The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

(l-r) Grant Ellis, Nicole MacIntyre, Jordan Himelfarb, Sarmishta Subramanian.

The Toronto Star has made senior leadership changes in its newsroom. Grant Ellis joins the Star as Managing Editor, Digital & Multimedia. Up until this past January, Ellis was General Manager at BNN Bloomberg for the last seven years. Nicole MacIntyre joins the Star as Managing Editor, News, coming from The Globe and Mail, where she was most recently deputy National Editor. Jordan Himelfarb becomes Managing Editor, Politics. Himelfarb, most recently the Star’s Politics Editor, has been with the paper since 2013. Sarmishta Subramanian joins the Star as Executive Features Editor. A former Star features editor, she was most recently editor-at-large at Maclean’s and consulting editor at The Logic.

Bell Media has made changes across the Virgin Radio network that see former iHeartRadio Nights host Shannon Burns take over middays for the brand in Eastern Canada. Burns will be heard from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. across Virgin stations in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Windsor and Halifax. She’ll also host the iHeartRadio Top 20 every Sunday at 10 a.m. on the network, while Myles Galloway moves into her former 7 – 11 p.m. iHeartRadio Nights time slot. The new Virgin Radio Weekender will air Sundays from 6 -10 p.m., hosted by Virgin Toronto personality/music director Dames Nellas, Virgin Radio Vancouver afternoon drive host Amy Spencer, and Virgin Radio Calgary midday host Juliette Nunes. Read more here.

(l-r) Tiffany Lizée, Dallas Flexhaug, Blake Lough, Leslie Horton.

Blake Lough is officially joining Dallas Flexhaug and Leslie Horton on Global News Morning Calgary, effective Sept. 8, while Meteorologist Tiffany Lizée joins as Weather Anchor. Lough has been with Global Calgary since 2018 and previously anchored Global News Morning Weekend and Global News at 11. Lizée also joined Global Calgary in 2018 and was previously Chief Meteorologist at Global Regina. 

Gurdeep Alhuwalia

Gurdeep Alhuwalia has left CP24 after five years with the morning show and more than a decade with Bell Media. Alhuwalia started with CP24 as a reporter, anchor and host of CP24 Breakfast Weekend. After a three-year break hosting TSN Sportscentre, he returned to CP24 in 2016. Nick Dixon steps into the CP24 Breakfast anchor role.

Catherine Murray

Catherine Murray has joined conservative-leaning Canadian news channel, The News Forum, as host of “The Buck Stops Here.” Murray was with BNN Bloomberg for a decade, prior to February’s cuts at Bell Media. She’s also been hosting content on her own YouTube channel and podcast.

Temur Durrani

Temur Durrani is joining BNN Bloomberg as a national business reporter/writer, based in Toronto. Durrani has been with the Winnipeg Free Press for the last year and a half where he covered economics.

Rick Howe

Rick Howe is officially retiring after almost 50 years in radio. Howe, 68, initially stepped away from his News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) morning talk show last May announcing that he was dealing with an undisclosed health issue. An RTDNA Lifetime Achievement Award honouree, Howe’s broadcast career began in 1972 at CKNB Campbellton, followed by stops in Newcastle, Saint John, and eventually Halifax. Howe will return to the News 95.7 studio for one last show on Friday, Sept. 3.

John Divinski

John Divinski has retired after 57 years in radio. Divinski started his broadcast career in 1964 at CJCS Stratford, before moving on to CKSL London; CKJD and Fox FM (CFGX-FM) Sarnia; CJSS and Variety 104 (CFLG-FM) Cornwall and most recently 98 the Beach (CFPS-FM), now 97.9 The Bruce. He spent most of his career in news, but also dabbled in management for Corus Cornwall as Operations Manager from 1997-2000. His last day with Bayshore Broadcasting was Aug. 31.  

Bill Dawkins

Bill Dawkins is retiring after 60+ years in radio. Once the General Sales Manager, Station Manager and a minority owner of MAGIC 106 (CIMJ-FM) and 1460 CJOY in Guelph, ON, Dawkins is retiring from his current position as Senior Account Manager. His last day with Corus is Sept. 3.

