Brent Haynes has been named Amazon Prime Video’s Head of Scripted Series, Canada, the SVOD’s first domestic content executive based here. Haynes is a veteran executive, who was most recently Head of Original Content Development at L.A.’s Shout! Factory. He’s also served as an SVP with Viacom overseeing and producing comedy programming for MTV. Prior to moving stateside, he was with Bell Media for nine years in various roles, including serving as the Executive in Charge of Production for Corner Gas on CTV and a brief stint as VP of Space and The Comedy Network.
Nada Arnot has been appointed SVP of Marketing for BritBox North America. The streamer says Arnot’s appointment is part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to expand its impact in Canada. Arnot, who holds a Masters of Public Administration from Carleton, started her career as a policy analyst with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, before moving into senior marketing roles with NBC Universal, Hearst Digital Studios, and most recently AMC Networks where she was GM of Sundance Now and the company’s SVOD businesses.
Mike De Souza is joining The Narwhal as Managing Editor. De Souza comes to the award-winning independent environmental and climate journalism site from Global News, where he is currently Managing Editor of Enterprise and Investigations. His journalism career has also included stints at Reuters, Postmedia, the Montreal Gazette and the National Observer.
Adrian Harewood has announced he’s joining the Carleton School of Journalism as a full-time faculty member, starting July 1. Last September, Harewood – the co-host of CBC Ottawa News at 6 – developed and began teaching a new graduate-level course on Journalism, Race and Diversity. With CBC Ottawa since 2006, he’ll be continuing to work with the public broadcaster.
Yvonne Colbert is retiring after a nearly 45-year television career. Colbert is best known for her long-running “On Your Side” segment that ran during ATV (now CTV Atlantic) newscast Live at Five. Colbert eventually left to teach journalism at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), before returning to reporting at CBC Halifax in 2011. Colbert, who is married to News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) talk show host Rick Howe, was named to the Atlantic Journalism Awards Hall of Fame in 2019.
Blake Price is the new TV play-by-play announcer for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on TSN. Prior to TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) shuttering its Vancouver all-sports station in February, Price had been with TSN since 2001. Post-layoff, Price has been co-hosting a podcast version of Sekeres and Price with Matt Sekeres. He replaces longtime Whitecaps’ announcer Peter Schaad on the broadcasts, while Paul Dolan continues his role as analyst.
David Zura is moving within Rogers Sports & Media from CityNews Vancouver to 680 News (CFTR-AM) Toronto. Zura has been a videojournalist with Citytv since 2018. He’s previously worked with Cogeco TV in both Windsor and North Bay, and Station 14 in Kingston, among other stops.
Adam Kovac has announced he’ll be leaving CTV Montreal in August to enrol in the Columbia Journalism MA program to study science journalism. Kovac has been a web reporter and researcher with the station since 2015.
Angela Valiant moves from middays at X92.9 (CFEX-FM) Calgary and X100.7 (CKEX-FM) Red Deer to afternoon drive at 102.7 The Peak (CKPK-FM) Vancouver. Her last day on-air in Calgary is June 24. Ahead of Valiant’s arrival and the introduction of a new morning show in August, Emily Czerwinski has been covering afternoons on The Peak, while Jason Manning is being heard in mornings and Jenny West from Victoria’s The Zone (CJZN-FM) in middays. Manning will shift to middays and Czerwinski to swing later this summer.
Alex Carr is being heard weekends on 102.7 The Peak (CKPK-FM). Carr was formerly midday host at CFOX Vancouver, before heading to Toronto with sister Ruby Carr, where the sibling duo did a year-long stint on the 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) morning show.
Jay Richards is moving away from his midday announcer role with 600 CJWW Saskatoon to join the Saskatoon Media Group advertising team, effective May 31. Richards has been on-air in Saskatoon since 1996, first at HOT 93 (CFQC-FM), before joining CJWW. His last show will be Friday, May 28.
