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The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Nicole MacIntyre

Nicole MacIntyre has been announced as the Toronto Star’s next Editor-in-Chief, succeeding Anne Marie Owens who will pass the mantle, effective July 11. Currently the Star’s Deputy Editor, MacIntyre started her career in the 2003 cohort of the Star’s internship program after attaining a Master of Journalism at Western University. She became an enterprising reporter, spending a decade with The Hamilton Spectator before heading to The Globe and Mail in 2015. After ascending to the role of Deputy National Editor, MacIntyre returned to the Star to join Owens’ executive leadership team in 2021. Owens’ own career has spanned over 35 years in journalism, including stints as Deputy Editor of Macleans and Editor-in-Chief of the National Post before stepping in to lead the Star.

Colleen Rusholme

Colleen Rusholme has retired after three decades in radio. Rusholme had most recently been hosting mornings alongside Tim Morgan on boom 99.7 (CJOT-FM) Ottawa and Big 101.1 (CIQB-FM) Barrie. She’d been working with Corus Radio for the last 13 years.

Will Nash

Will Nash has left Corus Radio to join Busch Systems as a Public Relations & Communications Coordinator. Nash had been with Corus since 2020, helming middays on Energy 95.3 (CING-FM) Toronto and afternoons on Barrie’s Fresh 93.1 (CHAY-FM). He was previously on-air at CHYM 96.7 Kitchener and Toronto’s 99.9 Virgin Radio (CKFM-FM), among other stations.

Tara Slone

Tara Slone has announced she’s leaving Northern California, where she’s been hosting San Jose Sharks coverage for NBC, to return to Toronto to be closer to her daughter’s father. Slone will be hosting various programs for SiriusXM Canada and is in talks to continue working with the Sharks organization.

Mandy Kovacs

Mandy Kovacs has joined CityNews Toronto as a producer. Kovas announced her departure from CP24 last month, which she joined in 2021 after three years as a lineup editor at CTV Toronto.

Jordan Gowling

Jordan Gowling has left CTV National News where she’s been a producer for the last three years in the Ottawa Bureau. Gowling is headed to The Financial Post, where she’ll cover the Bank of Canada and the economy.

Katherine DeClerq

Katherine DeClerq has left CTV Toronto to join Politics Today as editor Queen’s Park Today and Parliament Today. DeClerq had been a multi-platform writer for CTV since 2018.

Negar Mojtahedi,

Negar Mojtahedi, who recently departed Global BC after a decade, has joined Iran International and is now the host of English-language podcast Eye for Iran, diving into the race to replace Ebrahim Raisi, following the president’s death in a helicopter crash near the border with Azerbaijan on May 19. 

Randene Neill

Randene Neill has won the Powell River-Sunshine Coast NDP nomination. Up until 2016, Neill was a reporter and anchor with Global BC. Since then she’s been dabbling in communications in addition to a 10-month stint anchoring with CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM). 

Jeremy Bourque

Jeremy Bourque has joined TSL as Senior Solutions Engineer (Americas). Previously with Diversified, EVS, and Ross, Bourque has delivered broadcast projects for clients including Meta, Verizon Media, NBC, and the White House Communications Agency. Based in Ontario, he’ll oversee all TSL product lines, enhancing support for pre-sales, implementation, and post-sales for customers across the region.

Marc Beaudet

Marc Beaudet has been appointed to the CBC board of directors, in addition to the re-appointment of Marie Wilson and Guillaume Aniorté, all for five-year terms through May 2029. Beaudet replaces François R. Roy on the board, whose term has expired. Currently SVP of Studio Operations at Montreal’s Cloud Imperium Games (CIG), Beaudet is the former co-founder and CEO of digital platform developer Turbulent, which was acquired by CIG last year.

