The Weekly Briefing

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REVOLVING DOOR:

Jed Kahane

Jed Kahane, the longtime news director at CTV News Montreal, has parted ways with Bell Media. Kahane had been with the network since 1997, including stints as Alberta Bureau Chief, Quebec Bureau Chief, and News Director for the last 15 years. Chris Bury, program director for TSN 690 (CKGM-AM) and CJAD, has assumed Kahane’s role.

Farah Nasser

Farah Nasser will be moving from Global Toronto to join Global National as weekend anchor. She’ll also continue reporting for national current affairs program, The New Reality. Nasser first joined Global Toronto in 2015 as co-anchor on Global News at 5:30 & 6.

 

Sonia Mangat

Sonia Mangat has departed CTV Your Morning. Mangat was a weather and entertainment host on CTV Vancouver for three years, prior to relocating to Toronto in Jan. 2020.

Jay Brody

Jay Brody has left 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) Toronto. Brody has been part of “The B Team” morning show, alongside co-hosts Shawna and Chris Z, which has been heard on The Edge since Feb. 2020, and prior to that, Hamilton sister station Y108 (CJXY-FM) 

Ryan Chung

Ryan Chung has joined CBC Music as the new producer for weekday national morning show, CBC Mornings. Chung arrives from his previous role as an associate producer for q with Tom Power. Chung has also held roles as a host and producer with G98.7FM (CKFG-FM), now Flow 98.7.

Jackee King

Jackee King is stepping away from the Canadian Traffic Network (CTN) where she’s been an airborne traffic reporter for the last six years for Global Toronto, AM 640 (CFIQ-AM) Toronto, and Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto. King is also an actor and voiceover artist.

Scott Rintoul

Scott Rintoul is joining Coldwater Communications as a podcasting consultant. Rintoul was formerly host of The Scott Rintoul Show on Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM) Vancouver and Sportsnet 960 (CFAC-AM) Calgary from 2017 to 2021, and prior to that a host with TSN Radio for 12 years. Rintoul will script the Coldwater podcast, working closely with Everything Podcasts.

Chris Palliser

Chris Palliser is leaving the 107.3 Virgin Radio (CHBE-FM) Victoria morning show to join Shift, a Victoria-based solar energy company, as National Marketing Specialist. Palliser has been in radio for the last two decades and with Bell Media since 2008, formerly hosting middays on 94.5 Virgin Radio (CFBT-FM) Vancouver until moving to Victoria in 2019.

Katarina Szulc

Katarina Szulc is leaving CityNews Vancouver to join CBC Edmonton. The 2021 BCIT grad had been a reporter and web editor with Roger Sports & Media for the past seven months.

Darrian Matassa-Fung

Darrian Matassa-Fung is leaving Global Okanagan, where he’s been working as a video journalist, to join Global BC in an online journalist position. Fung has been with Global News since 2019.

Kylee Winn

Kylee Winn has joined Indie88 (CIND-FM) Toronto as Content Creator & Social Media Specialist. Winn has previously worked in similar roles for CTV’s The Social and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

Amanda Wawryk

Amanda Wawryk is taking over the role of Managing Editor at Daily Hive, overseeing day-to-day editorial across the country. The former News 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver anchor has been Vancouver City Editor with Daily Hive since last September.

Ron Thomson

Ron Thomson has resigned from his director and officer roles with Liquid Media Group. Thomson was appointed CEO of the Vancouver-based media solutions company in Jan. 2021. Thomson is also President of global business development firm Cameron Thomson Group Ltd., helping grow media/entertainment and tech companies for more than two decades.

Rick Mischel

Rick Mischel has been appointed Advisor for Network Media Group’s Network NFT Studios. He’ll work with the Network team to source, negotiate and partner with IP owners to create leading-edge NFT initiatives. Mischel currently serves as Executive Producer at Vancouver animation studio, Bardel Entertainment. He previously has been a senior executive and producer at a number of studios, including Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Technicolor, Mainframe Studios, and The Harvey Entertainment Company, after beginning his career as an entertainment attorney with O’Melveny & Myers.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Canadian Music Week’s RadioActive 2022 returned in-person in Toronto on Tuesday for the first time since 2019. Radio futurologist James Cridland opened with a keynote filled with examples of future-leaning radio from around the world, as a smaller-than-usual but enthusiastic group of radio broadcasters and podcasters settled into a very long day of in-person learning. In one of the most poignant sessions of the day, moderator Saroja Coelho of CBC Music led a discussion on inclusion. Flow 98.7 General Manager Gary Gunter described the challenges and opportunities of managing the station through a post-ownership transition period (to another minority owner), as well as subsequent adoption of the Flow brand. Sharon Hinds also provided insight into Rogers Sports & Media’s All-In program and shone a light on the importance of mentorship and retention of minority employees. Read more here.

