Brad Phillips is set to retire from his role as Senior Vice President, Corus Audio in early August. Phillips has been with Corus Entertainment for a decade, starting in 2012 as General Manager for the Vancouver cluster of radio stations, before moving into the position of VP, Corus Radio West and then Vice-President and Head of FM Radio. He was upped to his current role in March 2022, overseeing all audio platforms for Corus including all FM and AM stations, as well as podcasting. Prior to joining Corus, he served as Vice-President of B.C. Operations for Astral Media, among other executive and management roles with CHUM television and radio, as well as Moffat Communications. Read more here.
Richard Madan has confirmed he was among those caught up in a wave of layoffs at Bell Media in mid-June. Madan, who had been CTV’s Washington, D.C. correspondent for the past six years, had been with the network since 2010. Brett Bailey, Senior Producer of Sports Betting for TSN is also out after 26 years with the network, as is BNN Bloomberg reporter David George-Cosh, who had been with Bell Media since 2018.
Jordan Cunningham, who was also swept up in Bell Media’s June layoffs, has been hired by CHEK TV Victoria. Cunningham had been a reporter and anchor with CTV Vancouver Island for almost 20 years. CHEK has also picked up Digital Producer Adam Chan, who had been with CTV News since 2019.
Amber Schinkel has announced her departure from CTV Vancouver Island. Schinkel had been a reporter, anchor and producer with the station since 2017. She previously worked with Global News for a decade in both Lethbridge and Calgary. Schinkel says she’s starting a new chapter citing recent changes in the industry.
Joel Haslam and Leanne Cusack have signed off from CTV News Ottawa. The couple, who have both been with the network for 35 years, are retiring from broadcasting. Cusack has been the long-serving co-host of News at Noon, alongside Michael O’Byrne, while Haslam is known for his gift for award-winning storytelling.
Brandon Buechler has resigned from CTV National News as he joins independent gaming developer Digital Extremes as a web producer. Buechler had been with Bell Media since 2018 working as a chase producer and assignment editor.
Renée Rodgers is joining CTV News Channel as a weekend anchor. Up until this past June, Rodgers has been the 5 p.m. anchor with CTV Winnipeg and the 11:30 p.m. anchor and producer since 2016. She’s also worked with Global Peterborough as a video journalist and anchor.
Pat McKay has announced he’s moving into communications. A journalist with CTV News for more than a decade, McKay was most recently with CTV Saskatoon. He also served as sports director at CTV Winnipeg and as a video journalist with CTV Yorkton.
Theresa Lalonde has retired from CBC Vancouver after 37 years with the public broadcaster. Lalonde started her career with CBC in Inuvik in 1986, hosting CBC North’s Saturday Night Request show. She’s been with CBC Vancouver since 2000, producing shows for CBC Radio, television and CBC Gem, including Sounds Like Canada, Our Vancouver, and Planet Wonder. Lalonde is also a faculty instructor in the broadcast program at BCIT.
Janice Moeller, CBC Manitoba’s Senior Producer of Audio, has retired. Moeller had been with the public broadcaster for 31 years, marking her last day on July 13.
Rebecca Zandbergen is leaving CBC London to move to Ottawa to be closer to family. Her last day on the morning show is on July 28. Zandbergen has been with the public broadcaster since 2001, the last six as host of London Morning. Prior to that, she hosted the afternoon show at CBC Kelowna.
Wafa El-Rayes has joined CBC Radio Ottawa as an Associate Producer, working on CBC All in a Day and Ottawa Morning. A 2023 Carleton University Journalism graduate, El-Rayes previously was a regional radio intern with Ottawa Morning.
David Fraser is returning to CBC Ottawa after a year-long stint with The Canadian Press (CP) reporting on Parliament Hill. Prior to joining CBC in 2022, Fraser was a reporter for the Regina Leader Post and Ottawa correspondent for Glacier Farm Media.
Global Edmonton weather specialist Phil Darlington is moving from Global News Morning to Global News at 5, Global News Hour at 6 and Global News at 11 p.m. Darlington is also serving as the weather specialist for Global Calgary and Global Lethbridge’s 11 p.m. newscasts, as of July 17.
J’lyn Nye has announced her departure from 630 CHED Edmonton to take a communications position with Edmonton Police Service as Director of Marketing/Digital Content. Nye made the move into radio in 2008 after a decade with Global News. She’s most recently been hosting This Morning on CHED, alongside Daryl McIntyre.
Samantha Stevens has joined Buzz Bishop on Stingray’s XL103 (CFXL-FM) Calgary morning show. Stevens arrives from Winnipeg where she’s been hosting mornings on Corus Radio’s Peggy @ 99.1 (CFPG-FM) since 2017. She’s previously done stints in the Calgary market as the midday host on the former Rock 97 (CHUP-FM) and afternoons on Wild 95.3 (CKWD-FM).
Stirling Faux is joining the lineup at WAVE 98.3 (CIWV-FM) Vancouver, starting July 26. An alum of CKLG, CISL, CFOX, CFMI and CKNW Vancouver, where he’s most recently been hosting weekends and doing fill-in since 2016, Faux will join WAVE 98.3 in afternoons after wrapping up his current relationship with Corus Entertainment.
