Monday, October 2, 2023

The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Lisa Drew has retired from CityNews 570 (CKGL-AM) Kitchener after 33 years with the station. Drew, who has served as morning anchor and Managing Editor, will be returning to Conestoga College this fall where she’s taught Radio News since 2017.

Lori Love

Lori Love is bringing her radio career to a close after 32 years on Aug. 4. Her final morning show with co-host Curtis Bray on St. Catharine’s 105.7 MOVE FM (CHRE-FM) will broadcast from outside the station where she’s been heard since 2001. Love got into radio after going back to school, with a part-time operator gig at CHML Hamilton. That led to afternoon fill-in doing traffic on Y95 Hamilton and later hosting drive, alongside Scott Thompson. She joined 105.7 four years later, initially co-hosting with Jack Peets and Rick Hodge.

 

Annette Goerner is stepping down from CTV Morning Live Ottawa. After 14 years of early mornings and 23 years in broadcasting, Goerner says her “heart and body have been telling her it’s time for awhile now.” Goerner started her career in 2000 at CKLW Windsor, followed by stops at CJBK London, and The New WI Windsor, prior to joining A-Channel in Ottawa in 2006.

Alison MacKinnon has signed off from CTV Edmonton, where she’s been the weekend late night anchor and a multimedia journalist for the last year and a half, to pursue an opportunity in communications. MacKinnon had been with CTV News off and on since 2017, initially as a video journalist in Lethbridge and Yorkton, before joining CTV Regina. She also did a stint with Global News in Winnipeg.

Warren Dean, who was caught up in recent layoffs at CTV Vancouver Island, has announced he’s exiting broadcasting after 26 years to join the Province of B.C. in a communications position. Dean had been a weather anchor with the station for the last two and a half years and with CTV News since 2016 with stops in Regina and Calgary.

Chris Mulligan

Chris Mulligan has retired from CBC News Toronto. Mulligan had been a cameraman and satellite truck operator with the public broadcaster since 2010, capping a more than 30-year career in television. Prior to CBC, Mulligan worked with Citytv.

Cassidy Mosconi

Cassidy Mosconi has joined Global BC as a reporter. She arrives from Seven Network in Perth, Australia, where she’s been a reporter with 7News since 2019, specializing in covering court.

Johnny Mah

Johnny Mah has been promoted to Marketing & Community Supervisor at Global BC. Mah previously held the title of Community Relations Coordinator for the past six years and most recently had been filling in as Interim Promotions Coordinator.

Nolan Kowal

Nolan Kowal will take over as the new radio play-by-play voice for the Prince Albert Raiders on 900 CKBI for the upcoming 2023-24 season. Kowal replaces Rob Mahon, who recently took over as the Media Relations and Broadcast Director with the Brandon Wheat Kings, also of the Western Hockey League. Kowal previously served as the voice of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Estevan Bruins.

Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson has been laid off by The Weather Network (TWN) where he’d been serving as a Climate Reporter for the last six months. He’s among those impacted by TWN’s move to shutter its Climate desk and reintegrate that coverage with its wider weather coverage to boost readership of Climate content.

Morgan Mullin

Morgan Mullin has been laid off at Overstory Media Group alt weekly The Coast in Halifax after seven years with the publication. Mullin had most recently held the title of Arts & Culture Editor.

Kevin Collins

Kevin Collins has been appointed Senior Vice-President of Sales, North America at Riedel Communications. Collins joins Riedel after more than 25 years at Diversified, where he was one of the founding members, holding management roles including VP of Sales, Executive Vice-President, and President and COO for four years.

Kyle Luther

Kyle Luther is the new Vice-President, Americas Sales for Imagine Communications. In his new role, Luther will be responsible for driving sales strategy for Imagine’s portfolio of playout and networking solutions, fostering customer engagement and strengthening the company’s position across the region. Prior to joining Imagine, Luther held sales leadership positions with broadcast technology brands, including Ross Video, Grass Valley and TVU Networks. 