Shannon Burns

Virgin Radio network personality Shannon Burns is this year’s winner of the Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Award, in memory of Steve Young, honouring Canada’s best young broadcaster under the age of 30. Burns has been with Bell Media since 2015, starting as a weekend and evening announcer with 104.9 Virgin Radio (CFMG-FM) Edmonton, working her way up to middays, and then moving to evenings on CHUM 104.5 (CHUM-FM) Toronto, while also hosting iHeartRadio Nights. She transitioned to middays on 99.9 Virgin Radio (CKFM-FM) Toronto last August (also heard in Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Windsor, Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Kelowna and Victoria). Burns is also the host of pop culture podcast, Pop For Thought, and a successful TikTok creator, boasting almost 650,000 followers and nearly 27 million likes. Read more here.

AM800 CKLW Windsor celebrated the station’s 90th anniversary this week. CKLW first launched on June 2, 1932 as CKOK. The station adopted the CKLW call letters when Essex Broadcasters, a group of Windsor-area business owners, merged with the London Free Press and its station CJGC (now CFPL) London. The “LW” in CKLW stood for London-Windsor. Serving Southwestern Ontario and Metro Detroit, the station has gone through many formats, ownership and branding changes over the year. In 1967, CKLW entered its heyday, transformed into “The Big 8” with the adoption of the “Boss Radio” format that had rocketed stations like KHJ Los Angeles to the top of the ratings. Influential music director Rosalie Trombley famously guided the station’s playlist during the Big 8 years, credited with breaking numerous acts into the Top 40 CHR charts because of CKLW’s vast reach. The Big 8 branding was abandoned in 1985 and the station transitioned to news/talk in the early ’90s. Bell Media has owned the CKLW since 2010. The station marked its milestone anniversary by playing old liners and newscasts, and inviting former DJs and hosts on-air, including Charlie O’Brien, Wayne Stevens, and Dick Purtan. Read more here.

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Numeris has released the Spring PPM ratings, completing the 13-week period from Feb. 28 to May 29. CBC Radio One is #1, A12+, in both Toronto and Calgary, with Boom 97.3 on top with Men 25-54 and F18-34. CKNW grabs the top spot in Vancouver, A12+, with a 12.6% share of hours tuned (down from 13.1%) and is also out front with M18-34. In a new development, 104.3 The Breeze is #1 with F18-34. In Edmonton, CISN Country takes #1 with A12+, posting a 10.2% share of hours tuned (up from 9.0 % in the last book). NOW! Radio holds top spot for F25-54, delivering a 14.0% share (up from 11.8 %), and tops the list for M25-54, with a 12.0 % share. In Montreal, CHMP 98.5 FM is #1 for A12+ (Franco) with a 24.0% share (up from 22.8%). For A12+ (Anglo), CJAD 800 is #1 with a 27.2% (down from 28.7 %). Read David Bray’s breakdown here.

Numeris has released the Spring diary results, covering the period from May 3, 2021 to May 1, 2022. Looking at a breakdown of five sample markets, CBC Radio One is #1, A12+, in Ottawa-Gatineau, Victoria, and Halifax. 680 CJOB grabs the #1 spot, A12+, in Winnipeg with a 15.1 % share of hours tuned (up from 13.8%). In Hamilton, for originating stations, Bounce 102.9 leads the way for A12+ with a 6.6% (flat with the last book). Bounce 102.9 is also popular with women, taking #1 spot for F25-54, delivering a 9.5% share. Read more here.

