Michael Landsberg has departed the TSN network after 37 years, most recently co-hosting TSN 1050 (CHUM-AM) Toronto morning show, First Up with Landsberg & Colaiacovo. Landsberg, 64, joined TSN at the network’s inception in 1984, beginning his broadcasting career as an anchor for Sportscentre (originally SportsDesk). Beginning in Sept. 1997, he helmed the long-running TSN’s Off the Record, a half-hour, daily sports debate program that served as a platform for Landsberg’s strong opinions and charismatic interview style. The show ended its run in 2015. Read more here.
Andy Ross is now the Director of Brands & Content for Harvard Broadcasting, following Christian Hall’s departure to Rogers Sports & Media. Ross will be responsible for the development, enhancement, implementation and execution of Programming and Brand strategies for the Harvard radio stations and ongoing mentoring and development of on-air management and broadcast teams. He’ll also continue to head Programming for 96.3 Cruz FM (CFWD-FM) Saskatoon, and 104.9 The Wolf (CFWF-FM) and Play 92 (CHMX-FM) Regina, based out of Saskatoon.
Sarah Ashley-Hewitson is now Director Of Interactive for Harvard Broadcasting. She’ll be responsible for all Harvard-owned digital and interactive assets, working closely with programming, promotions and sales to drive content and monetization opportunities. Ashley-Hewitson previously held the position of Interactive Manager for the last five and a half years.
Trish Bezborotko and Barney Shynkaruk are being elevated to Market Sales Manager positions with Harvard Broadcasting in Regina, effective Sept. 1. Bezborotko has been in the role of Retail Sales Manager with the Regina sales team since 2013 and has worked in media since 1990, with on-air stops at CJOC-FM Lethbridge, CJCY-FM Medicine Hat, Z99 (CIZL-FM) Regina, and in sales with JACK FM (CKCK-FM) Regina. Shynkaruk has been with Harvard since 2007. Before entering the sales side of the business 14 years ago, he held on-air roles in both radio and television in Swift Current, Lloydminster, and Saskatoon.
Greg Hetherington has retired from his on-air duties at CKXS 99.1 Wallaceburg, ON after 12 years in mornings with the station and 35 years in radio, ahead of his run for the Liberals in Chatham-Kent-Leamington in the next federal election. Hetherington, the primary owner of Five Amigos Broadcasting, which owns CKXS-FM Wallaceburg and 100.1 FM The Ranch (CHLP-FM) Listowel, has also served as the station’s General Manager. Jay Smith has replaced Hetherington on the CKXS morning show, alongside Robyn Brady. Hetherington made an unsuccessful bid to replace Bev Shipley as the federal Conservative candidate in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex in 2019.
Jas Johal will succeed Lynda Steele in afternoon drive on Vancouver’s Global News Radio 980 CKNW. The Jas Johal Show will premiere Monday, Aug. 23 and air weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. Johal started his career with CKNW in 1991 before joining BCTV (now Global) in 1994. He became the B.C. correspondent for Global National in 2005 and was appointed Global News’ Asia Bureau Chief in 2008. In 2017, he stepped away from broadcasting and successfully ran for the Liberals in the provincial riding of Richmond-Queensborough. Read more here.
Kyle Donaldson is leaving his position as Supervising Producer for CityNews Vancouver. His last day is Aug. 13. Donaldson has been with CityNews since 2007, serving as an anchor and host on Breakfast Television for a decade and then Supervising Producer of the show, before assuming his current role leading the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news teams, starting in 2017.
Amanda Wawryk has announced her departure from News 1130 (CKWX-AM) in late August after 14 years as a writer, producer and anchor with the station. Wawryk started with the station in 2007, right out of Columbia Academy, as a desk reporter and traffic anchor and has been co-anchoring the morning news since 2019. Wawryk is joining Daily Hive as Vancouver City Editor.