Vincent Papequash

Vincent Papequash has parted ways with CBC Vancouver after being charged with one count each of sexual interference and sexual assault for allegedly touching a person under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose. A 2020 NAIT Radio and Television Production graduate, Papequash had been an associate producer with CBC since last fall, joining the public broadcaster through the Indigenous Pathways Program. Papequash had also done work with CKPG-TV in Prince George. Prior to pursuing journalism, he was an actor, appearing in Emmy-winning mini-series Dreamkeeper, among other productions.

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

Golden West Broadcasting is seeking CRTC approval to remove the Christian Specialty Conditions of Licence for CJGY-FM Grande Prairie. Golden West says since its launch the stand-alone specialty Christian FM station has been and will continue to be a considerable financial burden to the company. Golden West says in its Part 1 application that removing restrictive conditions “would allow CJGY to operate on a more level playing field with the other mainstream FM operators in Grande Prairie. As CJGY already operates as a full-power commercial FM signal in Grande Prairie, this proposal does not seek to change the existing frequency or alter the signal contours in any way.” The deadline for interventions is Aug. 3.

The Edmonton Elks and BC Lions are claiming a CFL and pro-football first as their July 29 game was broadcast in Punjabi on Sher-E-Punjab Radio CKSP AM 600 in Vancouver and My Radio 580 AM (CHAH-AM) in Edmonton. Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition broadcasters Harpreet Pandher and Taqdeer Thindal had the call. The Punjabi broadcast marks the Edmonton club’s second history-making radio event in as many years. Last season, the Elks partnered with Windspeaker Media on the first Indigenous-language broadcast in CFL history.

CBC Music (formerly CBC Radio 2) and CBC Listen add Afterdark Sunday to their broadcast schedule, Sundays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). Picking up from weekday evening editions of Afterdark, helmed by Odario Williams, the art-pop/avant-garde music show has expanded to Sunday evenings with Vancouver-based host Tariq. The public broadcaster will also celebrate 50 years of hip hop on Friday, Aug. 11 with Manifesto Presents: The Block Party at 6:15 p.m. local time (7:15 AT, 7:45 NT). A collaboration between Manifesto Community Projects and CBC Music’s The Block, the special will feature musical performances live from Toronto’s RBC Echo Beach. Other summer programming highlights include IDEAS – David Suzuki’s Survival Guide: A Retrospective (10 episodes with new episodes released Tuesdays). In 1989, Suzuki hosted climate crisis radio series It’s A Matter of Survival, which struck a nerve across the country and elicited more than 14,000 letters from listeners. Throughout the summer, IDEAS is featuring episodes from Suzuki’s radio archive, including the 1989 series, his 1999 series The Naked Ape, and 2010 series The Bottom Line. Other new podcast offerings include 10 Minutes To Save The Planet (10 episodes), co-hosted by meteorologist and climate reporter Johanna Wagstaffe and beatboxing broadcaster Rohit Joseph, working through the UN’s 10 actions for a healthy planet. CBC Marketplace also makes its podcast debut with eight episodes, hosted by Asha Tomlinson and David Common, based on the long-running TV series.

Lead Podcasting has joined the MET Radio 1280 AM (CJTM-AM) lineup on Toronto Metropolitan University’s newly-rebranded campus and community station with Add This To Your Playlist, which features hand-picked podcast episodes every week. Debuting this week, the show is hosted by TMU student Kendra Seguin and produced by TMU alumnus and Lead Podcasting founder Amanda Cupido, who also doubles as the PD at AM 640 (CFIQ-AM) Toronto.

MTM Junior has released new data indicating one in seven Canadian kids are listening to podcasts. Diving into the podcast consumption habits of those under age 18, the report finds that teens show a greater interest in podcasts than younger listeners. Three in five children who listen to podcasts do so weekly. The report says seven per cent of parents are consuming podcasts while driving with their children, with those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan more inclined to listen in-car. Read more here.

