The Weekly Briefing

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REVOLVING DOOR:

Chris Hall

Chris Hall will be retiring from weekly CBC Radio political affairs program, The House, at the end of June. CBC’s National Affairs Editor, Hall has been with the Parliamentary Bureau since 1998. Prior to joining CBC, he began his career with the Ottawa Citizen. Over the years, his reporting has taken him across Canada, with postings in Toronto, Halifax and St. John’s. In addition to his duties on The House, Hall writes a regular column for CBC.ca and files for both radio and television news. He also hosts a weekly podcast edition of the program.

Jamil Jivani

Jamil Jivani is partnering with Postmedia to create multiplatform content. Jivani says he’ll be focused on the same issues he used to talk about on radio, “only now I’ll be working with a media company that values diversity of thought.” Jivani disappeared from Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) airwaves late last year, offering details of how his tenure with Bell Media ended in a series of substack posts.

Farah Nasser

Farah Nasser has returned as co-anchor of Global Toronto’s evening newscast after a six-month absence. Nasser announced in November she was stepping away from Global News to focus on “some important family health issues.” 

Marie-Hélène Potvin

Marie-Hélène Potvin has been appointed Head of Remstar Media channels, ELLE Fictions and MAX. Prior to joining Remstar in 2020, Potvin held marketing positions with Groupe V Media and Teletoon, among other companies. As part of a new structure for Remstar’s Content & Programming and Communications & Marketing teams, Caroline Ratelle is now Programming Schedule Manager; Mireille Santerre, Project Manager, Content and Programming (MAX); Amélie Bouita, Project Manager, Content and Programming (ELLE Fictions); Kelly-Ann Ferrari, Project Manager, Communications and Marketing (MAX); Roxanne Normandin, Project Manager, Communications and Marketing (ELLE Fictions); Arianne Aubry-Longval, Liaison Officer; and Priscilla Martel, Liaison Officer, Programming (temporary).

Jasmin Doobay & Sadie Hesketh

Jasmin Doobay is transferring from the company’s stations in Prince George, BC to Lethbridge, AB. Effective June 1, she’ll move into the role of Program Director at Country 95 (CHLB-FM) and B-93 (CJBZ-FM) Lethbridge. Doobay, who has spent 19 years with Pattison in various on–air, news and program director roles in the Okanagan, takes over from Tia Daniels, who parted ways with the company in May after nine years programming both stations. Sadie Hesketh will step into Doobay’s former role as Program Director for 101.3 The River (CKKN-FM) and 99.3 Rewind Radio (CKDV-FM). Hesketh is currently co-host of the morning show at 89.5 The Drive (CHWK-FM) Chilliwack. Read more here.

Alan Black

Alan Black is joining Canadaland as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all non-editorial operations. After a decade as Director of Operations for the Hot Docs Festival and Managing Director of Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Black stepped down at the end of April following this year’s festival. He had been with the documentary festival since 2003, starting out as Box Office Manager. Black is also a documentary filmmaker, including 2009’s Jackpot about regulars at a Toronto bingo hall. Read more here.

Ryan McMahon

Ryan McMahon has stepped away from monthly Indigenous podcast Canadalandback, following a public apology to his partner on social media in late April for not acting “honourably” within their relationship, and subsequent allegations from a former girlfriend. In a statement on the Canadaland website, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jesse Brown said McMahon made a decision to leave and “did not quit to avoid being fired.” The Anishinaabe comedian, podcaster and writer has been working with Canadaland since 2016, initially as a co-host on political show, The Commons.

Rich Morgan

Rich Morgan has joined JAR Audio as the Vancouver-based branded podcast studio’s first Client Success Lead. Morgan was most recently a Senior Producer at Webreality, and has also worked with Arctic Shores in the UK and Vancouver digital agency POWERSHiFTER.  

Robbin Reay

Robbin Reay Denham has joined SoCast Digital as a Digital Marketing Strategist. Denham was the host of afternoons on Ottawa’s KiSS 105.3 (CISS-FM) for the last four years, up until parting ways with Rogers Sports & Media in February.

Gaston Doiron

Gaston Doiron has left CKRO-FM Pokemouche, NB. Known as “Mr. Bingo,” Doiron had been the host of Tuesday night bingo on the station for the last 15 years, up until May 3 when he abruptly quit. Doiron told CBC that changes at the station created confusion among listeners, resulting in numerous complaints.

