Elliott, Cameron & Cameron, Chris Bonham-Carter, Jenica Rayne, Pete Mannheim, Telegraph Narrows, The Zabacks, The Frere Brothers, Danielle Edwards, KASHKA, Lenni Stewart, Megan Hutton, Mike Farrell, Seventh Town, and Tony Forbes. Donations throughout the four-day broadcast can be made online at 993countyfm.ca.

Formula 1 and SiriusXM have announced a multi-year extension to their relationship, which will continue to deliver coverage of every F1 race to SiriusXM listeners nationwide through 2024. Each event will air live from start to finish on SiriusXM channel 81 (ESPN Xtra). Listeners will hear the BBC Radio 5 Live broadcast for each event.

Tom Webster

Tom Webster, who recently announced his departure from Edison Research, will be joining podcast adtech newsletter, Sounds Profitable, as a partner on June 1, teaming up with Bryan Barletta. Webster’s blog I Hear Things and its companion podcast will be assumed under the umbrella of Sounds Profitable going forward, where Webster will be a regular contributor.

LISTEN: CBC News has started recruiting for 14 new permanent positions, focused in small and medium sized markets like Nanaimo, Cranbrook, Grande Prairie, Kingston and the North. On this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we welcome Susan Marjetti, General Manager of News, Current Affairs & Local, for CBC to talk about the public broadcaster’s renewed focus on local connection, ongoing criticism about CBC’s role, newsroom diversity, and more. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

LISTEN: Mark Sutcliffe is the host of the Digging Deep podcast, one of the Sound Off Podcast network’s largest shows, in which he leans on the knowledge and experience gained from a lengthy career in the broadcast industry. On the latest episode of the Sound Off podcast, Matt Cundill talks to the former columnist, talk radio host, baseball play-by-play announcer, and Sunday morning political TV host, about his start in broadcasting before he had even graduated from high school, and some of the biggest moments in history that Sutcliffe has covered since the ‘90s.

Steve Young

The Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Award in memory of Steve Young will close to nominations this Friday, May 13 at midnight. This will be the 13th annual award recognizing a remarkable young broadcaster. Anyone working in the industry can nominate any worthy broadcaster so long as they meet the following criteria: candidates must be under 31 years of age as of Dec 31, 2021; must work in either On-Air, Programming, Promotion, Production or Creative; must be Canadian Citizen or Landed Immigrant; and must have made a significant, documented contribution to the community they serve, the radio industry or their craft. Learn more here.

SIGN OFFS:

Chuck Camroux

Chuck Camroux on May 11. Camroux planned to pursue law at the University of Alberta, but caught the radio bug in high school, starting part-time as a disc jockey in 1957 at age 17. In 1970, he joined Rogers as manager of CHAM Hamilton and a year later was elevated to VP of Rogers Radio and GM of CFTR and CHFI-FM Toronto. Camroux left the company in 1979 to become CEO/President of CKLW-AM/FM Detroit/Windsor. In 1983, he formed his own consultancy and moved to Victoria. He went on to found the Canadian Radio Network, the first licensed satellite network in Canada, which was sold to Rogers in 1993. In 1998, Camroux began a six-year term as President and CEO of CJRT-FM Toronto, transitioning the station to JAZZ.FM91. He ushered in both 24-hour broadcasting at the not-for-profit station as well as its rebrand to all-jazz in 2001. He retired after nearly 50 years in broadcasting in 2004.

André Arthur

André Arthur, 78, on May 8. Arthur began his radio career at Québec 800 (CHRC-AM) Quebec City in 1970. He went on to host on French-language stations CJRP, CJMF-FM, CHOI-FM, CKNU-FM, and CIMI-FM Quebec City, and CKAC, CKVL and CJMS Montreal, among other stations. Arthur also spent time in television, serving as a news anchor for Télé-4 – the TVA affiliate in Quebec City – from 1972-79, while also being heard on CHRC. He successfully ran and was elected as an Independent Member of Parliament for Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier in 2006. He retained the seat until 2011.

Peter Goodwin

Peter Goodwin, 67, on April 8. Goodwin’s foray into broadcasting started at University of Waterloo campus radio station, CKMS, in 1973. He would go on to pursue Radio Broadcasting at Humber College, landing a gig at CHYM/CKGL Kitchener as a newscaster and reporter. Goodwin joined CFNY-FM in 1981 as a newscaster and co-host and producer of weekly indie music program “The Streets of Ontario.” His co-host Liz Janik would become his future wife. He left the station in 1989, working as a media consultant. Goodwin was most recently a producer and lineup editor at CHCH Hamilton from 2004 to 2015.