Jamie Paterson, morning host at 89.9 The Wave (CHNS-FM) Halifax has made the decision to leave Maritime Broadcasting System (MBS). Paterson had been at the helm of The Morning Splash for almost nine years. Prior to that, he was morning co-host at 92.9 LITE-FM (CFLT-FM), SUN-FM and Q104 (CFRQ-FM) Halifax. Edmonton-born Paterson started his radio career at CJCA and K-97 (CIRK-FM) in his hometown before moving to Halifax in 1990.
Tim Black is the new Program Director at Pattison Media’s newly-acquired stations in Brandon, MB, Q Country 91.5 (CKLQ-FM) and 94.7 Star FM (CKLF-FM). A 30-year radio veteran, Black was previously the Program Director for Bell Media’s Brandon stations for 13 years, up until 2019. His voice has also been heard on stations from Owen Sound to Kelowna as a freelance on-air personality. Auke de Jong also joins Pattison Media as a Broadcast Technician. de Jong’s background includes time with Shaw and Radian Communications.
Rob Mahon is the new play-by-play voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings on Pattison Media’s Q Country (CKLQ-FM) Brandon as he joins the Western Hockey League (WHL) franchise as Media Relations & Broadcast Director. Mahon has been the voice of the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders for the last two seasons and prior to that did a four-year play-by-play stint with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Estevan Bruins.
Matt Hird is rejoining Signal Hill Insights as Senior Research Director. Hird previously worked with Signal Hill from 2017-22 as an Insights Consultant, before joining CBC as a Senior Analyst, Custom Research for the past year. Hird has also worked with Rogers Sports & Media, Bell Media, thinkTV, RealityMine, and Pacific Content, among other companies.
Jamin Mike is joining The Canadian Press Prairies Bureau as a year-long Indigenous News Fellow. Mike has been a staff reporter with the Toronto Star for the past year as well as a columnist with Saskatchewan-based Eagle Feather News.
Kate Walker has ended an almost three-year run as a multimedia host and producer with the Saltwire Network in Halifax. Walker had been with the network since the fall of 2020, joining the newspaper group from CTV Atlantic where she’d been a video journalist for two and a half years.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has appointed two new directors and announced the expansion of its Growth & Inclusion team in the French market. The new directors are Karen Tohana, who will oversee English Content, and Emmanuelle Petrakis, who will lead Strategic Partnerships. The Growth & Inclusion team welcomes Gaëlle Essoo as French Market Liaison and Philippe Sabourin as Coordinator.
Lynne Skromeda takes the helm of Manitoba Film & Sound Recording Development Corporation (Manitoba Film & Music) as Chief Executive Officer and Manitoba Film Commissioner, effective Aug. 8. Skromeda is currently the Executive Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival with over a decade of leadership in the role where she’s overseen both the summer festival and its year-round initiatives. In addition to her extensive involvement in the music industry, Skromeda spent 13 years in film and TV, mainly at Frantic Films as a senior executive, producer and ultimately, President of Production. Rod Bruinooge had been serving as interim CEO.
Selina Crammond has joined TELUS as Production Executive, TELUS Originals. Crammond took up the position in May arriving from Creative BC where she’d been a Program Analyst since 2021 and the DOXA Documentary Film Festival where she’d worked for a decade, most recently as Director of Programming.
Bob McCown says his speech and walking are improving as he recovers from two strokes suffered in late June. McCown, who was left unable to walk and talk, is now back home and says he hopes to return to his sports podcast, which he co-hosts with John Shannon, as soon as possible.
RADIO & PODCAST:
630 CHED Edmonton is shaking up its afternoon lineup, starting Sept. 5. Chelsea on CHED moves to 2 to 5 p.m., from the 3 to 6 p.m. timeslot, hosted by Chelsea Bird. She’lll be joined by anchor Randy Kilburn, who delivers the headlines of the day, and Reid Wilkins, host of Inside Sports, with sports updates. With the Edmonton Oilers’ 2023-24 season set to start this fall, Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer, will now be heard every weekday from 5 to 7 p.m. Hosted by the radio colour commentator for the team since 2008, Regional PD John Vos says the afternoon time slot will naturally tie into hockey broadcasts and the Oilers Face Off show. Inside Sports with Reid Wilkins, who also serves as host of the Oilers’ broadcasts, remains in its current time slot of 7 to 8 p.m.
Durham Radio’s 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM) Oshawa is adding Jeff Woods’ Classic Rock Sundays to its lineup, starting July 23. The veteran programmer, musicologist, interviewer, writer, researcher and storyteller will helm the weekly, six-hour show, Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
OnAirCoach’s 2023 Radiostar competition features two Canadian finalists in the Top 11 contestants: Mary Anne Ivison and Sarah Nick. Ottawa-based Ivison is a former on-air announcer, who has launched herself as a voiceover artist and host of the Let’s Take This Outside podcast, while Nick co-hosts the morning show on Pattison Media’s The Lizard (CKLZ-FM) Kelowna. They are up against nine other contestants from the UK, U.S., Nigeria and Australia.
Jon McComb has signed on to host The Bureau Podcast, a companion to investigative reporter and author Sam Cooper’s recently-launched Substack, The Bureau. McComb, best known for his 36-year run as a talk host on CKNW Vancouver, speaks to Cooper in the first episode about the events leading up to the former Global News and Postmedia scribe’s personal journalism venture, foreign interference in Canadian politics, and more.
