The Weekly Briefing

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REVOLVING DOOR:

Adrienne Arsenault

Adrienne Arsenault has been named Chief Correspondent for CBC News and will anchor The National solo, Monday to Thursday, starting this fall as CBC News launches a free ad-supported streaming (FAST) channel built around the flagship program and featuring the best of CBC local, national and current affairs journalism. Andrew Chang will step away from The National in August to begin development on a new daily show for the channel that will also be available on CBC Gem, CBCNews.ca, the CBC News app and YouTube. Ian Hanomansing, who was recently named the new permanent host of Cross Country Checkup on CBC Radio and CBC News Network, will continue to host The National on Friday and Sunday. He will also host a new weekly interview series on The National in the fall. Read more here.

Susan Ormiston has been appointed to the newly-created role of International Climate Correspondent at CBC News, as the public broadcaster positions itself as a leader in climate journalism. Ormiston’s new role is one of two CBC News is dedicating to the international climate beat with a Climate Producer to also be hired. CBC’s climate coverage will be branded under the “Our Changing Planet” banner and be made available on cbcnews.ca, the CBC News app, CBC News Network, CBC Radio One, CBC TV, and The National, as well as the new Climate and Environment site. Ormiston is concluding three years as CBC News’ Washington Correspondent and will cover the U.S. midterm elections before returning to Canada next year. She’ll continue to cover other major breaking news and conflicts and is already set to return to Ukraine later this summer. Read more here.

Nil Köksal

Nil Köksal is the new host of national CBC Radio current affairs show, As It Happens, starting Sept. 5. She’ll step away from her current role on CBC News: World Report in late July, joining As It Happens co-host and longtime show writer, Chris Howden. A guest host on the show since 2019, Köksal began her career at CBC as an editorial assistant, working her way up to writer, video journalist, and foreign correspondent with time in Istanbul, Tunis, London, Washington, and New York. She succeeds longtime host Carol Off, who stepped away from the show in February. 

Robin Smythe

Robin Smythe has retired from CBC Radio’s As It Happens. Smythe had been the show’s Executive Producer since 2012. Prior to joining the CBC as a television reporter in 1995, she worked with Global News early in her career.

Andree Lau

Andree Lau has a new title at CBC News as Senior Director of Digital Publishing and Streaming. Lau has been Managing Editor, Digital News for the past two years following an eight-year stint with Huff Post Canada where she ended her tenure as Editor-In-Chief. Prior to that, she spent 13 years with CBC News in various roles in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Tracy Seeley

Tracy Seeley has been promoted to Senior Director of Newsgathering at CBC News. Seeley has held various roles with the public broadcaster over the last two decades including acting as a Senior Producer on The National and with CBC’s London, UK bureau. For the last four years, she’d been in a Managing Editor role.

Ross Bragg

Ross Bragg has departed CBC Radio Vancouver after 25 years as a producer and technician. Bragg has worked on numerous local and network programs, including Basic Black, Early Edition, and more recently On The Coast, which put together an on-air tribute to the director and studio operator.

Nathan Sekhon & Caroline Gdyczynski

Nathen Sekhon is joining Global News’ flagship newscast Global National as Executive Producer on July 18 and Caroline Gdyczynski as Producer on Aug. 22. Sekhon has been leading editorial teams in B.C. and Ontario as Supervising Producer of newscasts across four languages for OMNI, where he’s worked since 2007. Gdycznski joins Global from TRT World in Istanbul where she has been working as a Program Editor and Acting Executive Producer. Before moving to Turkey, she was a Producer at CBC Toronto.

Vic Araujo

Stacey Horwood, Vic Araujo, Geoff Franklin, and Gerry Persoon are retiring from the Global BC Engineering department. Horwood started with the station in 1986 as a carpenter and assumed the maintenance role in 2013. His last day is July 28. Araujo started in 1976, and after an 11-year detour to Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment, returned to Global in 2006. Persoon retired earlier this month after 46 years with the company. Franklin’s last day is Aug. 31.

Dean Hill

Dean Hill has signed off from Rock 101 (CFMI-FM) Vancouver after 27 years with the station and nearly 50 years in radio. Hill’s career started at CKDA Victoria, with stops in Calgary and Toronto, before joining Rock 101. He detoured to CKLG Vancouver to host The Morning Zoo from 1988-95, before returning to afternoons on CFMI. 

Fraser Tuff & Christy Farrell

Christy Farrell and Fraser Tuff have announced their departure from the morning show on 101.5 Today Radio Calgary (CKCE-FM) to relocate to Vancouver and a new opportunity within Pattison Media. The on-air duo announced their engagement earlier this year.

Ashley Pirhonen

Ashley Pirhonen aka AJ will join the newly-rebranded 89.5 JR Country (CHWK-FM) Chilliwack in afternoon drive, starting next month, as drive host John Vosper returns to school. Vosper had been heard in the time slot for the past two and a half years. Pirhonen has most recently been hosting weekends on 101.3 The River (CKKN-FM) Prince George after a brief stint at Move 97.1 (CJMJ-FM) Penticton.

Michael Levy

Michael Levy has retired after three decades as a contributing financial analyst for 980 CKNW Vancouver and Global BC. Levy, 79, got his start in broadcasting hosting LevyLine on CJOR Vancouver in 1986. He’s also provided commentary to CTV Vancouver and CBC News

Allan Gidyk

Allan Gidyk, General Manager at Coast 101.1 FM (CKSJ-FM) St. John’s, NL, is leaving his position in late August after 14 years with the station. Gidyk is returning to Western Canada to join his spouse who moved to Edmonton in February for a social work opportunity. Aiden Hibbs is the station’s new General Manager. Hibbs, who had a long management career with NewCap/Stingray in Newfoundland, returns to broadcasting after leaving the industry to pursue a career in real estate.