TV & FILM:

Nightmare Alley and Schmigadoon! were the big winners at this year’s CAFTCAD (Canadian Alliance for Film and Television Costume Arts and Design) Awards. Handed out May 7, 1940s New York-set Nightmare Alley won Costume Design in Film – Period and Excellence in Crafts Award – Building. Apple+ musical parody series Schmigadoon! claimed the awards for Excellence in Crafts – Illustration and Costume Design In TV – Period. Sort Of, Night Raiders, and Maid were among other productions that picked up awards. Find the full list of winners here.

David Hayman

The Guild of Music Supervisors Canada (GMSC) has created a new award, called “The Huey”, honouring legendary music supervisor David Hayman, who passed away in May 2020. To be presented at the Canadian Sync Awards at El Mocambo on June 9 in Toronto, “The Huey” will be awarded to an aspiring music supervisor with a passion for the craft. The recipient must be a Canadian resident who shows initiative and interest in pursuing music supervision as a career, but has not yet gained experience in the field. The GMSC encourages aspiring music supervisors from across the country to submit an application. The award grants the recipient opportunities to speak with established Canadian music supervisors to learn the basics of the job and build connections and potential internship/job opportunities, in addition to a $1,500 honorarium. Applications are due May 18.

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a new report on how Canadians are using and paying for television. While many have speculated that SVOD services like Netflix and Prime Video could lead to a mass exodus from regular paid TV services, MTM says this isn’t the case. It found while paid TV subscriptions have been in decline for over a decade, they still remain fairly high with 69% of Anglophone households and three in four Francophone homes having a paid TV service. Cable remains the most popular type of paid TV service (33%), followed by fiber optic (23%) and satellite (13%). Despite the growing popularity of SVOD services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, English speakers report spending more time watching traditional TV than SVOD services. SVODs rather supplement TV subscriptions, with more than half of English speakers having both a paid TV service and an SVOD subscription. 

Sean Connolly

Great Pacific Media (GPM), the factual division of Thunderbird Entertainment Group, has entered into an exclusive, multi-year strategic partnership with Sean Connolly’s newly-launched Original Content Lab (OCL), which is focused on developing unscripted primetime and kids series for the global market, that GPM will produce. Through the partnership, GPM is doubling down on its unscripted development efforts that have led to a significant growth in production volume, with eight series currently underway, including new productions Deadman’s Curse (History, Hulu), Gut Job and Styled (both HGTV, Hulu). The deal further bolsters GPM’s development presence in Toronto. Connolly has more than two decades of experience creating, developing and selling unscripted series, leading development on hit competition series Blown Away (Netflix), documentary 9/11: Control the Skies (Bell Media, Nat Geo International), and paranormal franchises Haunted Hospitals and Paranormal 911 (T+E, Discovery TRVL). 

TSN will carry all 64 games of the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship, as the puck drops May 13–29 in Finland. Defending World Champions Team Canada begin their quest for gold against Germany on Friday, May 13 at 1 p.m. ET on TSN, TSN.ca, and the TSN app. TSN’s coverage is led by play-by-play commentator Gord Miller and analyst Mike Johnson, who deliver the call live from Helsinki for all games in Group A, including Team Canada and medal round games. Dennis Beyak and analyst Dave Tomlinson are in Tampere to bring viewers the call for all games in Group B. Reporters Lindsay Hamilton and Claire Hanna are on-site providing updates and player interviews throughout the tournament. From the TSN Studio, Laura Diakun and Mark Roe host network coverage, alongside analysts Dave Reid and Marc Methot.

Maestro Fresh Wes

CBC has announced the return of original competition series Race Against The Tide (10×30) for a second season, produced by marblemedia and premiering July 10 on CBC and CBC Gem. Award-winning Hip Hop artist Maestro Fresh Wes, who is now based in Saint John, NB, hosts the new season featuring a new group of sand sculptors who will compete at the Bay of Fundy to create extraordinary sand art before the world’s highest tide comes in. 

TVO Original The Long Weekend follows a Zimbabwean-Canadian family on their first backcountry adventure, from packing supplies in Toronto to their last paddle stroke in Algonquin Park. Viewers also follow two gay male newcomers to Canada who highlight some of the ways in which LGBTQ+ people are newly claiming space in the outdoor recreation world. Interviews with a local outfitter, park volunteers and board members from the Friends of Algonquin Park also offer insight into the changing face of camping in Canada. The Long Weekend premieres June 7 on TVO, TVO Today, YouTube and smart TV services.