The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has unveiled the nominees for the 2023 CCMA Awards, set to be announced on Sept. 16 and broadcast live from Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre on CTV’s platforms. Among this year’s industry nominees are: Country Personalitie(s) of the Year nominees Wendy Boomer (CKBY-FM); Shannon Ella (Pure Country); Paul McGuire (Stingray); Greg Shannon & Stella Stevens (CFCW); and Toff & Melissa (CHKX-FM). Radio Station of the Year (Large Market) nominees include CFCW Edmonton; KX94.7 (CHKX-FM) Hamilton; 93.7 JR Country (CJJR-FM) Vancouver; Country 104 (CKDK-FM) London; and Pure Country (CKKL-FM) Ottawa. Up for Radio Station of the Year (Medium or Small Market) are Cool 100.1 (CHCQ-FM) Belleville; New Country 96.9 (CJXL-FM) Moncton; Real Country 95.5 (CKGY-FM) Red Deer; 96.5 FM (CKLJ-FM) Olds; and 93.5 Country (CKXC-FM) Kingston. Find the full list here.
CBC Music has launched its Short List Summer programming showcasing the 10 nominated albums on the 2023 Polaris Short List, including 10 separate radio specials taking an in-depth look at each of this year’s Short List nominees, leading up to the 2023 Polaris Music Prize winner announcement, Sept. 19 at Massey Hall in Toronto. Short List Summer is being anchored by CBC Music’s THE TEN, a series of one-hour weekly radio specials hosted by Damhnait Doyle, broadcasting each Sunday on CBC Music and CBC Listen at 6 p.m. (6:30 NT) until Sunday, Sept. 17. The Short List includes: Alvvays – Blue Rev; Aysanabee – Watin; Begonia – Powder Blue; Daniel Caesar – Never Enough; Feist – Multitudes; Debby Friday – Good Luck; Gayance – Masquerade; Dan Mangan – Being Somewhere; The Sadies – Colder Streams; and Snotty Nose Rez Kids – I’m Good, HBU?
Canada’s Walk of Fame is adding 13 of the country’s rock royalty from the ’70s and ’80s to its ranks: April Wine, Chilliwack, Glass Tiger, Lee Aaron, Lighthouse, Loverboy, Max Webster, Michel Pagliaro, Platinum Blonde, PRISM, Rough Trade, The Parachute Club, and Trooper. To commemorate this first-of-its-kind mega induction, Canada’s Walk of Fame will present Canada’s Rock of Fame at Massey Hall on Sept. 28, alongside partners Anthem Entertainment and Live Nation. This is the first of two induction ceremonies this year as part of the organization’s 25th anniversary events. They join previously announced inductees: Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella (Humanitarianism), Canadian pop culture institution Degrassi (Arts and Entertainment), NHL’er Connor McDavid (Sports and Athletics), comedian Rick Mercer (Arts and Entertainment), and neuropsychologist, Dr. Brenda Milner (Science, Technology and Innovation). More Inductees will be announced in the coming months, along with this year’s Allan Slaight Music Impact and National Hero honourees.
Coleman Insights has launched Pod Predictor, a new service for podcasters to test concepts pre-launch. Pod Predictor surveys 1,000 18- to 64-year-old podcast listeners in the U.S. and Canada to determine how appealing a podcast concept is. Podcasters test a show title along with a one or two-sentence elevator pitch, which respondents rate on a 1 to 5 scale. Pod Predictor is available to individual publishers and networks, with the ability to test one or multiple concepts. Results are delivered by total result, as well as breakdowns by age, gender, ethnicity, geography, and category interest.
LISTEN: This October will mark 10 years of Canadaland. Jesse Brown joins Matt Cundill on the Sound Off Podcast to talk about why Brown started Canadaland, his decision to create a podcast network, and some thoughts about recent laws passed by the Canadian government that are causing havoc for content creators and news organizations. He also shares his wins and losses when it came to monetizing the show – first via ads, and later with Patreon and other methods of public support.
Bill Lawrence, 91, on July 14, following a heart attack. After graduating from Ryerson University in 1954, Lawrence started his broadcasting career at CHCH-TV Hamilton as a technician. His talent was quickly recognized and he went to work as a director, producer, writer and announcer, most notably as a weatherman and host of the long-running “Tiny Talent Time” for 35 years, starting in 1957 – a children’s version of station owner Ken Soble’s radio and TV series “Ken Soble’s Amateur Hour.” Lawrence also created other children’s programming, including puppet show “Albert J. Steed.” He went on to spend 28 years at the CBC, presenting news and weather, in addition to programs like “It’s Your Choice,” “Juliette and Friends,” and “Such Is Life.” At Global TV, he hosted “Million Dollar Sweeps” and “Travel Analysis.” Lawrence joined the RTA School of Media from 1980-96 as a professor.
Gord Leighton, 78, on July 18 after a brief battle with cancer. After graduating from UBC, Leighton began his broadcast career at CFTK Radio & TV in Terrace, BC, starting in 1964. He held various positions with the station until 1973 when he joined CKPG Prince George where he rose to the position of General Manager. He concurrently served two terms as a Prince George city councillor from 1999-2002. Leighton joined Astral Media in 2003 as GM and GSM of its Vernon stations, through their ownership transition to Bell Media. He also served two terms as president of the BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB). In retirement, Leighton was one of the key drivers behind establishing a community radio station in Vernon, 97.9 Valley FM (CFAV-FM), which is currently streaming as it fundraises to build a broadcast tower. Leighton stepped down as president of the Vernon Community Radio Society last November after his wife received a Stage 4 brain cancer diagnosis. He had received his own cancer diagnosis more recently.