Mike Katrycz

Mike Katrycz, Vice-President of News at CHCH-TV Hamilton, will be retiring at the end of September after 21 years with the station. Katrycz notably spearheaded the launch of Morning Live in 2001 and helped create all-day news programming in 2009 for CHCH and Channel Zero. He began his career at CFTR-AM (now 680 News) in 1975 as a reporter. He later made the leap to television and CFTO News (now CTV Toronto) in 1980, where he served as reporter and producer for 17 years. He joined Global Toronto in 1998 as Senior Producer of the station’s flagship evening newscast. Katrycz arrived at CHCH as News Director in 2000 and was named VP of News in 2011.

Barbara G. Bell

Barbara G. Bell has retired after 26 years with Golden West Radio’s stations in Saskatchewan. Bell started with the company in 1995, working with CJYM Rosetown and Mix 104 (now Country 104.9, CKVX-FM) Kindersley holding roles from office manager to traffic, production and sales assistant. She’d been in station and sales management since 2003.

Pat Gonsalves

Pat Gonsalves is retiring after more than 37 years with Corus. Gonsalves’ radio career started in 1977 at CHOO-AM Ajax (now KX-96) in the Creative Department. After a year as Operations Manager, he moved into sales in 1979 and found his way to CKTB and CJQR St. Catherines, and then CKMW Brampton, before landing at Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto in 1984. In the early years, he handled the accounts of many of TO’s rock bars like The Gasworks, Nags Head North, Larry’s Hideaway and Hotrocks. He became Retail Sales Manager in the early ‘90s before moving back into an Account Manager role.

Scott Tremaine is retiring after a 32-year career with Corus Entertainment. Tremaine has been a longtime Account Executive with the Global Maritimes sales team, serving Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. 

Jon McComb

Jon McComb is coming out of retirement to host a weekend morning show across the Corus Radio network. McComb, who stepped away from mornings on 980 CKNW Vancouver in Dec. 2019, will helm “The Announcers” which will see the broadcast news veteran sit down with other talk radio hosts to discuss the week’s headlines. 

Paul Ferguson

Paul Ferguson has been promoted to Vice President, Programming and Operations, for Starboard Communications which operates 95.5 Hits FM (CJOJ-FM) and Cool 100 (CHCQ-FM) Belleville, ON, and Inquinte.ca. Ferguson has been with the company since 2002, holding roles from on-air to his promotion to Program Director in 2010. Ferguson is a six-time winner of the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Music Director of the Year – Medium or Small Market honour.

Samantha Payne

Samantha Payne has stepped into the interim Program Manager position at Corus Radio Cornwall, filling in during Bill Halman’s parental leave. Payne arrives from Corus Hamilton where she’s the Programming Assistant, Music Director and an on-air announcer. She’ll continue her Programming Assistant role in Hamilton, while taking on her new role in Cornwall until March 2022. 

Shane Michaels

Shane Michaels has returned to mornings on 93.1 “Leduc’s Best Country” (CJLD-FM) and 88.1 “Parkland’s Best Country” (CKSS-FM). Michaels is back after parting ways with Blackgold Broadcasting in March. He previously hosted afternoon drive on Capital FM (CKRA-FM) Edmonton up until station restructuring in 2018. He’s also done stints at the former EZ Rock (CFMG-FM), as well as The Bear (CFBR-FM) where he hosted under the guise of his alter ego “Sleddog.”

Paul Ouellette

Paul Ouellette is the new Creative and Production Manager for Blackgold Broadcasting’s stations in Stony Plain, Leduc and Ponoka. Ouellette is a former Q99 (CIKT-FM) Grande Prairie Program Director, Music Director and Morning Host. After semi-retiring to Vancouver Island where he worked part-time for Pattison Media’s stations in Nanaimo, he’s now returned to Alberta to be closer to family.

Jeanne Armstrong

Jeanne Armstrong is the incoming host of CBC Information Morning Fredericton. Armstrong has been with the public broadcaster since 2011, starting as an intern with CBC Ottawa before moving into producing for Ottawa Morning and All In A Day. She’s been a producer on As It Happens since 2017.