Robin Smith

Robin Smith has joined the Whistler Film Festival Society (WFF) as its new Director of Film Programming, succeeding Paul Gratton, who has served the festival since 2012, as he moves into the honourary role of Programmer Emeritus. Smith was most recently CEO of Blue Ice Docs Inc., funding, acquiring and distributing non-fiction work from around the world. He has also worked with NFB, Alliance Films, Lions Gate Film Entertainment, Seville Pictures, Capri Releasing and levelFILM and  programmed Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema for its first decade of operation.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Corus Entertainment is abandoning its unauthorized talk on FM experiment in Calgary, promising the launch of a new music station in the market by the end of July. Corus debuted QR Calgary: Talk on FM in Jan. 2023 on former Classic Rock station Q107 (CFGQ-FM), simulcasting 770 CHQR. Operating outside the bounds of current CRTC guidelines, the commission questioned whether the station was in compliance, prompting Corus to formally apply to amend the licence for CFGQ-FM to add an AM rebroadcasting transmitter, while revoking the licence for 770 CHQR. The commission has now approved the broadcaster’s withdrawal of those applications. A Corus spokesperson told Broadcast Dialogue they “were not able to monetize QR on both AM and FM, the way we had hoped.” Read more here.

Pattison Media has pulled the plug on the NOW! radio format in Vancouver and revived 102.7 The Peak, the alt rock station NOW! replaced two years ago. In conjunction with the format flip, The Peak was moved over from CKPK-FM to HD2 in July 2022. In the last PPM release prior to its move to HD Radio, The Peak earned a 3.0 share, 12+, but performed well with women 25-54, achieving a 6.1 share.  While The Peak initially maintained some of its announcers, including morning show hosts Jeremy Baker and Charis Hogg, they were laid off after six months as the HD Radio experiment was slow to gain traction. Read more here.

Local Radio Lab has entered into an agreement with Vista Radio to purchase CJFB-FM Bolton, ON, pending CRTC approval. Since 2021, the station has been branded as Moose FM, playing a Classic Hits/Variety format. Local Radio Lab President Chris Grossman says their goal is to increase local news content for the community of Bolton, utilizing the resources of the company’s stations in the surrounding communities of Orangeville, Milton and Alliston.

 

The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) has announced the winners of the 12th Annual CMAOntario Awards, presented by Slaight Music, which took place June 2 in Mississauga. KX 94.7 Hamilton was named Radio Station of the Year (Large Market), while the Medium Market honour went to Hot Country 93.9 Brantford. The Small Market winner was Pure Country 106 Orillia. Find the full list of winners here.

The Pro Bono Group has unveiled the first two PSAs in its latest campaign, “The Pro Radio Project.” Mike Occomore and Larry MacInnis, founding members of the charitable endeavour that has produced radio spots over the last few decades in support of causes from Feed Ontario to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, said the group of creative and production professionals had been musing for awhile on how to support the radio industry itself in economically challenged times. The campaign’s initial spots are targeted at potential radio advertisers, with “First Time Mom” and “Just Moved Here” conveying that radio is where prospective customers are. Read more here.

Bob Mackowycz circa 1986 (Toronto Public Library Archive)

Bob Mackowycz’s family has set up a memorial fund in memory of the legendary radio personality and programmer who passed away May 29. Mackowycz’s family is directing donations to The Unison Fund, a registered charity that provides mental health counselling and emergency financial support to music workers in times of hardship. Longtime family friend George Stroumboulopoulos, who worked under Mackowycz at The Fan 590, made a special appearance at Radiodays North America last week to pay tribute to the industry veteran and read a statement from the family. Read more here.

CFAX 1070 and Virgin Radio 107.3 (CHBE-FM) Victoria and CTV News Vancouver Island are moving operations to a new studio in Esquimalt Town Square. The stations currently occupy a three-storey building in downtown Victoria at 1420 Broad Street. CFAX 1070 and Virgin Radio Program Director Brad Challoner says the move “to Esquimalt ignites our creativity and commitment to the capital region as a whole, with greater accessibility within the community.” The move is expected to be complete by early 2025.  