Bob Segarini, 77, on July 10. Segarini had a music career, starting in the late 1960s, playing with Family Tree, Roxy, and The Whackers, before embarking on a successful solo career after moving to Toronto. In the 1980s, he was enlisted by CHUM-FM Toronto Program Director Warren Cosford to helm the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. timeslot as “Iceman.” Segarini was fired after just six months after airing a three-hour Motorhead interview, but was soon hired by Gary Slaight at Q107 (CILQ-FM), who went on to give Segarini a show on SiriusXM. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on Citytv in the mid-1980s. He went on to launch early podcast, the “Bobcast,” alongside co-host Roxanne Tellier. Segarini contributed to numerous television soundtracks over the years, including writing the theme song for “The Edison Twins” and more recently contributed to the soundtrack for “Frances Ha” in 2012.
Tim Lorimer, 65, on July 5 after drowning on Rice Lake. Lorimer was a Media Operations & Technology Supervising Technician at CBC, based in Toronto. A leading studio technician for CBC Radio, Lorimer worked on numerous programs over the years, but is most closely associated with the long-running “Quirks and Quarks” and “As It Happens.” He had recently retired from the public broadcaster to spend more time with his young family.
Peter Starr, 80, on July 3 of cancer. Starr worked for Triumph racing motorcycles before his English accent caught the ear of a radio producer while living in the U.S., leading to his foray as a host on CKLG Vancouver from 1966-68 and then CFUN from 1968-70, prior to his move to Los Angeles to launch Peter Starr Entertainment. Starr dabbled in producing records before going on to produce more than 50 motorcycle racing films from 1973-93, with his work airing on USA Network, TNN, ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, The BBC, Channel Five UK, ABC Sports, The History Channel, and PBS, among other channels. Starr was among the first to host a national television series on motorcycling – The Peter Starr Motorcycle Show – on The Nashville Network, beginning in 1984. From 1991-99, he also worked as a stunt performer riding motorcycles in major films, including Batman and Robin, Apollo 13, Lethal Weapon 3, and over 50 commercials. He additionally designed and built motorcycles equipped to carry large motion picture side-car cameras and was part of the first live broadcast from a motorcycle in competition. Starr was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame in 2017.
Sue Johanson, 93, on June 28. Johanson, a registered nurse, established and ran a first-of-its-kind birth control clinic at a Don Mills high school in the 1970s, before rising to popularity with her call-in show, the Sunday Night Sex Show, on Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto in the 1980s. The show eventually made the transition to television, airing on Rogers TV, starting in 1985, before being picked up by the Women’s Television Network (WTN) in 1996 where it had a 10-year run. The U.S. version of the show, Talk Sex with Sue Johanson, debuted on Oxygen in 2002 where it aired until 2008. Johanson was the subject of filmmaker Lisa Rideout’s 2022 documentary, Sex with Sue, chronicling the educator’s life story. Among other accolades, she was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2001. Read more here.
Justin Newsom, 37, on June 26, after being struck by lightning at Loch March Golf and Country Club. A 2009 graduate of Algonquin College’s Television Broadcasting program, Newsom worked with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club as a camera operator before moving on to roles as an ENG Technician and camera operator with Sun News Network, Gusto TV, TSN, CTV Ottawa, and CBC Ottawa. Since 2021, he had moved into a career in IT with Shared Services Canada.
Murray Parker, 86, on June 9. Parker started his broadcasting career while still a teenager, first with CJOB Winnipeg and then CKRC, before joining CBC Winnipeg in the mid-1960s. He was best known as the weather forecaster on nightly TV newscast “24Hours,” before moving into covering sports in the mid-1970s, including hosting CBC’s national coverage of the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976. He eventually moved back into weather, until his retirement in 1991, returning for another stint as a weatherman for one season in 2007. Outside the CBC, Parker hosted high school quiz show “Reach for the Top” on Videon and co-hosted several Children’s Miracle Network telethons. He is survived by his partner, Arvel Gray, also a former CBC television personality.
Wayne Vallevand, 59, on June 7, after a battle with cancer. A longtime videographer at CBC Yukon, Vallevand had worked with the public broadcaster since 1994. Originally from Whitehorse, he started as a camera operator in 1988, working his way up from the library at Northern Native Broadcasting in Yukon where he began his career in 1986. He covered stories across the North and beyond, including several stints with CBC Sports. His final outing with CBC was his work on the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.
TV & FILM:
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) says its 28,000 members are standing in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) which began strike action for the first time in 43 years on July 14. Among the sticking points between AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) – representing more than 350 American television and film production companies – and SAG-AFTRA – representing 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals – are compensation improvements, including a residual structure tied to viewership data, secondary compensation and transparency around video game work, and a formalized effort to reduce vocal stress for performers, among other issues. In a letter to members, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland also noted the “existential threat” AI poses to creative professions, saying “all actors and performers deserve contract language that protects them from having their identity and talent exploited without consent and pay.” Read more here.
Martin Short, Luke Kirby, Lamar Johnson and Oliver Platt are among the Canadian actors nominated for the 75th Emmy Awards. Two-time Emmy-winner Short is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy for Disney+ murder-mystery comedy Only Murders in the Building, while Kirby is looking for another Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series win for his role as Lenny Bruce on Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He’s up against Platt, who received a nod for his role as Uncle Jimmy on FX’s The Bear. Johnson has landed his first nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor on a Drama Series for HBO’s The Last of Us. Other Canadian nominees include Montreal’s Antoni Porowski, one of the five hosts of Queer Eye, who has secured his fourth nod for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program. Find the complete list of nominations here.The 75th Emmy Awards are currently scheduled to air live on CTV on Sept.18. The 2023 Creative Arts Emmy Awards are set to take place at the Peacock Theater, Sept. 9-10.