Jill Sperling is leaving CFJC Radio & TV in Kamloops to join her husband in Seattle. Sperling has been a reporter and weekend radio anchor with the station since 2016.
Taya Fast has joined CKPG-TV Prince George as a videojournalist. The 2020 BCIT Broadcast grad previously interned at Global News and News 1130 (CKWX-AM) in Vancouver.
Travis MacKenzie has announced his departure from Sportsnet The Fan 590 (CJCL-AM) and the industry. MacKenzie had been with the station since 2008, starting as an intern while studying Sport Management at Brock University. He went on to hold positions from blogging and audio editing to reporting. Most recently, he’d been producing shows like Writers Bloc, Baseball Central, and The Jeff Blair Show.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Canadian Music Week (CMW) has announced that Terry DiMonte will be a 2021 inductee of the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame. DiMonte has had a more than four-decade career in radio, announcing his retirement from the CHOM 97.7 Montreal morning show last week. This year’s Music & Broadcast Industry Awards (MBIA) will take place online May 19 at 4:30 p.m. ET, hosted by Darrin Rose. Read more here.
The CRTC has denied Byrnes Communications’ request to amend its broadcast licence so that its Fort Erie station, CFLZ-FM, is no longer bound to broadcast a minimum of three hours of news programming per week, of which 30% must be devoted to local news relevant to the Niagara Region. Byrnes asserted challenges faced in meeting the condition of licence during statutory holidays, staff illnesses, and a global pandemic and submitted that it is unduly bound by regulatory inflexibility and a lack of competitive parity since the condition of licence places CFLZ-FM at a competitive disadvantage to stations with no similar requirement. Durham Radio submitted an intervention arguing that if the application were approved, CFLZ-FM would not have a local presence in Fort Erie and would essentially become a repeater of Byrnes’ second station, CJED-FM Niagara Falls.
Mohawk Multi Media in Kanesatake/Oka, Quebec has had its application approved to acquire the assets of low-power English- and Mohawk-language Indigenous radio station CKHQ-FM and to obtain a new broadcasting licence to continue operation of the station. The station, which was founded in 1988 by CKHQ United Voices Radio, owned by local resident James Nelson, had been struggling. Mohawk Multi Media will operate as a non-profit.
Maritime Broadcasting System (MBS) has had its application approved for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio station in Digby, NS to replace CKDY-AM Digby, which had its station transmitter destroyed by copper and equipment thieves in late February. The station has been operating a temporary low-power FM transmitter to remain on-air.
The CRTC has approved the application by International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language specialty (Christian music) FM radio station in Scarborough. The station would operate at 105.3 MHz (channel 287A1) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 89 watts (maximum ERP of 150 watts, directional antenna with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of 90.7 metres).
The CRTC will hold a hearing July 8 to consider an application by Gulf Islands Community Radio Society to operate a community FM station on Salt Spring Island. The station would operate at 107.9 MHz (channel 300A) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 313 watts (maximum ERP of 850 watts with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of 219.8 metres). A rebroadcasting transmitter would operate at 102.1 MHz (channel 271A) with an average ERP of 4 watts (maximum ERP of 18 watts with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of 635.4 metres). The applicant proposes to broadcast 126 hours of programming per broadcast week, of which a minimum of 105 hours would be devoted to local programming.
Dean Blundell.com and Matt Cundill’s Sound Off Podcast Network have announced a partnership that will see their respective communities of independent video and podcast creators merge and share resources. Cundill’s network, which the former Corus Winnipeg program director founded in 2015, collaborates with shows like The Inner Circle with Carrie Doll, Jeff Woods’ Radio, Records and Rockstars, and Marla Barr’s Your Wellness Journey. Dean Blundell, former morning show host on 102.1 the Edge(CFNY-FM) and Sportsnet 590 The Fan (CJCL-AM), has more than 60 podcast collaborators under his umbrella, including The Dean Blundell Show; the Toddcast Podcast, hosted by former CFOX personality Todd Hancock; and The Dangerous Darrin Show featuring TS, helmed by Darrin Pfeiffer of Goldfinger. The merger will see the two entities share resources across analytics, marketing, and monetization with an eye to creating new programmatic advertising opportunities and audience growth. Read more here.