Pod Summit YYC has launched The PodSummit Podcast Pitch Competition, designed to help address discoverability by providing podcasters with a platform to showcase their ideas, receive constructive feedback, and gain exposure among peers and industry leaders. After an initial submission and selection phase, a group of podcasters will advance and have the opportunity to present a 5-minute podcast pitch, LIVE at PodSummit YYC, to a panel of judges, from CBC Podcasts, Canadaland, and The Sonar Network. The submission deadline is Aug. 1.

LISTEN: Heather Furr is the Director of Digital for the Bob & Sheri Show, heard on 70 radio affiliates. Furr is on the latest Sound Off Podcast, talking about the challenges faced by young people in the radio industry, including limited opportunities for growth and development, lack of competitive pay, and the need for radio to adapt to changing times. She also talks about the importance of adapting to industry trends, the significance of social media in creating a sense of community and connection with audiences, and the importance of building a strong online presence for radio stations.

SIGN OFFS:

Dylan Willows, 45, on June 6. Willows was part of the launch team at Vancouver’s The Beat 94.5 (CFBT-FM) during the early part of his broadcast career. He returned to his hometown of Victoria in 2005 to take a position with Pattison Media’s 100.3 The Q (CKKQ-FM), before moving over to sister station The Zone @ 91-3 (CJZN-FM) a year later. Paired with co-host Jason Lamb for almost two decades on the station morning show, Lamb accepted the BC Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcast Performer of the Year award in May on behalf of the duo. Vancouver Island General Manager Rob Bye told the BCAB gathering that the morning show was a ratings leader, ranking #1 at least 10 books in a row with adults 18-44. Willows also promoted countless Victoria artists during his decade as the director of The Zone’s Band of the Month program. He stepped away from the station in March following a stage 4 uveal melanoma diagnosis he revealed in December, which he had previously battled 20 years ago. Read more here.

Tony Cashman

Tony Cashman, 101, on June 3. Cashman began working at CFRN Radio in Edmonton as a reporter in 1949 after returning from WWII where he flew 30 missions as an RCAF navigator. He soon joined CJCA. Interested in bringing the city’s history to life, he launched “The Edmonton Story,” which ran for 700 episodes on the station and produced more than 15 books. Cashman went on to work at the Edmonton Journal, served as program director at CKUA radio through the 1960s, and curator of the Vista 33 telephone and telecommunications museum. Over the years he wrote histories of Alberta’s nursing profession, the Alberta Motor Association and Edmonton Northlands, in addition to illustrated histories of Alberta and Western Canada. He was honoured as an “Edmontonian of the Century” in 2004, was inducted into Edmonton’s Cultural Hall of Fame in 1999, and was awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2014.  

Carol Little Partridge Armit

Carol Little Partridge Armit, 81, on May 8. A member of the McCreary Dramatic Society in her hometown of McCreary, MB, Armit won a scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts, moving to New York City in 1960 to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London followed, before she returned to Canada and graduated from the Carleton University journalism program, beginning her career as a print journalist for the Ottawa Citizen. She went on to join the Winnipeg Free Press and then CJOB In 1976, where she hosted an open line show. She was elected the first woman president of the Winnipeg Press Club. After moving to Regina, she founded Newswatch Canada in 1987. She retired at age 78 to Killarney, MB. 

Edmund Dearden

Edmund Dearden, 96, on March 29. Dearden joined the Winnipeg Tribune in 1944 right out of high school as an apprentice printer in the composing room. After a labour dispute forced out all union shop employees, he spent the next 13 years with Canadian Pacific Railway, continuing to freelance for the Tribune sports department, which he joined on a permanent basis in 1959. In 1965, he started covering golf as a freelancer for CJOB, also reporting on national and international competitions. During the mid-70s, he also began covering the Winnipeg Jets and served as the colour commentator for Jets broadcasts on CJOB. He retired in 1990 after serving as the media coordinator for what’s now known as Sport Manitoba. Dearden was a past president of the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association and was named to its Media Roll of Honour in 1990. He was also an inductee of the Manitoba Hockey, Golf and Basketball Halls of Fame.