Bones of Crows led Motion Picture category wins at the 2023 Leo Awards, celebrating achievement in B.C. film and television. The film won 10 awards, including Best Program, Best Direction, Best Screenwriting, Best Cinematography, and Best Casting, among other awards. In the Dramatic Series category, Firefly Lane, Billy the Kid, and Kung Fu each picked up two awards, while Fakes picked up three awards in the Music, Comedy or Variety Program Series category. Find the full list of winners here.
Shamier Anderson and Stephan James, co-founders of The Black Academy, alongside CBC, Insight Productions, and Bay Mills Studios, have announced that award-winning TV host and singer Keshia Chanté is set to anchor the second edition of The Legacy Awards. The live 90-minute special will broadcast on CBC and CBC Gem on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. AT/9:30 p.m. NT). This year’s honourees, performers and presenters, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana is selling Montreal-based animation software company Toon Boom to Integrated Media Company (IMC) for approximately $147.5 million CAD in cash. Colin Bohm, EVP of Content and Corporate Strategy, Corus, says after an enterprise-wide review of the company’s operating model and asset base, it’s exiting the animation software business. He says the move will free up capital, increase Corus’ financial flexibility, and sharpen its focus as it advances its strategic plan and priorities. Corus purchased a 50% interest in Toon Boom in 2004 and acquired the remaining 50% in 2012. The transaction is expected to close later in calendar 2023.
Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has established an AI Working Group to help guide the efforts of the guild in keeping abreast of technological developments; monitoring legal, regulatory and ethical concerns; seeking out training and professional development to keep members on the cutting edge of modern filmmaking; and gauging any potential risk to creative rights or narrative sovereignty, ultimately representing the interests of members on these issues in bargaining. Among the principles guiding the working group will be anticipating potential impacts of AI in all the job categories DGC represents, including the use of AI in combination with virtual production, visual effects, and pre-visualization software.
Ontario Green Screen (OGS) has released its five-year strategic plan to support the film and television industry in reducing its environmental impact. Among OGS’ goals are to foster collaborative partnerships with industry stakeholders to increase awareness of sustainable production practices; developing new educational resources; and promoting circularity across the industry. The program management team will work with the OGS Advisory Committee and relevant subcommittees to achieve those goals with annual reviews conducted to evaluate progress.
Crave and APTN, in association with Pier 21 Films, Frantic Films Manitoba, and Sekowan Media, have started production in Winnipeg on new dramatic comedy series, Don’t Even. Created by Amber-Sekowan Daniels, directed by Zoe Hopkins, and starring Leenah Robinson (1923), Victoria Turko (Burden of Truth), Joel Oulette (Trickster), Gail Maurice, and Jennifer Podemski, the six-part series is an urban Indigenous, coming-of-age story. Don’t Even follows two best friends in late ‘90s Winnipeg as they grapple with their uncertain futures in the summer after their final year of high school.
Crave, in association with Rollercoaster Entertainment and Blink49 Studios, have begun production in Nova Scotia on Crave Original comedy series, The Trades. From the producers of Trailer Park Boys, The Trades is an eight-part, 30-minute, comedy set in a working class community, where the stress and high risks of working in a refinery are balanced by the comedic antics of the plant workers. The series will be available in English and French. Rob Wells stars as a pipefitter who is proud of his working-class background. His sister, and roommate, Audrey (Anastasia Phillips, Moonshine), decides to follow in her big brother’s footsteps and pursue a career in the trades as a carpenter, just like their father Rod (Patrick McKenna, The Red Green Show). The series also features Tom Green, Jennifer Spence, Enrico Colantoni, Jason Daley, Jesse Camacho, Daniel Petronijevic, Brandon Oakes, Raoul Bhaneja, and Susan Kent.
Go Button Media has revealed the first three factual series to be greenlit and in production, as part of the current 36-hour, six-series deal with Super Channel and distributor Off The Fence. The three new titles are Engineering Evolved, Cursed History and Revolutions That Changed the World, each comprised of six hour-long episodes. Engineering Evolved reveals the hidden stories of transportation technology. Cursed History explores the strange histories and legends of those who lived or died by a curse, from the tomb of Tutankhamun to the Hope Diamond, while Revolutions That Changed The World examines the rise and fall of empires, monarchs and military leaders, many of whom learned the hard way that power is far from absolute.
CTV Life Channel Original series Staying Inn: Hotel Julie debuts Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV Life, CTV.ca, and the CTV app beginning Aug. 7. The 10-episode half-hour series follows Creative Director Autumn Hachey, alongside interior designer Jillian Smith-Moher and a team of collaborators, as they work to revamp a 19th century inn into a luxury boutique hotel in Stratford, ON ahead of the city’s theatre season. Staying Inn is produced by Alibi Entertainment, in association with Bell Media. Joining the series on Monday nights on CTV Life is new series Country House Hunters Canada, a half-hour series following homebuyers looking for their dream homes in the Canadian countryside.