Amy Chabot

Amy (Amelia) Chabot is the new morning show co-host on Surge 105 (CKHY-FM) Halifax, alongside Jeff Brown. Chabot has been with Virgin Radio (CJCH-FM) and Move 100 (CIOO-FM) Halifax since 2015. She also did a previous hosting stint with Energy 103.5 (CKHZ-FM) Halifax.

Lauren Strapagiel

Lauren Strapagiel is leaving BuzzFeed to join Shopify as a senior writer. Strapagiel had been with BuzzFeed since 2015, holding roles from Managing Editor, Canada to reporting from BuzzFeed’s breaking news desk.

Mickey Djuric

Mickey Djuric is leaving CBC Regina to join The Canadian Press as their Saskatchewan correspondent, effective Sept. 7. Djuric moves into the role vacated by Stephanie Taylor, who is now reporting for CP on Parliament Hill.

Michelle Ireland

Michelle Ireland has joined Evanov Communications as Retail Sales Manager with the Montreal & Ontario East Sales Team, effective Sept. 7. Ireland was most recently an Account Manager at Bell Media/CTV Montreal. She’s also held sales roles with Corus Radio Kitchener and Rogers Sports & Media in Toronto and London, among other markets.

Renaud Langlois

Renaud Langlois has been promoted to Senior Director, Digital and Programmatic Operations at Quebecor Expertise|Media. With Quebecor since 2020, in his new role Langlois will be responsible for the entire digital advertising team, including digital programmatic and out-of-home, as well as the commercial data monetization strategy. 

MELS has appointed Julie Brabant as Senior Director of Operations, Richard Cormier as VicePresident, Digital Creative Services, and Fréderic Boucher as Vice-President, Equipment Rental Operations. Brabant joins MELS after several years at TVA as Director of Technical Operations, and more than 20 years in key positions at Radio-Canada, Global and Télévision Quatre-Saisons. Cormier is promoted to VP, Digital Creative Services and will also continue to serve as Executive Producer of Virtual Production. He’s been with MELS since late 2020 and has a track record in content creation in Canada and the U.S., including Moment Factory and Buzz Image. Boucher has worked for MELS for 30 years. He was previously director of the camera rental department and now adds the lighting, grip and cabling departments to his responsibilities. 

Ryerson School of Journalism has introduced 13 new contract lecturers, including eight alumni. They are Toronto Star tech reporter Navneet Alang; CBC reporter Rhiannon Johnson; freelance photographer Marta Iwanek; 105.9 The Region station manager Tina Cortese; TSN story editor Brian Hastings; CP24 anchor/reporter Shanelle Kaul; freelance media personality Winston Sih; CBC Ideas producer Naheed Mustafa; Law360 editor Vidya Kauri; Hello! Magazine reporter Russ Martin; CBC writer/editor Jane Gerster; Think Research comms manager Laura Hensley; and TSN freelancer and Burn It All Down podcast host Shireen Ahmed.

RADIO & PODCAST:

​​Blackburn Radio Inc. is the latest broadcast group to announce it’s dropping “radio” from its corporate brand. Going forward, the company will be known as Blackburn Media Inc., following the lead of Pattison Media (formerly Jim Pattison Broadcast Group) and Evanov Communications (formerly Evanov Radio Group). “As the news, entertainment and digital engagements with our company partners and communities grow and evolve, the name change signifies the ongoing evolution of the Blackburn Company to provide the level of content and engagement they expect,” said Blackburn President Ron Dann, in a company announcement. Read more here.

Rogers Sports & Media news radio stations have announced the date they will officially rebrand under the CityNews banner. Starting Oct. 18, the so-called “green brand” stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Kitchener, and Halifax, will align their branding with CityNews across all platforms to become CityNews 680, CityNews 1130, CityNews 660, CityNews 570, and CityNews 95.7. Previously announced in June, the stations join CityNews Ottawa (CIWW-AM, formerly 1310 News), which Rogers moved to rebrand last December and simulcast on the FM frequency formerly used by Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM). Read more here.

The National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) has announced the winners of its annual awards, led by University of Victoria campus station CFUV-FM, which claimed Best in News, Documentary, Pop Music, and Country or Folk programming. Trent University’s 92.7 CFFF-FM Peterborough, the University of Alberta’s CJSR-FM, and Smithers community radio CICK 93.9 also won multiple awards.