Canadian Broadcast Sales (CBS) has announced the launch of AudioVelocity, a new digital platform that will serve ads to connected audiences of broadcasters like Pattison Media, Rogers Sports & Media, Cogeco, and CBC. Gerry MacKrell, President of Canadian Broadcast Sales, says with the consumer migration to connected listening, the platform will complement the existing strengths of over-the-air radio by offering advertisers the ability to target listeners streaming AM/FM radio or podcasts. Advertisers will be able to book campaigns through CBS, targeting key demos by interests and other behavioural metrics. CBS is currently in the process of onboarding more broadcasters with confirmed partners including Corus Entertainment, Vista Radio, Radioplayer Canada, Golden West Broadcasting, Blackburn Radio, and MBS Radio, in addition to the aforementioned Pattison, Rogers, Cogeco and CBC. Read more here.
The Canadian Podcast Awards have released their list of 2021 nominees across 30 categories. Among those with multiple nominations are Global’s Crime Beat, which earned nods in both the True Crime and Documentary categories; This Time It’s Different with Peter N’ Chris, which was nominated for Outstanding Artwork, Production, Comedy, and People’s Choice; and Toronto Star limited pocast, Hustled, which was nominated for Outstanding Production, Business Series, Documentary, and People’s Choice. D&D podcast Dwarven Moss leads the nominations with nods in Outstanding Fiction Series, Leisure, Outstanding Debut for a Series, Original Music, Production, and People’s Choice.
AdLarge has partnered with Sounds Profitable to launch Up Next – A Podcast UpFront. Up Next uses the podcast format to promote podcasting with FRQNCY Founder/CEO Michelle Khouri, and Edison Research SVP Tom Webster hosting. The series is designed to showcase multiple facets of the podcast industry including publishers, networks, and content producers. AdLarge’s premiere episode focuses on the power of podcast advertising with future episodes to sample podcasts like Crime Junkie, Swindled, The Hey Girl Podcast, The Trip, and Kill Me Now with Judy Gold.
SiriusXM Canada has announced that Seth Rogen will launch his first podcast with its subsidiary, Stitcher. Expected to debut later this year, each week the actor and writer will invite a range of guests to share a single story that will be brought to life with supporting interviews and archival tape. The as-yet-untitled project will be available via Stitcher’s comedy podcast network, Earwolf, and major podcast listening platforms. Rogen’s new podcast is being developed and produced by Richard Parks III of Richard’s Famous Food Podcast, who is known for his collaborations with The Flaming Lips, humour website McSweeney’s, and KCRW. Point Grey Pictures’ Frida Perez and Earwolf’s Colin Anderson will serve as Executive Producers.
The SOCAN Awards are recognizing 24 CanCon visionaries, including former CRTC chair Pierre Juneau, and Juno Awards co-founders Walt Grealis and Stan Klees. They’ll be awarded the SOCAN Guardian Award for their efforts in preserving and boosting Canadian culture. The 2021 SOCAN Awards marks the second year the event will be held virtually. During the week of May 24, more than 50 SOCAN awards will be presented to the year’s most successful music creators and publishers.
Shulman & Partners LLP has launched new radio program Family Law Insider, airing every Sunday from 4 – 5 p.m. on Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto. Hosted by Shulman & Partners Family Lawyer Laura Paris, the show will address issues like separation and divorce, and pre-nuptial and co-parenting agreements, among other topics. Since the start of the pandemic, Shulman & Partners says it’s experienced a 40% increase in calls from couples seeking to end their marriages.