Mark Jones

Mark Jones has parted ways with Peace FM 94.5 (CHET-FM) Chetwynd and Peace FM 104.1 (CHAD-FM) Dawson Creek. Jones had been hosting the afternoon drive show on the stations for the past two and a half years.

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast podcast network has announced it will be joining Megaphone, Spotify’s enterprise podcasting platform, to host its podcast slate. In addition to hosting Curiouscast podcasts on the Megaphone platform, Spotify will have access to select Curiouscast inventory to monetize via the Spotify Audience Network, an audio-first advertising marketplace that connects advertisers with listeners across a broad range of content. According to Corus, Megaphone podcast publishers who have opted in to the Spotify Audience Network have seen “meaningful improvement” in their ability to monetize. Read more here.

BBC and CBC/Radio-Canada have announced the joint commissioning of three new original podcasts from BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts. An extension of a commitment to collaboration announced by the two public broadcasters in 2019, the new commissions include an exploration of the Bre-X Minerals scandal; a global catfishing scheme; and a look at how Charlie Chaplin became the focus of a decades-long FBI campaign to root out communism in Hollywood, hosted by the actor’s granddaughter, Oona Chaplin. In production now, the three podcasts are set for release late this year and in 2023. Read more here.

Seneca College is introducing two new microcredentials in Accessible Podcasting, designed to help podcasters understand how to make their work accessible. Developed in conjunction with the CNIB Foundation and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, and funded by the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund, the program includes two microcredential courses: Pre-Production and Production. Among the first offerings of its kind in Canada, the microcredentials will teach students how to plan, produce and deliver a podcast through the lens of the disability community to make their podcasts more accessible to users, and how to respectfully include and represent members of the disability community in podcast content. The courses will also help students with accessibility requirements create their own podcasts, through the use of software and accessible production techniques. Read more here.

Dan Russell, the longtime host of Sportstalk on Vancouver stations CJOR AM 600, CKWX, Rock 101 (CFMI-FM), and 980 CKNW Vancouver, has published Pleasant Good Evening – A Memoir. It details the veteran host’s run with the sports call-in show from 1984 to 2014, promising many behind-the-scenes stories.

TVO Original podcast The Art of Sovereignty launched May 18, profiling eight First Nations artists who were integral to the creation of the Indigenous contemporary art movement in Canada. The podcast features conversations focused on the history of First Nations sovereignty in Canada through the artwork and lives of Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Alex Janvier, Robert Houle, Carl Beam, Faye HeavyShield, Robert Davidson and Bonnie Devine. Hosted by Anishinaabe journalist Chris Beaver and Kanyen’kehá:ka journalist and artist Shelby Lisk, listeners will also hear from curators, educators and contemporary artists like Greg Hill, Carmen Robertson, Anong Beam and Wanda Nanibush.

Stingray Classica has launched on Libby, the app built for readers to discover and enjoy digital content from their local library. Users around the globe can now access content from Stingray Classica, one of the new Libby “Extras” services available to those with a valid library card, will bring users excerpts of orchestral performances, operas, and ballets. Powered by OverDrive, the digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide, Libby is available through approximately 90% of public libraries in North America, as well as hundreds of college and university libraries.

LISTEN: During the last few years in media and marketing, many workers in their fifties found themselves unemployed as the pandemic took hold and they were among the first packaged out. NABS is now re-offering its course for those at midlife wondering what to do next, based on Julia Moulden’s book, RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50. We welcome Julia to Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about discovering passion, purpose and possibility at midlife. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Patrick Grierson

Patrick Grierson, on May 16, after battling an undisclosed illness. With a broadcast career spanning more than 40 years, the radio advertising pioneer retired in 2017 as leader of the largest national radio sales organization in Canada, Canadian Broadcast Sales (CBS). He started his career with Standard Broadcasting in the 1970s and was eventually appointed president of the Standard Broadcast Sales Radio division, following the Slaight family’s acquisition of the company in 1985. In 1987, Grierson founded United Broadcast Sales (UBS), which saw Standard Broadcast Sales merge with Western Broadcast Sales (WIC). He served as President and CEO of UBS until 1993, when he brought together UBS and All Canada to create one dominant Canadian radio sales company. Grierson was honoured by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) with its 2015 Ontario Hall of Fame Award. He was inducted into the Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) Hall of Fame in 2017. Read more here.