Hayley Woodin has left her full-time Executive Editor role with Business in Vancouver (BIV) and her business contributor spot on Global BC Morning. She’ll remain with BIV in a part-time capacity as she heads to New York City to pursue a Masters Degree in Journalism at Columbia Journalism School.
David Baxter is leaving Global Regina after six years for a new opportunity in Ottawa. Baxter has been an Assignment Editor and Saskatchewan Provincial Affairs reporter with Global since 2015.
Jackie Vandinther has left CTV News Toronto after seven years. Vandinther started with the network as a writer, lineup editor and producer. For the last five years she’s been a Digital Content Editor for CTVNews.ca.
Kelsey Adams is now an associate producer with CBC Music. Adams is a Toronto born and raised arts and culture writer who has had bylines in NOW Magazine, Elle Canada, The Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star, among other publications.
Tori Weldon is joining Pacific Content as a podcast producer. Weldon leaves CBC News Brunswick where she started as a casual producer and news reader in 2008. She’s been a full-time journalist with the public broadcaster since 2012.
Dave Jamieson, host of The Dave Jamieson Show middays on TSN 1260 (CFRN-AM) Edmonton, has announced he’ll be off work for awhile as he recovers from cancer surgery. Prior to joining Bell Media in 2013, Jamieson was with the Edmonton Eskimos Football Club for 14 years as VP, Communications & Broadcast.
Dr. Kamal Al-Solaylee is joining the University of British Columbia (UBC) as the new Director of the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media. Al-Solaylee begins a five-year term as director on Sept. 1. He is currently a professor at the Ryerson University School of Journalism, and has worked at the Globe and Mail as an Editor for Report on Business, as well as a theatre critic. Al-Solaylee is also the author of national bestseller Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes. His new book, Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From, will be published in September by HarperCollins Canada.
Todd Tappin, who became Chief Financial Officer of Vancouver’s BBTV less than a year ago, will be leaving the company to pursue another opportunity. Tappin, who currently sits on the board of directors of Spin Master Corp., was previously President and CFO of TechStyle Inc. Ben Groot, who as VP Finance was the company CFO for over six years, will assume the role of Acting CFO.
Chehala Leonard has been named Producer at the National Film Board (NFB) North West Studio in Edmonton. Leonard is a member of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation, near Grande Cache, AB, and the founder of ᐊᐢᑭᕀ Askîy Media Inc., an Indigenous-owned production company that focuses on sharing land-based stories. Among her production credits are 13-part Canadian Rockies Series, airing on WILD TV, and documentary, Living a Legacy, for APTN. Leonard has also worked as a journalist for IndigiNews.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Pattison Media has returned CKLZ-FM Kelowna to its roots, rebranding Power 104 as 104.7 The Lizard, the branding the station formerly held from 1989 to 1999. 104.7 The Lizard “The Rock of Kelowna!” will continue to play a mix of classic and current rock. Senior Program Director Russell James says listeners won’t notice changes to the station playlist, although over the long weekend they did revisit “vintage Lizard” tracks from bands like Garbage, Limp Bizkit and Black Crowes. Along with the rebrand, the station has a new morning show featuring Big Ginger (Kieran Wilkie) and new addition Chris Roach, who previously was in afternoons on Power 104. Sarah Nick recently joined the station from KiSS 102.3 (CKY-FM) Winnipeg to take on the afternoon drive timeslot. Read more here.
Muskoday Community Radio Corporation has been approved for a new broadcasting licence to operate a low-power English- and Cree-language Indigenous radio station in Muskoday, SK. The station would operate at 92.3 MHz (channel 222LP) with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 50 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of 13 metres). Each broadcast week, the station plans to broadcast 126 hours of programming, of which a minimum of 42 hours would be local. The remaining programming would originate from Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation.