Evanov Communications’ Winnipeg stations Energy 106 (CHWE-FM) and Hot 100.5 (CFJL-FM) hosted its first Radiothon during the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 70th annual Mental Health Week. The 12-hour event raised a total of $104,000 for Kidthink Children’s Mental Health Centre, a mental health treatment centre and outreach program that focuses on child therapy and well-being for kids in Manitoba, aged 12 and under. Over and above the Radiothon, the radio stations provided listeners with information about available resources and action plans for anyone in a situation looking to get help.
Pattison Media’s stations in Prince George held their annual Spirit Day in support of the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation on May 6. 99.3 The Drive (CKDV-FM) and 101.3 The River (CKKN-FM) broadcast the event live from the Prestige Hotel and Conference Centre as pledges were called in. The 12-hour fundraiser brought in a record $123,000 in donations.
99.3 County FM (CJPE-FM) is working with over 45 Prince Edward County, ON musicians on Radiothon 2021, set to take place June 3-6. The annual Radiothon raises funds to keep the non-profit, volunteer-driven community station on-air. Among those confirmed to perform are Justin Rutledge, Instant Rivalry, Miss Emily, Cue The Funk, Norris and Jones, Tony Forbes, The Wakami Wailers, Greg Hinde & Friends, Mike Farrell, Tom Leighton, and Danielle Edwards.
LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill reconnects with Sheri Lynch from the Bob & Sheri Show to discuss leaving WLNK Charlotte, the success of the syndicated show, and why taking the show independent was the right business move back in 2017. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
Barry John Hamelin, 82, on May 11, of COVID-19. Hamelin started his broadcast career with CKPG Radio & TV in Prince George, BC before going on to spend upwards of 27 years in various management roles with Broadcast News in Toronto, working alongside Broadcast Dialogue founder Howard Christensen. Hamelin’s input was instrumental to the publication’s conception in the Spring of 1992 on how to serve Canada’s broadcast community with more timely and relevant industry news. That led to a determination to produce the weekly newsletter. Later, when Broadcast Dialogue extended efforts into the publication of a glossy 48-page monthly magazine, Hamelin served as its Editor.
Stephen Vrlak, 79, on May 2, following a battle with Parkinson’s and dementia. Vrlak got his start working for Procter & Gamble, before joining Vancouver radio stations, CKNW and CJOR, as an advertising rep. He later joined Dixon Advertising and then partnered with local radio personality Red Robinson, who had been program director during Vrlak’s tenure at CJOR, in Vrlak Robinson Advertising. The agency grew with the mergers of Spectrum and later Hayhurst Communications. Vrlak would go on to start the Vrlak & Company agency with his son, Mike, which counted the Vancouver Canucks and BC Lions, among its clients.
Eric Lipka, 80, on April 29. With a love of theatre that developed during his high school years in Kelowna as part of the Radio Drama Club and Mission Players, Lipka began working as a set designer at age 19, after school, when he was hired at CHBC-TV Kelowna to build and paint sets and do camera and boom mic work for shows like “Your North Okanagan” and “Okanagan Farm and Garden.” He eventually left for a set designer position at CKSO-TV Sudbury, before arriving at CBC Toronto in 1966 where he worked on shows from Front Page Challenge and The Tommy Hunter Show to Marketplace and Country Canada. Lipka also worked on CBC specials featuring Glenn Gould, The National Ballet, Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, and other performers. He retired in 2001.
Charles Harris, 101, on April 19. Harris started his career as a reporter for the Globe and Mail in 1937, before enlisting in the RCAF in 1941. Following the war, he earned a B.A. in Modern History at the University of Toronto and joined CBC as a radio producer in 1947. In 1950, he was appointed Assistant to the Director of Television in Toronto. He moved into public relations two years later, joining the PR department at CN in Montreal where he rose through the ranks to Director of Public Relations and in 1970 was named Vice President. He moved to join Bell Canada in 1972 as Vice President, Public Affairs, before partnering with Douglas Heal in consulting firm, Harris Heal Ltd., in the early ‘80s. Harris was a past president of the Canadian Public Relations Society and received its National Award of Attainment in 1966, recognizing outstanding achievement and service to public relations.