Brett Adnum

Brett Adnum has a new role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Golden West Broadcasting. Adnum has been with Golden West since 2011 working his way up from Account Executive. He’d most recently held the position of VP, Sales & Operations. Adnum is also the new President of Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB). Carter Friesen stepped away from the President & COO role earlier this year.

Rob Berridge, a longtime Creative Writer and Voice Talent at Rogers Radio in B.C., has retired after 40 years in broadcasting. Since joining Rogers in 2005, Berridge wrote thousands of commercials for CityNews, Jack FM (CJAX-FM) Vancouver, KiSS Radio (CKKS-FM), Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM), Mountain FM (CISQ-FM) Squamish, Star Country, Jack FM (CHTT-FM) Victoria and Ocean 98.5 (CIOC-FM), and voiced even more spots for Rogers radio and television across the country.  

Mike Sherlock, B.C. Radio Production Manager/Producer for Rogers Radio, has retired after 34 years with Rogers and 36 years in radio. Sherlock’s radio career has taken him to Grande Prairie, Saskatoon, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver, hiring and mentoring dozens of producers across the country, launching and imaging countless Rogers formats, and producing thousands of commercials. 

Philly & Kirby (aka Phil Aubrey and Shalinda Kirby) have made their long-awaited debut in mornings on Winnipeg’s 92 CITI FM, six months after Aubrey’s exit from the Power 97 (CJKR-FM) morning show where Kirby was his former co-host. The Rogers Sports & Media station’s refreshed lineup sees Poncho Parker move into middays; Adam Kane in afternoons; and mainstay Howard Mandshein in evenings.

POWER 97 (CJKR-FM) Winnipeg has launched a new lineup with market veterans Jay, Nic & Vic teaming up in mornings. Jay Richardson was formerly heard in afternoons and Nic Welsh in middays, while Vicki Shae has been filling in on the morning show for the past few months alongside longtime morning man, Joe Aiello, who has decided to move on following the expiration of his contract. Prior to re-joining Power, Shae was one-half of the morning show at the former 94.3 The Drive (CHIQ-FM), alongside Tom McGouran, up until October’s station rebrand to NOW! Radio. Ed Garcia, who has been with CFOX Vancouver since 2015, joins the station in afternoons. Weekend personality Dan Chen moves into middays, while Fearless Fred from Toronto sister station Q107 (CILQ-FM), will continue to be heard evenings from 6 – 10 p.m.

Sarah Nick & Ryan Connup

Sarah Nick and Ryan Connop are now co-hosting mornings on Pattison Media’s 104.7 The Lizard (CKLZ-FM) Kelowna, as part of a lineup shuffle. Nick moves up from afternoon drive, while Connop comes over from afternoons on 103.1 Beach Radio (CKQQ-FM). Big Ginger (aka Kieran Wilkie) moves from mornings on The Lizard to afternoon drive on Beach Radio, while his former co-host Chris Roach moves into afternoons on The Lizard.

Dominik Diamond has returned to Stingray Halifax and Q104 (CFRQ-FM) as host of regional evening show, Rock of the Atlantic, which also airs on the network’s Q-branded stations in Pictou County, NS, Saint John, NB and Moncton, NB. The Scottish radio host, known for hosting stints on Q107 (CILQ-FM) and 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) in Toronto, as well as 96.9 JACK FM (CJAQ-FM) Calgary, previously spent time in Halifax 11 years ago as host of mornings on the short-lived Radio 96.5 (CKUL-FM). 

Rémi-Pierre Paquin, Cathy Gauthier & Martin Tremblay

Rémi-Pierre Paquin, Cathy Gauthier and Martin Tremblay are taking over hosting duties on Bell Media’s Énergie 94.3 (CKMF-FM) Montreal morning show Le Boost!, starting Aug. 22. The morning team made up of Philo Lirette, Kim Rusk and Olivier Martineau confirmed last month that after five years they won’t be back this fall. The program is the number one music morning show among adults aged 25-54 in Montreal, according to Numeris data supplied by Bell Media.

Tarnjit Parmar

Tarnjit Parmar is leaving her reporter/producer position with CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver. Parmar has been with the station for the last four years. Prior to joining Rogers Sports & Media, she was a reporter and anchor with Roundhouse Radio (CIRH-FM).  

Tara Slone

Tara Slone has confirmed she is no longer with Sportsnet following the network’s cancellation of Rogers Hometown Hockey. Slone had been co-hosting the show for the last eight years, alongside Ron MacLean, who remains with the network. Prior to joining Sportsnet, the Joydrop frontwoman hosted Breakfast Television in Calgary for five years.

Nadine Yousif

Nadine Yousif has joined BBC North America as a reporter, based in Toronto. Yousif will be covering breaking news in both Canada and the U.S., as well as enterprise features. She’s been serving as the Toronto Star’s first dedicated mental health reporter for the past two years.

John McKenna

John McKenna, Executive Producer at CHCH Hamilton, has parted ways with Channel Zero after nearly 24 years with the station. Prior to joining CHCH, McKenna was a Producer and Director with CBC TV in Edmonton and Calgary, and held various roles with Canwest for more than a decade.

Susan Newhook

Susan Newhook has retired from the University of King’s College in Halifax. Newhook has been teaching in the School of Journalism for the past 18 years. She previously spent 17 years with CBC as a journalist and producer in St. John’s, Halifax, and Edmonton.