CBC Sports’ summer highlights include the World Aquatics Championships, streaming through July 30 from Fukuoka, Japan; the Rugby Americas North Sevens, streaming Aug. 19-20 from Langford, B.C., serving as the regional qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympics; World Athletics Championships, Aug. 19–27 from Budapest, featuring more than 2,000 athletes from more than 200 countries competing in events including track & field, marathon running, and race walking; FIG Rhythmic Gymnastic Championships (Aug. 23-27); and Canoe Kayak Canada Sprint National Championships (Aug. 29-Sept. 2).
Pluto TV and Cineflix Rights have launched Cineflix’s first-ever single-brand FAST channel in Canada, featuring reality-TV stalwart American Pickers. Pluto TV in Canada is offering over 200 episodes of American Pickers on a dedicated channel, following series creator and professional treasure hunter Mike Wolfe and his crew as they crisscross the U.S. in a quest to recycle America. Cineflix Productions is currently in production of the 12th season of American Pickers for HISTORY US. Cineflix’s initial launch of genre-themed FAST channels includes Real Disaster Channel, Crime & Justice, and Property & Reno which draw from more than 1,000 hours of its library rolling out globally on various platforms.
Prairie Pants Distribution (Vérité Films and 335 Productions) has announced that all 107 episodes of the Corner Gas franchise and Corner Gas: The Movie are available for the first time in the UK on Samsung TV Plus on the Comedy Hub channel. Originally launched in 2004 on CTV, Corner Gas is distributed worldwide by executive producers Virginia Thompson and Brent Butt through Prairie Pants Distribution which also holds the distribution rights to Corner Gas: Animated, Corner Gas: The Movie and the sales agency rights to the original comedy series.
Slap Happy Cartoons has inked a deal with industry veterans Blair Peters and Nick Orchard to develop, finance and produce an animated series reimagining The Beachcombers. The series, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, originally ran on CBC television for 387 episodes over 18 seasons from 1972-90, and was licensed to over 35 countries worldwide, including the UK, Australia and Germany.
Asian Television Network (ATN) has announced it has acquired and renewed exclusive Canadian broadcast rights for Cricket West Indies for two more years. All games will be aired live on CBN and ATN Cricket Plus. Apart from the Cricket West Indies rights, ATN also holds the exclusive rights for New Zealand Cricket for the next season and will feature tours of Bangladesh, South Africa and Australia.
The Hardy Boys (8×60) third and final season premieres July 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on YTV. New episodes will roll out every Monday and available to stream live and on demand on STACKTV. The Daytime Emmy-nominated and four-time Canadian Screen Award winning mystery series, based on the books by Franklin W. Dixon, is developed and produced in Canada by Nelvana and Lambur Productions, in association with Corus Entertainment. Filmed in Toronto and Southern Ontario, the series features an all-Canadian cast and crew. Alongside Rohan Campbell (Halloween Ends) and Alexander Elliot (Locke and Key) as Joe, Season 3 welcomes guest star Bailee Madison (Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, Just Go with It).
AMI has announced the launch of new AMI-tv series, Access Tech Live. Slated to debut Thursday, Sept. 14, at noon ET, Access Tech Live is a live weekly broadcast that promises an interactive experience for viewers, specifically addressing technology from the perspective of individuals with disabilities. Featuring live interviews, hands-on reviews and in-depth discussions, Access Tech Live is produced by Double Tap Productions, the same company behind the successful Double Tap TV, hosted by Steven Scott and Marc Aflalo, known for their deep expertise in the field of accessible technology.
A Stark Production and WildBrain, together with Infinite Studios, have confirmed new international broadcast partners for its animated series The Deep, based on the graphic novel series. As the series’ global distributor, WildBrain has secured new deals with Rockbot (US) for Season 1; Club Illico (Canada) for Seasons 1 and 2; RTE (Ireland) for Seasons 3 and 4; NRK (Norway) for Seasons 1, 2, and 4; and France Télévisions for Season 4.
Hollywood Suite is the exclusive Canadian broadcast home for the four HBO Max Original documentary specials 100 Years of Warner Bros., premiering Sunday, Aug. 6. The specials explore the impact of Warner Bros. on art, commerce and culture. Narrated by Morgan Freeman and directed by Leslie Iwerks (The Imagineering Story, Recycled Life), 100 Years of Warner Bros. features over 60 interviews including: Kim Basinger, Candice Bergen, Linda Blair, Orlando Bloom, LeVar Burton, Tim Burton, Lynda Carter, George Clooney, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Patty Jenkins, Harvey Keitel, Chuck Lorre, Baz Luhrmann, Leonard Maltin, Ben Mankiewicz, Matthew Modine, Christopher Nolan, Edward James Olmos, Keanu Reeves, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Emma Thomas, Oprah Winfrey and Constance Wu.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) has announced the seven mid-career professionals selected for the second installment of its Executive Residency Program that aims to grant executive-level access for BIPOC industry professionals. The participants and their advocates are: Laura Friedmann, Producer, Wrapped Productions (Advocate: Karen Bacchus, Director, Standards & Practices and Compliance, Bell Media); Jessica To, Producer, Toaster Productions (Advocate: Manny Groneveldt, Executive Producer, Bell Media Studios); Abubakar Khan, Producer, Diaspora Creative Inc. (Advocate: Julie Chang, EVP, Business Strategy and Co-productions, Global Media, Blue Ant Media); Mazna Ahmad, Production Manager, Spin Master Entertainment (Advocate: Shaleen Sangha, Vice President, Content, Kids and Family, Boat Rocker); Kamika Bianca Guerra-Walker, Director/Producer (Advocate: Sarah Adams, Director of Current Production, Drama, CBC); Leandro Matos, Screenwriter / Producer, The Script Shop Around the Corner (Advocate: Paige Murray, Executive in Charge of Development, Drama, CBC); Audreanna Lartey, Business Administrative Partner, CBC (Advocates: Mélanie Lê Phan, Executive in Charge of Current Production, Comedy, CBC and Sarah Quan, Executive in Charge of Development, Comedy, CBC).