Shannon Ella

Orbyt Media has launched new country music program, New & Now With Shannon Ella, airing weekly on Sundays at 4 p.m. local time on Bell Media’s Pure Country stations. Led by Shannon Ella, the host of middays across the Pure Country network, the show highlights the newest and hottest artists in country music, featuring interviews with musicians on the rise, stories behind chart-topping songs, and new music. The show is available to all radio broadcasters via Orbyt Media.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has released its decision concerning the broadcast of English songs containing the f-word on French-language radio. The CBSC concluded that, because the overall programming was French, only songs that contained numerous instances of the word or used it as an insult towards a person are in breach of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics if aired during the day. The CBSC has, in previous decisions, established that in English Canada the broadcast of the f-word and its variations must be limited to late evening broadcasts. The CBSC received a complaint from an anglophone listener of French station VIBE 100.9 (CHXX-FM) Quebec City asking what the CBSC’s position was on English-language songs broadcast on francophone stations. The CBSC’s French-Language Panel concluded that one of the three English songs examined violated the code because it contained many instances of the expletive directed at individuals. All adjudicators agreed that, even if the occasional f-word is acceptable during daytime hours on French stations, “broadcasters should always strive to offer high quality content and consider availing themselves of edited versions of the songs, which are usually readily available.”

Stingray has announced that InStore Audio Network has been fully integrated into its offering following acquisition of the New Jersey-based provider of in-store music. The combined U.S. and Canadian operation is now named Stingray Advertising, forming the largest in-store audio advertising network in North America, reaching 140 million shoppers each week in over 20,000 grocery retailers, superstores, discount stores and pharmacies. The current network includes Ahold, Albertsons, Brookshires, CVS, Jean Coutu, Metro, Rite Aid, Safeway, Southeastern Grocers, Tops Markets, Walmart Canada and Weis Market. Stingray Advertising also encompasses advertising offerings across Stingray’s multi-platform ecosystem, including TV audio channels, radio stations, web, mobile and FAST channels. Effective immediately, all brand identity, logos, and corporate communication will reflect the Stingray Advertising brand.

SiriusXM Canada has opened voting for the fourth annual SiriusXM Top of the Country competition, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). The public will decide which of the eight semi-finalists will make it to the final three, to perform at some of Canada’s biggest country music events, embark on a SOCAN songwriting trip, and compete for the grand prize of $25,000. The semi-finalists are: Danielle Ryan (Pitt Meadows, BC), Devin Cooper (Innisfail, AB), Five Roses (Montreal, QC), Josh Ross (Waterdown, ON), Kyle McKearney (Calgary, AB), Mallory Johnson (Conception Bay South, NL), Shantaia (Spiritwood, SK), and SACHA (Warkworth, ON).

LISTEN: It’s been just over a year since Kelowna’s 103.9 The Lake (CKOV-FM) was launched. Helmed by former Clear Sky Radio President Paul Larsen, the station – under its former ownership was branded as Soft 103.9 – and was one of the early casualties of the pandemic. Now, with a year of operation under its belt, we talk to Larsen about the ups and downs of being a stand-alone owner in a highly-competitive small market, honouring Kelowna’s radio history, and more.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill welcomes Adrian Harewood, who is stepping away from CBC News Ottawa at 6 to focus on teaching journalism at Carleton University. In this episode, Cundill and Harewood reflect on their time in elementary school together and talk about Harewood’s recent appearance on Canadaland where he discussed systemic racism in media and at the public broadcaster. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Roy Hennessy

Roy Hennessy, 80, on June 7, after suffering a stroke on May 27. Originally from Ladner, BC, Hennessy started his broadcast career doing evenings at CKOK Penticton in the early 1960s. Six months later he was hired to do the all-night show at CHQM Vancouver. In 1964, he joined CKLG Vancouver – first as host of Real Roy Hennessy evenings and later morning drive where he had a 12-year run – establishing himself as one of the best-known DJs on the West Coast. Hennessy took over as program director in 1976 and was instrumental in the station’s transition to the CFOX-FM call letters in 1979. Hennessy signed LG off with “The End” by The Doors, followed by a few minutes of dead air, signing “The Fox” on with “FM” by Steely Dan. Hennessy then made the move to Edmonton with Moffatt Broadcasting and accepted his first General Manager role in Winnipeg at CKY/CITI FM. That was followed by CKXL and CHFM Calgary. He joined Standard Broadcasting in the early ’90s, helping usher CFRB 1010 Toronto into an all-news format. After five challenging years at CFRB, Hennessy formed radio advertising agency RadioWorks with David Bray. In 2008, he went on to become part of the ownership group that launched Shore 104 (CHHR-FM) Vancouver. Hennessy was awarded the inaugural Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) President’s Award in 2005. Read more here.