Super Channel has announced that award-winning New Zealand-set, family action-adventure, Mystic, will return to Super Channel Heart & Home for a second and third season. Based on bestselling author Stacy Gregg’s Pony Club Secrets book series, the Super Channel Heart & Home Original in association with BBC, returns for Season 2 on May 29, with Season 3 slated for Spring 2023. Each half-hour episode of the eight-episode second season will also be available on Super Channel On Demand, the day following its weekly linear broadcast. Viewers can catch up on Season 1 with a marathon beginning at 12:45 pm ET on May 29 or available now On Demand. 

Hollywood Suite is bringing new six-part drama Faking Hitler to Canadian audiences. The German true crime series will premiere June 9 with new episodes airing weekly throughout June. Viewers can also catch the show on Hollywood Suite On Demand. Faking Hitler is inspired by the true story of forged Hitler diaries and the journalist who fell for them. 

Mike Myers & Glen Cochrane

Mike Myers’ Netflix project The Pentaverate includes a special tribute to former CFTO personality Glen Cochrane. The Pentaverate, based on one of the conspiracy theories in Myers’ 1993 comedy So I Married An Axe Murderer, is centered around the character of aging Toronto newsman Ken Scarborough, an homage to Cochrane, who spent 25 years at CFTO, starting in the late 1960s and was best known for hosting the “Our Man Friday” segment. The show’s final credits include footage of Myers and Cochrane, who passed away in 2012. Myers has dedicated The Pentaverate to “local journalists everywhere.”

The Calgary Black Film Festival will run a hybrid program and events lineup, May 26-29. The festival’s first in-person offering in Calgary, with continued online programming for accessibility across Canada, in-person screenings and events will take place at the Globe Cinema, the Dome Theatre at Telus Spark Science Centre, the Calgary Memorial Park Library and the Calgary Central Library. The festival will open with Desiree Kahikopo-Meiffret’s The White Line and close with Calgary filmmaker Enver Samuel’s documentary, Murder in Paris, a political crime thriller that traces the motives for the assassination of anti-Apartheid activist, Dulcie September.

Hot Docs 2022 wrapped Sunday, bringing 225 films from 63 countries to audiences in Toronto cinemas and across Canada online. The Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary, which recognizes the top Canadian feature as determined by audience poll, went to Eternal Spring (D: Jason Loftus | P: Jason Loftus, Masha Loftus, Yvan Pinard, Kevin Koo | Canada), receiving the top prize of $25,000. Okay! (The ASD Band Film) (D: Mark Bone | P: Gregory Rosati, Amalie Bruun | Canada), a backstage look at a band of four talented autistic musicians, placed second and received a $15,000 prize. Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children (D: Barri Cohen | P: Craig Baines | Canada), exploring abuse inside Ontario’s oldest government-run home for disabled children, placed third and was awarded $10,000. Eternal Spring also placed first in the overall audience poll, winning the Hot Docs Audience Award. Read more about this year’s other award winners here and pitch winners here.

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has unveiled its lineup of Master Classes, featuring talent and creatives from popular series The Umbrella Academy, Starstruck, Rutherford Falls and Among the Stars, as well as upcoming new comedy series The Lake. Among those taking part in the 43rd edition of the festival, June 12-15, are The Umbrella Academy star Elliot Page; Creator, Writer, Executive Producer and Showrunner Steve Blackman and Netflix Head of Scripted Series, U.S. and Canada Peter Friedlander; Starstruck creator, writer and star Rose Matafeo; Rutherford Falls co-creator and showrunner Sierra Teller Ornelas; actor Michael Greyeyes; Universal Television President Erin Underhill; AMAZE executive producers Michael Souther and Teza Lawrence; Brent Hayes, head of Scripted Content, Canada, Amazon Studios; and Ben Turner, director, producer and founding partner of Fulwell 73 Productions.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

The National Media Awards Foundation has announced the nominees for the 7th annual Digital Publishing Awards, recognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian digital media. Leading with 16 nominations is Radio-Canada, followed by The Globe and Mail with 14, and Toronto Star and The Local, both with nine nominations. Among those with multiple individual nominations are Fatima Syed, Brian Payton, and Elamin Abdelmahmoud. Find the full list of nominees here.

Erica Ehm

Erica Ehm’s mommy blog YMC.ca and digital agency Ehm & Co has been acquired by private equity investment firm, Putnam Investments. The acquisition compliments Putnam’s roster of brands, which includes Toys “R” Us Canada and HMV. Ehm will stay on as Chief Innovation Officer.