Francesca Accinelli

Francesca Accinelli has been named the interim head of Telefilm as Christa Dickensen gets set to vacate the Executive Director and CEO role after four years. Accinelli, who currently holds the title of VP, Promotions, Communications and International Relations, has been with Telefilm since 2006.The interim appointment takes effect Sept. 10.

 

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has welcomed five new leaders to its management team. Jessica Lea Fleming joins CMF as Director of Growth & Inclusion. Fleming was most recently with imagineNATIVE, where she was Associate Director. Marcia Douglas joins as Director of English Content, International and Export. She’ll help develop CMF policy and analyze regulatory issues. Prior to joining CMF, she held roles at the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Bell Fund, Cogeco Fund, and the Independent Production Fund. Mireille Darveau joins as Director of French Content. She’ll help develop policy, streamline internal processes, and better position the CMF to adapt to further legislative and industrial changes. Darveau has over 25 years experience in the screen industry, including nearly 15 years at Telefilm Canada as Deputy Director for the CMF’s Program Administrator. Kyle O’Byrne joins as Director of Public Affairs. Prior to joining CMF, he worked at CMPA as Director of Policy and Manager of Media Relations and Communications. Jared Morrow joins the organization as Director of Communications. Previously, he worked at BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada), where he held the role of Director, Editorial & Content.

Justin Erdman

Justin Erdman has been hired as Disney+ Canada’s Head of Partnerships, based in Toronto. Erdman was most recently Head of Business Development at Vancouver’s BBTV, in addition to previous roles at Bell Media, Rogers Media, Deezer, and Universal Music Canada.

Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson has stepped in as the interim CEO of Vancouver-headquartered Liquid Media Group. The move comes one month after the resignation of former CEO Ron Thomson. The company’s co-founder and current Chairman of the Board, Jackson has over 30 years of film and television experience, both in front of and behind the camera. Alongside Jackson’s interim appointment, the board of directors has voted to bring on an additional board member. Joining the Liquid Board is Tom Casey, Chief Investment Officer, director and co-Founder of RLS Partners, and former President of American Apparel and EVP & CFO of Blockbuster

Michael Murray

Michael Murray is stepping down as Director of the ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society (PRS) on Aug. 19 to pursue another opportunity. Murray had been in the role since February of last year. Prior to joining ACTRA National, Murray was Executive Director of the Toronto Musicians’ Association Local 149 (TMA149). 

David Russell

David Russell has joined Futuri as National Account Manager and Jessica Foster as Director of Partner Support, Sales Intelligence. Russell joins Futuri from Cox Media Group Orlando, where he spent 15 years as a Senior Account Manager in its Radio and Digital Group. Foster joins Futuri from Stephens Media Group, where she was Director of Sales

Rob Kohn, Gabriella DiMaggio, Evan O’Toole

Matrix has announced expansion of its leadership team as it deploys new Sales Gateway, Admiral, and significantly expands its Monarch Suite multi-media revenue management solution. Media industry veterans Rob Kohn and Gabriella DiMaggio have joined the company in new roles as Chief Product Officer and Director of Program Management, respectively, while Evan O’Toole has joined Matrix as VP, Success and Service. Admiral will be developed and released in several phases, starting in Q4 2022.  

RADIO & PODCAST:

Durham Radio launched its seventh station and first outside Ontario on Monday morning. WAVE 98.3 “Vancouver’s Coolest Vibe” will carry a similar format to Durham’s WAVE. FM Smooth Jazz station heard on the HD-2 frequencies of CHKX-FM (Hamilton) and CJKX (Oshawa/Ajax), featuring classic Motown and R&B, instrumental smooth jazz, as well as hits from artists like Michael Bublé, Adele and The Weeknd. The station takes over the dial position previously occupied by Vancouver’s former Roundhouse Radio (CIRH-FM), which has been off the air since May 2018. Tara Jean Stevens, who was most recently heard in afternoon drive on Vancouver’s KiSS Radio prior to its rebrand to SONiC RADiO last month, will helm the WAVE 98.3 morning show. Jazz singer and longtime WAVE.FM personality Vickie Van Dyke, will be heard in middays, while actor and entertainer Danny Mags handles the drive home. Gary James will be heard weekday evenings, while “Downtown” Julie Brown returns to the Vancouver airwaves in the Sunday afternoon time slot. Read more here.

Vista Radio has rebranded Stratford radio station 107.1 Juice FM to 107.1 CJCS FM, marking a revival of the heritage brand in the southwest Ontario city. Initially known as “10AK”, what started as an amateur station began broadcasting in 1928, eventually switching to the CJCS call letters in 1935. The station served as a launching pad for names like Lloyd Robertson, Tony Parsons and Bob Bratina. CJCS was relaunched as Juice FM when it was converted from AM to FM in August 2017. With this year marking the station’s 95th anniversary, General Manager Tracy Lamoureux says restoring the station branding to the original call letters “just makes sense.” CJCS continue to carry a Classic Hits format and will remain the local home of Toronto Blue Jays baseball, as well as news, weather and community information.

Stingray and ad tech marketplace Airfind have launched Musicstre.am, a free music rewards app currently only available in the U.S. that allows users to earn gift cards by simply listening to music. Musicstre.am users can access 100,000 stations across genres like Massive Classic Rock, Rock Out, Pop Adult Chart, Listeners’ Choice: Hit List, Today’s Hot Tracks: Country, Hits of the Decade: ’70s, Like Totally ’80s Dance Party Hip-Hop Boombox, Motor City Soul Review, All-Time Greatest Hits, and Top of the Latin Charts. Users earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards to Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other stores. Powered by the Stingray Music app, Musicstre.am can be accessed via Google Play.