Ed Needham

Ed Needham, 90, on May 31. Needham began his career in New England and the American Midwest, with stops at WCBS-AM and WINS-AM New York City, and a stint as a war correspondent for ABC in Vietnam. He immigrated to Canada in the 1970s. Best known for his long-running, highly-rated evening show on 1010 CFRB Toronto, which ran from 1986 to 1993, Needham’s trademark was his bloviated, yet captivating style. In addition to CFRB, he also worked for CKO-FM, CFRA-AM and CBC-TV in Ottawa. 

Tom Gauthier

Tom Gauthier, 85, on April 17. Gauthier had a long broadcast sales career, starting out in Montreal at CFCF and later Standard Broadcasting and CJAD. His career also included stops as sales manager at CKTB and HTZ-FM in St. Catharines, in addition to CKLW Windsor, and CHML and Y95 in Hamilton.

 

 

 

TV & FILM:

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The Directors Guild of Canada, BC District Council (DGC BC) has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Canadian Media Producers Association-BC (CMPA-BC). Announced Wednesday afternoon, DGC BC says it’s still finalizing the language of the Memorandum of Agreement. It comes following the labour organization’s first-ever strike vote in April, in which members voted 92.2% in favour of a strike mandate. The DGC BC Collective Agreement covers thousands of film and television workers, including the categories of Director, 2nd Unit Director, Production & Unit Manager, and those employed in various Assistant Director and Locations Departments.

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) have announced that an 18-month extension to the CMPA/WGC Independent Production Agreement (IPA) has been ratified by both parties. The current IPA will now expire Dec. 31, 2023. The IPA establishes the terms, conditions and rates for writers, story editors, and story consultants. As part of the newly ratified agreement, the minimum Script Fees in effect from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, will increase by three per cent. The budget thresholds under the Low-Budget Television Production Incentive will also increase by the same amount.

The Association des agences de communication créative (A2C) will join the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the union representing professional performers who make commercials, in the renewal of the National Commercial Agreement 2022-23 (NCA). The agreement ensures Quebec advertising agencies will continue to have access to ACTRA performers and establishes the terms and conditions for on- and off-camera performers engaged in English commercial production. The renewal agreement, which came into effect on June 1, provides a two per cent increase to rates and fees.

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has announced the permanent renaming of the DGC Discovery Award for emerging filmmakers as the Jean-Marc Vallée DGC Discovery Award. The guild will also create two new Special Awards this year to be introduced at the first-ever West Coast DGC Awards Gala on Nov. 5, celebrating the DGC’s 60th anniversary. The DGC Impact Award will recognize a DGC Member for outstanding service and leadership to the production community at large. Selected by the DGC’s National Executive Board, the award will be presented with a citation for the specific issue or cause where the member has made an extraordinary contribution (such as inclusion, sustainability, team building, etc.). The DGC Visionaries Award will recognize extraordinary excellence in a member’s body of work to date, constituting a mid-career overall achievement award. Recipients will be similarly selected by the DGC National Executive Board.

CTV has announced the key new series set to air on the network and its suite of specialty channels as part of the 2022/23 season. CTV’s schedule includes East New York, from the executive producers of NYPD Blue, starring Amanda Warren and Jimmy Smits. Also coming to CTV is The Rookie spinoff, The Rookie: Feds; and Alaska, following a disgraced reporter looking for redemption at an Anchorage newspaper, starring Oscar-winner Hilary Swank. Mid-season additions include True Lies, an adaptation of James Cameron’s spy blockbuster with Steve Howey and Ginger Gonzaga; and Night Court, a follow-up to the 1980s sitcom starring The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch and John Larroquette, reprising his role as Dan Fielding. Also joining the CTV schedule is Celebrity Jeopardy!, a spinoff of the iconic game show featuring famous faces competing for a chosen charity. 