The CRTC has approved an application by Radio Ntetemuk inc. for a new broadcasting licence to operate an Innu-, French- and English-language Indigenous (Type B Native) FM radio station in Pessamit (formerly, Betsiamites), Quebec. Radio Ntetemuk began operating CIMB-FM, a low-power Indigenous station, in 1982, however the licence lapsed in 2014. In 2020, Radio Ntetemuk submitted an application for a higher power station with the new transmitter to operate at 95.1 MHz (channel 236A) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 173 watts (directional antenna with a maximum ERP of 1,100 watts) and an effective antenna height of 8.8 metres. The station will air 126 hours of programming each broadcast week (70 hours in Innu, 28 hours in French, and 28 hours in English). Approximately 113.5 hours of programming would be local, with the remaining 12.5 hours to originate from Indigenous broadcaster, La Société de communication Atikamekw-Montagnais (SOCAM).
CKDO-FM Oshawa is celebrating 75 years on-air this October and the station’s original 1946 launch by General Motors executive T. W. Elliott. Durham Radio has owned and operated the station since 2003. Ahead of the anniversary, former staff are being asked to contribute an audio message or greeting for the on-air celebration. Those interested can send a voice memo to firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 31.
99.3 County FM Prince Edward County is set to premiere “The Writer” by Norm Foster, the latest radio play staged on the community station by the Theatre Club to keep local actors active during the pandemic. The Writer tells the story of Donald Wellner, a renowned playwright, and his son Blake – a travel writer with commitment issues. The play will be told in four parts with Episode 1 airing Sunday, Aug. 8 at 8 p.m., Episode 2 on Sunday, Aug. 15, Episode 3 on Aug. 22, and Episode 4 on Aug. 29.
SONiC 102.9 (CHDI-FM) Edmonton’s petition to establish the “Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion,” in recognition of the Edmonton-born actor, has caught the attention of Warner Bros. which enlisted Fillion’s The Suicide Squad co-stars Margot Robbie, John Cena and Idris Elba, to take to social media in support of the effort which has now collected over 18,000 signatures. SONiC has also been selling t-shirts for the cause in support of the Edmonton Food Bank. The idea is the brainchild of Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Lauren Hunter, the host of afternoon drive on SONiC. Revisit Hunter’s appearance on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast here.
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you SO SO much to @WarnerBrosCA & #TheSuicideSquad for making our Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion dreams come true this is AMAZING!!!!!@JamesGunn @idriselba @JohnCena @MelchiorDaniela YOU ROCK!!!! https://t.co/dlaH6oahJi
— Lauren Hunter (@HunterAtHome) August 3, 2021
LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Skywalker, aka Jarrett Galeno from K104 (WSPK-FM) in Hudson Valley, New York, joins Matt Cundill to talk about how he’s turned his personality into a full-time business in the live and voice-tracked realm. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
TV & FILM:
Alberta says its Film and Television Tax Credit has attracted nearly $1B in production since the program’s launch in Jan. 2020 with 50 productions with total production costs of $955 million, creating 9,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the province. In March of this year, the Alberta government removed the $10-million per-project cap to make the province an even more desirable location for larger productions. HBO is currently filming its new television series The Last of Us – an adaptation of the post-apocalyptic video game – in Calgary and Fort McLeod, the single largest television series production in Canadian history with an estimated budget of $100 million.
CBC and Lionsgate are partnering with Schitt’s Creek producer Andrew Barnsley and comedic actor Mark Critch to bring Son Of A Critch (13×30) to TV, based on Critch’s 2020 book, Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir. Created by Critch and Tim McAuliffe (The Office, Last Man on Earth, MacGruber), the CBC original series will premiere on CBC TV and CBC Gem in Jan. 2022, with Lionsgate handling U.S. and international distribution. Son of a Critch will focus on 11-year-old Mark’s coming of age in St. John’s in the ‘80s. Production is underway on the comedy, which stars Critch as his father and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (Pinocchio, The Haunting of Bly Manor) as young Mark. Additionally, Claire Rankin (Molly’s Game) has been cast as Mark’s mother, Mary, alongside newcomers Sophia Powers and Mark Rivera as classmates of young Mark. Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) will also star as Pop.