Paul Wells

Paul Wells is joining the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy as the inaugural journalist fellow-in-residence for the 2022-23 academic year that will see the veteran political reporter host new podcast, The Paul Wells Show, in collaboration with the Munk School, Antica Productions and the National Arts Centre. The podcast series will debut in fall 2022 and focus on politics and culture. In coordination with the podcast, Wells will host a series of live public events at the Munk School, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and other major Canadian cities. Wells has been a political journalist for nearly 30 years. He wrote for Maclean’s magazine for 19 years, as well as the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post. His latest project, paulwells​.substack​.com, is a subscription-based newsletter.

Frequency Podcast Network has launched new podcast, Africville Forever, which tells the story of the Black community in Halifax before it was razed by the city in 1969. Hosted by Eddy Carvery III, the grandson of the longest civil rights protestor in North American history, and social entrepreneur Alfred Burgesson, founder of BIPOC entrepreneurship and innovation hub,  Tribe Network. Featuring archival audio, the podcast explores the systematic eradication of Africville and the effect it had on those who called it home.

Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast podcast network is producing a 13-episode branded podcast series with Matrix Mortgage Global titled Crypto House. The “crypto-education” series aims to break down the fundamentals of digital currency in a user-friendly way. Crypto House is hosted by Matrix Mortgage Global CEO Shawn Allen, founder of the Toronto mortgage brokerage.

 

On-Air Coach has launched new podcast The Aircheck Room, where talent coaches Nails Mahoney, Tracey Lee, and special guests listen to audio from the past week and chat with radio pros about it. The inaugural episode features Cousin Vinny Barucco from Virgin Radio (CJFM-FM) Montreal and Dusty Rhodes from dustpod.io.

SiriusXM has announced the inaugural winners of SiriusXM Music Town. After weeks of voting and online rallying, the 2022 SiriusXM Music Towns and their headlining acts are: Miramichi, NB – Arkells; Blanc-Sablon, QC – 2Frères; Orangeville, ON – Walk off the Earth; and Estevan, SK – Dallas Smith. The four winning communities were selected based on their nomination story, online voting and social rallying. Over 100,000 votes were cast for the top 16 communities. The concerts will take place in September and October, with details to be announced next month.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill talks with Montreal radio veteran Aaron Rand, an alum of CFCF CKGM, CBC, CHOM, CFQR and now CJAD where he currently resides in afternoon drive. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Jody Porter

Jody Porter, on July 18, after battling cancer. Best known for her two decades as a reporter with CBC Thunder Bay, Porter was a graduate of Centennial College and a former William Southam Journalism Fellow at Massey College. She started her career as an editor with the Wawatay Native Communications Society, based in Sioux Lookout. She joined CBC in 2000. Porter was the recipient of a Debwewin Citation from the Anishinabek Nation for excellence in reporting on First Nations issues and was Massey College’s Clarkson Laureate in recognition of public service in 2014 whose “social justice work, not just as a reporter, but as an engaged citizen, has created numerous opportunities to build bridges with the First Nations in the Northern communities, including the radio/social experiments that take ordinary people out of their cultural comfort zones and bring them to cook and share a meal with members of the First Nations.” In addition to journalism, Porter worked as an acquisitions editor with McGraw-Hill Ryerson. She’d been battling cancer since 2017.

Nadège St-Philippe

Nadège St-Philippe, 47, on July 16 after a battle with cancer. A weather presenter for Groupe TVA in Montreal for 15 years, starting in 2006, St. Philippe was first diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer in 2011. She had most recently been on leave since last December. In addition to her television work, St-Philippe was a group fitness coach and owned her own jewelry line. She also lent her time to volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society and Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

Paul Hanover

Paul Hanover, 96, on July 11. Born Solomon Yanover in Hamilton in 1926, Hanover’s radio career started at age 17 in Sault Ste. Marie right out of high school. He soon returned to Hamilton to join CHML, where he landed a job on the morning shift. In 1956, a parade of former mayors led by Mayor Lloyd D. Jackson, appointed Hanover “Mayor of the Morning” in recognition of his service to the community. A fixture on CHML’s morning show from 1945 to 1982, he spent a total of 41 years at the station. Hamilton woke up to his signature sign on “Hi y’all, this is Paul”. With his radio sidekick Jolly Cholly, he delivered the 3 T’s – time temperature and tunes. He signed off with a reminder to be a good neighbour and “Do as you would be did by.” Hanover also served as the host of early game shows like “Showdown”, “Paycards” and long-running charades competition “It’s Your Move.” He left the CHML morning show in 1982 and worked in promotions before returning to radio in 1986 to help launch CKOC’s new FM station, CKLH (now known as K-Lite). He retired in 1991. 

Robert W. Knight

Robert W. Knight, 69, on July 10, from injuries sustained in a scooter collision. Born in Montreal, Knight began his career at CFOX. Following the station’s format flip to all-news, he made the move to CFGO Ottawa in the late 1970s in the 10 p.m to 2 a.m. time slot. When CFGO flipped to sports, he moved on to weekends on The Bear (CKQB-FM), and eventually went on to host afternoon drive on CHEZ 106 (CHEZ-FM). Knight also dabbled in television in the early 1980s, hosting a weekend music video show for CHRO-TV.