Triton Digital has released the latest Canada Podcast Ranker for the reporting period from May 29 – July 2. The month of June had 14.1M average weekly downloads. The top three Canadian originating English-language podcasts were Front Burner (CBC) at #1, The Current (CBC) at #2, and CBC News: The World This Hour (CBC) at #3. The top Canadian French-language podcasts included Sexe Oral (TPX Podcast Network) at #1, Radiojournal (CBC/Radio-Canada) at #2, and Les chroniques de Pierre-Yves McSween (Cogeco Media) again at #3. Yet again, the top ranked podcast overall was Dateline NBC (NBCUniversal News Group). SiriusXM Podcast Network earned the #1 spot on the Top Networks Report with 4.26M Average Weekly Downloads, followed by Wondery Network again at #2 with 2.83M Average Weekly Downloads, and CBC/Radio-Canada ranking third with 2.24M Average Weekly Downloads. The top ranked Canadian originating English-language debut was CBC’s The Banned Teacher.

Signal Hill Insights and Pacific Content have released new research indicating four in five listeners would skip a radio ad in a podcast. Matt Mise, who heads the Rogers Sports & Media branded content division, writes that a copy and paste approach to audio creative may not be the right one. Testing the impact and appeal of a brand ad intended for use across all audio platforms, the survey found that while the ad generated high recall, it was poorly received in a podcast environment. Less than 29% of respondents liked the ad, and more than half strongly agreed they would skip it. The most common complaint was that it was “too loud” or “jarring” while listening to a podcast. Others complained it lacked the “informative” content of other podcast ads they’d heard.

The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) has opened applications for its Podcasting Program. Individuals, companies or collectives can apply for a maximum of $30,000 to support the development and creation of podcasts by Indigenous screen-based and audio storytellers. Applicants can access the program to research and develop their project, as well as produce, market and distribute a complete podcast. Applications close Nov. 1.

Radiodays North America has announced dates for its second annual conference, set to take place June 2-4, 2024, in Toronto as part of Canadian Music Week (CMW) at the Harbour Castle Westin Hotel. Learn more about booking group rates in Broadcast Dialogue’s EVENTS section here.

LISTEN: On the Sound Off Podcast: Bryan Goldmark heads up sales at the Locked On Podcast Network. Founded in 2016 by Utah Jazz radio announcer David Locke, the network was sold to Tegna in 2021. Today, it is home to over 200 podcasts and 25 million listeners who want to enjoy a daily podcast fix on their favourite NHL, NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and College Football teams. In this episode, Bryan shares what it takes to join Locked On as a content creator, among other insights from his time in radio.

Stingray Advertising and Loblaw Media, the retail media division of Loblaw Companies Limited, have formed a new relationship that expands Stingray’s retail audio advertising network into Loblaw grocery stores. The Loblaw store audio network will span nearly 300 stores, including Loblaws, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore, and other retail banners, with campaigns expected to begin mid-August. Stingray says the collaboration provides brands with an opportunity to connect with customers throughout their in-store journey via its proprietary streaming media technology and place-based ad server Hivestack. 

SIGN OFFS:

Patrick Monaghan

Patrick Monaghan on July 25. Monaghan was the host of award-winning program “Buckslide Blues Cruise” on Haliburton community radio station 100.9 Canoe FM (CKHA-FM). Taking over the show in 2016 from former host Lee MacLean, Monaghan was an ambassador and champion of the blues, traveling to blues festivals across Ontario to discover new artists, interview and spotlight their music on the show. Prior to hosting the show, he produced David Mair’s “Tuesday Night Sessions” on the station for two and a half years. Monaghan was recognized nationally for “Buckslide Blues Cruise,” winning three Best Blues Show Of The Year awards from the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA). He also received the Toronto Maple Blues Society Award for Best Blues Booster Of The Year in Canada in 2022. Read more here.