TV & FILM:

Global News has made cuts resulting in an unknown number of positions being eliminated. “As part of our ongoing evaluation of our business and continued enterprise efficiency review across Corus, we have made some changes at Global News today, and as a result, certain roles have been impacted,” a Corus spokesperson told Broadcast Dialogue in an emailed statement on Wednesday. “These changes correlate with the current economic and regulatory reality we, and other media organizations, find ourselves in,” it continued. “We are continuously working to improve the way we gather, produce, and deliver award winning content.” It’s not known what positions are impacted, but according to a recording of an address to Alberta staff obtained by the Western Standard, the cuts impact multiple bureaus in addition to flagship newscast Global National as the network moves toward using multi-skilled journalists and fewer single function roles. Read more here.

Rogers Communications has acquired the rights to Warner Bros. Discovery’s suite of English-language U.S. lifestyle and factual brands, including HGTV, The Food Network, Magnolia Network, The Cooking Channel, OWN, Discovery, MotorTrend, Science, Animal Planet and I.D. Corus Entertainment announced Friday it had been informed by Warner Bros. Discovery, that some of its programming and trademark output arrangements were not being renewed past Dec. 31, impacting content on Corus-operated specialty channels. Bell Media currently holds the rights to Discovery, MotorTrend, Science, Animal Planet and I.D. Starting in January 2025, Rogers will become the home of that programming in Canada, saying in a release that it “will work with Canadian distribution partners to make the content widely available” including on its on-demand service Citytv+, and Citytv, OMNI, FX, and FXX. A Rogers spokesperson says distribution details are still being finalized with an eye to a mix of linear and streaming options. Starting in September, the company is also launching NBCUniversal’s Bravo channel in Canada. Read more here.

Citytv’s 2024/25 original programming slate is highlighted by a two-season greenlight for Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent, in partnership with Lark Productions and Cameron Pictures. Both seasons are set to premiere on Citytv from early 2025. Filming will commence this July in Toronto. Hudson & Rex meanwhile returns for Season 7, set to premiere in early 2025. Shania Twain and comedian Katherine Ryan also join Howie Mandel, Kardinal Offishall and Host Lindsay Ell for an all-new season of Canada’s Got Talent.

Bell Media has unveiled its lineup of English and French-language original content for 2024/25, totaling 98 titles and 839 hours of original programming and supported documentaries. Crave’s lineup is highlighted by its first-ever original animated series, Super Team Canada, coming in early 2025, starring Will Arnett, Cobie Smulders, Kevin McDonald, Charles Demers, Brian Drummond, Ceara Morgana, and Veena Sood as little-known Canadian superheroes. BOA, Jada Shada Hudson, Kandy Muse, Kerri Colby, Lawrence Chaney, and Luxx Noir London have been revealed as the international queens slaying at a Canadian winter retreat in Slaycation, the new format developed by Bell Media and World of Wonder from the Drag Race universe and Blue Ant Studios, coming to Crave this winter. Comedian Mark McKinney embarks on a mission to uncover Canada’s most fulfilling pastimes in new CTV Original comedy series Mark McKinney Needs A Hobby. New unscripted luxury reno series Queen of the Castle with Canadian socialite Ann Kaplan Mulholland and her husband Stephen Mulholland is also set to hit Bell’s specialty channels. Read more about new series coming to Crave here.

Crave new original docuseries The Rebuild: Inside the Montreal Canadiens offers an inside look at the iconic hockey franchise. The eight-episode, one-hour series, produced by Fair-Play in collaboration with Crave, is set to stream later this year in English and French. It follows Canadiens players and personnel throughout the 2023-24 season as the Montreal organization aims to lay the foundation for long-term success. Narration will be provided by Marc-André Grondin in French and George Stroumboulopoulos in English. 