Patrick Watson

Patrick Watson, 92, on July 4. Born in Toronto, Watson’s first broadcast job involved playing a character in CBC Radio’s daily children’s series, The Kootenay Kid, in 1943. He went on to the University of Toronto, and then started his PhD in linguistics at the University of Michigan before abandoning a career in academia to work at the CBC in 1955. He began hosting The Four Corners travel series in 1957 and gained notoriety as the co-host and co-creator of current affairs program, This Hour Has Seven Days, alongside Laurier LaPierre. After the popular program was cancelled, Watson did a brief stint in 1969/70 at CTV Ottawa affiliate CJOH as Vice-President, Programming, before going out as an independent which saw him produce The Watson Report, Witness to Yesterday, Venture, and 1989’s The Struggle for Democracy, the most expensive docuseries made for Canadian TV, spanning five years and 30 countries. Watson went on to serve as Chairman of the CBC from 1989 to 1994. He was also the creator, writer and narrator of the CRB Foundation’s iconic “Heritage Minutes.” Watson was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1981 and promoted to Companion in 2002.

TV & FILM:

CBC and BET+ co-production, The Porter, has received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming (Windsor’s Christian Vincent). Succession led the nominations with 25, followed by Ted Lasso and The White Lotus (20), Hacks and Only Murders in the Building (17), and Euphoria (16). Lorne Michaels, who holds the record as the most-nominated individual in the history of the PrimeTime Emmys, received two nods for Saturday Night Live, while HBO series Station Eleven, which films in Ontario and is based on the novel by Canadian writer Emily St. John Mandel, received seven nominations. The 74th Emmy Awards will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater on Monday, Sept. 12. Find the full list of nominees here.

Netflix plans to acquire Sydney and Vancouver-based animation studio, Animal Logic to support the streamer’s animated film slate. Headquartered in Sydney, Animal Logic set up a second studio in Vancouver in 2015 and has worked on Hollywood blockbusters including Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, The LEGO Movies, alongside visual effects work including The Matrix, Moulin Rouge!, 300, and The Great Gatsby. The announcement builds on an already strong partnership between the two companies. Netflix beat second quarter expectations, reporting a loss of about 970,000 subscribers to end the quarter with a global total of 220.67 million. The streamer has also set early 2023 for the launch of a cheaper advertising tier. Netflix has signalled that its cheaper tier, which sees it up with Microsoft as its technology and sales partner, won’t include all of its licensed content.

Pinewood Toronto Studios has officially opened two, all-new, purpose-built stages. Upon completion of a further three sound stages currently under construction, the new development will be in excess of 200,000 sq. ft. of production space, of which 102,000 sq. ft. will be sound stages. Pinewood Toronto Studios is the largest purpose-built production studio in Ontario. On completion of the expansion,  production facilities at the site will have nearly doubled to 525,000 sq. ft. 

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has released its first report on the results of the DGC Census – a membership-wide voluntary self-identification questionnaire measuring age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability status, covering creative and logistical positions in all areas of direction, design, locations, accounting, production and editing. In total, 67.2% of members responded to the census with 3,865 completing the questionnaire. Among respondents, 82.8% of the DGC membership identified as Caucasian/White and 18.3% as BIPOC members, a significant underrepresentation compared to the population at large. Likewise, as DGC membership records indicate, the Guild membership is composed of 57.5% men and 42.4% women with 1.8% of all members identifying as transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming. Download the report here

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), in partnership with ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto, Miles Nadal JCC, and the Canada Media Fund (CMF), has opened submissions for the Accessible Writers’ Lab. Designed and led by Ophira Calof, the national lab for writers with disabilities and established showrunners/senior writers is an experiment exploring what an accessible TV writers’ room might look like. Right now, AMI says writers’ rooms, both in-person and virtual, are largely inaccessible for creatives with disabilities as evidenced in the recent Writer’s Guild of Canada Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report which showed that only 0.3% of Guild members identified as a person with a disability, and writers with disabilities only accounted for 1% of TV writers across Canada in 2019, despite people with disabilities making up approximately 22% of the population.

Corner Gas has launched a FAST Channel on Amazon Freevee in the U.S. The channel will air the franchise’s entire current catalogue, including the finale season of Corner Gas Animated. Created by comedian/writer Brent Butt, Corner Gas has developed a fan following across six seasons of the live-action series, four seasons of its animated series; and a feature film.

NFB and Tubi have signed a new distribution deal, which will bring NFB films to FOX’s free ad-supported video-on-demand platform, across Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Tubi is kicking off an ongoing relationship with the NFB with 29 titles and additional films to be added throughout the year. New and classic NFB works now available include: Angry Inuk, The Apology, A Better Man, Out of Mind, Out of Sight, The Rose Family, and Unarmed Verses.

Sphere Media has revealed Season 2 casting and production details for critically acclaimed CBC and HBO Max original comedy, Sort Of. Eight new half-hour episodes will premiere this fall in Canada on CBC and CBC Gem, and in the U.S. on HBO Max. Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale) joins the ensemble cast this season, along with Raymond Cham Jr. (The Big Leap) and Scott Thompson (The Kids in the Hall). 

CBC and Lionsgate have announced the start of production on the second season of Mark Critch’s original comedy series Son of a Critch in St. John’s, NL. Produced by Project 10 Productions and Take the Shot Productions in association with CBC and Lionsgate Television, the second season will premiere on CBC and CBC Gem in winter 2023. On July 30, the creators and cast of Son Of A Critch will participate in a panel at the ComedyPRO industry event during the 40th anniversary of the Just For Laughs Montreal Festival. The series premiered in Canada in January ranking as the #1 scripted program on CBC in the 25-54, 18-49 and 18-34 key audience demographics and is one of the most-streamed comedies on CBC Gem.