The Canadian Podcast Awards have announced their 2021 winners. On A Dark, Cold Night took home multiple awards, winning Outstanding Main Title Theme and Outstanding Original Music. Elamin Abdelmahmoud won Best Host In A Series with the CBC political podcast he co-hosts, Partylines, also winning Outstanding News and Current Affairs Series. The People’s Choice Award went to I Hate It But I Love It, while Ken Bole was honoured with this year’s Bob Goyetche Award, which recognizes podcasters who’ve made an impact and helped grow the community. 

Frequency Podcast Network has unveiled its slate of new and returning titles for fall 2021 that leverages the talent of Rogers Sports & Media’s journalists to introduce the network’s first bilingual podcast and a true crime series focused on Ontario cold cases. New to the lineup are The Reheat, hosted by Sadaf Ahsan and Sarah Sahagian, which looks at pop culture stories of yesteryear, re-examining them through the lens of today; Pinoy Nation – Frequency’s first bilingual podcast, produced in partnership with OMNI News: Filipino Edition, and available in both English and Tagalog; and Tracking a Killer: The Cold Case Files, hosted by CityNews reporters Fil Martino and Madison Fitzpatrick. Read more here.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has announced its AMI-audio lineup for the 2021-22 broadcast season, starting Sept. 7. New programming includes The Globe and Mail Today, Monday-Friday at 8 a.m. ET, which sees Mike Ross and Corinne Van Dusen deliver news, editorials, business, sports and entertainment stories; Maclean’s Magazine, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, hosted by Matt Speirs; AMI Audiobook Review, Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET, hosted by Ramya Amuthan and Nisreen Abdel-Majid, reviewing new content in the audiobook realm; My Life in Books, Sundays at 2 p.m. ET hosted by broadcaster Red Széll, featuring one-on-one interviews with authors. New AMI-audio podcasts include In Buzz with Bill, hosted by AMI’s longest tenured employee, Bill Shackleton; Shaun of the Shed where Double Tap Canada’s Shaun Preece breaks down new software or hardware; Connecting Disability, in which accessibility reporter Meagan Gillmore and her guests consider how experiences of disability help us connect with others and society; and Triple Vision, produced in partnership with the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians in which host David Best brings together members of the blind and partially-sighted community to reflect on life as a person with a disability and the challenges they continue to face today.

Soleiman Faqiri’s case, whose death was chronicled in TVO podcast Unascertained, has seen a major development. Michael Pollanen, Ontario’s chief forensic pathologist, has concluded that Faqiri’s 2016 death at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, ON was the result of actions taken by correctional officers. The finding contradicts a 2017 coroner’s report, which found the cause of death “unascertained.” The case will now be referred to Ontario Provincial Police, the third time the force has been asked to investigate the death. Launched this past April and hosted by documentary filmmaker Yusuf Zine, Unascertained reconstructs the events leading up to Faqiri’s death.

Waze! has introduced a collaboration with PAW Patrol in conjunction with the franchise’s theatrical release that allows parents to turn each drive into a mission. “Ride into Adventure with PAW Patrol” features Ryder and his team of Pups, who help navigate around obstacles, traffic, and more. The experience is available in English for a limited time. 

MRC Data’s latest release indicates that Hip Hop/R&B is losing its foothold in on-demand streaming, with the genre’s market share down 1.3% at mid-year. MRC says Latin and Country are the likely culprits, which are up 0.38% and 0.42% respectively. Hip Hop/R&B still retains a 31% streaming share.

