The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Hugh Burrill

Hugh Burrill is leaving broadcasting and Sportsnet The Fan 590 (CJCL-AM) Toronto to take up a new position as Communications Manager for Sporting Life/Golf Town. Burrill has worked with the The Fan, Citytv and Sportsnet off and on since 1993. Since 2017, he’s been a co-host on The Fan morning show “Lead Off” as well as “The Golf Show.” Friday will mark his last day on-air. 

Ben Nesbit

Ben Nesbit has left CHEK-TV Victoria to join CTV Vancouver. Nesbit had been a multimedia journalist with CHEK since Nov. 2019. He was previously a videojournalist and weekend sports anchor with Global News Thunder Bay.

David Ball

David Ball has joined CBC Vancouver as a reporter. Ball was with Star Metro Vancouver up until Jan. 2020 and prior to that was a staff reporter with The Tyee. More recently, he’s been a freelance contributor to AFP (Agence France-Presse).

Aruna Dutt

Aruna Dutt, who has been an entertainment-focused digital producer with CBC for the last two years, is joining The Globe and Mail as a Content Editor for the Globe Arts and Globe Books sections. Based in Toronto, Dutt is a 2019 Western University Masters of Journalism & Communications grad.

Éric Grenier

 

 

Éric Grenier, who recently announced his departure from the CBC parliamentary bureau where he’s been a polls analyst for the past seven years, is founding new election-focused website The Writ. Grenier will continue to run the CBC Poll Tracker through the next federal election.

Adriana Chartrand

Adriana Chartrand joins Telefilm Canada as Lead, Indigenous Initiatives and Content Analyst for a five-year term. She’ll act as a resource person and representative for Indigenous communities in business relations and development, replacing Adam Garnet Jones who joined APTN as Director of TV Content & Special Events in April. Chartrand, who is Red River Métis (Michif)/mixed settler, comes to Telefilm from imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival where she was the Institute Manager, responsible for developing, administering, and overseeing filmmaker professional development.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Bell Media, Stingray, Corus Entertainment, and Rogers Sports & Media radio stations are among more than 400 across the country that will participate in A Day To Listen on Wednesday, June 30 – an event recognizing National Indigenous History Month and intended to amplify and elevate Indigenous voices. In partnership with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF), the event is aimed at leveraging radio’s reach to share stories from Indigenous leaders, residential school survivors, elders, and musicians throughout the day, following last month’s discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. A Day To Listen is available via Orbyt Media. Read more here.

Evanov Communications has rebranded its Brantford Adult Contemporary station “The Jewel” as LITE 92 (CKPC-FM). One of three stations Evanov owns in the market, the company says the LITE 92 format “will retain the best elements of the former Jewel, while skewing slightly younger and be more current in its soft, melodic, pop sound.” Launched Friday morning, the rebrand sees the station add more current hits from artists like Ed Sheeran, Adele and Maroon 5. The LITE branding is already carried by Evanov stations in Ottawa and Hudson-Saint Lazare, while the company retains The Jewel format in Toronto and Meaford, ON. Concurrent with the launch, Evanov has appointed Scot Turner as Program Director for the Brantford cluster. The veteran programmer was most recently Program Director & Operations Manager for Bell Media’s KFUN 99.5 Kitchener. He also spent more than a decade with Corus Radio’s stations in Kitchener and Guelph, in addition to stints with Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) and Energy 108 (CING-FM). 

CRTCRogers Sports & Media has applied for an amendment to its broadcasting licence for CKKS-FM Chilliwack authorizing the deletion of its rebroadcasting transmitter in Vancouver (CKKS-FM-2); and a new broadcasting licence to operate an FM radio station in Vancouver that would use the same frequency and transmitter as CKKS-FM-2 Vancouver, which currently rebroadcasts CKKS-FM Chilliwack. It’s also requesting renewal for its licence for CKKS-FM Chilliwack and its transmitters. All three applications are linked and contingent on approval of the new Vancouver station. Rogers submits that CKKS-FM’s programming is focused on three communities: Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Vancouver, which has resulted in fragmented programming focus and limited its ability “to serve each local community authentically.” “Approving our application to delete the Vancouver rebroadcasting transmitter (CKKS-FM-2) from our Chilliwack station (CKKS-FM) and granting our request to operate a standalone station in Vancouver will enable us to improve service in the Chilliwack and Abbotsford communities and better focus our attention and resources at the local level.” Comments are open until July 19.