Citytv’s 2022/23 original programming slate includes new addition Wong & Winchester, a female-driven buddy detective procedural, in partnership with Pixcom. Production starts this summer in Montreal with the series premiering mid-season. Lionsgate will distribute the program outside of Canada. Citytv doubles-down on its investment in global franchises Got Talent and Bachelor, with the return of Canada’s Got Talent, along with Bachelor in Paradise Canada. Citytv’s #1 original scripted hit series Hudson & Rex returns this fall with a 20-episode order for its fifth season. Other series joining Citytv’s prime-time schedule are the Quantum Leap reboot, starring Raymond Lee (Top Gun: Maverick, Kevin Can F**k Himself), and new comedy Lopez vs. Lopez from father-daughter duo George and Mayan Lopez, as well as true crime magazine, Dateline.

Corus Entertainment has announced its lineup of premium original content for 2022/23 with 45 total greenlights and renewals, including more than 600 episodes and 24 titles from Corus Studios. As the exclusive home of marquee Peacock Original programming in English Canada, drama titles joining W Network, Showcase and STACKTV, include Pitch Perfect (wt), starring Adam Devine; A Friend of the Family with Anna Paquin, Jake Lacy, and Colin Hanks; The Undeclared War with Hannah Khalique-Brown and Simon Pegg; and The Best Man: The Final Chapters, which reunites the film’s original cast including Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long and Harold Perrineau nearly 25 years after it premiered in theatres. Other new additions include Vampire Academy, based on the syoung adult paranormal romance novels. Saturday Night Live alum Pete Davidson also stars in Bupkis, a fictionalized version of his real life with Edie Falco playing his mom.

AMI-tv has unveiled its slate of new original and documentary programming. Returning programs include new seasons of sports documentary series Level Playing Field and Beyond the Field, travel series Postcards From, Dish with Mary, special Town Hall episodes of Double Tap TV and Employable Me: Where Are They Now? New series include We Are One, meeting Canadian families that include members of the disability community, and Mind Your Own Business, where mentors offer business owners who are members of the disability community advice on taking their company to the next level.

Cameron Pictures, CBC, and Universal International Studios have announced the start of production on Season 3 of CBC Original comedy-drama Pretty Hard Cases, in and around Toronto. The 10-episode season is set to air on CBC in winter 2023. The coming season finds a miserably demoted Samantha Wazowski (Meredith MacNeill) and a deeply undercover Kelly Duff (Adrienne C. Moore) reuniting to win their way back into the OCE after eight long months apart. Wendy Crewson (Departure, Good Sam) joins the cast, with Karen Robinson, Al Mukadam, Daren A. Herbert, Trevor Hayes, and Amanda Brugel, Tricia Black, and Miguel Rivas reprising their roles. Following its broadcast and streaming debut of the first two seasons on CBC and CBC Gem, Pretty Hard Cases also premiered on Amazon Freevee (formerly known as IMDb TV).

Roast Battle Canada is returning for a second season on CTV Comedy Channel. The original series will air Mondays at 10:30 p.m. ET, beginning June 13. The eight, half-hour episode battle of wits sees two pairs of Canadian comics face off, hurling ruthless jokes at each other in hopes of coming out unscathed and crowned victorious. Season 2 sees the return of Ennis Esmer and judges Russell Peters, Sabrina Jalees, and, K. Trevor Wilson. CTV says Season 1 was among the Top 3 series on CTV Comedy this broadcast year to date in the A18-49 and A25-54 demos. 

TSN has announced its CFL ON TSN broadcast schedule, featuring exclusive live coverage of every regular season game, all four playoff matchups, and the 109th GREY CUP, live from Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Sunday, Nov. 20. The 2022 season kicks off June 9 with the Montreal Alouettes taking on the Calgary Stampeders, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on TSN, TSN.ca, and the TSN app. The CFL ON TSN panel will be led by host Kate Beirness, alongside CFL Hall of Famers Matt Dunigan and Milt Stegall, and TSN Edge analyst Davis Sanchez. Play-by-play announcers include Rod Smith, Dustin Nielson, Marshall Ferguson, and Farhan Lalji, who are joined by game analysts Glen Suitor, Duane Forde, and Dunigan. Matthew Scianitti keeps fans up-to-date on the latest news in the East Division, while Lalji and Sara Orlesky keep tabs on all news out of the West Additional sideline reporting will be provided by Ryan Rishaug, John Lu, and Claire Hanna.