Bill Baghsaw

Bill Bagshaw, 91, on July 20. Born in Medicine Hat, AB, Bagshaw made his home in Edmonton where he served as sales manager at CFRN-TV and CHQT Radio. He was notably the first publisher of the Edmonton Daily and Sunday Sun newspapers. Among his volunteer contributions to the city were serving as Vice-President of the Commonwealth Games in the late 1970s, President of Klondike Days and the Kinsmen Club, and founding the “Spirit of Edmonton,” which grew from a few Edmonton Eskimo fans in 1973 to a dedicated contingent that has promoted the city at every Grey Cup since 1974. In later years, Bagshaw ran Focal Customer Development and mentored many business leaders through TEC Canada’s peer advisory program for CEOs.

TV & FILM:

Creative BC says early insights project that 2022 production spending by film and television projects in B.C. will be over the estimated $3.6B mark. Final figures are anticipated to be potentially slightly above 2021 numbers for original film and television production activity. Creative BC says the province’s reputation for attracting internationally acclaimed productions remains strong, with foreign productions choosing to film in the province in 2022 including Emmy-nominated Showtime series Yellowjackets, AppleTV+’s Pachinko and Disney+ feature film Peter Pan & Wendy. Domestic productions included Global TV’s Family Law, and acclaimed feature films Bones of Crows and Riceboy Sleeps.  

The National Association of Voice Actors (NAVA) has released guidelines for what work is restricted during SAG-AFTRA’s strike governing the TV/Theatrical contract, which has entered its third week. While voice work on feature length animated or feature films, trailers, ADR and looping are prohibited, NAVA says voice actors can continue to work in almost every other genre including commercials, video games, dubbing, audiobooks, TV/basic cable animation, promos and podcasts. ACTRA members are standing in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA.

CBC and Counterfeit Pictures have announced casting for new original comedy series One More Time (13×30) from stand-up comedian D.J. Demers (The Tonight Show, Conan) and showrunner Jessie Gabe (Workin’ Moms, Mr. D). Premiering on CBC Gem and CBC in Winter 2024, One More Time is a workplace comedy starring Demers as the hard-of-hearing manager of a second-hand sporting goods store, and the team of “enthusiastic” employees he leads. Joining him on screen are actress and comedian Geri Hall (Astrid and Lilly Save the World, This Hour Has 22 Minutes); Daniel Beirne (Ginny & Georgia, Workin’ Moms, Fargo); Elise Bauman (Workin’ Moms, Carmilla); newcomer Seran Sathiyaseelan; and Dayton Sinkia (Letterkenny, The Strain). Rounding out the cast in recurring roles are Nadine Bhabha (Letterkenny, This Hour Has 22 Minutes), Chris Robinson (The Amazing Gayl Pile, The Boys), Maddy Foley (The Boys, Step Sisters) and Marito Lopez (Gary and His Demons). 

ABC, Screen Australia and CBC have announced that filming has commenced on the second season of acclaimed history-mystery series, Stuff The British Stole. Hosted by journalist Marc Fennell (Mastermind, The School That Tried To End Racism, The Feed), the eight-part new season will offer an in-depth exploration of eight new remarkable treasures acquired through the years of the British Empire. Season 2 will air on ABC TV, ABC iview, CBC and CBC Gem in 2024. 

Raven Banner Entertainment and Vancouver prodco Rogue Panda Pictures are adapting Escaping Denver, the podcast from Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast network for the small screen. The fictional podcast, which is entering its third season, explores conspiracy theories surrounding the Denver International Airport.

 

 

Paramount+ is now the Canadian streaming home of the Star Trek catalogue featuring over 800 episodes and 12 feature films. The library will continue to build throughout the month with Star Trek: The Next Generation available Aug. 8 and Deep Space Nine on Aug. 15. They join Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Picard which are already streaming on the service. In Canada, Paramount+ will also be the streaming home of new original series Star Trek: Starfleet Academy and movie event Star Trek: Section 31, starring Michelle Yeoh. 