Uninterrupted Canada, in partnership with DreamCrew Entertainment, The SpringHill Company and Bell Media, have announced production on original documentary feature Black Ice. The film will explore the journey of Black hockey players from the creation of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes to the modern-day NHL, highlighting their often overlooked and marginalized contributions to the game. Production and principal photography are currently underway. The film will be led by director Hubert Davis, best known for 2005 Oscar and Emmy-nominated documentary Hardwood, in addition to projects like Giants of Africa, which featured the story of Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri’s Basketball Without Borders program.
Rezolution Pictures has announced that NBC’s Peacock streaming service has picked up all five seasons of Mohawk Girls, a comedic look at the lives of four modern-day women trying to stay true to their roots while navigating work, love and what it means to be Mohawk in the 21st century. Starring Jenny Pudavick (Bailey), Brittany LeBorgne (Zoe), Heather White (Caitlin), Maika Harper (Anna), Tantoo Cardinal, and Glen Gould, Mohawk Girls was created and executive produced by Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight, with Deer also directing and Knight acting as head writer.
WildBrain Television has commissioned The Fabulous Show with Fay and Fluffy, a new 26-episode series aimed at kids aged 3-6. Produced by Lopii Productions, the cabaret-style show is hosted by drag duo Fay Slift (JP Kane) and Fluffy Soufflé (Kaleb Robertson) who – together with puppet friends and special guests – share a message of inclusivity and being kind to one another. Filmed before a live studio audience of preschoolers, parents and caregivers, production commenced July 13 in Toronto, with the series set to premiere on Family Jr in early 2022. Lopii Production’s Rennata and Georgina Lopez are executive producing. The series is being distributed by Sinking Ship Entertainment and is being produced with the financial participation of the Shaw Rocket Fund.
Annie Murphy is set to be reunited with Schitt’s Creek writers Rupinder Gill and David West Read on Witness Protection for MRC Film. Murphy will star and co-executive produce the romantic comedy feature about a woman defined by her relationships and struggling to figure out who she is, while forced into witness protection. The project was initially developed in-house at Warner Bros.’ Alloy Entertainment with Elysa Dutton and Leslie Morgenstein producing for Alloy and Becky Sloviter for MRC.
Hallmark original series Chesapeake Shores, will make its return to Super Channel Heart & Home on Sunday, Aug 15 for the long-awaited season five premiere. Each episode from the 10-episode fifth season will also be available on Super Channel On Demand, the day following its weekly linear broadcast. Filmed on Vancouver Island and helmed by new showrunner and Emmy winner Phoef Sutton (Cheers, Terriers), this season sees Robert Buckley (The Christmas House, iZombie) join the ensemble cast led by Canadian Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time), Treat Williams (Everwood, Hair) and Diane Ladd (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore). The series also stars Barbara Niven (Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove), Laci J. Mailey (Falling Skies), Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary), Brendan Penny (90210) and Andrew Francis (Final Destination 3).
ONLINE & DIGITAL:
Canadian Heritage has released the results of its stakeholder engagement on fair revenue sharing between digital platforms and news media. Questionnaires were sent by email asking for feedback on two distinct approaches: a mandatory code and arbitration regime or mandatory financial contributions from platforms distributed by an independent fund. While a large majority of responses stressed the importance for action regarding declining news sector revenues, no consensus emerged about the preferred way for government to address the issue with many polarized on the appropriate approach. Canadian Heritage is now welcoming comments from both stakeholders and the public until Sept. 15.
The Facebook Journalism Project is investing $700,000 in grants to 32 alumni of its global Accelerator program, including Canadian publishers Glacier Media ($25,000), Overstory Media Group ($25,000), Sprawl ($17,000), The Discourse ($25,000), The Narwhal ($20,500), The Tyee ($22,000), and Village Media ($25,000). Targeted at continuing digital transformation initiatives, the funding is aimed at helping news organizations expand their businesses, build on newsletter strategies, retain paying supporters, and launch new products. Facebook says Glacier Media will use its funding to develop and market Endorsed, an affiliate marketing vertical to get Canadian consumers genuine product and service recommendations from Canada, while Village Media will invest in social media advertising to support the journalistic growth of existing sites in Ontario.