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough, 96, travels the globe in the latest BBC Earth series, The Green Planet, exploring Earth’s biodiversity and the secret life of plants. Using pioneering new filmmaking technology, The Green Planet takes viewers on an immersive journey from the deepest jungles to the harshest deserts. Premiering July 6 on BBC Earth in Canada, BBC Earth is also available on Amazon Prime Video with The Green Planet airing simultaneously with the linear channel. Filmed in 27 countries over four years, the five-part documentary includes stops in Canada to capture Maple trees waking from hibernation and Lodgepole pines being attacked by mountain pine beetles.

Molly McGlynn

Molly McGlynn’s semi-autobiographical second feature film, Bloody Hell, has started principal photography in Sudbury. The coming of age “traumedy” follows McGlynn’s Mary Goes Round and episodic directing work including Grace and Frankie, Bless This Mess and The Wonder Years. Bloody Hell stars Maddie Ziegler (West Side Story, The Fallout) and Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek), with D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Reservation Dogs, Beans), Ki Griffin (Hollyoaks) and Djouliet Amara (Hello Goodbye And Everything In Between). The film is being produced by Nice Picture Inc., a production company recently founded by Jennifer Weiss, one of the co-founders of The Film Farm. The film is being produced in association with Crave and Super Écran.

Hop To It Productions has wrapped production on slasher comedy series, Sloppy Jones. The first six episodes will be available on OUTtv in Canada, the U.S., UK, Australia, and South Africa this summer. Executive produced by Colin Mochrie, Amanda Walsh, Victoria Fusca and Dale Hildebrand and supported by OUTtv and Ontario Creates, Sloppy Jones is created and written by Sophie Nation, Jamie Hart and Jonathan Neil Alexander. Frustrated by a lack of queer roles and representation on screen, they were inspired by their own experiences as queer servers struggling with rent, relationships, and occasional bad bosses. 

Black Market Releasing (BMR) has acquired With Wonder by award-winning filmmaker Sharon Lewis. BMR will screen the soul-searching feature documentary with event-based screenings in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, in addition to CBC Gem. The film asks the question, can you be a Christian and queer? It features queer activists from around the world with their stories all connected by their faith.

Corus Entertainment and Paramount Global have announced that Pluto TV, the FAST (free ad-supported streaming television) service, will launch in Canada this fall. Launching with more than 100 channels and over 20,000 hours of content, it will offer free programming including drama, comedy, lifestyle, kids, movies, and around-the-clock news. Corus will lead ad sales in Canada, while Pluto TV will offer a curated slate of Corus Original series. Pluto TV boasts nearly 68 million monthly active users across more than 30 countries. Viewers will be able watch Pluto TV via pluto.tv, the Pluto TV app for Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Samsung and LG devices, and via mobile apps on the App Store and Google Play.

toober, the Toronto-based live television app designed to connect viewers to specialty television, launched 13 new channels in May. Among them are Afriwood Blockbuster, an English language channel offering African blockbuster movies; Azteca Cinema (Mexico), offering a catalogue of films from the golden age of Mexican cinema; Dancehall Channel (Jamaica); Kiddiwinks (South Africa), an English-language channel offering premium kids’ content; M&E TV (Trinidad), an English-language music and entertainment channel showcasing life in the Caribbean; Sports Connect (South Africa), an English-language sports news channel from AfricaXP; and UCL (Paraguay, Un Canal Latinamericano) delivering international and Latin American content. toober is available in Canada on Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Apple TV, and Google TV Playstore and will launch globally on additional platforms later this year.  

FuboTV and LG Electronics have announced the launch of the FuboTV app on LG Smart TVs in Canada. Available on LG webOS television models from 2018 to present, FuboTV’s app is available at several price points (C$20 for a monthly subscription). Through the FuboTV app, Canadian subscribers can access premium sports and entertainment content including OneSoccer and beIN Sports, as well as the CBC and Paramount Network. The platform currently holds the exclusive streaming rights to Serie A, Coppa Italia and PFL Challenger Series in the market, and will be the exclusive provider of the Premier League in Canada beginning in August. Subscribers are also able to access FuboTV Canada’s Video on Demand library.

The National Screen Institute and The Shine Network Institute have partnered to build online learning course PACT (Pledge – Activate – Cultivate – Thrive), designed to provide non-Indigenous people in the film and television sector with cultural humility and competency training to prepare them to work with Indigenous productions and content. Spearheaded by industry veteran Jennifer Podemski, founder and CEO of The Shine Network, PACT is created by a collective of Indigenous women to address barriers to success for Indigenous producers, content creators and screen sector professionals. Program consultants include Tasha Spillett, Tanya Brunel, Gladys Rowe, Selena Mills and NVision Insight Group. Funded by the Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE), the certified course will be offered for free.

The Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF), Racial Equity Screen Office (RESO) and Elimin8Hate have jointly released their Diversity On Screen Audit Report of Canadian Broadcasters, which specifically reviews Asian representation on CBC, Citytv, CTV, Global TV, and B.C. provincial broadcaster, Knowledge Network. The audit revealed a range of Asian  representation in main cast roles – at the top end 8.8% (Global TV) and at the lower end just 3.9% (Knowledge Network). In terms of Canadian versus non-Canadian content, the audit found that more than 50% of all content broadcast during the audit period came from outside of Canada. CBC was the only broadcaster to have over 50% for both scripted and unscripted programs (87% and 83.3% respectively) originate from Canada, however Canadian BIPOC actors were not significantly represented.

Future of Film Showcase (FOFS) returns for its ninth year, June 17-25. The hybrid festival will showcase 14 short films in-person at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto from the next generation of Canadian filmmakers, 40 and younger. After nine years of exclusively screening short films, FOFS will introduce an opening night feature film this year, Quickening, directed by Haya Waseem. FOFS’ short film programming will also be available to stream on CBC Gem, beginning June 20. 

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

OverActive Media and Bell – a key strategic investor in the Toronto-headquartered esports company – have announced the renewal and expansion of their partnership for an additional three years. Bell is levelling up its esports investment, acting as presenting partner of OverActive’s largescale events including Toronto Ultra Major III this month and the Toronto Defiant Summer Showdown in September. Bell has also established the Bell Fibe Zone, a professional esports practice facility within OverActive’s Toronto-based headquarters, powered by Bell pure fibre internet. Bell is also producing branded content, including OverActive series “Bell presents The Blueprint,” a behind-the-scenes look at Toronto Ultra during the Call of Duty League season. The Bell logo will appear on team jerseys, in addition to broadcast branding integration for both Toronto Ultra and Toronto Defiant.

OLG Game Plan Hosts Ashley Docking and Brad Smith with special Guest Smiley (CNW Group/so.da)

#OLGGamePlan, the digital sports betting series developed through the Twitter Originals fueled by so.da program, says it has tracked 70 million video views to date over 17 episodes. Since its launch in February, #OLGGamePlan has garnered over 185 million impressions and a total of 2.2 million engagements. Hosted by Ashley Docking and Brad Smith, the show delivers digestible sports analysis aimed at helping viewers make smart Proline picks on their favourite teams, games, and players. Featured guests this season have included Joe Montana, Nat Spooner, James Cylbulski, Charles Oakley, Nate Burleson, Elias Theodorou, Anthony Stewart, Akil Augustine, and Marie-Philip Poulin.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

(clockwise l-r): Avis Favaro, Gary Maarvara, Rita Shelton Deverell, Tom Walters.

RTDNA Canada has unveiled more of its 2022 honourees ahead of its Gala Awards Dinner on June 11 in Toronto. This year’s RTDNA Canada Hall of Fame inductees are Vision TV founder and former APTN news director Rita Shelton Deverell and the late Gary Maavara, a former Canwest Global and Corus Entertainment executive. Veteran CTV News correspondents Tom Walters and Avis Favaro are this year’s national Lifetime Achievement Award honourees. Read more here.

RTDNA Canada has announced another round of honourees that includes CTV Winnipeg news director Karen Mitchell, Dejero co-founder Praveen Gupta, and The Canadian Press (CP). CP is the 2022 recipient of RTDNA Canada’s President’s Award, the highest honour bestowed by the association to acknowledge individuals and organizations who have brought recognition and distinction to electronic and digital journalism in Canada. Gupta is receiving the Bill Hutton Award of Excellence, named for RTDNA Canada’s first president and given to individuals or organizations who have shown a true commitment to RTDNA and the betterment of journalism in Canada. Mitchell is being recognized with RTDNA Canada’s Distinguished Service Award, honouring a member who has played a major role in the continuing success of RTDNA Canada. Read more here.