LISTEN: Wayne Harrett, who founded Eastern Passage, NS community radio station Seaside FM in 2002, lost a lengthy battle with cancer earlier this month. The latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast is for anyone who has been told they don’t have a voice for or a future in radio, because Harrett didn’t let that stop him from starting and growing his own station, fuelled by his sheer passion for the medium. Among the voices featured in this episode are Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Adam Baldwin, Halifax Regional Councillor and radio veteran Lisa Blackburn, MOVE 100 (CIOO-FM) Halifax personality and former Seaside FM volunteer Erin Hopkins, Wayne’s sister and Seaside FM board member Cindy Harrett, and Seaside FM afternoon drive host Noah Widmeyer.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Morgan McCarthy – host of The 715 Newsroom, a local Wisconsin online radio news source serving the Chippewa Valley area. In this episode, McCarthy talks about her not-at-all planned saunter into working in radio through her serendipitous acceptance to Emerson College, how radio became her passion, her love for the Green Bay Packers, and more. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Mike Wolowich

Mike Wolowich, 79, unexpectedly on Aug. 23. Wolowich started his broadcast career in 1964 with Thunder Bay Electronics, which later became Thunder Bay Television. Starting out as a photographer, he worked his way up to producer and director working on shows like Reach For The Top, The Rick Smith Show, Rock’n ‘n Reel’n, Auction Bonanza, the annual Kinsmen Mother’s Day Cystic Fibrosis Telethon, and numerous PSAs and commercials. Wolowich was known for his eagerness to mentor young talent. He was also a member of the Lakehead Amateur Radio Club and named Amateur of the Year in 2017. 

Breen Murray

Robert Breen Murray, 79, on Aug. 14 after a brief battle with cancer. A recognizable media personality in the Ottawa Valley, Breen was the voice of sports for CKOY-CKBY for much of the 1970s and early ‘80s, from play-by-play to hosting and serving as sports director. When TSN was established in 1984, Breen was the network’s first hire in Ottawa. Murray opened Raven Street Studios in 1992, which remains one of Ottawa’s largest and most-established recording studios, welcoming artists from Avril Lavigne to Snoop Dogg through its doors. He also founded The Audio Recording Academy (TARA), a recording school focused on giving students practical studio experience.

TV & FILM:

Off the Fence has announced it has opened its first Canadian office in Toronto. Owned by ZDF Enterprises since 2019, the BAFTA and Oscar-winning production and distribution company currently has a production office in Bristol and distribution offices in Amsterdam and London. Imelda Wiebers, Director of Commercial & Business Affairs, will head up Canadian operations.

DNEG, the UK-based visual effects and animation company, has announced it’s expanding its offices in Vancouver and Montreal to create up to 300 new jobs and opening a fourth North American studio in Greater Toronto that will initially hire 200. Those new hires will work remotely to start, with the search for a physical studio location in the GTA underway. DNEG’s feature animation division in Vancouver is also adding a new studio that could accommodate another 100 new hires.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) annual report for the 2020-21 fiscal year indicates CMF funding triggered $1.5B in production activity across the country. Every $1 of CMF funding generated $4.29 in production activity, slightly higher than last year’s $4.12, despite pandemic challenges. CMF administered $100.4M in Government of Canada COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds. It also disbursed $9M through two different initiatives supporting racialized creators. 

BIPOC TV & FILM has announced the launch of its first Showrunner Training Bootcamp, a workshop intensive for mid-to upper level Canadian writers and content creators. Led by writer and executive producer Anthony Q. Farrell, the bootcamp will include guest instructors and panellists from the U.S. and Canada. Co-designed by writer/producer Jinder Oujla-Chalmers, the program will train up to 50 Canadian BIPOC writers on best practices in managing and staffing writing rooms, production and post-production schedules, and stakeholder relationships, including production companies and broadcasters. The bootcamp is open to writers who are Black, Indigenous or People of Colour who have or have had a TV or web series in development with a Canadian broadcaster or production company, a minimum of a co-producer credit on a Canadian TV or web series, or a story editor credit on an animated series. Applications are being accepted until Sept. 19.

TELUS STORYHIVE is launching its inaugural Black Creators Edition in partnership with the Black Screen Office (BSO). Grants of $20,000 will be provided to 20 content creators from across B.C. and Alberta. Interested creators are invited to pitch a locally reflective original idea for a short doc, web pilot series or digital short. Online applications are open until Oct. 6. In addition to the funding, successful creators will receive customized career training, filmmaking mentorship, and distribution on select TELUS platforms. No previous experience in film production or other creative endeavours is required to submit an application. A diverse selection of committee members from the Black community will review all projects and select those that receive funding.