TV & FILM:
Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a new report on how Canadians are consuming and paying for television. The TV Distribution report finds that the majority of Anglophones continue to subscribe to cable, satellite or fiber optic TV. However, the gap between SVODs and TV subscriptions continues to grow with 80% of anglophones subscribed to an SVOD service. Cable remains the most common type of paid TV service in the anglophone market, serving 32% of households; Fiber Optic TV (IPTV) subscriptions are higher in Quebec, Alberta and B.C. and among affluent anglophone households. In the Francophone market, even though traditional television subscriptions have fallen since 2014, three quarters of French-speaking households still subscribe. Subscription video-on-demand services, such as Netflix, are gaining in popularity with 68% of French speakers subscribing. Cable remains the most popular service with French speakers (43%) with 23% of French speakers using fiber optic television.
CKRT-TV in Rivière-du-Loup, Que. will shut down on Aug. 31. Owned by the Simard family since it went on air in 1962, the station is the last ICI Radio-Canada Télé affiliate. Télé Inter-Rives plans to shutter the station and its six rebroadcasting transmitters and return its broadcast licence to the CRTC.
Hot Docs has wrapped its 28th annual Festival and announced the winners of the Rogers Audience Award. Honouring the top five Canadian feature documentaries as determined by audience poll. This year’s award was presented to: FANNY: The Right to Rock (D: Bobbi Jo Hart | P: Bobbi Jo Hart, Robbie Hart); Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy (D: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers | P: David Christensen, Lori Lozinski, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers); Someone Like Me (D: Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams | P: Teri Snelgrove, Shirley Vercruysse); Still Max (D: Katherine Knight | P: Katherine Knight, David Craig); and Hell or Clean Water (D: Cody Westman | P: Jennifer Hawley). Dear Future Children (D: Franz Böhm | P: Johannes Schubert, Ansgar Wörner, Franz Böhm | Germany, UK, Austria) received the highest overall rating and won the Hot Docs Audience Award. For a list of the top five mid-lengths and shorts visit the Hot Docs website.
Canadian Music Week (CMW) has partnered with Hot Docs to present four Canadian music documentaries as part of the 2021 CMW Virtual Festival, May 18-21. CMW Conference registrants and Hot Docs members will have access to the premiere of Danny Alexander’s No Tickets At The Door, an in-depth look into Toronto’s diverse underground music scene and the myriad of challenges that musicians, promoters, and venues are facing. Works from the Hot Docs archives will also be featured including I’m Going To Break Your Heart, Feist: Look What the Light Did Now, and 6ix Rising. Registration for CMW is open.
The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre’s 10th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival (TJFF) will be presented across Canada June 5-27 online via the Cinesend festival platform, with select onsite screenings at the JCCC’s Kobayashi Hall planned for October, public health protocols permitting. International, North American and Canadian premieres include Hiroki Kadokawa’s foodie-friendly historical drama, Mio’s Cookbook, Shuichi Okita’s examination of aging and loneliness, Ora, Ora Be Goin’ Alone, Yuichi Fukuda’s manga adaptation and ode to high-school delinquency, From Today It’s My Turn!!!, and Masayuki Suo’s love letter to Japan’s silent film era, Talking The Pictures. This year’s anime premiere is LIP X LIP FILM X LIVE, a hybrid anime movie and live concert performance by “vocaloid” virtual popstars Lip x Lip. Find the full lineup here.
The 31st annual Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival has unveiled its lineup showcasing 143 films, including 33 feature films and five episodic series, online from May 27 – June 6. The festival’s opening night film will be the Canadian premiere of Natalie Morales’ socially distant, platonic love story, Language Lessons, which won the audience award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Documentary highlights from the program include Zachary Quinto-narrated film Yes I Am, The Ric Weiland Story, introducing audiences to queer icon Ric Weiland, one of Microsoft’s first programmers whose efforts to establish representation and resources for the LGBT community still have a profound impact.