TikTok Pulse is the short-form video platform’s newly-announced advertising revenue share program with creators, public figures and media publishers. Creators and publishers with at least 100,000 followers will be eligible to participate in the initial stage of the program. It will enable brands to gain exposure among the top four per cent of videos on the app. TikTok will offer 12 categories of Pulse in which brands can place their ads next to the most culturally relevant content.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

(Image Credit: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy Live News)

The Competition Bureau has issued notice it will seek to block Rogers proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw, as announced by the companies late Friday. The Bureau challenged the merger Monday by requesting an order from the Competition Tribunal to prevent it from proceeding and is also requesting an injunction to stop the parties from closing the deal until its application can be heard. The Bureau alleges removing a strong regional competitor like Shaw will likely result in “significantly higher” wireless prices and threatens to undo progress it has made introducing more competition into an already concentrated wireless market, where “the Big 3” – Rogers, Bell and TELUS – serve about 87% of Canadian subscribers. Rogers and Shaw say they remain committed to their proposed merger and will oppose the application “while continuing to engage constructively” with the bureau. To facilitate that continued engagement, Rogers, Shaw and the Shaw Family Living Trust have agreed to extend the outside date of the transaction to July 31. Read more here.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has launched a new advocacy campaign urging the federal government to update Canada’s broadcasting legislation by passing Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act. The campaign, which includes a microsite, advertising, and social media content, calls on government to “end the free ride” for foreign web giants. It encourages supporters to visit cmpa.ca/PassBillC11 to let their elected official know they support passage of the Online Streaming Act.

OPINION: Brad Danks, CEO of OUTtv, writes that while Bill C-11 has its share of critics, he believes fear over its intent is unfounded. “Those of us in the more traditional broadcasting industry understand that this legislation is critical to ensure that the Canadian audiovisual sector evolves to meet the threats and benefit from the opportunities present in the online streaming environment,” writes Danks. Read more here.

RTDNA Canada has announced regional awards finalists, with the winners to be announced May 24. In the Central Region, CBC Toronto and Montreal lead the finalists. In the East Region, several categories have pre-determined winners including Best Podcast (Global Halifax: 13 Hours), Breaking News (VOCM News: Hurricane Larry), and Best Radio Newscast, won by News 95.7. In the Prairie Region, CBC Saskatchewan was a pre-determined winner for Excellence in Radio Sports Reporting and Best Digital Graphics (Small/Medium Market), as well as News, Live Special Events, and Excellence in Sound in the Video category. CBC Manitoba won for Best Video Graphics (Large Market). In the West Region, pre-determined winners include CBC Kelowna in the Breaking News Audio category for its fire coverage and CBC British Columbia for Excellence in Audio Editing. CBC Vancouver won Best Radio Newscast (Large Market), while CBC Yukon won Breaking News (Small/Medium Market) in the Digital category. 

Ghousuddin Frotan

World Press Freedom Day was marked by the federal government May 3, spotlighting some of the Afghan journalists that have resettled in Canada. Among the more than 12,600 Afghan refugees Canada has welcomed are: Ghousuddin Frotan, an Afghan journalist who was based in Kandahar and covered the southern region of Afghanistan for the Wall Street Journal. Since his arrival in Canada in January, he secured a Dalla Lana Fellowship in Global Journalism at the University of Toronto and has published articles in the Toronto Star; Maryam Sama, a former Afghan journalist and activist who was an outspoken member of the Afghan Parliament, arrived in Canada in March. She continues to fight for freedom of expression, in spite of the widespread censorship in Afghanistan and hopes to expand her career in journalism in Canada; and Wajiha Saidy, a former Afghan journalist who worked as a senior producer with the Moby Media Group, the largest media company in Afghanistan. In August 2021, her film production team was threatened by the Taliban, and she fled, eventually making it to safety in Ottawa in January.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) says the CJF Awards will take place in front of a sold-out audience June 7. Among the program highlights is the CJF Tribute honouring Dr. David Suzuki for his five-decade career in science broadcasting and commitment to educating Canadians on climate change and environmental science. The event will also feature remarks by Margaret Atwood and presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Michèle Ouimet, who spent 29 years at La Presse covering wars, humanitarian crises and natural disasters. Matt Galloway, host of CBC Radio’s The Current, will emcee the awards evening at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The first in-person CJF Awards since 2019, the event will draw more than 400 journalists, media executives and business leaders. A livestream will begin at 7 P.M. ET on the CJF Facebook page.