The CRTC has denied an application by Amherstburg Broadcasting Corporation for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power, English-language commercial FM radio station in Amherstburg, ON, citing overlap with the Windsor market. The proposed 50-watt, Soft AC station was opposed by Blackburn, which cited declining advertising revenues and financial challenges facing stations in the area due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

105.9 The Region (CFMS-FM) in York Region is debuting a new show exploring the challenges of parenting teens and young adults through the pandemic and into a post-COVID world. Debuting July 17, Where Parents Talk with Lianne Castelino will tackle parenting by exploring practical, proactive, evidence-based solutions and actionable advice. It will air Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. ET with episodes available via podcast and on demand at 1059theregion.com and whereparentstalk.com.

Pattison Media has acquired a partial stake in Vancouver podcast production house Everything Podcasts, as the company continues to expand its focus from traditional broadcast to a multi-platform media company. Earlier this year as part of a company rebrand, Pattison announced a partnership with the branded content company to produce its new monthly “AMPLIFY Canada” podcast, highlighting small businesses in the 36 markets across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba that Pattison Media serves. Everything Podcasts, which has worked with clients including St. Michaels Unity Health Toronto, Kings College London, and social health network Curatio, says the deal “promises significant and exciting opportunities for both companies” and will allow it to scale up its services and broaden its reach to include large multi-national companies, tech, financial services, publishing, and film and television, while expanding further into American and European markets. The company’s current management team will continue to lead the creative studio. Read more here.

TV & FILM:

CBC has announced a new programming diversity commitment that will see at least 30% of all key creative roles on new CBC original scripted and unscripted series, commissioned from independent producers, held by those who self-identify as Indigenous, Black and/or People of Colour or persons with disabilities. Each type of series will have a genre-specific approach to what is considered a key creative role, with scripted drama, comedy and kids (live action) series, applying the requirement to all writer, director and principal performer roles. The new commitment will be included in all CBC contracts with independent producers and will require producers of current CBC series to set action plans detailing how they’ll work to increase equity and representation across existing productions. The public broadcaster says the majority of original series on its 2021-22 programming slate meet or exceed the first goal, including Coroner, Diggstown, The Porter, Pretty Hard Cases, Run the Burbs and Sort Of. Radio-Canada remains committed to ensuring that at least one of the key creative roles on all of its original French-language scripted and unscripted programming is held by someone from an equity-deserving group by 2025. 

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has released its Spark Courage: What We Heard report summarizing the input received during its most recent consultations, which will inform a new CMF program model. Conducted from March 11 to April 9, nearly 1,000 screen industry professionals contributed, including producers, associations, unions, guilds, provincial and territorial funders, broadcasters, distributors, next-gen creators, and stakeholders from Indigenous, Black and racialized communities. President & CEO Valerie Creighton says among the report’s takeaways is that the industry is aligned on the need for extensive change to the CMF funding model, in support of a more flexible, content-centric, platform agnostic approach that will help intellectual property (IP), creators and content succeed at home and in the global marketplace. It also found more funding is needed overall to support growth, particularly in Interactive Digital Media (IDM), to attract investment and ensure Canadian content and IP thrive—in both linear and IDM, in English, French, Indigenous languages and diverse languages, and in content from equity-deserving communities—amidst competition from foreign services and content from around the world.

Hollywood Suite has announced a partnership with Women in Film & Television Toronto to launch the WIFT Indigenous Writers Program. The career accelerator is designed to provide mid-stage Indigenous writers with networking, industry insight training and mentorship opportunities. The free, four-day program will include two full-time mentors, industry guest speakers, case studies, writing and pitching workshops, and peer-to-peer mentorship. The application portal will open Aug. 9 and all WIFT Toronto members who are First Nations, Métis, or Inuit are encouraged to apply.

Joshua Whitehead’s Indigiqueer novel Jonny Appleseed, the winner of CBC’s Canada Reads competition this year, has been optioned by Vancouver-based production company Stories First. Jonny Appleseed is the coming of age story of Jonny, a two-spirit and Indigenous queer youth who transitions from life on a reservation to life in the bustling city. The Globe and Mail bestseller was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and won a Lambda Literary Award.