Dave Quinn, 79, on May 16. Quinn got his start in broadcasting as the first radio voice of the Windsor Spitfires on CKWW. Known to many by his nickname “Quinner”, he went on to join Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto in the late 1980s. Quinn was also known for his Ontario Hockey League (OHL) “Game of the Week” segments on Global TV, hosted alongside OHL executive Sherwood Bassin.

Andrew Simon

Andrew Simon, 84, on April 28. A Holocaust survivor, Simon immigrated to Canada after escaping Hungary with his parents in 1950. Simon started his career with CBC as a tour guide, going on to report, produce and manage at the public broadcaster. He was the founding producer and creator of national open line radio program Cross-Country Check-Up, alongside producer Moses Znaimer and host Brad Crandall, which began airing in 1965. In 1966, while at CBC Montreal, Simon famously offered Leonard Cohen the job of hosting television current affairs program “Seven on Six.” Cohen was all but signed when he called Simon to tell him he had decided to pursue songwriting. Simon went on to work in management at CBC TV Calgary and later served as Executive Director of Radio Canada International from 1989-91. He took early retirement following the 1990-91 budget cuts.

TV & FILM:

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) members have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a one-year renewal of their contract with the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA). A two per cent increase to all fees and rates will take effect June 1, with the renewal expiring May 31, 2023. Marie Kelly, ACTRA National Executive Director and Lead Negotiator, says the one-year renewal will provide stability in the commercial industry, while it works with the ACA to simplify and modernize the agreement. The contract, known as the National Commercial Agreement (NCA), establishes the terms and conditions for on- and off-camera performers engaged in English-language commercial production. In the meantime, ACTRA has filed a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board alleging the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) and several of its ad agencies bargained in bad faith during recent contract negotiations by insisting ACTRA reduce the scope of its bargaining rights. 

MEDIAPRO Canada has renewed its agreement with FOX Sports 2 (FS2) and FOX Soccer Plus for the 2022-23 broadcast rights for a wide-ranging package of Canadian soccer content, including live coverage of all Canadian Premier League (CPL) matches. The agreement represents the third consecutive year that FOX Sports will bring Canadian soccer to audiences across the U.S. and Caribbean. The renewed agreement also includes rights to the 2022 Canadian Championship, the professional club championship organized by Canada Soccer, as well as a series of home friendly matches to be played by Canada Soccer’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams. 

Global has greenlit legal drama Family Law for a new 10-episode third season. Produced by SEVEN24 Films and Lark Productions, and created by Canadian author Susin Nielsen, Season 3 is set to begin filming in Vancouver on May 24. The principal cast, including Jewel Staite, Victor Garber, Zach Smadu, Genelle Williams and Lauren Holly, will all return for the new season. The renewal comes ahead of the show’s Season 2 premiere, which will be announced at a later date. Recently acquired by The CW in the U.S., Global says Family Law was the most-watched new Canadian series this past fall.

Corus’ Historia will air À la conquête de l’Empress of Ireland (Conquering the Empress of Ireland) on May 28. Written and directed by maritime historian Samuel Côté, the documentary recounts the unlikely encounter that led to the discovery of one of the best preserved early 20th century shipwrecks in 1964. Located off the municipality of Sainte-Luce, in Bas-Saint-Laurent, the sinking of the Empress of Ireland on May 28, 1914 was overshadowed by the outbreak of WWI.

TVO Original series Crossroads: Beyond Boom & Bust explores stories of six small towns across Ontario confronting the question: Can Ontario’s small towns survive big industrial, social and cultural changes? The weekly series premieres June 13 on TVO, TVO Today, YouTube and smart TV services, and features the Ontario towns of Smiths Falls, Stratford, Napanee, Cobalt, North Buxton and Vankleek Hill. Episodes take an in-depth look at the history, setbacks and promising successes for these communities, which have all been experiencing seismic shifts.

Boat Rocker’s Proper Television has started its search for Canadian cake-makers for its new original competition series, CrossCountryCakeOff. Selected bakers will have the opportunity to show off their creations to professional judges in cities across Canada. The new series shines the spotlight on undiscovered talent who connect with their community through cake artistry, telling a story about who they are through cake. Filming will take place in July, August and September.