SmartSource, an ABCOM Technology Group company and tech solutions provider, is expanding into Canada. The company says its new Vancouver office, which opened on July 17, reflects its commitment to servicing production companies locally and enhancing its international presence. In the past, SmartSource has supported its Canadian clients through its Los Angeles branch. The expansion marks the company’s first brick and mortar location in Canada with studio-specific technicians, studio contractors, and additional support staff based in the Vancouver office.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Nordstar Capital, owner of Torstar (the Toronto Star and Metroland Media Group), and Postmedia Network have terminated discussions regarding a potential merger. The companies say they were unable to come to agreement on the terms of the merger, with the added backdrop of regulatory and financial uncertainty leading them to decide to end negotiations. “These are challenging times for media companies, but we intend to keep working hard to give Canadians the news they need to stay informed, which is essential to our communities and to the functioning of our democracy,” said Jordan Bitove, owner of Nordstar and Publisher of the Toronto Star, in a statement. “Torstar remains focused on addressing the existential threats to journalism in Canada, which have been amplified in recent weeks with the announcements by Meta and Google that they intend to block access to Canadian news.”
All Access Music Group has announced it will cease publishing on Aug. 15 after 28 years of operation. In a statement, publisher and founder Joel Denver said due to a marked decrease in revenues, moving forward is impossible. “This was not a decision that was reached lightly nor without earnest tries to find a path forward. It comes on the heels of major changes in the music industry announced in January of this year. These strong financial headwinds also extend to our non-music partners as well. Both downturns have greatly affected how All Access operates. The dollars are just not there to support our operation and staff any longer.” Denver said he won’t be retiring from the business and will be focusing on new horizons and opportunities.
MTM Jr. has released a report exploring the use of social media among Canadian children, aged seven to 17. Highlights from the report include the finding that seven in 10 children used social media in the past month. Results skew lower among seven-11 year olds (51%) and higher among 12-17 year olds (85%). Almost four in five kids on social media (78%) use platforms for watching video, which is the most popular activity on social media, followed by messaging (70%) and looking at content others have posted (55%). TikTok is the biggest social media platform for kids, with more than half of children using social media (53%) using TikTok in the past month. That puts the platform ahead of Snapchat (42%), Instagram (40%) and Facebook (37%). With the exception of Facebook, all platforms were far more popular with girls than boys.
Horowitz Research’s latest State of Media, Entertainment & Tech: Viewing Behaviors 2023 report finds that six in 10 (61%) streamers would be likely to switch to a bundle of subscription services from one provider if the option were available. According to the Horowitz study, U.S. streamers use an average 6.4 services in a typical month, which includes an average of 3.8 paid and 2.6 free services. Netflix commands the largest share of streaming among TV content viewers (18% of self-reported viewing time, down from 32% of self-reported viewing time five years ago), followed by Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and YouTube TV. SVOD services overall command about six in 10 streamed viewing hours. The study also underscores the growth in usage of AVOD/FAST channels among streamers. One in four hours of self-reported share of viewing is now spent with one of the many free, ad-supported services.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
— Corus Communications (@CorusPR) July 17, 2023
Corus Entertainment is the latest broadcaster to announce it’s pausing advertising on Meta’s platforms, Facebook and Instagram, joining Bell Media, CBC/Radio-Canada, Quebecor, Cogeco, and Torstar, among other news organizations. In the wake of Meta’s threat to ban Canadian news on its platforms because of the passage of the Online News Act, Unifor is calling on all provincial and municipal governments to follow the federal and Quebec governments’ announcements that they will stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) has applied to the CRTC to increase the level of Indigenous-language programming it offers, proposing replacing its existing four regional broadcast feeds (HD, North, East and West) with two broadcast feeds, both in HD. One feed would be dedicated to Indigenous language programming. The other feed would be dedicated to programming in English and French. APTN’s application says with some Indigenous languages facing extinction in Canada, even as awareness and interest is increasing, the broadcaster has a clear role to play to support and advance the revitalization of those languages by providing more programming. APTN is proposing to increase its maximum wholesale fee from $0.35 to $0.38 per subscriber per month to enable programming investments and technical changes necessary to launch APTN Languages.
CBC will have to face a defamation lawsuit in the U.S. over The Fifth Estate’s coverage of the WE Charity scandal. The suit alleges the public broadcaster repeatedly aired false claims that WE deceived donors. U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss rejected CBC’s efforts to have the case dismissed, arguing a Canadian court would be a more appropriate venue. WE Charity, which has since wound down its Canadian operations, has launched the suit via its U.S. arm, based in New York state.
Carole Vivier is among the new inductees to the Order of Canada. The CEO of Manitoba Film & Music for three decades, Vivier is credited with pioneering the first film tax credit in Western Canada. She retired in 2019. Vivier currently serves on the Board of Directors at the National Screen Institute, Winnipeg Convention Centre, and is a past board member of the Canadian Academy, Canadian Film Centre Feature Film Advisory Committee, Burton Cummings Theatre Performing Arts Group, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Film Training Manitoba, and Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, among other organizations.