The Montreal International Black Film Festival’s 17th edition will open on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Imperial Theatre with Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi’s Quebec premiere of With Drawn Arms. The feature documentary’s main subject is track-and-field gold medalist, Tommie Smith, who famously raised a gloved fist at the 1968 Olympic games to protest racial inequality in America. 

Global National will celebrate the flagship newscast’s 20th anniversary with a one-hour documentary special on Sept. 10. Disruption: 20 Years of Global National will be hosted by current anchor and executive editor Dawna Friesen and former chief anchor Kevin Newman. The special marks Newman’s first appearance on the Global airwaves since 2010. The documentary takes a look at transformative events over the past two decades and features stories and recollections of producers, correspondents and video journalists, including Mike Armstrong and Ross Lord, who have been with Global National since its inception. Read more here.

Christine Sinclair

Uninterrupted Canada, in partnership with Bell Media, are partnering to produce “SINC”: The Christine Sinclair Story, an original documentary that charts the rise of the soccer player. Airing in 2022 on TSN and Crave, production and principal photography will commence this fall. Sinclair made her debut with the senior national team at age 16 at the 2000 Algarve Cup where she scored her first international goal. Since then, she’s become one of the games most accomplished players, winning three Olympic medals, including Gold at the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, becoming the world’s all-time leader in international goals scored for both men and women, and the first soccer player to win the Lou Marsh Award as Canadian Athlete of the Year.

Crave, in association with KOTV Productions, has started production in Montréal on 10-part Crave Original series, Pillow Talk, an adaptation of Noovo French-language series Entre Deux Draps, currently available on Crave. The full cast consists of four, real-life couples who play fictionalized versions of themselves: Nicola Correia-Damude (Shadowhunters, Burden of Proof) and Carlos Gonzalez-Vio (The Expanse, Orphan Black); Adam DiMarco (The Order) and Sydney Scotia (Reboot: The Guardian Code); Andrew Wheeler (Supernatural, Best in Show) and Sharon Crandall (The Kid Detective, Welcome to Marwen); and Paolo Santalucia (Kim’s Convenience) and Gregory Prest (Angels in America). Additional cast members include Chris Robinson (Workin’ Moms, Odd Squad) and Kwasi Thomas (Snowpiercer, Altered Carbon). After a successful first season where it was one of the Top 10 performing series on Noovo, Entre Deux Draps was renewed for a second season which premieres Sept. 15 on Noovo and Noovo.ca.

WildBrain Television has announced seven new greenlights across animation and live-action. Set to premiere starting this October and continuing to roll out through 2022, the animation roster is led by five new WildBrain original CG specials for Caillou, marking the first new long-form content for the preschool brand in almost a decade. Also greenlit are Lucas the Spider (Fresh TV), a new CG-animated series about a curious four-year-old arachnid, based on the popular YouTube shorts; YouTube hit Denis and Me (Headspinner Productions) which will see four new specials, following WildBrain’s order for Season 2 of the series earlier this year. New series Summer Memories (Aircraft Pictures, A&N Production and YETI Farm Creative) chronicles a friendship as the lead character looks back on the most pivotal summer of his life. Heading up WildBrain’s live-action lineup are new family series Ruby & the Well (Shaftesbury) and Take Note (Lambur Productions), tracking the fictional roller-coaster life of a teen competing in a reality show. 

APTN’s fall lineup includes new series Wild Game (premieres Sept. 7), starring chef Rich Francis who aims to reinvent Indigenous cuisine, visiting First Nations across Canada to hunt and gather ingredients; On Country Kitchen (Sept. 7) stars comic Derek Nannup and Indigenous chef Mark who tour Western Australia, seeking out local produce and meeting some characters along the way; Easy Eats (Sept. 7), features presenter Hera Te Kurapa as she creates a rustic, fine dining menu. New docuseries include Michif Country (Sept. 12), exploring the unique landscape, culture and language of the Michif community of Saint Laurent, MB, and Life Below Zero: Canada (Oct. 31) capturing the day-to-day of people living in unforgiving environments. 