WildBrain is significantly expanding its offering on Amazon’s SVOD services through a trio of new deals with Prime Video for Canada, Australia and New Zealand; Prime Video in Germany; and Amazon Kids+ in the U.S. Collectively the deals total over 850 episodes, plus movies and specials from WildBrain’s extensive library of original and partner content. As previously announced, Prime Video in Canada, Australia and New Zealand launched nearly 500 episodes from WildBrain’s Degrassi library on July 18. The agreement brings the most Degrassi content ever available on one service to the platform, including all 14 seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Sportsnet will offer multi-platform coverage of the 2023 National Bank Open presented by Rogers, Aug. 7-13. Tennis fans can tune in on Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, and Sportsnet 360, and via livestream on SN NOW. Live coverage begins Monday, Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT as the stars of the Women’s Tennis Association take centre stage on the Montreal hardcourt and their ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) counterparts battle it out in Toronto. Daytime host Danielle Michaud is joined by former national tennis coach Robert Bettauer and Canadian doubles player Sharon Fichman as they break down morning and afternoon action from across the tournament live from Montreal. In Primetime, host Bray Fay anchors the evening coverage with former Canadian pros Jesse Levine and Genie Bouchard.

Air Canada is further expanding its in-flight entertainment experience with the addition of Apple TV+ original programming, as of Aug. 1, bringing hit series like Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, The Morning Show and Severance to travellers. The partnership with Apple follows the airline’s recently-announced collaboration with Mattel, offering short form content like Barbie Dreamtopia, Thomas & Friends, and Polly Pocket for young travellers. Read more here.

Studio Ghibli’s long-awaited feature film, The Boy and the Heron, from Academy Award–winning director Hayao Miyazaki, will be the Opening Night Gala Presentation for the 48th Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7, at Roy Thomson Hall. While several of Studio Ghibli’s films have screened at TIFF, this is the first time a Japanese film or an animated film has opened TIFF. The festival has also unveiled the 10 World Premieres that comprise the Platform programme for 2023, along with jury members: Academy Award–winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins, Cannes Jury Prize–winning director, writer, and actor Nadine Labaki, and 2022 Platform Prize–winner Anthony Shim. The 10 films in the programme are eligible for the $20,000 Platform Prize given to the best film. The sole Canadian feature in the programme is Christian Sparkes’ The King Tide.

Atlantic International Film Festival (AIFF) has unveiled a new logo reviving its legacy brand and accompanying initials AIFF. The festival will unify all programs under one cohesive brand, including: AIFF Partners, AIFF Kids, AIFF Outdoor and AIFF Online. The move marks a shift away from the Halifax-based festival’s FIN branding, adopted in 2016 under former Executive Director Wayne Carter.“The FIN era served its purpose in bringing all the festival’s programs under one recognizable umbrella, and now it is time to carry that momentum forward into the future under a familiar well-loved name and exciting new branding,” said Martha Cooley, Executive Director of AIFF, in an announcement. “Following suit with most other Canadian international film festival naming conventions, the primary goal of the Atlantic International Film Festival name and brand is to clearly and proudly say who we are, what we do and where we are from.” This year’s festival will take place Sept. 14-21.

OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC), in partnership with Dark Slope, are calling on founders of Black-owned content creation companies to apply for Cohort 3 of OBAC Scale Up Immersive, an accelerator for aspiring Black creatives and production companies interested in developing spatial content, including virtual and augmented reality story experiences. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31. Participants will benefit from intensive programming led by industry experts, hands-on mentorship, networking opportunities, and a group rapid prototyping component that will allow cohort teams to build a working prototype with resources valued at up to $50,000. 

The Pacific Screenwriting Program is now accepting applications for the 2024 Scripted Series Lab, which runs January to April 2024 in Vancouver. Six up-and-coming writers will hone their craft, strengthen their collaboration and presentation skills, and gain a deeper understanding of B.C.’s television industry and how to market themselves within it. Applications close Aug. 31.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Meta has confirmed it has begun the process of ending news availability in Canada on Facebook and Instagram, ahead of the implementation of the Online News Act. In an updated blog post, the digital giant says as of Aug. 1, it’s enacting changes that will impact everyone who accesses those platforms in Canada in the next few weeks. For Canadian news outlets that means news links and content will no longer be viewable in Canada. Meta says it’s identifying news outlets based on legislative definitions and guidance from the Online News Act. News publishers and broadcasters outside of Canada will continue to be able to post news links and content, however, that content will not be viewable by people in Canada. Facebook and Instagram users in Canada will also no longer be able to view or share news content, including news articles and audio-visual content posted by news outlets. Read more here.