VICE Media Group and the TELUS Fund have revealed the three docuseries that will be heading into production this summer, financed by the TELUS Fund as part of the Take Care initiative. The new content incubator funds the creation of short original docuseries focused on the mental health and wellness of young Canadians, with its framework inspired by the findings of a VICE research study. Each series will be available on VICE’s online Take Care hub and social media pages later this year. The three projects selected are: Bad At This (6×6 min), a docuseries about people who suck at things and do them anyway (Dir: Jessie Posthumus; Producers: Stitch Media Ontario Inc. (Evan Jones & Sonya Suraci); Breaking Ground (4×5 min), exploring the narratives of Asian Canadian youth during the pandemic (Dir: Brittany Nguyen & Nightingale, Producers: Film.ca Productions (Jeff Knoll), GMT Pictures (Mikelle Virey), Brittany Nguyen, & Nightingale); and Living In Flow (6×5 min), which follows six Atlantic Canadian youth facing different mental health challenges (Dir: Meaghan Wright & Tyler Simmonds, Producer: Gorgeous Mistake Productions (Walter Forsyth) & Britney Canzi).

Creative BC has announced that for the first time since 2003, B.C. filmmakers can now access $1.4M for production activities through the #ReelFocusBC Production Program. Funded by a $2-million investment from the B.C. government, the program helps domestic creators turn stories and intellectual property into saleable finished products, offering companies financing assistance for the production phase of longer form projects – whether a scripted feature length film, documentary, factual one-off, or a series. B.C. resident individuals or B.C.-owned and controlled production companies can apply for grants of up to $150,000 that cover a variety of activities, including crew wages, production design, costumes, live sets and studio fees, as well as technical finishing and editing. Program guidelines are available on the Creative BC website.

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and Lambur Productions have greenlit a second season of The Hardy Boys (10x60min). The live-action series, based on the books by Franklin W. Dixon, will start production in Toronto and Southern Ontario later this month. Following its success on Hulu in the U.S., the inaugural season was the #1 program this Spring on YTV in Canada, according to data supplied by Corus. Season 2 will premiere on both Hulu and YTV in 2022. Starring an all-Canadian ensemble cast, Season 2 welcomes back Rohan Campbell (Mech-X4, Virgin River) as Frank Hardy and Alexander Elliot (Detention Adventure, Workin’ Moms) as Joe Hardy. Additional returning cast members include: Keana Lyn, Bea Santos. Adam Swain, Atticus Mitchell, Riley O’Donnell, Cristian Perri, and Janet Porter.

LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we welcome executive producer Vanessa Loewen of Animiki See Digital, who takes us behind-the-scenes of staging APTN Indigenous Day Live broadcast and discusses the importance of connecting audiences this year. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and TikTok have reached an agreement for the collection of digital mechanical royalties in Canada. The new deal also accounts for TikTok’s past use of musical works. The announcement delivers a new revenue stream for music publishers and self-published songwriters ahead of next month’s launch of Bell Media’s revival of the MuchMusic brand on TikTok.

Twitter has unveiled new features that allow creators to apply to monetize Spaces conversations. Ticketed Spaces allows creators to set a ticket price between $1 and $999 and invite a set number of attendees. Spaces has also enabled in-app push notifications sent directly to devices and Home Timelines. Additionally, Twitter has introduced Super Follows, which allows creators to customize bonus content and interactions for a monthly fee.

Media Central Corporation has entered into an agreement with Creator News, a software platform that acts as a global aggregator of arts, culture and entertainment content. It will see Media Central properties like The Georgia Straight, NOW Magazine, CannCentral.com and eCentralSports.com license content to the platform. Media Central had initially proposed to develop Creator News as a wholly-owned subsidiary, along with Creator Stack, as part of its product and service offerings, however a company release says given “limited resources, it was subsequently determined that it would be more advantageous for shareholders” if the “Creator Companies” were developed and fully-funded by third parties, and for Media Central to then license use of the respective platforms and content.

Narcity Media is expanding its video offerings with Narcity TV. Among the series on offer are QnA, which gets up close and personal with an emerging Canadian artist, creative or trendsetter at the forefront of youth culture; Take3, which breaks down funny and engaging viral moments from Narcity and beyond; Then & Now, a Toronto history series hosted by Morgan Cameron Ross that peels back the layers of the city’s past; and Good Bites, where hosts Alex Melki and Mahlet “Mahi” Yordanos try the hottest spots for foodies in Montreal and Toronto.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Bill C-10 received House of Commons approval in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. It’s now expected to die in the Senate where it’s anticipated the process will be pre-empted by an election call later this year. Among those questioning the Liberal government’s 11th hour effort is Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee, Senator Pamela Wallin. Former Edmonton Journal columnist and CBC Radio producer, Senator Paula Simons, also weighed in, questioning whether digital media can be accurately regulated using analog tools.