Shark Tank adds four new guest Sharks for its 13th season, premiering Oct. 8 on CTV, that include Emma Grede, CEO and co-founder of Good American and founding partner of SKIMS; Kevin Hart, actor, investor and entrepreneur; Peter Jones, the sole remaining original Dragon on BBC’s Dragon’s Den; and Nirav Tolia, co-founder of Nextdoor. They’ll appear alongside long-standing Sharks Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary. Daniel Lubetzky, founder and executive chairman of KIND, also returns this season. 

Hollywood Suite is presenting the broadcast premiere of Metric: Dreams So Real (2017) on Sept. 2, kicking off a month-long showcase of musical programming which includes the premieres of Coldplay Live in São Paulo (2017), Paul Simon: Concert in the Park (1991) and The Who: Live at the Kilburn 1977. Musically driven features airing in September span Bandar Band (2020); Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1982); Little Voice (1998); The Sapphires (2012); and returning favourites Almost Famous (2000); Detroit Rock City (1999); and The Blues Brothers (1980).

(L-R): Christef Desir, Janet-Rose Nguyen, Izad Etemadi, Blessing Adedijo, Leighton Alexander Williams, Katherine Fogler and Zara Jestadt

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) has announced the return of the CBC Actors Conservatory after a year-long hiatus due to COVID. Officially underway Sept. 7, this year’s cohort includes Blessing Adedijo, Christef Desir, Izad Etemadi, Katherine Fogler, Zara Jestadt, Janet-Rose Nguyen and Leighton Alexander Williams, who have a range of skills and experience across musical and classical theatre, film, TV, and comedy. The CBC Actors Conservatory is an immersive on-screen acting program designed to empower actors to navigate the film and TV business by exposing them to different approaches, perspectives, collaborators and materials.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

CHEK Media marked the 12-year anniversary of employee ownership and its 65th year of broadcasting, with the launch of dedicated streaming and on-demand service, CHEK+. CHEK+ allows viewers to enjoy a variety of CHEK programming on their screens or mobile devices without a cable connection or subscription fee. CHEK+ is available for free download on Apple TV, iOS, Android Mobile, and some Android TV devices (with more Android TV compatibility, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and additional services to come). Audiences can watch livestreams and on-demand episodes and stories from CHEK News, full episodes and clips from Donnie and Dhali – the Team, and special event programming including this Sunday’s live broadcast of the Canada 200 stock car race from West Shore Motorsports Park in Langford, BC. Also featured are audio versions of CHEK Podcasts, including MicCHEKOur Native Land, Political Capital and Amy McGeachy’s House Guests

MuchMusic VJs (L to R) Teddy Tong, Sadé Powell, Kwesi Kwarko-Fosu, Myah Elliott, Verdah Ansari, Georgia Kolev

MuchMusic is celebrating the brand’s digital relaunch across Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, with a collaboration with Roots on a capsule collection. The limited release features custom-designed artwork by MuchMusic’s own Sadé Powell, in collaboration with Verdah Ansari, who drew inspiration from the Canadian music scene and Much’s current lineup of VJs. Featuring kanga hoodies, t-shirts, and toques, the collection will drop on roots.com on Sept. 8.

QYOU Media has announced that The Q India, the company’s Hindi language youth oriented channel, is now available in over 122 million TV households and to over 676 million users via OTT, mobile and app based platforms in India following the addition of four million targeted households on cable platform GTPL Hathway. GTPL Hathway is the second largest Multi Service Operator (MSO) in India engaged in cable TV distribution and high-speed broadband service reaching an estimated 10.8 million households. The Q now reaches approximately 122 million television households in India, an increase of 22% since April of 2021. The Q India is an advertiser and influencer marketing supported Hindi language content brand, channel and VOD provider delivering digital programming from social media stars and digital video creators targeting young Indian audiences.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Canadian Media Guild (CMG) has filed for conciliation in Ontario and Québec following a breakdown in talks with The Canadian Press (CP). The newswire service’s collective agreement expired in 2018, but was extended for an additional year as bargaining commenced. This is the first time the two sides have had to negotiate under provincial labour jurisdiction, with CMG saying it’s been one of the most contentious rounds of bargaining in recent memory. The union is first seeking conciliation in Québec and Ontario, where the bulk of CP’s 177 unionized employees work. CMG says it remains hopeful that CP management will return to the bargaining table “in good faith” in the coming weeks. Read more here.