Pattison Media’s text-narrated, short-form video app, Kelowna10, has been recognized by the dotCOMM Awards with its highest honour, the Platinum Award, in their Lifestyle App category. The international competition recognizes excellence in web creativity, digital communication and highlights innovators in marketing and communication products and services, judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). Since Kelowna10’s launch in 2001, Pattison Media says over 150,000 unique users have enjoyed the app with an industry-leading average engagement time approaching five minutes per visit. 

INFORMS, the international association for Operations Research & Analytics professionals, has published a new study that finds temporarily relaxing or suspending paywall access on news sites eventually leads to an increase in subscribers. Published in the journal Marketing Science, the study was authored by researchers from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul and Emory University in Atlanta. Reinforcing the value of sampling as a marketing strategy, researchers found that when certain news organizations temporarily suspended paywall restrictions on certain stories of public interest, like the COVID-19 pandemic or U.S. presidential election, or provided free access up to a certain number of articles, new visitors were more likely to become subscribers when restrictions were re-imposed. Read more here.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The CRTC deadline for interventions in Bell Media’s request for regulatory programming relief passed late last week with 19 submissions received, the majority making the case against the broadcaster’s proposal. Bell is specifically seeking a reduction in Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) from 30% to 20%; a reduction in minimum PNI (Programs of National Interest) expenditures from 7.5% to 5%; and an expansion of the current PNI categories to include analysis and interpretation, music and dance, variety, game shows, human interest, and reality television. In return, it’s proposing to increase its independent production acquisitions from 75% to 100% of PNI expenditures. Bell has also asked the commission to drop current requirements to broadcast specified levels of local news. The Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRPC) is among those in opposition, saying that due to the company’s size, any decisions the CRTC makes about Bell’s applications will have consequences for Canada’s broadcasting system. According to CRTC data cited by FRPC, Bell’s 35 local TV stations took in 40% of the revenues of Canada’s 92 local TV stations in 2021/22, while its 32 discretionary TV services took in 38% of revenues reported by the 174 discretionary TV services licensed to operate in Canada. Read more here.

Canadian Media Guild (CMG) members at TVO have returned a strong strike mandate to their bargaining team with 95.8% of members voting to reject the employer’s latest offer. No date to walk out has been set as CMG says it’s still hoping to negotiate an agreement and avoid a strike. The collective agreement governing journalists, producers and education workers at Ontario’s public broadcaster expired last October. In February, unionized TVO employees voted 100% in support of a strike mandate. Read more here.

Xplore is reporting the successful launch of the next-generation JUPITER 3 satellite that will enable the rural broadband provider to start offering high-speed internet to Canadians in under-served areas, starting this fall. JUPITER 3, the newest and largest communications satellite from Hughes Network Systems, an Echostar Company, will allow Xplore to offer rural homeowners 100 Mbps speeds with specific availability and pricing details to be made available closer to service launch. 

Stan Thomas at CFGQ-TV circa 1958

Stan Thomas has written a book about the early days of television in Saskatoon – Life in Early Television: The Good, The Bad and the Funny. Thomas, 89, started his broadcasting career at CFQC-TV in 1957, in the station’s early years. He went on to become an executive with Canwest and Global Television.

 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

The Association of Central Canada Broadcast Engineers (CCBE) will host their 70th annual Career Development Conference, Aug. 24-26, at Kingbridge Centre in King City, ON. Some of the topics explored in this year’s paper presentations include: Network Security, Remote Site Monitoring, Solar Backup Power, RadioGPT, and Cloud-Based Automation. The conference is open to engineers, technologists and technicians working in the broadcast industry. Find details and registration info at ccbe.ca.

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