The Globe and Mail is this year’s winner of the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism in the large-media category, announced at the annual Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards. The CJF honoured the Globe forEscape from Afghanistan,” a story documenting journalist Mark MacKinnon’s work on efforts to evacuate Afghan nationals following the fall of Afghanistan. In the small-media category, IndigiNews won for its reporting on the B.C. government’s controversial practice of birth alerts. This year’s William Southam Journalism Fellowships recipients include: Natasha Grzincic, deputy editor at VICE News; Hannah Hoag, the deputy editor as well as the energy and environment editor at The Conversation Canada; Elizabeth Wanja Gathu, a Kenyan journalist with more than 15 years of multimedia experience working with both local and international media; Omayra Issa, a senior reporter for CBC News; and Valérie Ouellet, CBC senior data journalist.

RNAO (Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario) is handing out seven Media Awards to journalists who wrote for or produced stories for the Toronto Star, Global News, CBC Radio, toronto.com and The Voice of Pelham. Entries were judged by a panel of nurses and journalists. Awards will be handed out at RNAO’s virtual 97th Annual General Meeting on June 10.

Graphic: Percentage (%) decline in lowest reported average price/month for plans with above referenced data allotment over the referenced period. 2GB plan with at least 1,200 talk minutes and 300 SMS. All other plans with unlimited talk and SMS. (CNW Group/Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association)

The CRTC has published new data that indicates Canadians are using mobile wireless services more than ever while the price of service plans continues to decrease year-over-year. The CRTC report, published as part of a quarterly update to its Communications Market Reports, also shows that as of the end of 2020, Canada’s mobile wireless networks provide mobile coverage to 99.7% of Canadians, including 98.9% of Canadians living in Northern Canada and 98.5% of rural Canadians.

CRTCThe CRTC is inviting comments on how telecommunications services in the Far North can be improved, including the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon, and communities in northern B.C., and Fort Fitzgerald, AB. During the first phase of the consultation, northern residents told the commission that everyone living in Canada should have affordable access to telecommunications services that allow for the same online activities as those available in the South, like video conferencing. The comments and data collected through public opinion research allowed the CRTC to narrow the scope of issues it should address in the next phase. In the second phase of the consultation, the CRTC is seeking information on what actions it should take to make home phone and internet services in the Far North more affordable, reliable, and competitive. The CRTC is welcoming comments until Oct. 6. The commission will hold an in-person hearing on April 17th, 2023 in Whitehorse.

Stingray’s Q4 highlights include organic growth of 12.7% year-over-year in Broadcast and Recurring Commercial Music Revenues. Revenues increased 21.6% to $72.6 million from $59.7 million. The increase was primarily due to the acquisition of InStore Audio Network, gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the return to normal commercial operations, as well as an increase in equipment and installation sales related to digital signage. Revenues in Canada improved $5.0 million, or 13.7%, to $40.5 million from $35.5 million in the same period in 2021. Revenues in the U.S. surged $8.7 million, or 84.7%, to $19.1 million from $10.4 million a year ago. Revenues in other countries declined $0.8 million, or 5.3%, to $13.0 million from $13.8 million in Q4, mostly due to negative foreign exchange rates. 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

RodeCaster Pro II units will be officially released June 12. The updated version of the all-in-one production studio has a smaller footprint, but includes new features and enhancements. Marketed to all creators including streamers, musicians and gamers, beyond podcasting, the Pro II includes ultra-low-noise, high-gain Revolution Preamps, four Neutrik combo inputs for connecting microphones, instruments and line-level devices; and programmable SMART pads, that can be used to trigger on-the-fly voice effects like reverb, echo, pitch and robot FX; send MIDI commands to external software; and activate automated mixer actions like fade ins and fade outs. 

Pearl TV, the coalition of U.S. broadcasters transitioning to NEXTGEN TV, have announced new field test data with Auton performed at the “Motown 3.0 Open Test Track” in Detroit that demonstrates how robust the transport layer and software applications of the ATSC 3.0 “NEXTGEN TV” standard are in delivering streaming video and secure broadband files to vehicles. Pearl TV says these results, coupled with previous testing programs conducted in mobile environments, further demonstrate the standard’s relevance in providing viable wireless distribution to vehicles. As the automotive industry faces increasing demand for wireless connectivity for connected and autonomous vehicles, it will require a digital operating environment with ubiquitous access to the internet, cloud and meta content.