 

TELUS is putting a vaccination policy in place for Canadian team members. Effective Oct. 1, all TELUS team members and guests will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter a TELUS admin building. Effective Oct. 15, all staff working outside their residence in a customer-facing environment (retail, health, or technician supporting customers) must be fully vaccinated or submit to twice-weekly rapid antigen testing. Effective Jan. 2022, fully vaccinated office workers will be given the opportunity to return to work in a TELUS building on a part or full-time basis, as part of the company’s Work Styles policy that enables employees to work when and where they are most effective. Unvaccinated team members will continue to work from home. TELUS launched the flexible Work Styles program in 2006 and says prior to the pandemic, 75% of Canadian team members spent time working remotely, with 95% (and 99% of domestic call centre team members) working from home. Employees are not expected to return to working in the office full-time when TELUS tentatively reopens offices in Jan. 2022 to fully vaccinated team members.

Cogeco Communications has announced the completion of Atlantic Broadband’s acquisition of WideOpenWest, Inc. (WOW!) in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. With the closing of the transaction, Atlantic Broadband expands its activities in Ohio, adding approximately 688,000 homes and businesses and around 196,000 Internet, 61,000 video and 35,000 telephony customers, as of March 31, 2021. The purchase price and transaction costs are financed through the issuance of a US$900 million secured Term B loan by Atlantic Broadband and excess cash on hand. In the short term, the acquired operations will continue to operate under the WOW! name and trademark and will be rebranded following an integration period.

BCE Inc. is asking the courts and the federal government to block Quebecor’s purchase of 5G-friendly spectrum in the 3,500 MHz band in B.C., Alberta, and Manitoba, following this summer’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development auction. BCE argues Quebecor didn’t meet the requirements to bid in those provinces when Videotron purchased the spectrum set aside for smaller carriers and only those with pre-existing operations in those jurisdictions.

TekSavvy is taking its GoldTV site-blocking appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The case concerns the first-ever order by a Canadian court to block access to a website, which TekSavvy argues “was made without a statutory basis or any meaningful consideration of the expressive freedoms of Internet users.” This is the second time TekSavvy has appealed the 2019 court enforcement against the GoldTV site, through which users paid to access thousands of pirated television channels.

CBC/Radio-Canada’s Q1 financial highlights show revenue increases of 19.2% in the quarter, mostly from recovering advertising demand on both traditional and digital platforms. Government funding recognized in the quarter decreased by 3.6%, consistent with expected needs for operating funding. Ongoing expenses were 5.25% higher this quarter as pandemic programming activities recovered, resulting in fewer cancellations and scheduling changes, compared to last year. 

CBC is debunking a recent Postmedia article, carried by Sun newspapers across the country, with the headline “Facebook Canada to lean on CBC as election fact checker.” The story quoted Blacklock’s Reporter and was picked up by other sites including Rebel News, The Post Millennial, True North and Western Standard. CBC says the story was untrue and “the latest example of something we are seeing more and more of: a group of online outlets together repeating and amplifying the same inaccurate or misleading story in order to criticize the public broadcaster, particularly its English-language service, the CBC.” 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

LISTEN: In this sponsored episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, NewTek Sales Engineer Chris Burgos talks about IP Video Technology and how it provides every storyteller a voice through video. Burgos also touches on what’s happening in live production, what the future looks like, and how you can find out how to evolve your workflows and improve the quality of your output. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

Vicon has won a new contract with Vancouver’s Beyond Capture, a provider of world-class motion capture and performance capture services for VFX, video games and animation. Beyond Capture, which currently owns a state-of-the-art studio on the West Coast, is expanding its presence following a recent partnership with Reservoir Creative and will be opening a new 15,000 sq. ft. performance capture facility, Beyond Montreal,  in the heart of downtown Montreal in November. Beyond Capture, which is currently utilizing Vantage, Vicon’s cutting edge flagship cameras in its Vancouver-based studio, will be using 60 Vicon Vantage 16 cameras in the new Montreal facility, enabling capture at remarkable speeds across a larger volume. Among the services Beyond Montreal will offer are motion capture, performance capture, virtual production and full-body animation.