Twitter is collaborating with The Associated Press (AP) and Reuters to expand efforts to identify and elevate credible information on the platform. Twitter says it will expand the scale and speed of its Curation team’s efforts to provide authoritative context across a wide range of global topics and conversations. That includes added information attached to Trends, the Explore Tab, Search (which will now automatically show content at the top of results from trusted sources or Moments that debunk misinformation), Prompts during high visibility events or emergencies linking to PSAs, and Labels on tweets that violate the platform’s Synthetic and Manipulated Media, COVID-19 or Civic Integrity misinformation rules, but may remain visible on Twitter.
Rogers Communications has announced that select Rogers Infinite plans will now come with an exclusive offer of six months of Disney+, and select Ignite TV and SmartStream plans with up to 12 months of Disney+ when customers sign up for a Disney+ subscription through Rogers. Rogers is the first telecommunications provider in Canada to partner with Disney on the offering.
MEDIAPRO Canada has struck a new strategic partnership with sports data and betting tech provider Genius Sports Limited to drive the growth of Canadian soccer. In 2019, MEDIAPRO Canada sealed a 10-year partnership with Canadian Soccer Business (CSB), the enterprise that represents the commercial interests of the Canadian Premier League and Canada Soccer. OneSoccer, MEDIAPRO Canada’s dedicated soccer streaming platform, will now integrate Genius Sports’ live data and content into its live viewing experience for fans. Genius Sports’ data-driven marketing technology will also help to expand MEDIAPRO Canada’s domestic audience by driving OneSoccer subscriptions through personalized promotions and offers. Sportsbooks can access official data rights to Canadian soccer through Genius Sports’ existing partnership with CSB.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has concluded that a Noovo Montreal (CFJP-DT) broadcast of an episode of Mon ex à moi featured explicit scenes that breached the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics and the classification provision of the CAB Violence Code. Broadcast on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m., the episode was rated 13+ and had viewer advisories alerting to “mature scenes or themes.” The CBSC described the sex acts portrayed as “obvious and demonstrative.” A viewer complained the episode was too explicit at a time when children could be watching. The CBSC French-Language Panel concluded that the episode should only have been broadcast after 9 p.m. as required by the code. It also concluded advisories should have specifically mentioned sexual content. With respect to the 13+ classification, the Panel concluded it should have been 16+ as outlined in the CAB Violence Code.
The CRTC has dismissed a complaint from Quebecor Media, on behalf of Videotron, alleging undue preference on the part of CBC/Radio-Canada by offering Ici Tou.tv Extra in a way that disadvantages BDUs. Quebecor also submitted that, in its view, the CBC’s mandate must be carried out from a complementary and collaborative perspective and not in competition with the private sector. The commission ruled the public broadcaster has not contravened any exclusivity rules by offering Tou.tv programming online or via subscription, or by allowing TELUS customers free access.
The CRTC has announced that 10 projects will receive up to nearly $20.5 million in funding from the Broadband Fund. The projects will potentially benefit approximately 3,625 households in 46 communities, including 16 Indigenous communities, in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Broadband Fund will allocate funds to: TELUS (British Columbia), Bell (Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador), ATG Arrow Technology Group (Alberta), TELUS Mobility (Alberta), and Rogers Communications (New Brunswick). With the announcement, the Broadband Fund has to date committed nearly $177 million to improve broadband services across 153 communities, representing approximately 28,125 households.