Chesapeake Shores will return to Super Channel Heart & Home on Aug. 14 for its sixth and final season, day and date with its premiere on the Hallmark channel in the U.S. Each episode of the 10-episode series conclusion will also be available on Super Channel On Demand, the day following its weekly linear broadcast. Based on the bestselling series of books by Sherryl Woods, the Super Channel original series is filmed on Vancouver Island. The final season will see the return of series stars Robert Buckley (The Christmas House, iZombie), Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time), Treat Williams (Everwood, Hair), Barbara Niven (Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove), Laci J. Mailey (Falling Skies), Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary), Brendan Penny (90210) and Andrew Francis (Final Destination 3).

Crave has ordered new docuseries Cocaine, Prison & Likes: Isabelle’s True Story. The three-part Crave Original docuseries tells the story of Isabelle Lagacé and Mélina Roberge, who while on a world cruise in 2016, were implicated in one of Australia’s largest-ever cocaine seizures. Now, back in Canada after spending several years behind bars in Australia, Lagacé tells her story, detailing how she became a mule for an international drug trafficking network. The docuseries premieres on Crave in December, and will be available to audiences in English and French.

Lawrence Nayally

Atomic Reaction Films has begun production on feature length documentary, Atomic Reaction. The production will operate two teams led by Dene director, Mason Mantla (Nahga, Fireweed) shooting in Deline on Great Bear Lake, NWT, and director Michèle Hozer (SponsorLand, Sugar Coated) and her crew providing additional interviews in Port Hope, ON and Montreal. Yellowknife-based Lawrence Nayally, host of CBC Radio’s Trail’s End, is the film’s on-camera storyteller, and himself Dene. Atomic Reaction will explore Canada’s vital role in the U.S.-led research program, code named Manhattan Project, that produced the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II and the enduring consequences that are still being felt in Canada. Veteran TV and documentary producer, David Hatch, music industry legend Bernie Finkelstein and award-winning documentary filmmaker Shelley Saywell have joined forces to executive produce the feature length doc in association with documentary Channel.

BBC Earth’s first-ever original documentary commissioned by Blue Ant for Canada, Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic, follows mammals and birds as they prepare for the lean winter months. Presented by Animalogic’s Danielle Dufault, wildlife expert and scientific illustrator, the one-hour doc travels across Canada and around the globe to explore evolutionary adaptations that have helped species thrive in some of the coldest corners of the world. It premieres Aug. 1 on BBC Earth in Canada and will also be available on BBC Earth via Prime Video. Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic was inspired by the YouTube channel of the same name which boasts over 1.7 million subscribers and 300 million video views.

 

Thunderbird Entertainment Group’s Thunderbird Distribution has acquired global media (excluding Canada and UK) and consumer products rights to new preschool series Mittens & Pants. The live-action series, starring real baby animals voiced by kids, is produced by Toronto-based Windy Isle Entertainment and is a CBC Kids original production that will debut on CBC and CBC Gem this fall. In the UK, Sky has pre-bought the series, which will stream on its Sky Kids on-demand platforms. 

GROUNDED, the survival game from Obsidian Entertainment and Xbox, is being adapted for series in association with Waterproof Studios/SC Productions, Kinetic Media and Bardel Entertainment. The series will exist in the same universe as the game that revolves around four friends who plan “big things” to elevate their social standing, but stumble upon shrinking technology that makes them two inches tall. Brent Friedman (Star Wars: Clone Wars, Rebels, Star Trek: Enterprise) is attached to craft the story, with Brien Goodrich (Halo) attached to direct. The show will be introduced at Kidscreen in July and MIPCOM in October. The development team will also be hosting an in-person booth in the interactive zone at San Diego Comic Con.

Sportsnet has unveiled its 2022-23 NHL broadcast schedule. Serving up 155 exclusive English-language matchups across Sportsnet’s TV channels and SN NOW, the network’s coverage returns Oct. 12 with three marquee broadcast nights, including Hockey Night in Canada on Saturdays and Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey, as well as on Monday nights with a new broadcast to be unveiled at a later date. Sportsnet will also deliver more than 190 regional matchups next season as the official regional TV and streaming broadcast rights holder for the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs

The Professional Triathletes Organisation and CBC Sports have announced that Canada’s Olympic Network will provide extensive coverage of all PTO Tour events in 2022, live via CBC Gem, cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports appStarting with the first-ever PTO Canadian Open in Edmonton next month, which will also be featured as part of CBC Sports weekend programming on CBC TV, CBC Sports coverage will include the second edition of the Collins Cup in Bratislava, Slovakia (Aug. 20) and the PTO US Open in Dallas, Texas, US (Sept. 17-18). 

FuboTV has partnered with Corus to bring STACK TV’s suite of entertainment channels to FuboTV’s Canadian platform. The new partnership coincides with the introduction of FuboTV’s new premium subscription package that will also offer all existing FuboTV channels, including content like the Premier League.

toober, the Toronto-based live television app designed to connect viewers to specialty television from around the world, has launched six new channels: Euronews English, an English language channel offering the latest breaking European and world news; Euronews French; RAI Italia, 24-hour programming offered by Italy’s public broadcaster; RAI World Premium presenting the most successful new titles from the extensive RAI library of telenovelas, mini-series and made for TV movies; RAI News 24, a 24-hour news channel with a 15 min. news bulletin every half hour; and Universal Vision TV, a channel with programming in Spanish, Portuguese and English. toober is available in Canada on Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Apple TV, and Google TV Playstore and will be launching globally, as well as on additional platforms, later this year.   