Global News has been forced by an Ontario Superior Court to hand over a 2019 recording of an interview conducted with an alleged ISIS member to the RCMP. The order follows a year-and-a-half long legal battle that was under a publication ban. VICE Media reporter Ben Makuch was compelled by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2018 to hand over similar communications to RCMP.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) says Toronto Police attempted to obstruct multiple journalists covering the removal of a homeless encampment in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park this week, including the detention of photojournalist Ian Willms. Five journalists at the scene told CAJ their access to the area in question was blocked by police. Video footage and eyewitness accounts show Willms was detained by a group of officers despite clearly identifying himself as a journalist by holding up his press card from the National Press Photographers Association. He was later told he was being charged with trespassing, obstruction and causing a disturbance, which was reduced to trespassing. The arrest marks the second time this month Canadian police have restricted journalists. On June 2, the CAJ, along with a coalition of news organizations and press freedom groups, filed a legal application to allow reporters substantive access to cover old-growth logging protests happening in the Fairy Creek watershed, near Port Renfrew, B.C.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) have formed the Indigenous Reporters Network, a network of Indigenous journalists within the CAJ aimed at providing those at all career stages with opportunities to develop their skills, participate in CAJ events and professional development, and build new connections with peers across the country. Members of the network will receive a free two-year CAJ membership. Current or recent participants in JHR programs are eligible for student memberships.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the launch of the Summer 2021 edition of its popular mentorship program with 30 top journalists in radio, television, digital, and print across the country stepping up to mentor early and mid-career CAJ members. In keeping with the CAJ’s efforts to advance equity in Canadian media, more than half of the mentors for this round are women, and nearly half are journalists of colour. Among them are Andree Lau – Managing editor, digital news, CBC News; Ryan McMahon – Anishinaabe writer and podcast host; Abigail Bimman – Ottawa correspondent, Global National; Colin D’Mello – Queen’s Park bureau chief, CTV News; Jordan Heath-Rawlings – Host, The Big Story Podcast; Tara Weber – Western bureau chief, BNN Bloomberg; David Common – Host of Marketplace, CBC News; Farah Nasser – Evening news anchor, Global News Toronto; and Allya Davidson – Senior producer, CTV W5. The deadline for applications is Friday, July 9.

RETHINKING MEDIA: Eric Blais is back with a new column on why broadcasters need to forge ahead to the future, from finding new ways to measure fractured audiences to innovative use of internal resources and talent. Read more here.

 

 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

NLogic has struck a partnership that will see Adgile’s data and analytics capabilities for linear and on demand TV made available in Canada. The agreement will see NLogic offer Adgile’s visual AI-enabled Analytics, Attribution and Activation product suite and cloud-based performance management platform Catalyst, outside of Australia for the first time.

Dejero and Dazzl have formed a partnership to simplify cloud-based live production, delivering their first projects, which include facilitating uninterrupted coverage of two high-profile alpine races by local French TV station TV8 Mont-Blanc. A combination of Dejero’s video contribution technology and Dazzl’s cloud-native live video production capabilities enabled live broadcast coverage of both events in a complex network environment across the Swiss-French border. Dejero’s cloud server allows Dazzl to stream video to web and mobile devices, simplifying the complex task of publishing live or recorded video streams in multiple formats. By integrating Dazzl’s cloud video platform with Dejero’s mobile transmitters and video transport solutions, users gain access to live broadcast production, live clipping, rapid editing and video distribution tools in the field.

SMPTE has issued a call for technical papers for the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference. Starting Nov. 9 and running select days through Nov. 18, the conference will be a virtual event with technical paper presentations, SMPTE storytellers, roundtables, and networking events. Original, previously unpublished drafts of four to six pages, submitted by Aug. 23, will be reviewed by the SMPTE 2021 ATC program committee, and automatically submitted to the board of editors of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal to be considered for publication. Preference will be given to forward-thinking and research-based proposals addressing cutting-edge technology.