Food Network Canada and Corus Studios dive into the evolving world of cheese with food travel docuseries Cheese: A Love Story. Hosted by the world’s youngest Maître Fromager (Cheese Master) and owner of Toronto’s Cheese Boutique, Afrim Pristine, the series travels the globe meeting up with farmers, cheesemakers, shop owners, affineurs and chefs in Switzerland, France, Greece, Toronto, Quebec and B.C. It makes its debut June 9.
Super Channel will premiere unscripted docu-drama series, Bulloch Family Ranch, on Super Channel Heart and Home beginning Monday, June 2. Bulloch Family Ranch chronicles the everyday adventures of Julie and Rusty Bulloch, a working-class couple that juggles multiple jobs to make ends meet. Together, they are “parents” to over 30 kids. Only two are biological with the rest teens and young adults who have lived at – and periodically returned to – the Bulloch Ranch during times of need.
TVO Original The Face of Anonymous is set to premiere Tuesday, May 25 on TVO and stream online at TVO.org and the TVO Docs YouTube channel, following its run at Hot Docs. The film follows the chaotic life of Christopher Doyon, also known as “Commander X” within hacktivist group, Anonymous. Directed by Gary Lang and produced by Storyline Entertainment in association with TVO, The Face of Anonymous reveals the human toll of Doyon’s online moral crusades that have targeted powerful figures and organizations.
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) will premiere Season 4 of award-winning series, Employable Me, June 9 on AMI-tv. The six-part documentary series features job seekers determined to show that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. Past seasons have captured Rockie Awards for Best Lifestyle Program at the Banff World Media Festival, while Season 3 also earned a Diversify TV Excellence Award at MIPCOM in the Representation of Disability, Non-Scripted category.
Friday Night Thunder has premiered on APTN, a fast-paced docuseries following racing families at the Ohsweken Speedway, the only track on Indigenous land in Canada. Produced by Toronto’s Big Soul Productions, a 100% Indigenous-owned production company, and airing on APTN Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 12 p.m., Friday Night Thunder follows Glenn Styres, the founder and owner of Ohsweken Speedway, in the aftermath of a career-ending crash as he mentors other drivers on and off the track.
WildBrain has released its Q3 2021 results, reporting revenue growth of 4% to $102.2 million compared with $98.3 million in the prior-year quarter, driven by strength in the company’s Consumer Products business. Content Production and Distribution revenue was $35.6 million in Q3 vs $36.4 million year-over-year, reflecting steady production growth, offset by fluctuations in timing of distribution deals. YTD 2021 revenue rose 33% to $140.5 million vs $105.6 million in YTD 2020, driven by an extensive slate of new Peanuts content and the large distribution deal for the Peanuts library in Q2 as part of an expanded content partnership with Apple TV+. WildBrain Spark saw improvement as ad revenue continued to improve from the impact of COVID-19 and YouTube policy changes in Jan. 2020. Q3 revenue increased 2% to $9.6 million in Q3 2021 vs $9.5 million in Q3 2020.
The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF), in partnership with Netflix, the Black Screen Office (BSO), Canada Media Fund (CMF), Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), and la Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), has announced the participants of the fourth edition of the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative. Participants receive full access to the 2021 Banff World Media Festival, taking place online from June 14 to July 16. Participants will also take part in a tailored stream of programming and networking. Additionally, 25 of this year’s participants will take part in the Diversity of Voices Pitch Program, through which they’ll receive one-on-one mentorship from media leaders and private networking opportunities with senior executives and buyers.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Liquid Media Group has signed a letter of intent to acquire global subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, iNDIEFLIX. Focused on “edutainment” and supporting social impact films, Seattle-based iNDIEFLIX has expanded into the live event space and also operates a foundation to support its vision. iNDIEFLIX joins other SVOD properties under the Liquid Media Group umbrella, including Reelhouse, which helps independent filmmakers monetize following their festival run, and Slipstream, focused on curated action/adventure content. Last week, Liquid announced a partnership with millennial-focused Insight TV that will see content from the Liquid library distributed across its network, reaching 400 million households in 53 countries. The two companies are also collaborating on the development of a new FAST (Free Advertising Supported TV) channel. Read more here.