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) has introduced a new entrance scholarship to entirely offset tuition fees for all incoming residents of the organization’s film, television and acting programs. The scholarship initiative is aimed at reducing barriers and increasing access to CFC programs as part of the organization’s broader commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), made possible thanks to the generosity of CFC donors, including named bursaries and longstanding donors to the organization’s Endowment Fund. The residents of the 2022 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program and the 2022 Norman Jewison Film Program, who started their respective programs July 5, are the first cohorts to receive this scholarship. In addition to the entrance scholarship, for the duration of their program, incoming residents will receive a monthly bursary to help offset additional costs associated with participating in the abovementioned programs. For individuals from outside of Ontario who are relocating to Toronto to attend the CFC, they will also receive a one-time relocation bursary. 

Ins Choi

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are welcoming award-winning playwright, actor and Kim’s Convenience co-creator, writer and executive producer Ins Choi as Executive Producer in Residence of the first-ever comedy cohort of the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. The comedy cohort, which will run from Oct. 2022 to the end of March 2023, has been designed for writers specifically looking to gain experience in comedy writing and engage in a collaborative comedy series story room. The comedy cohort is an offering for Black, Indigenous and/or racialized creators to amplify a diversity of underrepresented voices and stories so they can ultimately be seen and heard on screens in Canada and around the world. Learn more about the program here.

imagineNATIVE Institute has announced details of two new on-set mentorship opportunities for Indigenous creatives looking to expand or begin careers in the Art Department on long-form productions located in and around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and the Greater Sudbury Area. Bert Whitecrow (Dresser/Sewer), Morgan Spence (Set Decorator), and Riley Assinewa (Carpenter) are the mentees of the Greater Toronto + Hamilton Area Below-the-Line Mentorship, supported by Netflix and IATSE-873. Selected participants will receive a four to five-week paid on-set mentorship within the Art Department on the Netflix production, You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah! Later this year, applications will open for the Northern Ontario Below-the-Line mentorship, supported by Netflix and DGC Ontario

The Shine Network Institute and Canada Media Fund are hosting the Indigenous Lens Producing Accelerator, Aug. 2-5. Open to 20 emerging and mid-level Indigenous producers, seminars will be facilitated by industry professionals and provide skill-enhancing insight into producing, directing, show running, and writing. Email jadeharper@hotmail.com by July 22 to apply.

Lilly Singh

Blink49 Studios and Bell Media are partnering with entertainer Lilly Singh and her company Unicorn Island Productions on a first-look global scripted and second-look unscripted deal. The deal will focus on creating and producing compelling television content that showcases underrepresented communities.  Blink49 Studios will handle production and worldwide distribution. Singh is a multi-faceted entertainer, actress, producer, writer, creator and author with more than 38-million followers across her social media channels. This year, Singh was a judge on Citytv’s Canada’s Got Talent, was part of the cast for the DreamWorks Animation action-comedy The Bad Guys and launched her book club “Lilly’s Library” spotlighting South Asian stories.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Postmedia has signed a deal with Google that will see the tech giant pay to host the network’s content on its news platforms. Postmedia, which publishes the National Post, among other daily and weekly newspapers and sites, joins the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, among more than 1,500 publishers are now participating in the Google News Showcase program. Postmedia has not disclosed financial terms of the deal.

The Weather Network has launched its new TV app, now available to more than 500,000 Shaw TV subscribed households. The Weather Network TV App provides viewers on-demand access to hyper-local weather information, down to a user’s postal code. Shaw TV customers can say “The Weather Network” using their voice remote to access the app and its features. The network says technical changes to modern cable networks have made it difficult to distribute custom forecast signals to every community, and Canadians are increasingly consuming weather information differently. In response, The Weather Network developed the app in partnership with Canadian TV operators to adapt to these changes. The app will soon be available to subscribers on all major telco or cable providers, with deployments scheduled throughout the remainder of the year.

MTM’s Spring 2022 Sneak Peek and Adoption report explores cord cutting, account sharing of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services, time spent on social media, and more. Top findings from the report include that SVOD services continue to grow and so too have the fees associated with the services. To cut down on costs, close to half of all SVOD subscribers are account sharing at least one of their services with another household. While the report found, the majority of Canadians continue to subscribe to a paid TV service such as cable, fiber optic and satellite, there’s a portion of the population that have chosen to forego their TV service and watch solely online. Close to one in five Canadians have cut the cord on their TV service; Canadians report spending nine hours using social networking sites in a typical week. Despite Facebook being the most popular social network, TikTok users report spending the most time using social networks at 17.1 hours in a typical week. For the first time, MTM also asked how Canadians are discovering new music. Despite a slight decline during the pandemic, AM/FM radio is still the number one way to discover new music for 22% of Canadians, followed by personalized recommendations from a music streaming service at 17%.

Meta has added Inuktitut as a language setting on Facebook desktop. The initiative to translate Facebook to Inuktitut is the culmination of a four-year partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) to promote daily use of the Inuit language spoken in communities across Nunavut. The translated interface is now available to more than 35,000 people across the Inuit Nunangat and also accessible to Facebook users globally. Inuktitut joins more than 100 other languages available on Facebook, and a growing number of Indigenous languages.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Sandra Oh

Governor General Mary Simon has announced the latest round of Order of Canada appointees. Newly-appointed Officers include actress Sandra Oh and Montreal producer, screenwriter and director Francois Girard. Members include longtime Global BC anchor Deb Hope; and Nova Scotia-based investigative journalist, radio personality, documentary filmmaker, iPolitics columnist and author Michael Harris. Find the full list of appointees here.