Prime Video has announced an untitled project with Box To Box Films and NHL Productions promising unprecedented access to life in the NHL. The docuseries will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories. It joins recently announced Prime Monday Night Hockey, which will stream national regular season Monday night NHL games exclusively on Prime Video in Canada. The series will feature in-depth interviews with key players, rivals and those in their inner circle, revealing what life on-and-off the ice is really like for the league’s top players. Superstar players followed in the series include Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid; Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk; New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba; Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl; Boston Bruins teammates David Pastrnak and Jeremy Swayman; Vancouver Canucks captain Quinn Hughes; Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel; Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander; Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg; and Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, among others. 

Sportsnet has announced an 11-year contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers to continue as the team’s exclusive regional broadcast partner. In addition to the renewed regional broadcast rights through to 2035, Sportsnet is the national broadcast rights partner of the NHL in Canada, making it Canada’s home of Oilers games on TV and via live stream on Sportsnet+

Northern Super League, Canada’s professional women’s soccer league, has announced a multi-year media partnership with Bell Media’s TSN and RDS, and CBC/Radio-Canada. Starting with the league’s inaugural season in April 2025, TSN will broadcast a slate of games across its platforms, with RDS delivering live French-language coverage of select matches featuring the league’s club in Montreal. CBC Sports and Radio-Canada will also deliver matches across their national network and digital platforms. 

Corus Entertainment has announced that all 33 Corus channels are available once again through Eastlink TV. The move ends a year-long carriage dispute that saw the cable carrier drop HGTV Canada, W Network, and Showcase, among other Corus offerings. Eastlink TV customers can access Corus channels through new Corus Theme Packs, offering a range of package options. 

Entertainment One (eOne) has officially rebranded as Lionsgate Canada. The rebrand comes six months after Lionsgate acquired eOne from Hasbro for $500M CAD. At the time, Lionsgate said the eOne acquisition would allow it to continue to scale its operations in the UK and Canada, where it has production partnerships with BBC Studios, Channel Four, CBC, CityTV and Bell Media.

Big Time Decent Productions has announced that it’s in production on four new docuseries and is expanding its unscripted slate to include a feature documentary, an IMAX nature doc, and a new automotive vertical for YouTube including Rust Bros and Wildman Garage channels. The Vancouver prodco has also shared details on the launch of its new scripted division, Bread & Better Films, and a new partnership with Verve Talent and Literary Agency out of Los Angeles. The new scripted division will focus on developing and producing feature films and scripted series. Launched in partnership with Big Time Decent’s René Brar and Jeff Kinnon, the company is also bringing in industry veteran Robert Vroom as producer and Juliana Wimbles as Development Producer. 

APTN will broadcast celebrations from Indigenous communities across the country on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD). The broadcaster is sending members of the APTN National News team far and wide to report live on events aimed at elevating and celebrating Indigenous voices, stories and cultures. Audiences can tune in throughout the day to see celebrations, including the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival in Ottawa, TOOT AASAAMB in Winnipeg and Indigenous-focused community events in Quebec, B.C., Yukon and Nova Scotia. The special day of programming will be hosted by Acting Good’s Roger Laughingstick, portrayed by actor Billy Merasty, and will feature an Acting Good marathon. NIPD special programming will be broadcast on all APTN channels as well as livestreamed. 

The CBC-APTN Early Stage Scripted Development Program for Indigenous Creators in association with the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is returning for a third year, offering a unique opportunity for up to three emerging creators with projects in the pre-development phase to work closely with CBC and APTN execs to help move their projects into development and ultimately the production phase. Applications close July 10 with guidelines found here. Funding will be distributed based on project needs, to a maximum of $30,000. 

The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) announced at the Indigenous Screen Summit, which kicked off the Banff World Media Festival, that the first steps have been taken towards ISO fully administering the Canada Media Fund (CMF) Indigenous Program, ensuring the best Indigenous stories are seen on screens at home and around the world. The $10M program for development and production funding will come under the administration of ISO starting April 1, 2025. In addition to annual Canadian Heritage funding of $13M and the recent CRTC allocation estimated at $14M, ISO will have approximately $37M in funding under its administration by next year. The application process will remain the same with applicants applying to the Indigenous Program via the CMF’s program administrator at Telefilm Canada

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has announced a new partnership with Paramount+ in Canada to launch the BANFF SPARK Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media: Producer Edition. The program is open to Canadian women from across the country, aimed at working toward gender parity in the media industry by supporting growth, investment, scaling, and sustainability of established and mid-career women-owned media companies. Twenty-five women who own their own production outfits will participate in a series of customized, virtual sessions covering business strategy and planning, finance, and marketing best practices; one-on-one concierge meetings, and curated sessions during the 2025 festival. 