The National Media Awards Foundation has announced the nominees for the 6th annual Digital Publishing Awards. The Globe and Mail is a finalist in 17 categories, ranging from Best Personal Essay to Innovation in Digital Storytelling, while CBC News received eight nominations. CBC Podcasts dominated Best Podcast: News & Politics, picking up four nominations in that category and a fifth for Best Online Video: Mini-Doc. Other multiple nominees include Radio-Canada (11), The Narwhal (10), and The Walrus (7). Find the full list of finalists here. The foundation will host a virtual celebration on June 11 at 4 p.m. ET, livestreaming the winners reveal on Facebook and its website.
LISTEN: Farhan Mohamed of new independent digital news publisher Overstory Media Group (OMG) joins Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about OMG’s investment model and vision for the future of community journalism, and shares his own personal lessons learned from a decade in digital media. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
Indiegraf Media has opened applications for a new grant program aimed at supporting the growth of BIPOC-led news startups in Canada. With funding from the Facebook Journalism Project, the BIPOC Media Growth Program will provide $25,000 grants and support to six Canadian media projects owned or led by BIPOC journalists. The program marks the launch of Indie Capital, an initiative providing grants and flexible financing to promising independent news outlets. Indiegraf says with major growth in independent journalists striking out on their own over the past year, many struggle to access seed capital and rely on personal savings, taking on significant financial risk before reaching sustainability.
Kayla Grey is hosting a new bi-weekly digital series for TSN. The Shift with Kayla Grey powered by Dell XPS launches May 13 and will be available on a dedicated TSN.ca hub. The series is a mix of news, short features, panel discussions, and interviews with a focus on Canadian stories and discussions at the intersection of sports, life, and culture. Grey will also serve as the series’ co-Executive Producer.
Qello Concerts by Stingray, which features full-length concerts and music documentaries, has launched on the Libby app. Powered by OverDrive, Libby allows readers to access free digital content from libraries and schools and is available in 90% of public libraries in North America. Qello Concerts by Stingray is part of the new Databases & Streaming Media services launching on Libby this week.
BBTV has announced the creation of its NFT Division, which will launch Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) with content creators across Entertainment, Music, Sports, Esports & Gaming verticals. BBTV’s first NFT will be with Grammy-winning music producer Zaytoven, who has worked with artists like Drake, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty Rick Ross, Usher and Keyshia Cole. He is also widely credited for curating the signature sound of Gucci Mane, Future and Migos. Leveraging its creator IP and relationship with creators, Vancouver-based BBTV says it plans to take tokenized fan experiences to the next level through a combination of NFTs, exclusive fan engagements, and merchandise offerings.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
Bill C-10 has been put on hold as the Department of Justice looks at whether recent amendments to the proposed legislation violate the free speech rights of social media users. The Canadian Heritage Committee will hear from Justice Min. David Lametti and Canadian Heritage Min. Steven Guilbeault, as well as a panel of expert witnesses, before work on C-10 proceeds. In an interview on CTV’s Question Period last Sunday, Guilbeault suggested that the bill’s reach could extend, at the CRTC’s discretion, to social media users with large online followings or who earn significant revenue. His office later issued a clarification saying the minister used “unclear” language when referring to people and online channels being subject to regulation. ACTRA is among the industry organizations urging swift passage of the bill with ACTRA National President David Sparrow saying that it’s “an overdue but positive first step in modernizing our broadcasting system – one that will benefit Canadian culture, our economy and our creators.”