Liquid Media Group has announced a partnership with Insight TV to distribute action-adventure sports content from Slipstream, Liquid’s curated SVOD service and part of the company’s Projektor online content marketplace. Insight TV reaches 400+ million households in 53 countries with linear channel distribution via major pay and CTV platforms and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) reach via Roku, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

The 2022 Indspire Awards, recognizing Indigenous achievement, have been announced and are set to be broadcast during National Indigenous History Month on APTN, CBC and CBC Gem, CBC Radio One and the CBC Listen app on Sunday, June 19. Bringing together Indigenous professionals and youth in a variety of fields, among this year’s winners are First Nations Chef David Wolfman, a Professor of Culinary Arts at George Brown College and host and producer of Cooking With the Wolfman on APTN, who was recognized in the Arts category.

Screen Nova Scotia has announced the nominees for the 8th annual Screen Nova Scotia Awards Gala, which will take place Saturday, June 18 at Casino Nova Scotia. The first full capacity, in-person awards gala since 2019, among this year’s nominees are Diggstown, (Waterstar Entertainment, Circle Blue Entertainment), Moonshine (Six Eleven Media), Spirit Talker (Rebel Road Films, Tell Tale Productions), and This Hour Has 22 Minutes (22M Hour Productions), up for Best Television Series. Best Feature Film nominees include 8:37 Rebirth (Rebirth Films Inc.), Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor (Picture Plant Inc.), Night Blooms (Shut Up & Colour Pictures), and Wildhood (Rebel Road Films).

Factory Film Studio and Trebas Institute Ontario have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore new collaborations, including mentorship, networking and guest speaking opportunities. A film studio in residence initiative is being explored that would see Trebas students or alumni integrated into project development, production, post-production, or marketing employment with FFS. Co-developing customized training programs, micro-credentials and/or summer camps for domestic and international learners are also being considered.

Cineplex says box office revenue is trending toward pre-pandemic levels. Releasing its Q1 2022 results, the movie theatre chain says it welcomed 6.7 million guests to its theatres in the quarter, with operating restrictions now lifted across its entire circuit. Q1 box office revenues totalled $80.0 million, a $76.1 million increase from 2021. Cineplex reported first quarter media revenues of $15.5 million, an increase of $6.5 million or 71.3% year-over-year, with cinema media revenues of $8.2 million recorded, up $6.3 million or 334.3% over the prior year, due to increases in cinema advertising as a result of reopened theatres and new film releases.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

The Weather Network and French counterpart MétéoMédia have launched Travel Planner, a tool that provides desktop, mobile web, and Android app users with historical weather information for over 50 cities in 11 countries. Launching with the support of partners Air Canada and Aeroplan, Travel Planner also features curated travel content. Containing over 20 years of historical weather data, it’s aimed at helping users determine the best time of year to visit their preferred destinations and plan accordingly. Historical weather data is provided by Weather Source, a U.S. based organization dedicated to making hyper-local weather and climate data accessible around the globe. This is their first collaboration with Pelmorex Corp. since the company made a majority investment in Weather Source in 2019. 

TikTok is holding its inaugural #ForYou Summit: Canada, June 1-2, in Toronto. The invite-only event for brands and agencies will feature an in-person day one keynote featuring Canadian creators, with a virtual event the following day that will include sessions on product and performance, and holiday campaigns, among other topics.

Alexandra Gater

Corus Entertainment creator agency Kin Community Canada, social-first agency so.da, Corus Studios, and Nelvana, have come together to launch a 360-degree partnership across social, television, streaming and merchandising with home décor expert and Kin creator Alexandra Gater. A millennial-focused DIY YouTuber, stylist and home décor expert, Gater joined the Kin roster in 2018. Earlier this spring in collaboration with Cardea Auset, Corus and Gater launched a custom candle, the first of a suite of home decor products. Nelvana is serving as the global merchandise agency. In addition to Gater’s merchandising lines, so.da will be featuring Gater on HGTV Canada’s social and digital channels, beginning with a custom social series for IKEA. Corus Studios has also greenlit a development deal, working with Gater to develop a show concept for HGTV Canada. 