Paramount+ in Canada and Reelworld Screen Institute have announced they will partner for this year’s Reelworld Summit. The two-day Summit, taking place Oct. 22-23 at the Courtyard by Marriott Toronto Downtown, features keynote speeches, industry discussions, fireside chats, pitch opportunities, awards presentations, and breakfast/luncheon networking. The event was launched in 2023 as an extension of the Reelworld Film Festival.

Pink Triangle Press (PTP) has released its inaugural PTP Pink Paper highlighting the current state of 2SLGBTQIA+ representation across the film, television, streaming and videogame industries. The report marks the first-ever comprehensive look at the entertainment industry in both English and French markets in Canada. Commissioned by PTP and conducted by Maru Matchbox and Signal Hill Insights, it finds that while 85% of professionals observe that the on-screen portrayal of 2SLGBTQIA+ characters has improved in the past five years, there remains a significant gap in the amount, nature of representation and the narrowness of representation. The vast majority of industry professionals agree that portrayal of 2SLGBTQIA+ characters is frequently superficial (85%), stereotypical (84%), or focused solely on trauma (88%).

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA NEWS:

Bell Media has unveiled a strategic partnership that brings TikTok’s Pulse Premiere to Canada, an advertising solution that allows brands to choose where their ads are placed, adjacent to select publisher partner content on the For You feed. The partnership allows ads to be featured adjacent to Bell Media TikTok content, including sports and entertainment content from TSN, RDS, CTV, digital sports brand BarDown, MuchMusic, and celebrity interviews and entertainment news from ETALK. Bell Media also announced it is now digital publisher Dotdash Meredith’s new Canadian sales partner, which includes more than 40 media brands including PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, Allrecipes, FOOD & WINE, Investopedia, and Verywell, now added to Bell Media’s portfolio. Read more here.

The Digital Publishing Awards have announced this year’s winners, with The Narwhal, Hakai Magazine, the Globe and Mail, Radio-Canada, The Local and The Tyee, among the multiple award winners. Find the full list of honourees here.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA NEWS:

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) says it’s concerned commercial broadcasters – the largest employer of journalists in Canada – aren’t represented on the new collective chosen by Google to distribute funds under the Online News Act. The digital giant announced Friday it had selected the Canadian Journalism Collective-Collectif Canadien de Journalisme (CJC-CCJ) to distribute its annual $100M CAD contribution to eligible news businesses. CJC-CCJ is led by Erin Millar, the CEO & Co-founder of Indiegraf, a tech provider for small and start-up publications, and founder of The Discourse. The not-for-profit organization is made up of 12 independent publishers and broadcasters including Village Media, IndigiNews, Pivot, The Resolve, and the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS). It was largely speculated Google would choose to move forward with the collective put forward by CAB, News Media Canada, and CBC/Radio Canada, which encompassed the vast majority of broadcast and print news organizations in Canada. Read more here.

Outfront Media and Bell Media have closed the sale of Outfront’s Canadian business for the purchase price of CAD $410 million in cash, subject to adjustments. The Competition Bureau has entered into a consent agreement with Bell Media related to the acquisition of Outedge Media Canada LP (formerly Outfront Media Canada), resolving competition concerns over outdoor advertising services provided by Bell and Outedge using their respective inventories of billboards and transit displays in Ontario and Quebec. The investigation concluded the merger was likely to substantially lessen competition in Québec City, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Greater Montréal and the Greater Toronto Area. Outedge and Bell vigorously competed with one another in those markets with the bureau saying the loss of that rivalry would have resulted in higher prices and fewer options for customers. As part of the agreement, Bell must sell a total of 669 advertising displays, including certain digital displays, across the five markets.