TVA Group recorded operating revenues totalling $159.4 million in Q2, a year-over-year increase of $55.6 million. Net income attributable to shareholders was $3.9 million or $0.09 per share, compared with a net loss attributable to shareholders of $2.7 million or $0.06 per share for the same quarter of 2020. The Broadcasting segment recorded $6,581,000 in adjusted EBITDA, a $3,111,000 favourable variance due to the increase in adjusted EBITDA at TVA Network, which posted ad revenue growth, which was offset by higher negative adjusted EBITDA at TVA Sports due to increased costs associated with sporting events broadcast by the channel, specifically the NHL playoffs. The Film Production & Audiovisual Services segment (MELS) reported $3,913,000 in adjusted EBITDA, a $3,406,000 favourable variance mainly due to increased profitability of soundstage, mobile and equipment rental activities, offset by the poorer performance of dubbing, subtitling and described video, as well as the start-up of the company’s virtual stage activities. $1,618,000 in adjusted EBITDA was reported by the Production & Distribution segment (Incendo), a $1,190,000 favourable variance generated primarily by international film distribution.
TELUS’ unaudited results for the second quarter of 2021 show consolidated operating revenues and other income increased by 10% over the same period a year ago to $4.1 billion. EBITDA increased by 6.8% to $1.45 billion while Adjusted EBITDA increased by 9.5% to $1.5 billion. The growth reflects higher internet and third wave data service margins, as well as other fixed data service margins resulting from subscriber base growth and expanded services; growth in the company’s mobile subscriber base; growth from business acquisitions; an increased contribution from the TELUS International (DLCX) segment; and the non-recurrence of non-labour restructuring and other costs related to the pandemic. That growth was partly offset by lower legacy fixed voice and data services and higher employee benefit expenses. In the quarter, TELUS added 223,000 new customer additions, up 82,000 over last year, and inclusive of 89,000 mobile phones, 84,000 connected devices, in addition to 30,000 internet, 19,000 security and 11,000 TV customer connections.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the successful applicants of the third round of its Mentorship Program for Journalists. Over the coming weeks, 92 journalists will learn from mentors working in radio, television, digital, and print publications across the country. This is the highest number of applicants that have been successfully paired since the program launched in Fall 2020, and nearly 40% more than were paired during the CAJ’s last mentorship intake in March. Find the full list of mentorship matches here.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Futuri has announced the launch of AdMatic, a system that turns podcast content into metadata that helps solve two major challenges in the industry: finding quality podcast content in an increasingly cluttered marketplace, and matching content with the right programmatic ads to increase efficacy and advertiser ROI. Currently in a Beta phase being tested by several large, publicly-traded tech companies, AdMatic delivers information on the ideal ad category for podcast content; the best times to place chapter markers allowing listeners to navigate longer-form podcast content; ideal keywords for full episodes and chapters, as well as the top organic search results — including images — related to the podcast content; detection of music to protect producers from copyright violation fines; and social handles for podcast guests to aid discoverability on social platforms, among other features.
The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) has opened its call for papers for IP Oktoberfest 2021, a live, interactive virtual event for broadcast and Pro AV professionals, Sept. 28-30. Now in its second year, the event will highlight the industry’s significant progress toward an all-IP ecosystem supporting today’s real-world media productions. Proposed papers may be technical presentations, use cases, facility overviews, and other non-commercial, non-promotional pieces on media over IP that offer educational value. The deadline for proposal submissions is Aug. 15. Running daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, IP Oktoberfest 2021 will include a live presentation stage, virtual pub, and meeting and networking areas.
SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers) will be hosting the second SMPTE+ virtual event Migrating Media & Entertainment Into the Cloud: A Real-World Perspective on Aug. 17. Over the course of the half-day event, subject matter experts from across the media value chain will examine key issues, share practical experiences, provide a snapshot of the status of migration, and offer perspectives on the future of media in the cloud. SMPTE+ is free to SMPTE members. Professionals may choose to attend only this session for $99. Registration and additional information about the SMPTE+ series is available here.
Rise, the advocacy group for women in the broadcast media technology sector, has opened entries for its annual Rise Awards with the introduction of three new categories, Company Award for Investment in Women, Influencer Award and Student Award. 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 to close in September. The awards will be held Nov. 18 as part of the DPP Leaders’ Briefing event in London and streamed globally. Entrants can be nominated, or they can nominate themselves.