The 2022 Webster Foundation Awards are now open for submissions, recognizing excellence in journalism in B.C. New this year is the Best Breaking News category, which consolidates what was three categories in the past for Print/Online, Radio and TV. All forms of media will now submit in one category. Exemplary submissions will include unique content that uncovers information or aspects of a story that no other media has and thus best informs the public. Submissions can now be uploaded for stories published between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022. 

BCE’s Q1 2022 results reflected net earnings of $934 million, up 36.0%, with net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $877 million, or $0.96 per common share. Operating revenue increased 2.5% compared to Q1 2021 to $5,850 million, driven by 4.2% higher service revenue of $5,177 million on strong wireless, residential Internet and media growth. Product revenue was down 8.8% to $673 million, reflecting fewer new mobile device transactions and lower business wireline data equipment sales. Media revenue was up 15.7% on stronger year-over-year TV performance and 84% higher digital revenue, contributing to adjusted EBITDA growth of 45.5%. Ad revenue increased 8.5%, driven by more TV sports programming compared to Q1 2021, including Super Bowl LVI; stronger year-over-year specialty news performance; increased out-of-home advertiser demand as leisure and travel activities resumed; improved year-over-year radio performance, as well as continued digital growth. 

TELUS Q1 2022 results saw consolidated operating revenues and other income increase 6.4% over the same period a year ago to approximately $4.3 billion. Growth was driven by higher operating revenue in TELUS technology solutions (TTech) and Digitally-led customer experiences – TELUS International segment (DLCX). Consolidated EBITDA increased by 7.4% to approximately $1.6 billion and adjusted EBITDA increased by 7.0% to more than $1.6 billion. The growth reflects higher mobile network revenues driven by growth in TELUS’ subscriber base over the past 12 months, in addition to higher mobile phone ARPU. In the first quarter, TELUS added 148,000 net customer additions, up 3,000 over last year, and inclusive of 46,000 mobile phones and 46,000 connected devices, in addition to 30,000 internet, 26,000 security and 10,000 TV customer connections. 

TVA Group recorded operating revenues in the amount of $144.5 million for the first quarter of 2022, a year-over-year increase of $3.7 million. First quarter operating highlights included $9,721,000 in consolidated negative adjusted EBITDA, an unfavourable variance of $11,857,000 from the same quarter of 2021. TVA recorded $15,468,000 in negative adjusted EBITDA in the Broadcasting segment, an $11,886,000 unfavourable variance mainly due to a decrease in profitability at TVA Network, which increased its investment in content. That was partially offset by increased profitability at TVA Sports, which had to absorb significant content costs in the first quarter of 2021 as a result of the change in the broadcast schedule for the NHL 2020-21 season. The Film Production & Audiovisual Services (MELS) segment reported $3,844,000 in adjusted EBITDA, a $216,000 favourable variance stemming primarily from an increase in profitability of soundstage, mobile and equipment rental services and virtual production services.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

William F. White International (WFW) parent company Sunbelt Rentals has acquired Movietech Camera Rentals, a leading independent camera, lens and grip rental specialist for the film and television industry in the UK. The move will see William F. White and Movietech join forces, kicking off the Toronto-headquartered production equipment provider’s international expansion as the demand for content escalates worldwide, driven by international streaming services. Movietech was established in 1991 and has bases at Pinewood Studios and Great Point Seren Studios in Wales. Movietech Chairman John Buckley says the acquisition will allow it to offer a scaled-up version of its boutique-style service. Movietech’s senior team will remain with the company. Read more here.

Dejero is partnering with Taoglas, a leading provider of antenna and RF technologies, to help its customers select high-performance antennas for its cellular bonding devices when used in mobile and fixed applications. Waterloo-based Dejero says the partnership simplifies the selection of the appropriate external antennas in broadcast and media, public safety, and other government agency applications.

NewTek has announced the TriCaster Director of the Year Awards, open to all visual storytellers, creatives, directors, live content producers and maestros using the TriCaster. The categories for this year include: TriCaster Director of the Year – Universal (best director chosen by the judges); and awards for ESG (Environmental, social, and corporate governance), Corporate, Education, House of Worship, Sports, and Live Production (music, events, awards, broadcast, etc.) Any technical director or TriCaster operator can apply online by submitting a brief highlights video featuring their top TriCaster content this year. Winners will be invited to a NewTek gala in late November, where they will share in a $100,000 value prize pot. Entries open on May 19.