Cam Cowie and Clayton Dreger have been inducted into the Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) Hall of Fame. Cowie, Senior Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer at Harvard Media, and Dreger, the long-serving Sports Director at Golden West Broadcasting, are both set to retire this year. They were among those recognized at WAB’s Gold Medal Awards Gala on Thursday evening at Fairmont Banff Springs. Jasmin Laine, morning show co-host at Evanov Communications’ Energy 106 (CHWE-FM) Winnipeg, was named the Broadcast Leader of Tomorrow. Northern Native Broadcasting was awarded the Gold Medal for Digital Innovation for the CFNR Network’s broadcast of February’s All-Native Basketball Tournament. Read more here.

Conrad Black & David Craig

The Western Association of Broadcasters’ Conference was not without controversy as featured speaker Conrad Black’s denial of the death of Indigenous children at residential schools during a conversation with outgoing WAB President David Craig caused a contingent from the CRTC and a delegation from Northern Native Broadcasting to walk out of Thursday’s conference. The board issued an apology to attendees saying that Black’s opinions are not reflective of those of the board or its members. Read more here.

 

RTDNA Canada has announced its finalists for the Regional Awards of Excellence, recognizing excellence in digital and broadcast journalism. Check out the finalists across Audio, Video, Multiplatform, and Digital for the East Region, West Region, Central Region and Prairies Region.

 

Edward R. Murrow

The Radio Television Digital News Association in the U.S. has announced Region 14 winners of the Edward R. Murrow Awards, representing international outlets. CTV News Vancouver was a winner in four categories, including Breaking News Coverage, Digital, Excellence in Video, and Investigative Reporting. Toronto’s CityNews 680 picked up three awards in the Radio (Large Market) category, including Breaking News Coverage, Newscast, and Overall Excellence. Find the full list here. Regional winners automatically advance to the national competition to be announced in August. 

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has handed out this year’s CAJ Awards for outstanding investigative journalism. The Montreal Gazette’s Aaron Derfel was awarded this year’s McGillivray Award, which recognizes the best investigative journalism published or broadcast in 2023. Derfel’s work exposed egregious failures in care within the city’s Lakeshore Hospital emergency department. He was also recognized in the Written News category. CAJ awarded this year’s Charles Bury Award to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) for their continued commitment to ensuring the safety and security of journalists working in dangerous environments around the world.

The Racial Equity Media Collective (REMC) and the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) have sent an open letter to CBC executives signed by more than 500 members of the Canadian documentary and larger cultural community calling upon the public broadcaster “to address an apparent pattern of anti-Palestinian bias, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian racism within the corporation’s news and documentary culture.” The letter outlines a number of alleged incidents of anti-Palestinian bias and racism at CBC News, including the assertion that a CBC documentary production executive shared dozens of discriminatory social media posts about Muslims, Palestine, and Palestinians. 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

The Weather Network has launched a first-of-kind ad campaign using an AI-assisted avatar of their own Content Creator and Presenter, Rachel Schoutsen. The Weather Network partnered with Home Hardware to showcase storefront and local store callouts where Schoutsen’s avatar covers an Ontario summer forecast and a summer sale call to action, designed to drive traffic to Home Hardware locations across Ontario. All promotional materials include a clear disclaimer making viewers aware of AI-created content. In addition, the network says employee avatars are used with their consent. The Weather Network also recently launched Your Weather Assistant, a generative AI tool offering real-time personalized weather recommendations.

FEATURE: “As summer heats up across Canada, so do projects, holiday coverage, and media purchases. While many of us may leave our desks a little earlier on Fridays, numerous workers in live production are just arriving at job sites, gearing up for a busy month,” writes WABE President Tessa Potter in her June update. “The NHL playoffs in Edmonton, the Canada Open in Hamilton, CFL games, and Blue Jays matches herald the full swing of summer sports events.” Read more here. 

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