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

CBC/Radio-Canada’s Moscow bureau is being shut down by Russia in retaliation for Canada’s ban on Russian state TV channels, Russia Today (RT) and RT France, as announced by the CRTC back in March. It’s believed to be the first time that a foreign government had forced the closure of a CBC bureau. The public broadcaster had maintained a Moscow bureau for 44 years, which employed a staff of 10. Since a bill in February instituting prison time for reporters producing journalism contradicting Russia’s position on the war on Ukraine, CBC had suspended their reporting from the ground.

The CRTC has approved an application by The News Forum for a broadcasting licence to operate the currently exempt national discretionary service, after exceeding 200,000 subscribers. The service will be licenced as an English-language national news discretionary service. The right-of-centre channel launched in 2020. Its lineup includes shows like Boom or Bust, hosted by former Conservative Cabinet Minister Tony Clement; Counterpoint with Tanya Granic Allen, a former Ontario PC candidate; and The Danielle Smith Report, hosted by the former leader of Alberta’s Official Opposition and the Wildrose Party, who left her gig as a talk host with Corus Radio last year. The commission denied a request to transfer control of The News Forum to Tore Stautland and Julie Stautland as part of the current application.

CRTCCanadian Heritage has posted for the positions of CRTC Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, with the current terms expiring in September. Canadian Heritage is now accepting applications for both appointments.

 

 

CRTC Chairman Ian Scott will address the Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) 86th Annual Conference at the Fairmont Banff Springs, June 8-9. For further details on the golf tournament, speakers lineup and registration, visit wab.ca. WAB is pleased to offer preferred room rates with the Banff Lodging Company.

Quebecor has reported its consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2022. Q1 highlights include revenues of $1.09 billion, down $3.1 million (-0.3%) from the same period of 2021. In the Telecommunications segment, quarterly revenues were down $10.6 million (-1.2%), adjusted EBITDA was up $9.1 million (2.0%), and adjusted cash flows from operations were up $31.7 million (10.1%). Videotron increased revenues from mobile services and equipment by $20.1 million (8.7%) and from Internet access services by $2.0 million (0.7%) in the first quarter of 2022. A net increase of 13,800 (0.2%) revenue-generating units (RGUs) was recorded in Q1, including 24,500 (1.5%) mobile telephone connections, 17,500 (3.5%) subscriptions to over-the-top (OTT) video services, and 5,300 (0.3%) subscriptions to Internet access service. The Media and Sports and Entertainment segments increased their revenues by $7.0 million (4.0%) and $2.9 million (9.3%), respectively.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Audio Broadcast Canada is ending broadcast equipment sales representation for Orban and StreamS, Tieline, and Inovonics as Jane and David Rusch retire. Founded in 2017, Audio Broadcast Canada and its suppliers have been helping Canadian broadcasters move to the next level of multi-station processing and codec operations. Jane (Inglis) Rusch formerly served as Sales Director for Broadcast Dialogue from 1998 – 2012, while David Rusch, former Vice-President, North American Sales and Marketing, for Orban, has been working with Broadcast Dialogue since 2020, ably hosting the majority of our sponsored Engineering-based podcast content. He’ll continue to contribute select sponsored content and service a number of clients for Broadcast Dialogue going forward.

The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) will host its first live interoperability demonstration of Internet Protocol Media Experience (IPMX) — a set of standards-based protocols designed to ensure interoperability for AV over IP — at InfoComm 2022, June 8-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The first-of-a-kind demo will feature networking equipment and hardware and software nodes running both IPMX and SMPTE ST 2110, the standards suite on which IPMX is based. The demo will also highlight gateways between IPMX and other protocols, developer kits, and elements of IPMX-enabled AV-over-IP workflows. IPMX implements a standards-based approach based on SMPTE ST 2110, with features and capabilities that target the specific needs of the Pro AV industry. Demo partners include Arista Networks, Cisco Systems, intoPix SA, Macnica, Matrox, and Ross Video.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has launched The Best of NAB Show Amplified, a pay-walled collection of recorded sessions from the 2022 NAB Show, held April 23-27 in Las Vegas. Available to stream through video-on-demand, themes of the collections are Creative Workflows, Future of Content Delivery, Future of TV, Virtual Production, and Web3 and the Metaverse.