Stephen Hume

The Jack Webster Foundation has announced Stephen Hume as the winner of this year’s Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award. Over a journalistic career spanning half a century, Hume has been an Arctic Correspondent, Editor-in-Chief, General Manager, published poet and author, and a journalism instructor at Vancouver Island University, in addition to 30+ years as a columnist for The Vancouver Sun and now Focus on Victoria magazine. CHEK News is the recipient of the 2022 Bill Good Award. CHEK made history in 2009 when it became the first employee-owned television station in North America. With its corporate owners facing severe financial challenges, the station was saved when employees raided their retirement savings, the community rallied, and investors, union partners, politicians and the CRTC went to bat for the Victoria station. Thirteen years later, it’s still going strong.

Rogers has until July 22 to respond to a CRTC request to provide a “comprehensive explanation regarding the national service outage millions of Canadians experienced on Friday July 8, 2022.” The CRTC is requesting a detailed account from Rogers as to “why” and “how” this happened, as well as what measures Rogers is putting in place to prevent future outages. The commission says once it’s satisfied with Rogers’ response, it will determine what additional measures need to be taken. Industry Min. François-Philippe Champagne has also directed the country’s major telcos to reach agreements on emergency roaming, mutual assistance during outages, and a communication protocol to better inform the public and authorities during telecommunications emergencies. 

CRTCThe CRTC is seeking comments on a proposal to exclude stock footage from the calculation used to determine if a production is Canadian. Triggered by a modification made by the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO), which co-administers two federal tax credit programs with the Canada Revenue Agency, the change would exclude stock footage costs from the calculation of the 75% threshold for “Canadian services.” According to the CRTC filing, documentary producers have felt unfairly disadvantaged by the requirement because of stock footage cost categorization as “services” costs. Documentaries often require the use of non-Canadian stock footage, either because of the subject of the production or because of more limited availability of stock footage from Canadian sources.

CBC/Radio-Canada has apologized for use of the N-word during a Radio-Canada broadcast in August 2020, but is appealing the CRTC decision in reference to the segment saying the regulator “has overstepped its authority with respect to the independence of the public broadcaster.” The N-word was used during a segment featuring Annie Desrochers and columnist Simon Jodoin as part of a discussion about a petition demanding the firing of a Concordia University professor who had quoted the title of a book by late Québécois journalist Pierre Vallières that features the N-word. A complaint was filed with the commission by Black Montrealer Ricardo Lamour. The CRTC ruling maintains that Radio-Canada “did not implement all the necessary measures to mitigate the impact of the ‘N-word’ on its audience, particularly in the current social context and given its national public broadcaster status.”

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the launch of the Summer 2022 edition of its popular mentorship program. Twenty-eight Canadian journalists working in radio, television, digital, and print publications from across the country have stepped up to donate their time to mentor early and mid-career CAJ members. This round of mentors includes Arif Noorani – Director, CBC Podcasts; Chris Hall – Former host of The House, CBC News; Ian Young – B.C. and Yukon bureau chief for The Canadian Press; Kathleen Martens – Senior online reporter, APTN; Kim Bolan – Reporter, The Vancouver Sun; and Rachel Ward – Investigative journalist, CBC/The Fifth Estate.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

TELUS has opened TELUS Sky, the telecom’s new state-of-the-art headquarters in Downtown Calgary. The landmark stands 60-storeys tall and features 750,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space, including bringing 326 rental homes to Calgary’s downtown core. Built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum standards – the highest LEED certification – TELUS now occupies the largest LEED Platinum footprint in North America including TELUS Garden in Vancouver, TELUS Harbour Toronto, TELUS House Ottawa, and Place TELUS Québec. 

ADVERTORIAL: AI has penetrated nearly every corner of the broadcast world to this point, and its convergence with the RF segment will bring exciting innovations to over-the-air broadcasters for years. Dielectric is using High-Frequency Simulation Software (HFSS) to help drive the computer simulation process for virtual antenna design. HFSS specifically eliminates the lengthy set-up and breakdown times of physical models. The long-used physical process of choosing antennas models from controlled libraries, manipulating the model and comparing models to FCC protection envelopes is no longer necessary. HFSS makes small changes very efficiently across the virtual design process to optimize radiation patterns without time and material constraints. Read more here.

NAB Show New York will take place Oct. 17-20 (exhibits Oct. 19-20) at Javits Center. The event, which is timed mid-point – six months after NAB Show in Las Vegas – will be co-located with the AES New York 2022 Convention. Conference programs requiring separate registration include: Cybersecurity for Broadcasters Retreat (Oct. 17-18); Post|Production Conference NYC (Oct. 18); The Streaming Summit (Oct. 18); TV2025: Monetizing the Future (Oct. 19); The Radio Experience at NAB Show New York (Oct. 19-20); and NAB Marconi Radio Awards (Oct, 19). More info here.

Chatter by Stingray, the AI-driven customer insights solution, has announced the launch of Chatter for Online Reviews. The new online review management solution analyzes the customer sentiment behind shopper feedback, as well as a brand’s strengths and weaknesses. It also compares brand ratings and sentiment analysis within a competitive ranker and enables two-way messaging between brands and reviewers to close the loop on key areas of improvement. The Boost feature additionally helps increase the total volume of reviews and ratings by encouraging customers to publish their in-chat feedback as an official review. Prior to making a purchase decision, 77% of customers say they trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.

Rise, the advocacy group for women in the broadcast media technology sector, has announced that entries are open for its annual Rise Awards with the introduction of two new categories, Ally of the Year, honouring men who have been supportive of striving to achieve gender diversity, and Business Operations of the Year, celebrating an individual who excels at making sure the workforce and clients are happy and the business is reaching its targets. Submissions and nominations are encouraged from across the global broadcast media technology audience 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. The awards will be held Nov. 10.