RTDNA has announced the regional winners of the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Awards. In the Large Market Radio category, Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto claimed four awards, including Feature Reporting, News Documentary, News Series and Continuing Coverage, while Toronto’s 680 News (CFTR-AM) earned Overall Excellence. News 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver won for Best Newscast and Digital, while CBC Toronto was recognized in the Breaking News category for its COVID-19 coverage. 570 News (CKGL-AM) Kitchener was recognized in the Small Market category. CTV News swept the Small Market Television category with the bureaus in London, Kitchener, Vancouver Island and Windsor earning accolades. CTV Vancouver earned five awards in the Large Market Television category, including the Overall Excellence Award and Best Newscast. Global News earned four awards, including Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Living in Colour: Being Black in Canada. CBC Toronto was recognized in the Feature Reporting category for Pandemic Pie Project. Find the full list of regional winners here.
The 2021 Webster Awards are open for submissions. Among the changes for this year, what was one category in the past (Excellence in Science, Technology, Health and Environment), is now three separate categories: Excellence in Technology Reporting, Excellence in Health Reporting and Excellence in Environment Reporting. Another change sees the Best Reporting – Chinese Language category redefined as Best Reporting in a Language other than English, while Excellence in Digital Reporting becomes Excellence in Multimedia Journalism. The Breaking News categories have also been revised. Submissions can be uploaded for stories published between June 1, 2020 and May 31st, 2021. Learn more here.
The BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) has opened submissions for the BCAB Awards of Excellence. Submissions must have aired on their respective stations between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, May 26. The submission site can be accessed here.
TVA Group has announced operating revenues of $140.8 million in the first quarter of 2021, a year-over-year increase of $3.7 million. First quarter operating highlights include Consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $2,136,000, a $6,371,000 unfavourable variance from the same quarter of 2020. $3,421,000 in negative adjusted EBITDA was recorded in the Broadcasting segment, a $7,250,000 unfavourable variance due primarily to a decrease in profitability at TVA Sports as a result of the change in the NHL broadcast schedule, partially offset by increased profitability at TVA Network and commercial production activities. MELS reported $3,628,000 in adjusted EBITDA in the Film Production & Audiovisual Services segment, a $456,000 favourable variance mainly due to increased profitability of all segment activities, with the exception of visual effects, partially offset by the start-up of virtual stage activities. Incendo reported $113,000 in adjusted EBITDA in the Production & Distribution segment, a $554,000 negative variance, a direct result of the pandemic, which caused a delay in distribution of films produced in 2020.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Triton Digital has announced an expansion of both reporting and categorization capabilities within its podcast platform, Omny Studio. To provide publishers with a more comprehensive view of the content published by their organization and/or networks, Omny Studio’s reporting functionality has been enhanced to include granular visibility into the total number of episodes and total minutes of audio content published. Users can also now see an overview of the tools that accompany the content, including ad markers, transcriptions, and headliner videos. Additionally, podcasters using Omny Studio can now add custom metadata fields to their content, including categories. By utilizing custom categories, podcasters can increase the discoverability of their shows, helping them to appear in relevant user searches and as a result, grow their audiences.
Microtherapy has released Radius 2021.1, which includes the launch of two new Radius PLUS analytic tools providing more PPM audience insights. The Radius PLUS Panel Time report allows meter market radio broadcasters to profile stations based on length of participation, exposing potential opportunities and risks. Tuner Trend delves deeper into PPM tuning trends, providing program directors and Insights teams with detailed, up-to-date tracking of station performance and identifying reasons for tuning changes.
Inovonics has introduced the new DAVID IV 719N FM/HD Radio Broadcast Processor with Network Interface, which adds an intuitive, menu-driven web interface for remote set-up, monitoring, and control. Inovonics will provide free upgrades to 719 users that purchased their processors from January 1, 2020 to May 2021. For those with 719 processors purchased before 2020, there will be a $500 upgrade fee + transport to convert their 719 units to the new 719N model.