The Jack Webster Foundation has named Frances Bula as the 2023 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Over her 35+ year career, Bula has extensively reported on urban issues and city politics, in addition to teaching journalism at Kwantlen, Langara and UBC. Bula was with the Vancouver Sun for 21 years, and a contributor to the Globe and Mail for almost 20, covering Vancouver City Hall for 29 years. The 2023 Bill Good Award, honouring a B.C. individual or organization that makes a significant contribution to journalism, is going to the Global Reporting Centre (GRC) at UBC, a not-for-profit challenging how journalism is typically done – partnering with local journalists with specialized knowledge, elevating marginalized voices, and investigating stories that may otherwise go untold. The Webster Awards are set for Nov. 14.
Corus Entertainment announced its third quarter financial results, reporting consolidated revenue decreases of 8% for the quarter and 7% year-to-date. Consolidated segment profit decreased 22% for the quarter and 26% year-to-date. Corus reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of $495.1 million ($2.48 loss per share basic) for the quarter and $479.1 million ($2.40 loss per share basic) year-to-date, which includes non-cash impairment charges of $590.0 million related to goodwill, broadcast licences, trademark and brand assets. President and CEO Doug Murphy cited the ongoing advertising recession, saying the company is successfully evolving its business “into a powerful multi-platform aggregator of premium video with leading cross platform monetization capabilities,” while “intensely pursuing efficiencies and improved productivity” as it streamlines its operating model to create shareholder value over the longer term.
Cogeco has announced financial results for the third quarter ended May 31. Revenue grew by 1.7% compared to the same period in the prior year to $767.6 million with adjusted EBITDA of $355.5 million, up by 0.6% over last year. Profit for the period amounted to $33.3 million, a decrease of 69.3%, while the loss for the period attributable to owners amounted to $34.5 million, a decrease of $72.0 million compared to a profit last year, due to non-cash impairment charges of $88 million related to the radio operations. Adjusted profit attributable to owners of the Corporation remained comparable to last year. Loss per share on a diluted basis was $2.22, a decrease compared to earnings per share of $2.37 last year.
CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) has released new polling data suggesting internet outages caused by weather events impacted almost half of Canadians (44%) who experienced a major service disruption (27%) in 2022, in addition to 76% of Maritimers who experienced an outage because of extreme weather. A majority (64%) of Canadians who experienced major outages had one to four throughout the year. This year’s polling also suggests that Canadians’ online habits, which picked up during lockdowns and remote work, are levelling out. People are more likely to have taken at least a one-day break from the internet during the survey period (54%) compared to the year prior (41%). Netflix remains the most dominant subscriber-based online content provider, but reported subscriptions have fallen 10 percentage points from 2022 to 51%.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Futuri has introduced SpotOn, a solution that uses generative AI to craft production copy. Users can select voiceover talent from a library of human-cloned or synthetic voices, available in dozens of languages. To finish the production, SpotOn offers a fully licensed music library. Spots can run on-air as-is, or serve as a first draft for a brand’s production team to fine-tune. The AI-powered audio production system can also generate spot tags and station liners.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that 10 scientific and technical investigations have been launched for 2023 in the lead-up to the Scientific and Technical Awards on Feb. 23: Onboard remote driving apparatus; Reusable cable-cutting devices for motion picture squibs; Post-process depth of field software; Mathematically lossless encoding of motion picture camera raw files; Motor-stabilized motion picture camera support systems for hand/body-supported operation; Interactive renderers that provide a representative approximation of final offline renders during post-production; Volumetric surface reconstruction; Pattern-based 3D clothing creation software; Layerable hierarchical 3D scene description frameworks; and Digital image processing film restoration software utilized for theatrical re-release and archival preservation. The deadline to submit entries is July 28. Find more info here.
Rise, the advocacy group for women in the broadcast media technology sector, has opened entries for its annual Rise Awards. Submissions and nominations are encouraged from across the global broadcast media technology audience to showcase talent across the industry whether in a manufacturer, service provider, engineer or broadcaster role. The awards are free to enter with nominations closing Aug. 18. Entrants can be nominated, or can nominate themselves.
SMPTE has opened early registration for its 2023 Media Technology Summit. Some of the new conference features this year include the Solutions Hub, featuring the SMPTE Spectrum, Emerging Technology Showcase, and the SMPTE Color Bar & Lounge. The Solutions Hub is the transformed exhibit hall, focused entirely on solutions-based exhibits, and includes an area dedicated to the colour science of digital cinema – the SMPTE Spectrum. In addition to the technical program and Emerging Technology sessions, attendees will be able to select one of three off-site programming experiences to attend on Oct. 19, including an immersive experience, a virtual production studio, and a live broadcasting facility.
Dejero is enabling storm chaser Reed Timmer to push the boundaries of live streaming and scientific data collection from inside tornadoes and hurricanes, with the help of the EnGo 265 video mobile transmitter. In Spalding, Nebraska earlier this year, Timmer’s Team Dominator captured a 55 mb pressure deficit with its microbarometer in what is being described as the best tornado intercept in U.S. history. Even with winds between 160-170 mph, inside the wedge tornado, Timmer had uninterrupted internet connectivity, upheld by the EnGo 265 with GateWay Mode.